KaBOOM! $1 Million Play Everywhere Challenge

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This article is courtesy of PRWeb, please share your comments below…..

kidsunningtogetherCompetition will fund play spaces in unexpected places in cities across America. Linking Families and Communities has been selected as a finalist in the Play Everywhere Challenge.

In July, Linking Families and Communities was selected as a finalist in the Play Everywhere Challenge, a $1 million national competition that will award outside-the-box ideas to make play easy, available, and fun for kids and families in cities across the U.S. The Challenge is hosted by KaBOOM!, a national non-profit dedicated to bringing balanced and active play into the daily lives of all children, particularly those growing up in poverty in America.

Linking Families and Communities created an innovative plan to make the grassy area surrounding the bus stop at 9th Street and Central Avenue into a playscape for children and families that includes playable art, games and music. The Downtown Fort Dodge Playscape was selected as a finalist out of a pool of more than 1,000 applications nationwide. Winners will be announced in early fall, 2016.

The Challenge, developed in collaboration with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Target, Playworld, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, and the National Endowment for the Arts, attracted an outpouring of creative ideas to spark kids’ imaginations and get their bodies moving. Linking Families and Communities’ idea came from a passion for getting kids more involved in movement, music and art.

“The playscape will be beautiful and useable, with everything meant to be touched and played on, from the art to the musical instruments and the large spheres. We want children, families and adults to use it, whether it’s while they wait for the bus, at an event, like Market on Central or are just walking through the downtown area. We want people to stop and play awhile. Children need to play; it is how they learn best and we want to encourage families to play together. Strong children and strong families equal strong communities” said Elizabeth Stanek, Executive Director of Linking Families and Communities.

“We were astonished at the number and quality y of the applications we received,” said James Siegal, CEO of KaBOOM!. “To us, it shows a huge, untapped potential to reimagine cities with kids in mind, and boost their opportunity to get the play they need to thrive. And when kids thrive, cities thrive.”

Kids need play to grow up healthy, resilient and ready for life. Research shows play is vital to healthy brain development and is pivotal to how kids learn problem-solving, conflict resolution and creativity–in other words, the skills they need to succeed as adults. Yet today, too many kids, especially those growing up in poverty, are missing out on play because of families’ time pressures, the lure of screens, and a lack of safe places to go. Meanwhile, evidence shows missing out on the chance to play puts kids at risk for challenges ranging from obesity to anxiety to trouble adjusting in school.

“We’re thrilled at the possibility that Fort Dodge’s kids could win this fantastic new opportunity to learn and develop from play,” said Stanek. “If we’re selected as a winner, we hope it will be just the beginning of a larger effort to make play a way of life for kids and families in our community.”

Winners for the competition will be selected in fall 2016. To learn more about Linking Families and Communities’ ideas for making play happen everywhere, contact Elizabeth Stanek at 515-955-5437 or visit their website at http://www.linking-families.com and ThisIsFortDodge. To learn more about the Play Everywhere Challenge, including a gallery of ideas for what Play Everywhere could look like across the U.S. please visit http://kaboom.org/playeverywhere

Elder Care: The Challenge Of Managing Medications

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This article is provided by PRWeb and Elizabeth Landsverk, MD.

Elizabeth Landsverk, MD, with ElderConsult Geriatric Medicine Provides, Tips to Ensure Safety and Effectiveness.

pillsAbout half of Americans age 65 and older take five or more medications daily and many mix prescription and over-the-counter medications with vitamin, mineral, and herbal supplements. “With each additional medication or supplement, the risk of an adverse reaction increases,” says Elizabeth Landsverk, MD, founder of ElderConsult Geriatric Medicine. “Even simple foods can interact with medication and cause the body to respond in unexpected ways. Medication-related issues are complicated by how medications are taken, when they are taken, how they interact with each other, and the general health of the patient. As a result, adverse drug reactions are an all-too-common cause of hospitalization among elders.”

According to U.S. government estimates, more than 125,000 people die every year from failure to take medication properly. And almost 60% of elders make medication errors, about 26% of them with potentially serious consequences.

The most common and dangerous medication errors among the elder population are:

* Taking too much: Overdoses are the most common cause of drug fatalities. While painkillers, especially opioids, are most often abused, anti-anxiety medications and stimulants are also frequent culprits and any drug, including over-the-counter medications, can cause a life-threatening overdose.

* Taking too little (or “noncompliance”): There are many reasons people deliberately reduce their dosage or stop taking prescribed medication. Some feel better and think they no longer need it; some feel it isn’t doing any good; some are bothered by side effects; some are trying to reduce their costs by taking it less often.

* Confusing medications or administering them incorrectly: Many prescription medications have similar names, making them easy to confuse, or a facility may give the same medication under the brand name and a second dose as the generic name (i.e. Tylenol 650 twice a day and acetaminophen 650 mg twice a day given erroneously to the same patient).

* Medication interactions: With most elders taking multiple medications often prescribed by multiple physicians, the risk of dangerous interactions increases. Common complications result from side effects from one medication treated with another medication (i.e. Reglan, for nausea, leading to Parkinson’s like symptoms and treated with Parkinson’s medications).

* Patient error: Families and caregivers must be alert to elders’ ability to reliably manage their medications, particularly when even mild cognitive impairment is an issue.

Dr. Landsverk provides practical advice for patients, families and caregivers to help them reduce the risks of medication-related problems.

* Ensure that your doctor explains precisely what each medication is for, why the dosage has been chosen, and why it is important to take it as directed. Most important is that the doctor reviews the medication list and removes the medications no longer needed (i.e. decrease blood pressure medication when the systolic blood pressure has dropped to 120 from weight loss). Make sure each package is properly labeled and includes dosage instructions.

* Make a list of every medication you are taking, including over-the-counter, vitamins, minerals, and supplements, including dosage and purpose. Have it with you every time you talk to a physician or a pharmacist. Update the list when there is a change. Over the counter medications are NOT necessarily safer. No one should take the PM medications, such as TylenolPM (i.e. with Benedryl) since the Benedryl is anticholinergic and can lead to confusion, constipation, dry mouth and agitation.

seniorwoman2* Make taking medication part of the daily routine: morning meds with breakfast, bedtime meds with tooth-brushing, etc. If it’s difficult to remember, consider a reminder system like a pill sorter or an alert on an alarm clock or mobile device.

* Keep the number of providers who care for you to a minimum. More importantly, the primary care provider MUST communicate with the specialists. Make sure each doctor knows which others you see and what they have prescribed. If possible, use only one pharmacy. Consider using an online tool that can help you identify possible medication conflicts.

* Tell your doctor about prior experiences with medications.

* Ask questions! Ask your doctor or pharmacist about possible side effects, proper storage and anything else that will increase your confidence that the medication is right for you and ensure that you take it properly. Seek a second opinion if you have concerns.

“Failure to take medication properly – whether by accident or intentionally – has serious consequences for elders’ health and for their ability to maintain their independence,” says Dr. Landsverk. “If confusion or cognitive impairment makes it impossible for the patient to manage medications properly, even with a reminder system, arrangements must be made for a family member or caregiver to intervene.”

Elizabeth Landsverk, MD, is founder of ElderConsult Geriatric Medicine, a house calls practice in the San Francisco Bay Area that addresses the challenging medical and behavioral issues often facing older patients and their families. Dr. Landsverk is board-certified in internal medicine, geriatric medicine and palliative care and is an adjunct clinical professor at Stanford University Medical School.

Disabled Athletes Excel At World T.E.A.M. Sports’ Adventure Team Challenge

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newsTen teams of disabled and able-bodied athletes rafted the Colorado River, rode mountain bikes and hand cycles, and completed a ropes course at the September 12-14 Adventure Team Challenge from national non-profit World T.E.A.M. Sports.

High in the rugged Gore Range northwest of Vail, Colorado, ten teams of disabled and able-bodied athletes rafted the Colorado River, rode mountain bikes and hand cycles, and completed a ropes course in pursuit of outdoor adventure. At the September 12-14 Adventure Team Challenge from national non-profit World T.E.A.M. Sports, disabilities proved to be no more than an inconvenience to participating athletes who successfully completed the three stage event.

Each participating team of five athletes included two with disabilities, one being a wheelchair user. Since 2007, the annual team event offers an inclusive adventure for disabled and able-bodied participants. The athletes with disabilities not only experience the excitement of outdoor sports, but also are a moving inspiration to other participants and to the public, who see that the disabled can meet challenges beyond anyone’s imagination.

The Challenge returned to the remote Rancho del Rio resort this year, following two years in the high desert near Grand Junction. Although many participants for the Challenge came from Colorado, other athletes traveled from Massachusetts, Virginia, Illinois, Florida, Texas, Minnesota, California and New Brunswick, Canada. Athlete disabilities included amputees, paralysis, blindness, post traumatic stress and other injuries, with several participants being injured veterans.

At the event’s conclusion, the Boulder, Colorado-based Berserkers managed to hold off the surging Bootleggers and claimed their second victory in as many years. The Bootleggers nearly overcame a 12 minute deficit on Sunday in a remarkable effort to deny the Berserkers of their championship, but fell one minute short.

Two other teams – the Green Machines and Purple Rain – tied in their timing between the two days of competition, arriving about 25 minutes after the top two teams. The last place Mercenaries completed the competition at more than two hours behind the top teams.

This year’s Challenge began with a Friday afternoon prologue at Rancho del Rio along the south bank of the Colorado River. On Saturday, teams were transported 1,600 vertical feet above Radium for a fast-paced downhill start on bicycles and hand cycles. Beginning at 8,550 feet above sea level on a sunny ridge overlooking the shadowy canyon, teams descended nearly six miles on a rocky dirt road at blinding speeds to the river crossing at 6,870 feet.

Following the descent, teams ascended a steep incline, than began a cross-country journey along confusing tracks and trails. By early afternoon, teams were descending again to the Colorado River, where waiting rafts guided them to their next challenge, a ropes course set on the granite bluffs overlooking Radium Hot Springs. Here, the paraplegic athletes were sent across the river on a high zip line before teams returned to camp.

On Sunday, teams began on rafts, stopping for check points along the Colorado River. At the Piney River, teams headed south, reaching an old homestead and another check point. Returning to the launching ramp at State Bridge, the teams climbed onto their waiting bicycles and hand cycles for the ride back to camp.

At Rancho del Rio, teams arrived to cheers. At the finish line, friends, family and staff welcomed the athletes to a well-deserved celebratory lunch.

The 2014 Adventure Team Challenge Colorado was supported through sponsorships and partnerships from Pearl Meyer & Partners, Benson Botsford LLC, Devens Recycling Center, Front Street Re, The Independence Fund, INTEGRATED Healthcare Strategies, Oregon Adaptive Sports and Timberline Tours. Additional support was provided by James Benson and George Puskar. Van Brinson, World T.E.A.M. Sports CEO and President, announced September 14 that the Challenge will return to Rancho del Rio in September, 2015.

– Courtesy of PRWeb

Take The Challenge And Put Health First This Summer

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healthillustratedYou understand how important it is to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Often times, however, our busy schedules force us to miss that run we had planned after work and we start to fall behind. Did you know that more than 93 million Americans are affected by excess weight or the disease of obesity? Sometimes we need that extra motivation to get us back on track. That is why, the Obesity Action Coalition (OAC), a nearly 50,000 member-strong National non-profit organization dedicated to improving the lives of individuals affected by the disease of obesity through education, advocacy and support, is encouraging you to grab a friend and take part in the Your Weight Matters (SM) challenge this summer.

The Your Weight Matters (SM) Campaign encourages a dialogue between individuals and their healthcare provider about their health and weight, as well as educates individuals about the significant impact of excess weight on one’s health, such as an increased risk for type 2 diabetes, hypertension, sleep apnea, some cancers and more.

Individuals can easily take the Campaign Challenge by visiting www.YourWeightMatters.org and clicking the “Take the Challenge” button. Once individuals take the Campaign Challenge, they will receive the free Your Weight Matters (SM) Toolkit. The toolkit is designed specifically to help individuals prepare for that first weight-focused appointment with their healthcare provider. From information on nutrition and exercise to sample questions, the Campaign Toolkit is an excellent and free resource for individuals to utilize throughout their weight-loss journey.

For more information on the Obesity Action Coalition and the Your Weight Matters (SM) Campaign, please visit yourweightmatters.org.