Thursday, October 20, 2011
The GPS system isnt infallible

By Dr. Anthony Policastro

One of the classic jokes is about male drivers never wanting to ask for directions. It is not used as often as it was because most drivers going to unfamiliar places are now using a GPS system of some sort. The result is that there are less wrong turns which creates less stress for the driver. In turn it creates less stress for the passengers. Unfortunately, GPS devices are not infallible. I have had them take me from the northeast corner of a city to the southeast corner of the city when I was just trying to get directly east of the city. I have had them take me to a dirt road with a washed out bridge. I have had them propose to take me on a ferry that I did not want to take. Each of those situations could lead to an increased amount of stress. In one I accidentally found the Interstate to get me back to where I needed to go. In the second, I backtracked my steps to get me to where I needed to be. In the third, I knew that the proposed route included a ferry. However, I recently had relatives visit whose GPS got them lost for an extended period of time. The result was a high stress level in the car for that period of time. So what is the best way to handle a rogue GPS in this situation? The first thing to do is to acknowledge the fact that there is an issue. This is sometimes difficult to do when you are dependent upon the GPS. Unfortunately continuing to trust it will likely just make things more stressful. A second thing to consider is to turn it off and drive for a period of time in the direction that you want to go. If you turn it back on at that point, it might calculate a better route for you. I often do this when I am in traffic. I will get off the planned route and try to drive around the traffic. I will then turn the GPS on again to get me back to where I need to go. A third approach is to stop and ask for directions. This will allow you to get close enough to the route to have the GPS guide you again. There are some approaches that do not work very well. One of those is to yell at the GPS. It will not make the GPS any smarter. A second is to yell at other people in the car. They will not likely help the GPS to get any smarter. You are already stressed. Getting everyone else in the car stressed with you might make you feel better. However, you will still be lost. There are many times when a GPS can help relieve stress by making the trip trouble free. There are other times when it can increase stress levels. The object is for us to know which is which. We can then take steps to keep the stress level to a manageable point.

Medicare open enrollment begins Medicares open enrollment period started on Saturday, Oct. 15. This year, the open enrollment period begins earlier, and has been extended to last seven weeks ending on Wednesday, Dec. 7.Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, seniors on Medicare are now eligible for additional benefits, including lower prescription drug costs through a 50% discount on covered brand name drugs in the coverage gap, wellness checkups, and access to certain preventive care services with no copayments. Seniors on Medicare can review plans and compare coverage options using the following resources: The Medicare website ( offers personalized comparisons of costs and coverage plans available by area. This information is also available through Medicares Plan Finder tool ( A toll-free phone line, 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227) offers 24/7 assistance to those seeking information about coverage options. A Medicare 2012 open enrollment Handbook, Medicare & You, is accessible online at:, and has been mailed to the homes of current Medicare enrollees. For those seeking one-on-one assistance, Delaware ELDERinfo is holding events in each county during the open enrollment period where Medicare enrollees can confidentially review their current benefit plans and make decisions on their coverage for 2012. For meeting details or more information, visit the ELDERinfo website at

Nanticoke welcomes pediatrician Nanticoke Health Services welcomes Julia Elisa Barillas Cerritos, MD to the Nanticoke Physician Network. Dr. Barillas Cerritos joins Nanticoke Health Services as a specialist in pediatric inpatient hospital care and joins Nanticoke Pediatrics located at 613 High St., Seaford. She is accepting new patients. Dr. Cerritos completed her pediatrics residency at Woodhull Medical and Mental Health Center in New York City where she was awarded Resident of the Year in 2008 and 2010. She spent more than five years in El Salvador as a medical volunteer and is fully bilingual in English and Spanish.

NHS welcomes new manager Nanticoke Health Services welcomes Edward M. Hendricks, RN, ACNS-BC, FNP-BC to the position of quality manager. As the quality health manager, Hendricks will measure standards in accordance with specified quality guidelines and will identify strategies to improve quality issues corporate-wide. Hendricks earned his bachelors degree in nursing, masters in nursing, and clinical nurse specialist degree from George Mason University, Fairfax, Va. He earned his family nurse practitioner degree from Mary Mount University, Arlington, Va. Hendricks comes to Nanticoke from an area hospital where he was a clinical nurse specialist in the Orthopedic, Neurological and Spine Units.

Memorial Scrapbook workshop Delaware Hospices Family Support Center will hold a Memorial Scrapbook workshop from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 22, at the Delaware Hospice Center, 100 Patriots Way, Milford. Creating a scrapbook of meaningful events shared with a loved one is an excellent activity for keeping good memories alive. Often in grief, survivors tend to re-live the last moments putting a microscope on the way someone died. At this workshop, grievers will be encouraged to step back and see the relationship and the full picture from a telescopic view, helping to bring all the years back into focus. Participants should bring 10 to 20 photos of their loved one and other memorabilia that might be included in a scrapbook arrangement. Experienced scrapbook enthusiast, Janis Markopoulos, will facilitate this workshop. A $10 fee will help cover the costs of the workshop. Registration is required by contacting Vicki Costa, associate director of Family Support Services, at 856-7717, ext. 1129, or

New depression support groups If you have been diagnosed with depression, are currently receiving treatment and need extra support, join the Mental Health Association in Delawares newest depression support groups. The support groups provide a safe and comfortable environment for adults who may be struggling with depressionto find others who may be going through similar experiences, learn coping skills and take back control of their life by being proactive. A support group meets in Seaford every Wednesday from 6 to 7:30 p.m. The location of the meeting is provided only to registered members. To register, contact the Mental Health Association in Delaware at 302-654-6833 or 800-287-6423. These new groups are made possible due to a grant received from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Delawares BluePrints for the Community program.

Dr. Kaphle joins NMH Nanticoke Memorial Hospital welcomes Meera Kaphle, MD to its active medical staff. Dr. Kaphle joins Nanticoke Health Services as a hospitalist, a physician who specializes in the care of patients while they are in the hospital. Because hospitalists do not have a practice outside the hospital, they are able to devote all their attention to hospital patients. Dr. Kaphle completed herinternal medicine residencyatSUNY Upstate Medical Universityin Syracuse, N.Y. She previously worked as a hospitalist at the University Hospital Richmond Medical Center of Case Western Reserve University in Richmond Heights, Cleveland, Ohioand is board certified in internal medicine.

Relay for Life fundraiser Dr. Marie Wolfgang is again sponsoring a 12 night Winter Getaway Cruise to the Southern Caribbean as a fundraiser for Relay for Life, sailing from Cape Liberty, N.J. on Feb. 10. The itinerary includes St. Thomas, St. Kitts, St. Johns (Antigua), St. Lucia and St. Maarten (Philipsburg). Transportation to and from the dock is available. For a brochure, call or visit Dr. Wolfgangs office at One Cedar Ave. in Seaford, 629-4471. Space is limited.

Grief Support Group A six-week support group for adults on Grieving the Loss of a Loved One will be offered by Delaware Hospice at the Cancer Care Center of Nanticoke Memorial Hospital. Any adult who would like to give and receive support from others who have experienced a loss is invited to participate in these sessions facilitated by Paul A. Ganster, LCSW, Delaware Hospice bereavement counselor. Many people find that sharing in a support group reduces the loneliness and heartaches of grief. Topics include what to expect when grieving, mistaken ideas about grieving, managing and coping with grief, the impact of grief and loss upon family relationships, spiritual issues, how to handle special days and holidays, and ways to find a renewed sense of purpose. There is no fee for this service which is provided as a community outreach by Delaware Hospice. Registration is requested by calling Paul A. Ganster, LCSW, at 302-357-7147, or by emailing no later than Nov. 1.

Bereavement luncheons Delaware Hospices New Beginnings bereavement luncheons are an informal way to meet and talk with others, who have had similar loss experiences. Lunch begins at noon and is followed by a brief program.The location rotates each week of the month throughout Sussex County. New Beginnings luncheons are open to the public. Registration is not required. There is no fee except the cost of your lunch. For more information, call Midge Dinatale or Paul Ganster at 856-7717.

Breast cancer support group Delaware Breast Cancer Coalition, Inc. (DBCC) has expanded its Beginning Your Pink Ribbon Journey, a program for women newly-diagnosed with breast cancer, by partnering with Nanticoke Memorial Hospital Cancer Center in Seaford. The free, monthly program is offered at the Cancer Center located at 801 Middleford Road, Seaford, the third Thursday of each month from 3 to 4 p.m. To learn more, call Lois Wilkinson at 672-6435. Registration is required and light refreshments and small gifts are provided.