Volunteering Is GREAT

Thanks my UCP buddies for giving back to ME!

As this blog title notes, “Volunteering Is GREAT.” And I realized this more than ever while being laid up after my knee replacement surgery.

Last year, I wrote: If you aren’t already doing so, consider volunteering. It’s a true win-win, for those you are helping as well as for YOU. 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 It is so rewarding!!

While I was recuperating, I was really, really bored. Besides doctor appointments and physical therapy, I had little to do. As well as limited mobility.

But my United Cerebral Palsy buddies whom I mentor really cheered me up. They called me as a group. Amazingly, I recognized all of their voices. They also sent me a couple of cards signed by many of them. That really made happy.

When I returned on a limited basis two weeks ago, they gave me incredible welcomes. Yelling out Joel, Joel, Joel. Running to give me hugs. And presenting  me with homemade cards. I was almost in tears.

The preceding is what we get back from volunteering: An incredible sense of making a difference with someone else who needs it. I missed volunteering as much as they missed me.

Here’s a story I wrote about the president of our local self-advocacy group, Jaquan Giles. It appeared in the UCP – LI December 2019 newsletter.

Volunteering Is GREAT
 

Another Great Resource – Healthy People

Terrific government Web site that covers a wide range of health topics.

HealthyPeople.gov is another great resource to add to our library: “

“Healthy People provides science-based, 10-year national objectives for improving the health of all Americans. For 3 decades, Healthy People has established benchmarks and monitored progress over time in order to: Encourage collaborations across communities and sectors. Empower individuals toward making informed health decisions. Measure the impact of prevention activities.’

First, click the image to visit the home page.

Another Great Resource - Healthy PeopleThen, visit the part of the site dedicated to having healthier people in 2030.

Another Great Resource - Healthy People
 

Patient Rating of Hospitals Declined in 2019

How do YOU rate the hospitals caring for YOU?

As we know, the quality of in-hospital care greatly contributes to our health. Thus, it’s important for us to have confidence in the quality of the hospitals that care for us.

Unfortunately, in 2019 Americans’ views toward hospitals showed a decline.

According to Paige Minemyer, writing for FierceHealthCare:

“Consumer satisfaction with hospitals took a tumble this year (2019) while approval of health insurers improved. The American Consumer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) released its annual report examining the financial and insurance sectors and found that hospitals earned a score of 72 on their indicator,  based on a survey of more than 30,000 consumers and reflecting their perceptions of the quality of products they use.”

“That’s a notable drop from hospitals’ 2018 score on the index, which was 76. The decline is driven by a substantial drop in consumers’ rankings for emergency department care, from 73 in 2018 to a 67 for 2019. “

“By contrast, patient satisfaction with outpatient care settings continues to climb — ambulatory care earned a 77 score for the second year in a row. Outpatient care provided by hospitals earned a lower score, a 75, which dropped from a 78 score in 2018.”

“The report flags the wait times in the emergency department as a key factor in declining patient satisfaction with emergency care.”

Patient Rating of Hospitals Declined in 2019

A new report examines consumer satisfaction with hospitals and health plans. (Studio 642/Getty Images)
 

I Am Now a Five-Year Cancer Survivor

Hope is a precious commodity.

 

Amazing. Unbelievable. Lucky. Blessed. I am now a five-year cancer survivor.  Although some define the 5-year period as beginning at the date of diagnosis, I prefer to use the date of my Whipple surgery for pancreatic cancer. February 12, 2015. So, exactly five years ago today.

I am kind of melancholy about reaching this point. But I don’t feel the euphoria about beating the less than 10 percent survival rate for PC that I expected. I just learned this is not uncommon. According to Dr. SP, a leading psychologist, my melancholy reflects a lot of subconscious feelings about the traumatic events during my journey. Even though I try as hard as possible to be upbeat on a daily basis. Also, it relates to my profound sorrow about others with cancer who have not been so lucky. And my own continuing challenges.

Live life every day. Live as long as you can, as well as you can.

Observations about Surviving Cancer

From Cancer.Net:

“A person who has had cancer is commonly called a cancer survivor. ‘Co-survivor’ is sometimes used to describe a person who has cared for a loved one with cancer.”

“Not everyone who has had cancer likes the word ‘survivor.’ The reasons for this may vary. For instance, they may simply identify more with being ‘a person who has had cancer.’ Or if they are dealing with cancer every day they may describe themselves as ‘living with cancer.’ Therefore, they may not think of themselves as a survivor. Living with a history of cancer is different for each person. But most people have the common belief that life is different after cancer.”

“Other common reactions that people have after cancer include:

              • Appreciating life more.
              • Being more accepting of themselves.
              • Feeling more anxious about their health.
              • Not knowing how to cope after treatment ends.”

           

        • Now, check out this video.

       

All Not Rosy on World Cancer Day

YOUR support is needed. Please help!

Tuesday February 4, 2020 was World Cancer Day. While some progress has been made over the years, a lot more needs to be done. YOU can help by donating to a cancer research program of your choice.. Thanks.

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As Felix Richter reports for Statista:

“Honoring the 20th anniversary of World Cancer Day, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) as part of the WHO released two coordinated reports highlighting the current state of the world’s fight against the disease. While the WHO’s Report on Cancer aims to ‘set the global agenda on cancer, mobilize stakeholders and help countries set priorities for investing in cancer control,’ the IARC’s World Cancer Report ‘focuses on prevention and offers the most comprehensive overview of relevant research available to date.’”

“The latter report highlights that, despite steady progress in cancer prevention and treatment, the global cancer burden is still increasing as the number of new cases is expected to grow by 50 percent between 2018 and 2040. As the following chart illustrates, the IARC recognized 10.1 million new cancer cases in 2000, 18.1 million in 2018, and is expecting 27 million new cases per year by 2040. According to the report, cancer is the first or second leading cause of premature mortality (i.e. deaths at ages 30-69 years) in more than 90 countries worldwide, killing 9.6 million people in 2018 alone.”

“Further highlighting the relevance of cancer as an issue concerning all of us, the IARC cites estimates from 2018, stating that 1 in 8 men and 1 in 10 women are likely to develop the disease during their lifetime. Aside from the millions of lives lost prematurely each year, cancer also bears a huge economic burden. According to WHO estimates from 2017, global cancer care costs are piling up to more than $1 trillion annually.”

PLEASE DONATE! Click here to contribute to the American Cancer Society.

All Not Rosy on World Cancer Day

All Not Rosy on World Cancer Day

 

Five of the Best Health-Related Innovations in 2019

As we begin 2020, consider these innovations.

Trendwatching studies global trends from a variety of perspectives. For many different industry sectors. In this post, we look at five health-related innovations for 2019 that it identified.

According to Trendwatching, these are the top trend-driven innovations for the healthcare industry in 2019:

“The consumerization of healthcare — behaviorally, technologically, culturally — remains the biggest industry trend on our radar. People will always still want world-class ‘traditional’ (i.e. hospital-based) reactive medical care in an emergency. But innovations that empower people to engage with their health in new ways will bring huge benefits to both individuals and over-stretched healthcare systems. Here are five to inspire you.”

          1. Seed — “The D2C probiotics company launched an Instagram Stories-based ‘certification’ to train influencers in the science behind its products and FTC regulations. #accountable > #adfraud.”
          2. University of Washington — “Researchers launched an app that can detect fluid behind the eardrum using a paper funnel attached to a standard smartphone. Dr. DIY and the democratization of healthcare in action.”
          3.  AXA Insurance — “Hong Kong-based patients with social anxiety can access a six-week therapy program. The twist? The sessions are delivered in virtual reality.”
          4. Life Kitchen — “Medical treatment is just a small slice of healthcare. This cooking school for cancer patients offers those going through chemotherapy an experience filled with empathy and humanity.”
          5. United State of Women — “The best ideas are often the simplest. The Womanikin is a breast attachment for CPR mannequins, designed so that first aid givers can get familiar with giving chest compressions to female bodies.”