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News Items – December 27, 2017

Beth Parker-O’Brien is a member:
Making the most holidays when a loved one has dementia
Bay Times & Record Observer (MD)
The holiday season brings families and friends together to celebrate cultural and religious traditions. A loved one with dementia often brings about unexpected challenges to these special days, such as changes in eating habits, not recognizing familiar faces and a desire to leave soon after arriving. According to experts Beth Parker-O’Brien, LCSW-C with Shore Neurocognitive Health, and Lauren Harding, senior care consultant for the Eastern Shore at Regent Healthcare Inc., caregivers often experience frustration around the holidays, as this too is a special day for them, and a much needed opportunity to visit with someone other than their loved one — with limited ability for conversation. Parker-O’Brien says a few key strategies and pre-party preparation will help make the time together more enjoyable for all.

Karen McLean, the writer, is on the NASW-CT board of directors:
Fix Medicare changes to help low income seniors and disabled
News-Times (Danbury, CT)
I am writing to express my concern for 70,000 low income Connecticut senior and disabled residents who are having their health insurance benefits drastically cut as a result of the state budget that was recently passed. The cuts made to the Medicare Savings Plan will devastate our low-income senior and disabled population and force them to decide between paying their taxes, buying their needed medication, or going to the doctor.

Corrine Kopp is a member:
Shift the holiday focus away from food, eating disorder experts say
Press of Atlantic City
Corrine Kopp knows what it can be like to feel stress and anxiety when struggling with an eating disorder, not just as a licensed clinical social worker, but as someone who battled her own disorder more than 10 years ago. “Holiday season naturally brings with it increased focus on food, appearances and weight,” she said. “It causes stress to individuals who aren’t struggling, and even more stress to those who are. I encourage those with concerns to broaden that focus on a season of giving and thanks and of taking care of themselves.”

Misty McIntyre Goodsell is a member:
Addicts receive naloxone kits as precaution during ‘stress’ of holidays
Deseret News
“The holidays are stressful for all of us,” said Misty McIntyre Goodsell, a licensed clinical social worker at Odyssey House. “If you’re in recovery, the holidays can be especially difficult because the therapeutic issues they’re working with (are often family related), such as childhood trauma, things like that.” Naloxone is a nonaddictive, legal substance that has been shown to rapidly cancel out the effects of life-threatening opioid overdoses. Depending on the kit it comes with, it can be administered via a needle injection or a nasal spray.

Collette Melancon is a member:
Managing Your Emotions When ‘Tis The Season To Be Jolly
Colette Melancon, a licensed clinical social worker, encourages people to experience the the full intensity of their emotions. She describes this outlet as an “emotional orgasm.” In an appropriate setting, cry or yell or do whatever we need to do to experience release. There are many places it’s not appropriate to be fully present with your emotions – like your office if you don’t share my luxury of working from home and having a quick cry-fest with Jen. Find a private space (like a stairwell or bathroom stall) or make time outside of the office and holiday festivities to give yourself that outlet.

Martha Crawford is a member:
The world’s worst dream journal
The Outline
This weird scene, which sounds like a convoluted metaphor for the current presidency, never happened in waking life. Rather, it’s one in a growing catalogue of dreams about Trump that New York psychotherapist, Licensed Clinical Social Worker, and writer Martha Crawford is collecting on a new blog called 45 Dreams. “So far I’ve found them strange and lovely and fascinating,” Crawford said of the anonymized dreams, “and also frightening.”

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