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As the population ages, families, friends and loved ones of the sick and elderly find themselves in changing roles. Caregivers struggle with the complexity of the medical system, financial issues and family tension. Yet many caregivers refer to their experience as powerful, positive and uplifting. To support caregivers, the health series Second Opinion has created a national public education campaign on caregiving. Second Opinion for Caregivers is funded through a generous grant from The Jacob and Valeria Langeloth Foundation

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Alzheimer's Disease: A Caregiver's Journey
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Caregiver Burnout
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Clinical Trials / Parkinson's Disease
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COPD
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Kidney Disease: Caring for a Chronic Illness
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Multiple Sclerosis
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Heart Replacement
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Spinal Cord Injury
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Living With Alzheimer's
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Cardiac Spouses
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Geriatric Oncology
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Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)
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Featured Experts:

Alan Dengiz, MD
Alan Dengiz, MD
Mary Beth Geise, RN
Mary Beth Geise, RN
Carol Levine
Kevin McCormick, PhD, MD
Kevin McCormick, MD, PhD
Barbara Moscowitz, MSW
Samuel F. Sears, Ph.D.
Samuel F. Sears, Ph.D.
Ingrid Watkins, MD
Ingrid Watkins, MD

Ingrid Watkins, MD

Co-Medical Director of Canalside Family Medicine

Ingrid is a native of Madison, Wisconsin and, after attending the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee, she did her intern year in Madison and finished residency at the LaCrosse-Mayo Family Medicine Residency Program in LaCrosse, Wisconsin. She first practiced rural medicine in a town of 3000 after residency and loved caring for farmers and working in a rural setting. She has worked for URMC since 2006, first as faculty at the Family Medicine Residency Program and now as Co-Medical Director of Canalside Family Medicine.

Caregiving

As the population ages, families, friends and loved ones of the sick and elderly find themselves in changing roles. Caregivers struggle with the complexity of the medical system, financial issues and family tension. Yet many caregivers refer to their experience as powerful, positive and uplifting. To support caregivers, the health series Second Opinion has created a national public education campaign on caregiving.

Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)

(Source: NINDS / NIH) Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), sometimes called Lou Gehrig's disease, is a rapidly progressive, invariably fatal neurological disease that attacks the nerve cells (neurons) responsible for controlling voluntary muscles. The disease belongs to a group of disorders known as motor neuron diseases, which are characterized by the gradual degeneration and death of motor neurons.

Resources
Resource Description: 
There are a very large number of organizations and websites dedicated to ALS. This is only a partial list. The ALS Association: Established in 1985, The ALS Association is the only national non-profit organization fighting Lou Gehrig’s Disease on every front.
ALS Care: ALS CARE is committed to providing support to patients, their families, and caregivers by means of education and consultations.
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS): The mission of the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke is to reduce the burden of neurological disease - a burden borne by every age group, by every segment of society, by people all over the world.
Medline Plus
Medline Description: 

Interactive Medical Search logoConduct an off-site search for ALS from MedlinePlus.  These up-to-date search results are based on search terms specific to Second Opinion Key Points.

Key Points: 

Key Point 1

Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, or ALS, is a progressive neurological disease (it just keeps getting worse).  Since there is no definitive test for ALS and the symptims can mimic many other medical conditions, the diagnosis of ALS can be difficult.  Getting a second opinion on the diagnosis of a serious disease like ALS can be critical.

Key Point 2

While there is not yet a cure for ALS, there are resources and technologies that can allow people with ALS to live their lives more fully.  Symptom management is a major ongoing component of the care of ALS and addressing symptoms as they change can minimize their effects on a person’s function, health, and quality of life

Mary Beth Geise, RN

Registered Nurse
Founder ALS Care 

Mary Beth Geise, RN discovered in 1982, what would become her life's passion - caring for those with ALS.

Geriatric Oncology

(Source: Cancer.net) More than 60% of cancers in the United States occur in people age 65 and older.  Cancers of the prostate, breast, colon, pancreas, bladder, stomach, lung, and rectum are the most common cancers in this age group.

Videos
Webisode: 
test web
Symptoms: 
Test symptom 1
Test Symptom 2
Resources
Resource Description: 
The mission of The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center is to eliminate cancer in Texas, the nation, and the world through outstanding programs that integrate patient care, research and prevention, and through education for undergraduate and graduate students, trainees, professionals, employees and the public.
The goal of SIOG is to foster the development of health professionals in the field of geriatric oncology, in order to optimize treatment of older adults with cancer.
The Wilmot Cancer Center is organized around a multidisciplinary care model, which leading cancer experts believe is the gold standard in cancer care in the 21st Century.
Medline Plus
Medline Description: 

Conduct an off-site search for Geriatric Oncology from MedlinePlus.  These up-to-date search results are based on search terms specific to Second Opinion Key Points.

Key Points: 

Key Point 1

When it comes to cancer, there is no “one size fits all” treatment for the older patient, and if your age is a consideration, it should be in terms of physiological, not chronological age.  The important thing to remember is that no matter what your age, you should know your options.

Key Point 2

Whether you are 65, 80 or 100, a host of factors – medical, practical and emotional – must be taken into account to devise a therapeutic plan.  No matter what plan of action you choose, a partnership with your health care team can help you better manage your care.

Cardiac Spouses

Heart disease is something we as Americans talk about a lot.  But most often, the conversation surrounds the person who has heart disease or has had a cardiac event.  But what about the spouse of that person?  Many times the spousal role immediately changes to caregiver, nurse and housekeeper.  Cardiac spouses are more suscepible to depression and other illnesses, but their health needs are often overlooked.

Videos
Webisode: 
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Resources
Resource Description: 
Article: “Coping with My Partner’s ICD and Cardiac Disease”
Article: “Role of Spousal Anxiety and Depression in Patients’ Psychosocial Recovery After a Cardiac Event”
Article: “Spouses of Heart Attack Victims May Have Similar Risks”
Medline Plus
Medline Description: 

Interactive Medical Search logoConduct an off-site search for Cardiac Spouses from MedlinePlus.  These up-to-date search results are based on search terms specific to Second Opinion Key Points.

Key Points: 

Key Point 1

The recovery from a cardiac event often involves the whole family. The well-being of the caregiver is as important to the patient’s outcome as anything else.

Key Point 2

Recovering from a heart attack or heart disease is not something that any patient does alone. The family needs to recover as well and often needs just as much support, if not more, than the patient does.

Living With Alzheimer's

(Source: Alzheimer's Association) Alzheimer's is a type of dementia that causes problems with memory, thinking and behavior. Symptoms usually develop slowly and get worse over time, becoming severe enough to interfere with daily tasks.

Videos
Webisode: 
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Resources
Resource Description: 
The Alzheimer's Association is the leading, global voluntary health organization in Alzheimer's care and support, and the largest private, nonprofit funder of Alzheimer's research.
AFA unites more than 1,600 member organizations from coast-to-coast that are dedicated to meeting the educational, social, emotional and practical needs of individuals with Alzheimer's disease and related illnesses, and their caregivers and families.
The American Health Assistance Foundation (AHAF) is an international nonprofit organization dedicated to finding cures for age-related degenerative diseases.
Medline Plus
Medline Description: 

Interactive Medical Search logoConduct an off-site search for Alzheimer's Disease from MedlinePlus.  These up-to-date search results are based on search terms specific to Second Opinion Key Points.

Key Points: 

Key Point 1

It is important to note that not all dementia is Alzheimer’s, and not all forgetfulness is dementia.  Getting an accurate diagnosis often requires consulting with specialists who utilize a toolbox of both new and established diagnostic tests.  While receiving the diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease can be confusing and frightening, it can also help families be proactive in developing the best possible plan.

Key Point 2

While there is currently no cure for Alzheimer’s, the disease can progress over many years and through various stages.  Particularly in the early stages of the disease, patients can, with support and understanding of those around them, continue to enjoy meaningful activities.

Spinal Cord Injury

(Source: NIH / National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke) Your spinal cord is a bundle of nerves that runs down the middle of your back. It carries signals back and forth between your body and your brain. A spinal cord injury disrupts the signals. Spinal cord injuries usually begin with a blow that fractures or dislocates your vertebrae, the bone disks that make up your spine. Most injuries don't cut through your spinal cord. Instead, they cause damage when pieces of vertebrae tear into cord tissue or press down on the nerve parts that carry signals.

Videos
Webisode: 
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Resources
Resource Description: 
Mayo Clinic is a not-for-profit medical practice dedicated to the diagnosis and treatment of virtually every type of complex illness.
The mission of NINDS is to reduce the burden of neurological disease - a burden borne by every age group, by every segment of society, by people all over the world.
Founded in 1948, the National Spinal Cord Injury Association is the nation's oldest and largest civilian organization dedicated to improving the quality of life for hundreds of thousands of Americans living with the results of spinal cord injury and disease (SCI/D) and their families. This number grows by thirty newly-injured people each day.
Proper management of a patient with a potential fracture or spinal cord injury can literally be the deciding factor in whether that patient suffers permanent nervous system damage and partial or total paralysis, or whether they can fully recover. Fracture management, and especially spinal injury management, are among a paramedic’s most important duties.
Medline Plus
Medline Description: 

Conduct an off-site search for Heart Replacement from MedlinePlus.  These up-to-date search results are based on search terms specific to Second Opinion Key Points.

Key Points: 

Key Point 1

Immediate stabilization of a person after a fall or accident is critical to the outcome of a person with a spinal cord injury.  Rehabilitation starts right when the injury happens. You can be of tremendous help if you witness an accident.

Key Point 2

Rehabilitation of the whole person, not just their physical injury, is important for a person with a spinal cord injury to get back to their life.  Being as functional and independent as possible is the goal of rehabilitation.

Second Opinion Spinal Cord Injury Panel

Heart Replacement

(Source: NIH / MedlinePlus) Heart failure is a condition in which the heart can't pump enough blood throughout the body. Heart failure does not mean that your heart has stopped or is about to stop working. It means that your heart is not able to pump blood the way it should.

Videos
Webisode: 
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Resources
Resource Description: 
Our mission is to build healthier lives, free of cardiovascular diseases and stroke. That single purpose drives all we do. The need for our work is beyond question.
As the leading professional group representing the allied specialties of cardiac pacing and cardiac electrophysiology, the Society plays an important role not only in education, but also as an intermediary between government regulatory agencies and its members.
NHLBI provides global leadership for a research, training, and education program to promote the prevention and treatment of heart, lung, and blood diseases and enhance the health of all individuals so that they can live longer and more fulfilling lives.
Medline Plus
Medline Description: 

Conduct an off-site search for Heart Replacement from MedlinePlus.  These up-to-date search results are based on search terms specific to Second Opinion Key Points.

Key Points: 

Key Point 1

Cardiomyopathy, or heart failure, means that your heart can’t pump enough blood to meet your body’s needs.  While it is generally not reversible, it is treatable.

Key Point 2

While heart transplant was once the only hope of survival for heart failure patients, ventricular assist devices are now being used successfully not as a bridge to a transplant, but as a permanent treatment.

Kevin McCormick, MD, PhD

Medical Director, Geriatrics & Medicine Associates
Assistant Professor of Medicine and Geriatrics
University of Rochester School of Medicine
Rochester, NY

Kevin McCormick M.D., Ph.D. is a faculty member at the University of Rochester School of Medicine. He is the Medical Director of the Geriatrics & Medicine Associates, which provides primary care services for seniors in the greater Rochester area, through Highland Hospital. Dr. McCormick is responsible for medical education involving medical students, residents, and fellows seeking advanced training in Geriatrics. He created the "Care of the Older Patient" course, now required for all interns in the Department of Medicine.

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