Thursday, January 15, 2009
Economic climate causing us to shift our focus
By Anthony Policastro, M.D

In 1943 Maslow created a system that focused on human needs. His basic proposal was that people pay attention to their basic needs before they do anything else. Maslow indicated that we all have certain basic physiologic needs. Those needs include things like food, water and sleep. We cannot survive without them. Therefore, if we are having trouble obtaining them, we focus all of our activity on them. We really do not care about other things. Fortunately, most of us do not have trouble obtaining those things. There are some third world countries where food is not plentiful. People in those countries concentrate their efforts on obtaining food. Therefore, there is little energy left for other types of activities. The next category up includes basic safety. There are several items in this category. The first of these is health. Health is something that we take for granted. However, there are many individuals with chronic diseases. Their days are spent addressing those diseases. They have little time left for other things. Those of us who are healthy need to reflect on that. We need to be thankful for it. It leads to a much higher quality of life.
Employment is also included in this category. It is the means by which we obtain money. Money is necessary for keeping us healthy. It is necessary for getting us basic needs like food. For that reason, employment and salary become one of these basic safety needs. A third portion of basic safety is shelter or housing. Like health, this is often taken for granted. However, there are thousands of homeless individuals in this country. There are people throughout the world who live in very substandard housing. It requires effort for us to maintain shelter. It goes hand in hand with having employment. Once the areas of physiologic needs and safety are handled, we can begin to look to satisfying higher needs. Those higher needs come in the form of self-esteem and achievement. They come in the form of being able to be creative. They come in the form of luxuries of various sorts. Over the last few years we have been able to concentrate on those higher needs. Basic safety needs like housing and employment were not things to concentrate on. That has all changed. Many people are unable to pay mortgages. They face the possibility of being without shleter. Others fear for losing their employment. That would decrease their resources. It would cause them to have worries about both safety and physiologic needs. What many of us fail to realize is that the current economic crisis fits in very well with Maslow's hierarchy of needs. Many of us took for granted the two basic levels. We were able to concentrate on the higher levels. Maslow called them love, esteem and self-actualization. However, there is a lot more concern now about the safety level in terms of jobs and housing. For that reason we have a different emphasis than we did a year ago. While that all may seem like something completely new, it is purely in keeping with what Maslow described over 50 years ago.

LDAF Autism Ball planned The Lower Delaware Autism Foundation's Autism Ball and Auction for Hope is Saturday, March 7, 2009 at the Bay Center in Dewey Beach. The theme encourages guests to help make dreams come true for individuals with autism. The event begins with a silent auction from 6 to 8 p.m. and is followed by dinner, a live auction and dancing from 8 p.m. to midnight. There will be an open bar during the silent auction from 6 to 8 p.m. followed by a cash bar from 8 p.m. to midnight. Tickets are $125 and dress is cocktail attire. Table sponsorships are available for $2,500 and include a table for 12 guests, full page event program ad and more. Other sponsorship opportunities are also available. Entertainment will be provided by the Big City Band. Autism affects one in every 150 children born in the U.S. each year. More children will be diagnosed with autism this year than with AIDS, diabetes and cancer combined. Autism costs the nation over $90 billion annually, a figure that is expected to double in the next decade. For more information about sponsorship or volunteer opportunities, call Mary Landon Green, program and event coordinator, at 302-644-3410 or visit

Cancer Networking Support Group The Wellness Community of Delaware offers a "General Cancer Networking" support group the third Monday of each month from 4:30- 6:30 p.m. held at Nanticoke Memorial Hospital's Cancer Care Center second-floor library, Seaford. The support group is a free program of hope, understanding, and caring for people with cancer and their loved ones. Professionally led cancer support programs offer hope, education, and emotional support for adults with cancer and their loved ones who want to fight for recovery and the quality of their lives. Learn how to feel less isolated and more in control. All programs offered through The Wellness Community of Delaware are free of charge to people affected by cancer. For further information, or to register, call 645-9150.

Blood Bank celebrates donations As a new year begins, the Blood Bank of Delmarva has many people to thank. Blood donors contributed a record 82,928 blood donations in 2008  keeping the blood supply stable all year. More than 20,000 patients benefitted and no surgeries were cancelled because blood was not available. Throughout January, the Blood Bank and local blood transfusion recipients are thanking those blood donors through the annual celebration of National Blood Donor Month. Holidays, busy travel schedules, inclement weather and illness all combine to make the winter months a time when blood is often in short supply. Because of this, the Blood Bank asks local residents to make a New Year's resolution in 2009 that is easy to keep: donate blood. For more information or to schedule an appointment to give blood, call 888-8-BLOOD-8 or visit

CHEER Center gets trainer Personal Trainer Dave Ronovech is now available at the CHEER Community Center located at 20520 Sand Hill Road in Georgetown every Tuesday and Thursday from 8 to 10 a.m., free of charge. Ronovech, who is the premier senior and elderly health and fitness instructor in Sussex County, specializes in senior and elderly exercise. Dave is licensed through Active Living Partners to assist clients with diet, nutrition and becoming more physically active. He is the founder and director of the Fountain of Youth Fitness Program at the Harbour Lights CHEER Activity Center in Lewes. To join the CHEER Center's Fit N' Fun Fitness Center, you must be over the age of 50. Cost is $20 a month for members and $24 for non-members. For more information, call 302-854-9500.

Aging program planned Peninsula Regional Medical Center's 55+ membership program, Peninsula Partners, and the Wicomico Public Library will present a free program entitled, "Living and Learning: An Educational Experience - The State of the Aging on Delmarva." The program will be held at the Public Library in Salisbury on Wednesday, Feb. 25 at 1 p.m. Guest speakers include Memo Diriker, director of BEACON at Salisbury University; Peggy Bradford, executive director, MAC, Inc.; and Jason Hafer, director of admissions for Salisbury Rehabilitation & Nursing Center/Genesis Healthcare. Topics to be addressed will be "GrayShore Revisited," "The Future of Senior Services on Delmarva" and "A Baby Boomer's Guide to Long Term/Assisted Living Placement for a Loved One." Admission is free, however advanced registration is required. For more information or to register for the program, call Peninsula Partners at 410-543-7170 by Friday, Feb. 20.

Cholesterol screenings Nanticoke Memorial Hospital will be offering cholesterol screenings on February 11 & 14 from 7:00 - 10:00 am at the Seaford Golf & Country Club, located at 1001 W. Locust Street, Seaford. The Lipid Profile test requires a 12-hour fasting and reads the HDL, LDL, and triglyceride blood levels. Cost for the Lipid Profile is $15. There is no need to pre-register. Results will be mailed within 3 weeks along with information to evaluate the results and follow-up if needed. In addition to cholesterol screenings, FREE blood pressure checks will be offered. There will be health information and interactive displays. For additional information, call 629-6611 extension 4536.

Look Good, Feel Better Women undergoing chemotherapy or radiation treatment for cancer can now receive free professional help to cosmetically disguise the appearance-related side effects of their treatments. Look Good, Feel Better, a program developed by the Cosmetic, Toiletry, and Fragrance Association Foundation, the American Cancer Society, and the National Cosmetology Association, trains volunteer cosmetologists to help women with cancer, conceal loss of hair, skin problems, and other side effects that can result from cancer therapy. The program is geared towards helping people look their best--even as they are undergoing cancer treatment. Although almost all of the appearance-related side effects of cancer treatment are temporary, they can be very distressing. The next Look Good, Feel Better program will be hosted by the Cancer Care Center at Nanticoke Memorial Hospital on Monday, February 9 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Cancer Care Center's 2nd floor conference room. The program is Free to all patients in active cancer treatment. Registration is required, and space is limited. To register for the Look Good, Feel Better program, please contact Nanticoke Memorial Hospital's Cancer Care Center at 302-629-6611, extension 2588.

Diabetes educational program Nanticoke Memorial Hospital, Seaford, will be holding a four-week diabetes educational program beginning February 4 and continuing February 11, 18 and 25 from 5pm - 7pm to be held at the hospital. Registration for this class is required. The cost of the four-week program may be reimbursable by insurance. This four-week program includes weekly education sessions and individualized meal planning for diabetes self-management. Our goal is to give you the self-management skills to control your diabetes. Family members/significant others are welcome to attend the weekly sessions.
Program Schedule
Week 1 - What is diabetes: physiology and self-care skills review
Week 2 - Meal Planning, eating out, reading labels
Week 3 - Self blood glucose monitoring and management, sick day rules, traveling
Week 4 - Medications used to manage diabetes, stress management: coping with diabetes and lifestyle changes, summary and course evaluations, goal setting
To register and to obtain additional information regarding the course, contact Nanticoke Memorial Hospital's Diabetes Education department at 302-629-6611, extension 2446.

Fitness open house Do you want to get in shape this year? Now you can learn about the variety of fitness options available at Delaware Technical & Community College, Owens Campus. Attend the free Gymnasium Complex Open House on Saturday, Jan. 24, 10 a.m.-noon in the Jason Technology Center. Attendees will receive refreshments, giveaways, and special discounts. Register early for winter and spring fun and fitness courses offered on and off-campus. Choices for adults include: ballroom and belly dancing, karate, Pilates, golf, Horseback riding, tai chi, yoga, and fitness center memberships. Classes offered for children include: ballet, tumbling, fitness, golf and horseback riding. This state-of-the-art complex, now open five nights per week until 7 p.m., includes a basketball court, fitness center complete with a cardio/weight training room, exercise room, and locker rooms for men and women. For more information, contact the Corporate and Community Programs Division at 302-854-6966.