Thursday, June 03, 2010
Immigration law and stereotyping

By Dr. Anthony Policastro

I have often written about the fact that we all tend to stereotype people. There has been a lot of commotion recently about the new law regarding illegal immigrants in our southwest. One thing to be cautious about is the effect that it has on non-immigrants. When I was a college student in New York City, I took the subway to school every day. Frequently, people would come up to me and ask for directions in Spanish. Due to my Italian background, I looked like I might speak Spanish. Those individuals were in general terms, stereotyping. Because of my appearance, they assumed that I spoke Spanish. In a situation where there is an opportunity to ask an individual to prove that they have the necessary papers that confirm their identity, it sets up a similar type of stereotyping opportunity. Some of the individuals that are asked may very well be illegal immigrants. However, some will not be. For those that are not illegal immigrants, you run the risk of offending them by stereotyping. Hopefully, these individuals won't be in a hurry to get somewhere. It would likely get old quickly if they were late for work every day. Is it fair to these individuals to be inconvenienced because of their appearance? There was once a study done in California. They had 100 teachers grade a series of four essays. All four essays were judged in advance to be of equal caliber. The four names put at the top of the pages were David, Michael, Elmo and Henry. When the grades came back, David and Michael consistently had higher grades than Elmo and Henry. They then changed the names at the top of the essays. They put David and Michael's names at the top of the ones that had been labeled Elmo and Henry and vice versa. The essays were then given to another group of 100 teachers to grade. The results showed that David and Michael got consistently higher grades than Elmo and Henry. This is an example of subconscious stereotyping. We need to be careful that we take into account the dangers that stereotyping can cause depending upon the specific situation in which it is used.

Dr. Wingate named director Michael Wingate, MD, who specializes in general surgery at Nanticoke Health Services, has recently been named medical director of Nanticoke Memorial Hospital's Wound Care and Hyperbaric Center.He brings extensive experience in wound care and general surgery. Dr. Wingate is board certified by the American Board of Surgery and graduated from the State University of New York at Stony Brook. He completed his residency at West Virginia University, Ruby Memorial Hospital in Morgantown. His professional memberships include Fellow of the American College of Surgeons, The American Society of Breast Surgeons, and the Surgical Infection Society.

A guide to spot clutter creep If you notice these characteristics about your senior loved ones or their homes, clutter could start creeping up on them. 1. Piles of mail and unpaid bills. 2. Difficulty walking safely through a home. 3. Frustration trying to organize. 4. Difficulty managing activities of daily living. 5. Expired food in the refrigerator. 6. Jammed closets and drawers. 7. Compulsive shopping. 8. Difficulty deciding whether to discard items. 9. A health episode such as a stroke or dementia. 10. Loneliness.

Why seniors hang on to things Following, from Home Instead Senior Care and Vickie Dellaquila, certified professional organizer and author of "Don't Toss My Memories in the Trash," are 10 reasons seniors can't or won't give up their stuff and what to do about it. 1. The sentimental attachment. The beloved prom dress represents the history and memories of the event; it's not the dress itself. Save only a piece of the dress to make a quilt or display in a shadow box. Scrapbooking and converting photos to DVDs are other ways to save treasured keepsakes without all the extra mess. 2. The sense of loyalty. Older adults who've received gifts from family and friends may be reluctant to part with them. Encourage your loved one to give unused gifts back to the giver or grandchildren. 3. The need to conserve. Seniors are the original green people. Appeal to a senior's desire to help others. Counter a senior's inclination to conserve by appealing to their desire to give back. 4. The fatigue. A home with a lifetime of memories can easily become too much for an older adult to handle. Help seniors manage clutter by establishing online bill paying. Also, get your senior off junk mail lists, which can put them at risk of identity theft, and buy them a shredder. 5. The change in health. Seniors who have suffered a brain trauma or stroke, who are wheelchair bound or who are experiencing dementia may no longer be able to manage household duties. If you see a health change, encourage your senior to visit his or her doctor and consider a professional organizer and caregiver to help your loved one. 6. The fear.Seniors often fear what will happen if they give up their stuff, like the older adult who saved three generations of bank statements. Use logic and information to help seniors understand it's okay to let go. 7. The dream of the future. Those clothes in the closet don't fit anymore,

but your loved one is sure that some day she'll lose enough weight to get into them. Ask seniors to fill a box with clothing they don't wear much and make a list of the items in the box. Agree that if they have not gone back to the box in six months to wear the item, they will donate that to charity. 8. The love of shopping. Today's seniors have more money than any other previous generation of older adults and they love to shop. Clutter can become so bad seniors can't find things and they repurchase items they already have, contributing to the clutter cycle. 9. The history and memories. Let seniors know they can contribute to the history of their time and leave a lasting legacy by donating to museums and historical societies, a library, or churches and synagogues. 10. The loneliness. Stuff can become a misplaced companion. Loneliness may also lead to depression, which makes it difficult for seniors to get organized. Consider the services of a professional organizer and caregiver. For more information, go to the National Association of Professional Organizers at or visit

Professionals attend conference Nanticoke Memorial Hospital's medical professionals attended The Society of Hospital Medicine's (SHM) 13th annual meeting on April 8-11 at the Gaylord National Harbor Resort & Convention Center in National Harbor, Md. The four-day event drew more than 2,200 hospitalists, including Nanticoke Memorial Hospital's Hospitalists Robert Ferber, M.D., Li Zhang, M.D., and Advanced Nurse Practitioner, Kathy James, FNP.At the annual meeting, Dr. Ferber was recognized as a Senior Fellow in Hospital Medicine.

Bereavement support group Compassionate Care Hospice, The Wellness Community-DE and Nanticoke Memorial Hospital will collaborate to present a monthly bereavement group, The Next Step. The group focuses on issues of loss that continue beyond the early stages of grief. Mary Van House, bereavement coordinator, will facilitate the group at 10 a.m. on the third Tuesday of each month, at the Nanticoke Cancer Care Center, second floor conference room. To register, call Lisa at 629-6611, ext. 2378.

Depression Support Group There is a free bimonthly Depression Support Group meeting in Laurel on the second and fourth Wednesday evenings from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Any person who has signs and symptoms of depression and is under the care of a professional counselor/MD is welcome to attend. To register, call 302-465-6612. 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. The program is facilitated by Nanticoke Memorial Hospital Cancer Center professional staff - Terri A. Clifton, MS, NCC, Cancer Care coordinator; Mary Brown, RN, DSN, manager Cancer Care Center; and Wendy Polk, nutritionist - with assistance from Lois Wilkinson, DBCC special projects manager, who helps facilitate the program at Bayhealth. Of particular value to newly-diagnosed women is DBCC's Peer Mentor Program through which they are paired with a long-term survivor for one-on-one support. To learn more about Beginning Your Pink Ribbon Journey at Nanticoke Memorial Hospital Cancer Center, call Lois Wilkinson at 672-6435. Registration is required and light refreshments and small gifts are provided.

Man to Man support group Nanticoke Memorial Hospital offers a Man to Man support group meeting on the fourth Wednesday of each month. Man to Man helps men cope with prostate cancer by receiving information and peer support. Man to Man is a forum for men and their support network to learn about diagnosis and treatment options through presentations, written materials and videos. Specialists share information such as side effects and how to cope with prostate cancer and its treatment. News and information about nutrition, general health, research and treatment, as well as messages from men living with prostate cancer and other Man to Man activities, are offered to assist in the recovery process. Pre-registration is not required for this free support group. For more information, contact Larry Skala (337-3678) or Grafton Adams (628-8311).

Cancer support group The Wellness Community-Delaware offers a free general cancer support group for people affected by cancer and their loved ones at Nanticoke Memorial Hospital in Seaford. The monthly support group meets in the second floor conference room of the Cancer Care Center on the third Monday of each month from 4:30 to 6 p.m. The Wellness Community is dedicated to helping people affected by cancer enhance their health and well-being through participation in a professional program of emotional support and hope. All facilitators of these groups are trained mental health professionals. Call 645-9150 for information or to register.