Information - Huntington's Disease (HD)

Support
Services

Donation Button


AHDA Qld Inc

Newsletter Jul 2002

In This Issue

President's Message

Dear Friends,

As the end of the Financial Year approaches a reminder that our Annual General Meeting will be held on Tuesday the 24th September at 7.30 pm at the HD Centre, Annerley. At this time I would ask you all to think how you can contribute to the Association. This could take many forms - join our Management Committee team, become a volunteer or assist by supporting our fundraising program in whatever way you can.

Annual Membership fees for our new financial year are now due - enclosed with the Newsletter you will find a Membership Form. I encourage you to renew your membership and if you are in a position to do so, consider including a donation along with your fees. Donations of $2.00 and over are tax deductible. Each year our operating costs continue to escalate and we seek your assistance in helping us to meet some of these costs.

In the February Newsletter I advised that the Association was preparing a policy on Privacy to comply with the new Privacy Laws. This has now been completed and is included in this edition of the Newsletter.

I would like to thank you all for your support during the past 12 months and look forward to working towards enhancing the service we offer to families affected by Huntington's Disease throughout Queensland.

Gerry Doyle
President

back to top

WELFARE UPDATE

I was thrilled to be offered the position of Welfare Officer, and have been working in the position for approximately two months. A purpose of my appointment was to allow more time to be spent working with families in regional areas. And accordingly, in the short time I've been working for the AHDA (Q), I've travelled to the Gold Coast, Northern New South Wales and the North Coast on numerous occasions. A family support group meeting for those in Northern New South Wales/Southern Gold Coast regions was a highlight and I look forward to more meetings in the near future. If any family members in other regions are interested in the development of a family support group meeting, please do not hesitate to contact us. I have also spent 4 days in Townsville meeting families and I was also fortunate to meet with Committee members who provide such an excellent service to those in the region.

I'd like to thank all those families who have given me such a warm welcome. I'm thoroughly enjoying my new role, and look forward to meeting more families in the near future. If any family would like a visit from me in the near future, please feel free to call the office and I'd be happy to organise a time.

So you all know a little more about me, I'll give you a brief outline of myself. I have completed studies in the psychology field, and have previously worked with clients with a range of disabilities in their homes and in the employment sector. The primary aim of this work was the provision of support and the introduction of services for clients. I have always found such work very rewarding and was immediately attracted to a similar role with the AHDA (Q). I am also currently undertaking study to attain a Graduate Diploma in Genetic Counselling, and will consequently be fulfilling the Part Time Welfare Officer position in the near future to allow some time for study. I am also fortunate to be a Research Assistant for Dr Sandy Taylor at the University of Queensland and I'm involved in projects looking at the effects of genetic testing and their impact on people's lives.

In the near future, I'll be heading to Bribie Island with Gwen where we are taking a group of clients for a respite holiday. Also, more regional trips are being planned, so I hope to see many more of you in the near future. Kind regards,

Kellie Chenoweth,
Welfare Officer

Hello everyone

In the last Newsletter I was introduced to you all as the new part-time Welfare Officer. Since commencing in this role in early April, I have been privileged to meet some wonderful people - clients, families and health professionals - in the Brisbane area.

I accepted the position with a view to enhancing the social welfare skills gained in my degree, and looked forward to building strong working relationships. However, over the past few months I have come to realise that the hurdles facing people touched by Huntington's Disease are far greater than I had envisaged. For me, this has been emotionally challenging and I don't feel that I can utilise my professional skills when I am so emotionally effected.

I would love to be able to wave a magic wand and eradicate the Disease, but failing that I have decided to return to my work in the Community Development field.

To those of you who welcomed me into your lives - thank you, and to all of you&your tenacity is inspirational. Stay positive.

Regards,
Tracey Beckwith

back to top

REGIONAL SUPPORT GROUPS

Bundaberg Support Group -

Although we've had a quiet few months, our Support Group continues to function. The excellent fundraising effort before Christmas has enabled us to continue to support our people. With the funds available we were able to purchase a pressure relieving transcell mattress overlay, and loan it to one of our folk in care.

Several clients celebrated their birthday earlier in the year and we were able to purchase small gifts. We have also met other needs of our people in different ways.

Nancy, our volunteer Welfare worker continues her valuable work by visiting people affected by HD and their families. For those who are able to leave the home, outings include picnics, visits to the beach etc., otherwise Nancy visits people, often taking them a milkshake and jam sponge rolls. Gracie Dixon Respite Centre provides great support as well. We are very grateful to Nancy and also Ros and her staff.

Back in February, we were happy to have Gwen visit. It is always great to have her input and support of our people.

We have changed our meetings to once every three months, as the numbers who attend are very small. In the near future we will need to have more fundraising, probably a raffle for Fathers Day. Hopefully everyone will get behind us and support it.

Everyone keep up the good work. Regards,

Jenny English,
Chairperson

back to top

Townsville Support Group -

Just to reflect on the year 2001-2002 in general. The year has been an extremely busy one for the Care Management Team. The Care Support Group had a successful year in supplying a service in the Townsville area.

Fundraising: The Group has been again busy selling Art Union tickets with the Barrier Reef Lions Club and the Rotary Community Chest Car Art Union. Many thanks to all those members who gave up their valuable time to assist with fundraising activities; without your effort this could not be achieved. Thank you!

Welfare Activities and Visitation: Care Social Outings were well attended throughout the year. They included: Picnics, BBQs, Tenpin Bowling, Mini Golf and the Movies. A big thank you to Tom and Jean Paterson and helpers.

The Christmas Party was well attended. People from Barrier Reef Lions Club, invited guests, clients and families made up the numbers. Clients received Christmas gifts, all present enjoying the Christmas festivities on a very hot summer's day - maybe cooler weather this year!

The respite Camp held at Dunoon Resort, a tropical retreat on Magnetic Island just off the coast of Townsville. All clients attending the camp had an excellent holiday. Many thanks to the organiser Joyce and carers Lyn and Louise.

During the year we have received Welfare Staff visitations from Brisbane. In May this year the new Welfare Officer, Kellie Chenoweth, came to Townsville and met with many clients and families in the area during her visit. A very warm welcome to Kellie.

During the year the Support Group held their 19th Anniversary Dinner on the 12th April. The night was an outstanding success with many people from the Townsville community present. Mrs Alison Hopgood, representing the AHDA Brisbane Office, was able to attend. Alison presented certificates to the founding members of the Group for 10 years service. Alison was warmly welcomed by the Group. During the evening the President of the Mt. Stuart Lions Club presented the Group with a cheque for $500 to help towards the respite camp on Magnetic Island. Many thanks to all the Lions for their generous donation.

The Townsville Support Group is very grateful for the Community support it receives. Without this support our work would be very difficult. It is with great pleasure we thank the following:

Lion Neil De Waele
Barrier Reef Lions Club
Mt. Stuart Lions Club
Townsville Rotary Club
Dunoon Resort, Magnetic Island

Townsville Support Group Care Management Team

Tom & Jean Paterson - Welfare Organisers
Joyce Jackson - Respite Camp Organiser
Bill Klaassen - Secretary
Margaret Abraham - Assistant Treasurer
Respite Camp Support Care
Lyn Verzeletti
Louise Krewinkel

I wish the Group all the very best for the coming year! Kind regards,

Vic Wakefield,
Chairperson

back to top

     
 

A TRIBUTE TO
TANYA YVONNE ELEY

Sadly, during the month of May, we said "farewell" to Tanya. She passed away very peacefully in the Caboolture Hospital with her family by her side.

Many of you would have met or heard about Tanya. She spent a lot of time at our office as she lived alone in Annerley. When we relocated the Association headquarters from South Brisbane to Annerley, we relocated Tanya also, and she moved to a small flat just a couple of streets from us.

On many occasions we made reference to the fact that she has several "adopted" mothers; somehow I think the real story is that we adopted her.

Tanya had great determination and courage, and was genuinely admired by those who supported her efforts to maintain her independence in the community.

She was admitted to a high-level care facility only 7 weeks prior to her death, and she surprised us all by her ability to adjust to the change in lifestyle. She was only a young woman, and the acceptance of her situation was remarkable.

Tanya was a great Broncos supporter; loved Star Wars and over the years enjoyed many music passions, such as Bon Jovi, Michael Crawford, Kiss and Cliff Richards.

We all miss our very special friend, and at times our staff still feels that someone is missing, however, we know that Tanya is at peace and we must move on and cherish the privileged memories of our times together.

Gwen Pratten, Welfare Coordinator

 
     

back to top

REPORT ON THE NATIONAL HD MEETING AND SEMINAR AND WORKSHOP HELD IN FREEMANTLE, W.A.
18th - 19th April, 2002

The Seminar entitled "Collaboration; Making the Difference", was well attended and all States were represented. The Western Australian Association sponsored some local families, so good representation from family members was also evident.

Guest speakers included Dr. Jane Paulsen, who is Professor of Psychiatry and Neurology at the University of Iowa College of Medicine. Dr. Paulsen specialises in understanding difficult behaviour in HD, and her presentation clearly outlined situations and appropriate responses, enabling carers and workers to explore management and outcomes using some of Dr. Paulsen's advice.

Dr. David Crawford, who was the other guest speaker, is a Neuropsychiatrist at the University Department of Medical Genetics, at St. Mary's Hospital, Manchester. Dr. Crawford addressed current research issues, and he examined HD from a neurogical and treatment aspect.

Both speakers are well known in the world of HD, and both were very willing to share their knowledge and experience informally during meal breaks. It was beneficial to be able to brainstorm with the experts, and to be able to interact, knowing that these experts share the enthusiasm many of the attendees feel.

Many other speakers addressed the conference, covering topics such as-

current Genetic Research, Young Carers, AHDA WA Client Services Development, HD in Indigenous Australians, Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis for HD - a world-wide survey, Demonstration of a Lightwriter (a communication aid), presentations from two Speech Pathologists, a General Practitioner who had tested negative to the HD gene, and an overview of the Residential Facility for HD Clients in Western Australia.

The Conference Dinner was held at the Esplanade Hotel in Freemantle, and this was well attended by National and International representatives, plus many Western Australian family members enjoyed the evening's entertainment.

A multidisciplinary workshop was held on Friday morning the 19th April, and approximately 25 health workers from across the board attended. This was an excellent opportunity to once again meet with the two keynote guest speakers from the previous day, and to informally exchange ideas on issues such as supported residential accommodation, discrimination issues, comparison of service provision from State to State, and between the UK and the USA.

The HD National Meeting was held on the Friday afternoon, and unfortunately sufficient time was not allocated to address all the issues requiring attention. It is becoming increasingly evident that an entire day needs to be set aside for this biennial meeting. It was decided that delegates meet again in Melbourne later in the year, at a time to be agreed, to discuss in detail issues of mutual interest and benefit.

Agenda items included - role of the National Chairperson; funding procedure of IHA delegate; State Reports on previous two years activities; telemarketing- quality of products - script for staff; election of National Chairperson; plus various other issues which have been carried forward to the next meeting.

The management and selected staff from Kelgrove Holding (Telemarketing) took State delegates and their partners, plus overseas guests to dinner on the Friday evening, and this once again provided an ideal opportunity to compare and debate HD issues.

I believe a lot of discussion needs to take place at State and National level to define the role of the National body, its members, and communication between the States, to ensure greater success when much effort and funding is required to attend meetings on a National level.

I would like to thank the Queensland Association for the opportunity to attend the National Meeting and I trust that information I learned will be of benefit to the many people with whom I work.

Gwen Pratten,
Welfare Coordinator

back to top

HOME MEDICINES REVIEWS

As many of us have already discovered, medicines can have their hazards especially when several medicines are taken regularly. In order to reduce the hazards, a new service has been introduced, the Home Medicines Review. This service enables a person who may be at risk of medication-related problems to have all their medicines checked to make sure they are getting the full benefit from them and to identify any problems that need fixing. The service is carried out by a pharmacist in conjunction with your GP.

Home Medicines Reviews are intended for people whose circumstances, health and medicines mean that they are at risk of developing problems. For example, people who (but not limited to):

· are taking 5 or more medicines a day, or more than 12 doses of medicine a day
· are having difficulty managing their medicines
· may have had an adverse drug reaction
· are seeing several different doctors
· have just come out of hospital.

Organising a review

If you are living in your own home you can have a Home Medicines Review provided that your GP believes it would be worthwhile and you agree. Home Medicines Reviews began in November 2001 but it may be some time before they are available everywhere.

Anyone - you or your carer, family members, pharmacist or community nurse - can ask your GP for a Home Medicines Review. Your GP will assess your need for a Home Medicines Review after seeing you in an initial consultation. If your GP feels you would benefit from a review, he or she will give you a referral to your preferred community pharmacist, who will organise the pharmacy part of the review.


'Home Medicines Reviews are intended to help people use their medicines more effectively and prevent unwanted side effects.'

The pharmacist doing the review must have had some additional training and be accredited to do Home Medicines Reviews. The number of accredited pharmacists is increasing so if your local pharmacist is not accredited they will be able to organise one who is.

Unless you prefer otherwise, the Home Medicines Review will be done in your own home, at a time convenient to you. Having the review in your home allows the pharmacist to see how well you are managing your medicines from day to day. It also enables the pharmacist to collect and check all the medicines you are using, including:

· any medicines prescribed by your doctors
· any over-the-counter medicines, alternative medicines, supplements, vitamins, etc.

One of the purposes of a Home Medicines Review is to help you better understand your medicines and how to take them. Giving you the opportunity to discuss any questions you have about your medicines is an important part of the review. Typical questions that may be discussed include:

· dosage instructions
· possible interactions between your medicines
· possible side effects
· managing your medicines with the least disruption to your lifestyle
· differences between brand and generic names.

After the visit the pharmacist will discuss the review with your GP. The GP will then have a second consultation with you to discuss any recommended changes to your medicines.

You can obtain further information about Home Medicines Reviews from your pharmacist, GP or the PBS Information Line on 1800 020 613.

Costs

The Commonwealth Government pays the pharmacist to do the review. Your GP's service (which includes two consultations with you) may be directly billed to Medicare or you can claim the Medicare rebate, as with any other consultation.

Benefits

Trials of Home Medicines Reviews have identified many actual and potential medicine-related problems. Some people have been able to reduce the number of medicines they take without harming their health and sometimes even improving it. Many people have said that having a review made them more confident about managing their medicines.

Sarah Fogg

Acknowledgement: "Medicines Talk" Information for Consumers & Consumer Organisations, Newsletter of the PHARM Consumer Sub-Committee - January 2002.

back to top

GUIDELINES FOR MEETING THE NUTRITIONAL NEEDS OF PEOPLE WITH HUNTINGTON'S DISEASE

Karen Keast - Dietitian NSW HD Outreach

SIMPLE NOURISHING SNACKS IDEAS

AIM FOR SIX MEALS AND SNACKS EACH DAY - KEEP A READY SUPPLY OF SNACKS AVAILABLE

Snack Suggestions

Sandwiches with plenty of margarine and soft fillings
Pikelets with jam, cream and margarine
Yoghurt with soft fruit
Icecream with topping
Soft cake with cream, custard and icecream
Desserts such as cheesecake (remove the crust), mousse, custard, fruche and crème caramel
A bowl of cereal topped with cream or yoghurt
Milkshakes made with high protein milk, cream, icecream and fruit (ask for recipes)
Cream soup instead of tea and coffee
Hot chocolate or coffee made on milk
Cream dips with fingers of wholemeal bread


MAKE EVERYTHING YOU EAT COUNT
THAT IS, DON'T FILL UP ON CUPS OF TEA, COFFEE OR WATER INSTEAD OF
EATING YOUR MEALS AND SNACKS


SUGGESTIONS FOR DESSERTS

Icecream served with soft fruit or flavourings.
Custard and soft fruit (fresh, stewed or canned).
Milk jelly and fruit.
Baked custard.
Jelly made on high protein milk or evaporated milk.
Prepacked refrigerated desserts such as crème caramel, fruche, creamy rice, yoghurt, mousse, custard.
Canned creamy rice and canned puddings.
Frozen desserts such as cheesecake without crust.
Vitari, Fruitia, and frozen yoghurt.
Cakes such as banana, sponge, cream, jam rollettes and chocolate cakes with added cream, icecream or custard.
Fruit yoghurt.
Instant puddings.
Add extra egg to pancake batter cook and serve with maple syrup, butter, jam or desired topping.
Add custard, icecream and cream to desserts as desired.

back to top

SAMPLE HIGH ENERGY MEAL PLAN FOR A SOFT DIET

Breakfast

Glass of Sustagen
Large Bowl Rolled Oats with High Protein Milk, Sugar and Cream
Mashed Baked Beans and Cheese on Buttered Toast or Bread
Stewed Apple with Yoghurt
Glass of Orange Juice

Morning Tea

Mashed Banana with Custard and Cream
Glass of Sustagen or High Protein Milk

Lunch

Large Serve Lamb Casserole
Large Serve Soft Cooked Potato, Pumpkin and Beans with Margarine or Sour Cream
Baked Custard with Stewed Peaches Topped with Cream
Glass of Sustagen or High Protein Milk

Afternoon Tea

Fruit Yoghurt
Glass of Sustagen or High Protein Milk

Dinner

Cream Soup made on High Protein Milk or Cream
Wholemeal Sandwiches (no crusts) with Soft Fillings (eg shaved chicken, avocado and mayonnaise) and liberally spread with Margarine
Strawberry Mousse topped with Cream

Supper

Soft Cake with Thick Custard and Cream
Glass of Sustagen or High Protein Milk

SAMPLE HIGH ENERGY MEAL PLAN FOR A MINCED DIET

Breakfast

Orange Juice
Four Weetbix with High Protein Milk, Sugar and Cream
Soft Poached Egg with Extra Margarine
Soft Bread (no crust) and liberally spread with Margarine
Soft Stewed Cut-up apple with Yoghurt
Glass of Sustagen or High Protein Milk

Morning Tea

Soft Stewed Pears (cut up) with Custard and Cream
Glass of Sustagen or High Protein Milk

Lunch

Large Serve Shepherd's Pie
Two scoops Mashed Pumpkin and Pureed Beans with extra Margarine and Milk Powder
Baked Custard with Soft Cut-up Peaches topped with Cream
Glass of Sustagen or High Protein Milk

Afternoon Tea

Fruit Yoghurt
Glass of Sustagen or High Protein Milk

Dinner

Smooth Cream Soup made with High Protein Milk or Cream
Two Wholemeal Sandwiches (no crusts) with Soft Fillings (eg egg and mayonnaise) and liberally spread with Margarine
Strawberry Mousse topped with Cream
Glass of Sustagen or High Protein Milk

Supper

Mashed Ripe Banana and Ice-Cream
Glass of Sustagen or High Protein Milk


SAMPLE HIGH ENERGY MEAL PLAN FOR A PUREE DIET

Breakfast

Orange Juice
Large Bowl Pureed Rolled Oats with High Protein Milk, Sugar and Cream
Pureed Baked Beans and Sour Cream
Vanilla Yoghurt
Glass of Sustagen or High Protein Milk

Morning Tea

Pureed Pears with Custard and Cream
Glass of Sustagen or High Protein Milk

Lunch

Large Serve Pureed Roast Lamb with Gravy and Mint Sauce
Two scoops Mashed Potato, Pureed Pumpkin and Pureed Beans with Extra Margarine and Milk Powder
Baked Custard and Pureed Peaches topped with Cream
Glass of Sustagen or High Protein Milk

Afternoon Tea

Fruche
Glass of Sustagen or High Protein Milk

Dinner

Pureed Fish with White Sauce with extra Margarine and Milk Powder
Mashed Potato, Puree Carrots and Puree Zucchini with Extra Margarine, Milk Powder and Cream
Strawberry Mousse topped with Cream
Glass of Sustagen or High Protein Milk

Supper

Pureed Apricots with Thick Custard and Cream
Glass of Sustagen or High Protein Milk

For further information Karen can be contacted on (02) 9804 5869
Acknowledgements: "Gateway" AHDA (NSW) - September/October 2001.

back to top

MANAGING SWALLOWING DIFFICULTIES THROUGH DYSPHAGIA CUP USE

It is well documented in the literature that people with Huntington's Disease develop swallowing difficulties (dysphagia) at some stage in their condition. Dysphagic can place the individual at high risk of adverse consequences such as choking or aspiration pneumonia if it is left unchecked. It is therefore extremely important that people with HD have thorough swallowing assessments on a regular basis to allow the identification of appropriate management strategies. Two of the 'first line' strategies that speech pathologists incorporate to manage dysphagia are:

· 'postural modification'
· 'modified utensils/equipment'

Both of these strategies aim to reduce the risk of food and drink entering the person's airway during mealtimes - consequently improving comfort, and reducing the risk of adverse consequences.

At the Neurosciences Unit, we have found that there is one piece of equipment that can be extremely useful in achieving both of these goals in a socially acceptable and cost-effective manner. The item is called a 'dysphagic cup' or 'nose cut-out cup' because it has a 'C' shaped area cut out of one side. This configuration allows a person to tip the cup up (to get to the lower contents) without tipping their head back as their nose does not hit the other side in the process. It basically allows the nose to enter the cup rather than hitting against it. This consequently allows the person to adopt a 'chin tuck' / head forward posture when drinking - the safest posture for most people with swallowing impairment. The fact that the person is not tilting their head back while drinking means that their airway remains as protected as possible during the swallow, and that even if their swallow reflex is slightly delayed, they have a lesser risk of aspirating the fluid as it passes by on its way to the stomach.

In the recent past, the cost of these cups was prohibitive for many people, as the item was imported from the United States and therefore suffered the effect of the poor Australian dollar. Prices were escalating up towards the $65 mark and therefore individuals were finding it extremely difficult to afford this valuable piece of equipment. Fortunately, it has come to our attention that there is an alternative producer of the cup, and the cost of this item can fall closer to the $10.00 mark, which makes it a far more accessible option for most people. The only problem is that the supplier of the cup is in Malaga (far northern suburbs) and that the cost of the cup is greater if purchased on an individual, rather than multiple basis.

When this issue was raised with the AHDA (Inc.) WA, they immediately offered to make a bulk order of these cups, with a view to increasing their availability, and reducing their cost to the HD community. This has occurred in the past week, and I am extremely glad to say that a number of these items are available for purchase through the Association at a cost of approximately $8.00 each.

As a speech pathologist who has been working with people with HD for eight years, I believe that this arrangement will provide many people with the opportunity to acquire an essential tool to manage swallowing impairment, and will help people achieve optimal swallowing safety in a cost effective and socially acceptable manner.

Please contact the Association on 9388 3200 if you would like to purchase a nose cut-out cup.

In addition, I would be happy to answer any questions regarding the cup and its benefits, or provide a comprehensive swallowing assessment (which is recommended to identify other areas of swallowing difficulty, which may not be managed solely by the use of the cup). I am available at the Neurosciences Unit on 9347 6464, any Monday to Thursday.

Kym Elliott
Senior Speech Pathologist
Neurosciences Unit

acknowledgement: "Contact"- AHDA (Inc.) WA, Vol. 4 Issue 10, June 2001

If you would like more information on the nose cut-out cup, please contact one of the Welfare staff at the HD Office in Brisbane.

back to top

WARNING SIGNS OF DYSPHAGIA

Indicators of dysphagia -

· Drooling - saliva/food/fluid
· Abnormal/primitive oral reflexes, eg tongue thrust, bite reflex, suckling
· Pocketing of food around the mouth
· Difficulty chewing and moving food to the back of the mouth
· Spitting out food
· Nasal regurgitation - food coming out of the nose
· Fatigue whilst eating which may increase during the meal
· Coughing before, during or after swallowing
· Wet, gurgly voice or loss of voice after swallowing
· inability to swallow certain foods, fluids or medications
· Fear of swallowing
· Pain or discomfort on swallowing
· Choking
· Prolongation of meals
· Unexplained weight loss

Signs associated with dysphagia -

· Acute illness or change in clinical picture, eg drowsy, agitated
· Respiratory symptoms either acute or chronic, eg wheezing
· Poor attention span, confusion or distractability
· Ill-fitting dentures
· Poor oral hygiene, gum disease
· Poor head control/ability to hold head upright
· Difficulty feeding self
· Difficulty achieving adequate body position for eating/drinking
· Slurred or distorted speech
· Poor judgement, planning, perception

Professionals to be consulted include a speech pathologist, dietitian, doctor, physiotherapist, occupational therapist, dentist.

The term doctor may include a general practitioner and/or a medical specialist such as a neurologist, an ear nose and throat specialist, or a gastroenterologist.

back to top

MAKE UP YOUR MIND TO BE HAPPY

By Counsellor and Trainer, Ken Warren

In the 1990s researcher Ronald Inglehart published the results of a massive "happiness survey" involving 170,000 people from 16 countries. The participants were asked questions like, "How happy are you?" and "Are you satisfied with your life?"

Who do you think were the most miserable? The teens? The mid-lifers? And who do you think were the happiest? The results for each age group were almost identical! About 79-81% of people indicated they were "pretty happy" with their life, irrespective of their age. Other research has shown that happiness knows no gender - there is a less than one percent difference in happiness between the sexes. Nor does wealth produce happiness. A survey of the Forbes 100 wealthiest found that the privileged aren't much happier, overall, than average people.

So why is it that some people are happier than others? Researchers have pinpointed a number of things that people do that produce happiness. Happy people tend to savour the moment and experience the moments of joy in each day - the satisfaction of helping a friend, the smile of their child, the pleasure of reading a good book. They also tend to take control of their time, set themselves goals, and then break them down into parts they can achieve each day. Happy people tend to take steps to keep their negative emotions in check by accentuating the positive.

People with close friends and partners tend to cope better with major stresses like bereavement, illness and trauma. People who could name five close friends are sixty per cent more likely to be very happy than those who can't name any. Whilst relationship conflict is an important factor in most people's unhappiness. People tend to be happier attached than unattached. Most people in relationships are less lonely than singles and enjoy more supportive relationships.


"Most people are as happy as they make up their minds to be".


Experiments show that those people who make an effort to act happy really do tend to feel better. It seems that the facial muscles used to smile actually trigger positive feelings in the brain. Happy people are also involved in activities. When people are pursuing a passion or interest they tend to be more positive. Aerobic exercise like walking, bike riding or swimming also tends to produce increased well-being and is often prescribed as a helpful antidote to depression and anxiety. Happy people also find time to rest, sleep and have space by themselves.

People with spiritual beliefs tend to be happier and are also less likely to abuse drugs or alcohol, to divorce, or commit suicide. Of course, spiritual beliefs or the principles outlined above can't ensure you will be immune from sadness. But applied together, they can improve your sense of overall well-being and happiness.

Happiness tends to come about from a number of choices with which we are faced each day. It is an attitude we can cultivate. As Abraham Lincoln said, "Most people are as happy as they make up their minds to be."

About the Author - Ken Warren (BA M Soc Sc, CPC, AAMFC QCA) is a Certified Professional Counsellor in private practice on the Sunshine Coast (Qld). He can be contacted on (07)5443 7626 or through his email address kenwarren@powerup.com.au


A thought&.

Smiling is infectious,
you can catch if like the flu.
When someone smiled at me today,
I started smiling too.
I passed around the corner and
someone saw my grin,
when he smiled I realised
I'd passed it on to him.
I thought about that smile
then I realised its worth.
A single smile, just like mine,
could travel round the earth.
So, if you feel a smile begin,
don't leave it undetected -
Lets start an epidemic quick,
and get the world infected!

back to top

FUNDRAISING

Past Fundraising Activities -
Framed Tapestry Raffle - Drawn on the 30th April, 2002. Winning ticket No. 1121 in the name of G. Pratten (yes our Gwen Pratten). Congratulations Gwen and many thanks to Mary Stunden for donating the prize.

Aladdin's Bazaar - 26th May at Pulse, Griffith Road, Eastern Heights, Ipswich. Hedy and Pat Keogh are to be congratulated for their contribution to our fundraising program. Just over $1500.00 was raised at the Aladdin's Bazaar held recently - this is a tremendous effort by Hedy and Pat and their group of supporters. We were all thrilled with the result and it seems everyone is happy to hold the event again next year. Well done Hedy and Pat!!

Rotary Raffle - Thank you to our readers who supported the Rotary Raffle either by selling or buying tickets, and a special "thank you" to the volunteers who braved it and sold tickets at the Caravan Show. Nola, Gwen, Heather, Carol, Barbara, Sarah and Chuck deserve a pat on the back for a sterling effort. The Raffle was drawn on the 25th June, the lucky winner being with Ticket No. Also our sincere appreciation is extended to the Rotary Club of Acacia Ridge for including the Association in this fundraising activity.


Future Fundraising Activities -

Golf Day at Karana Downs Golf Club - Sunday the 25th August, 2002 - Don Gray is again organising a Golf Day on behalf of the Association. Please contact Barbara at the Office if you would like to participate or just come along and help out on the day.

 

Community Assistance

Recently we have received, and gratefully acknowledge here, major financial assistance from the following donors:

Busy Bee's Linen
Capella State High School
(students and staff)
R. Eley
I.M. Hedlefs
K. Horton
Ingham State High School
(students, staff & community)
LCA Holdings Pty. Limited
M. May
C. Mohr
R. Sivell
I. Spence
Williams Joint Venture Trust

 

HD Awareness Week is coming soon!.

We need your help!

Volunteers are needed during our Awareness Week in November for a number of different tasks.
Please contact the office if you can assist.

 

FOR YOUR DIARY

July 4 AGM Townsville Family Support Group - 7.00 pm at 59 Cambridge Street, Vincent
July 16 Management Committee Meeting - 6.00 pm at HD Centre, Annerley

August 20 Management Committee Meeting - 6.00 pm at HD Centre, Annerley
August 25 Charity Golf Day - Karana Downs Golf Club

September 5 Townsville Family Support Group Meeting - 7.00 pm at 59 Cambridge Street, Vincent
September 17 Management Committee Meeting - 6.00 pm at HD Centre, Annerley
September 24 AGM - 7.30 pm at HD Centre, Annerley

back to top


The printing of this Newsletter
was done by courtesy of
SOUTHPORT PRINTING COMPANY
19 Production Avenue, Ernest, Q. 4214
Tel.: (07)5594 9911

 

back to top


Copyright © 2001-2019 Australian Huntington's Disease Association (Qld) Inc. All rights reserved.