Choices ~ Healing ~ Love
June 1, 2004
Publisher & Editor: Gail R. Mitchell -
UPDATES AT THE SITE
INFORMATIVE CAREGIVING ARTICLES & INSPIRATION
MESSAGE BOARDS & EMAIL BAG
JOKES & HUMOR
Just as I was about to upload the newsletter to the site and email it, I heard that President Reagan passed on. Somehow, I cannot focus on the politics... I am grateful that the President, Mrs Reagan and their family were able to raise the nation's consciousness on the needs of caregivers who were caring for loved ones with AD. I think of how many years, he lived with this deteriorating disease and the times Mrs. Reagan spoke about the difficulties. Fortunately, they had the finances and means to care for him with professionals. I then think of all those who do not and are caring 24/7 with no respite and no financial support.
I must be truthful and share with you that I used to get very upset that it was Alzheimer's that took the lead and the lead went to caregivers and the disease... while other diseases like cancer, copd, chf, ms, AIDS, Parkinsons and other tragic maladies ravaged as those with these conditions were cared for by their loved ones..
I become even more infuriated when I think of all the politicians and congress people who serve and go on to collect pensions for the rest of their lives with annual cost of living increases on our tax payer dollars. The wealthy become wealthy while millions of caregivers are struggling to keep their heads above water from drowning. I often think that the laws need to be rewritten and those who serve should only receive salaries while in office. How often is it that someone in public office comes from an immediate poverty background? Generally, they are all from more than comfortable backgrounds. Right now, I feel the more caregivers come together in larger numbers and have their voices heard, the possibilities will open.
Almost every time I speak at a conference for caregivers, someone mentions the difficulties their parents have in spending any money. Their parents have saved on themselves for products that could increase the quality of their life and perhaps even make life a bit easier for them. However, for those parents who were brought up during the depression, there is a general consciousness about their spending habits.
We also have been gifted with a beautiful article by Dr. Judith Orloff. and a special article on the spirituality in caregiving by Rev. Donalad Koepke. There are a host of new authors who are finding us and I am delighted to bring there energies forth to serve all of you who visit in the community.
And lastly, A Very Very Happy Father's Day..
In a recent research study, Gail Gibson Hunt, shared that 39% of the caregivers were now men. So, I would like to wish all of you a very Happy Father's Day.. and a very happy day to the father's you all care for. If this is your first year without your faither being present.. light a candle, sit in the stillness of your soul and take this time to reconnect ....create a special ritual that will support you in celebrating his life.
May your journey be gentle and beautiful!
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.
Beth Witrogen McLeod
Or click on this link:
The Spiritual Gift of Caregiving by Donald Koepke
That Final Goodbye by Chloe JonPaul
The Many Challenges of Sundowning by Starr Calo-oy
Positive Energy: How to Build Vitality And Stop Energy Vampires From Draining You by Judith Orloff, MD
Help Me: Coping With The Nursing Home Decision by Jean Harker
Aging as Spiritual Awakening by Karen Turner
Between Laughter and Loneliness by Zaak Fresh
A Visit to My Mother by Robert A. Leon
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.
Each year, there are over 100,000 deaths as a result of medication errors. There are also over 150,000 deaths as a result of drug interactions. Most of these occur in seniors because they are either taking a lot of medications or do not closely look at what they are taking and tend to "just follow orders".
Medication errors happen every day and yet they are very preventable. Please follow these simple steps outlined in this article to ensure that you or your loved one does not become a statistic that will most probably not be reported.
Dr. David Nganele Ph.D., MBA
Dr. David Nganele is a New York Times-profiled health education expert. He provides individuals with the knowledge and tools to help them become their own best doctor. He believes that “The More You Know, The Better You’ll Live.” He is also one of the premier writers and speakers on how to identify and manage the cost of healthcare while getting better services. His latest book is “Prescription Drug$; What You Must Know: From Avoiding Medication Errors To Saving On The Cost; A Manual For Your Peace Of Mind.” One of our featured columnists, he writes on topics which include prescriptions, healthcare and insurance
Building Caregiver Coalitions
The New York Regional Office (NYRO) of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services cordially invite you to a satellite broadcast and webcast entitled "Building Caregiver Coalitions" on Tuesday, September 30th from 1 P.M. to 3 P.M. Eastern Time at 26 Federal Plaza, 38th floor, Room 38-110-A. We encourage you to invite representatives from current and potential partners and your partners may recommend other interested participants.
This broadcast is an effective way to build and mainm viable partnerships and coalitions/associations. Caregiver coalitions help access caregiver populations, including ethnic groups that depend on family members for health information. Participation in these coalitions will help the address outreach to all populations. You may register for this broadcast at http://cms.gov/events, call CMS RO II at 212 264-3657http://www.state.de.us/dhss/dsaapd/agingguide.html or e-mail If you have additional questions, or require further information, please contact Barry Klitsberg at 212 264-3662 or e-mail Barry
The Delaware Department of Health and Social Services has publsihed "Guide to Services for Older Delawareans 2004-2005." It includes information on the caregiver support program for Delaware State, LTC services, CARES which is the state's assistance-respite-education"program which you can . Download:
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) sponsored a town hall meeting in December of 2003 highlighting the important of health promotion and disease prevention for ensuring the health and wellness of family caregivers. The materials include a special Letter from Mrs. Nancy Reagan; a frequently asked questions section concerning family caregiving; an summaries of the programs that promote the health of older adults and more. Download:
A very special colleague, Don Koepke publishes a special online monthly newsletter that you might be interested in receiving. Don is Director, CSEA of The Center for Spirituality and Ethics in Aging that provides education and advocacy and promotes research on spirituality and ethics as they are experienced in the aging process, within both the faith and the long-term communities of Southern California. CSEA is a program of California Lutheran Homes and Community Services and is headquartered in Anaheim, California. They provide a monthly electronic newsletter is published by the Center for Spirituality and Ethics in Aging and is co-sponsored by California Lutheran Homes and Community Services and Front Porch. CSEA Spirit is limited to brief and timely announcements. To submit items of interest or request subscription changes, contact email@example.com or call 714-239-6267.
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:
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.
The May 31st edition of Newsweek contains an article entitled "How TLC Makes You Sick".by Claudia Kalb. It details the study conducted at the University of Pittsburgh, which found that elderly caregivers who said they felt strained by their responsibilities were 63 percent more likely to die early than non-caregivers. This is of course due to the physical, mental and psychological stress they are under as family caregivers. Having spent almost an hour myself being interviewed by Claudia, I was happy to see her include an informative issue Dan Hanley,a member of our Empowering Community has been challenged with. Article
The Greater Southern Brooklyn Health Coalition (GSBHC) invites you to attend a mini-conference entitled “A Caregivers’ Journey” on Thursday, June 10th at Brooklyn Borough Hall from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm. This event is the culmination of a series of workshops on issues affecting the aging community in Brooklyn. This forum will address the stresses of caregiving as well as identify available resources for service providers and caregivers. A variety of information will be available at our resource fair in Borough Hall’s rotunda. Registration and breakfast will begin at 8:30am.
The American Diabetes Association has developed a news feed to provide you with the latest news from the world of diabetes on our Web site, diabetes.org. This means that readers of both diabetes.org and Diabetes E-News NOW! will be able to keep up to date on diabetes-related issues directly from the American Diabetes Association, the authoritative source of information about diabetes in the United States. You can now easily find links to current news stories, research articles, and updates on American Diabetes Association events, activities, and press releases. Diabetes.org
June 1, 2004: HHS Secretary Tommy G. Thompson today urged people with Medicare to take advantage of real savings on their prescription medicines by signing up for Medicare-approved drug discount cards. The cards offer savings of 10 to 25 percent or more for beneficiaries who do not have good drug coverage now, and low-income beneficiaries also qualify for discounts and a $1,200 credit over the next 18 months to help pay for prescriptions.
Comprehensive resource that provides tools and information from Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, National Council on Aging and Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation
This comprehensive resource will help Medicare eligible seniors and their caregivers better understand Medicare and the new prescription drug benefits and access the Prescription Drug and Other Assistance tool on www.medicare.gov to check their eligibility for available sources of assistance and even select a Medicare-Approved Drug Discount Card.
In addition, WebMD Health will offer its award-winning health content, community and interactive tools, allowing seniors, people with disabilities and their families to:
Obtain information about medical conditions, medications and other health related issues;
Eun-Ok Im, MPH, PhD, School of Nursing, University of Texas at Austin and her colleagues are conducting a study ultimately aiming at development of computer software to assist nurses' with decision making on cancer pain. In the study, Internet survey and online forum discussions using a Web site (home-page) will be conducted to get information on cancer pain of cancer patients from diverse cultural groups.
If you are cancer patients aged at least 18 years who can read and write English and whose self-reported ethnic identity is Hispanic, White, African-American, or Asian, you are invited to join the study.
The Washington Home Center for Palliative Care Studies is partnering with Growth House to distribution patient-education guides to living with Advanced Congestive Heart Failure (CHF) or Advanced Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) via the Internet. These patient education materials are available in both PDF and HTML format for web-based learning.
Diseases of the heart and circulatory system are the leading cause of death in the United States. Congestive heart failure (CHF) is a progressively debilitating illness that eventually will lead to death. In this disease the heart gradually loses its ability to pump blood effectively. Without a good blood supply, muscles and organs don't get enough oxygen, causing various problems. Because blood doesn't circulate, as it should, fluid backs up in the lungs and lower parts of the body. That's why people with this disease often have swelling in the feet and legs. The body is "congested" with fluid, which is why this disease is called congestive heart failure. CHF may occur along with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), a progressive and irreversible condition in which the airways of the lungs are damaged and unable to process oxygen well. Shortness of breath and coughing are common symptoms. Emphysema and chronic bronchitis are forms of COPD. The combination of CHF with COPD is not unusual in advanced
48 Hr - Caregiver Retreats
The retreat program is created to provide support for caregivers caring for an older adult and their family members. In coordination with California Community Foundation, Los Angeles Caregiver Resource Center, and the Area Agency on Aging, We are able to provide time to Relax, Rejoice, and Reconnect.
At the Retreat You will learn…
Rancho Palos Verdes at the Mary and Joseph Retreat Center
An inspiring true story of a courageous man’s battle with cancer and his wife’s emotional journey as she supports him throughout his fight. The book is interlaced with beautiful diary excerpts and poems written through her eyes. It takes you from the diagnosis to the very end and it is a must read for anyone who is caring for someone with cancer.
Tackling Alzheimer's, Depression; Study Finds That Counseling, Support Services Can Reduce Risk For Caregivers
Love is a force more formidable than any other. It is invisible -- it cannot be seen or measured, yet it is powerful enough to transform you in a moment, and offer you more joy than any material possession could.
Barbara De Angelis
In reading the lives of great men, I found that the first victory they won was over themselves… self-discipline with all of them came first.
Harry S. Truman
Nothing of importance is ever achieved without discipline. I feel myself sometimes not wholly in sympathy with some modern educational theorists, because I think that they underestimate the part that discipline plays. But the discipline you have in your life should be one determined by your own desires and your own needs, not put upon you by society or authority.
No one can cheat you out of ultimate success but yourselves.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
I am responsible. Although I may not be able to prevent the worst from happening, I am responsible for my attitude toward the inevitable misfortunes that darken life. Bad things do happen; how I respond to them defines my character and the quality of my life. I can choose to sit in perpetual sadness, immobilized by the gravity of my loss, or I can choose to rise from the pain and treasure the most precious gift I have - life itself.
Aim for success, not perfection. Never give up your right to be wrong, because then you will lose the ability to learn new things and move forward with your life. Remember that fear always lurks behind perfectionism. Confronting your fears and allowing yourself the right to be human can, paradoxically, make yourself a happier and more productive person.
Dr. David M. Burns
Love is not blind -- it sees more, not less. But because it sees more, it is willing to see less.
Rabbi Julins Gordon
Obstacles don't have to stop you. If you run into a wall, don't turn around and give up. Figure out how to climb it, go through it, or work around it.
What You Can't See.
When an old lady died in the geriatric ward of a small hospital near Dundee, Scotland, it was felt that she had nothing left of any value. Later, as the nurses were going through her meager possessions, they found this poem. Its quality and content so impressed the staff that copies were made and distributed to every nurse in the hospital. One nurse took her copy to Ireland. The old lady's sole bequest to posterity has since appeared in the Christmas edition of the News Magazine of the North Ireland Association for Mental Health. A slide presentation has also been made based on her simple, but eloquent, poem. And this little old Scottish lady, with nothing left to give to the world, is now the author of this "anonymous" poem winging across the Internet.
An Old Lady's Poem
When life pushes you down, push back! That's what you're here for. You're capable, you're creative, you're full of life and energy. You have what it takes to move yourself forward around any obstacle. Don't let anything stop you. Take strength from meeting the challenges, and move ahead. The struggles you face are just what you need to fulfill your potential for greatness. Think back over the past year. Consider the ways in which you've grown, the things you've learned, your accomplishments. Most of these probably came from overcoming some challenge or adversity that initially stood in your way. A year from now, when you look back at today, you'll see that the problem you're so concerned with right now, was another valuable lesson waiting to be learned."
Top Of Page
There is much to read a put to use in this issue.
Thanks for all your efforts.
Classic Bumper Stickers
Back when I was a kid I was sitting on a bench outside the country store--, listening to old men brag. One old man said to the other, after braging about how well he could see, as he leaned forward, pointing, "Do you see that chigger on that old dead tree over yonder?"
The other old gent, who had been bragging about how well he could hear, leaned forward looking into the distance and finally turning his head sideways said, "I can't say as I do, but I can hear him crawling."
An elderly man goes to the doctor and tells him that he hasn't been feeling well. The doctor examines him, leaves the room, and comes back with three different bottles of pills.
The doctor says, "Take the green pill with a big glass of water when you get up. Take the blue pill with a big glass of water after lunch. Then just before going to bed, take the red pill with another big glass of water."
Startled to be put on so much medicine, the elderly man stammers, "My goodness, Doc. Exactly what's my problem?"
The doctor says, "You're not drinking enough water."
This 86 year old man goes for his regular cardiology visit. Two days later, the cardiologist sees the old man walking on the street.....with a gorgeous, young blond draped over his arm.
The cardiologist calls the old man aside. "Just what do you think you're doing?"
"Just taking your advice", the old man replies...."Get a 'Hot Mama', and be cheerful!"
The cardiologist shakes his head..."No", he replies, "What I said was: You've got a heart murmur, be careful!"
THAT'S IT FOR THIS ISSUE
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