Prevalence Of Dementia In Adults With Down Syndrome Causes Concerns For Caregivers
Mar12

Prevalence Of Dementia In Adults With Down Syndrome Causes Concerns For Caregivers

In his younger days, Craig Cambeis was a competitive swimmer, equestrian, Special Olympics gold-medal winner, and avid New Jersey Devil’s hockey fan. At 59 years old, Cambeis now lives with dementia and no longer shows interest in these previously-beloved pastimes. Adele Barlow is both sister and caregiver to Cambeis, who has Down syndrome, and is struggling to communicate with her brother as his dementia progresses. While nearly 70% of Americans turning 65 will require long-term care at some point, this concerning turn for Cambeis came earlier than 65. According to Barlow, Cambeis first starting showing signs of dementia about one-and-a-half to two years ago, when he began to have trouble talking and completing self-care tasks. Before that time, Cambeis easily followed his daily routine, ate meals on his own, and changed channels on the television. Now, Barlow says that she dresses him, brushes his teeth, and shaves him. As he started having trouble with these actions, Cambeis also lost the ability to remember the names of Barlow and other family members. According to the National Down Syndrome Society, estimates show that Alzheimer’s disease, a common form of dementia, affects about 30% of adults with Down syndrome in their 50s and nearly 50% in their 60s. This high percentage isn’t a total shock to genetic researchers, as there is a known connection between Alzheimer’s and Down syndrome. A person who has Down syndrome has an extra copy of chromosome 21. This same chromosome also carries a gene that creates one of the key proteins involved in Alzheimer’s. By having three of these chromosomes instead of two, people with Down syndrome produce more of these proteins, resulting in a higher chance of developing Alzheimer’s. Nurse practitioner Leone Murphy, and mother to a 45-year-old daughter with Down syndrome, says that this connection is gaining more attention because the first generation of children with Down syndrome to live at home — rather than at potentially harmful developmental centers — have grown up and are living longer than those with Down syndrome did in the past. While the population of people with Down Syndrome has decreased by 30% because of prenatal screening, the life expectancy of this population has drastically increased. In the mid-1960s, an individual born with Down syndrome had a life expectancy of about 21 years. According to the National Institute of Health, that number has now tripled. As Murphy, Barlow, and others are facing the relatively unknown world of caring for aging loved ones with Down syndrome, they are looking to each other for support. Murphy co-founded the first statewide support group for caretakers of those with Down syndrome and dementia...

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Prominent North Texas Pastor And Wife Found Dead In Suspicious House Fire
Mar04

Prominent North Texas Pastor And Wife Found Dead In Suspicious House Fire

In Cedar Hill, Texas, officials responded to a house fire on Thursday, Feb. 28. Despite the efforts of emergency response teams, a local pastor, his wife, and one of their daughters were killed by the blaze. The couple’s other daughter survived but has been hospitalized for her injuries. According to friends of the family, the pastor was Eugene Keahey, 52, and his wife was Deanna Wilson-Keahey, 51. Neither the local police nor the Dallas County Medical Examiner’s Office have identified the victims, but they have stated that they believe the house fire was not caused by a common source like a masonry or prefab fireplace, but that it was intentionally set. Officials have not cited a reason for this belief and have not released information as to how the fire started. The state fire marshal’s office is assisting police in investigating the cause of the fire. Police arrived at the scene at about 4:30 a.m., shortly after the fire broke out. They were able to rescue two people from a second-story window, but the three victims died at the scene. The loss of the victims has hit the community hard. Eugene Keahey was a pastor at Mt. Zion Baptist Church in Sandbranch, a nearby unincorporated community in southeastern Dallas County. Keahey helped shine a light on this community in 2016. Sandbranch had gone decades with running water, but never received national attention or help for their plight until Keahey started a non-profit for the cause. Keahey also helped the people of Sandbranch get the healthcare they sorely lacked. High blood pressure, diabetes, and work injuries are all too common in this impoverished community. While U.S. Dietary Guidelines state that eating at least two and a half cups of fruits and vegetables every day is linked to reducing one’s risk of cardiovascular disease, Sandbranch’s lack of clean water makes washing this important produce nearly impossible. Further complicating matters, the nearest medical facility lies 35 miles away. As most residents do not have access to transportation, basic healthcare had transformed into a luxury for the community. In 2016, Keahey arranged a partnership with the nursing department at Texas Women’s University to provide health screenings for Sandbranch residents. “In a city where there was no attention being brought to, he changed that. He changed Sandbranch,” said family friend Trisha Allen. At the time of his death, Keahey was still fighting for the residents of Sandbranch. He was in the midst of a battle with Dallas County Commissioner John Wiley Price, who was indicted in 2014 on an array of corruption and bribery charges. Price was found not guilty on seven out of...

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Landfills Brace For Future Storms With New And Better Infrastructure
Mar02

Landfills Brace For Future Storms With New And Better Infrastructure

In recent years, a surprising number of severe storms and weather patterns have emerged across the globe. From artic winds to unprecedented rainfall, cities in the U.S. are being battered and beaten with some frequency; one of the most vulnerable locations are the coastlines. Storm surges describe the intense hurricane winds that are blown along the ocean surface, causing water to build up as it approaches the shoreline. The size of the storm — including its speed, central pressure, overall shape, and angle of approach — all play a role in determining how much damage will be done; since waves can act as battering rams weighing about 1,700 lbs per cubic yard, buildings and roads are easily destroyed or eroded. This is why nearly 14% of the U.S. coastline is armored with hard infrastructure. In addition to the importance of a city’s roads and buildings, the safety and protection of landfills during raging storms is vital. Since wastewater leakage can make an already bad situation much worse by increasing the risk of disease and infection, landfill operators are focusing on building more and bigger stormwater and leachate ponds. “We overdesigned our system to be able to handle these regional storm events. We adjusted our final contours for better stormwater flow and sized the perimeter of stormwater ditches to adequately handle larger flow. And we made them bigger and wider,” says Mike Jovanovic, vice president environmental affairs at Terrapure Environmental, a waste management company based 30 miles from Toronto. Landfills aren’t the only public health hazards caused by strong storms. While 20% of Americans use septic tanks, the rest rely on municipal water treatment facilities. In cities like Baltimore, heavy rains and storms regularly lead to sewage flooding city streets. Now, flooded landfills threaten many coastal cities with a new public health hazard. In the past, landfill stormwater systems were based on 25-year design storm-events or weather events that are statistically possible every 25 years; this is area-specific, so in Virginia Beach, that would be six or seven inches of rainfall in a 24-hour period. Because of the upswing in major storm events — ones that have been classified as one in 50-year or one in 100-year events — landfill operators aren’t taking the chance.  After hurricane Michael did upwards of $25 billion in damage, there isn’t another option. They know that they must adapt and evolve as the times change in order to stay on top of and reduce the potential damage. “Stormwater management is dynamic, and our goal is to anticipate changes and adapt plans accordingly to minimize risk,” says William Mojica, Republic Services director of environmental compliance. “It’s understanding the facility’s...

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Ride-Hailing App Uber Is Suing New York City Over Its Cap On Drivers
Feb19

Ride-Hailing App Uber Is Suing New York City Over Its Cap On Drivers

Ride-hailing company Uber filed a lawsuit against New York City on Feb. 15 to dispute the city’s recent cap on the number of new drivers allowed on the roads. The law at the center of this legal dispute was the first of its kind in the country and paused the issuance of new licenses to drivers for 12 months. Despite the time limit included in the legislation, Uber fears that the New York City Council will ultimately make the cap permanent. According to the lawsuit, Uber is arguing that the one-year freeze on licenses for ride-hailing vehicles is anticompetitive by nature and exceeds the city’s authority. About 94% of people say that web design is the reason they have mistrusted a website or rejected its services. With their streamlined designs, user-friendly interfaces, and convenient service, ride-hailing apps like Uber and Lyft typically don’t have that issue and are wildly popular among riders. For the policymakers of large metropolitan areas, however, they have proven to be the source of many headaches. Before the popularity of these apps grew, the streets of New York were already overcrowded and prone to traffic jams. In 2016, about 15% of all cars sold in the U.S. were pickup trucks. This number of large vehicles creates issues in a tightly-packed city like New York, especially when combined with the number of buses and yellow taxis that transport the city’s many tourists and car-less residents. With drivers from the apps now in the mix, the problem has only worsened. When the New York City Council passed the cap in August 2018, they also approved a standard of minimum pay for drivers in order to reduce the amount of time empty cars spend on the road. Just this past January, the city has started to charge a congestion fee of $2.75 on each app-hailed trip that passes through Manhattan’s business district with the heaviest traffic. New York governor Andrew Cuomo is currently pushing for legislation that would enforce tolls for all drivers entering midtown and downtown Manhattan. In the meantime, the city is focusing its efforts on ride-hailing apps that have been able to exist in the gray areas of labor and taxi regulations at the state and city level. Uber, Lyft, and similar companies have argued that they are technology platforms rather than taxi companies, allowing them to slip through the stricter regulations that apply to most car services. In New York City, this leniency is coming to an end as the city begins to categorize ride-hail vehicles in its preexisting for-hire vehicle category. The city isn’t enacting these regulations only in the interest of clearing...

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World Tickled Pink as Thousand of Germans Don Blue Smurf Costumes
Feb18

World Tickled Pink as Thousand of Germans Don Blue Smurf Costumes

In an attempt to break the Guinness World Record for the largest gathering of Smurfs, the German town Dä Traditionsverein asked citizens to dress as Smurfs on Feb. 16. This event was first created by Belgium fans back in 1958. The old Guinness World Record is currently held by participants in Wales, consisting of 2,510 participants back in 2009. So, how many people showed up at the Dä Traditionsverein event? The official Record Institute for Germany claims that 2,762 people donned blue skin and hats in celebration of the show. This beats the previous record by more than 200 people, but it still fell short of their goal of 3,000 participants. Regardless, this event still brought thousands of people together to revel in a tradition of more than 60 years strong and rectified the town’s previously failed attempt back in 2016. Just as 30% of public schools have uniform guidelines for students, the event asked participants to only dress as two easily identifiable characters: Smurfette and Papa Smurf. These two were chosen primarily because of their unique features among the rest of the Smurfs. With Smurfette’s classic blonde hair and Papa Smurf’s beard and red hat, it makes it easy to count the number of participants walking into the event. Those showing any normal skin beneath their blue appearance weren’t counted in the final tallies. Whether that means people used makeup, body paint, or just wore blue clothing, coatings were essential at the event. After all, coatings typically provide two main functions: decoration, such as in this event, or protection. Though some reports claim that normal Smurfs were okay too, as a Smurf-only event, Gargamel was strictly off limits. Participants were even given certificates of participation by the Record Institute for Germany. There’s no word on whether or not Dä Traditionsverein has officially become the world record holder, but there’s little doubt that the town won, especially in the eyes of the participants. Guinness officials are expected to approve the record in the next few weeks. Reports claim that French partner cities even participated, with more than 100 Smurfs travelling to Dä Traditionsverein for the event. The beloved cartoon is worth around $8 billion and has been translated into more than 30 languages across the...

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10 Easy Fixes and No-Sew Hacks to Help Clothes Live Longer
Feb08

10 Easy Fixes and No-Sew Hacks to Help Clothes Live Longer

Many of us love the feeling of a great outfit. We all know that one shirt that makes us feel instantly professional, or those pants that make us feel a foot taller. Damaging or staining such a beloved item can feel like losing a friend— devastating. And, since the average American spends a whopping $1,800 on clothing a year, ruining too many pieces of clothing can be surprisingly expensive. If you’ve recently ruined a favorite garment, or if you’re looking to save money on your wardrobe, read on. Here are 10 clever repair tricks to help your clothes live a bit longer. Save a button with clear nail polish. Just a dab will prevent the thread from unraveling until you have time to sew it properly. No shoe polish? Try moisturizer. The oils in the moisturizer will give materials like leather and faux leather fresh shine and suppleness. Deodorize smelly gym sneakers by sprinkling a bit of baking soda in them after each use. Baking soda mixed with lemon juice also makes a great scrub for eliminating pit stains. Do your stockings have a run? Stop the split temporarily with clear nail polish. Spritzing the thin fabric with hair spray can also help prevent tears before they start. If your sweater has started pilling, try using a razor. The blade can shave away unsightly tufts of fraying fabric in a flash. Many swear by baby wipes as a method of removing deodorant stains. Simply rub the white spots until they disappear! Try using shaving cream to lift makeup and foundation stains off of a hemline. Blot the stained area with the cream, then toss in the wash. Baking soda really is a miracle ingredient. Use a toothbrush and a paste made of baking soda and water to whiten grimy sneakers. Nothing wrecks your day like stepping your favorite shoes in a wad of gum. To pull the stuff out of your tread, press ice against the area for 20 minutes. The gum should harden enough to be removed with ease. With so many ways to wreck an outfit, looking your best can be a chore. Try any of these smart tips to help your clothes last a little longer. With these clever hacks, no rip, stain, or loose thread will ruin your day...

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