Choices ~ Healing ~ Love
May 1, 2003 VOLUME 4 ISSUE #8
Publisher & Editor: GAIL R. MITCHELL-





Coming Out Of Your Cocoon

Spring has sprung here in NYC and it's absolutely delightful. It's a time when we once again, need to take some time to renew and rejuvenate ourselves from within.. Shedding the darkness from the long winter that enveloped us all. Breathe deeply, reaching up towards the sun and bring in all the warmth, energy and light into your whole body and spirit and feel it beginning to transform you... it's wonderful... just allow yourself to take some time to feel this freedom... and if you can take a little bit more time, begin to imagine yourself as a butterfly blossoming out of it's cocoon, spreading your wings and letting yourself soar.. Be Free......

You know, caregivers are a wonderful breed.. and it is really no accident that we are all in these roles. Caregiving teaches all of us something so profound and powerful... it can change our lives forever. For many it can start off drastically and even end as a horrible experience but it is so important to understand that you are not stuck.. that you have choices to heal and free yourself from suffering... If we are going to care for others no matter what the circumstances it is up to us each individually to make a commitment to heal whatever it is that might come between the person we are in charge of and ourselves...

Many a time, we will think that the joy in giving is for the benefit of the one we are caring for but we are so wrong when we come from this conditioned belief. If you take two minutes, right now to close your eyes and imagine a very painful, sad moment in your life, breathing all that negative stuff into every part of your body you will feel awful.. and many of you won't even want to go to that place again... it takes time to work yourself up into that painful space.. and yet if you take 15 seconds to imagine a time in your life that was absolutely blissful and loving; where you had not a care or worry surrounding your energy, you would feel totally lighter and freer within these 15 seconds. It is the same with caregiving.

If it is is true that the higher power is omnipresent surrounding everything .,. then that power is within us and we are all created in this image. Could you imagine what the universe would be like today if that power felt stuck, whined, and didn't take a risk to fashion all that was possible? Some of you may say,. "Who does she think she is?" "We aren't God"... But I can tell you right now, if you dare to dream... dare to vision.. what you really want out of life vs what you don't want, you will find that if you keep imagining it and focusing on what it is that you want to draw into your life, it will follow.. but don't have doubt your power ... the power of our thoughts is just beyond our belief...and until you make the choice to become conscious of this, you may be missing out on your own freedom of choice and spirit.. so with this coming of Spring... let's celebrate! Celebrate your uniqueness, your spirit and being to soar like that butterfly freeing itself from its cocoon...

May your journey be gentle and beautiful!
In Love & Light,
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Caregiver Books Given Away Monthly

OHBoy, AngelHeart, and Cynthia53 have been chosen to receive The Home Care Companion's "Quick Tips For Caregivers" by Mariona Karpinski, R.N. It is an information-packed book that will provide you with all of the hands-on-caregiving advice and instruction you will need every day. It's user-friendly format allows you to find th einformation you want quickly and easily.


CaregiverCreditCampaign ~

"Featured Guest Experts"

Mary C. Fridley
Questions & Answers
May 2003
Alan Cohen
Never The Same Trip
Harvey Cohen
Inner Beliefs

Or click on this link:
Featured Guest Experts


We have almost 50 new articles to present to you at this time. Please be patient as our programmers finish our newly designed database... These articles should be posted by our next newsletter.. Thank you.

In Memory

Linda S. lost her sister this past month, more suddenly than she anticipated. Her sister transitioned from a long battle with cancer. This is a most difficult time for Linda as she has been caring for her mother with Alzheimer's and her mom's conditioning is deteriorating rather quickly as well. We are praying for your healing to be gentle and nurturing Linda and that your sister's transition is easy, loving and gentle. Keeping you in our thoughts and prayers. Email Linda

Mother's Day

Mother's Day is next weekend and for many of you , it is a time to celebrate, connect and be grateful for being with your Mother. You will find a list of ideas of what to do, poems and stories on Mother's Day at: Mother's

And for those of you whose Mother's have passed, we send loving thoughts in your direction during this bitter sweet time. It is especially difficult when this is the first Mother's Day since your loss.

I encourage you to read "Creating Rituals" It is a beautiful article that speaks to embracing your loved one from within and doing something special, that will serve as a tribute and honor to their soul that lives on within you. May this day be gentle and nurturing for you.

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Caring Counts! Conference

AARP and the California Caregiver Resource Centers will host the "Caring Counts!" conference May 12-13, 2003 in Sacramento, California. The conference will include sessions on practical skills for caregivers, and help launch a multi-year initiative to shape an affordable, accessible and seamless system of care that is responsive to the needs of caregivers and their loved ones. More information: CCC

Finding The Meaning: Renewing Our Spirits
A Conference On Family Caregiving
Sponsored By:
Southern Caregiver Resource Center
Alzheimer's Association

Featuring Guest Speakers:
Gail R. Mitchell
Ronda C. Talley, PhD. MPH
Sherry M. Bell, PhD
Dale Bell
Rev.Donald R. Koepke

May 23, 2003 - 8AM-4PM
Town & Country Hotel
Mission Valley, San Diego, CA

Fees for family caregivers $20.00 and for professionals and others $50.00 (with or without 4.5 CEU's /CME's). Pre-Registration is required: Respite Deadline is May 9th. For more info please call: (800) 827.1008 or (858) 268-4432.

City of Los Angeles Department of Aging's
Family Caregivers Conferences

The LA Dept of Aging is presenting two conferences at the end of May: One will be in Spanish and one in English :Topics Include:

Empowering Caregivers
Gail R. Mitchell keynote speaker
(for English program only)

Injury and Falls Prevention
Legal Planning For Convalescence
Medicare and MediCal Information
Spirituality And Caregiving

Thursday May 29, 2003 8AM to 2:30PM (In Spanish)
White Memorial Medical Center
1720 Cesar E. Chavez Avenue
Los Angeles, Ca. 90033

Saturday May 31, 2003 8AM to 2:30PM (in English)
Sportsmen's Lodge Special Events Center
12833 Ventura Boulevard
Studio City, Ca 91604

To find out more information and to register for one or both programs please call: 213-252-4088. Please leave your name, address and your phone number. Both programs are free to the public.

Humanity's Team: A Message From Neale Donald Walsch, Author of Conversations With God With An Invitation To Join Humanity's Team

  • What we are choosing to do is change the world.
  • What we are inviting you to do is to join us in that effort.
  • What we know is that whatever we are going to do must be done right now.

Humanity is facing its moment of truth. We are in the midst of a genuine crisis. Right now. Not in some far off, distant future, but right now.

This is an extraordinary world we live in, but if we are not careful, we are going to destroy it. At the very least we will terribly disrupt, if not completely end, life as we know it. There is no need for us to do that. There is no reason to. Yet the direction in which we are going is taking us right there.

The crisis humanity is facing is not a political crisis, it is not an economic crisis, and it is not a military crisis—yet we continue to try to solve it with political, economic, and military means.

The crisis humanity faces today is a spiritual crisis, and it can only be resolved by spiritual means.That is where we come in. To learn more go to: Humanity's Team.

Volunteering for a Clinical Trial Brochure

A handy and quick reference pamphlet for understanding the clinical trial process and what to expect as a clinical trial volunteer. For more information, visit:

Cure Today

Cure Today is a magazine developed for individuals and their caregivers who are coping with cancer and blood disorders. It provides scientific information in an easy to understand format. Physicians committed to providing quality care to their patients publish it. Each full color, quarterly issues of CURE features:

  • Recent Advances in diagnosis and treatment
  • Cancer prevention
  • Clinical trials
  • Cancer news
  • Support group information
  • Expert opinions.

To subscribe for your free subscription to this magazine, please go to: Subscribe

Lifespan Respite Care Act Is Passed

NOFEC and Empowering Caregivers would like to extend a special thanks to Jill Kagan and the Lifespan Respite Task Force for their excellent work in getting the Senate to pass the Lifespan Respite Care Act (S. 538). The bill would help to establish a program to assist family caregivers in accessing affordable and high- quality respite care. Jill and her team have worked around the clock for a very long time to have this bill passed.

Lifespan Respite is a coordinated system of accessible, community-based respite care services for caregivers and individuals regardless of age, race, ethnicity, special need or situation. You will find an excellent summary at: ARCH

A special thanks also go to Senator Hilary Clinton (NY), Senator John W. Warner (VA), Senator John Breaux (LA), Senator Olympia J. Snowe (ME) and Senator Barbara A. Mikulski (MD).

Working To Protect Your Right To Choose
Complimentary HealthCare In New York State

To summarize this issue: legislative law in New York only addresses the practice of the high risk medical arts, and massage. At the same time, courts and regulators have sought to make these licensing laws apply to all who practice the healing arts, trades, and professions, irrespective of the differences between the paradigms of the licensed and unlicensed practices and irrespective of the risks of the practices. The enforcement and threats of enforcement of these licensing laws have resulted in unacceptable limitations on the public's access to unlicensed health care practices that have been used for decades in New York. At a time when more Americans than at any time in history are choosing complementary and alternative approaches to prevent and treat disease, supporters of NYNHP believe that New York should modernize its health care licensing laws to explicitly protect the unlicensed practice of health care trades and professions that do not pose an unreasonable risk to the health and safety of those using these practices.

The purpose of the proposed bill is to provide health care consumers in NY State with access to information about a wide range of complementary and alternative health care practices and to the practitioners themselves without unnecessary and costly over-regulation. Similar legislation respecting an individual's right to choose the health care practice and practitioner of their choice exists in Oklahoma, Minnesota, Rhode Island, and California, and is under consideration by health care consumers or legislators in over 30 states.

To lend your support and to find out more information, please go to: Take Action

Date Extended to May 6th For
Caregiver Tax Credit Legislation Support
Your Help is Needed

Rhonda Richards with Senator Mikulski's office has extended the deadline for sign ons to the letter below regarding the legislation to establish a family caregiver tax credit until Tuesday, May 6 at noon. Please let me know by then if you would like to sign on, if you haven't already .Jill Kagan

Top Alzheimer Sites

Brenda Parris Sibley hosts a listing of Top Alzheimer's Sites, featuring a variety of websites with information from research to personal stories. You may get to it our main page as well as other pages at the site and by clicking on this link. By clicking on the links from the Empowering Caregivers site, you will be casting your vote for us as one of your favorites.Top Sites

Upcoming Train the Trainer Conference

Applications are currently being accepted for the National Family Caregivers Association’s : Communicating Effectively With Healthcare Professionals-Train-the Trainer Conference Where: Philadelphia, PA When: May 30-31, 2003 Apply on Line {CEU credits for nurses and social workers are available.}

Elder Justice Act Introduced In Senate

Legislation recently introduced in the Senate (S. 333) would establish an Office of Elder Justice within the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to focus on prevention and tracking of elder abuse, neglect and exploitation. Titled “The Elder Justice Act,” the bill calls for the creation of an inter-agency Elder Justice Steering Committee to oversee HHS’ elder justice programs and policy, and an Elder Justice Coordinating Council to make recommendations for synchronizing activities between HHS,the Department of Justice, and other relevant Federal, state, local and private entities. The proposed Act further provides for reporting to law enforcement of crimes occurring in federally funded long-term care facilities, increasing consumer information about long-term care, and increasing the number of health professionals with geriatric training. To view a summary, the full text, and status information, enter the bill number on the U.S. Congress’ Thomas Web site at:

New York Bill Would Create A

Statewide Palliative Care Program

Legislation recently introduced in the New York State Senate calls for the creation of a palliative care leadership center at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine and Hospital. In addition, the bill (S.B. 2589) calls for three palliative health care promotion centers geographically dispersed across the state, and a state advisory board responsible for communicating the existence and role of the centers to hospitals and physicians. It would also direct the collection of data, including demographics relating to existing palliative care programs, hospices, and pain management services.To view a summary, the full text, and status information, enter the bill number on the New York State Senate Web site at:

Carolina Develops New Medicaid Waiver

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has approved a South Carolina proposal to implement consumer-directed services to assist people with disabilities in continuing to live in their homes. Included under the waiver are respite care, personal care and adult day services. Additionally, beneficiaries will have the flexibility to hire their own providers. More details:

“Standing on the Edge”

Dee Ratcliff has completed her newest book, “Standing on the Edge.” It deals with caregiving, assisted living and independent living. Dee herself, has been on both sides of the fence as she calls it: She has been caregiver for her mother and now both mother and she are living in an independent living home as a result of the challenges that Dee has been facing with he life-long challenge with sarcoidosis and other health related problems.

Dee’s book is posotive, yet filled with helpful information and encouragement that we all need when we face this chapter in our lives. Her book will touch your heart. As you read her book, you will begin to understand that you are not alone when you are moving through times like these in your own life. .

You may purchase Dee’s book via e-mail thru Dee: It is $4.95 plus $1.25 shipping and handling. You may also write Dee Ratcliff at: 13840 North Desert Harbor Drive, Apt 184, Peoria, Arizona 85381.

New Book,
"Urgent Whispers"
Serves As A Guide For New Caregivers Caring For Someone In End Stages Of Life.

A new book called, ‘Urgent Whispers: Care of the Dying,’ was recently released by LLX Press. The book is designed as a resource for caregivers and serves as an essential guide to getting comfortable in caregiving. Designed for novice and experienced caregivers alike, it empowers one to feel supported, informed and immediately useful in the process of helping out at the end of life. The book can be used as a personal guide and mentor, or in group training settings to help inspire confidence and stimulate discussion.

To learn more about this book and to get ordering information, go to: Urgent Whispers

Dementia and Driving

The Hartford Institute has developed materials to assist caregivers in talking to a loved one with dementia about operating a motor vehicle. "At the Crossroads: A Guide to Alzheimer's Disease, Dementia and Driving" is available, free of charge, in both English and Spanish. Download: Guide

Free Medications For Needy -
New Free Website Helps Obtain Them

Two free websites -- and -- have been created to make it easier for the elderly, needy and their caregivers to obtain FREE medications. Those in need or their helpers simply go to the free website, fill out a form and receive a list of free programs for which they may qualify.

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There is a light in this world, a healing spirit more powerful than any darkness we may encounter. We sometimes lose sight of this force when there is suffering, too much pain. Then suddenly, the spirit will emerge through the lives of ordinary people who hear a call and answer in extraordinary ways.

Mother Teresa

Rather than thinking about carving a statue out of stone, I picture in my imagination the completed work, in all of its exquisite detail. I then project the picture from my mind into the stone, where it becomes entombed, imprisoned within the stone. My job as the artist is not to carve an image into the stone but to free it from the stone. And this I do with passion because I know the image is already there, alive and breathing. The process is quite simple. That which I desire, I must first imagine. That which I can imagine, I create.


If we truly love another person, we will not seek merely to relieve his suffering with comforting words or acts. Rather, we will let him face his crisis, not interfering with the lesson, but aiding him to understand it. This often appears to be indifference, but it is love blended with wisdom.

Vernon Howard

The simple act of admitting you don’t know the answer, at present, actives your inner wisdom and guidance. By simply being willing to wait for inspiration, you virtually guarantee that it will come.

Richard Carlson

To be nobody but yourself in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else – means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight, and never stop fighting.

e. e. cummings

The age of the leaders has come and gone. Every person must be their own leader now. You must remove your projection, and contain the spirit of our time in your own life and nature, because to go the old way and follow your leader is a form of psychological imprisonment.

Sir Laurens van der Post

Be yourself; no base imitator of another, but your best self. There is something which you can do better than another. Listen to the inward voice and bravely obey that. Do the things at which you are great, not what you were never made for.

Ralph Waldo Emerson
Life Is A Theater

"Life is a theater- invite your audience carefully. Not everyone is healthy enough to have a front row seat in our lives. There are some people in your life that need to be loved from a distance. Its amazing what you can accomplish when you let go, or at least minimize your time with draining, negative, incompatible, not-going-anywhere relationships/friendships!

Observe the relationships around you. Pay attention. Which ones lift and which ones lean? Which ones encourage and which ones discourage? Which ones are on a path of growth uphill and which ones are going downhill? When you leave certain people, do you feel better or feel worse? Which ones always have drama or don't really understand, know, or appreciate you?

The more you seek quality, respect, growth, peace of mind, love and truth around you, the easier it will become for you to decide who gets to sit in the FRONT ROW and who should be moved to the balcony of your life. You cannot change the people around you...but you can change the people you are around! "

Author Unknown
You Are A Part Of The Universe

A human being is a part of the whole called the "universe," a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings, as something separated from the rest, a kind of optical delusion of consciousness.

This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection of a few persons nearest to us.

Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in all its beauty.

Nobody is able to achieve this completely, but the striving for such achievement is in itself part of the liberation and a foundation for inner security.

Albert Einstein
Even Now
A Beautiful Inspirational Flash


YOU ARE STRONG.....When you can smile at the pain of your grief.
YOU ARE BRAVE.....when you overcome your fear and help others to do the same.
YOU ARE HAPPY.....When you are thankful for all your blessings.
YOU ARE LOVING.....When you do things for others with a smile.
YOU ARE WISE.....when you use positive wisdom.
YOU ARE TRUE.....When you admit to your mistakes.
YOU ARE GROWING.....When you pursue tomorrow's dreams and not yesterday's mistakes.
YOU ARE FREE.....When you are in control of yourself and do not wish to control others.
YOU ARE HONORABLE.....When you honor others.
YOU ARE GENEROUS...when you use your time and talents wisely.
YOU ARE HUMBLE.....When you take time out to help others.
YOU ARE THOUGHTFUL.....When you treat others the way you treat yourself.
YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL.....When you don't need a mirror to tell you.
YOU ARE RICH..... When you can forgive yourself and others.
YOU ARE YOU.....When you are at peace with yourself
Author Unknown

How Do You Measure Success?

To laugh often and love much,
to win the respect of intelligent persons
and the affection of children;
to earn the approbation of honest critics
and to endure the betrayal of false friends;
to appreciate beauty;
to find the best in others;
to give oneself;
to leave the world a little better,
whether by a healthy child or a garden patch
or a redeemed social condition;
to have played and laughed with enthusiasm
and sung with exultation;
to know even one life has breathed easier because
you have lived- this is to have succeeded.

Ralph Waldo Emerson


Gail... I found your comments following the Conference on Aging quite profound. As a employee of a Hospice, caregiving and our caregivers' well-being is very important to me. Good Luck as you try to assist this population in gaining a voice with the politicians.

As a single mom with no outside support (that includes child support), I wonder and worry about where my "voice" is. I know that we single moms only have support or assistance if we are in the poverty level. However, those of us who are barely above the line suffer. We are caregivers too.

I applaud you in trying to help people who indeed need it. You know, Dame Cicely Sanders, in essence, started the very same way you are. Look what she accomplished! God Speed! Betsy Q.


BRAVO GAIL!!! Wow, am I ever impressed with YOU!! While there are probably alot of people who may rail out against your honesty and stand about this war, I think that ALL of your points are valid!! I wish I had the strength of character and GUTS to stand up to those people the way that you did!! Every single thing you spoke of in this newsletter I have myself thought many, many times!! It does seem that those who do NOT agree with this war are EXTREMELY CENSORED, which I did not remember happening during the Vietnam War. Why, in fact, people wrote SONGS AGAINST THE WAR then!! Not so now - Noboby crosses the 'DICTATES' of the 'Dictator'......

...I am ONE person who believes in everything you stand for, in everything you said, in your perspective on this country's care for their own and also for the nation at war. ...Your newsletter really truly touched my heart, to know that I am not alone in my thoughts, perspectives or perceptions of all which is happening around me. It means a great deal to know that I am NOT crazy, after all that I lived through caring for Mom.

I truly hope that others will write to you and reinforce your boldness to stand up for the cause of AMERICANS LIVING HERE who NEED HELP!! I stand in your debt and I am awed by your courage in the face of such a destructive decision by those in power over this country. Love D.W.


my husband had a stroke in sept and lost all movement in his right side. Although his leg has come back a lot he is still relearning balance and walking. Thankfully speech was not a problem like we thought it would be at the beginning. He was only 39 when it happened and we have a 3yr old boy and now I'm left wondering what the hell happened to my life. I know it will never be the same and who knows maybe in some ways it will be better but right there are times when I get so angry: at life, at him, at me. We had all these plans and now I'm grieving for a life that will never be. How do I stay positive? Not only for me and my husband but especially for my son-I want him to have a happy childhood not one filled with sadness and anger. It feels good just to type this out sometimes I feel overwhelmed .LOL

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A New Type Of Wedding Registry

Gene, age 89, and Lillian, age 78, are all excited about their decision to get married. They go for a stroll to discuss the wedding and on the way they pass a drugstore. Gene suggests they go in. Gene addresses the man behind the counter: "Are you the owner?"

The pharmacist answers: "Yes."

Gene: "We're about to get married. Do you sell heart medication?"

Pharmacist: "Of course we do."

Gene: "How about medicine for circulation?"

Pharmacist: "All kinds."

Gene: "Medicine for rheumatism, sclerosis?"

Pharmacist: "Definitely."

Gene: "How about Viagra?"

Pharmacist: "Of course."

Gene: "Medicine for memory problems, arthritis, Jaundice?"

Pharmacist: "Yes, a large variety. The works."

Gene: "What about vitamins, sleeping pills, Geritol, antidotes for Parkinson's disease?"

Pharmacist: "Absolutely."

Gene: "You sell wheelchairs and walkers?"

Pharmacist: "All speeds and sizes."

Gene says to the pharmacist: "We'd like to register here for our wedding gifts, please."

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