Fond Farewell - Jack Klugman (1922 - 2012)

Beloved actor, Jack Klugman, has died of complications from prostate cancer. Klugman was best known for his long-time roles on the television series, as Oscar Madison in "The Odd Couple" with Tony Randall (1970 - 1975) and in the title role as "Quincy, M.E." (1976 - 1983).

 In a career that spanned 64 years, Mr. Klugman earned one Golden Globe Award (1974), three Emmy Awards (1964, 1971, 1973), received two Stars on the Walk of Fame (1988 and 1959), acted in 9 Broadway shows, 18 films and over 50 television shows. Klugman was 90 years old.

Did you know?

  • Jack Klugman was born in Philadelphia.
  • Klugman's title role as Quincy, M.E. was inspired by real-life medical examiner in Los Angeles County, Thomas T. Noguchi, known as "Coroner to the Stars". (Noguchi performed the autopsies on some of Hollywood's top celebrity deaths including Natalie Wood, Marilyn Monroe, Sharon Tate, William Holden, John Bleushi as well as Robert F. Kennedy.)
  • Jack  loved thoroughbred racing and his horse "Jaklin Klugman" finished 3rd in the 1980 Kentucky Derby.
  • Mr. Klugman helped get the Orphan Drug Act passed in 1983 by speaking before Congress.
  • Klugman's final resting place is Mt. Sinai Memorial Park Cemetery.




Fond Farewell - Larry Hagman (1931-2012)

Television legend and Texas native, Larry Hagman has died at age 81. In a long, successful television career that spanned 62 years, Hagman was well known for his diverse roles. Two of his most famous roles were as J.R. Ewing on "Dallas" for over 13 years (357 episodes), and Major Anthony "Tony" Nelson on "I Dream of Jeannie" for 5 years.

From 1952 - 1956, Hagman served in the Korean War in the U.S. Air Force and he spent most of his time entertaining the troops.

In 1995, Hagman underwent a life-saving liver transplant. His organ transplant inspired him to work to promote healthy living. He served as the chairman of the American Cancer Society's annual Great American Smokeout for several years. He also worked to promote the National Kidney Foundation.

Although Hagman's largest successes were on television, he also played roles on the stage and in film. He continued working through 2012 on a new revision of "Dallas" which was filmed on site in Dallas, Texas for TNT.

Hagman’s final wishes were slightly unconventional. He asked to have his remains scattered over a fields of wheat and marijuana so that in a couple of years, a marijuana cake could serve up to 300 people. He wanted to share himself with those who remained behind.

Fond Farewell Lucille Bliss (1916–2012)

American television cartoon voice actress Lucille Bliss’ pioneering voice career brought joy and laughter to millions of children. She voiced television’s very first animated character, Crusader Rabbit (1949), and famously played the popular “Smurfette” character through nine seasons of “The Smurfs” through the 1980’s. She hosted popular bay area kids program. “The Happy Birthday Show” and took roles for Walt Disney in Alice In Wonderland, and our favorite 101 Dalmatian’s where she was dubbed for the "Canine Crunchies" commercial and all pup voices. Her career spans generations from Hanna Barbara favorites like “The Flintstones”, to Don Bluth’s “The Secret of Nimh” and most recently “Miss Bitters” on Nickelodeon’s “Invader Zim” animated series. We thank you Ms. Bliss for your creativity and undying love for the child in all of us.

Fond Farewell - Alex Karras (1935-2012)

Alex Karras gained fame as an American defensive linemen for the NFL. He was a four-time all pro defensive tackle for over 12 seasons. He also worked as a professional wrestler, and later as an actor. Karras played in diverse roles such as “Mongo” who punches a horse in the epic 1980’s hit “Blazing Saddles”, to Hans Brumbaugh in the 1979 TV miniseries “Centennial.” However, Alex was most well known for his role as George Papadopolis on the popular 1980’s television sitcom “Webster” in which he played an ex-football player who adopts the son of a friend who died. In 1977, Mr. Karras was admitted into the Iowa Sports Hall of Fame. In 1991, he was admitted into “The College Football Hall of Fame. Sadly, Karras suffered from dementia due to head injuries sustained over his football career and he joined over 3,500 professional NFL players in suing the league for head injuries. He died under hospice care surrounded by family in Los Angeles, California. He was just 77.

Fond Farewell - Andy Williams (1927-2012)

American legendary singer, Andy Williams has died at age 84. Andy's longs career spanned over 74 years. Although he is most closely associated with the song "Moon River", his noteworthy talents earned him 18 Gold Albums and 3 Platinum. For 9 years, Andy Williams hosted his own variety show called "The Andy Williams Show" from (1962-1971).

Did You Know?
  • Williams was born in Wall Lake, Iowa.
  • Williams began his career in 1938 and performed through 2012.
  • Williams loved playing golf.
  • His variety show, "The Andy Williams Show" earned 3 Emmy Awards.
  • He sang at the funeral of Senator Robert Kennedy.
  • Williams spent the last 21 years of his life in Branson, Missouri where he opened "Moon River" a 2,000 seat theatre.
  • Williams mentored the Osmonds and they became regulars on his show; Marie Osmond made her television debut on the show, at just 3 years old.
  • Williams hosted the first Grammy Awards held live on television, and remained its host for 7 years in a row.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to the Bladder Cancer Advocacy Network.

Fond Farewell - Neşet Ertaş (1937-2012)

Folk Music legend, Neşet Ertaş has died at age 74 from cancer. In a career that spanned over 6 decades, he was famous and beloved for bringing his own style to traditional Anatolian music.

As a child, Neşet traveled with his father throughout Turkey. Together they played their Bağlamas in many villages. Neşet will be buried next to his father in Kırşehir, his hometown.




Our 2012 Entry at Tech Briefs' Design the Future Contest


Introduction
In developing our company devoted to better end-of-life, death and dying, we have at times come up with ideas for gear that could preserve life. Recently, we decided to act on these inclinations to design a life-sustaining product we hope to be the first of a series of emergency response products inspired by events in the Pacific Northwest. The LIFE PACK, is our first attempt at life preservation and was inspired by Oregon’s Taki Too Disaster. The following is a brief summary of the tragedy and our concept in development.

The Taki Too Disaster
 On June 14, 2003, 11 of 17 passengers died when they were cast overboard in Tillamook, Oregon. The Taki Too was a small passenger vessel that capsized just offshore. There were plenty of life vests stored in the ships cabin. The captain offered the passengers life vests before the voyage, and instructed them in their use, but the passengers declined. When their ship capsized, the majority of passengers were unable to reach the vests in time. Please note: in this disaster, drowning didn’t cause death, it was actually hypothermia and shock of the cold Pacific Northwest ocean temperature.


The Problem(s)
  • People who can swim generally believe they are good swimmers. 
  • People usually find life jackets to be bulky, inconvenient, and uncomfortable.
  • Although recommended, the Coast Guard does not monitor the wearing of a life jacket.
  • Even with floatation gear, when a person who is not prepared falls into cold water (temperatures of 52 degrees or less) the shock of the cold alone can be fatal. Cold shock trauma can induce large gasps, hyperventilation, rapid heartbeat, and increased blood pressure.
  • Most people who die of hypothermia do so in the first few minutes from failure to breathe or to sustain their heart. Even when a passenger manages to survive the first two or three minutes in cold water, they will have to contend with the opposite effect of their heart slowing down and eventually stopping altogether.
Our Solution


(Please VOTE now at Tech Briefs website)
In emergency situations, there is little time to think if any at all and therefore any delay in response time can be lethal.

This is why Village Memorial has developed The LIFE PACK, a first of its kind dual bag floatation device incorporating an inner thermal lined compartment, which holds a heat generating super-corrosion sleeve. (This slim lightweight disposable Magnesium particle impregnated sleeve is also currently used in flameless ration heaters (FRH).) This heat-generating element creates an exothermic reaction, which allows its wearer to maintain homeostasis for several minutes even in dangerously cold water. This is intended to give emergency responders additional valuable response time in a marine rescue.

In just 12 minutes the standard FRH sleeve’s temperature can reach 60 degrees Celsius (enough heat to bring a liter of water to a boil). Heat is generated because the FRH contains magnesium metal impregnated material that when mixed with salt water, forms magnesium hydroxide, and hydrogen initiating the giving off of excess energy.
The LIFE PACK is a bag that is always with you whether or not you need a life saving device. To protect passengers from unexpected circumstances, we must design emergency gear for redundancy of purpose. It has to be fun to use and sporty in appearance, which is why we chose Emperor Penguins as our inspiration for staying warm in icy water. The most important thing we can do is develop products that people want to have with them that also function as a life saving device. Statistically, most adults put life jackets on children but not on themselves. This inspired us to design it so the wearer can hold a child hands free in water.
(Please VOTE now at Tech Briefs website)

Create the Future - Design Contest
(Sponsored by COMSOL, Nordson EFD, and Tech Briefs Media Group)
There are only two days left to vote in Tech Briefs 2012 Create the Future Design Contest. Learn more about the LIFE PACK and the contest by clicking here:

Fond Farewell - Neil Armstrong (1930-2012)

American Astronaut, Neil Armstrong, has died at age 82. He was the first person to step foot on the surface of the moon on July 20, 1969. Armstrong had a student’s pilot license before he could even drive. He served as a US Navy Officer in the Korean War. He led the Apollo 11 spaceflight as mission commander. He graduated from Purdue University with a BS in Aeronautical Engineering. He earned a Master of Science degree in engineering from USC. He also taught Aeronautical Engineering at the University of Cincinnati. He was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, a Congressional Space Medal of Honor, a Congressional Gold Medal, and a Langley Gold Medal. Neil Armstrong’s first words after landing on the moon would be come part of the American lexicon: “"That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind."

Aging for Longevity - Introspective


Health is so vital to aging well. The good news is that we have a lot of say in how we age. We can choose to make decisions that affect us positively or negatively. Many things are within our power to change. Other things simply require making good decisions to keep us healthy. It’s wonderful to know that at any age we can decide to live healthier, and it still has a positive impact on our future health.
            Looking Inward (and Outward) – My Present Health
·      My Health Habits
As I look at my own health, I know there are many habits I can change for the better. An amateur nutritionist for many years, I have held a passionate interest in the food we eat and keeping fit and healthy. I’ve been known to experiment with diet fads, like Slim Fast, the South Beach Diet and the Atkins’ Diet. (Interestingly, a Naturopathic Doctor recently told me that the Atkins’ diet is the single best diet because of the low carbohydrates and high protein regiment.)  However, even trying Atkins’ Diet alone didn’t make me feel healthier or fitter. I actually felt better when I combined elements of several diet types such as low carbohydrates, low fat, smaller portions and high fruit and vegetables. What I have learned is that there are general guidelines to eating well and the rest is somewhat variable and tailored to each individual. There is no one size fits all. A diet needs to become a lifestyle one can maintain.
            My fitness over the last 5 years has changed a great deal. Life events, major relocations, college, family deaths and life stress have definitely affected my ability and drive to exercise and eat well. In 2007 I weighed 117 lbs. I was eating well, exercising regularly, and felt great. Now in 2012 I am 25 lbs. heavier, nothing fits, I no longer feel good about myself, and I am generally uncomfortable more often than not. Hence, I am determined to t get back to an exercise plan, because I want to feel good again. People often tell me “Oh you look fine, you don’t need to lose weight” and for me it isn’t about outside opinions.  It’s about feeling good. When you eat poor and stop exercising, your digestion is also affected. I now feel sick more often than I feel well.  I’m also beginning to have migraine headaches again. Truly, the things that are good for you like, watching your weight, exercising, and eating healthy foods are not only healthier for you, but they make you feel better in so many ways. I am glad to know that what’s healthier for you also leads to better health as you progress through the life course. As you age, healthy habits go a long way.
·      Healthcare
I presently am without health insurance, and purchasing private coverage is not cheap. I have access to some health coverage. Firstly, I have two friends that are Naturopathic Doctors who have been able to prescribe medicines when I need them, provide me supplements at wholesale, consult me on various health issues and provide nutritional advice.  For allopathic medical care, there is a wonderful community clinic called, Wallace Medical Group that runs off donations. All the doctors there are volunteers that work days somewhere and donate time in the evenings at the community clinic.  They also connected me with a Rosewood Family Health clinic, which operates at a discount based on each patient’s annual income. For families eligible, they offer a maximum discount of 75% off services. As a student, this has been a lifesaver. 
·      Prescriptions
Walgreen’s offers a $20 annual membership to get discounted prescriptions.  Fred Meyer has a special list of the most frequently ordered medicines that they offer for $4 a refill. The State of Oregon offers a free prescription discount card just for signing up online through their website. The cost to the patient is merely the time it takes to fill out the card. The discounts are as much as 40% off retail. I personally have used both Walgreen’s and Fred Meyer’s pharmacies and have been very relieved with the savings.
·      Family Health History
My family history has some longevity on my mother’s side. My grandmother died 2 months ago at age 87 and my grandfather died last week at age 90. My father’s parents both died at 78.  The diseases in the family include cataracts, Alzheimer’s, type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol, colon cancer, skin cancer, cardiovascular issues and likely more I’m not aware of.
            Looking Forward – Change Ahead
            Based on my family disease history, I know I have a risk of type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol, stroke and even cancer. I know that these three are highly diet-based diseases. (Perhaps this has fueled my interest in dietary habits.) We also know that caloric restriction also helps contribute to longevity. “The only intervention proven to extend life expectancy, prevent and reduce many age-related diseases, and maintain physiological function in animals is caloric restriction”.
            Physically as I age, firstly, I don’t expect to get skin cancer like my grandfather had or have the same intensity of wrinkles as my grandmother. My grandmother smoked, and I do not. My grandfather spent excessive time in the sunshine without protection, and I do not. Early on I found that the sun caused me painful sunburns within in a very short time. In fact, my father was once hospitalized for sun poisoning. In addition to burns, exposure to the sun makes me sleepy and lethargic. I have since gotten used to covering up from the sun, with a combination of sun block or sunscreen, a hat, sunglasses, gloves and long sleeves. I have recently added a hijab (a Muslim women’s veil) to my sun protection attire, and although this grants me unwelcome attention, it is essential to preventing sun exposure to the sides of the face, ears and neck during driving. Thus, I plan to avoid the skin cancers and wrinkles that come from sun exposure because “the degree of skin degeneration is directly related to the amount of sun exposure”. Plus, we learned that physical sun protection is the safest way to enjoy the sun.
            Although bone loss in not in my family health history, bone loss is something I believe will be at risk of. I switched from drinking skim milk to soymilk for several years. Although I have recently switched back to 1% milk, during my soymilk phase, I did not entirely replace all the calcium and vitamin D I was losing.  Plus, I have had plenty of carbonated sodas since childhood and “A diet low in calcium and vitamin D and high in phosphorus (found in meat and sodas containing phosphates) is correlated with reduced bone mass”. Thus, the factors above added with the fact that I stopped exercising are sure fire risks for bone loss.
            Hearing loss is not something that was common in my family, but is something I am concerned about as I attended many rock music concerts through the years. I now know that “researchers believe hearing deficits are attributable more to an accumulation of noise damage than to actual age changes”.
What can I do? – Healthy Aging Strategies
There is so much I can do to maintain and improve my health that I feel hopeful. I have many ideas and plans and most are simple to implement.
·      Bone Loss Prevention
            Preventing bone loss will be easy with “sufficient calcium, vitamin D and regular weight-bearing physical activity” as these are “the most effective ways to maintain bone health” coupled with 1,500 mg of calcium and 800 IU of vitamin D. I am already taking a daily dose of 1,200 mg of calcium and 2,000 IU of vitamin D via supplements. I also drink at least 1 glass of 1% milk daily. I believe these habits will be easy to maintain.
·      Hearing Loss Prevention
Although I seldom attend concerts now, I’m not ruling out the possibility that I might like to see a concert or two at some point in time. I used to think wearing earplugs at concerts was silly considering you are paying to listen to the music. However, now that I know hearing loss is directly related to overexposure to noise, I won’t forego the earplugs.
·      Skin Cancer  & Cataracts Prevention
I am already utilizing everything I can to block the sun. In addition to my clothing and sunscreen combo, I also have tinted windows in my car. I have also used an umbrella to shield the sun while walking. To be honest, the hardest part of keeping up with this regiment is the comments I get from people who love the sun. Although I am still figuring out how to navigate through public scrutiny, I find it easy to mention I just came from a funeral (which being a funeral director, this can indeed be the case).
·      Cardiovascular Health, Cataracts Prevention, Diabetes Prevention, High Cholesterol Prevention, General Mobility, Back Pain Prevention, Foot Problem Prevention,  & more
I find there are a multitude of problems that can be prevented or corrected through proper lifestyle habits. For instance, “when abnormal lipids are diagnosed, the first recommendation is lifestyle changes: reducing animal fats, increasing dietary fiber, losing weight, exercising more, quitting smoking”. Treatment of high blood pressure follows the same guidelines, though it adds the reduction of salt and alcohol. Interestingly “the most significant reductions in blood pressure are with weight loss”.
Although I already try to eat mostly lower fat proteins like ground turkey and baked chicken, I could focus more on only eating low fat proteins. Also, although I already incorporate some fruits and vegetables, I should and could eat more. My main obstacle to fresh produce is purely financial at present. Also, spending time with Naturopathic Doctors has made me question what type of produce and meats to buy. There is a huge push to “buy organic” and although I can’t afford it presently, I am hoping that I will be able to incorporate more organics into my diet over time. I do not believe pesticides, chemicals or added hormones are good fuel for the body.
            The last component I believe I will need to achieve the best health is to restart exercising on a regular basis. Exercise has so many benefits that it’s inarguable how necessary it is. Although it will still be hard for me to set aside the time to exercise, I am dedicated to doing it. I already have a mini trampoline, elliptical machine and a treadmill (that needs to be fixed) at my home and I look forward to using them regularly.
            Our health is in our hands in many ways.  We must be vigilant and remember that the things we do today will affect tomorrow and all the tomorrows to come.

References
Ferrini. (2008) Health in the Later Years, Fourth Edition. (4th ed.). McGraw Hill.

Fond Farewell - Nora Ephron (1941-2012)

Famed writer and New York native, Nora Ephron has died at 71 years of age. Ms. Ephron's work has spanned a variety of media from film to blogs, from books to director and more.

One of Ms. Ephron's most well known film genre's includes romantic comedy, and two of her most well known screenplays were done for the films "Sleepless in Seattle" and "When Harry Met Sally." Her most recent film was "Julie and Julia."

One of Ms. Ephron's recent books humorously focused on women and aging issues - "I Feel Bad About My Neck: And Other Thoughts on Being a Woman" and spent many weeks on the New York Times best seller's list.

Did you know?
  • Ms. Ephron comes from a family of writiers and 2 of her sisters are screenwriters.
  • Ms. Ephron directed 8 feature films including "You've Got Mail".
  • Ms. Ephron worked as a White House intern for President John F. Kennedy.
  • Her novel "Heartburn" so closely depicted her relationship that her ex-husband threatened her with legal action.
  • Ms. Ephron was celebrated with a BAFTA Award for Best Original Screenlay on "When Harry Met Sally".
Nora Ephron Discusses Becoming a Writer

Fond Farewell – "Queen of Disco" Donna Summer (1949-2012)

LaDonna Adrian Gaines aka Donna Summer was born in Boston, Mass. in 1948. One of seven children, she launched her 1st album, “Lady of the Night” in 1974. She was catapolted into discotech stardom with Casablanca Records release of the sexually charged international smash hit, “Love to Love You Baby. Her success spirited an onslaught of creativity.
Donna Summer quickly rose to world wide fame and through the 1970s earned 5 Grammy awards,  landed No 1 Billboard Hot 100 hits plus numerous gold and platinum records for such infamous works as:
Last Dance
Hot Stuff
Bad Girls
On the Radio
MacArthur Park
 Summer also co-wrote:
Love to Love You Baby"1975,
She Works Hard For Her Money.

She appeared in the 1978 film: “Thank God It's Friday" which won the best original song Oscar for "Last Dance." She was the first singer to have three consecutive double albums reach #1 on Billboard top 100.
Summer died in Key West, Florida Thursday May 17th 2012 as a result of breast cancer while working on a new album. She is survived by her husband, three daughters and four grandchildren. Summer was 63

Fond Farewell - Vidal Sassoon (1928 - 2012)

English hairstylist Vidal Sassoon was born in London in 1928. Mr. Sassoon was the child of poor parents. He began his working with hair apprenticing under Raymond Bessone in a salon in Mayfair when he was just 14 years old. 


Vidal Sassoon revolutionized hairstyling and created an international fashion empire. Sassoon’s geometric sculptural hair designs like the Nancy Kwan bob and the five-point cut were inspired by Bauhaus architecture. He developed a sleek tight helmet like look with a cut at the nape of the neck with a pointed spike descending just in front of each ear. Sometimes dubbed “the wash-and-wear look” the geometric styled cuts liberated women from the hassle of going to bed with hair curlers and making frequent trips to the salon. 


Sassoon opened his first salon in 1954. He opened salons on Bond Street in London, Madison Avenue in New York and, Beverly Hills thereafter. Ultimately, Mr. Sassoon's would be the first hairstylist to develop a worldwide chain of hair salons with more than 20 other establishments.

Sassoon also created the well known hair products, shampoos, and conditioners famous today and was one of the first to have his company purchased by a major corporation (Proctor & Gamble).

In 1982, Sassoon founded the Vidal Sassoon International Center for the Study of Anti-semitism, (SICSA). He also authored several books, including “A Year of Beauty and Health. He also created a 1980’s TV series called “Your New Day with Vidal Sassoon”. A lesser known fact, is that Sassoon was appointed “Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in a 2009 Birthday Honours. 


Most recently, a major motion picture documentary about his life was filmed.
See Trailer below


Sassoon died in his LA home of natural causes. He was 84. He is survived by his wife, Rhonda, and three children.

Fond Farewell - Maurice Sendak, (1929 – 2012)


Maurice Bernard Sendak was born in Brooklyn New York on June 10, 1928. His first job as an illustrator was working on the “Mutt and Jeff” comic strip. Famous for his work as a designer of theatrical sets, musician, and most of all self-taught children's book author illustrator of “Where The Wild Things Are” and over a dozen other picture books.
Including:
  • Kenny’s Window - 1956,
  • The Sign on Rosie’s Door -1960
  • The Nutshell Library - 1962
  • Alligators All Around
  • Chicken Soup With Rice
  • One Was Johnny
  • Pierre, I don’t care!
  • Higglety Pigglety Pop! (aka There Must Be More to Life) – 1967
  • In the Night Kitchen - 1970
  • Outside Over There - 1981
  • Where the Wild Things Are – In 1964 was awarded the Caldecott Medal by the American Library Association and which was later developed into a major motion picture in 2009.
  • We Are All in the Dumps With Jack and Guy – 1993
  • Brundibar – 2003
  • Mommy - 2006
  • Bumble-Arty – 2011
  • My Brother’s Book – 2013
22 of his books have been named New York Times best illustrated books of the year.

Cartoonist at work:

Also illustrated works by other authors such as Hans Christian Andersen, Leo Tolstoy, Herman Melville, William Blake, Isaac Bashevis Singer, Marcel Aymé, and Ruth Krauss.

His list of awards included:
  • The Hans Christian Andersen Award for Illustration
  • The Laura Ingalls Wilder Award
  • The National Medal of the Arts, presented by President Bill Clinton
Took inspiration from his own like and the work of his life partner, Eugene Glynn, who was a psychiatrist specializing in the treatment of youth who had died in 2007. Maurice Sendak died in Danbury, Connecticut from complications of a recent stroke he had had recently. he was 83.

Fond Farewell - MCA Adam Yauch (1964 - 2012)

Brooklyn, New York City Rapper Adam Yauch has died after battling cancer for the last 3 years. His work with The Beastie Boys starting out as a hardcore punk band with albums like "Polly Wog Stew" that evolved into hip hop with a slew of hits such as "License to Ill", "Paul's Boutique," "Check Your Head" "Ill Communication, and "Hello Nasty”. Last month the Beastie Boys were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
 
But Adam was much more than a performer, he devoted time, energy, to fundraising efforts for such causes as freeing Tibet and environmental issues. He put together a series of concerts, for Tibetan Independence known as “The Tibetan Freedom Concerts” against Chinese oppression, as well as forming a successful motion pictures production company Oscilloscope Pictures.

Fond Farewell - Jonathan Frid (1924-2012)

Famed Candian born actor, Jonathan Frid has died at age 87. Best known for his work on the late 1960's Soap Opera drama series "Dark Shadows," Frid paved the way for supernatural characters to take on more diverse and serious roles in mainstream series and films.

Prior to his work on "Dark Shadows" Frid graduated from the Yale School of Drama in 1954. Frid was a serious stage actor and returned to the stage after "Dark Shadows" completed in 1971. He appeared in the films "House of Dark Shadows" and Oliver Stone's directorial debut "Seizure".

During the 1980's, Frid began performing readings at annual "Dark Shadows" fan conventions. And in 1994, Frid retired to his home country of Canada after living in New York for 40 years.

Fond Farewell - Dick Clark (1929-2012)

America's beloved TV legendary host, Dick Clark, has died at age 82. A New York native, Dick Clark began his long 67 year career on television and radio at just 16 years of age. He attended Syracuse University and began his career in radio. 

In 1956, Dick Clark became the permanent host of the popular television series "American Bandstand" which he hosted until 1989. In 1959 the show had a national audience of over 20 million viewers. The show ended its run in 1989. 

Dick Clark hosted a variety of television game shows including "The 10,000 Pyramid", which earned him 3 Emmy Awards, "The Challengers", and "Scattergories."

In 1972, Dick Clark produced and hosted his first "Dick Clark's New Years Rockin Eve broadcast in Times Square of New York City every year through 2012, with the exception of 1999 when a year 2000 special took its place and in 2004 when health issues intervened. 

A couple lesser known facts about Mr. Clark are that he held partial ownership in a chain of music-themed restaurants as well as few music themed theater-restaurants.

Dick Clark was well celebrated over his notable 67 year career. He appeared in over 15 television series, received four Emmy Awards, a Peabody Award and a Daytime Emmy Lifetime Achievement Award. He was inducted into the Hollywood Walk of Fame, National Radio hall of Fame, Broadcasting Magazine Hall of Fame, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Hall of Fame.



Fond Farewell - Harry Hind (1915-2012)

Berkeley California born inventor, Harry Hind died on April 12 at age 96. Mr. Hind was a graduate of the University of California San Francisco and he became the first person to develop a device to read the pH of chemical solutions. This device served as the model for all pH meters in use today. 

Together with a classmate, Mr. Hind's discoveries in reading pH levels led to them specializing in opthalmic eye prescriptions. Their company, Barnes-Hind Pharmaceuticals Inc. produced one of the first pharmacological treatments for tuberculosis. They were bought out by Revlon Corp in 1976.

Later, a friendship with surf industry legend Jack O'Neill, forever changed the history of the surfing. Mr. Hind's suggestion to Mr. O'Neill was to use neoprene to make wetsuits, a material still in use today.

In 1989, his experience with his wife's ineffective shingles injection pain medicine sparked another idea. By making the injection into a gel and applying it to her skin, then wrapping over it with plastic wrap, he helped had invented the first shingles patch. "Lidoderm" as the patch was called was approved by the FDA in 1999.

He will be remembered not only for his life changing inventions, but also for being a dedicated optimist.

Fond Farewell - Earl Scruggs (1924-2012)

Bluegrass Legendary Banjo Player, Earl Scruggs had died at age 88. In 1945, Earl Scruggs joined the Bill Monroe Blue Grass Boys. In 1948, when Lester Flatt left the Blue Grass Boys, he started the Foggy Mountain Boys, which later became known as Flatt and Scruggs. They disbanded in 1969 and Scruggs went on to form Earl Scruggs Revue, with several of his sons.

Earl Scruggs was one of the first inductees in the International Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame. He won 2 Grammy Awards, has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and received a Lifetime Achievement Award at the 50th Grammy Awards.

Did you know?

Scrugg's work (with Lester Flatt and singer Jerry Scoggins) was immortalized as the theme song to the TV show "The Beverly Hillbillies".

Video

Advanced Directives Discussion


Join us today at - http://tweetchat.com/room/dwdchat
March 29th, at 3pm when we guest host Death with Dignity's TweetChat for a discussion on Advanced Directives.

Discussion topics -
1. What are some of your experiences with advanced directives?

2. How do you support families conflicted when there are disagreements based upon culture, moral beliefs, or superstition?

3. How do you support families making decisions for loved ones when there is not an advanced directive in place?

4. What are the things advanced directives do right? What could they do better?

5. How will advanced directives change in the future? How will they become more approachable?

We hope to see you there.

End-of-Life Wishes: A look at Advanced Directives


Firstly, the weaknesses of all advanced directives forms are that they are paper forms that can be lost, damaged, or difficult to locate when the time comes. While tattoos are not for everyone, the story of Joy Tomkin in England, who had her DNR end-of-life wishes tattooed over her heart is intriguing. It’s a successful move as far as making her wishes known. I don’t think her wishes could be any clearer really. (See links below for photos and story.)

While the main goal of any advanced directive is to make one's end-of-life wishes known, we spent some time reviewing and weighing some of the benefits and weaknesses of the three most popular forms: POLST, 5 Wishes and an Advanced Directives form.

POLST

Benefits
• Form used statewide means that medical/emergency responders will be familiar with it.
• The bright colors of the POLST forms should make them easy to locate.
• The hotline that Oregon’s POLST answers is a secondary backup to the forms, which also helps to ensure that final wishes are honored.
Weaknesses
• As the form itself states "No form can address all the medical treatment decisions that may need to be made."
• It is meant for those who are already ill or at an advanced age. (Healthier or younger individuals are not able to make use of the form.)
• A physician is required to sign the form to validate it. (This means the physician must agree and confirm the patient’s wishes, or the patient will not be allowed to even file the POLST form.)

Advanced Directive Form

Benefits
• This form breaks down different stages of the patient’s health/illness into 5 categories: "Close to death", "Permanently Unconscious", "Advanced Progressive Illness", "Extraordinary Suffering" and "General Instruction"
• The form is clear, easy to read and follow, and seems the best choice for the patient to clearly check off his/her wishes with additional lines to add a extra instructions/information.
• Any two witnesses can sign for the patient to confirm his/her wishes (except his/her present doctor.)
• The patient can appoint a health care representative to make decisions for him/her.
Weaknesses
• This form may not be as familiar or visible t emergency responders.
• The form is not as succinct and straightforward as the POLST form.

Five Wishes Form

Benefits
• This form covers more of the patient’s needs: "medical, personal, emotional, and spiritual".
• It promotes dialogue between the patient and his/her loved ones.
• The form has a wide variety of treatments that the patient can simply cross-out if she/he disagrees with it.
• The form is aesthetically pleasing and includes convenient wallet cards.
Weaknesses
• There is too much text and the form takes up 12 full pages.
• This form would be difficult for medical personnel to follow.
• Some states require notarization in addition to 2 witnesses, making the form invalid without it.

Forms Best for Each Individual/Entity
• Best for Medical Personnel = POLST
• Best for Patient to fill out on his/her own = Advanced Directive
• Best for Assisting a Patient to fill out = 5 Wishes

Advanced Directives Discussion
Join us on March 29th, when we guest host Death with Dignity's TweetChat for a discussion on Advanced Directives. We hope to see you there.

http://www.deathwithdignity.org/TweetChats/


References (Read More):
Joy Tomkins Story - http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2034647/Joy-Tomkins-81-resuscitate-tattoo-chest-PTO-inked-back.html
POLST Forms - http://www.ohsu.edu/polst/programs/sample-forms.htm
5 Wishes - http://www.agingwithdignity.org/five-wishes.php
Advanced Directives - http://liv-will1.uslivingwillregistry.com/forms.html

Book Review: Dancing with Rose - Finding Life in the Land of Alzheimer’s

Overview
In "Dancing with Rose: Finding Life in the Land of Alzheimer's" by Lauren Kessler, Ms. Kessler takes work as a Resident Assistant in a care facility for people with Alzheimer's. Although Ms. Kessler starts out at the care facility with the intent to make posthumous peace with her mother while learning enough to publish a book on Alzheimer's, Ms. Kessler soon becomes enmeshed in the lives of her residents. She builds relationships, grieves at the loss of others, works to cater to each person's specific personality and desires, and ends up keeping the job far longer than she ever imagined.

Ms. Kessler, who began her journey with many pessimistic views on Alzheimer's given the poor relationship she had with her own mother when her mother had the disease, does an about-face. Her initial negative views on Alzheimer's change, as she begins to express the disease as a complex and unique condition requiring patience, understanding, compassion and adaptability from caregivers. She learns to work within its confines and bravely shares both her successes and failures with her readers.

The Characters
Ms. Kessler, the author of the book, is the main character and the one through whose eyes we get a glimpse at all the other characters She is an author, on a caregiving assignment in a care facility, observing and interacting with residents who experience the effects of Alzheimer’s. In addition, Ms. Kessler is a mom, holds advanced degrees, and lost her own mother to Alzheimer’s.

The other characters, as portrayed by Ms. Kessler, are fun and multidimensional. She makes it clear they are authentic people, living real lives; they just happen to live in a care facility because they need some assistance due to memory loss. Although there are quite a few characters Ms. Kessler makes reference to, for the sake of simplicity, these are the characters we found the most intriguing.

Ella
– A large and quiet woman, whose only interaction with Ms. Kessler, affects the author deeply.

Eloise – A kindly soul who loves hugs. She has a local daughter who seldom visits, and usually complains about her mom’s care when she does.

Frances “aka Calm Guam Frances” - A veteran resident assistant at the facility and Ms. Kessler’s trainer. Frances is an understanding woman, known for being calm, compassionate and keeping everything under control.

Hayes - A former engineer and tall, slender man, who is constantly cold. He is always dressed well thanks to his loving daughter and often asks, “What’s next?”

Jasmine – A hard-working, single, young mom, and trusted co-worker of Ms. Kessler, who is determined break out of her minimum-wage job to improve her life.

Marianne – An independent, “tall attractive, well-dressed woman” (p. 79) who “believes she is an administrator” at the facility (p. 85).

Rose – An unconventional woman who does exactly what she likes and treats all the other residents of the facility like one big extended family.

Alzheimer’s as Hopeful and Positive
Throughout the book, Ms. Kessler portrays Alzheimer's as a hopeful experience. Sometimes, she even poses it as a mere inconvenience. For instance, when Marianne forgets when lunch will be served, and has to ask again twice more, Ms. Kessler does not see this as problematic. She instead praises Marianne's former successes, "This is a woman who graduated from college in 1948, a woman who figured out how to be a feminist while Betty Freidan was still working it out. Does it matter really, that she forgets when lunch will be served?" (p. 91).

Even when Ms. Kessler has a negative experience with a resident, she doesn't let it frustrate her. In fact, she relies upon the many positive interactions with the other residents to outweigh the few bad experiences. At one point, when an especially challenging resident, Rose, snuck into Hayes's room and "smeared her greasy, cookie crumb hands all over" his bedding, Ms. Kessler is clearly agitated at the extra laundering that had to be done (p. 101). However, she recovers quickly by focusing on the positive relationships with other residents. "I get a hug from Eloise. I pour Marianne a fresh cup of decaf. I kid around with Jane. I find my rhythm again" (p. 102). Ms. Kessler’s positive relationships with other residents help her to maintain good composure during the more difficult times.

Patient Centered Caregiving
Ms. Kessler tailors her care and interactions to the individuals she is caring for. She explains her fascination with her patients "I enjoy their company. Their dementias and delusions, their personalities, are fascinating and distinct. Figuring out who they are and what makes them tick is intellectually and emotionally challenging. It is also deeply satisfying" (p.93).

With resident Hayes, Ms. Kessler makes the connection that as a former engineer he needs "every process broken down into small steps" because it "must be how he lived his occupational life" (p. 95). She then tailors her care of him; "I will treat him like the methodical, systematic, organized engineer he was" (p. 95). She proceeds to explain every step in her care processes to him, which she finds helps comfort him by alleviating more of his concerns.

When introducing herself to resident Marianne, Ms. Kessler foregoes her normal greeting of "patting an arm or rubbing a back" (p.84). Instead, she matches Marianne's professional demeanor and formality and shakes hands. She also stays within Marianne's reality, asking "what would be appropriate questions and respond[ing] in appropriate ways if she actually were an administrator here" (p.86). Validation therapy is the approach she finds is helpful in working with Marianne (p.87).

Residents as Individuals
Ms. Kessler encourages us to see beyond the disease; to see people changed by Alzheimer's as individuals. Ms. Kessler also sees her residents as people, with personal lives and specific interests. In reference to a neighborhood with a few swinger couples, she says, "Officially, this is neighborhood 4, but Jasmine and I and the other RAs call it, with wonder and amusement and not a hint of condescension - 'Maplewood 90210' or 'The Old and the Restless'" (p. 78). She respects that residents have a right to explore their sexuality and to be in private relationships with other residents.

New Insights into the Lives of Family Caregivers
While Ms. Kessler’s book was centered mainly on caregiving within a memory care facility, she did touch on aspects of family caregiving. Ms. Kessler’s book illustrated just how much work it is to care for persons with memory loss and how varied the needs of residents can be, from those needing help with every aspect of living to individuals needing just helpful reminders. Ms. Kessler’s book also demonstrates how families can continue to care for their loved ones even after they are being assisted in a care facility by providing them good quality clothes, visiting them often, and maintaining good relationships with the care facility staff.

An Insightful and Inspiring Read

As a good friend likes to say, "You reap what you sow" and persons with Alzheimer's are definitely one great example of that. The openness, positivism and willingness to roll with the punches, as Ms. Kessler finds and expresses in her book, can make visiting and caring for persons with dementia a wonderful experience.

Fond Farewell Dr. Peter Goodwin (1929 - 2012)

PORTLAND, OR — “Love abounds” surrounded by his family Dr. Peter Goodwin has died peacefully using Oregon’s Death with Dignity Act, a law he campaigned hard for years to enact. He called it “his greatest legacy.” Dr. Goodwin was a family physician at Oregon Health & Science University since 1985. In 2006, Dr. Goodwin was diagnosed with corticobasal ganglionic degeneration, a rare terminal brain disorder. He said, “I feel grateful, but not privileged, to be able to die with dignity. To approach death according to one’s own values and on one’s own terms is not a privilege, but an essential human right. Before his death, he reflected on his life in an interview saying."We just haven't come to terms with the fact that we're going to die, all of us, and to make concessions to that is really giving up hope," Rather, in his view, when at death's door, "the situation needs thought, it doesn't need hope. It needs planning, it doesn't need hope. Hope is too ephemeral at that time." "I don't want to go out with a whimper. I want to say goodbye to my kids and my wife with dignity." Dr. Goodwin was 83.

Fond Farewell: Jean “Moebius” Giraud, (1938 - 2012)


The world has lost another great creator. Legendary comic book artist and illustrator “Moebius” died of cancer today March 10, 2012 at age 73 in Paris. Jean Giraud was born in Paris, France. The name Moebius was the pseudonym he used since his early science fiction work. He was the visionary artist, illustrator, behind such films as Tron, The Abyss, Willow, and The Fifth Element. His work has inspired a generation of young artists who spent countless hours teaching themselves to draw by copying images of Blueberry, and images from “Arzach” and “The Airtight Garage”. Moebius was also one of the original founders of the magazine “Heavy Metal”.



Fond Farewell: Davy Jones (1945 - 2012)



Monkees Singer Davy Jones has died.
Davy Jones and the Monkees band performed from 1966 – 1971. Jones was the lead singer and teen idol who later stared in The Monkees own show and other TV hits such as The Brady Bunch
and appeared on “The Ed Sullivan Show” on the same airing as the Beatles.

Davy Jones and the Monkees were best known for songs such as “Im a Believer” “Day Dream” and Pleasant Valley Sunday” His last live performance was held on 2/19/2012 in Oklahoma.
He is survived by his wife and four daughters. Davy Jones born inManchester, U.K., on Dec, 30, 1945, dies of a heart attack at 66.

Bereavement Leave - Not Guaranteed, Not Universal

This article focuses on bereavement leave policies and legal provisions. I chose to focus on this topic, after learning from a friend and former co-worker, that the Clark Regional Wastewater District in Vancouver, WA, recently closed down their office for the memorial service of one of their employees, Chris Hodnefield. His healthy lifestyle and fitness habits were well known and his death came as a shock to all.

Bereavement Leave – Not Guaranteed, Not Universal

Firstly, in researching bereavement leave, employers are not required to pay for this type of leave by the federal government and most states. I decided to focus my research on the west coast states of Washington, Oregon and California.

Washington State - “An employer is not required to give workers paid…bereavement leave.”

Oregon State – “Bereavement leave is not covered by or required under state or federal family leave laws. Like other benefits, bereavement leave is dependent on the employer´s policy.”

California State – “Neither federal nor state laws currently provide protected leave for bereavement.”

Employer Bereavement Policies
Since the laws do not require bereavement leave, employers are left to decide whether to offer bereavement leave to their employees or not. Although the most common time period of leave employers offer is 3 days, the policies vary from 1 to 5 days. Some employers determine the leave for bereavement based on the relationship of the individual to the decedent.

A Look at 6 Oregon Employers Bereavement Leave Policies


Private Educational Institution
Lewis & Clark College
• 5 Days for the death of a Spouse, Same Sex Domestic Partner (SSDP), Child, Stepchild, Parent, or Sibling.
• 4 Days for the death of Stepparent of self/spouse/SSDP, Grandchild of self/spouse/SSDP, Grandparent of self/spouse/SSDP, Son-in-law or Daughter-in-law of self/spouse/SSDP, Child of Spouse/SSDP, Stepchild of Spouse/SSDP, Parent of Spouse/SSDP, Sibling of Spouse/SSDP
• 1 Day for the death of “Any relative not specifically mentioned in this policy.”

Global Technology Corporation

Intel
• “Intel offers leave programs to eligible employees in the event they are unable to work due to …personal situations.”

Global Multinational Retailer Corporation
Walmart
• Paid time-off including: …bereavement

Public Institution Fundraising Organization
Oregon Lottery
• 1 Day Paid – “Full-time employees may request up to 24 hours of paid bereavement leave for the death of a family member.”

Public Educational Institution
Oregon State University
• Up to 3 Days - “Classified employees are eligible for a maximum of three (3) days paid bereavement leave per instance arising from a death in the immediate family of the employee or the employee’s spouse or domestic partner.”

Multinational Snack and Beverage Manufacturing Corporation
Pepsi Co.
• No mention of bereavement leave, only a reference to “Family Leave”.

In researching bereavement leave, it was interesting how difficult it was to find out which companies offered bereavement or funeral leave for their employees. Walmart offered superior benefits with paid bereavement leave. Other companies didn’t fare so well (Intel and Pepsi Co.). Also intriguing was the overall random quantity of the leave with employees being offered 1 to 5 days paid depending on the company and the nature of the relationship of the employee to the decedent.

Pet Bereavement Leave
I was surprised to discover bereavement leave extended to include family pets by the SPCA of San Francisco. According to the Wall Street Journal, “Several U.K. and Canadian companies, including the Bank of Scotland, also offer time off…for pet bereavement.” Considering that I have seen co-workers crippled by the loss of a beloved cat or dog, clearly unable to perform their duties I hope this leave becomes more prevalent. Hopefully more workplaces will consider changing their policies in the future.

Bereavement Leave Discussion
Join us on March 8, when we guest host Death with Dignity's TweetChat for a discussion on Bereavement Leave policies and attitudes.
http://www.deathwithdignity.org/TweetChats/

Get Ready - TweetChat Discussion Questions
1) As an end-of-life professional, do you feel supported by your employer’s bereavement policies?
Please share your experiences with Bereavement Leave policies.

2) How many days do you feel employers should give employees off?
Should relationship closeness dictate time off?
How do we keep people from abusing the time off?
How do we institute polices that support grief while avoiding abuses of time off?

3) What are the cultural and sociological attitudes towards contemporary bereavement leave? What do you foresee as the future for bereavement leave?

Hope to see you on March 8th for the Death with with Dignity TweetChat.

Reference Links
Washington State Department of Labor and Industries - http://www.lni.wa.gov/WorkplaceRights/LeaveBenefits/VacaySick/

Oregon State - Technical Assistance for Employers –
http://www.oregon.gov/BOLI/TA/T_FAQ_Tabenefits.shtml

California State – Assembly Bill Analysis to Extend Bereavement Leave –
http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/pub/11-12/bill/asm/ab_0301-0350/ab_325_cfa_20110817_142207_sen_floor.html

Lewis and Clark Bereavement Leave Policy –
http://www.lclark.edu/offices/human_resources/employee_resources/policies/benefits/leaves_of_absence/bereavement_leave/

Jobs and Intel – USA – Compensation and Benefits
http://www.intel.com/jobs/usa/bencomp/benefits.htm

Walmart Stores Benefits –
http://walmartstores.com/careers/7750.aspx

Oregon Lottery – Employee Benefits -
http://www.oregonlottery.org/About/Careers/EmployeeBenefits.aspx

Oregon State University – Leave Accrual & Use of Leave Time
http://oregonstate.edu/admin/hr/orient/benefits/cp/leave#bereavement

Pepsi Co. -
http://www.pepsico.com/Careers/Why-Work-at-PepsiCo/Benefits.html

San Francisco SPCA -
http://www.sfspca.org/about-us/careers/benefits

Wall Street Journal “Westminster Dog Show: Taking “Peternity” Leaves” -
http://blogs.wsj.com/juggle/2009/02/11/westminster-dog-show-taking-peternity-leaves/

Improv - Making the Best of Dementia Behaviors

What I have learned in dealing with unusual behaviors is to just roll with them. I see it like improv, where I react to whatever’s happening with the openness to work through it cheerfully. Fortunately the behaviors my grandmother exhibits are rather mild, so it's not difficult to work through. If my grandmother doesn’t remember something, I say “that’s okay” and move on to something else. Positivity is key.

I also use other methods of communication like showing her imagery and photographs, making eye contact, smiling, patting her hand or arm, and including her whenever possible. It has made the entire difference for my own visits lasting a pleasant 4 to 5 hours, while my mother, who doesn’t utilize these methods, having less tolerable, even frustrating, shorter 30-minute visits.

While visiting my grandparents at their care facility, I noticed several behaviors of my grandmother’s that were unsettling, but possible to work though.

1) Slapping the table repeatedly
My grandmother often slaps her hand, palm flat, against the table. She does this several times in succession. My mother finds it annoying and usually tells her to stop doing that, but of course that does not help.

While I was there, visiting with my husband and mother-in-law in tow, my grandmother did this slapping the table behavior mostly during our conversations. It seemed to me at the time, and now confirmed after this week’s readings, that she must have felt left out of the conversation with the 4 of us (my husband, mother-in-law, grandfather and I) carrying on a normal conversation, and my grandmother unable to jump in, must have used this noisy action to break in to the conversation.

My method to comfort her was to make eye contact with her and smile. If I was sitting close enough to her, I would also pat her hand. This seemed to calm her behavior for a bit, but the slapping would return as soon as our conversation lingered too long without her.

2) Interjecting “Bye Bye!” while waving (in the middle of conversations)
Another behavior during others’ conversations is that my grandmother will interject loudly, “Bye bye” while waving us away. I see this also as another way to break into the conversation.

My method for this behavior is to smile, make eye contact, and let her know we were staying a while longer. My grandfather usually shakes his head in frustration, but he doesn’t correct her as much as he used to thankfully.

3) Half sentences

While I was describing the delicious pancakes my grandmother used to make from scratch, she shook her head and waved her hand interjecting “Too much! Too much!” I tried to help her answer this thought more fully by offering, “Too much food?” or “Too much work?” She said, “work”, so we settled on that.

4) Unable to Communicate Food Preferences/Needs

While eating with my grandparents at their care home, my grandmother said she wasn’t hungry, then proceeded to pull French fries, pickles and strawberries off the nearest plates. Since the whole table was family, it wasn’t a problem. Still, I wanted to make sure she got enough to eat, so I cut my sandwich in half and give it to her (she took one bite and didn’t want it). So then I offered her more of the same items she was preferentially picking (finger foods like fries, grapes, strawberries, and pickles) off husband’s plate, then my mother-in-law’s plate, and finally sending my husband to bring her a whole plate of food.

5) Difficult Phone Calls
On her last birthday in November, she relayed to me that was not her birthday that day, but that her birthday was not until next September. I knew better than to correct her; I just said “Oh okay.” However, when she then asked, “Now who are you? Mom or dad?” I have to admit, I was thrown by this question. I wasn’t sure how to respond. As much as I read up on Alzheimer's and dementia, there still so much more to learn. The disease fascinates and amuses as much as it discourages and disappoints. It continues to grant me opportunities to learn something new.

Fond Farewell: Whitney Houston (1963 - 2012)

Legendary singer, Whitney Houston has died. In a notable career that spanned 35 years, Ms. Houston performed as a singer, actress, model and producer. She earned a place in the Guinness Book of World Records for her over 400 awards including Emmy Awards, Grammy Awards, Billboard Music Awards and American Music Awards. Ms. Houston was also the first singer to land 7 consecutive Billboard Hot 100 hits.
Interview with Whitney Houston


Most Popular Song - Greatest Love of All

Q & A: Cultural Sensitivity

We received a question recently about whether or not industry professionals should be working from cultural sensitivity charts. The question was: Would it be harmful if we worked directly from the charts?

Yes, it would be harmful to simply work from the charts because every individual is unique and holds a unique set of values that may or may not be reflected in the chart. I believe it best to ask each family, culture or patient that we meet, what his or her specific needs are for caregiving. We should always ask how we could best serve them in the most dignified and respectful way possible.

One major flaw with the charts is that they do not highlight variances and differences that exist within the culture or religion. For instance, I’ve known some Mormons who will not take caffeine in any form, others that will drink caffeinated soda but not coffee or tea, some that will accept only caffeine that is already present in foods (like chocolate), and others that drink coffee. So if the chart were to generally say, ‘caffeine not okay’ for that religion, that would be only slightly accurate and would not fit all of the variations listed above.

Just last year, the cremation of Jewish singer Amy Winehouse fueled many discussions, news articles and blog posts about the changing Jewish values. On CNN, one blog post was titled “Winehouse burial raises Jewish questions about tattoos, cremation”. On E! Online, their news article asked “Did Amy Winehouse's Funeral Violate Jewish Law?” Where Orthodox Jews practice only earth burial within 24 hours in a wooden casket with no metal fixtures, some reform Jews allow cremation. Therefore, we can never rely upon one simple answer to each culture or religion.

Basically, the cultural sensitivity charts are best used as a guideline to understanding what some people within that specific culture or religion adhere to. It is by no means an absolute guide to understanding all the people that affiliate with that culture or religion.

Soul legend - Etta James dies with family by her side at 73.


Ms. James was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1993, she won 17 Blues Music Awards 6 Grammy’s and two of her songs were inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1999.

She is survived by her husband Artis Mills and two sons Donto and Sametto.