How to Simplify Life with an Alzheimer’s Patient

Alzheimer’s Foundation of America pic
Alzheimer’s Foundation of America

Ellen Scharaga, an operational consultant for Alegria Specialty Pharmacy, works on developing specialty medications to treat diseases such as HIV, hepatitis C, multiple sclerosis, and arthritis. Currently living in Melville, NY, Ellen Scharaga is a supporter of the Alzheimer’s Foundation.

Caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s can feel overwhelming at times. However, there are several adjustments that you can make to help day-to-day life run more smoothly. For instance, help your loved one with Alzheimer’s establish a predictable daily routine. Schedule medical appointments at the time of day when your loved one tends to be most agreeable. Allow extra time to complete daily activities, since moving through them with someone with Alzheimer’s will take more time than before.

Limit choices, but make room for independence at the same time. For instance, lay out two outfits to choose between, but allow your loved one to get dressed independently if they are able. Give any instructions one step at a time and be sure to turn off any distractions, such as the television, to allow your loved one to focus better on the task. Finally, remember to stay flexible, as your loved one’s preferences and moods are likely to change more than before.


Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy Plans Next Meeting for April 2016

Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy pic
Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy

Ellen Scharaga of Melville, NY, currently works as an operational consultant for Alegria Specialty Pharmacy. Active in professional societies, Ellen Scharaga is a member of the Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy.

The next annual meeting of the Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy will be held from April 19 to 22, 2016, in San Francisco, California. This is the premier event for various experts and pharmacy professionals to come together to discuss the industry and share their viewpoints on such matters as managed care pharmacy, breakthrough drug therapies, and their impact on health care. A highlight of next year’s event will be the growing field of specialty pharmacy.

Sessions will bring participants up to date with current pharmaceutical regulations, as well as cutting-edge research developments and the future of the profession. The target audience for the event includes managed-care pharmacists, medical directors, health plan and Medicare/Medicaid administrators, and health practitioners who focus on pharmacy benefits.

American Cancer Society Updates Guidelines for Mammography Screenings

American Cancer Society pic
American Cancer Society

An accomplished pharmacologist, Ellen Scharaga of Melville, NY, currently works for Alegria Specialty Pharmacy as an operational consultant. Interested in supporting cures for chronic and life-threatening diseases, Ellen Scharaga is a supporter of the American Cancer Society.

After studying recent medical evidence, the American Cancer Society has updated its guidelines for mammogram screenings. The new recommendations for preventive breast cancer screenings may come as a surprise to some. The Cancer Society now says that women can start having mammograms later in life, and they can be done less frequently than has been the norm.

The new guidelines, based on the findings of the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, say that regular screenings for women of average risk in the 40-49 age group carry more risks than benefits. In addition, it is now recommended that women aged 50 to 74 have mammograms only every other year, rather than each year. The reasoning behind the changes is the high rate of false positives. Women of low risk who are screened annually have almost a two-in-three chance of receiving at least one false positive, which increases health care costs and causes patients unnecessary stress.

When to Use OTC Drugs to Manage Pain

Pain Management pic
Pain Management

A resident of Melville, NY, and operational consultant for Alegria Specialty Pharmacy, Ellen Scharaga plays a vital role in developing new medications that manage chronic conditions. Medications that Ellen Scharaga works with include specialized pain management drugs.

When experiencing pain, individuals have the option to use over-the-counter (OTC) medicine or obtain a prescription. OTC pain relievers are best suited for occasional aches derived from arthritis, sore muscles, headaches, and back pain. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen and naproxen sodium, are often recommended. Pain management specialists suggest using OTC medication to manage infrequent pain and to try a different NSAID if one does not work, since each type offers varying outcomes.

Individuals should see a physician if the OTC medication is not working and the pain intensifies. Swelling and inflammation as well as onset of a fever will require attention from a medical professional. A physician will evaluate a patient to determine suitable medication to prescribe that will not only manage pain but have the least likelihood of side effects.

Beneficial Activities for Individuals with Alzheimer’s

Alzheimer’s Foundation of America pic
Alzheimer’s Foundation of America

Ellen Scharaga of Melville, NY, is an operational consultant for Alegria Specialty Pharmacy, a company that develops and administers medications that help manage the effects of chronic medical conditions, such as HIV, arthritis, and infertility. Outside of her professional life, Ellen Scharaga donates her time to the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America. Though patients with Alzheimer’s can experience emotionally taxing mental degeneration, participation in certain activities may help improve both their mood and mental function.

Professionals suggest that devising simple activities based on patients’ past interests can lead to a successful and happy experience. For example, a patient who once enjoyed completing complex jigsaw puzzles may enjoy attempting a smaller puzzle with larger pieces.

Another suggestion that professionals make is to suggest activities that engage creativity. Working with bright colors in the form of paints, crayons, or clay may allow individuals with Alzheimer’s to express their creative side, generating a positive internal response to the activity.

Additionally, no matter a person’s age or condition, participating in physical exercise tends to yield positive results. Encourage Alzheimer’s patients to take short walks, offering them the opportunity to explore the outdoors in a setting such as a park or garden, where they can appreciate nature and use benches to rest.

Symptoms of Alzheimer’s Disease

Alzheimer’s Foundation of America pic
Alzheimer’s Foundation of America

A pharmaceutical professional, Ellen Scharaga of Melville, NY, brings more than three decades of experience to her role of operational consultant for Alegria Specialty Pharmacy. Dedicated to public service, Ellen Scharaga supports organizations such as the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America (AFA).

The AFA aids individuals and families impacted by dementia. The organization focuses on educating the community about Alzheimer’s disease, the leading cause of dementia, to remove fear of the illness, promote early detection and proper treatment, and improve quality of life for those diagnosed.

Alzheimer’s disease is a degenerative disorder that attacks brain neurons in the hippocampus and cerebral cortex. Destroyed nerve cells can result in loss of memory loss or thinking and language skills, or a combination of both. A person developing the disease may show signs of apraxia or aphasia. Symptoms of apraxia include the inability to carry out daily activities, such as brushing one’s teeth, using pre-programmed motor tasks. Aphasia causes a person to forget words and struggle with communication through speech. In more severe cases, a person may lose the ability to write or understand what is being communicated to him or her. Other symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease include amnesia (loss of memory) and agnosia (an inability to recognize objects).

Tumor-Initiating Cells Sustain Cancer By Ellen Scharaga

Although cancer is known for its ability to spread rapidly, most cancer cells actually possess limited capabilities to multiply. Recent studies indicate, however, that a minority of cells can repair themselves and reproduce via cell division. Scientists theorize that these cells initiate tumors and, in some cases, revive them after the initial tumor is thought to have been completely eradicated.

Tumor-initiating cells appear to share some of the traits of normal stem cells. Stem cells serve as the master cells of the body and are able to reproduce throughout their lives and adapt to assume new functions. In addition to having phenotypes similar to those of stem cells, tumor-initiating cells contain surface markers that are like those of human stem cells. With these comparable characteristics, researchers continue to test pharmaceutical products and other potential therapies that target tumor-initiating cells as a means of eradicating cancer.

About Ellen Scharaga: The Senior Vice President of Oncology Pharmacy Services at OncoMed Pharmaceutical Services, Ellen Scharaga oversees a busy working pharmacy. In this capacity, she hires and trains new recruits, manages inventory, and directs compliance and best practices activities.