Oct 302017



Nearly twenty-five million Americans are currently suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD. Women are twice as likely as men to develop the disorder, but children can also be affected.

One-third of people who experience severe, prolonged trauma, such as military combat, severe neglect, or prolonged sexual assault, will develop the disorder. An estimated two-thirds of people who are exposed to mass violence will develop the disorder. PTSD can also surface after acutely distressing or frightening experiences, such as violent assaults, serious auto accidents, natural disasters, or the death or illness of a close friend or family member. Previous exposure to trauma increases an individual’s risk of developing PTSD. PTSD is not typically associated with divorce or job loss.

It is estimated that 8% of Americans will suffer from PTSD at some point in their lives.

The symptoms of PTSD

PTSD is expressed by a variety of symptoms, all of which can make it difficult to live life and participate in typical daily activities. Sufferers of PTSD exhibit symptoms that fall into three categories: re-experience symptoms, avoidance symptoms, and arousal symptoms.

Re-experience symptoms occur when sufferers of PTSD have flashbacks, and relive the trauma they experienced over and over again, even when they are attempting to focus on other things. This can include symptoms like:

  • Irregular but repeated flashbacks, accompanied by feelings of fear, horror, and stress that accompanied the initial traumatic event.
  • Feeling as though the event is happening all over again.
  • Hearing, seeing, or smelling things that remind the survivor of the event and causing them to remember the traumatic event. These particular symptoms are called triggers, and can include things like the smell of a barbeque, a dark hallway, or a certain touch.

Avoidance symptoms occur when PTSD sufferers feel numbness and detachment, and isolate themselves from people and places that might trigger old memories or reminders, often to the detriment of their physical and emotional health. This can include behaviors like:

  • Avoiding crowds because they seem threatening or dangerous.
  • Avoiding driving because the trauma was experienced in a car, or military convoy.
  • Avoiding certain movies, television shows, or news coverage that takes place or talks about the area the trauma was experienced.
  • Avoiding help by keeping busy in order to dissociate from the event in an attempt to forget it.

Arousal symptoms are categorized by feelings of irritability, edginess, as well as nightmares and difficulty sleeping. This can include symptoms like:

  • Feeling jittery and paranoid, constantly on the lookout for potential signs of danger.
  • Having difficulty relaxing or falling asleep.
  • Having difficulty concentrating and feeling easily startled by quick movements or loud noises.
  • Wanting to remain in the corners of rooms or restaurants in order to be on the lookout for potential threats; always remaining near the exits in a building or shopping mall.

Additionally, people suffering from PTSD might experience changes in long held feelings and beliefs, and changes in the way they think about themselves, or others in their life. They may have difficulty developing or maintaining positive feelings towards other people in their life, and their relationships will suffer as a result. Some people suffering from PTSD attempt to block out the traumatic event entirely, and are unable to talk or communicate about their experience at all. This is particularly dangerous, as these memories need to be addressed and de-traumatized before healing can occur.

How is PTSD diagnosed?

PTSD symptoms can begin immediately following a traumatic event. Most people who survive a significant trauma will recover, given time; however, stress-induced reactions to trauma that persist over time, or get worse as time goes by, may ultimately be diagnosed as PTSD.

There are three categories of PTSD:

  • Acute PTSD is diagnosed when symptoms last between one and three months following the trauma.
  • Chronic PTSD occurs when symptoms persist for three months or longer.
  • Individuals suffering from delayed PTSD do not exhibit symptoms for at least 6 months following trauma. This form of PTSD is often found in adults who have experienced childhood trauma.

PTSD is not officially diagnosed until a person’s symptoms persist for at least one month and continue to cause extreme distress, including severe interference with work and home life.

Before diagnosing PTSD, a doctor will perform a physical exam in order to confirm there are no other medical problems that are contributing to a patient’s symptoms. A psychological exam will follow, in which a patient’s symptoms are discussed along with the event or events that preceded them. The American Psychiatric Association uses criteria defined by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) to confirm a patient’s diagnosis.  This manual requires an individual to have been exposed to a traumatic  event that involved the actual or possible threat of death, violence, or serious bodily harm. Exposure can occur in a number of ways, including direct exposure, witnessing an experience that happens to someone else, learning a close friend or family member has experienced a dramatic event, or by repeated exposure to multiple traumatic events.

The science behind PTSD

The brain is, arguably, the most important organ in the human body. When impacted by illness or injury, it can have life-altering effects. In very rare cases, brain injuries can unlock new skills, turning an ordinary person into a savant, but more frequently the effects are devastating.

In order to treat brain injuries, it is absolutely critical to understand the underlying problem and contributing factors. With PTSD, which can manifest itself in a variety of ways and over long periods of time, this is particularly true.

Three areas of the brain are particularly important when considering PTSD: the amygdala, the hippocampus, and the prefrontal cortex.

The amygdala is the part of the brain responsible for responding, automatically, to stress and fear. It works continuously the evaluate the environment and respond accordingly. The amygdala also plays a key role in memory consolidation, and the more emotionally significant a memory is, the more active the amygdala is in coding its memory storage. In this way, the amygdala categorizes certain memories as points of reference for future reactions. Ultimately, when the amygdala recognizes danger signals, it triggers the fight-or-flight response.

The hippocampus is the part of the brain responsible for storing and retrieving memories. It works much like the hard drive of a computer. Sights, sounds, and smells associated with dangerous or frightening memories are stored here, along with more mundane information such as your home address and the color of your first car. The memory storage of the hippocampus is independent of the amygdala, but the two systems interact when emotion and memory meet.


The prefrontal cortex is the large section of your brain that sits right behind your forehead. This region of the brain is responsible for personality, cognition, rational thought, and decision making.cognition,rational thought, and decision making.http://image.slidesharecdn.com/generalanatomy19b-140506222241-phpapp01/95/general-anatomy-19-b-25-638.jpg?cb=1399431739

In the instance of a trauma, the hippocampus works quickly to calm the amygdala alarm bells. When activated, this alarm circuit triggers the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis, named for the three glands that control many processes within the body, including the digestion, energy storage, immune system response, and more. When the hippocampus can’t calm the amygdala, the prefrontal cortex takes over. Under conditions of chronic stress, the prefrontal cortex can experience dendrite atrophy and fatigue, which can lead to increased anxiety and PTSD-like behaviors.

When a person is suffering from PTSD, the circuits connecting the amygdala, hippocampus, and prefrontal cortex are not working as they should. When the override system experiences chronic stress it comes depleted and is more likely to experience malfunctions. Malfunctions can result in the hippocampus being unable to store memories correctly, and can leave the amygdala in a state of constant fear and stress.

Because symptoms of PTSD must occur for a month or longer before someone is diagnosed, a person who has very recently experienced a traumatic event may re-experience their trauma a number of times before getting help. These recurrences can occur through racing thoughts and flashbacks, but also through nightmares. This occurs because the amygdala is essentially always signaling imminent danger. Recent trauma survivors might also exhibit arousal symptoms such as irritability, hypervigilance, and jumpiness for the same reason.

While a diagnosis of PTSD indicates that an individual has experienced a severe and devastating trauma, it is possible for the brain to heal. Working with a trained medical professional to address the traumatic memories in a safe environment will begin to heal the circuits and pathways connecting the amygdala, hippocampus, and prefrontal cortex. It is incredibly difficult to recover from PTSD alone. Support from the community, family, and friends will go a long way towards helping an individual suffering from PTSD to recover.

Why do people with PTSD have sleep problems?

While many people have occasional trouble sleeping, those suffering from PTSD can experience increased anxiety and nightmares that making sleeping extremely difficult.

When a person is constantly on alert, it is difficult to have a restful night of sleep. When a person is easily startled by noise or movement, it can be nearly impossible to fall asleep in the first place. Combining these symptoms with worries over getting enough can produce a devastating cycle that leaves PTSD sufferers awake for hours on end. In addition to trouble falling asleep, nightmares are a very common symptom of PTSD. Nightmares can become so bad that they cause a PTSD sufferer to wake-up during the night, or make it difficult to fall asleep in the first place from fear of having a nightmare.

Individuals suffering from PTSD are also more likely to abuse drugs and/or alcohol. They may use these substances as coping mechanisms to deal with their symptoms, but drugs and alcohol can have detrimental effects on the sleep of a healthy person, let alone someone suffering from PTSD. Alcohol, in particular, modulates sleep cycles and increases the likelihood that an individual will wake up during the night, ultimately resulting in lower quality sleep.

Lastly, PTSD sufferers are frequently dealing with other medical problems in conjunction with their PTSD, including chronic pain or digestion issues. Physical ailments like these can also make sleep difficult.

Common sleep disorders for people suffering from PTSD

Sleep disorders, when compounded by PTSD, present differently when compared to the same sleep disorders experienced by the general population. For example, while people suffering from primary insomnia have difficulties falling asleep, they still are able to achieve sufficient sleep compared to those suffering from insomnia and PTSD related sleep loss. Generally, people suffering from PTSD have more inconsistent and erratic sleep patterns compared to a general population of individuals suffering from sleep disorders.

New research also correlates severe PTSD resulting from military service overseas to an increased risk of sleep apnea. The same research showed the risk of sleep apnea was significantly lower in service members who did not deploy. While the link between PTSD and sleep apnea remains unclear from this research, both of these disorders are responsible for a decreased quality of life.

Sleep help for people suffering from PTSD

By making minor changes to their bedroom or sleeping area, a person suffering from PTSD can increase the likelihood that they will sleep well. Attempting to sleep in an environment with a lot of noise, light, or activity will be detrimental to anyone’s ability to get restful sleep, this is particularly compounded from someone suffering from PTSD.

Some simple changes that can make a bedroom amenable to sleep include:

  • Removing the TV, radio, and phone charging station out of the bedroom. It is especially critical to remove artificial blue light (tablets, laptops, cell phones).
  • Using the bedroom only for sleep and sex.
  • Using curtains to block out the light, and keep the room otherwise cool and quiet.
  • For some people, a white noise machine can help induce sleep.

To establish a regular sleeping pattern, critical to good and restful sleep, the following healthy sleep habits should be observed:

  • Establish a sleep schedule by setting a routine bedtime and wake-up time.
  • Create a set of customary practices around bedtime to help with relaxation. Some examples include taking a warm bath, drinking a cup of caffeine-free tea, reading a book, or listening to some soft music.
  • If night and noise are a problem, consider using a sleep mask or earplugs to block out light and sound.
  • Rise at the established wake-up time everyday, even if feelings of tiredness remain. Over time, this routine will help a person fall asleep quicker and wake up without an alarm.
  • On the weekends, sleep no longer than one hour past the standard wake-up time.

Certain daytime activities can help or hinder a nightly sleep cycle.  For example, drinking a lot of caffeinated beverages during the course of the day can keep a person up at night. Drinking alcohol before bedtime can also inhibit good sleep, causing the sleeper to wake up more frequently during the night. Here are some other tips for how to spend the waking hours:

  • Exercise during the day, but not within 2 hours of bedtime.
  • Spend time outside in the sun. Sunlight helps regulate the body’s natural sleep and wake cycles.
  • Avoid napping, especially in the evening.
  • Avoid taking medicines that have an excitatory effect in the evening and instead take them earlier in the day (when possible according to the doctor who prescribed them).


People suffering from PTSD and having trouble sleeping because of anxiety, or frequently nightmares, might also talk to their doctor about prescribing a medication that might help reduce nightmares and other sleep problems by blocking the adrenaline hormone.

There are also many homeopathic remedies that might help some people suffering from PTSD, but in general, more evidence is needed to determine the effectiveness of these remedies. For example, the herb stramonium, which is thought to help individuals suffering from nightmares, has never been tested in a clinical trial setting.

Additional Online PTSD Resources


Are you concerned you may be suffering from PTSD? Take this quiz to learn if you may benefit from seeking professional help for PTSD.

Research Studies

The National Center for PTSD, located in Washington D.C. and funded by the US Department of Veterans Affairs, funds research directed at helping individuals suffering from PTSD. These research projects often seek out sufferers of PTSD and provide financial incentive to participants. In some cases, projects seek volunteers without PTSD to serve as controls.

Some current research opportunities funded by the National Center for PTSD include the following:

  1. A study of tobacco treatment as augmentation to Cognitive Processing Therapy for PTSD, located in Boston, MA. This study seeks to understand how tobacco use affects PTSD recovery, and is ongoing until March 2019.
  1. A study of Neurobiological and Psychological Benefits of Exercise in Chronic Pain and PTSD, located in Boston, Ma. This study seeks to understand the benefits of exercise to individuals suffering from chronic pain and PTSD, and is ongoing until October 2017.
  1. A study of Structural and Spectroscopy Pharmaco-Imaging Paradigm to Investigate the Effect of Riluzole in Patients with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), located in West Haven, CT. This study seeks to determine the efficacy of a pharmacologic, Riluzole, in improving PTSD symptoms, and is ongoing until 2018.

To learn more about these and other trials, check your eligibility, or join a trial, follow the link here.

Online Forums

There are many forums and support groups online that engage individuals and families who are recovering from trauma or suffering from PTSD. Here are a few that might be useful:


While PTSD is often associated with military service, it can surface following any number of traumatic events. In conjunction with a solid support system and good medical care, the following blogs may provide additional perspective and coping mechanisms for dealing with and healing from PTSD:

For Veterans

  1. Healing Combat Trauma is designed for veterans but will be useful for anyone suffering from PTSD.
  2. The Wounded Times is dedicated to combat veterans suffering from PTSD, and publishes contributions from around the globe.
  3. The Family of a Vet addresses the confluence of PTSD and TBIs (traumatic brain injuries), and is written by veterans in conjunction with their family and close friends.

For Veterans and Non-Veterans

  1. PTSD Survival is written by a PTSD survivor who advocates for self-care and offers strategies for reclaiming your life after trauma.
  2. Heal My PTSD offers advice and strategies for dealing with the symptoms associated with PTSD and includes many personal stories from PTSD survivors.
  3. The Center for Mind-Body Medicine publishes contributions from dozens of experts in several fields including medicine, nutrition, and self-care, and offers a holistic approach to treating PTSD.
  4. https://www.medicaljane.com/   medical cannabis education and resources to suffering patients who deserve a better quality of life.

Twitter Accounts

Twitter can be an excellent resource for connecting with people around the world. Here are a few twitter accounts that address PTSD from perspectives of healing and education:


For many individuals suffering from PTSD, working through their trauma is first step towards healing. The PTSD Workbook was written by specialists in complex trauma and is critically acclaimed. The Complex PTSD Workbook is another option for those suffering from Complex PTSD. Lastly, The Body Keeps Score has over one thousand five star reviews on Amazon and is the #1 seller in several categories of mental health scholarship, including PTSD, Psychopathology, and Psychiatry.

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Jul 242017

 Resources for Those with Disabilities


Jim McKinley — money@moneywithjim.org


Jacob Klein

Starting a Business – People with Disabilities

Securing a Home Mortgage Loan with a Disability


Disability and Earned Income Tax Credit


Disability Remodeling – What is the Average Cost to Renovate?


Disabled Veteran Loans


Grants for Home Modification: 16 Resources for Homeowners with Disabilities


Disability Discrimination By a Landlord


A Guide for Disabled Homebuyers


Financial Aid for College Students with Disabilities: How to Find and Apply for Scholarships, Loan Forgiveness and Other Tuition Assistance


The Guide to Buying Used Accessible Vehicles


Guide to Attending a Sporting Event for Disabled, Special Needs & Senior Citizens


wellnesswillpower thanks

Jim McKinley — money@moneywithjim.org


Jacob Klein

Apr 092017

Resources that Support the Disability Community

By:  Jennifer McGregor and Natalie Kelly

The more time I’ve spent working toward my medical degree, the more I see a lack of support for the disability community — yet they persevere.

I recently met a patient with a spinal cord injury that stole her ability to walk and ultimately led to a dependency on her prescription painkillers. She said the stigmatization she sees as both a paraplegic and recovering addict is constant, from accessible housing to seeking gainful employment. She told me having little to no support has simply become her expectation, and it’s really weighed heavily on my mind.


Disability Accommodation Cost Guides

Thriving in Trade School with a Disability

Discrimination And Addiction: How To Overcome Prejudice Without Relying On Drugs Or Alcohol

Accessibility and Employment: What People with Disabilities Need to Know

Wheelchair and Handicap Ramp Cost Guide

Dating When Blind or Visually Impaired — From Single and Ready to Mingle to Off the Market

Disaster Safety for People with Disabilities: What to Do When Emergency Weather Strikes

Social skills for adolescents and adults with autism

Fall Prevention

Assistive Technology Buying Guide

Home Organization for Newly Disabled Seniors

Special Needs Seniors: Planning for the Future of this Vulnerable Population

Legal Guide for Newly Disabled Seniors

Ultimate Guide to Traveling with Disabilities

Selling a Home with Modifications for Older Adults

Fall Prevention

Assistive Technology Buying Guide

Home Organization for Newly Disabled Seniors

Special Needs Seniors: Planning for the Future of this Vulnerable Population

Legal Guide for Newly Disabled Seniors

http://publichealthlibrary.org | jennifer_mcgregor@publichealthlibrary.org

ForeverCurious is a group of educators and librarians who curate information online.

Thank you Natalie Kelly foerevercurious.org

Thank you  Hayley Masters

Mar 082017

Shock-Wave Therapy System

By: Amy Lumsail

Shock-Wave Therapy is a multidisciplinary device used in orthopedics, physiotherapy, sports medicine, urology and veterinary medicine.

Only one unit Shock-Wave therapy system can solve all the above problems. It is the most popular choice for Physical Medicine , Sport Medicine, Orthopedic Medicine and so on .

We are leading manufacturer of Shock-Wave therapy systems since 2007, in Shanghai City , China.  Smart-Wave is the 3rd generation professional product for aesthetics (cellulite), physiotherapy (pain relief) and orthopedics (body reshaping). In fact , we have 3 different models Shock-Wave therapy machine, you can see :


Operator can choose proper treatment protocols, and check live-help to learn parameter settings.
Operator can modify parameter at any time, and track treatment history for certain client.
Metal hand-case is included for easy moving. Trolley is optional for clients who would move the machine frequently.
Together with the machine there’s detailed operation manual, service manual and treatment table.
Detailed Parameters:
Therapeutic penetration depth
30mJ – 185mJ (0.5Bar to 5Bar)
1 – 22Hz
Pulse Mode
Continuous or Burst
5 for different applications
6mm, 15mm, 25mm x 2, 39mm
Live Help with pre-set parameters
Treatment Protocols
30 + 8 preset protocols
Customer Profile Management
User Defined Settings
EN60601-1-2, EN61000-3-2/3
Gross Weight (include handcase)
  • Physiotherapy system ( sport injury ,  pain relief , podiatry problems , rehabilitation )
  • ED treatment
  • Physiotherapy system ( sport injury ,  pain relief , podiatry problems , rehabilitation )
  • ED treatment

Sincery International Limited
Lumsail Industrial Inc. (Factory)
whatsapp: 0086 15037121179
Tel: +86-21-51180130  +86-21-62528275  +86-21-62528276
Web: www.sincery.com /Web: www.lumsail.com
Address: 4/F, No.9YI, Lane 2, Zhengru High-Tech Science Park, Putuo District, Shanghai, China.


Dec 292016

Your Baby’s Brain on Music… It’s not Sci-Fi

Music is sound. Sound is heard. But music is so much more.

Music ignites the brain, orchestrating a neural symphony between the ears. A melody drifts into the ear, spirals down the cochlea, drops individual tones onto waiting receptors. Tones are deconstructed and launched out on a variety of trajectories, simultaneously activating multiple regions of the brain to process the wealth of information embedded in the music. Consider listening to your favorite song; memories and emotions are triggered, the beat plays out in your head, you smile or cry, your body dances in time. Surely experience shapes these perceptions, assigning meaning and emotion to songs. But is the neuronal encoding for musical information actually formed by these experiences or is it an intrinsic property of merely being human?
The adult auditory system is asymmetrical, the right side associated with music and the left with speech. In 2010 researchers in the field of cognition asked if the neural correlates for asymmetrical sound processing were already in place at birth (Perani et al., 2010). To answer this question, they imaged the brains of peacefully sleeping swaddled newborns, only 1 to 3 days from the womb, while playing piano excerpts from top composers of the Baroque and Classical eras. Next, they challenged the babies’ brains by shifting the key of the music, effectively altering the music’s tonal context while maintaining its musical integrity. This allowed the researchers to not only ask how music is perceived outside of rich contextual landscape of experience but also how this perception could be altered by structural changes to the melody.

Surveying Sound: Your Baby’s First Critical Window
Music entered the babies’ brains and traveled to the most likely of places, the right (musical) auditory cortex. The auditory cortex is subdivided into hierarchal layers – the primary, secondary, and tertiary cortices. After the initial receipt of musical tones in the primary cortex the other two regions are typically recruited for decoding of complex melodic structures and to initiate motor responses (i.e. tapping and dancing to the beat). At only three days of age the babies’ brains were already engaging all three auditory cortices in an asymmetrical manner. But the music did not stop there; it traveled into the emotional processing centers of the right brain as well. This suggests that the babies were not only perceiving and processing the music but they were also ‘feeling it’.
So what happened when the music tones were altered? When the researchers played the same music but with shifted tonal structure the babies’ brains lit up in both the right and left auditory cortices and emotional processing centers. Why, if the altered music maintained a musical quality, did the left (speech) auditory cortex get involved? In adults we see this left-sided pattern of brain activation when trying to discern irregularities in sound patterns. Perhaps, then, the unexpected nature of the altered tones spiked the little ones’ curiosity, causing them to send the music to the left side of their brains to figure it out. Given that the altered music was still musical in nature this left-side switch likely was the result of surprise associated with the tonal shift instead of failure to recognize the music as, well, music.
Instinctively we know that music can soothe and engage our babies but the degree and effect of this engagement has remained elusive. Overall, this study showed that babies are born into this world with a neural asymmetry for sound processing and a neural-based sensitivity to the structure of sound. Likely this framework was established before birth, even as early as the onset of hearing at only 16 weeks’ gestation. These results are particularly intriguing in the context of the prevailing “use it or lose it” hypothesis in the field of cognitive neuroscience. This hypothesis states that the more a neural circuit is engaged early in life the stronger it becomes, forming a neural scaffold on which learning is built. Conversely, circuits that are not engaged lose strength and disappear from the neural framework. Use it or lose it. This research suggests that music can be used in a new and unexpected way to differentially induce and reinforce neural pathways that may not be activated by traditional music in a newborn baby’s brain.

Perani, D., Saccuman, M. C., Scifo, P., Spada, D., Andreolli, G., Rovelli, R., . . . Koelsch, S. (2010). Functional specializations for music processing in the human newborn brain. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 107(10), 4758-4763.

Social Interaction: The Missing Link in Your Baby’s Learning

The power of song to both soothe and stimulate babies is a universally known truth. Mothers instinctively respond to their baby’s cries by rocking them gently while singing sweet melodic songs, inducing a sense of calm and peace. As babies grow and begin to explore their world song is used to stimulate learning. Consider the classic learning song “Head, shoulders, knees and toes”, this is a fun, engaging way to learn the parts of our bodies which, otherwise, might be all together uninteresting.
Using music to promote emotional calm and enhance learning is far from novel, but how and why does it work? Over the past two decades neuroscientists have sought to understand underlying mechanisms and outcomes of music engagement in promoting infant cognitive, emotional, and social development.
In 2012, researchers from McMaster University asked if music exposure could positively impact brain cognition and development in babies during brief but critical window of time, from 6 – 12 months of age. During this time babies transition from being able to recognize all possible sounds to only focusing on the sounds they actively hear, i.e they become culture-bound listeners. Scientists have dubbed this the “use it or lose it” hypothesis; if babies do not hear specific sounds during this time then they lose their ability to accurately perceive them by one year of age [see Surveying Sound: Your Baby’s First Critical Window].
This study compared the effects of two different types of music exposure – Active and Passive – with no musical interventions in babies starting at 6 months of age, at the opening of this critical window. In the Active group, babies actively engaged in music playing and listening with their parent. In the Passive group, babies engaged in normal everyday play while Baby Einstein™ CD’s played in the background. The main differences between these groups was that the Active group reinforced learning through repetition, used positive social interaction to enhance learning, and emphasized music quality.
After six months the researchers tested their little subjects on their preference for Western tones, their ability to discriminate novel sounds, their emotional response to novel sounds, and their overall ability to communicate. In each parameter tested, the babies who had Active music exposure scored significantly higher than the other two groups. There was little difference between the Passive group and babies receiving no music interventions. Thus, this study concluded music enhances cognitive, emotional, and social development only when exposure is in the context of active learning and social interaction (Gerry, Unrau, & Trainor, 2012).
This need for social interaction in infant learning is echoed in research on language acquisition. Researchers have found that babies are only perceptive to foreign language sounds when they directly interact with another human ; babies exposed to foreign language through passive exposure such as watching a foreign speaker on tv (Kuhl, Tsao, & Liu, 2003) or watching Baby Einstein™ CD’s (DeLoache et al., 2010) do not learn the foreign language sounds.
All caretakers can likely attest that infants are social learners; If imitation is truly the highest form of flattery, then infants surely are the greatest charmers. However, the absolute need for this interaction to improve cognitive outcomes from learning experiences was unknown. These studies highlight a currently overlooked yet critical component of learning that is absent from most educational baby products on the market – the need for human interaction during the process of learning.

DeLoache, J. S., Chiong, C., Sherman, K., Islam, N., Vanderborght, M., Troseth, G. L., . . . O’Doherty, K. (2010). Do babies learn from baby media? Psychological Science.
Gerry, D., Unrau, A., & Trainor, L. J. (2012). Active music classes in infancy enhance musical, communicative and social development. Developmental science, 15(3), 398-407.
Kuhl, P. K., Tsao, F.-M., & Liu, H.-M. (2003). Foreign-language experience in infancy: Effects of short-term exposure and social interaction on phonetic learning. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 100(15), 9096-9101.

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By |January 28th, 2016|Uncategorized|Comments Off on Your Baby’s Brain on Music
Dec 192016

Our mission is to equip patients and families with the best information, resources and tools to overcome addiction and lead a lifelong recovery.


DrugRehab.com is a web resource provided and funded by Advanced Recovery Systems (ARS). ARS is an integrated behavioral health care management organization dedicated to the treatment of addiction, substance abuse, eating disorders and mental health issues. We provide well-researched, fact-based resources on this site.


WellnessWillpower Thanks

Jasmine McCarthy
Outreach Specialist

Feb 122013

 Photo Memoriesmemories with picturesPhotos Stimulates Memory-Positive Vibration

By Eddie Katz

Caring for a person with Limited-Life creates challenges in keeping them engaged with the world and able to enjoy their last days, weeks and possibly months.

Paying Homage to Memories is a way to connect with your loved ones who are late in their lives.

  • Create Photos categorized by year starting as young as possible.
  • Make small photo albums with not too many of immediate family members and relatives because of short attention span.
  • Photo albums can be filled with memories of this life (places, people), this world (vacations), your connection! Positive vibration.

It creates stimulating conversation.

Memories/Positive Connection

Memories/Positive Connection


It is eventual  we will notice our parents not interested in the things that used to stimulate them like food or TV and their memory is fading more and more. That’s when photos put smiles back and a sense of dignity that connects you with them and this world.

Making the best out of our visits should always include bringing photos filled of positive memories. With such short time left, connecting to memories is the most stimulating experience leaving you and your loved ones more spiritually at peace from the visit.

Memories by way of Music

By Dr Mercola

Music predates language and speaks to us on a primal level. Thinking back to your adolescence, you probably associate key memories with the soundtracks that played during these formative years.

Before this, music likely began shaping your reality during infancy — there’s even evidence that babies respond to music while still in the womb. At the other end of the spectrum, elderly people, too, including those struggling with degenerative conditions, come alive again when they hear their favorite tunes.

“What is it about music that moves us so intensely and directly, and how can it be employed in the treatment of neurological and physical disorders?” Such are the questions answered and explored in the above documentary, “Music on the Brain.”

Miraculous Results Simply by Sharing Music With Dementia Patients

In the later stages of Alzheimer’s disease, the most common form of dementia, patients often become moody and withdrawn. They may forget events as well as their own personal history, leading to a loss of identity and self.

The simple act of listening to music may help people with Alzheimer’s to reconnect with the people around them and even remember past life events, which is why the non-profit organization Music & Memory has made this their mission.

The organization works with nursing home staff and elder care professionals, along with family caregivers, to create and provide personalized music playlists using digital audio systems like iPods to people with dementia.

When executive director Dan Cohen first thought of the idea in 2006, he was surprised that none of the 16,000 long-term care facilities in the U.S. used iPods for their residents.1

He spearheaded efforts to change that, and today personalized music programs are available in thousands of nursing homes and other facilities in the U.S., Canada, Europe and beyond.

In the video below you can see a clip of nursing-home resident Henry, who was “reawakened” by listening to his favorite musical artist, Cab Calloway.

As Music & Memory put it, “These musical favorites tap deep memories not lost to dementia and can bring participants back to life, enabling them to feel like themselves again, to converse, socialize and stay present … The results can be nothing short of miraculous.”2 The video below speaks for itself.

Personalized Music May Reduce Agitation and Use of Drugs in Alzheimer’s Patients

It’s interesting to note that some of music’s benefits appear to be rooted in its familiarity. That is, a person’s favorite music or songs they associate with important events can trigger a memory of the song’s lyrics, the related event and even the feelings and experience of it.

In many cases, listening to individualized music appears to be more effective than listening to a random song.

In one study of 39 people in a long-term care facility in Iowa, for example, listening to individualized music led to a significant reduction in agitation (such as anxiety, shouting and irritability) both during and after the session — more so than occurred when residents listened to generic classical relaxation music.3

Other research has shown individualized music may calm agitated patients and lead to significantly lower anxiety scores.4

The success of the technique depends on nursing staff being able to figure out a patient’s musical preferences, which is why you may want to ask your aging relatives about their favorite songs now (or relay yours to your caregivers) just in case.

It’s also dependent on a person’s interest in music throughout life. You needn’t be overly musical to appreciate music emotionally, as virtually everyone does, but as written in the World Journal of Psychiatry (WJP):5

“ … [I]t would not be appropriate for a person who did not have an appreciation for music prior to the onset of cognitive impairment. A positive correlation is expected between the degree of significance that music had in the person’s life prior to the onset of dementia and effectiveness of the intervention.”

However, listening to music is a simple, inexpensive and risk-free intervention that has the potential to benefit many.

The response from nursing homes that have implemented Music & Memory’s individualized music program has been overwhelmingly positive, with many even reporting reduced drug use as a result. Margaret Rivers of Coler-Goldwater Specialty Hospital & Nursing Facility in New York City told Music & Memory:6

“One of the more positive results we’re seeing is a reduction in the need for psychotropic medication. Music soothes the residents to the point where they actually may not need all of the medications that they needed prior to going on [Music & Memory’s] program.”

Familiar Songs May Help Alzheimer’s Patients Recall Memories

When you listen to music, a broad range of neural networks become engaged, including those linked to autobiographical memories and emotions.7 The brain region behind your forehead, known as the medial prefrontal cortex, is one of the last to atrophy among Alzheimer’s patients; it’s also the hub that music activates.

Petr Janata, Ph.D., associate professor of psychology at University of California (UC) Davis’ Center for Mind and Brain, conducted a study to map the brain activity of subjects as they listened to music. He said in a press release:8

“What seems to happen is that a piece of familiar music serves as a soundtrack for a mental movie that starts playing in our head.

It calls back memories of a particular person or place, and you might all of a sudden see that person’s face in your mind’s eye … Now we can see the association between those two things — the music and the memories.”

Janata is among those who believe providing Alzheimer’s patients with digital music players and customized playlists could improve their quality of life. In some cases it may also help them to share those memories as well.

When Alzheimer’s patients sat in rooms filled with music and were asked to tell a story about their life, their stories contained more meaningful words, were more grammatically complex, and conveyed more information (per number of words) than stories told in a silent room.9

The findings suggest that exposure to music may help people with Alzheimer’s disease to overcome neurolinguistic limitations. This makes sense, the study’s co-author noted, because “music and language processing share a common neural basis.”10 In the video below, the late Dr. Oliver Sacks, neurologist and author of “Musicophilia: Tales of Music and the Brain,” explained how listening to familiar music may allow Alzheimer’s patients to access personal memories that have otherwise become inaccessible.

Your Brain Is Hard-Wired to Respond to Music

Music on the Brain discusses that music may have evolved from an earlier form of emotional communication, an emotional proto-language of the sort you may hear between a mother and a baby. Tone of voice and pitch are incredibly important before language emerges, and it’s thought this early form of communication eventually split into language, which conveys more information, and music, which conveys emotion.

When you hear music, many areas of your brain light up. Music triggers activity in the nucleus accumbens, a part of your brain that releases the feel-good chemical dopamine and is involved in forming expectations.

At the same time, the amygdala, which is involved in processing emotion, and the prefrontal cortex, which makes possible abstract decision-making, are also activated.11 Meanwhile, oxytocin, the bonding hormone that’s released when we interact with our loved ones, is also released by music, specifically by singing together.12

Many evolutionary biologists believe that music was fundamental in our ability to function as humans and hold together large communities of people, as music is capable of producing oxytocin, i.e., bonding and sharing emotions, on a massive scale.

Music Helps People With Parkinson’s Disease Move More Freely

Even brain areas that control movement are affected by music. This may seem strange until you consider that movement, such as drumming, was once essential to creating music. Today, music is now being used to help people with diseases like Parkinson’s to move more freely.

Slowness, tremor, stiffness and impaired balance are common in Parkinson’s patients, but emerging research suggests music may be an effective non-drug intervention.13 People who ordinarily are unable to control their movements are suddenly able to follow the beat of a song and dance. The music seems to provide an external rhythm that bypasses the malfunctioning signals in the brain.

A variety of neurological disorders have shown improvement from music-based interventions, including not only Parkinson’s disease but also multiple sclerosis and stroke. In fact, music-based interventions had similar or greater effects than conventional rehabilitation on upper limb function, mobility and cognition among people with neurological disorders.14

Music Opens a Back Door for Memory Recall in Your Brain

By tapping areas of your brain linked to both emotions and memory, music can act as a back door to help you access past events that would otherwise be lost. As Music & Memory put it:15

“Even for persons with severe dementia, music can tap deep emotional recall. For individuals suffering from Alzheimer’s, memory for things — names, places [and] facts — is compromised, but memories from our teenage years can be well-preserved.

Favorite music or songs associated with important personal events can trigger memory of lyrics and the experience connected to the music. Beloved music often calms chaotic brain activity and enables the listener to focus on the present moment and regain a connection to others.

Persons with dementia, Parkinson’s and other diseases that damage brain chemistry also reconnect to the world and gain improved quality of life from listening to personal music favorites.”

If you’re a caregiver to someone with dementia, creating a personalized playlist for him or her is a simple way to help them reconnect with the outside world and feel like themselves again, even for a little while.

On a larger scale, if you have a loved one in a nursing home, you may want to suggest they consider the use of individualized music for their residents. Music & Memory also accepts donations of gently used Apple music players, including iPods, iPhones or iPads. If you have one you’re no longer using, consider donating it to this worthwhile cause.16


Photos make positive memoriesTOSAYTHANKYOU……….…..

Dec 272010

By Tom Gates

 Caring for a person with limited mobility creates challenges in keeping them engaged with the world and able to enjoy the bounty of art and entertainment options available today.  Many of these options are relatively new and made possible by the digital revolution that has transformed the entertainment landscape in the new century. A modest investment in technology and services can provide a dizzying array of entertainment possibilities. Let’s get started-

  The Computer- Mac or PC, desktop, laptop or pad – the computer can now be the center of your entertainment universe. A high-speed internet connection, a wireless modem and you’re ready to go. Provide some basic instruction and tutoring and your elder friends will be surfing the net in no time.

  The Incredible Internet

Google and other search engines – This is the first step. Show your dad how to do a search on a topic of interest. Then leave him alone.

Youtube – Youtube has quickly become the number one source for online video content. Find endless entertainment or instruction on any topic. Post your family videos on your own video channel. All for free!

Google Earth – A truly incredible experience. You can visit every neighborhood where you ever lived or tour the world.

Ancestry.com – The world’s largest online resource for family history documents and family trees. This site can provide a wonderful shared family experience.

Skype – With an inexpensive webcam and the internet, video calling is now easy and free. Skype is great for connecting family and friends all around the world.

Netflix –  A great way to bring  the world of movies, TV, and more to your computer. For a monthly fee of under 10 dollars, you can instantly stream thousands of classic and recent titles.

Social Networking – Facebook and Twitter can allow old friends to connect and new friends and interests to develop. Don’t forget about email. You can set up free accounts for relatives on Gmail and soon they’ll be trading stories and sending ecards.

Your own website – With modern tools such as WordPress, you can have a website up and running in minutes. Just purchase your domain name and search Youtube for instructions on how to set it up. It really is that easy. A personal website can be the center of your internet presence or even a business.   

Games – The Nintendo Wii video game system revolutionized the gaming experience with its wireless controllers that mimic the movements of favorite activities. I’ve watched as a room full of senior citizens laughed and cheered for hours while playing Wii bowling.

Music – The ipod from Apple has changed the way we listen to music. Fill an ipod with your Grandmother’s favorite music, give her a set of earbud headphones and watch her eyes fill with joy. Dance with her. Hire a musician or band to come to your home to play for your Mom. I brought in a local piano player who knew all the great songs from my mothers youth and it was one of the best days ever.

Television – TV today keeps expanding, with big, beautiful screens and great programming variety from cable and satellite. The newer sets can be connected to your computer for the internet experience on the big screen. Movies in HD from a blu-ray player are amazing and now there’s 3D!

New Fashioned

The personal computer and the internet are changing the ways in which we all interact with the world. The possibilities for entertainment and personal expression have never been greater. Take advantage of what the digital world has to offer and enhance the quality of life of those you love.
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Aug 192010

Set in Motion Proper Digestion

EATING FRUIT…It’s long but very informative. We all think eating fruits means just buying fruits, cutting it and just popping it into our mouths. It’s not as easy as you think. It’s important to know how and when to eat.What is the correct way of eating fruits? IT MEANS NOT EATING FRUITS AFTER YOUR MEALS! * FRUITS SHOULD BE EATEN ON AN EMPTY STOMACH.If you eat fruit like that, it will play a major role to detoxify your system, supplying you with a great deal of energy for weight loss and other life activities.FRUIT IS THE MOST IMPORTANT FOOD.Let’s say you eat two slices of bread and then a slice of fruit. The slice of fruit is ready to go straight through the stomach into the intestines, but it is prevented from doing so.In the meantime the whole meal rots and ferments and turns to acid. The minute the fruit comes into contact with the food in the stomach and digestive juices, the entire mass of food begins to spoil….So please eat your fruits on an empty stomachor before your meals! You have heard people complaining  every time I eat watermelon I burp, when I eat during my stomach bloats up, when I eat a banana I feel like running to the toilet, etc.  actually all this will not arise if you eat the fruit on an empty stomach. The fruit mixes with the putrefying other food and produces gas and hence you will bloat!Graying hair, balding, nervous outburst, and dark circles under the eyes all these will NOThappen if you take fruits on an empty stomach.There is no such thing as some fruits, like orange and lemon are acidic, because all fruits become alkaline in our body, according to Dr. Herbert Shelton who did research on this matter. If you have mastered the correct way of eating fruits, you have the Secret of beauty, longevity, health, energy, happiness and normal weight.When you need to drink fruit juice – drink only freshfruit juice, NOT from the cans. Don’t even drink juice that has been heated up.. Don’t eat cooked fruits because you don’t get the nutrients at all. You only get to taste. Cooking destroys all the vitamins.But eating a whole fruit is better than drinking the juice.. If you should drink the juice, drink it mouthful by mouthful slowly, because you must let it mix with your saliva before swallowing it. You can go on a 3-day fruit fast to cleanse your body. Just eat fruits and drink fruit juice throughout the 3 days and you will be surprised when your friends tell you how radiant you look!KIWI:Tiny but mighty. This is a good source of potassium, magnesium, vitamin E & fiber. Its vitamin C content is twice that of an orange.APPLE: An apple a day keeps the doctor away? Although an apple has a low vitamin C content, it has antioxidants & flavonoids which enhances the activity of vitamin C thereby helping to lower the risks of colon cancer, heart attack & stroke.STRAWBERRY: Protective Fruit. Strawberries have the highest total antioxidant power among major fruits & protect the body from cancer-causing, blood vessel-clogging free radicals.ORANGE : Sweetest medicine. Taking 2-4 oranges a day may help keep colds away, lower cholesterol, prevent & dissolve kidney stones as well as lessens the risk of colon cancer.

WATERMELON: Coolest thirst quencher. Composed of 92% water, it is also packed with a giant dose of glutathione, which helps boost our immune system. They are also a key source of lycopene  the cancer fighting oxidant. Other nutrients found in watermelon are vitamin C & Potassium.

GUAVA & PAPAYA: Top awards for vitamin C. They are the clear winners for their high vitamin C content. Guava is also rich in fiber, which helps prevent constipation. Papaya is rich in carotene; this is good for your eyes.

Drinking Cold water after a meal = Cancer! Can u believe this?? For those who like to drink cold water, this article is applicable to you. It is nice to have a cup of cold drink after a meal. However, the cold water will solidify the oily stuff that you have just consumed. It will slow down the digestion. Once this ‘sludge’ reacts with the acid, it will break down and be absorbed by the intestine faster than the solid food.. It will line the intestine. Very soon, this will turn into fats and lead to cancer. It is best to drink hot soup or warm water after a meal.

For more information go to No Inflammation or Bloating when you Properly Combine Food in Recent Posts.

Fruit is definitely a source of fructose, and one that can harm your health if you eat it in vast quantities, but eating small amounts of whole fruits is fine if you are healthy.

In vegetables and fruits, the fructose is mixed in with fiber, vitamins, minerals, enzymes, and beneficial phytonutrients, all of which help moderate the negative metabolic effects. However, if you suffer with any fructose-related health issues, such as insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome, heart disease, obesity or cancer, you would be wise to limit your total fructose consumption to 15 grams of fructose per day. This includes fructose from ALL sources, including whole fruit.

If you are not insulin resistant, you may increase this to 25 grams of total fructose per day on average.

If you received your fructose only from vegetables and fruits (where it originates) as most people did a century ago, you’d consume about 15 grams per day. Today the average is 73 grams per day which is nearly 500 percent higher a dose and our bodies simply can’t tolerate that type of biochemical abuse. So please, carefully add your fruits based on the following table to keep your total fructose below 15-25 grams per day, depending on your current health status.

Fruit Serving Size Grams of Fructose
Limes 1 medium 0
Lemons 1 medium 0.6
Cranberries 1 cup 0.7
Passion fruit 1 medium 0.9
Prune 1 medium 1.2
Guava 2 medium 2.2
Date (Deglet Noor style) 1 medium 2.6
Cantaloupe 1/8 of med. melon 2.8
Raspberries 1 cup 3.0
Clementine 1 medium 3.4
Kiwifruit 1 medium 3.4
Blackberries 1 cup 3.5
Star fruit 1 medium 3.6
Cherries, sweet 10 3.8
Strawberries 1 cup 3.8
Cherries, sour 1 cup 4.0
Pineapple 1 slice (3.5″ x .75″) 4.0
Grapefruit, pink or red 1/2 medium 4.3
Fruit Serving Size Grams of Fructose
Boysenberries 1 cup 4.6
Tangerine/mandarin orange 1 medium 4.8
Nectarine 1 medium 5.4
Peach 1 medium 5.9
Orange (navel) 1 medium 6.1
Papaya 1/2 medium 6.3
Honeydew 1/8 of med. melon 6.7
Banana 1 medium 7.1
Blueberries 1 cup 7.4
Date (Medjool) 1 medium 7.7
Apple (composite) 1 medium 9.5
Persimmon 1 medium 10.6
Watermelon 1/16 med. melon 11.3
Pear 1 medium 11.8
Raisins 1/4 cup 12.3
Grapes, seedless (green or red) 1 cup 12.4
Mango 1/2 medium 16.2
Apricots, dried 1 cup 16.4
Figs, dried 1 cup 23.0


May 282010

7 + Key Traits of the Ideal Doctor/

8 Resources to Support Seniors in Need‏

A Good Attitude Goes a Long Way, Patients Tell Researchers
By Miranda Hitti
WebMD Health News
Reviewed by Ann Edmundson, MD


March 9, 2006 — What makes for an ideal doctor? Patients share their views in a new study.

The study appears in Mayo Clinic Proceedings. It’s based on nearly 200 patients treated at the Mayo Clinic in Arizona and Minnesota from 2001 to 2002.

In phone interviews with people who had no ties with the Mayo Clinic, the patients described their best and worst experiences with their Mayo Clinic doctors, with confidentiality guaranteed. The doctors seen by the patients came from 14 medical specialties.

The researchers — who included Neeli Bendapudi, PhD, of Ohio State University’s Fisher College of Business — then checked the interview transcripts and spotted seven traits that patients favored in their doctors.

What Made the List?


Here are the seven traits listed by the patients, along with the patients’ definitions of those traits:

  • Confident: “The doctor’s confidence gives me confidence.”
  • Empathetic: “The doctor tries to understand what I am feeling and experiencing, physically and emotionally, and communicates that understanding to me.”
  • Humane: “The doctor is caring, compassionate, and kind.”
  • Personal: “The doctor is interested in me more than just as a patient, interacts with me, and remembers me as an individual.”
  • Forthright: “The doctor tells me what I need to know in plain language and in a forthright manner.”
  • Respectful: “The doctor takes my input seriously and works with me.”
  • Thorough: “The doctor is conscientious and persistent.”
  • Communication: Communication is an important part of any clinical practice. The job of a physician requires great communication skills especially when it comes to speaking and listening. The way in which a physician communicates information to a patient is just as important as the information being communicated. Patients who understand their doctors are more likely to admit their health problems, understand their treatment options, adjust their unhealthy patterns, and obediently follow their medication schedules.Empathetic: It’s important to understand and relate to a patient’s feelings. According to a study published in 2011 in Academic Medicine, patients of physicians that were more empathic were more likely to have good control over their blood sugar, while the converse was true for patients whose physician showed little to no empathy. This research suggests that when doctors respond empathetically at appropriate times, their patients tend to be happier and more motivated to stay on treatment.Passionate: No patient wants to walk into a doctor’s office and see a physician that no longer cares about their practice. A patient wants to see a doctor’s sincere desire to practice medicine and a genuine passion in helping others. Passion is a trait that will set you apart from being an ordinary doctor to being a patient’s “favorite doctor.”Professional: Professionalism is not clearly defined in the dictionary, but in the medical field it is generally accepted as acting with appropriate demeanor, respect and possessing proficiency to perform the job. A doctor that is professional is compelled to always put the patient’s well-being above their own self-interests. A patient will have greater trust and confidence in a doctor’s abilities when their visits are conducted with good manners and respect.

That list isn’t in any particular order. The researchers didn’t check whether confidence was more important to patients than respectful treatment, for instance. The Mayo Foundation funded the study.

 What Didn’t Make the List?

The traits covered doctors’ behavior, not technical know-how.

That finding “does not suggest that technical skills are less important than personal skills, but it does suggest that the former are more difficult for patients to judge,” the researchers write.

They add that patients may tend to assume that doctors are competent unless they see signs of incompetence, the researchers add.

One patient put it this way in the study:

“We want doctors who can empathize and understand our needs as a whole person. … We want to feel that our doctors have incredible knowledge in their field. But every doctor needs to know how to apply their knowledge with wisdom and relate to us as plain folks who are capable of understanding our disease and treatment.”

Who Wants a Cold, Callous Doctor?

The study is the first of its kind, writes James Li, MD, PhD, in a journal editorial.

Li works in the allergic diseases division of the Mayo Clinic’s medical school in Rochester, Minn. He notes that he would have liked to have seen more details on the patients who were interviewed, such as sex, race, and age. This information would be helpful since minorities and women have sometimes reported worse treatment from doctors than whites and men.

Still, Li says it’s natural for patients to want caring caregivers. He drafted a list of seven traits that are the opposite of those mentioned in the study:

  • Timid
  • Uncaring
  • Misleading
  • Cold
  • Callous
  • Disrespectful
  • Hurried
  • Unprofessi0nal

“Can health-care really ever be high quality if the patient-physician interaction is hurried, disrespectful, cold, callous, or uncaring?” Li writes.



Consumer Guide to Health Care

Health Care and Quality

Health plan quality | Hospital quality | Nursing home quality | Doctor quality | Medical lab quality

Disclaimer: All external hyperlinks are provided for your information and for the benefit of the general public. The Department of Health Services does not testify to, sponsor, or endorse the accuracy of the information provided on externally linked pages.

Does the quality of health care vary?
Yes, some health plans and doctors simply do a better job than others of helping you stay healthy and getting you better if you are ill. The choices you make—about health plans, doctors, hospitals, or nursing homes—can influence the quality of care you get.

How can you tell which choices offer high-quality health care and which do not?
Fortunately, more and more groups are working on ways to measure, report on, and improve the quality of health care. Keep checking for new information to help you make choices to improve the quality of your own care.

What is high-quality health care and how is it measured?
High-quality health care means doing the right thing, at the right time, in the right way, for the right person—and having the best possible results. There are two main types of information that can help you choose high-quality health care:

  1. Consumer ratings: These look at health care from the consumer’s point of view. For example, do doctors in a health care plan communicate well?
  2. Clinical performance/technical measures: These measures look at how well a health care organization prevents and treats illness. For example, do children get the immunizations (shots) they need when they need them?

Where can I find information on the quality of health care?
Reports on quality go by different names, including performance reports and report cards. Reports on quality don’t tell you which health care choices are the best. They can help you decide which are best for you, based on the things that are most important to you. Here are some reports on the quality of health care in Wisconsin:

Quality and health plans

  • NCQA Health Choices displays Health Plan Report Cards compiled by the National Committee on Quality Assurance (NCQA). NCQA is a private nonprofit organization that accredits health plans. Accreditation is a “seal of approval.” To earn accreditation, organizations must meet national standards, often including clinical performance measures. Organizations choose whether to participate in accreditation programs. Accreditation is not a guarantee of the quality of care that any individual patient will receive or that any individual physician or other provider delivers.
  • Medicare Plan Finder from the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) provides recent consumer ratings and clinical performance measures for all Medicare managed care plans.
  • Wisconsin BadgerCare Plus HMO Choice Booklet (includes BadgerCare Plus Report Card) (PDF, 292 KB) compares HMOs that serve Wisconsin BadgerCare Plus members in nine areas of health care and four areas of member satisfaction.
  • Health Plan Report Card (PDF, 3.5 MB) is published by the Department of Employee Trust Funds for state employees. The report card includes consumer ratings and technical measures.
  • The Performance and Progress Report from the Wisconsin Collaborative for Healthcare Quality includes information on quality for a variety of Wisconsin health plans.

Quality and hospitals

  • Hospital Compare, from CMS, allows you to check on the quality of care provided for conditions like heart attack, heart failure and pneumonia at hospitals throughout the country.
  • Checkpoint, from the Wisconsin Hospital Association, provides some information on the quality of care provided by many Wisconsin hospitals. The site includes measures of how well hospitals performed when caring for patients with heart attacks, heart failure, and pneumonia as well as information on what hospitals are doing to prevent errors.
  • The Leapfrog Group Hospital Survey: Reports from hospitals on progress they have made toward meeting four safety standards established by The Leapfrog Group, a coalition of public and private organizations that purchase health care benefits for their employees.
  • The Performance and Progress Report from the Wisconsin Collaborative for Healthcare Quality includes information on quality for many Wisconsin hospitals.

Quality and nursing homes

  • Nursing Home Compare, from the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, provides clinical performance measures and results of state inspections for all Medicare and Medicaid certified nursing homes.

Quality and doctors/clinics

Quality and medical labs

  • Helping You Identify Quality Laboratory Services (PDF, 39 KB). Although you can’t always choose the lab where your tests are processed, this checklist from the Joint Commission can help you judge the quality of the lab your clinic or physician uses. The Joint Commission is a nonprofit organization that evaluates health care quality and safety.
  • Quality Check is a service offered by the Joint Commission that lets you look up medical laboratories by name or location.


8 Resources to Support Seniors in Need‏

Kathleen Carter


Aging at Home: Common Problems and Solutions

How Seniors are Designing Social Support Networks

The Ultimate Guide to Home Accommodations for Persons with Disabilities

The Benefits of Emotional Support Animals

Guide to Addiction Prevention for Seniors

Finding a Family: Discovering Your Queer Community When You’re 65

Dental Care Tips for Caregivers

Recognizing and Treating Depression: A Guide for the Elderly & Their Caregivers