Alzheimer's Support Groups

by Maureen E. Hook, Ph. D.
April 22, 2013
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If you are newly diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease, don’t lose heart. A new phenomenon is springing up all around the country to help those in the early stages of the disease. Support groups for those in the early stages are popping up everywhere, especially around cities. From Minneapolis to Washington State to New York City, the groups have different names but they all exist to engage the newly-diagnosed with opportunities to socialize and keep active as the participants adjust and learn to live with their disease.
It happened in this way to Kennard Lehmann, formerly of Sacramento, CA who now lives in Minneapolis, MN. He and his wife moved to Minneapolis shortly after his diagnosis to be closer to their daughter. The move turned out to have the beneficial effect of finding a support group for those in the early stages of Alzheimer’s. The group gets together to go on outings to museums, concerts, and to focus on the things that they can still do. It emphasizes the positive and not the negative. Initially, when given the diagnosis, he was told a list of things he shouldn’t do–don’t drive at night (sundown syndrome might affect you), don’t try to balance your checkbook, etc. At group meetings, the individuals share their experiences, and this comforts them to know that they are not alone in their journey with Alzheimer’s.
The Museum of Modern Art (NYC) established a group called “Meet Me at MoMa” in 2006 for those in the early stages of Alzheimer’s, including their caregivers. The program has been adopted by other museums across the country and abroad. In Chicago, the Memory Ensemble provides get-togethers in a theatrical atmosphere. In San Diego, a group plans outings to locales in the area such as restaurants, animal shelters, and the zoo. The goal is to keep those with the disease stimulated and active for as long as possible.
The national Alzheimer’s Association is following these models and has established groups like the ones above at 18 chapters in 14 states. The initiative has been so successful that they are making the program available nationwide. A feature of their program is peer-to-peer coaching in which someone with Alzheimer’s advises someone who is newly diagnosed.
So the good news is that there are resources available to help those with the disease. What also can be done is to continue to support research efforts that are trying valiantly to find a way to treat the disease so it is not so debilitating in its final stages.
(Source = Judith Graham, “After the Diagnosis, the Get-Togethers,” The New York Times, March 29, 2013)

ask kitkat logoSoring in Horses

Hook Law Center:  Kit Kat, what is soring in horses?
Kit Kat: Well, to be honest, I had never heard of the term “soring,” so I went to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA)’s website and found out the following. Soring is the totally abhorrent practice of inflicting pain on a horse’s forelegs in order to enhance their leg motion for show purposes. In other words, it helps to make the horse look like he/she is prancing with an exaggerated leg motion. It’s frequently done on breeds like the Tennessee Walking Horse, Racing Horses, Spotted Saddle Horses, Rocky Mountain Horses, and Missouri Fox-Trotters. The chest-high gait is known as the” ‘big lick.’ ”
There are several ways in which soring is accomplished. It can be chemically done by irritating the horse’s forelegs by injecting chemicals either under the skin or topically. It can be done using devices that are applied to the leg. Can you believe there is 1 device which is actually legal if it meets certain requirements of composition and does not weigh more than 6 ounces. Finally, it can be done through physical means such as trimming the horse’s hooves in such a way that is painful, and therefore, forces the horse to walk gingerly and in an exaggerated manner.
Soring is illegal, but sometimes it is hard to detect. Unscrupulous people use numbing agents or distraction devices . Sometimes, they even go to the extent that they provide one horse for inspection, but then switch the horse that is actually used in the competition. If you suspect that a horse has been the victim of soring, you can report it to the USDA (US Department of Agriculture, Animal, and Plant Health Inspection Service in Riverdale, MD, 301-734-5784). Only if we are aware, can we prevent such abuses from happening in the future.
(https://www.avma.org/KB/Resources/Backgrounders/Pages/Soring-in-Horses.aspx, 3/29/2013)
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Thank You!

Hook Law Center wishes to extend a great big Thank You to our clients and friends for your donations to our local food bank during the 7th Annual Legal Food Frenzy! We delivered 133 lbs of food to the Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia!

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