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Lewes, Delaware
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April 25, 1997     Cape Gazette
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April 25, 1997
 

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HEALTH & FITNESS Cape's wellness center to host open house May 2 The Cape Henlopen High School Well- ness Center will hold an open house on Fri- day, May 2 from 4-6 p.m: at Cape Hen- lopen High School. The public is invited to learn about the services offered Cape Hen- lopen students through this joint venture between Beebe Medical Center, the Divi- Sion of Public Health and the Cape Hen- iopen School District. The Cape Henlopen High School Well- ness Center is structured to meet the physi- cal needs of today's adolescents as well as their health education, nutritional, mental and emotional needs. The staff at the center includes nurse practitioner/coordinator Donna Shaffer; physicians Alisa Bell and Maribel Garcia- Zaragoza; counselor/social worker Eliza- beth Roe; registereddietitian Kim Westcott and administrative assistant Gaye King. During the 1994-95 school year, a needs assessment was conducted at C_ape Hen- lopen High School by Family agd Chil- drens Services of Delaware to-determine the need for a school-based wellness center. Some of the needs assessment statistics were alatardng. Eighteen and a half percent of the students had not seen a doctor within the previous year; 10.8 percent had serious heaRh problems; 70 percent were not re- I Sussex County By Rosanne Pack In a Sussex County "first," the Diabetes Ribbon was introduced to Delaware a few weeks ago when more than 100 children and adults gathered for the Third An- num Family Weekend Retreat for families and friends of youngsters who have juvenile diabetes. After they were made in the lodge of Camp Barnes, fight in the middle of the overnight retreat, ceiving bealtheare; 46.4 percent didn't see a doctor when they felt they should; 64.2 per- cent of the students reported being sexually active, and 20 percent used hallucinogens. Additionally, 99 students reported feeling depressed and 104 had thoughts of commit- ting suicide. Based on the Cape needs assessment, drugs, alcohol and mental health problems scored the highest. Today, the center offers educational pro- grams designed to promote a healthy and safe lifestyle which includes sports physi- cals, smoking prevention and cessation; in- dividual and group health education; HIV and AIDS education; responsible decision- making; health habits and health promo- tion. The Wellness Center also offers drug and alcohol counseling; stress and anxiety inter- vention; suicide prevention;individual and family counseling and referral services to meet the emotional and mental health needs of its students. The center offers information on healthy eating, special diets, weight management and sports nutrition. The students may also utilize the center for simple blood tests, throat cultures and pregnancy testing. ...... Students at Cape Henlopen High School received sunglasses before they left school on Monday April 21, to promote the high school's wellness center opening set for Friday, May 2. Shown 0-r) are Gary Small, junior;, Darrell Davis, freshman; and Bryan Callaway, a senior who helped with the sunglass- es promotion project. All services, including physicians', are the portable classrooms behind the school. free to students at the high school, but For more information about the open parental consent is required, house or the Wellness Center, call 1644- The Wellness Center is located in one of 2WIN (2946). unveils the ribbons were given out to all who choose to wear them to help increase awareness of the disease and the complications it brings to all who are touched by it. The rib- bons are silver or gray and have a small red rhinestone placed where the ribbon crosses. Mel Lewis, whose son has juve- nile diabetes, engineered the cre- ation of the ribbons and helped hand them out to the families par- the first Diabetes ticipating in the retreat. 'Tm pretty sure this is the first time that these will be seen in Delaware, and I want to see them circulate as far as we can get them," Lewis said. "The red rhinestone represents the millions of blood tests that diabetics must perform each day. This ribbon is an attempt of people with dia- betes, their caregivers and friends to make others more aware of Ribbon at what life with diabetes is like" Lewis said many people are un- aware of the problems and lifestyle adaptations that diabetics and their families and friends must make. "We want to make people aware that this can be a terrible disease," he said. "We need a cure and just learning to live with diabetes is not the only answer." Lewis said that he found infer- the family weekend retreat marion about the silver diabetes ribbon on the internet. From that electronic connection, he learned that the first diabetes ribbons were made in Athens, Greece, in early April of this year. He and his wife Kathy were already planning their activities in the up-coming family retreat, and it was easy enough to incorporate a ribbon-making ses- sion into the afternoon of eduea- Continued on page 31 Depression in older women is common but trea lble Depression in the older woman is a common problem, After read- ing an interesting article by Leslie M. Blake, a psychiatrist at the University of Chicago concerning depression in the older woman, it dawned on me that this is a fairly common illness in the elderly fe- male population, as I have noted in my personal practice. Depression is probably the most frequent reason for psychiatric hospitalizations in the 60-75 year- old female population. A study I read estimated the lifetime risk for depression up to the age of 80 was about 8.5 percent for men and al- most 18 percent for women. Certainly depression in the el- derly is most often of a situational variety, usually due to grieving the death of a loved one, albeit most patients in this group do re- turn to their formal level of func- tion rather successfully. Howev- er, a small group becomes inca- pacitated by depression. Depressed older patients usual- ly comptain totheir family physi- cians that they no longer have any energy and really no longer enjoy the things they used to do. They become more and more dependent on those around them and may ap- pear to family members to be hav- ing problems with concentration, decision-making and memory. Many times this is mistaken for dementia. Although they seldom complain of suicide, many reveal feelings of hopelessness and worthlessness, a wish for life to just end and the feeling that their families would be better off with- out them. Before we label a patient as de- pressed, however, they should un- dergo a thorough medical exami- nation before receiving a diagno- sis and certainly before starting on any treatment. Many medicines and medical problems can either contribute to depression or be misinterpreted for depression. Some of those in- clude hypothyroidism, anemia, or a recent heart attack. ' Certainly, some oftbe over-the- counter medicines and prescrip- tions also contribute to depres- sion, as can alcohol. To manage these patients, there are multiple regimens that can be employed: Cycle therapy is used for those patients with less severe depres- sion. Cycle therapy seems to be effective in this age group and what it promotes is hope, the es- tablishment of relationship, a sense of meaning, and a construe- five relationship with the environ- ment. Anti-depressant medication can enhance compliance of cycle ther- apy and in patients with severe de- pression, is very effective and even life saving. One thing that al- ways has to be kept in mind in pa- tients taking anti-depressant medi- cine is compliance. Medical compliance is definite- ly a problem in all age groups, but particularly in the elder popula- tion. Sometimes this is not inten- tional but is secondary to physical problems such as impaired vision, which makes it more likely that the instructions will be misread. Also, patients have a difficult time remembering whether_they have taken their medicine and whether they have taken it on the correct schedule. Psychological fears such as denial of depression also enter into this, as well as fear of the side effects. These all need to be dealt wit h, both at the family level and at the physician level. Another factor that contributes is age-related al- terations in the way anti-depres- sant drugs are absorbed in the el- der patient's system. This makes it more important to ensure that the dosage and scheduling is cor- rect. Coming back into vogue is dec_ troconvulsive therapy. Electro- convulsive therapy has been shown to be effective, reliable and a relatively safe method of treat- ment for depression and is often used when anti-depressants have failed or are contraindicated of a medical illness. Although major depression is common in elderly women, it is often misdiagnosed. The importance of awareness, early diagnosis, and active treat- ment intervention is extremely important in reducing morbidity and mortality and helping to re- store the patient to her functioning level. HEALTH TOPICS i I VINCEN Vincent Killeen, an obste- trician/gynecologist, is presi- dent of Bayside Health Asso. ciation.