Four friends have been visiting over the holiday from Mexico with me. It's been a wonderful and interesting experience. Two had the flu upon their arrival and it seems that we are passing it back and forth to one another. I recently recovered from a three week bout of the flu and continued taking my herbs and vitamins so I am not hit with it again. We have been forced to stay in rather than play "tourist" and our conversations have stemmed from how we met over 30 years ago to what we can control and what we can't control. We collectively agreed that there was a reason that we were all cooped up in the apartment, making the best of things, laughing, sharing and connecting on a deeper soulful level...I think the most important issue that we have agreed to agree with is that we are each responsible for the happiness, peace and love that we experience in our lives. How we hold our thoughts; what we focus on; what we put the power into constantly is what we manifest in our own life.

My friend and I chuckled as we observed her husband looking like his mother and sister in certain facial expressions as well as some of his emotional expressions. And then we noticed the same similarities in the oldest son. My girlfriend remarked that the son kept talking how he never wanted to be like his father and at 23, was he was becoming more and more like him on a daily basis. The more we focused on what we didn't want was what manifested. When we shared this with the son, he laughed and said that he saw it as well.. so his firm commitment was to focus on what he wanted to become.

We also spoke of the war and I shared how I, myself went to several of the war protests. What I came to realize on a deeper level was that I was focused on "war" and not "peace". While it was peace that I wanted to experience more of, it was what I didn't want "war" that I was focused on.

Once again, we realized that whatever we placed our thoughts upon was what we manifested, almost immediately, so while I always try to be mindful of my thoughts, I was sending out the vibrations of war rather than peace. How intricate our lives and minds are and how we must really be conscious of the words we choose in any given.

I apologize for not sending a separate message about the following. This morning I participated in a global meditation for world peace. I have done it for approximately 15 years or so and it's a powerful experience. The link to the meditation, for those of you who are interested is: Meditation.

So, in this coming New Year, let us all take time to evaluate the words we choose to put out into the Universe.. Let us all be mindful of the vibrations that we contribute on a daily basis.. whether it is towards our loved ones that we are caring for, or the postman, the garbage collector, the cashier, and so on...Let us focus more on gratitude for what we DO have..Let us all focus on embracing thoughts of love, peace, harmony, health and all those wonderful experiences we dare to dream and imagine.

Wishing you all a Peaceful, Holiday Season...
to you, your loved ones and friends..

May your journey be gentle and beautiful!
In Love & Light,


Our Healing Circle

For those of you who have listed loved ones in our healing circle at the site, our list keeps growing and growing. In order to keep the names in the circle current, one of our volunteers is developing a database so that when you list the name(s) of those you would like included, it will request your email address etc. Every 3-4 months an email will go out asking you to validate that you would like to have the name remain in the circle or that you would like it removed.

If, over the years, you have placed a name of a loved one and more than one name, we would appreciate your emailing us at This will enable us to keep the circle current and when we no longer can contact the poster due to address changes, these names will be deleted after three months of their initial posting. Once the database is up it will be easier for us to maintain the circle and this information will remain posted at the circle. Thank you for your understanding and support.

Helping Grow NOFEC This Holiday Season.

It is with much gratitude that we offer our thank yous to those of you who opened your hearts so generously to help us to continue growing Empowering Caregivers and to serve you...

Empowering Caregivers Chats
Resume After January 15th

There are many wonderful changes taking place offline for us as well as online. In an effort to nuture the growth we are undergoing, we will resume our chats after the first of the year. If you would like to volunteer and assist us in hosting please fill in our application at: Chat Host. In the meantime, we are responding to postings at the message boards and this is also an excellent means of communicating with other caregivers for support. If you would like to assist us in moderating the boards, please fill out our application at: Moderator.

Mary C. Fridley
Questions & Answers
January 2004
Or click on this link:
Featured Guest Experts


World Healing Day: World Healing Meditation by John Randolph Price& Jan Price
December 31, 1986 was announced & dedicated as World healing Day. Noon Greenwich time (7 AM EST Time) was selected as the time for the healing meditation as it would encompass all time zones during that 24-hour period: Article.

Where Has All the ENCHANTMENT Gone? Long Time Passing - Dr. Barbara Becker Holstein
The author talks about a tragedy in our health care system that we must all try to combat. Article

A New Years Resolution: YES or NO? - Dave Turo-Shields
A Guide To Assist In Knowing When It's Time For A Change. Article

Caregiver? Who me?- Sylvia Nissenboim
This life time coach has a unique powerful way to remind you of simple tips for the caregiver. Article

Courage Fore Caregivers: An Uncommon Recipe For Lemonade - Avalon Bruce
The author shares what it was like to bring up her child with Prader-Willi Syndrome, as a single parent caring 24/7; the challenges, lessons and healings that have taken place. Article

Ten Warning Signs of Alzheimer’s Disease - The Alzheimer’s Associaton
Ten simple warning signals that can help you to get your loved one the right help. Article

Deciding on Home Health Care: Help is Available - David Ruscitti
CMS introduced a new resource called Home Health Compare with information on Medicare-certified home health agencies. Data and measures of quality are available to help make more informed decisions about home health care. Article

Stay Inside The Heart - Ridgely Goldsborough
The author talks about how bad one can feel when they walk away from someone carrying their anger and what you can do to let go. Article

What Is Your Primary Identity? - Charlie Badenhop,
This article offers you an opportunity to better understand how to interact with people whose primary identity is one of fear and aggression. Article

One Universal Problem: One Wrong Answer - Hugh Marriott
From the author of The Selfish Pig’s Guide to Caring a new book for care-givers, on caring for themselves.addressing how caregivers need to think more about themselves. Article

If you are interested in submitting an article(s) please go to: Submit. You will find a form for submitting your article, bio/profile, copyright permissions, etc. Please review our guidelines for acceptance, submit and we will notify you upon acceptance.

In Memory

Daria's mother passed away on December 11th in S. Africa. As with most caregivers, she cared for her mother 24/7 and her mom refused outside help. It was very difficult on Daria and we send lots of love for a gentle and nurturing healing during this time...Daria wrote the poem "About My Mom" in last month's newsletter.



Caregiver? Who me?

Ask yourself the following:

  • Do I have a family member or friend for whom I provide some assistance?
  • Do I find myself worrying about this person’s health or safety?
  • Do I feel an obligation or commitment to check out if they need shopping, medication, a ride, or assistance with home chores?

A ‘yes’ to any of these means that you can count yourself in the growing ranks of care givers. Yes, its providing care to a loved one, and many millions do it, but too often one critical responsibility is overlooked. Look in the mirror. This is the face of the person whose care is critical in the provision of assistance to another. If you overlook this, the quality of the care you give or the length of time you can sustain it, will surely decline.

The following tips will guide you in providing the best care possible, and in doing so, you may find your burden lightening. Five years from now, when you look back, you will see you did everything you could to ensure your health, which allowed you the emotional and physical energy to sustain your caregiving.

  • T rust others’ offers to assist you
  • A rm yourself with medical and other care-related information
  • K eep up with your own medical needs
  • E xercise and eat well.
  • C reate a support network with whom you can share, laugh and cry
  • A llow yourself to use outside resources-in-home care , adult day, respite care, personal coach
  • R ecognize the signs of stress and depression, and seek help if needed
  • E ngage in a new activity, like yoga or painting, just for you!
  • O pen your home to friends and family
  • F amily traditions are a must, but let others help out
  • S implify daily routines and organize schedules
  • E ncourage input from person you are caring for
  • L isten to your heart
  • F acilitate family meetings to coordinate care responsibilities

If you do nothing else, cut these tips out and keep them with you. Caring for yourself is the most important part of caring for a loved one.

Sylvia Nissenboim
Life and Business Coach: LifeWork Transitions

Daily Resolutions Or New Years?

Each New Year brings forth a pause in our lives; a time to reflect on unfulfilled dreams, unrealized expectations and uncompleted tasks. As a caregiver, there are so many up and downs; emotions running rampant at times, getting the best of us. At times, we can find ourselves wondering why; we don't have a caregiver for ourselves. What has happened to our own life?

It is interesting that many people use the holidays or the beginning of the New Year to gauge one's successes or failures. The coming of each New Year ushers forth a whole new list of resolutions.

In living a spiritual life, or the life of the Higher Power, there are no not-so-good days, nor some days or tomorrows. We only have the present moment... "NOW".

Every day is a new day; and it is important to look freshly at each new day as an opportunity to awaken your consciousness more... to make choices that will enhance the quality of your life and empower you, no matter what your circumstances may be.

Think of yourself as a light worker, bringing love and light in all you do. Caregivers can be likened to spiritual warriors with a tender heart filled with sadness. When you find yourself feeling low, depressed or negative, no one can change your attitude and feelings but you. Take a moment just to look where your thoughts have taken you today up till this very moment. Were they negative? Fearful? Positive? Loving? Inspiring?

Even amidst a loved one's near departure from this life, there is beauty surrounding us everywhere. How you choose to view it all is how your life shows up. Is the cup half full or half empty? The choice is yours.

So as you move into the coming year, choose to remain conscious and loving. Be mindful of your thoughts. Be mindful of how you relate to and treat others. Take responsibility for whom you are. Don't worry about the next person will think. Don't seek their approval either. Take charge of your life. Dare to be your authentic self.. Be free to express yourself with love in all aspects of your life as you were truly born to be. Be your Divine self...

May love & light shine through you always....
Happy Happy New Year.

Richest Blessings,
Gail Mitchell


A Special Gift from Harvey Cohen & Empowering Caregivers

Harvey Cohen has donated his well known book, the Optimism Factor in ebook form for all members of the Empowering Caregivers Community. Harvey dedicates his book to the unlimited, magnificent, creative essence that resides in us all. The creative essence that is our potential for living life to the fullest, knowing not fear, lack, or limitation. Potential for the full realization of uncompromised ideals. Potential for boundless joy.

For those of you who read Harvey's articles in the expert area, you will find he has an outrageous sense of humor that helps us to laugh at life and ourselves. This is not a traditional book... it's filled with lots of fun pictures, and powerful thoughts for altering your life...

We invite you to view the entire book online and download it at: Optimism
Richest blessings for a Happy Holiday Season filled with all you dare to dream....

Harvey Cohen
Harvey's Website
"The Forgetting Premiere" son PBS
January 21, 2004 at 9 PM ET/PT

On Wednesday, January 21 at 9:00 p.m. (ET), PBS will present a groundbreaking evening of programming that will bring this looming health crisis to national attention – offering insight, context, help and hope. The evening begins with THE FORGETTING: A Portrait of Alzheimer’s, a 90-minute documentary that explores this frightening disease, the human toll it takes on patients and caregivers, and the latest research in the race to find a cure. THE FORGETTING: A Portrait of Alzheimer’s and its accompanying nationwide outreach campaign mark the first major PBS initiative on Alzheimer’s disease. The landmark program, produced and directed by Elizabeth Arledge, was based on the best-selling book The Forgetting — Alzheimer’s: Portrait of an Epidemic, by David Shenk, who served as a consultant to the documentary and appears in it. For more information, please go to

Communicating Effectively With Healthcare Professionals
Workshop Leaders Training Conference
Dallas, TX
February 27 – 28th

Communicating Effectively with Healthcare Professionals empowers family caregivers to advocate more persuasively on behalf of their loved ones with the healthcare professionals providing treatment. It helps family caregivers function as true members of the healthcare team, assuring better continuity of care and better access to the resources needed by the care recipient.

Apply online at CEU credits for nurses and social workers are available! For more information contact John Paul Marosy at 508.854.0341 or

Senator Lieberman Supports Paid Family Leave

Senator and presidential candidate Joseph Lieberman (D-CT) announced his support for providing paid family leave benefits. The proposal would provide four weeks of paid family and/or medical leave benefits for workers whose leave is already protected (but unpaid) under the federal Family & Medical Leave Act (FMLA). Benefits would be 50 percent of the employee's salary, and would be funded through a new employee payroll deduction. Employees who work for businesses that are covered by the FMLA would be eligible. More details:

NCC's Handbook for Long-Distance Caregivers

The National Center on Caregiving (NCC) at Family Caregiver Alliance has developed a new handbook to assist long-distance caregivers. Whether you live an hour away or across the country, this booklet offers a roadmap for those new to the challenges of caring from afar for ill or elderly loved ones. Download:

Advance Directives Currently Available: Free Online

Last Acts Partnership (Partnership for Caring) is offering free Advance Directive documents, specific for each of the 50 states, that are currently available for download online. Advance Directives, for those seeking more information, are documents that let the individual give instructions about the medical care they wish to receive in the event that they become unable to speak for themselves due to serious illness or incapacity. These documents can be found by clicking directives. Printed versions of these documents are also available for order on the Web site, however there is a small charge for print material requests.

Autism One 2004 Conference
May 27th-30th 2004
Chicago, Il

This conference is for parents and professionals for the care, treatment, and recovery of children with autism. The conference organizers are themselves parents of children with autism. Parents are, and must remain, the driving force of the autism community. The issues are too sacred and the stakes too high to delegate to outside interests. Autism One features over 100 speakers: many of the world's leading researchers, educators, practitioners, agencies, and parents. Learn about the latest treatments, your rights when dealing with school districts, the best ways to handle insurance companies, how to petition government agencies, along with a host of other pressing issues. In addition, leading parent-advocates and autism organizations will be on hand to present and inform For more information: Contact:Edmund Arranga at Ph:714.680.0792 E-mail or visit their site at:

Report On Informal Care In Australia

"The Future Supply of Informal Care 2003 to 2013: Alternative Scenarios" has been made available by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. The report looks at factors that may affect the future supply of informal care in Australia. The impact of Australia's aging population, an increase in female labor force participation and changed living arrangements are all
addressed. Report:

Face the Facts: Topics to Discuss Now with Your Aging Parents

As part of the Eldercare Locator "Home for the Holidays" media campaign, a guide has been developed to assist families in coping with many caregiving issues. "Face the Facts: Topics to Discuss Now with Your Aging Parents"provides a brief overview of key concerns, including Social Security and pensions; living wills and advance directives; Medicare and Medicaid; and long term care insurance. The guide also includes suggested questions to ask in conversations on the various topics. Download:

Research Project: Focus On Ways To Afford Home Care

The National Council on the Aging, with the support of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, is laying the groundwork to increase the use of reverse mortgages to help pay for long-term care. The "Use Your Home to Stay at Home" program will work to increase knowledge and utilization of reverse mortgages so that, where appropriate, homeowners can tap home equity to pay for long-term care services or insurance. Project details:

Partnership for Caring
Poised To Become A Stronger Advocate For You

Partnership for Caring (PfC), the nation's leading organization committed to helping consumers receive excellent end-of-life care, is excited to announce that it is fully integrating the Last Acts campaign (a powerful coalition of national and local organizations committed to improving end-of-life care) into the rest of its programs. When this process is completed in January 2004, they will have brought together two powerful programs into a single, highly focused entity that will be called Last Acts Partnership. Last Acts Partnership will serve as an unbiased source of information regarding current and emerging end-of-life issues in the U.S. It will actively represent the public in pressing for policies that promote better end-of-life care in America and will continue Partnership for Caring's long tradition of providing resources and tools to individuals that help them get good end-of-life care for themselves and their loved ones.

You will be able to continue getting to the new Web site either through or and the new website will become active in January, 2004.If you aren't already a member you may join them at at




The best way to cheer yourself up is to try to cheer somebody else up.

Mark Twain

Some people come into our lives and quickly go, some stay for a while and leave footprints in our hearts, and we are never, ever the same.


It all depends on how we look at things, and not on how things are in themselves. The least of things with a meaning is worth more in life than the greatest of things without it.

Carl Gustav Jung

There can be no knowledge without emotion. We may be aware of a truth, yet until we have felt its force, it is not ours. To the cognition of the brain must be added the experience of the soul.

Arnold Bennett

The real art of conversation is not only to say the right thing at the right time, but also to leave unsaid the wrong thing at the tempting moment.

Dorothy Nevill

We should take care not to make the intellect our god; it has, of course, powerful muscles, but no personality.

Albert Einstein

Life's challenges are not supposed to paralyze you, they're supposed to help you discover who you are.

Bernice Johnson Reagon

Always listen to experts. They'll tell you what can't be done and why. Then do it.

Robert Heinlein, writer

It is not easy to find happiness in ourselves, and it is not possible to find it elsewhere.

Agnes Repplier

There are only four kinds of people in the world:
Those who have been caregivers
Those who currently are caregivers
Those who will be caregivers
Those who will need caregivers"

Former First Lady Rosalyn Carter
Son, Where Did All My Treasures Go?

Have you ever wondered what will happen to all your little treasures once you are no longer here to appreciate them? Who will want them? Will anyone love them as much as you do? Will they even know how important they were to you or what they meant to you?

I often think that Residents of Nursing Homes, especially, ponder these thoughts. In most cases they have left behind most of their worldly goods. Someone else has had to come along and "take care" of them.

Did they smile and remember why Mom had this seashell on the piano? Does anyone realize the hours that you spent embroidering those dresser scarves that are in your bedroom?

Did your parent ever tell you about the day you were born? Or how your parents first met or what their wedding was like? You’ve probably heard how they scrimped and saved during war time, or how they walked 5 miles to school in the snow. Did you ever ask what their favorite memory was of you as a child or what it was like when you went off to school that first day?

You might consider taking a spiral notebook when you go for a visit. Ask questions - probe - listen - record. Trust me, you will be creating a treasure of your own that will be unequal to any other.

Meanwhile, I just betcha your Mom or great aunt would love to hear about (or see) what you just finished making on their old sewing machine. Wouldn’t Grampa love to see something that you created with the tools that he used for years in the shed out back of his house.

Can you imagine the delight in an old persons heart if you brought them a treat from last night’s dinner, served on their very own "old" dishes?

Come on - use your imagination a little - get out of the rut. Perhaps you could even make a list of some of the things that were taken from the old homestead and record who has them now. Even include pictures if you have access to them. Leave it so that when Mom, or Uncle Charlie is all alone, they can look back over it and this will become their own treasure chest.

What else could you bring them that would be so inexpensive, and yet be so meaningful to all involved?


Top Of Page


I haven't posted for ages.... been busy and all of that. DH, Cyril, lost his place in the world last Friday... only for 24 hours, but he wanted me to drive him home, "Please", in his most gentlemanly manner.

Wanted to go home to where he had lived 35 years ago.... later he wanted to go "home" to Melbourne so he could find Alison (me).

I rang around to talk to somebody and they thought I was upset that he didn't know me. No!!! I was so upset that he could be in that lost state and I really couldn't help him.

We had family in yesterday for Xmas celebration and I am still not sure he knew who was there.... as always the gentleman and every now and then he would go to his bookroom and shut the door. How dreadful it must be. Today I think he is home and just wants to be near.... mmmm.... I think he needs a cuddle.

My love to all for a peaceful Xmas... AlisonM


My wife has been disabled for 14 years with kidney failure and our lives are totally different than we thought it would be when we first got married 18 years ago. We've made the most of things and have seen our lives have a really positive effect on others. We're encouraged that others are encouraged but sometimes we just want to be encouraged too. But no matter if we receive encouragement or not, we know the deal's still on. When we got married, we knew we would be influential but we didn't have any idea the cost would be so high. If you're disabled or you're the spouse or relative of someone who is disabled, be encouraged because somebody needs you. Cederey




Politicians talk to the country the way men talk to women. They say, "Trust me, go all the way with me, and everything will be all right." And what happens? Nine months later, you're in trouble.

Oriskany Falls

A little old lady seated herself right behind the bus driver. Every ten minutes or so she'd pipe up, "Have we reached Oriskany Falls yet, sonny?"

"No, lady, not yet. I'll let you know," he replied, time after time.

he hours passed, the old woman kept asking for Oriskany Falls, and finally the little town came into view. Sighing with relief, the driver slammed on the brakes, pulled over and called out, "This is where you get out, lady."

"Is this Oriskany Falls?"

"YES!" he bellowed. "Now GET OUT!!"

"Oh, I'm going all the way to Albany, sonny," she explained sweetly. It's just that my daughter told me that when we got this far, I should take my blood pressure pill."

Aging Golfers

A foursome of senior golfers hit the course with waning enthusiasm for the sport.

"These hills are getting steeper as the years go by," one complained.

"These fairways seem to be getting longer too," said one of the others.

"The sand traps seem to be bigger than I remember them too," said the third senior.

After hearing enough from his Senior buddies, the oldest, and the wisest of the four of them at

87 years old, piped up and said..."Quit your dang complaining and just be thankful we're still on the RIGHT SIDE of the grass!"

School Note

A wise schoolteacher sends this note to all parents on the first day of school: "If you promise not to believe everything your child says happens at school, I'll promise not to believe everything he says happens at home."


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