Saturday, January 26, 2013

Wheelchair Curling

(SSTattler: 1) Wheelchair Curling it is available for stroke survivors - see Paralympic rules according disability.      
                    2) There are teams are in Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary, ..., Ottawa, Toronto, Halifax etc).

Wheelchair Curling From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Wheelchair curling is an adaptation of curling for athletes with a disability affecting their lower limbs or gait. Wheelchair curling is governed by the World Curling Federation, and is one of the sports in the Winter Paralympic Games.

Wheelchair curling is played with the same rocks and on the same ice as regular curling, though the rocks are thrown from a stationary wheelchair and there is no sweeping. Rocks may be thrown by hand while leaning over the side of the wheelchair, or pushed by a delivery stick. This is a pole with a bracket that fits over the rock handle, allowing the rock to be pushed while applying correct rotation.

Stones delivered between the house and the near hogline must be placed within 18 inches either side of the centre line and must be released prior to reaching the near hogline.

Wheelchair Curling at the 2006 Winter Paralympics

National and international competitions are played under rules devised by the World Curling Federation. These rules mandate that teams be of mixed gender, and that games be eight ends in duration. Time limits of 68 minutes for each team with one 60 second time out will be enforced by time clocks. Eligibility is limited to people with disabilities such that a wheelchair is used for daily mobility – more specifically, those who are non-ambulant or can walk only very short distances. [Rule 2(g)]

At their April 2010 semi-annual meeting, the World Curling Federation lifted their ban on the use of power chairs at WCF sanctioned events.

Wheelchair curling can be played by people with a wide range of disabilities. All that is needed is the co-ordination to exert a measured pushing force, and a tolerance for cold. It is not an aerobic activity. Without the need for sweepers, wheelchair curling is well suited to two-person formats such as stick-curling.

Wheelchair curling began in Europe in the late 1990s and in North America in 2002. The first World Wheelchair Curling Championships was held in Sursee, Switzerland in 2002, and was won by the host nation who beat Canada 7 - 6 in the final. It started as a Paralympic sport at the 2006 Winter Paralympics in Torino. Canada, skipped by Chris Daw, won the gold medal, beating Great Britain, skipped by Frank Duffy, 7-4 in the final.

The 2009 World Championship was held in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada in the same venue used for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games. Team Canada, skipped by 6-time Brier competitor Jim Armstrong, finished the round robin in 4th place but defeated USA 9-2 in the Page playoff, Germany 10-4 in the semi-final and Sweden 9-2 in the final to win their first ever Worlds gold medal.

Canada repeated as Paralympic Champions in Vancouver 2010 when the all-British Columbia team of Sonja Gaudet, Ina Forrest, Darryl Neighbour and skip Jim Armstrong, after taking an early 8-1ead, defeated Korea 8-7 for the gold medal. Sweden, who had their 3rd Glenn Ikonen disqualified for failing a drug test, beat USA 7-5 to win bronze.

World Wheelchair Curling Championship

2002:  Switzerland (Urs Bucher)
2004:  Scotland (Frank Duffy)
2005:  Scotland (Frank Duffy)
2007:  Norway (Rune Lorentsen)
2008:  Norway (Rune Lorentsen)
2009:  Canada (Jim Armstrong)
2011:  Canada (Jim Armstrong)
2012:  Russia (Andrey Smirnov)

Canadian Wheelchair Curling Championship
March 24 - 31, 2013
Ottawa, Ontario
RA Centre

Wheelchair Curling With the Experts

Wheelchair curling is growing in popularity as it becomes more widely known as a social game. A few exceptional players have taken the level of competition to the highest ranks — the Paralympic Winter Games. In this podcast, wheelchair curlers show us why they love this sport.

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Discover Wheelchair Curling - How To Do It.

Chris Daw and Ernie Comerford introduce us to Wheelchair curling.

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International Wheelchair Curling Open

Ten teams came from two continents including the reigning World & Paralympic Champions to compete in Hamilton South Lanarkshire for the inaugural Lanarkshire Wheelchair Curling Open International. Hosted by the South Lanarkshire Wheelchair curling club, the event featured teams from Canada, Germany, Sweden, Czech Republic and Scotland.

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Paralympic Wheelchair Curling 

         - Canada vs. Korea. Canada won gold!

Thanks Jim Armstrong and team.

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Paralympic Curling Vancouver 2010 

             - USA v Swiss & Korea v Germany

Paralympic Curling Vancouver 2010 USA v Swiss & Korea v Germany on Thursday March 18th 2010 at the Olympic Centre in Vancouver British Columbia Canada.

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World Wheelchair Curling Championship Ship 2011

         - Final Can-Sco 1-3 End

FIFA World Wheelchair Curling. At Prague.

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Wheelchair Curling - Part 1

Paralympic Games 2010 Vancouver March 17 - Robin Session 9 Great Britan vs. Sweden

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Wheelchair Curling - Part 2

Paralympic Games 2010 Vancouver March 17 - Robin Session 9 Great Britan vs. Sweden

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Wheelchair Curling Germany - Russian. At Prague.

World Wheelchair Curling Qualifications in Praque 2008. Germany vs Russia, roundrobin 1 st vs 2 nd, 1 st half. Winner to the World Championships 2009.

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Saturdays Comics

For Better and For Worse
Lynn Johnston - 2007-10-05

"I wished he was just like he used to be!"
Scott Adams - 2013-01-25

"I assigned three engineers to ..."

Jim Davis - 2013-01-25

"She put a curse on me!"

Delainey & Rasmussen - 2013-01-24

"A jigsaw puzzle is like a marriage ..."   

For Better and For Worse" is a serious topic of stroke but with a very nice cartoons. It is all about Grandpa Jim had a stroke and 88 further cartoon "strips" that happened to Grandpa Jim. (See as well  the author Lynn Johnston).
More Comments:

Eclectic Stuff & Articles

Definition:Eclectic(noun) a person who derives ideas, style, or taste from a broad and diverse range of sources.

Vinyl Cafe - Dave Visit Marty in Rehab Hospital

Join host Stuart McLean and special musical guest Hannah Georgas from Smiths Falls, Ontario.

00:00 - History of the Rideau Canal
10:00 - Hannah Georgas from Smiths Falls
15:00 - Story Exchange - Hunting Worms
26:45 - Dave visit Marty in the Rehab Hospital after his stroke
Synopsis: "Dave goes to the hospital to visit a friend and, in an effort to raise his friend’s spirits, he puts on one of the hospital gowns and hides his clothing on a cart of supplies. When he goes to retrieve his clothes, a few hours later, the cart and his clothing are missing.  And Dave, who is wandering around the hospital is mistaken for a missing patient."

The stories and misadventures of Dave, the owner of the "Vinyl Cafe", the world's smallest record store, where the motto is "We may not be big, but we're small."

Dean - Physio for the Home from Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft

Deans' Stroke Musing
Physio for the Home from Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft. - Ask your doctor  when you will be able to use this. 
-- Deans' Stroke Musing

Accidents or operations are often followed by long periods of rehabilitation treatment. In future, a new technology will allow patients to do physiotherapy exercises at home, while still making sure  that they are performing movements correctly.

Though the skier glides skillfully across the snow-covered landscape, still he stumbles on an icy section of the piste and loses his balance, ending his well-earned winter break in a hospital bed. After the operation, physiotherapy is supposed to help restore mobility. This demands considerable patience and perseverance on the part of the patient. Many people with these sorts of injuries would find it easier to do the exercises at home rather than hanging around the rehabilitation clinic for weeks on end. It’s also important that patients continue to exercise at home following a lengthy stay in hospital.

Thanks to a new technology developed at Fraunhofer FOKUS, 
patients will be able to do their physiotherapy exercises in their own homes.
© Fraunhofer FOKUS/Matthias Heyde
A new technology has been designed to give future patients added motivation to do their exercises, allowing them to perform physiotherapy exercises at home or when out and about – during breaks at work, for instance. Experts call this telerehabilitation. Underpinning this is a technology developed by researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Open Communication Systems FOKUS in Berlin, consisting of an exercise editor, a physio box and a mobile sensor unit that connects to a smartphone. The therapist uses the exercise editor to work up a training program tailored to the individual patient, increasing the intensity from week to week. The patient can then run the program at home using the physio box, a sort of mini-PC for televisions. The small computer boasts internet connectivity, a camera and a microphone. Exercise routines are displayed on the TV screen for the patient to copy. The physio box analyzes the data recorded by the camera as the patient does the exercises. Beforehand, software is used to map each patient’s bodily characteristics in 3D and translate them into a biomechanical computer model. Once the data has been interpreted, the box sends it via the internet to the rehabilitation center, where the therapist sees how the patient is progressing and can adapt the exercises accordingly.

Mobile Unit to Measure Movement and Vital Signs

Alongside measurements of movements, therapists need to know their patients’ vital signs – in other words pulse, oxygen saturation levels and, in some cases, readings from an electrocardiogram. This allows them not only to assess whether the patient is performing exercises correctly but also how much of a strain they are. This is particularly important when dealing with people who have a cardiovascular disease.  “In light of this, we also developed a mobile unit,” says Dr. Michael John, project manager at FOKUS. “Sensors placed in a chest strap, watch or walking stick measure vital signs like pulse, blood pressure or the quality of the patient’s movement, sending the data to a smartphone.” The therapist can set threshold values using the exercise editor; for example, if a patient’s pulse reaches a level that exceeds the limit set for them, a warning signal is emitted.

On the one hand, the mobile unit serves to complement the physio box, but it is also supposed to help patients in future to do their exercises while on the move – out walking or during office breaks, perhaps. “We’re working on how to get the mobile unit to analyze the patient’s quality of movement as well. To do this, we’re using motion tracking sensors that analyze limb movements in relation to each other and in terms of absolute position,” explains John. The researchers are also currently working on a transmission standard for movement measurement data, as well as on how to standardize these values so that they can be read by a variety of devices. There is already a standard, ISO 11073, for data relating to the vital signs. This specifies how to transmit data between devices, thus ensuring that data can be transferred between sensors, smartphones and medical devices from a variety of manufacturers without any problems. “We’re in the process of developing a similar standard for movement measurement data, in collaboration with doctors and therapists,” says John.

One of the researchers’ priorities when developing each aspect of the new technology was to take into account the needs of patients and physiotherapists as much as possible. As a result, all three components – the exercise editor, the physio box and the mobile unit – were given to patients and therapists for testing in the course of numerous preliminary studies, and modified accordingly. A field test involving a larger group of patients is now due to follow in February 2013, and the system could then be ready for use beginning in summer 2013.

See the full article Physio for the Home
                               in Dean's Stroke Musing

Monty - Excessively Mischievous Boys

Monty - SSTattler
Two little boys, ages 8 and 10, are excessively mischievous.

They are always getting into trouble and their parents know if any mischief occurs in their town, the two boys are probably involved.

The boys' mother heard that a preacher in town had been successful in disciplining children, so she asked if he would speak with her boys. The preacher agreed, but he asked to see them individually.

The mother sent the 8 year old in the morning, with the older boy to see the preacher in the afternoon. The preacher, a huge man with a deep booming voice, sat the younger boy down and asked him sternly,
"Do you know where God is, son?" 
The boy's mouth dropped open, but he made no response, sitting there wide-eyed with his mouth hanging open. So the preacher repeated the question in an even sterner tone,

         "Where is God?! 
Again, the boy made no attempt to answer. The preacher raised his voice even more and shook his finger in the boy's face and bellowed,
        "WHERE IS GOD?!" 
The boy screamed & bolted from the room, ran directly home & dove into his closet, slamming the door behind him. When his older brother found him in the closet, he asked,

"What happened?" 
The younger brother, gasping for breath, replied,
"We are in BIG trouble this time! GOD is missing, and they think WE did it!"

Jo - Sunday Stroke Survival ~ The Schedule

The Murphey Saga
I have received numerous e-mails regarding, in essence, time management.The basic question do you do it all?

The simple answer is... I am woman! I'm a wife, mother with an empty nest, writer, advertising specialist if even for my own books, care giver for my terminally ill husband, a stroke survivor doing therapy, a minister while not participating, and a multitasker now impaired.

The stroke I had in May 2012 impaired my mobility on my right side, impaired my cognitive skills, and severely limited everything I once did as a master juggler. I don't call myself the master juggler any more even though it might seem that way. I'm driven, ambitious, and stubborn. That's about the gist of it. I refuse to lay down and die unless I'm not breathing. I refuse to accept I can't.

I have spent weeks and months of the past eight months sitting on the pity pot. Honestly, the sense of mourning what I've lost is part of the healing process. You don't mourn someone unless you loved them. You don't mourn the loss of skills if you didn't possess them and used them. The same is true for me and everyone else on the planet. It's to be expected. While I may spend some more time on the mourning process in days, weeks, and months to come, I've reached the point of being proactive.

Let me break down my day for you and how I manage. I set up early morning routine things like the medicines, clothing, etc the night before within easy reach for first thing in the morning.

5AM- Yep, I do get up at this hour of the morning. I roll over to my night stand and grab the vial of morphine and a syringe, and place them on my right side of my pillow. Grab an alcohol swab and wipe down the bottle. Draw up the pain killer and inject my hubby's rump. I won't have to do this for another 4-6 hours so my time is my own relatively. Do my morning prayers.

5:30- I'll put on my AFO, pants and shoes and toddle off to see to my personal needs- bathing, brushing hair and teeth, and urinating etc.

6:15- I shaved 15 minutes off my morning ablation since I've been home from the hospital. Yeah me! I'll go into the bedroom and check my husband's vital signs. He's so used to this routine he rarely wakes up.

6:30- I'll walk without cane, my balance is so good at this point where I rarely use my cane indoors, to the kitchen grab the milk and a cup of hot tea, and carry them into my office. My hubby pours off covered bowls of cereal and keeps five bowls stacked into the office for me. I'll lay out my morning medicines, all ten of them, and fix my breakfast.

6:45- I'll eat my breakfast and check my e-mails in three accounts. I'll delete all the trash and spams first.

7:30- I'll carry my dirty dish to the bathroom and wash them. I'll check my hubby's vitals again while he's still snoozing.

8:00- I'll load pogo and play the daily challenges. Then I'll make a small pot of tea because I won't be getting up again for at least 20 minutes. I'll hit Bingo Luau first because I've made some cyber-friends there, and then play various games that I keep under favorites for easier access. While I'm playing I'm using my e-stim unit on my ankle and wrist. All in all, I spend about an hour doing this. It allows my muscle relaxers and Lasix to work. I'll also place a heating pad on my shoulder to loosen it up for twenty minutes.

9:00- Check on hubby and give more morphine if needed. Begin my PT and OT exercises. If I'm scheduled for hospital based therapy I might not do this, but I will walk into my game room and ride my air-cycle for a minimum of twenty minutes.

Around 10:00- It depends if I have hospital based therapy. I'll make my husband's coffee, I can't stand the stuff. Make him some muffins in my cake pop maker, and wake him up. I'll power up his computer so all he needs to do is pour himself a cup, and sit down in his office chair.He'll do his nebulizer treatment, inhalers, and other medicines from his pill box I set up weekly. If I'm at therapy the time backs up for an hour or two.

10:30-Bathe, shave and help hubby dress. Get him situated back in the office. Neat trick one-handed.

Noon- Lunch time. Either we go out to lunch, have lunch with the girls, or I make a salad, canned soup, or a sandwich. I'll take one of my muscle relaxers, I'm supposed to take four times a day. I'll clean up and start to write.

2:00- time for another PT/OT routine.

3:00- Nap time in braces. ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ

4:00- Will play three games of Poppit on pogo to wake my mind up.

4:15- Will write or research. May surf Books and Writer's Forum, and check e-mail.

4:30- Prepare dinner. On the menu tonight is herb roasted chicken breast, baked sweet potatoes, mustard greens seasoned with smoke turkey wings, and fresh baked apple turnovers. Aren't you jealous? But the beauty of this menu is that it's so simple. I can hear you now, apple turnovers are simple? Yep, when made with stewed apples, crescent rolls, and my handy dandy cake pop maker. The apples are easy enough to cut up with a fork. I can cut the crescent dough into circles for the crust. Dust them with blended Splenda and rice flour while they are hot. Yummy! I will say 1 chicken breast will feed both of us.

By 6:15 meal is finished, dishes done, medications are taken/administered etc and time for me to relax. I'll watch a movie via Netflix or some television time.

8:00- Will write some more, or look over some else's writing, read blogs, pre-write my blogs for the coming week, or check e-mails. I'll do another round of PT/OT exercises and e-stim and brace time.

10:00- My final medicines and husband's morphine. He'll stay up for a little while longer or doze in front of his computer. I'll monitor his vitals.

10:30- Arrange things for early morning, say my evening prayers, and go to bed.

2:00 sometimes,  I'll remedicate my hubby and get him into bed...mainly just involves waking him up enough to pile into bed with me.

Any schedule has to have wiggle room. Mine is no exception.
  • Now if there are doctor appointments and shopping that needs to be done, I'll forgo my afternoon nap. This tends to make me cranky and feeling exhausted. 
  • If my grandchildren are at the house all schedules are skewed a bit besides medicines.
  • My writing time may be longer or shorter, or no existent depending on what's going on.
  • Emergencies like the power going off and my hubby stopping breathing changes everything.
I find scheduling out routine activities helps to keep me on track. With my forgetful nature since the stroke, having a schedule helps break up the day and keeps me on task. I never believed in them before, but now I'm sold.

Each day I try to accomplish sometime new and break up the routine of my exercises and stretches. I'll hoop and holler when I get even an inch more than the previous day. I'll drive around the neighborhood to gain confidence. I do the Snoopy dance of happiness even if it is one sided or mentally.

Of all the things I've lost, I miss my brain the most. For me, playing games on pogo is therapy for my cognitive functions. I'll list them including why I play particular games.
  • Bingo Luau for number recognition
  • Scrabble or QWERTY for spelling
  • Hangman Hijinks for spelling within a narrower field
  • Tri Peaks Solitaire for sequencing
  • Bejeweled 3 for combination
  • Mahjong Safari for matching/memory
  • Poppit for analytical thinking and strategy
It mainly may be fun and games for most people, but for me it's helping to regain my brain power. My husband and I agreed to subscribe to pogo each year as part of our anniversary present to each other. Since my stroke, it's been worth it.

Keep writing and loving the Lord.

Jackie - You think English is Easy?

Jackie - SSTattler
Perhaps a retired English teacher was bored when she wrote this. It took a lot of thought to put together!
  1. The bandage was wound around the wound.
  2. The farm was used to produce produce.  
  3. The dump was so full that it had to refuse more refuse.
  4. We must polish the Polish furniture..
  5. He could lead if he would get the lead out.
  6. The soldier decided to desert his dessert in the desert..
  7. Since there is no time like the present, he thought it was time to present the present.
  8. A bass was painted on the head of the bass drum.
  9. When shot at, the dove dove into the bushes.
  10. I did not object to the object.
  11. The insurance was invalid for the invalid.
  12. There was a row among the oarsmen about how to row.
  13. They were too close to the door to close it.
  14. The buck does funny things when the does are present.
  15. A seamstress and a sewer fell down into a sewer line.
  16. To help with planting, the farmer taught his sow to sow.
  17. The wind was too strong to wind the sail.
  18. Upon seeing the tear in the painting I shed a tear..
  19. I had to subject the subject to a series of tests.
  20. How can I intimate this to my most intimate friend?
Let's face it - English is a crazy language. There is no egg in eggplant, nor ham in hamburger; neither apple nor pine in pineapple. English muffins weren't invented in England or French fries in France . Sweetmeats are candies while sweetbreads, which aren't sweet, are meat. We take English for granted. But if we explore its paradoxes, we find that quicksand can work slowly, boxing rings are square and a guinea pig is neither from Guinea nor is it a pig...

And why is it that writers write but fingers don't fing, grocers don't groce and hammers don't ham? If the plural of tooth is teeth, why isn't the plural of booth, beeth? One goose, 2 geese. So one moose, 2 meese? One index, 2 indices? Doesn't it seem crazy that you can make amends but not one amend? If you have a bunch of odds and ends and get rid of all but one of them, what do you call it?

If teachers taught, why didn't preachers praught? If a vegetarian eats vegetables, what does a humanitarian eat? Sometimes I think all the English speakers should be committed to an asylum for the verbally insane. In what language do people recite at a play and play at a recital? Ship by truck and send cargo by ship? Have noses that run and feet that smell?

How can a slim chance and a fat chance be the same, while a wise man and a wise guy are opposites? You have to marvel at the unique lunacy of a language in which your house can burn up as it burns down, in which you fill in a form by filling it out and in which, an alarm goes off by going on.

English was invented by people, not computers, and it reflects the creativity of the human race, which, of course, is not a race at all. That is why, when the stars are out, they are visible, but when the lights are out, they are invisible.

P.S. - Why doesn't 'Buick' rhyme with 'quick' ?

Julie - January Is International Quality of Life Month

Having a good quality of life after a stroke is an important healthcare outcome. Coping effectively with stroke-related impairments plays an integral role in the overall recovery process.

Stroke is a leading cause of long-term disability in the U.S. and many stroke survivors struggle with moderate to severe disability. Nearly 60 percent of stroke survivors experience spasticity, which significantly affects their quality of life. Spasticity is a condition in which muscles become tight and stiff, which makes movement, especially of the arms or legs, difficult or uncontrollable.

Treatment and Care Options for Spasticity - Rehabilitation and Stretching

Rehabilitation, such as physical or occupational therapy, is important in the recovery process. Also, recommended exercises addressing range-of-motion issues and tight muscles will reduce dependence on others.

Oral Medications

Some medications act directly on affected muscles while others act on the central nervous system to decrease spasticity.


Nerve block injections block the chemicals that make muscles tight. They target only the specific limbs or muscle groups that are affected by spasticity.


Age, prior overall health and current condition are major factors in deciding whether to have surgery.

Intrathecal Baclofen PumpSM (ITB Therapy)

ITB therapy has been shown to benefit people who have severe spasticity from stroke. It is a programmable pump and catheter surgically implanted in the body and delivers medication to the fluid around the spinal cord.

There is no “one” solution for everyone. Arm yourself with information about all available treatments and discuss your options with your healthcare team, including medical staff, family members and caregivers.

Meet Our Ambassador, Julie is speaking out about improving quality of life after a stroke.

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Mark - Modeling & More Questions...

Mark - The Teaching of Talking 


For anyone to be successfully with the stimulation of speech and language you must remember that speech therapy is all about modeling.  A person with a speaking difficulty must hear a model of speaking again, and again and in a way that is enjoyable, safe and non-critical or threatening.

Children who have models usually learn speech readily.  Those children who come from "silent" homes frequently are delayed in the ability to use language.

Caregivers need to realize that for an adult with aphasia or brain injury, the speech model may have to be very similar to the one given to toddlers, where there are very small words repeated frequently throughout each day.

People with aphasia and brain injury may relearn speaking by hearing speech that is presented very slowly and simply at first very much like the mother with an infant.

There is no substitute for a good speech model that the person with a speaking difficulty can see and hear.  Speaking is best modeled from a human being who is warm and interactive, and who should be seen by the listener who can watch facial mannerisms, lip and tongue movements, and then successfully imitate them.

In todays world of high tech gadgetry and smart phones with built in speech generating software, the traditional ways of learning to speak are being replaced with computers and digitally synthesized speech.  I believe there is a method of communication for everyone; for some who are unable to speak, alternative gestural or electronic methods may be the treatment of choice.  Being an oralist, I prefer natural speech whenever possible.

More Questions Posed By A Friend Of Teaching Of Talking

Dear Mark,

My mother lives at home with a caregiver who is foreign born and has a very pronounced accent.  I am hesitant to ask her to learn the methods of Teaching of Talking.  What should I do?

Nan, New York

Dear Nan,

What a great question you ask, and I am sure there are many people who have the same question when it pertains to caregivers providing speech and language stimulation. Many foreign born speakers are interested in improving their language, and learning The Teaching of Talking method would be a win/win situation for all concerned.

Since The Teaching of Talking method often starts out with very simple language it would not be difficult for a caregiver to model one, two, or three word questions or statements at first, and then, in time model longer phrases and sentences. The Teaching of Talking method also emphasizes slow-modeled speech where the words are given to the person with the speaking difficulty very slowly, often with a notable pause between each spoken word.  I have not had the opportunity to listen to a sample of your mother's caregiver, however in many cases,  a caregiver can learn to model questions and statements in a very slow manner.  Slow speaking by a speech model (caregiver)  is often very helpful when helping someone with a speaking difficulty talk again. Slowly speaking may also diminish difficulty understanding the speech of a foreign born speaker.  In fact, slowing down the speech rate of a foreign speaking model often makes speech easier to understand and imitate.  I believe you mothers' caregiver could be of great benefit to your mother.

I hope this helps!


Dear Mark, 

If we saw signs of decreased cognitive function in my mother even before she had the stroke, do you think there is still much reason to believe that your methods will be able to benefit her?  We wonder if she might have some form of dementia in addition to the aphasia from the stroke.  I would just like to have fairly realistic expectations if we go forward and use a totally new strategy in helping her speech.

Nan, New York

Dear Nan:

Aphasia is often accompanied by some varying degrees of dementia especially in older people.  Dementia also seems to worsen when there is lack of stimulation, both in speaking and cognitive tasking.  That is why it is vital for anyone who has suffered from aphasia to be stimulated with language, problem solving, sequencing, and activities of daily living.  The tendency is to circumvent or to allow disuse of a weakened area of the brain and its subsequent function.  That leads to further wasting of muscle or matter, whether in mind or body which then leads to worsening function.  Nan you could read in our next newsletter about neuro-plasticity and Constraint Induced Speech Therapy which are some of the foundational principles of our new book: The Teaching of Talking.  Simply put, brain function improves with stimulation and to address the speaking difficulty as soon as possible with the stimulation of speech and language as long as the person can imitate simple vowels, consonants and simple words.


Diane - Bob Turns 54

Diane - The Pink House OTC
Yesterday was Bob's 54th birthday. That morning, I asked him how old he was. He told me that he was "two."

I told him that he looked a bit older than two years old. He thought about it, then said, "oh yeah, twelve!"

All righty.

I wanted to do something special for him so I asked him if he'd like to go to the Starbucks down the street. I wasn't sure if he would, because he hasn't eaten/drinken anything since his last swallow video. I'm not sure if this is psychological (a giving up on swallow practice) or if he just plain doesn't have an appetite, but I don't push him. No need to risk aspiration if he's not into it.... So I was quite pleased when he said, "very nice" and "I like that." Then, he even requested "vanilla" for a coffee flavor.

But I tell you, the best thing that happened yesterday was not Starbucks, but this:

Bob & Zenith
I will tell you why this is so special.

Bob had always wanted a Siamese cat but I have always been a rescuer of strays and told him that I did not want to buy a purebred cat when so many shelter cats needed homes. So we were both delighted when we found Zenith (a 10 week old Snowshoe Siamese) at the SPCA shelter. Bob and Zenith became fast friends. Early on, Bob taught Zenith to perch on his shoulder. Every night, when Bob came home from work, Zenith was at the door waiting for him. Then she would immediately launch herself onto his shoulder, (no small feat for a kitten since Bob is 6'3") and curl around his neck. He would take her for "a ride".  All the while, Bob would chat away to Zenith, often singing her songs. It was a nightly ritual.  I tell you, people used to stop and stare at this tall blonde guy singing to a Siamese cat curled around his neck.

Bob & Zenith, pre-stroke
Then Bob was hospitalized for over two months. During that time, Zenith often wandered the house, plaintively crying. But when Bob finally came home, I was dismayed that Zenith was terribly frightened of him. She could tell that Bob was not the same. And she was frightened by the new hospital bed and medical equipment making strange noises, and strangers coming and going and even the wheelchair. She avoided Bob like the plague.... Which truly broke his heart. Mine too.

Zenith checking out Bob's wheelchair.
Then yesterday, after I got Bob into his wheelchair and while I was brushing his hair, Zenith jumped up on Bob's bed. I could see her watching Bob before she tentatively, oh so tentatively reached out with her paw and gently touched Bob's knee. Then, slowly, oh so slowly, she climbed on his lap. For the first time, since the stroke. It's been two years.

Then, Zenith proceeded to check out Bob's wheelchair.

And I grabbed the camera.

And Bob, as you can tell by his expression, was absolutely delighted.

Happy Birthday Bob!
Afterwards, we went to Starbucks. Where Bob enjoyed a thickened vanilla latte and managed to quaff about 1/8 of a cup. Without a single spill. Without aspirating.

All in all, a very happy birthday.

See the original article Bob Turns 54
                          in The Pink House On The Corner

Sharon - Patient and Family Collaboration or Professional Control

Sharon - SSTattler
Diane’s stories about dealing with the health system in the United States made me think of this older article. There is lots of talk about patient provider partnerships or giving the patient the knowledge and expertise to make decisions and take control of their health, but as Sally Thorne says, “The expectation is that the patient as a full partner in health care decisions, ….the experiences of persons living with chronic illness confirm that this paradigm shift is not yet apparent in many health care relationships.”

I read “Attitudes toward patient expertise in chronic illness” in 2000, and it prompted me to check to see what Sally Thorne’s writes on a regular basis.  Sally is one of the most cited nursing authors in Canada.    Recently she has been writing about communication in cancer care.  Like this article, in which she has many positive things to say about the communication, she believes there is lots of room for improvement.  If she thinks communication in cancer should be improved, I think we should ask her to have a look at stroke.  I wonder what she would think of Diane’s experiences.

Good communication is critical to patients understanding of their condition. It ensures that they have the opportunity to collaborate with health professionals to make decisions about the appropriate treatment for them.

In this paper, the authors looked at two quite different chronic diseases — Type I Diabetes (a socially legitimized chronic disease) and Environmental Sensitivities (a disease which is currently treated with considerable scepticism).  Their purpose was to detect common underlying health professional values and attitudes that powerfully influence the experience of living with and negotiating health care for a chronic illness.

Another way to do this might be to compare communication with people with so-called life-style diseases like obesity, lung cancer, or COPD and someone with a condition that they cannot be blamed for causing.

In this study the general pattern of health care interactions described by all participants was characterized by a pervasive attitude of disbelief in their competence to make decisions on their own behalf. This attitude created a complex interactional dynamic that detracted from mutual trust and effective relationships.

“They sense your distrust of them. You can't disguise it. You have known what it is like to be given wrong advice, to be discounted as not knowing anything. So you enter the office on the defensive. Ready to do battle. They react by being arrogant or cold. You trust them even less. It becomes a vicious circle.

The following themes related to this thesis:

  1. Retention of expertise: Whether or not they had any actual expert advice to offer, patients reported that many professionals cling to the role of expert within the health care encounter.
  2. Control of information: A related manifestation of health care attitudes occurred in the context of controlling the information to which the patient had access.
  3. Assumptions about biomedical superiority: Individuals with chronic illnesses typically found that, although they understood illness in a rather holistic and global sense, their health care professionals had little appreciation for those aspects of illness beyond the realm of what biomedical science makes rational.
  4. Privileging disease information over quality of life.  Although health care professionals are ostensibly interacting with the individual who happens to have a disease, patients often reported that health care professionals treated them instead as diseases who happen to be carried by individuals.
  5. Psychological labelling of patient behaviour: A common feature of the chronic illness experience was having one's physical symptoms interpreted as signs of psychological problems.
  6. Assumptions about the meaning of non-compliance: As is common in all chronic illness experiences, when the participants attempted to modify their adherence to prescribed regimens in order to live as well as possible, their efforts were typically met with considerable resistance and suspicion by health care professionals.
  7. Punitive gatekeeping: While some elements of the health care professional attitudes reported were depicted as merely a nuisance or an inconvenience to these persons with chronic illness, the accounts of individuals with both IDDM and ES emphasized that many of the decisions over which professionals seemed to have absolute control could have significant untoward consequences.

This article is 12 years old.  Has this been your experience?  Please let us know about your great experiences too! 

Read the article:

Dean - Amour (Film With Stroke As Its Subject)

Dean's Stroke Musing
The French-language drama tells the story of an elderly couple dealing with the aftermath of a devastating stroke.
       -- Dean's Stroke Musing

Nominated For: Best Picture, Best Actress (Emmanuelle Riva), Best Director (Michael Haneke), Best Original Screenplay (Haneke), Best Foreign Language Film (Austria)

Anne Laurent (Emmanuelle Riva) and her husband Georges (Jean-Louis Trintignant), a pair of retired music teachers, live in a roomy, tastefully furnished Parisian apartment full of books, paintings, and records. They’re the kind of cultivated upper-middle-class couple that goes to classical music concerts and, afterward, debates the finer points of the soloist’s vibrato. They have a middle-aged daughter, the well-meaning but self-absorbed Eva (the always amazing Isabelle Huppert), and an enviably contented domestic life, one in which affectionate flirtation (“Did I tell you you looked pretty tonight?”) still plays a part. Then one morning, as they’re sitting at breakfast, Anne suddenly falls silent and stares off into space for several minutes, oblivious to the increasingly irritated voice of her husband, whose first reaction is to assume she must be either daydreaming or pulling some sort of prank. Though she quickly snaps back from this moment of distraction, it’s the first symptom of a stroke that will soon paralyze the right side of Anne’s body, putting her in a wheelchair for good.

I plan on seeing it once it gets to our theatres. It has to be more uplifting than Diving Bell and the Butterfly or Water for Elephants.

See the orginal article Amour (Film With Stroke As Its Subject)
                                      in Dean's Stroke Musing 

SSTattler - Sunday Swing 'N' Skate

Sunday Swing 'N' Skate
Sunday, Jan 27, 2013, 1 – 4 PM

Location: City Hall and City Hall Plaza
          1 Sir Winston Churchill Square
City:     Edmonton
Event:    City Hall
Details:  The swing is coming back to City Hall, 
          with the triumphant return of the 
          Sunday Swing 'N' Skate!
Category: Concerts / Performances
Cost:     Free

Additional Information: Performers:
     - January  27 Don Berner's Little Big Band 
     - February  3 Skating Only
     - February 10 C-Jam Big Band
     - February 17 Billie Zizi and the Gypsy Jive
     - February 24 River City Big Band

Fabulous local bands play live music of the era in City Hall, with dance demos (and free lessons) from the Sugar Swing Dance Club. And if the great outdoors is more your thing, we'll be pumping the live music out to the skating rink on City Hall plaza, so that you can skate to the beat!

Music, dancing, and FREE skate rentals, who could ask for anything more?

SSTattler - Minor Updated Jan/26

Minor Updated Jan/26 in Stroke Survivors Tattler

  • The "Books" menu now use "Amazon Widget Source" tool:
    • Display 10 books per page. 
    • Displays picture of the book and the text of title, author(s), price, # of stars.
    • Right now we have nearly 100 books in the list.  The topic of books is "stroke" and "aphasia" and most them are very useful.  Publish date is the present to the past.  If you want a topic of stroke and not covered just e-mail to and I will included it.
  • The "Article:" or "Eclectic:" used to be part of the title.  Now it is included in the labels (at the bottom of the article) i.e.  ▶ Eclectic or  ▶ Article.  
  • I will updated "Jo Murphey Word Progress" every late Friday. Right now it is about half, 35015 of 75000 words, coloured "red".
  • The title on the right column says "Read Other Blogs of Stroke" (it use to be "Stroke Survivors Tattler List").  For SSTattler just click "Home" instead.


Saturday, January 19, 2013

Games to Develop Your Brain

Games to Develop Your Brain
    1 - CogniFit: Dr. Shlomo Breznitz 
    2 - Marbles:  the Brain Store

Shlomo Breznitz From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Shlomo Breznitz (Hebrew: שלמה ברזניץ, born 3 August 1936) is an Israeli author, psychologist, former professor of psychology, former rector and president of the University of Haifa, and previous member of the Knesset. He is currently the president and founder of Cognifit, a brain fitness software company.


Breznitz was born in Bratislava in Czechoslovakia (today Slovakia). During the Holocaust he and his sister were hidden in a Roman Catholic orphanage, an experience detailed in his memoirs, "Memory Fields". His father was killed in Auschwitz, but his mother survived and they made aliyah to Israel in 1949. He studied psychology at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, gaining a BA in 1960, an MA in 1962 and a PhD in 1965, the first person to receive a doctorate in the new field of psychology in Israel.

From 1969 until 1971, Breznitz served as a consultant to the Israeli Air Force on problems of stress. He was the founding director of the Ray D. Wolfe Center for Study of Psychological Stress at the University of Haifa in 1979. Breznitz also has served as the Lady Davis Professor of Psychology and was the visiting professor at the London School of Economics, Berkeley, Stanford, National Institutes of Health and Rockefeller University. He has also been a visiting scientist at the National Institute of Mental Health in Washington D.C..

He has written seven books and has contributed chapters to over 20 other books in addition to numerous professional articles and research reports. In 1999 he retired from Haifa University to found brain fitness software company, Cognifit. He has been in the forefront of cognitive training using a personal computer and has developed patented technology that turns the personal computer into a tool for providing individualized training programs for a wide range of cognitive skills needed for everyday function and cognitive skills specific to particular fields of interest.

After Ehud Olmert, a personal friend, convinced him to enter politics, Breznitz was elected to the Knesset on the Kadima list in 2006, the first Slovak to become an MK. However, he retired from politics and left the Knesset on 8 October 2007.

CogniFit's Program

See how CogniFit can help you to discover and improve yourself and your quality of life through cognitive training and brain fitness.

The cognitive assessment and platform train specific brain abilities around attention & focus, perception, motor control and memory. CogniFit offers a large variety of targeting applications that train people on specific aspects such as their memory, dyslexia, ADHD, stroke, driving or even their golf game.

CogniFit' scientifically validated, patented brain fitness program is personalized to each user to help them enhance their cognitive performance, get a sharper brain and a healthy mind.

CogniFit can also help train people who show symptoms of Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI), a precursor of Alzheimer's disease.

CogniFit Brain Training on CBS

Find out how brain training can help you exercise your brain memory, concentration and many other cognitive skills.

CogniFit Brain Fitness is a revolutionary technology that lets you explore your brain, assess your cognitive skills, train the abilities that are important to you and gives you an efficient mind training.

Train Your Brain With Cognifit Brain Training Programs

(SSTattler: The interview has lots of noise; skip-it if it is annoying).

Dr. Karen Oates President/CEO of the Mental Health Association of Rockland County discusses how the Cognifit brain training fitness programs and the 'Smart Brain, Strong Brain, Fit Brain" program help people train their brains as they age.

Keeping Your Mind Sharp with CogniFit

Dated 2009. CogniFit is releasing a new brain fitness online program to keep your mind fit, called CogniFit Personal Coach. The program, which is meant for Baby Boomers to grandparents can improve cognitive skills by up to 40 percent!

Shlomo Breznitz at The Villages - Part 1

Dr. Breznitz went to the Villages, a town of 80,000 residents over the age of 55 years old, to share the benefits of brain training and CogniFit.

Shlomo Breznitz at The Villages - Part 2

Shlomo Breznitz at The Villages - Part 3

About Marbles: the Brain Store

We’re a one-of-a-kind retail store with a smart collection of hand-picked, expert-tested, certifiably fun ways to a healthier brain for all ages. The best part? Our stores are designed to let you roll up your sleeves and get a little brainy while you play games, solve puzzles, try out software and flip through books to find the right products for you and your noggin. Our team is chock-full of smart, outgoing people who are passionate about learning new things and creating a fun, interactive environment where customers can reach their brain’s fullest potential.

Where We Started

Our CEO Lindsay Gaskins and her brainy teammates started Marbles: The Brain Store with the simple idea of finding the best brain games out there and putting them all in one place. Not just products for aging baby boomers concerned about memory loss and victims of brain disorders like stroke, Alzheimer’s, dementia and ADHD. But also products for anyone who wanted to improve focus and attention, enhance creativity, become better multi-taskers and get the most out of the smartest supercomputer out there: the brain.

Our idea was supported by some pretty compelling research and mind-boggling advances in the field of neuroplasticity. So we went for it — opening a kiosk in May of 2008, one of the deepest parts of the recession and probably not the brightest time to start a new retail store. People thought we had lost our minds. To the contrary, we had just found them.

We failed miserably. Which we’re not ashamed to admit. Hey, failure breeds success, right? The idea was great. The products were great. The experience…not so great. But customers loved the concept so we opened our first store in downtown Chicago in October 2008. This time, we got the experience right. With a bigger space, customers could actually play with every product. Our staff had to play with every product, too, in order to field questions from our brainy customers. The response was phenomenal so we opened three more Chicagoland stores in 2009, four more stores in the midwest in 2010, and now 10 more stores across the east coast in 2011. The rest, they say, is history. Albeit a short one. Which means we’re just getting started.

Where We're Going

Our goal is to bring the smartest and most engaging selection of brain training products to as many people as possible. So we’re not shy about saying we’d like to be a national retail operation within the next five to 10 years. But, we want to do it right so we’re very thoughtful and smart about our growth opportunities.


Because stroke affects different functional areas of the brain, there is no single recommended treatment plan for stroke. Instead, doctors and therapists of various disciplines must work together to create an appropriate rehabilitation plan to match each individual stroke victim's needs. This may involve speech therapy, physical therapy, nutrition counseling, mental health treatment, and more.

After a stroke, mental and physical capabilities are regained through the brain's ability to change, or neuroplasticity. This means that a person who loses a particular function due to stroke must work very hard and in a targeted manner to retrain their brain and regain that function.

Board games are an excellent way to target the different sections of the brain and help a recovering stroke victim regain their prior abilities. With practice, a stroke survivor can strengthen neural connections for the lost functions and regain some or all of their prior abilities.

A Small Sample of Hundreds of Games at Marbles the Brain Store: 

        Critical Thinking, Memory, Coordination, Visual Perception, Word Skills

Critical Thinking - Brainware Safari

"As an educational psychologist and parent, I have never seen a program that offers the different activities that BrainWare offers. " - Educational Psychologist

Memory - Dakim Brain Fitness

"The cutting edge of cognitive stimulation... " - Gary Small, Professor of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences, Director of the UCLA Center on Aging

Coordination - Perpetual Commotion

"Test your attention to detail and quick thinking as you apply the game rules to the cards you have."

Visual Perception - InSight Brain Training

"By improving the speed and accuracy in which the brain processes information, this program improves all areas of cognitive function."

Word Skills - MindSpring Software

"A quicker, stronger brain can change your life: more confidence, a better job, a longer and healthy life."

Saturdays Comics

For Better and For Worse
Lynn Johnston - 2007-10-04

"It's another stroke ..."
Scott Adams - 2013-01-15

"When I asked you to manage my Twitter..."

Jim Davis - 2013-01-18

"Tell me about your feelings, Jon."

Delainey & Rasmussen - 2013-01-18

"For the next phase of my boot camp..."   

* For Better and For Worse" is a serious topic of stroke but with a very nice cartoons. It is all about Grandpa Jim had a stroke and 88 further cartoon "strips" that happened to Grandpa Jim. (See as well  the author Lynn Johnston).
More Comments:

Eclectic Stuff & Articles

Definition:Eclectic(noun) a person who derives ideas, style, or taste from a broad and diverse range of sources.

Article: SSTattler - A New Author & Change to Books Menu

John - SSTattler
We have a new Author, Jo Murphey:

We have a new SSTattler author - say hello to Jo Murphey.  Jo has 20  published books  both fiction and non-fiction.  She has a blog, The  Murphey Saga mostly for writers. But please,  look at her blog if you are a writer or only for personal interest.

This May she had an ischemic stroke.  She started “Sunday Stroke Survival” in The Murphey Saga.  Sometimes the articles are funny and sometimes serious, but we will re-publish it in SSTattler every week.

As well, she started a new book “Don't Get Your Panties in a Wad: A Humorous Look at Stroke Recovery”.  We wait anxiously for it to be published. Meantime you can watch her progress at SSTattler Word Meter on the right column. Click the bar and you will go directly to The  Murphey Saga.  See the an image below:

See About Us with the brief synopsis of Jo and the full Biography of Jo Murphey.

Welcome Jo Murphey!

Change to Books Menu

The "Books" menu is changed internal to use Amazon "Widget Source".   It have nice picture of the book, text for the title, author(s), price,  # of stars and link to  Each page holds 10 entries and at the bottom you can click to further page(s).

The ordered is random right now but I'll fix it next week and the order is going to be present to the past.

See the an image below:

Article: Jo Murphey - Dawn of a Kernel for a New Book

Saturday, July 28, 2012

The Murphey Saga
As you can imagine since my stroke I have been purchasing books and reading articles and blogs about strokes and recovery. Makes sense right? The subject is on my mind every waking minute right now. Rather than stew in self pity, I'm searching for alternatives for ways to accomplish life's little thing often taken for granted.

Reading is one of the few pleasures available to me. While I wait and work for recovery. Although spelling and and all but basic grammar are lost to me right now a book has formed in my mind. Everything I have read has been so serious. Adaptation, recovery and living are serious business after a stroke...heart attacks are much easier to recover from and I speak from personal experience. It struck me that after a stroke you rarely laugh at the dumb things you do. I do mean dumb. You no longer take simple tasks for granted but count them as achievements. Some of them are pretty hilarious when looking in hindsight.

I've often felt there is not enough laughter in the world and when facing a life altering event laughter is needed more than at anytime in your life so I started writing.

The book is titled "Don't Get Your Panties in a Wad." I've even designed the cover. Want to see?

There is in my searching nothing like it on the market. Forget about a year to release. I'm only typing fifty words three times a week. It's a far cry from what I used to do. My days of 10+K words daily are over for the time being. But it is progress and I'm at 700 words shooting for 75,000. It is geared for the one million stroke survivors globally each year. There is a time and place for tears and grief. What's left is the healing power of laughter.

Look for snippets here along this journey.

Keep writing and loving the Lord.

© 2011 - present by J.L. Murphey ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

See the original article Dawn of a Kernel for a New Book
                                       in The Murphey Saga