Choices ~ Healing ~ Love
April 1, 2004
Publisher & Editor: Gail R. Mitchell
UPDATES AT THE SITE
INFORMATIVE CAREGIVING ARTICLES & INSPIRATION
MESSAGE BOARDS & EMAIL BAG
JOKES & HUMOR
I received over 50 responses from caregivers across the nation who also had stories to tell about wasted monies that Medicare and the government spends. I encourage you all to send your stories to your congress people in hopes that sooner or later they will make a difference. If you are willing to email me your story with your real name and address, I would be happy to begin submitting them to advocates who can help make a difference. Email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
I will be travelling most of the month into May so I will try to keep you posted on what is going on. I will be speaking at Hyannis on Cape Cod and by Lewiston, Maine at the end of the month and here in NYC in May, so if you are able to, come out and join in. I look forward to meeting you.
Hosting in the chats will slow down a bit and you can check by the login for my schedule... my postings at the boards will be limited to those in need. I know you all understand and thank you for your patience.
We have several new articles.. caring for a spouse from a man's point of view and also a woman who cared for her husband. Dr. Stoppard has written an interesting article on the stress hormone and its relationship with depression.. which shouldn't be missed by any caregiver.. Beth Witrogen McLeod has written an article about woman and midlife and their roles in caregiving and there are a host of other articles for your viewing..
Spring has sprung for most of us and once again, I would like to encourage you to take some time to do things for you. Remember, you care so beautifully for your loved one but if something were to happen to you, who would do the caring? Somehow, as caregivers, we want to be taken care of, but the truth of it is that no one can care for us better than ourselves.. so take time ...and let us hear about some of the ways you are breaking away to care for yourself in hopes that others will learn from your experiences.
Tha'ts about it for this week.
May your journey be gentle and beautiful!
Due to the heavy travelling schedule this month, the caregiving and health of the other hosts, chats will be held sporadically. Check for postings above the chat login area. Thank you for bearing with us. You can always post at the boards where others respond to them promptly..
National Organization For Empowering Caregivers NOFEC
We invite you to join in our complimentary membership at: Join Us. While you are there, please take a few minutes to fill in the Caregiver Survey. Your input is extremely valuable and we will respect your privacy. Your support in filling in the survey will help us and our funders to reveal areas where programming is most needed and where it will be most effectivec. Survey.
Or click on this link:
Tell Her You Love Her by Peter Flierl
There will be nearly 70 million women over the age of 50 in the United States by the year 2030, according to a report in the July 2000 issue of Women's Health Issues. This century will see aging become ever more a women's issue. Because most caregivers and care receivers are women at midlife and older, caregiving will also enter a resoundingly female awareness.
Beth Witrogen Mcleod
Beth Witrogen McLeod is an author, journalist, speaker and consultant on caregiving, end-of-life issues and renewal at midlife, especially for women. Beth is one of our featured experts at the Empowering Caregivers with one of the largest collections of her articles. She is a double Pulitzer Prize nominee, and has won many national and regional awards for her work. She has written for Good Housekeeping, SELF, Family Circle, and The Wall Street Journal, among others. Her latest book is Caregiving: The Spiritual Journey of Love, Loss, and Renewal www.Witrogen.Com
In the garden of the Sarasota, Florida estate of fabled circus entrepreneur John Ringling stands an impressive bronze statue of the Roman god Atlas bearing the world on his shoulders. The first thing I noticed about Atlas was that he was not a happy camper. Atlas was struggling dreadfully and appeared to be on the verge of caving in. Dude, carrying the weight of the world is overbearing.
While Atlas is often romanticized, his job sucks. If you accept his role, your life will suck. If you assume responsibility for everyone and everything around you, you will rapidly become a crispy critter. Besides, it doesn’t work. When you try to run the whole show, you get frazzled, frayed, and fatigued. You feel overwhelmed, grow resentful, and then lash out inappropriately, blowing little things into major issues. Over time you may become ill. Shoulder pain, stomach problems, and high blood pressure are strong indicators that you are trying to play Atlas.
If you examine your responsibilities more closely, you will discover it is not the universe that has piled too much on your plate. It is you. You have taken on jobs not assigned to you. You are trying too hard. Frustration and conflict are messages from the universe that it is time to back off. The longer you wait to get the message, the harder your journey will be. Let go now and beat the rush later.
I went to a friend’s birthday party at a local beach. My friend’s mother attended, and she decided she would make sure everyone had a good time. (You can see where this is headed.) From the moment the guests arrived, the mother orchestrated where everyone was to sit, how far apart their blankets were to be, how and where the food was to be put out, when people were to eat, and on and on. While she was trying to be helpful, her nervous energy was irritating and detracted from the natural flow of the event. The guests could figure out where to sit; it didn’t really matter how far their blankets were apart; and when they got hungry, they would find their way to the food. Most of us had been eating for our entire lives, and finding food at a party posed no big existential dilemma. I’m sure mom was having the least fun of everyone there.
If you think the world would unravel if you did not keep it glued, lay back more. Watch what happens when you allow life to take care of itself. If there is something you really need to do, you will know it. If not, don’t try to solve problems before they occur. In so doing, you create all kinds of problems that wouldn’t have happened if you weren’t trying to head them off.
If you have assigned yourself the position of General Manager of the Universe, you probably resist delegating. Then you end up doing all kinds of things you don’t want or need to do. Then you wonder why you feel overwhelmed. Or why your business isn’t growing. Or why your children are so needy. It’s not them. It’s you.
Your way out is simple, but not easy: Admit that there are other people in the universe who can do some things as well as you. Maybe -- hold onto your seat, now -- even better than you. I know this is a totally radical, unreasonable, and heretical concept to suggest, but alas, it may be so.
Letting other people take over some of the things you are doing, alien as this sounds, offers some very attractive benefits:
If you believe you must do it all yourself, you probably feel lonely. Life can get scary when you believe you have no one to lean on. Yet when you are connected to your higher power, you proceed with the confidence of kings. A Course in Miracles tells us, "If you knew who walks beside you, fear would be impossible." Whether you believe in God, love, people, science, or your pooch, one thing is certain: You have help. The intelligent resourceful universe keeps showing up to support those who need it -- sometimes in miraculous ways.
A woman told me that she had wanted to come to Hawaii for a seminar, but didn’t have the funds for airfare. She figured that if she could not come to be in my program, she would read one of my books that she had had for a while. She went to her bookshelf, opened the book, and out fell a check someone had given her a year earlier. It was in the amount of $450 -- exactly what she needed for the airfare.
Such an experience is not a fluke; it is a demonstration of how universal principles get behind you as you align with them. Miracles do not suspend the laws of life; they fulfill them. The river of life is always flowing; our part is to get our boat into the water and let the current power us. It’s all a lot easier than you’ve been told. Give Atlas a break; he’s ready.
Alan Cohen, M.A.
Alan Cohen, M.A., is the author of 20 popular inspirational books and tapes, including the best-selling The Dragon Doesn't Live Here Anymore and the award-winning A Deep Breath of Life. Alan's newest release "Why Your Life Sucks" can be purchased from his web site and most books stores. To request a free catalog of Alan's books, tapes, seminars, and life-transforming Mastery Training in Maui, phone 1 800 568-3079, email@example.com, or write P.O. Box 835, Haiku, HI 96708. Alan's syndicated column, From the Heart, appears in new thought magazines internationally. www.AlanCohen.com
Empowering The Caregiver Conference
The Cape Cod Healthcare Organization in conjunction with the American Cancer Society and The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society will be presenting a one day event taking a look at the unique role of the family and professional caregiver. The featured Keynote speaker is Gail R. Mitchell and other topics will be helping children cope, stress management tools, clinician's challenging journey and legal/financial/community resources. The fee for the event is $25.00 and it includes a continental breakfast and lunch. Nursing and Social Work CE's are available as well as scholarships. To register, please phone 508.862.5148.
SeniorsPlus, an area on agency organization will be presenting a program to provide information and resources available to assist family and informal caregivers with their care giving duties. The Empowered Caregiverconference is FREE to family and informal caregivers and includes morning refreshments, buffet lunch and entertainment with comedian Randy Judkins. Gail R. Mitchell will be the keynote presenter and Geriatric Care Physician, Laurel Coleman, MD from Manchester will address the issues of dementia care and aging in America. To register, please call SeniorsPlus at
This course will provide support and guidance to caregivers (informal/family), helping them move into this role with greater knowledge, awareness, and ease. Some of the topics to be covered include self-care; support groups; accessing community services and resources; dealing with role reversal; options for long distance caregiving; and negotiating financial, legal, and insurance matters. The program will be presented by Gail R. Mitchell, President/Founder of National Organization for Empowering Caregivers in NYC.
Sign up today for a free e-mail course to help you relax! Each week for six weeks, you'll receive a brief e-mail that describes one specific relaxation exercise, including diaphragmatic breathing, guided imagery, journaling, self-hypnosis, and more. Practice that exercise as recommended in the instructions for one week. The next week, you'll receive the next exercise that focuses on a different method. By the end of six weeks, you'll have acquired six new techniques to help you relax and can choose the one that suits you best. The course is individualized so that you can begin with Lesson One at any time, and you may always unsubscribe if you wish. Join
From Melissa C. Stoppler: "We all experience stress, and managing it can help us to lead healthier and more rewarding lives. I hope to include here the best educational, self-help, and management resources available on the Web." Melissa C. Stöppler, M.D
New Jersey Governor James McGreevey recently signed an Executive Order to expand caregiver support services. The Executive Order creates the New Jersey Caring for Caregivers Initiative, which provides 14 county Offices on Aging with funds to offer a variety of services in the home of the caregiver. It would also fund seven county Statewide Respite Care Programs to help caregivers. The Governor has also included funds in his budget proposal for the Senior Care program. Under this initiative, residents would have the flexibility to live in their own homes or in the home of a loved one while still receiving long-term funds to obtain necessary health and supportive services. The program would be similar to other "Money Follows the Person" initiatives around the country. Information about New Jersey Caring for Caregivers Initiative: and Senior Care program details:
WHYY Wider Horizons and the Caring Community Coalition have joined with the Alzheimer's Association, Delaware Valley Chapter to continue outreach to those living with Alzheimer's Disease and related dementias.
April 19, 2004
Those in the Philadelphia region are welcome to join us in person at WHYY's Technology Center, 150 North Sixth Street in Philadelphia.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has released a tip sheet for counselors, caregivers, and other intermediaries who will be helping Medicare beneficiaries compare and choose drug discount cards. The tip sheet is available for download at Tip Sheet For links to other CMS publications related to the drug discount cards, go to; Medicare
National Alliance for Caregiving is in the initial stages of developing educational materials on the new Medicare drug benefits specifically for family caregivers who are involved in the decision-making process. As part of their preparation they would like to hear what list members think about the CMS tip sheet. In particular they would like to hear your thoughts on the tip sheet's strengths, shortcomings, missing information, misleading information, etc. Please send your comments to Les Plooster at firstname.lastname@example.org.
HHS Offers More Information
HHS Secretary Tommy G. Thompson today announced that the Medicare program is offering help to beneficiaries in choosing among the Medicare-approved drug discount card that best meet their needs when they become available in May.
"Beneficiaries will have many options to choose from, and that means they will be able to select a plan that will truly serve them best," Secretary Thompson said.
"Medicare will be there helping them navigate their choices and find the one that's right for their own circumstances."
To begin the process of helping beneficiaries, HHS' Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services today is expanding the Prescription Drug and Other Assistance Programs section of www.medicare.gov. By answering a few questions, users can get customized results information about the
Medicare-approved drug discount cards including the names of cards available to them, the enrollment fees and ways to contact the card programs.
Starting April 29, users will be able to compare drug prices and find out which pharmacies in their area accept the new Medicare-approved drug discount cards. To read the release in its entirety go to DRUG info.
Part of the Series on Spirituality, Religious Wisdom and Care of the Patient offered at St. Vincent's Comprehensive Cancer Center, 325 West 15th Street, Main Conference Room (1st Floor). For details, see:
Sponsored by the Adult Center for Enrichment and Shepherds Center at Bryan Park Enrichment Center, Browns Summit, NC. Speakers include H.R. Moody, Jean Luce, Wayne Ewing, and others. For information and registration, contact Sallie White at (336) 274-3559 For additional information, visit: http://www.acecare.org
The National Respite Conference will be held September 8-10, 2004 in Atlantic City, in conjunction with the New Jersey Conference on Caregiving, Wellness & Family Support. The conference will focus on the critical importance of caregiving, including respite and wellness of individuals with developmental disabilities mental illness the elderly, those with chronic illness, and children at risk of child abuse and neglect, and those who care for them. Conference information:
A March 17, 2004 article prepared by the Scripps Howard News Service provides information on new resources to assist family caregivers. "A look at new technology for the elderly" gives information on products such as the Caregiver's Assistant, which allows relatives and caregivers to check an elderly person's daily routine through sensors on furniture and through use of everyday items. A partner program would also track the senior's phone use and track what types of activities the senior is doing during the day. Read:
The Center for Social Gerontology has created a "Mediation and Aging" website and materials to provide information on the uses of mediation with older persons, particularly in situations in which guardianship is involved. Two brochures are available: "Considering Guardianship for Someone You Care About? Consider Mediation" and "Caring for an Older Person and Facing Difficult Decisions? Consider Mediation." Download:
3 Ways to Enjoy the Programs...
Get beyond the limitations of goal planning and engage in “Meaningful Intentions”© filled with passion, purpose, love and benefits for all. Unlike goal chasing, your happiness is not deferred to some distant point in time. Happiness is here NOW in this precious perfect moment. MFor details, click here
AboutMyKids.com pairs parents and grandparents with a degreed, experienced parenting professional who is available "live" online and over the phone. This personal parenting coach can help with issues such as managing an ongoing discipline concern, understanding stages in development, and planning for family fun time. Regardless of a child's age, AboutMyKids.com helps make the job of parenting easier by providing access to hand-selected parenting resources, one-on-one support and encouragement.
April 5-11, 2004 is National Public Health Week with a focus this year on Eliminating Health Disparities: Communities Moving from Statistics to Solutions. Find Fast Facts, links, and other resources. Enter your project into the database that will be shared during the week apha.org
The USA Today newspaper recently ran an article on the emergence of so-called "Green Funerals" in America. The piece chronicles the work of Jerri Lyons, who runs a non-profit organization called "Final Passages" which is dedicated to helping families conduct their own funerals for deceased loved ones. The avenue Lyons advocates involves no funeral directors and funeral homes, but rather places an emphasis on trying to help families essentially conduct the entire burial process for a loved one by themselves - right down to the artistic decoration and construction of cardboard caskets. While taking on such a challenge might not be for every family, it can save people thousands of dollars and offer a chance for some to deal with death and dying up close, as a normal part of everyday life (the article also notes that there may be local and state restrictions involved). To view the full article, titled, "Moving on from Life, Naturally," go to
The National Alliance for Caregiving has teamed with Metlife Mature Market Institute and the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging to provide resources for families who have caregiving responsibilities. The brochure provides contact information for national organizations that provide financial, legal and other assistance to caregivers, as well as a listing of books, videos and other resources. Download:
Washington Post Called "Defining the Patient-Physician Relationship for the 21st Century”… the report is being distributed to government officials, physician networks and managed care plans. The hope is that it will guide doctors and patients to interact better with one another, and ultimately result in patients' staying healthier longer. Article
Global Love Day - It’s all about LOVE in global proportions! The Love Foundation is inviting people around the world to join together in celebrating and expanding LOVE during a one day planetary event encompassing all nations, all people, all life. The event’s theme is “Love Begins With Me” and will take place as various celebrations across the globe.
When menopause comes, many women are threatened by hot flashes and palpitations; they are sleepless and they are unable to concentrate. Some of them decide to take hormones, like estrogen pills, to get rid of these symptoms. Jane Gross, journalist, describes her own menopause experience, and how she managed it. She was afraid of pills, since some studies proved that they may be linked to cancer or heart attack. She finally concluded every woman has to decide by herself, and use pills if she can’t live without them. More
I know God promises not to give me more than I can handle. I just wish he didn't trust me so much.
What I do you cannot do; but what you do, I cannot do. The needs are great, and none of us, including me, ever do great things. But we can all do small things, with great love, and together we can do something wonderful."
Cherish your visions and your dreams. They are the children of your soul, the blueprints of your ultimate achievements.
Worry is negative goal setting.
We hang the petty thieves and appoint the great ones to public office.
Facts are the enemy of truth.
Miguel De Cervantes
Leaders must learn to discipline their disappointments. It is not what happens to us, it is what we choose to do about what happens that makes the difference in how our lives turn out.
Be proactive. Ask yourself, Are my actions based on self-chosen values or on my moods, feelings and circumstances?
Difficult people are the greatest teachers.
I believe that imagination is stronger than knowledge
I might think I know what's best for [my neighbor] but I don't know what is really in that man's heart. I might think I do and tell him do this and that. He might nod his head, but if in his heart he isn't ready to change, it won't make no difference.
Life is so Good by George Dawson with Richard Glaubman
A man's daughter had asked the local minister to come
"I guess you were expecting me, he said.
"I saw the empty chair and I figured
"Oh yeah, the chair," said the bedridden man.
"But all of my life I have never known how to pray.
Here is what I suggest."
Two nights later the daughter called
Mark Mercer [email@example.com]
Top Of Page
Hi Gail- I read your article and I couldn't agree more there is so much they could save by paying the actual caregivers, so that we can afford to stay at home and care for our parents. They also get much more personalized care and it makes a whole lot of sense to help solve the dilemma of costs to care for them at home. I have a hard time understanding the ignorance of these supposedly high intelligence financial representatives. Its not that hard to see where the waste is going and how easier it would be for all concerned to make a few adjustments and pay the direct source. Its going to have to change eventually, its just a matter of how long it takes them. Lynn iffy771
To whom it may concern:
Please permit us to introduce ourselves, we are Home Helpers at 19707 44th ave. W Ste. 202 Lynnwood, WA and we service King and Snohomish counties. Being a former caregiver to our father who passed away 5 years ago, we can understand the problems and challenges that a family caregiver goes through. We would like to be a resource for your members and we would like to offer our services to the members at a discounted rate. We reiterate that as long as they are referred by care-givers.com, we will discount our rate. We hope that we can be of assistance to you and all of the members. Should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us. Thanks.
"Old And New Concerns For People
Then: Long hair.
THAT'S IT FOR THIS ISSUE
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