Thursday, February 23, 2012
There is no magic formula for the right age to retire

By Dr. Anthony Policastro

Every year at this time, professional football teams have to decide which veteran players to keep. They judge how fit the veteran still is from both a physical and mental standpoint. They also decide how much experience can overcome any loss of physical or mental skills. If there are issues with any of these areas, the team might decide to cut him from the team. If no other team picks him up, the result is retirement from professional football. There is no magic formula. A football player is not at a professional caliber one year and not the next. It is a process that occurs over time. This is not only true in professional sports. We have also seen many individuals in the entertainment business no longer able to attract a following. They basically disappear because they are no longer in demand. While professional athletes and entertainers are in the spotlight, this type of change occurs in each of us. There is no one time that is right for everyone to retire. There is no one day that someone wakes up and decides that he/she does not have it anymore. When an individual begins a career, there is usually a lot of enthusiasm for that career. The individual is capable of doing many different things. They may be able to spend a lot of hours working due to youth. Over time, experience takes over for youthful exuberance. We all look for the experienced individual. However, as the years go on, there comes a point where youth is gone and experience no longer increases. This point is a logical time for the individual to recognize that it is time to look at both short and long term plans. As individuals reach that point, there is often a lot of denial. Since things are not rapidly changing, they do not really see a difference from day to day or even from year to year. The people around them may notice things but they may not want to say anything. It is not like it is with professional athletes. There is no one to cut them from the team. This may be more of an issue in certain career fields. Airline pilots are a good example. The good news is that the standards they have to maintain are rigorous and checked frequently. There are other career fields where this is not the case. For example, state medical boards have a requirement for hospitals and other doctors to report physicians that appear to have a problem with maintaining their abilities as they age. That may take the form of a surgeon not having the same motor skills that he/she once did. Or it may take the form of a physician not being able to keep up with the latest trends in medicine or developing memory issues. All of these things can happen gradually and are often noticed by everyone but the individual. It then becomes difficult for those around that physician to be able to convince themselves that there is a need to report their concerns. It might be easier to do that for the physician who remains in practice in his/her 80's. It might be harder for someone in their 70's. However, there is not a real difference between age 79 and 80. Gradual changes with age occur in every field. Sometimes they are easier to detect than others. Most times they are not easily accepted by the individual. When we hear that one of our favorite athletes has been put in a position of having to retire, we should look around us. There are probably others who have the same need and just do not realize it.

Janjua appointed medical director Nanticoke Health Services is pleased to announce that Dr. Imran F. Janjua has been appointed as the new medical director of their hospitalist program. Hospitalists do not have a practice outside of the hospital and work with specialists, nurses, or others involved with the patient's care. Hospitalists communicate directly with the patient's primary care physician and are available to the patient and their family for questions. Dr. Janjua joined Nanticoke's physician staff in 2008 and is a specialist in inpatient hospital care. He completed his residency in family practice at St. Francis Hospital in Wilmington and graduated from Nishtar Medical College in Multan, Pakistan. He is fluent in the English, Urdu, Hindi, and Punjabi languages.

Guiding Eyes seeks puppy raisers Guiding Eyes for the Blind's Volunteer Puppy Raising Program of the Delmarva Region is actively seeking volunteers. Guiding Eyes' Canine Development Center ( is home to a breeding program for labrador retriever, golden retriever and german shepherd dogs that are ideally suited for guide dog work. At between 8 and 10 weeks old, these special puppies are sent home with volunteers who raise them for 16 to 18 months, offering time, love and special training so the dogs can learn house manners and be socialized in numerous situations. Guiding Eyes supports its volunteer puppy raisers by providing regular guidance, training classes and free veterinary care. Dogs that do not graduate often go on to careers in law enforcement, or are adopted by their puppy raisers or other families on a waiting list. Instruction sessions for new puppy raisers will begin March 6 in Milford for the next batch of new pups due to arrive in April. Individuals, couples and families are all invited to take part. No prior dog experience is necessary. For more information, contact Barbara Byle at 302-422-3522, or call the Canine Development Center at 1-866-GEB-LABS. Visit the Canine Development Center's website at to submit an application.

NMH offers stroke support group Nanticoke Memorial Hospital's next Stroke Support Group meeting is at 1:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 21, at the Seaford Library. The support group is designed for individuals who have survived a stroke as well as their families and caregivers. Modeled from the American Stroke Association, the hospital is engaging with speakers to provide education, community resources and emotional support to those who have been affected by this life-altering event. The two-hour support group meetings will consist of guest speakers and breakaway sessions, in which caregivers and stroke survivors will meet in two groups to discuss concerns, provide support, and allow for networking. Refreshments will be provided. Pre-registration is not required for this free support group. For more information, call Nanticoke Memorial Hospital at 629-6611, ext. 8626.

NMH offers CPR classes Nanticoke Memorial Hospital will offer community CPR classes to anyone interested in learning CPR at the Nanticoke Training Center located on Water Street in Seaford. Participants will learn how to perform the basic skills of CPR on adults, children, and infants and how to help an adult, child, or infant who is choking and use of the AED. This classroom-based, video, and instructor-led CPR course offers families, friends, and community members the opportunity to learn CPR and need a course completion card. Classes are open to participants ages 12 and up. This program is specifically designed for those who prefer to learn in a group environment with feedback from an instructor. The target audience is those who have a duty to respond to a cardiac emergency because of job responsibilities or regulatory requirements. Cost is $40. Payment and registration is required by no later than five business days prior to the class. Late registrations may be accepted if seating is available. To register and to obtain a listing of class dates/times, contact the Nanticoke Memorial Hospital's Training Center office at 629-6611, ext. 8919.

Pre-registration is required.

Diabetes education program Nanticoke Memorial Hospital, Seaford, will hold a four-session diabetes educational program on March 7, 14, 21, and 28 from 5 to 7 p.m., at the hospital. Pre-registration is required. The cost of the four-session program may be reimbursable by insurance. This four-session program includes weekly education sessions and individualized meal planning for diabetes self-management. The goal is to give you the self-management skills to control your diabetes. Family members/significant others are welcome to attend the weekly sessions. To register and obtain additional information regarding the course, contact Nanticoke Memorial Hospital's Diabetes Education department at 629-6611, ext. 2446.

Alzheimer's seminar offered The Alzheimer's Association Delaware Valley Chapter is offering a free seminar, "Living with Alzheimer's Disease for Caregivers - Understanding Middle Stage," on Wednesday, March 14, with registration beginning at 8:30 a.m., at Cadia Rehabilitation Renaissance at 26002 John J. Williams Highway near Millsboro. Dr. Lawrence Kemp, neurologist, will also present a medical overview scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. This is an all-day program that includes information on communicating with a person with dementia and dealing with challenging behaviors. Renaissance is not only hosting this event, but will also provide lunch. All are welcome. Pre-registration is required by either calling 800-272-3900 or Jamie Magee at 854-9788 by March 8.

Phlebotomy technician training Delaware Technical Community College's Owens Campus is offering training to anyone interested in becoming a phlebotomy technician. The Phlebotomy Technician Training course will be held from 6 to 8:30 p.m. on Mondays and Wednesdays beginning March 19 and ending May 23. The course features instruction in the collection, processing and distribution of laboratory specimens according to established procedures. Emphasis will be on safety standards, legal and ethical behaviors and quality control procedures. Learn the proper order of draw, tube selection, appropriate sites for venipuncture and specimen handling. Study the structure and systems of the human body to include the function, diseases and disorders of major organs. This course includes 50 hours of classroom training and a 40-hour externship. There are added costs for an admissions fee and a criminal background test and drug screening. Students must have an up-to-date Hepatitis B virus vaccine. For more information, or to register, call Corporate and Community Programs at 854-6966.

Polysomnography program offered Delaware Technical Community College Owens Campus is offering polysomnography certificate training this spring for anyone interested in becoming a polysomnographer technologist. The polysomnography certificate training program will be held for 16 sessions on Mondays and Wednesdays from 5 to 10 p.m. beginning April 2 and ending May 23. Participants also need to have a criminal background check and drug screening, which is not included in the cost of the program. Polysomnographers usually work in sleep laboratories or sleep centers, and operate a variety of sophisticated monitoring devices, record brain activity, muscle and eye movement, respiration, blood oxygen levels and other physiologic events. Some technologists are also involved in treatment methods, and can also transition into management and marketing of sleep centers. For more information, or to register, call Corporate and Community Programs at 854-6966, or register online at

Southern Delaware Heart Ball Come dance the night away for a good cause at the Southern Delaware Heart Ball. The ball will be held at the Dover Sheraton Hotel on Saturday, March 17 from 6:30 p.m. to midnight. A premier black-tie event, the Heart Ball raises funds for heart disease and stroke. Chairs are Steve and Rosie Rose of Nanticoke Health Services. For more information, visit or contact Karen Gritton at 302-286-5705 or

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.

Tobacco relapse support group Bayhealth Medical Center is pleased to offer a new support group for individuals who recently quit using tobacco products. The "Tobacco Relapse Prevention Support Group" will meet from 5:30 to 7 p.m., on March 20, May 22, July 24, Sept. 11 and Nov. 8, 2012. The group will meet in Bayhealth's BETT Conference Room at 208 W. Water St. in Dover. This support group is designed to help individuals focus on relapse prevention and provides networking opportunities for participants to share their unique experiences and success stories with others. There is no need to register in advance for this support group. For more information, contact Bayhealth Educator Terry Towne, MSN, RN-BC, NE-BC, at 302-744-6724.

NAR-ANON support group "Take Heart, Be Strong" is a support group available to those family members and friends who are concerned about the drug/alcohol addiction of a loved one. We find people in NAR-ANON who understand what we are going through and are ready to share their experience, strength and hope to help us. This group meets at 7 p.m. every Thursday in the Youth Room at Crossroad Community Church, 20684 State Forest Rd., Georgetown. If you are interested or know someone who might be, call Beth at 302-745-0466. This is an anonymous program and there are no obligations. Attendance is welcome with no prior arrangements. For more information and other meeting locations, visit

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 Delaware's newest depression support groups. The support groups provide a safe and comfortable environment for adults who may be struggling with depression to 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 Delaware's BluePrints for the Community program.