Monday, August 1, 2016

What is "Love For The Elderly.org?"

This post is about a 16-year-old teenager named Jacob with a big heart and a great idea to help lonely nursing home residents and other seniors. Let him tell you about it: 

"While volunteering at my local nursing home, I saw many seniors experiencing loneliness and isolation. It was heartbreaking. I needed to change this, so I started to write anonymous letters of kindness. They were so well received that I decided to create website and social media platforms to get the word out about my cause.

"Now, three years later, the global nonprofit I created has impacted tens of thousands of seniors and has inspired people from over 50 countries and 6 continents. I expanded its website, Love for the Elderly.org, beyond anonymous letters to include a Senior Buddy pen-pal program, a Social Impact program, and more! Our newest program, SunshineBox, will launch this August to distribute gift boxes. These will be filled with fun things, like smiley face stress balls, neon yellow sunglasses, and similar items to put smiles on the recipients' faces!

"Our goal is to spread love to a group of people who are so deserving and precious in their final stage of life. If you'd like to help us to bring sunshine into their lives, visit youcaring.com/elderly  this August. Make a difference!"

If the next generation of kids has Jacob's compassion, initiative and caring spirit, we can feel good about the future of our Country. Don't you agree?

Robert Tell, Author


Tuesday, July 26, 2016

What is Lou Gehrig's (ALS) Disease?

Last year, a colleague and good friend succumbed to ALS* (AKA Lou Gehrig's Disease) after a long, courageous battle. He wasn't the first person I've known to have this terrible disease, and I often wondered what these people were feeling and thinking when first diagnosed, and during each stage of the downhill progression of the illness.

Recently, I came across a blog that tells the story of the journey with eloquence and compassion. Called Ray's Little Ride, Ray Spooner, a nurse midwife, entitles his story as a "Journey."

After diagnosis, Ray biked more than 3000 miles across the USA in a successful campaign to fund raise for ALS* research. The blog post referred to above was written in the later stages of the disease and, with a nurse's clinical perspective, shares with the reader his innermost thoughts and feelings. 

It is a journey of courage and bravery and I recommend the blog to my readers.

Robert Tell, Author

*According to the ALS Association, "ALS (Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) is a neurodegenerative disease. This fatal disease affects the nerve cells (motor neurons) that control a person’s muscles. As the disease causes these motor neurons to deteriorate, the brain loses the ability to start and control voluntary muscle movement. This is why people with ALS often lose the ability to speak. The disease slowly paralyzes its victims eventually taking away the ability to breathe."

Sunday, May 29, 2016

What About The Latest News in Alzheimer's Research?


Is Tau really a more likely cause of cognitive decline in Alzheimer's than Amyloid Beta? Possibly, according to a May 20th article in the CAA Forum, and I quote:

"Scientists using a new PET imaging agent found that measures of tau protein in the brain more closely track cognitive decline due to Alzheimer’s disease compared with long-studied measures of amyloid beta. Scanning multiple individuals the researchers at the Washington University School of Medicine showed that the intensity of tau deposits correlated with the severity of cognitive dysfunction."
The Forum is sponsored by the International CAA Association (CAA standing for Cerebral Amyloid Angiopathy), an organization of medical researchers concerned with cognitive malfunction. For the complete article, please click on this title: "Tau is better marker of progression to Alzheimer’s disease than amyloid beta."
One baby step after another, Alzheimer's Disease gives up its secrets and brings us closer to the elusive cure.
Robert Tell, Author




Saturday, March 19, 2016

Something New? "Great Books—Thriller Books—Mystery Stories"

Guess what? I've started another blog. To see it, please click on the following link: Author's Blog.

This new blog is just one part of my beautiful new website which features all 8 of my books, and my poetry.  Click on the main page: Great Books—Thriller Books—Mystery Stories. I think you'll enjoy surfing around on it. The visuals are stunning.

I've also published much more detail there about "Dementia Diary, A Caregiver's Journal." To view these pages, click on one of the following links: 1. The Book, and/or 2. The Letter.

By the way, I will continue to support this, my original blog, "The Caregiver Chronicles," for as long as there continues to be such a high level of interest in it. It has become very popular.

Thank you all for making it so.

Best wishes,
Robert Tell



Wednesday, July 22, 2015

What's the Future of Nursing in an Aging America?

The changing demgraphics of America's aging population presents many challenges for the nursing profession. I'm indebted to Deyanara Riddix, content coordinator of Nursingschoolhub.com, for the following information. 

"For every senior over the age of 65 in the year 2000, there will be 2 by the year 2030. Today that is 1 out of every 7 people is over 65. By the year 2022, 32 percent of our workforce will be comprised of seniors over 65. The average american will live 19 or more years past their 65th birthday. 

"The 85 and older population is predicted to triple to 14.6 million by 2040. Most of the seniors’ medical needs will become the responsibility of nurses. Currently there are just more than 1.5 million Nursing Assistants, 738 thousand Licensed Practical Nurses, 2.7 million Registered Nurses, and 151 thousand Nursing Practitioners, anesthetists, and midwives with an 11% growth expected by 2022. 

"The average age of nurses is now 50 years old. From 1982 to 2008, the percentage of nurses under the age of 40 dropped from 54 percent to 29.5 percent. Aging America needs more educated nurses who are versed in some of the more technical areas, such as biometrics, robotics, and electronic records."

For a comprehensive infographic illustrating the above data, please see the following website:  Nursing School Hub

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Have You Read My Interview on Smashwords?

I'm excited!

A revised interview with me has just been published at Smashwords. It's an in-depth Q&A interview. If you get a chance, click: Interview With Author Robert Tell.

I would welcome your comments on this blog, and your suggestions for additional questions you'd like to see answered in the interview. I promise to answer them.

Best wishes,
Robert Tell


Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Should the Drug Zofran Be Avoided During Pregnancy?

A provocative question and one for which this writer has no expertise to share with you. However,  Krystal Blake, of the Birth Injury Guide has studied the matter and has prepared the following guest article for today's post. As always with such matters, each person is cautioned to gather all the available facts and to make an informed decision that makes sense to her and her doctor.

Here's the article:

"What are the Potential Side Effects of Zofran? 

Zofran, also known as Ondansetron, is a prescription medication that is 
manufactured by the pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline (GSK). Zofran1 
was originally developed to help mitigate the effects of chemotherapy and 
radiation that cancer patients often suffer from. This drug can effectively block 
the actions of the body that trigger nausea and vomiting. In addition to being 
used to treat nausea in cancer patients, it was also used and prescribed to treat 
nausea in patients post-operatively. 

Since its development, however, Zofran has also been used “off-label” to treat 
women for morning sickness. Typically prescribed during a pregnant woman’s 
first trimester, it has been given to millions of women across the country for 
years. 

What Does “Off-Label” Mean? 

The term off-label drug use2 has several meanings. It may involve prescribing a 
currently available and marketed drug for a symptom or disease that the Federal 
Drug Administration (FDA) has not approved, or it may involve prescribing a 
marketed medication to a patient population, dosage, or dosage form (e.g., 
intravenously, orally, topically, etc.) that does not have FDA approval. 
Zofran has been prescribed off-label to a patient population that the FDA has not 
approved use for as there are not sufficient studies or tests that have been 
conducted in the respective population to show that it is safe for this particular 
use.

How Does Zofran (Ondansetron) Work? 

Zofran, a powerful anti-nausea and vomiting drug, belongs to a class known as 
the 5-hydroxytryptamine receptor 3 antagonists that block the effects of 
serotonin.3 More commonly referred to as 5-HT3 antagonists or setrons, this class 
of drugs acts as receptor antagonists at a subtype of serotonin receptor found in 
the vagus nerve and other areas of the brain. These receptor antagonists are 
extremely effective in treating nausea and vomiting in patients undergoing 
chemotherapy, radiation, or post-operatively to help with the side effects of 
anesthesia.

Drugs used for chemotherapy often create serotonin in the gut which causes 
nausea and vomiting. With the help of these serotonin antagonists, the body is 
able suppress nausea and vomiting by preventing serotonin from activating and 
sensitizing the gut.4 

The FDA and Zofran

Zofran first entered the U.S. market in 1991 and it was FDA approved for the 
uses previously mentioned. In 2011, the FDA administered a warning about the 
drug indicating that there had been links between Zofran use and QT interval 
prolongation, or effects on the electrical activity of the heart.5 Shortly after, there 
were also warnings regarding the increased risk of birth defects developing in 
children whose mothers had taken Zofran during pregnancy. Among the most 
universally known birth defects associated with the drug are cleft lip and cleft 
palate, in addition to heart defects, including Atrial Septal Defect (ASD).6

There have been a number of studies regarding the drug’s potential effect on 
pregnant women, but additional studies are warranted. The CDC has issued a 
warning of the possible connection between Zofran use and birth defects, and 
the FDA has continued to condone prescribing drugs off-label. However, many 
people believe that more studies are needed in order to obtain a clear answer on 
the risks associated with taking the drug during pregnancy.7"

For further information check out their link at: 

http://www.birthinjuryguide.org/birth-injury/causes/medication/zofran/

Footnotes:
1 http://www.drugs.com/zofran.html
2 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3538391/
3 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3470505/