Choices ~ Healing ~ Love
May 1, 2004
Publisher & Editor: Gail R. Mitchell -
UPDATES AT THE SITE
INFORMATIVE CAREGIVING ARTICLES & INSPIRATION
MESSAGE BOARDS & EMAIL BAG
JOKES & HUMOR
Spring has finally sprung! It's hard to believe it's really here. I have been on a whirlwind of travel this past month with marvelous experiences to show for it. It is an incredible experience for me to be out sharing with you in conferences; experiencing healings, openings and the transformation of your experiences right in the very moment. I honor each of you in all that you are experiencing.
You all are truly the "UNSUNG HEROES" of our nation that go totally unacknowledged. I truly pray that each and everyone of us will make our voices heard at the right time, to begin evoking change into our goverment. Sitting quietly and holding in all the mixed feelings isn't what it is about. The numbers of caregivers in this nation grow daily.
I will continue to encourage you to write one solid letter about your experiences and what your needs are, what is lacking and how you are needing assistance. Then send your letter via email if it is easier to your Senators, House of Reps, Your Governor, Mayor and the President of the United States. Can you imagine, if all the millions who are caring for loved ones took responsibility to do this. Their desks would be flooded with caregiving letters all making a huge statement.
Remember it is important to complain and whine and let go of the stuff that troubles you, but it is vitally important to harness this energy and transform it into taking responsibility and action for helping to effect change in this nation. It's time to wake up and make our voice heard! Your voice is important, even when you don't think it is. We may be small in the bigger scheme of things, but just like the smallest granule of sand that makes up the beautiful white beaches, we are the unsung heroes who are caring for this nation's peoples, young and old. Caregivers are saving the government billions.. $269 billion dollars and we virtually receive nothing in return. Yes, I am aware that in some states, caregivers are beginning to be helped, but truthfully, it just isn't enough. We are in a crisis, and the government keeps this crisis silent as if it almost is non existent. The numbers range from 22.3 to 54 million at this time. I wonder how many of us there really are. Gail Hunt of the National Caregivers Alliance said that in the results of a recent research study they did with Met Life, there were 39% men now caregiving; quite an increase from what we thought it was these past few years.
I know at times I may be erratic in speaking my truth, but I am daring to risk writing about these issues in this welcome letter as it comes through me. There are many legislators and lobbyists who are rallying on behalf of our nation's family/informal caregivers, but the process is slow. Caregiving is not a prioity in our government. It is up to us to raise the consciousness on the growing needs we as caregivers have so that it is recognized as a priority by our elected government officials who are elected by us to represent us.
I urge you to begin making your voice heard. Take time to write your letter.. express your feelings and send it to the following:
President George Bush
Along my journies, I had the blessed opportunity of spending time with Maggie Davis whom I have known for about 5 years via the Internet and the phone. The work she is doing and her soulfulness was a welcomed respite for me and I am so grateful for the time we shared with one another.. In the middle of the rural hills and coasts of the Blue Hill Peninsula, Maggie and I shared, laughed, cried and took drives and long walks with her little companion, Ozzie.. I was totally amazed that outside her windows bright and early each morning, we could identify over 12 species of birds feeding from the feeders that were set up..Learn more about Maggie her project, Neighborcare and her healing writings in the featured spotlight this month.
I am also very grateful for Barry Neil Kaufman's contribution to our "Caregivres Concerns Column" on "Intentions". For the past twenty or so years, I have read his books and followed the growth of his organization, The Option Institute, in Massachussetts where he has helped autistic children , couples and individuals with choices and empowerment.
And lastly, A Very Very Happy Mother's Day .
May your journey be gentle and beautiful!
Wishing you all a wonderful Mother's Day filled with much love, light, peace and joy. If you are caring for your Mother, take time to be fully present. If there is something you are harboring, move into forgiveness and let go.. love is the greatest healing power there is in this Universe.. Open your hearts to receive and send out only love....
Several of the members of our community have requested that we develop telephone conferencing support groups whereby members could telephone in on a conference line at their own expense for the phone call in order to participate in a weekly support program. I am willing to set this up, however, it would be essential that you committ to the number of sessions and the times scheduled. Setting up a bridge costs money and we would need your committment if we were to do this. Please respond by taking our POLL.
If you have questions or suggestions please email me directly grm4love and type teleclass in the subject line. Thank you. I do look forward to hearing from you. If you need to request specific times and days, please email me so that we may coordinate it into the final schedule and if you would like to see specific topics covered please let us know. Thank you.
Robin aka Angel 437 hails from the Jersey Shore. Her father suffers from CHF, as well as the other conditions that go along with it. Recently, just before Christmas 2003 he came to live with Robin and her family as her mother and siblings are unable to care for him. Her innate ability to care for her parents, has led her in the direction of becoming a registered nurse. She recently has become a moderator as well as hosting chats on the boards. Robin enjoys sharing her experience with others, as well as listening to others experiences. Her belief is that it enriches her life; and as she can continue to grow, emotionally and spiritually through her journey of caregiving she is able to assist others in their’s.
Communication is a great stress relief. Come join in our Enpowering Caregivers chats. Times not convienient?, Interested in a specific topic? Let us know. Come spend some time and meet new friends. We can all use some Enpowerment to get us through our journey. Looking forward to seeing you,.. Robin. You may also read more about Robin in this month's Spotlight here at the site.
National Organization For Empowering Caregivers NOFEC
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Do You Know Someone Who Suffers From Depression? by David Turo-Shields.
Spring Into Enchantment by Barbara Holstein
"They Were Never Defeated, Only Killed" by Mary Fridley
When Helping Hurts:Sustaining Trauma Workers by Frank Ochberg, MD
Forgive & Forget By Ridgely Goldsborough
Planning & Paying For Long Term Care by Carole C. Lamson & Martin Petroff
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.
OFTEN, we experience our lives as leaves blown by the wind. Instead of feeling in charge of our experiences, we sense ourselves becoming victims of events around us. However, we are in charge of how we choose to respond and what we choose to feel.
Barry Neil Kaufman
Barry Neil Kaufman's newest book, No Regrets: Last Chance for a Father and Son, is the inspirational true story of Kaufman's reconciliation with his father. Kaufman is the co-founder of The Option Institute, a nonprofit organization located in Sheffield., Mass where he and his staff counsel individuals. couples. families. and groups on methods of self-ernpowerment. For more information write at: 2080 S Undermountain Road Sheffield, MA USA 01257-9643: Telephone: (413)229-2100 Fax: (413)229-8931 call 800714-2779 or visit www.option.org.
Kaufman has been featured in national magazines from People to Family Circle, and in leading newspapers such as The New York Times, The Chicago Tribune, The Boston Globe, and The Los Angeles Times. He has been featured on major talk shows such as Good Morning America, First Person with Maria Shriver, and Phil Donahue. Kaufman has also been interviewed twice by Oprah Winfrey. Barry Neil Kaufman is the recipient of the Humanitas Prize, as well as twice recipient of the Christopher Award.
Body Mind Spirit
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.
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:
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:
3 Ways to Enjoy the Programs
Participate "Live" on the Telephone
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
Medicare's New Drug Discount Card
Starting May 3, seniors can begin to sign-up for Medicare approved prescription drug discount cards. The discount cards become effective June 1st.
Some cards will be offered for free, though others may charge a one-time enrollment fee of up to $30 under the law. Low-income seniors may be eligible for an additional $600 credit to help pay for their prescriptions and would not have to pay the annual enrollment fee. The discount cards will become effective June 1.
A recent study conducted by Harvard Medicare School researchers estimated that seniors without drug coverage would save approximately 17.4 percent on the cost of their prescriptions through the Medicare-approved prescription drug discount card program.
On March 19, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released a consumer advisory for reducing exposure to methylmercury from fish and shellfish. Methylmercury is a natural and industrial pollutant that accumulates in fish over time and can impede development of the nervous system in fetuses, babies, and young children.
The FDA and EPA advise pregnant women, nursing mothers, women thinking about becoming pregnant, and young children to follow strict guidelines when eating fish and shellfish. Still, these agencies want to stress the importance of including fish in your weekly diet. They currently recommend eating fish twice a week to take advantage of the high-quality protein and essential fatty acids found in most seafood. If you are in one of the high-risk groups, you can limit your exposure to methylmercury by taking the following precautions:
22 April 2004 - A huge step forward for working carer's rights was taken in a pledge by Prime Minister Tony Blair to extend the right to request flexible working to carers of elderly and sick relatives.
Spanish Version:"A Family Caregiver's Guide to Hospital Discharge "
With support from MetLife Foundation, the National Alliance for Caregiving and the United Hospital Fund have released a Spanish-language version of "A Family Caregiver's Guide to Hospital Discharge Planning." The Spanish edition is available online at http://www.caregiving.org/FamDisPlanEsp.pdf, and a limited amount of hard-copies are available. Single copies of the booklet are free, and bulk orders are subject to a small shipping and handling charge.For more information, send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
A new date for the originally scheduled May 3 meeting of the Lifespan Respite Task Force has been proposed to better accommodate the schedules of Hill staff who have been asked to provide us with an update on the Lifespan Respite Care Act and strategies to move the bill forward. The tentative new date is Monday, May 17 at 10:00 am. I expect the meeting to be held in one of the House office buildings and will keep you posted on the exact location and date confirmation.
Sign up for a free e-mail course about women and stress! Each week for eight weeks, you will receive one e-mail lesson. Lessons will contain a feature on women´s health issues that are affected by stress, a parenting/family feature, a relationship-oriented feature, plus a weekly thought/discussion question. You can share your answers to the weekly questions in the Stress site Forum. The course is individualized so that you may begin with Lesson One at any time, and you are always free to unsubscribe any time you wish. Women's Stress Course.
Doctors often prescribe newer, more expensive drugs for high blood pressure instead of the ones recommended under medical guidelines, and the practice is costing the nation more than 1 billion dollars a year, researchers say. More.
The Asian Community Center in Sacramento has dubbed a video into Cantonese to help caregivers, volunteers and drivers transport an elderly person with cognitive disability. For information on how to obtain a copy of the video, contact the center: www.accsv.org
Disabled American Veterans
Fisher House Foundation
Foundation for American Veterans
The Foundation for American Veterans was established to provide various benefits for all veterans regardless of which branch of the military they served with. The foundation's main goal is to step in and assist veterans -- either through veterans hospitals, homeless programs, or educational and crisis programs -- where the local, state, and federal governments leave off.
National Veterans Foundation
A nonpartisan public service foundation devoted entirely to the humanitarian needs of our nation's veterans and their families.
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
The Department of Veterans Affairs' Web site provides information on VA programs, benefits, and facilities worldwide.
Veterans Health Administration
In addition to its medical care mission, the Veterans Health Administration is the nation's largest provider of graduate medical education and one of the nation's largest medical research organizations.
Generations United is pleased to announce its 2004 Intergenerational Photography Contest sponsored by MetLife Foundation's Healthy Aging Initiative. The contest is for the best intergenerational photo taken by a younger or older amateur photographer, of younger and older people together and should demonstrate the importance of intergenerational connections. The contest is open to children and youth up to 21 years of age, and adults over the age of 50.
Nearly 44 million Americans have no health coverage, including 8.5 million children. In 2002, the number of people without health coverage increased by more than 2 million, the largest one-year increase in a decade. People without health coverage live sicker and die younger than those who are covered. To help reverse this disturbing trend, some of the most influential organizations in the United States, such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the AFL-CIO and more than 800 national and local organizations will work to make the issue of the uninsured a focus of national discussion during Cover the Uninsured Week - May 10 to 16, 2004. Noah Wiley, of ER fame, is serving as the national spokesperson and former Presidents Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter are serving as co-chairs of this weeklong series of national and local activities, which are all part of a year-round educational effort. Cover the Uninsured Week is a project of the Robert Wood Johnson’s Foundation. The Cover the Uninsured Week Web site offers a wide variety of ideas for ways that individuals can help to educate their own communities about this national crisis, as well as tools and resources to carry these ideas out.
Novartis has launched a new web-based platform called Virtual House, as a service for patients and their caregivers. Virtual House aims at making homecare of seriously ill persons easier. It provides recommendations for the arrangement of the house, in order to reduce domestic accidents and improve the safety, comfort and quality of life of patients and their caregivers. Virtual House is only the English translation of the French "Maison Virtuelle" a website developed by Novartis in France in 2002. The site is very successful in France, where it won a prize ("Grand Prix du site Internet des Entretiens Bichat 2002") and generated considerable interest among French patient and caregiver associations. A Spanish version of Virtual House is on its way. Learn more about Virtual House
Aetna designed this site as a "resource center" to help you better understand the issues and choices associated with end-of-life care. The site includes helpful information on end-of-life and palliative (comfort) care issues, advance planning tools, tips to begin conversations on end-of-life care with loved ones, advance directive forms, living wills and much more. Compassionate Care
Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month
Naropa University Extended Studies is proud to present their 2nd Annual Caregiving Conference - a professional symposium of leading visionaries, authors, and teachers presenting their unique and innovative models for end of life care. Naropa University is a liberal arts university with a unique Buddhist heritage, offering undergraduate and graduate degrees in the arts, humanities and social sciences. The School of Extended Studies offers a 9-month, online low-residency certificate for health care professionals in Contemplative End-of-Life Care, taught by faculty from RIGPA Spiritual Care Program. For Info:
CHCS has a new Web site with its resource material sorted throughout by 8 topics: Adults with chronic illnesses and disabilities, Behavioral health, Children's services, Clinical quality, Consumer involvement, Long-term care, Medicaid Program design, and Pharmacy. CHCS
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) launched NIHSeniorHealth.gov a new talking web site with formats and topics tailored to the needs of older people. The senior friendly site takes advantage of techniques developed by the National Institute on Aging (NIA) and the National Library of Medicine (NLM) designed to encourage older people to use the Internet, and this site in particular, as a resource for the best information on health and medical research. The site presents content in short, easy-to-read segments of information repeated in various formats, such as open-captioned videos and short quizzes, to increase the likelihood that users will remember information even those with mild cognitive impairment. Consistent page layouts and prompts reduce the likelihood that users will be overwhelmed.
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.
If we fail to nourish our souls, they wither, and without soul, life ceases to have meaning. The creative process shrivels in the absence of continual dialogue with the soul. And creativity is what makes life worth living." -
In order to have a real relationship with our creativity, we must take the time and care to cultivate it.
The major institution for social change is the human heart.
I do not know anyone who has got to the top without hard work. That is the recipe. It will not always get you to the top, but should get you pretty near.
Confucius once said:Those who cannot forgive others break the bridge over which they themselves must pass.
Desire is the key to motivation, but it’s the determination and commitment to an unrelenting pursuit of your goala commitment to excellencethat will enable you to attain the success you seek.”
All of us are watchers -- of television, of time clocks, of traffic on the freeway -- but few are observers. Everyone is looking, not many are seeing.
Peter M. Leschak
The happiness of a man in this life does not consist in the absence but in the mastery of his passions.
Alfred Lord Tennyson
I'm noticing things now I never did see
If you wish to experience peace, provide peace for another.
Most of all, they are looking to you for love.
Dalai Lama, 9/11/1
Speaking to G-d"
The man whispered, "G-d, speak to me" and
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Hi. I just found this website last night and am totally delighted. I am 39 years old, married, no children (yet?). My parents were in their forties when I was born. They are now 82 & 84; both are bedridden and have feeding tubes. I quit my job in Sept. as an office manager for a title insurance company to stay at their home during the day. I had worked for that company for 14 long and usually stressful years. I have not missed my old job for one single minute. Some days are so busy that I just "get through" the day. Some days are sad because I remember how my parents used to be. and then I just "get through" the day. Some days are great because I know I've done something on that day for them that a sitter could or would not have done or cared about. ... We are trying very hard to keep them out of a nursing home, though at some point we know we might have to go there. It's very hard balancing my life, because even though I am a very positive, optimistic, "just do it" kind of person, their situation weighs heavily on my mind and my heart most of the time. Anyway, thanks for letting me introduce myself. I am excited about getting to know each of you. Julia267
Recently I took my son, my youngest to get ice cream after dinner. On the way he started to cry. He shared with me how my father's *kidding*, teasing him bothered him. He feels hurt by his comments. My father tends to hide his own fears by joking, or if he just has nothing else to talk about. Dad has been like this even when I was a child. It seems to have worsen as he has aged.
I explained to my son, that Pop truly does not mean anything *mean* by his actions, and gave him an example of what happened to me the day before with my father....
Just the other day, I found my son crying alone in the livingroom. He told me he was so sad about pop dying, and that he didn't want him to die. I told my son, *these are good emotions, and it is okay to cry and feel sad*. I feel that way to. I also told him to remember that Pop loves us all, and that he is having a peaceful journey home surrounded by love. Angel437
"Senior Personal Ads"
FOXY LADY: Sexy, fashion-conscious blue-haired beauty, 80's, slim, 5'4" used to be 5-6), searching for sharp-looking, sharp-dressing companion. Matching white shoes and belts a plus.
Senior Driving - As a senior citizen was driving down the freeway, his car phone rang. Answering, he heard his wife's voice urgently warning him, "Herman, I just heard on the news that there's a car going the wrong way on Interstate 77. Please be careful!" "Hell," said Herman, "It's not just one car. It's hundreds of them?
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