January 2020 Newsletter

Hello 2020. The sheer numbers sound like perfect vision. I hope the year generates clarity as we approach life and situations.

A new year, a new decade, new goals, and a new word to motivate, brings renewed hope for improvements. I like to pick one word to direct my thoughts and efforts in reaching my goals throughout the year. Last year my chosen word was “simplify”. I strived to eliminate physical clutter from my life by getting rid of items I no longer need or use. I attempted to relieve mental clutter by accepting situations I can’t change. I worked at being realistic and straightforward about what I could accomplish without being overwhelmed. New projects I took on in a simple, less complicated way. I tried to shorten my to do lists because it’s impossible to accomplish everything I want to. I made mistakes and learned from most of them. Overall, I believe I made progress at simplifying my life. Fortunately, I have a lifetime to further my improvements.

This year my chosen word is “focus”. It seems like the ideal word for 2020, since the digits themselves state that I should be seeing more clearly this year. I will do my best to concentrate my efforts and thoughts on the people and things that matter the most to me. Writing down what I need to do and when it needs to be done will help keep my focus centered on what’s most important. Judging by experience, it won’t be a flawless year, but I’ll give my best shot at enhancing my focus.

The effects of brain injury, epilepsy and caregiving is a focal point in our life. I gain much support and help through meeting with others in like situations. I’m grateful for friendships made in these groups and their encouragement helps me meet challenges. The experience and knowledge shared in these gatherings is beneficial and uplifting.

The purpose of this newsletter is to share information about organizations. In case it’s impossible for you to get out, or you don’t live in this area, I’ve also included links to useful and inspiring websites.

If you have an activity, announcements or other information you’d like shared in this newsletter, please add them in the comments or email Barbara@UnitingCaregivers.com.

Have you picked one word to motivate and direct your efforts through this new year? If so, I’d like to hear it and know why you chose it.


FREE SUPPORT GROUPS FOR STROKE AND BRAIN INJURY SURVIVORS AND CAREGIVERS

January 2, 2020Utah Valley Aphasia Choir meets at 6-6:45pm on the 1st Thursday of the month, prior to the support group at the BYU Speech and Language Clinic. It’s for all brain injury, and stroke survivors, caregivers, family, and friends. Come and enjoy the power of music and friendship together. Everyone interested is welcome to join.

January 2, 2020Utah Valley Brain Injury Support Group meets at 7-8:30 p.m. on the 1st Thursday monthly at the BYU Speech and Language Clinic, Room #177. Address: 1190 North 900 East, Provo, UT 84060. ​For questions call Lori Johnson at (801)422-9132.

January 14, 2020 – Brain Injury Alliance Support Group for Adults, 6-8 p.m. meets every 2nd Tuesday monthly at Sanderson Community Deaf Center, 5709 South 1500 West, SLC, UT 84123. This social group is for caregivers and survivors. Come join us for dinner and games this month. Bring your favorite dessert to share if you’d like. For more information, please call Jennifer (801)386-2195, or Beth (801)585-5511.

January 16, 2020IMC Caregivers and Survivors Education and Support Groups, meets at 7 p.m. every 3rd Thursday monthly at Intermountain Medical Center, 5171 S. Cottonwood St., Murray, UT 84107, building 1.

Caregivers meet on the 9th floor Neuroscience Conference Room. The discussion will be lead by Kim Coletti, MS,CCC-SLP on What to do When Your Loved One Refuses Treatmant.

Survivors meet on the 9th floor gym. Hillary Brown, Tosh Pilates will be presenting Pilates for Survivors. For more information, please call (801)314-2086 or email Emily Redd at emily.redd@imail.org.

January 28, 2020University of Utah Brain Injury Support Group meets at 6 – 7 p.m. every 4th Tuesday monthly at Sugarhouse Health Center, 1280 E. Stringham Avenue, 3rd floor conference room, SLC, UT 84106. Sarah Gallant and Ally Cayas are over this Support Group. For more information please call (801)581-2221.


FREE WEEKLY GROUPS INTERMOUNTAIN HEALTH CARE NEURO THERAPY in Murray, Utah

Aphasia Talking Practice Group – Meets every Tuesday, Noon-1 p.m. at 5770 South 250 East #G50

Meditation Group – Meets every Wednesday, 3 p.m. at 5770 South 250 East Cafeteria Conference Room

Cognitive Skills Group – Meets every Thursday Noon-1 p.m. at 5770 South 250 East #G50

Contact: Emily Redd at Emily.redd@imail.org


FREE EPILEPSY SUPPORT GROUPS FOR THOSE EFFECTED BY SEIZURES

Together we share coping strategies, provide encouragement, comfort and advice from people with common experiences.

For more information contact Margo at (801)455-6089 or Utah@efa

January 8, 2020 – Provo Epilepsy Group for All, meets at 7:00 – 8:15 pm on the 2nd Wednesday at the Provo City Library, 555 N. University Ave., Provo, UT.

January 9, 2020 – IMC Epilepsy Group for All, meets at 7:00 – 8:30 p.m. on the 2nd Thursday at the Intermountain Medical Center, 5171 S. Cottonwood St., Murray, UT Bldg. 6, 1st floor – CR2 in the Doty Education Center.

January 15, 2020 – SLC Epilepsy Group for All, meets at 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. on the 3rd Wednesday at the SLC Main Library 200 E. 400 S., SLC, UT (3rd floor conference room).

West Jordan Epilepsy Group for Teens, is cancelled this month. If you have any questions, concerns, please contact Margo Thurman @ 801-445-6089.

The Logan Epilepsy Support Group for All is in the process of looking for a replacement moderator that is as passionate about supporting their community as the last one. This Support Group will be postponed until further notice. If you have any questions, concerns, or information you would like to share, please contact Margo Thurman @ 801-445-6089


HELPFUL WEBSITES:

http://www.caregiver.org (online webinars for caregivers)

http://www.braininjury.com (medical, legal, information resource)

http://www.abta.org (brain tumor education and information)

http://www.cdc.gov/ncipc/tbi (brain injury facts, programs, education)

http://www.ninds.nih.gov/Disorders/all-disorders (education for brain injury, stroke and other neurological disorders)

http://www.msktc.org/tbi (TBI Model Systems Knowledge Translation Center) national leaders in TBI research and patient care.

http://www.nationalmssociety.org/Resources-Support (resource for those with MS)

http://www.epilepsy.com/utah and/or http://www.epilepsy.com (seizure education and support by state or national)

https://biau.org (resource for those with brain injury)

http://www.brainline.org (preventing, treating and living with TBI)

http://www.uilc.org (Utah Independent Living Center is a resource center which enhances independence of persons with disabilities)


ACTIVITIES TO DO WEBSITES:

https://store.usgs.gov/access-pass (free pass to National Parks & Federal Land Agency areas)

https://twilightinsight.wordpress.com/hobbies/hobbies-or-healing-the-brain/tbi-and-selecting-a-hobby (select a hobby – ideas especially for TBI survivors)

http://wanderookie.com/blog/2015/07/27/12-beautiful-wheelchair-accessible-trails-in-utah
(wheelchair accessible trails in Utah)

wasatchadaptivesports.org (Wasatch Adaptive Sports)

http://www.discovernac.org (National Ability Center)

https://healthcare.utah.edu/rehab/support-services/trails.php (University of Utah TRAILS Program)

https://www.meetup.com (meet up groups)


SHARING WEBSITES:

http://www.brainline.org/abbymaslin (blog about loving and learning after TBI)

https://www.loveyourbrain.com (Kevin Pearce’s nonprofit organization that improves the quality of life of people affected by traumatic brain injury)

 Two of my favorite websites. What are yours?


Thank you for reading. I hope you found the information helpful and will follow this website via email to receive notifications of every new post. The “Follow” button is located at the beginning of the newsletter. However, if you want to subscribe only to a monthly newsletter, I can add you to the newsletter only list. For this option, please email Barbara@UnitingCaregivers.com.

Managing Holiday Stress

holidaystress.Last night Mark and I enjoyed a class taught by Michelle Thornell at the University of Utah Sugarhouse Health Center. Michelle gave us strategies to keep us from feeling exhausted, out of balance and susceptible to winter colds and flu. She provided nine tips to increase our enjoyment during this special time of year, which I thought were worth sharing in summary with you.

  • Simplify and commit to less. Choose to participate only in those holiday activities that hold meaning and joy for you and your loved ones.
  • Do one thing at a time. Give yourself the joy of focused attention.
  • Communicate consciously. Before you speak, think. Ask yourself, is what I’m about to say true, helpful, important, necessary and kind.
  • Maintain a restful sleep routine. You’ll feel better and be able to accomplish more as you cultivate a sleep routine. When you find yourself pushing too hard, or overdoing any activity, stop and rest.
  • Besides sleep, the best rest is the deep relaxation provided by meditation.
  • Eat warm, soothing foods. When the weather is cold, limit your intake of dry and raw items such as nuts, chips, and uncooked vegetables, which all tend to aggravate the body’s nervous system and digestion.
  • Don’t skip meals while holiday shopping. Skipping meals aggravates the body and mind, so stick with regular mealtimes.
  • Exhale your stress. In stressful situations we have an unconscious tendency to breathe shallowly, which only increases anxiety in our mind and body. Diaphragmatic breathing utilizes deep relaxing breaths to release stress and toxins from the body.
  • Nurture your senses with aromatherapy and essentials oils. In your home or office, use soothing scents such as orange, lavender, sandalwood, vanilla, orange, basil, or clove.

“Stress and other impurities hamper the free flow of energy and information through your physiology, whereas meditation helps remove them by releasing stress and eliminating toxins from your body. Rest is nature’s way of healing and rebalancing your body. Research has shown that the rest associated with meditation has been found to be much deeper than the rest gained in sleep.”

Michelle gave us eleven meditation exercises and taught us diaphragmatic breathing. We practice by placing one hand on our belly and the other on our chest making sure that our hand on our belly was the one moving.

“Diaphragmatic breathing is the act of breathing done by expanding one’s belly and thereby allowing the diaphragm to move down, creating more room for the lungs to expand. Practice this several times each day and you will then have it available in a stressful situation. This simple technique can slow and even stop the fight–or-flight response.” Reference:  http://www.ChopraTeachers.com/ZenSoldier.

Michelle is a U.S. Amy Major, meditation instructor and stroke survivor. She teaches a free weekly class every Wednesday at 3pm through the Intermountain Healthcare, Cottonwood Medical Clinic, Main level 1. To learn more about Michelle visit, http://meditatewithmichelle.com/

This timely information is a great reminder of how to destress and enjoy the holiday season.