Danielle Owen, IIIC with the newly trained group at the IPC
Volunteer Mike Shields celebrates a birthday at the IPC.Suicide Prevention Training - QPR Irish Places, Irish Poetry
Suicide prevention training was held on Thursday there at the IPC. Eight seniors are now armed with the Question, Persuade, Refer (QPR) skills to openly discuss and help prevent suicide in our community. The training was a huge success with Danielle Owen (IIIC) enlightening the group with some great advice, tips and knowledge. Silence feeds the epidemic of suicide. Training, such as the above, helps squash the silence and reduce the stigma. Huge thanks to Danielle for sharing her time and knowledge!

Tom O’ Grady is Director of the Irish Studies Department at UMass and joined us this week at both the Cara Club and Café Eireann. Tom spoke about the pride of place associated with much Irish Poetry and how this resonates with so many Irish Immigrants. Tom used the example of W.B. Yeats and ‘The lake Isle of Innisfree’. Yeats, an immigrant himself, paints a vivid picture from his imagination and we are transported to that wonderful place – the Innisfree Lake. Many thanks to Tom for his time and sharing some wonderful Irish poets with us!

If Barbara got the Chicken pox, could you??

It surprised a lot of people to learn that veteran TV journalist Barbara Walters, 83, has chicken pox. Many wondered if maybe she really had shingles, which is caused by the same virus re-appearing in older adults. After all, just how common is it for someone in their 80s to get a disease most of us have as kids?

Experts with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) say chicken pox affects only one in 10,000 adults and for someone to get the disease in their 80s is particularly uncommon.

It could be that Walters got chicken pox by being exposed to someone with shingles. If you never had chicken pox, you can catch the virus by being exposed to someone with an active case of shingles.

If you’re worried about catching either disease, here are some tips from experts:
* If you’re unsure if you ever had chicken pox, talk to your doctor about being tested. Your doctor can perform a simple blood test to see if you have antibodies against chicken pox.
* If you never had chicken pox, ask your doctor about getting a chicken pox vaccine. The chicken pox vaccine isn’t perfect, but studies show that 70 to 90 percent of adults who get the vaccine will be fully protected against the disease. People who develop chicken pox despite receiving the vaccination will typically experience milder symptoms.
* Avoid people with shingles if you never had chicken pox or are unsure. Both diseases are caused by the same virus, so people who’ve never had chicken pox can catch it from someone who has an active shingles rash.
* Get a shingles vaccine. It’s recommended for all adults age 60 and older. It won’t necessarily protect you against chicken pox, but it will protect you against shingles, which can be extremely painful and damaging in older adults.

See aarp.com for full article.

Please feel free to call Eileen at 617 265 5300 x 13 for more information on IPC Senior Citizen Outreach Program activities and services.