February 2018 Newsletter

Feb. HeartsA splendid way to communicate love is by sharing your time and heartfelt care with others. Understanding one another is easiest when you share similar circumstances. Since I’m a caregiver to a brain injury survivor who also has epilepsy, I’ve gathered information on this month’s support groups and therapy services offered in the Salt Lake Valley for those affected by these two health issues. If you live outside of this region, or are affected by another kind of condition, I encourage you to look for support groups near you. Fill your heart with friends who understand your situation and share the love by encouraging and learning from one another. Every life that you touch is a reward for yourself.

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 email Barbara@UnitingCaregivers.com


February1FREE SUPPORT GROUPS AVAILABLE IN THE SALT LAKE VALLEY

February 13, 2018 – 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 all caregivers and survivors. All are welcomed to share a main dish together and a craft.  Bring a side dish or dessert to share if you’d like. Call Jennifer (801) 386-2195, or Beth (801) 585-5511 for more information.

February 15, 2018 – IMC Caregivers and Survivors Education Groups, 7-8 p.m. Meets every 3rd Thursday monthly at IMC Cottonwood Medical Tower (TOSH Campus) 181 E. Medical Tower Drive, Murray, Utah. Caregivers meet on the 1st floor conference room and the Survivors meet on the 2nd floor conference room.

Caregivers topic: Caregivers Resources – by Kathy Nelson, Utah State Representative. She will share with us resources available through the State.

Survivors topic: Finding Your Voice – by Natalie Caldwell, MS, CCC-SLP. She will give ways for helping others understand your injury.

February 27, 2018 – University of Utah Brain Injury Support Group 7-8 p.m. Meets every 4th Tuesday monthly at Sugarhouse Health Center, 1138 E. Wilmington Avenue, SLC, UT 84106. This month’s topic: Trails Adaptive Sports & Recreation by Tanja Kari. Come learn what options are available. Please call Ryan Pello at (801) 581-2221 for questions.


February-clip-art-2FREE WEEKLY GROUPS INTERMOUNTAIN HEALTH CARE NEURO THERAPY 

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

Parkinson’s Talking Loud Group – Meets every 2nd Wednesday of the month-3:00pm at 5770 South 250 East #G50

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

Contact: Dr. Russo at antonietta.russo@imail.org


FebruaryFREE EPILEPSY 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.org

February 1, 2018 – Epilepsy Group for Parents, 7:00 – 8:15 p.m. Meets every 1st Thursday of the month at the Riverton Library Auditorium, 12877 S. 1830 W.

February 8, 2018 – Epilepsy Group for All Effected by Seizures, 7:00 – 8:30 p.m. Meets every 2nd Thursday of the month. New 2018 Murray location is at the Doty Education Center – Intermountain Medical Center, 5171 S. Cottonwood St., Bldg. 6, 1st floor – CR2.

newEPILEPSY SUPPORT GROUP in Utah County! It begins on February 15th from 7:00 to 8:15 pm. From March on the meeting will be on the 2nd Wednesday of the month at the Provo City Library – 555 N. University Ave.

February 21, 2018 – Epilepsy Group for All Effected by Seizures, 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. Meets every 3rd Wednesday of the month at the SLC Main Library 200 E. 400 S., SLC, UT (3rd floor conference room).

February 28, 2018 – Epilepsy Group for Teens, 7 – 8:30 p.m. Meets the 4th Wednesday monthly at the West Jordan Library, 8030 S. 1825 W., West Jordan, UT. There are two teachers overseeing this group. Come to enjoy an activity and meet other teens with epilepsy.


Bright IdeasHELPFUL WEBSITES:

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

http://www.tbicommunity.org (online educational programs)

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)

February-heart

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)


February5ACTIVITIES TO DO WEBSITES:

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

https://wildlife.utah.gov/watchable-wildlife-for-disabled.html (watchable wildlife for disabled persons)

http://slco.org/adaptive/plus-one-pass (Salt Lake County Disability Plus One Pass)

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

Uniquely abled

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

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

https://www.visitutah.com/Media/Default/One%20Sheeters/Accessible_Utah_web.pdf (list of accessible resources)

wasatchadaptivesports.org (Wasatch Adaptive Sports)

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

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


LaptopsSHARING WEBSITES:

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

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http://www.unitingcaregivers.wordpress.com (caregivers sharing stories, tips and thoughts)

http://www.facebook.com/UTteensupportgroup (social interaction and the exchange useful resources)


newsletterThank 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, please email Barbara@UnitingCaregivers.com. I will add you to the newsletter email list and send you the link monthly.

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.