Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Donating Blood Diminishes Iron Levels

Photo by MattysFlicks.
Donate Blood.

Give the Gift of Life.

In early September of this year, my annual exam declared me anemic.

Blood tests revealed that my hemoglobin was only 11.4 g/dl when 12.1 g/dl to 15.1 g/dl is ideal for women 18 and up.

I was really worried about my low iron levels, because I was eating more protein than I did as a young adult.

Then I found out that blood donors are at higher risk for anemia. And I had donated blood on July 9th.

Here's a related statement from the NIH page "Dietary Supplements Fact Sheet: Iron":

"Frequent blood donors have an increased risk of iron deficiency. In the United States, adults may donate blood as often as every 8 weeks, which can deplete iron stores.  About 25%-35% of regular blood donors develop iron deficiency."

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Connecting in the Land of Dementia: Book Review

Published 13 September 2016.
Living with dementia presents a host of challenges.

While there are a number of tips available for family members, the most transformative tips all come from this common ideal:

Show love and respect for people living with dementia while maintaining a meaningful connection.

Connecting in the Land of Dementiia: Creative Activities to Explore Together offers specific, practical suggestions for making this ideal a reality.

Author Deborah Shouse has an earlier book that shares the journey she and her mother took while finding ways to connect after her mother's diagnosis of dementia*.

[See this post about the terminology change favoring Neurocognitive Disorder over dementia.]

I've read more than two dozen books about family caregivers, and Shouse's is one of the most positive and hopeful paths through the caregiving partnership.

After reading Living in the Land of Dementia (2013), I was eager to see how she has extended her work in a second book.

[I received a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review.]

In the intervening years, Shouse has met with a variety of people within the United States and beyond, all exploring creative ways to keep people with dementia engaged in meaningful relationships and activities. Her new book makes reference to many practitioners and researchers.

I had the opportunity to meet the author and her partner Ron when they did a performance art activity at a local library in south Central Kansas.  They are intelligent, creative, and caring people. Her book conveys these same virtues.