Choices ~ Healing ~ Love
July 4, 2005 Volume 7 Issue #5
Publisher & Editor: Gail R. Mitchell


July 4th is here and my wishes go out to you and your family for a peaceful, loving day. I have been visiting friends in Connecticut. They live out in the woods with a swimming pool and lots of beautiful scenery. It has been ideal weather.. all the humidity has disappeared these five days and it has been a wonderful opportunity to reconnect with nature. To breathe in harmony with nature and the Universe.

These past few weeks, there have been several programs focused on the needs of the aging and caregivers both in the New York City area and Capitol area.This years White House Conference On Aging is a very important one and many programs are taking place statewide and locally as well as nationally. The conference takes place once in a decade. It is an opportunity to have our voices heard.. to make an impact on the President and Congress on the growing needs of caregivers and other areas of aging. This year's conference will probably be one of the most important as the baby boomers move towards retirement. Faced with policies and issues for social security, for health care needs, long term care, transportation, housing and much more, if you have an opportunity to participate or write letters, I encourage you to do so. To learn more about the areas that are being addressed and events please go to: WHCOA

The summer is going to be long and hot in many places so don't forget to hydrate yourselves and those you are caring for. I am still hearing from too many caregivers how they have neglected their own health and are having difficulty with surgeries and treatments and their healing process. It is so easy to get caught up in the caring and feel as if you cannot create some time for yourself. It's very difficult for caregivers to admit when they need help and to reach out is even harder. We want our loved ones to reach out but we, ourselves don't. So be kind to yoursel... go the extra step for you!

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

Do You Lve In The Metro NYC Area? If So,
National Organization for Empowering Caregivers
The Upper East Side Volunteer Program
Cordially invite you to celebrate


THURSDAY JULY 14, 2005 6-9PM


French Wine & Cheese Φ French Singing Around the Piano
A Live Performance with the Magic of
“Portals of Wonder”

All proceeds benefit Faith In Action Volunteer Programns serving the homebound and their caregivers throughout Manhattan

Call for reservations: 212-807-1204
MasterCard or Visa Accepted By Contacting:NOFEC

Or call 212-807-1204
To learn more, please go to
: Bastille Day


National Organization For Empowering Caregivers NOFEC
Sign Up For Your Free Membership
Take Our Caregiver Survey

We invite you to join in our complimentary membership at: Join Us. While you are there, please take a few minutes to fill in our Caregiver Survey. Your input is extremely valuable and we will respect your privacy. Your support in filling in our survey will help us and our funders to study the areas where programming is most needed and where it will be most effective. Survey.


Lela Kirby

Caregiver Sites Of The Month Archives
"Featured Guest Experts"

Beth Witrogen Mcleod
Adult Day Care

Mary C. Fridley RN, BC
Difficult Decsisions

Or click on this link:
Featured Guest Experts


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.

Dementia Symptoms in Aging Parents by Bill Grote
How to identify the insidious effects of dementia on someone you love through your eyeglasses of denial. Article

Story Of Your Life Revealed In Data You Leave Behind by Syndey Tremayne
The author suggests writing down what happens in your life and write about your family members. This will help you in the future to make proper decisions in assigning a financial advisor.Article.

My Interview With Jeb Bush by Gema G. Hernández
During the interview Hernandez says that she is a caregiver and she will make everything possible to help other caregivers. She explains that caregivers need guidance regarding politics and finance in order to provide the most efficient care. Article

Another Frustration For The Tired Family Caregiver: Hoarding by

This article relates a family scenario in which hoarding has become a problem. It gives probable reasons for this characteristic of dementia victims. The article concludes with ten tips for family caregivers. Article

In Memory

Two long time members of the Empowering Caregivers have lost loved ones. We just learned Karen Evans lost her mother in February. Karen's mom was placed into hospice several years ago but just held on for such a very long time. Karen's spotlight can be seen here at the site. Karen became quite ill while caring 24/7 for her mother and we almost lost Karen. Fortunately she pulled through her goodpasture's disease and kidney problems, but she is still being monitored and tested regularly...

Dan Hanley whom I have known since the inception of Empowering Caregivers recently said goodbye to his dear loving wife, Doe after almost 20 years of caring for her 24/7 with MS. Dan's spotlight resides in our archives as well. His story of his life for his wife still gives me goosebumps for their's was truly a very special love..As Dan told me," I grieved daily for the daily losses and now she is free...probably teaching God up there how to ballroom dance." There is almost a relief in his voice.

Karen and Dan.. you both are in our thoughts and loving prayers. May your healings continue to be gentle and nurturing.

Janet aka jmw0913 has been caregiving both her parents. Her dad passed one month ago and the biggest challenge yet to come is redefining her role of caregiving with her mother. Our thoughts and prayers are also with you Janet as you continue to heal through this difficult time.


Breast Cancer Husband:

Caregiving 101
A Practical Guide For Clueless Guys
What Kind Of Caregivers Do Men Make?

This was the question posed to eight breast cancer couples in a focus group at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore. The women graded their husbands on their caregiving performance during the months of diagnosis and treatment. The husbands graded themselves as well. To a man, the guys gave themselves lower grades than did their wives, who praised their husbands for their wonderful support. The men were genuinely surprised by the high marks.

So there you have it: proof that we breast cancer husbands aren't quite as bad at caring for our wives as we might think we are. "I don't think men are crummy caregivers," agrees social worker Matthew Loscalzo, director of patient and family support services at the University of California at San Diego Cancer Center, who has worked with cancer patients for over two decades and who helped run the focus group. "I think men give caring the way men give caring, and women give it in a different way."

What the breast cancer husband must learn is to be the kind of caregiver that his wife needs. "It's not about you, ya bastard," says Sherwin Nuland, M.D., with a wink. He's clinical professor of surgery at Yale University and author of the award-winning book, How We Die. "It's not about how sensitive or how strong you can be."

So what is it about? A breast cancer husband has to figure out what his wife needs from him. For years, you may have skated by with sex, Saturday nights out, and the occasional box of candy. Now you'll need to come to a deeper level of understanding. Mind reading is not recommended. Nor will renting the movie What Women Want give you a clue, especially in the wake of breast cancer. You may stumble along the way. "I'm sure I didn't do some things right," says Claude Robinson, 72, of Capitol Heights, Maryland, whose wife, Lawanna, underwent a lumpectomy, followed by radiation. "I just hope I did most of the things right. It's like a marriage -- you don't do everything right, do you?"

Take heart -- it's not an impossible job. And your wife will deeply appreciate your efforts. "Greg was my prince," says Heidi LaFleche of her husband, Greg Passler. "He rose to the occasion in ways big and small, from camping out with me in the living room [she slept on the couch because it was closer to the bathroom] to going to the pharmacy at 3:00 in the morning. He was present on every level." And he never even let on that sleeping on a worn-out futon mattress was a pain in the back.

Mr. Don't-Fix-It
There's a lot of confusion in the male brain about what it means to be a caregiver. That's understandable. In many couples, the woman assumes more of the caregiving responsibilities. "Men are just not taught to be caregivers in any sense of that word," says social worker Jim Zabora.

Ain't that the truth. And at a time in our lives when we do need to give care -- when our wives are about to give birth -- at least we get a little training. When our honey is heavy with child, we dutifully accompany her to childbirth classes and learn all about the father-to-be's Very Important Job: tell the Mrs. to breathe and relax during labor. You know, just in case all those doctors and nurses forget to remind her.

Zabora is one of the many folks in the health-care field who'd like to see an educational session or two for newly diagnosed women -- and for their husbands or boyfriends. Someday, that may be the norm. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently awarded a $1.1 million grant to Men Against Breast Cancer, a fund-raising and educational group based in Rockville, Maryland, to establish such programs on a pilot basis for the "underserved African-American, Latino, and Indian populations."

But right now, most men are on their own when it comes to cancer caregiving. They may mean well, but they tend to jump to the wrong conclusions. And the number one wrong conclusion: They think a caregiver has to fix things.

don't know whether Mr. Fix-It is hardwired into our genes or drummed into our skulls, but this is one stereotype that holds true across the board. Psychologists, social workers, medical doctors, breast cancer survivors, and, of course, breast cancer husbands all agree. Guys feel compelled to "fix" cancer. We want to take it on at the basketball hoop, one on one. We want to pull out a six-shooter and start firing away. Perhaps that's why we judge ourselves harshly as cancer caregivers. No husband can defeat cancer. Ergo, we've failed to protect our wives.

That sense of powerlessness can make a husband miserable.

"My entire life revolves around fixing issues," says Colton Young, 42, who's vice president of an environmental management company outside of Philadelphia. "I get paid to go in and mitigate people's problems." When his wife, Kathleen McCarthy, was diagnosed with cancer at age 36, he had to face the fact that he couldn't fix it: "There ain't a damn thing you can do about it but sit back and hope the people you have on your team are with you. It's a horrible feeling of utter helplessness."

Paul Byers, a journalism professor from Washington, D.C., whose wife, Fran, was diagnosed with breast cancer, is familiar with the feeling. "I can do chores, I can make life easier in other ways. But I can't take on the real issue itself."

"You can't find the solution or rescue the fair maiden," agrees Carol Stevenson, 56, of Arlington, Virginia, a 4-year breast cancer survivor. But that doesn't mean the spouse is indeed helpless. Carol needed her husband, Phil Gay, to be there with her. Not to solve her problems or to conquer cancer, but to stand by her side and to accept her as she was. "The most important thing for me was to know it was all right to be sick, and not beautiful, and not the epitome of femininity. He was always there to hold me if I needed to be held or to talk to me if I needed to talk. I was very grateful for that." To read the complete article, go to Breast Cancer Husband.

Marc Silver

Reprinted from: Breast Cancer Husband: How to Help Your Wife (and Yourself) Through Diagnosis, Treatment, and Beyond by Marc Silver © 2004 by Marc Silver. (October 2004; $14.95US/20.95CAN; 1-57954-833-4) Permission granted by Rodale, Inc., Emmaus, PA 18098. Available wherever books are sold or directly from thMarc Silver is an editor at U.S. News & World Report, where he has been a longtime contributor to the News You Can Use section. His wife, Marsha, was diagnosed with breast cancer 3 years ago: after undergoing surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation treatments, she is in good health. They are the parents of two daughters, ages 18 and 16. Web Site:

Top Of Page


Support for Alzheimer’s Patients
American Health Assistance Foundation:
Alzheimer's Family Relief Program

The American Health Assistance Foundation (AHAF) is dedicated to funding research on age-related and degenerative diseases, educating the public about these diseases, and providing emergency financial assistance to Alzheimer's disease patients and their caregivers.

AHAF's Alzheimer's Family Relief Program provides direct financial assistance and resources for the continued care and support of the Alzheimer's patients and their caregivers. Grants of up to $750 are provided for expenses such as short-term nursing care, home health care, medications, transportation, and other expenses related to care for the patient with Alzheimer's disease. Applications are funded based on established need and on a first-come, first-served basis. Visit the AFRP for more information.

"Family Caregiving in Utah: A Resource Guide for Family Caregivers."

The Utah Department of Human Services, Division of Aging and Adult Services recently published, "Family Caregiving in Utah: A Resource Guide for Family Caregivers." Information is provided that could assist families to self-identify as caregivers; provide details about support services available in the state; and help families in developing a caregiving plan. Download:

Information for Low Income Medicare Beneficiaries

Secretary of Health and Human Services, Mike Leavitt and CMS Administrator, Dr. Mark McClellan, along with the Access to Benefits Coalition including the Alzheimers Association, Easter Seals, National Alliance for Hispanic Health, and AARP launched a major outreach effort to ensure that low income Medicare beneficiaries are informed of the availability of a subsidy to provide them with extra assistance in obtaining drugs under the Part D Prescription Drug Benefit.

SSA Application-

Medicare Prescription Drug Coverage Calendar-

Medicare Prescription Drug Coverage Basics-

Quick Facts for people with limited Income & Resources-


Alzheimer’s’ Foundation of America and MedicAlert®.
Create New Alliance Through New ID Bracelet

A new service available for individuals with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias through a strategic alliance between the Alzheimer’s’ Foundation of America and MedicAlert®.

The Dementia Identification Bracelet features an emblem which is teal-the internationally recognized color of Alzheimer's disease. In an emergency, the emblem alerts medical professionals or first responders to call MedicAlert’s® 24 hour hotline to access electronic health records containing vital medical and contact information for each wearer.

Caregivers can easily obtain and update personal information in the system, including medication dosages, allergies, implanted devices, physician and family contacts, insurance information, organ donation specification and advance directives.

MedicAlert® membership includes an identification bracelet, access to the 24-hour emergency response center, family notification services, and the ability for caregivers to review and update a member's health record. The cost is $35 per year and $20 each year thereafter.

A special promotional code of 1242 grants enrollees a $5 discount off the first year of membership when selecting the teal emblem.

Visit or call 1.800.ID.ALERT (1.800.432.5378)

Virginia Approves Bill to Provide Grants to Family Caregivers

Virginia's Caregivers' Grant Program has been extended by their governonr. It provides a $500 grant to individuals who care for a physically or mentally impaired relative who r3equires help with two or more ADL's (activities of daily living) for more than six months per year. More info:

Air Travel Donated For Humanitarian Causes

AirLifeLine is a national nonprofit charitable organization of over 1,500 private pilots who fly patients who cannot afford the cost of air travel to medical facilities for diagnosis and treatment. Participating pilots donate their time, aircraft and fuel to make this air transportation service totally free of charge for patients who qualify. AirLifeLine pilots also offer free flights for other humanitarian reasons, including disaster relief efforts. For more information about AirLifeLine, call toll-free 877-247-5433, or visit AirLifeLine.

National Health Observances
July Is:

UV Safety Month
American Academy of Opthalmology
P.O. Box 7424
San Francisco, CA 94120-7424
(415) 447-0213 Fax(415) 561-8533
Contact: Georgia Alward, Communications Department for materials.



You are always a valuable, worthwhile human being, not because anybody says so, not because you're successful, not because you make a lot of money, but because you decide to believe it and for no other reason.

Wayne Dyer

Love is the difficult realization that something other than oneself is real.

Iris Murdoch

Abundance is not something we acquire. It is something we tune into.

Wayne Dyer

Never be bullied into silence. Never allow yourself to be made a victim. Accept no ones definition of your life; define yourself.

Harvey Fierstein

No one can persuade another to change. Each of us guards a gate of change that can only be opened from the inside. We cannot open the gate of another, either by argument or emotional appeal.

Marilyn Ferguson

Lord, where we are wrong, make us willing to change; where we are right, make us easy to live with.

Peter Marshall

In organizations, real power and energy is generated through relationships. The patterns of relationships and the capacities to form them are more important than tasks, functions, roles, and positions.

Margaret Wheatley

See My Hand?
Reach Out

Please reach out to me.
Grab on to it.

We all need to reach our hands out to one another.
We can all help one another.
We just all need to reach out and grab on to it.

Together we can pull one another up.
With the Grace of God
We can all heal and fulfill our dreams no matter what others may say.
We all have our times of self doubt, unhappy and unhealthy moments
Please just reach out and grab on to me.

Together we can climb the mountain
The fears and tears will lessen and stronger we will all be!
Thank you for helping me and in turn I am helping you.
When we give we receive.

We just need to reach out and give the strength and faith that
Everything will be ok.

All my love, peace and blessings,



Just new and looking for others in my shoes or similar. Hoping to met any others dealing with cancer( terminal ) and share and get support phil s-r

Hello everyone. I don't know if there is anyone in the same situation as me. I am 24 years old, been out of college for a year and am currently taking care of my grandmother. She is in good physical condition, except for needing a walker because her legs go numb, but her memory is beginning to fail her. She is very forgetful and increasingly stubborn. From reading a few posts, I know I don’t have it as bad as some people. I am just new to this and don't know what to do.

I am trying to establish a career for myself, but it is hard when I have to spend so much time with my grandmother. Not that I don't like to help her, but I cannot progress in my career goals when I have to take her to appointments, and miss meetings and things of that nature. I can’t stay late at work cause I need to come home and help her with dinner. Not that she needs help, but she likes my company.

My parents can’t help cause my dad is a businessman and is constantly traveling and in another state. My mother also works extremely long hours and doesn’t live nearby. Because I am just beginning my career and life, I guess they feel I can suffer with all of this pressure. On top of this I haven’t been able to spend much time with my fiancé. She hasn’t said anything because she is so supportive, but I know it is hurting her. Sorry to vent, but as you can see I am quite young and am trying to understand all of this. It is so new to me. I want to have a life but at the same time feel responsible for taking care of and spending time with my grandmother. If anyone is or has been in a similar situation and has any suggestions I would love to hear from you. Thanks for letting me get all of this off my chest. Best, Eric


A little woman called Mount Sinai Hospital. The receptionist answered, "Mount Sinai Hospital."

"Hello. Darling, I'd like to talk with the person who gives the information about the patients. But I don't want to know if the patient is better or doing like expected, or worse, I want all the information from top to bottom, from A to Z."

The voice on the other end of the line said, "Would you hold the line, please, that's a very unusual request."

A very authoritative voice came on and said, " Are you the lady who is calling about one of the patients?"

She said, "Yes, darling! I'd like to know the information about Sarah Finkel, in Room 302."

He said, "Finkel. Finkel. Let me see. Feinberg, Farber --- Finkel. Oh yes, Mrs. Finkel is doing very well. In fact, she's had two full meals. Her doctor says if she continues improving as she is, he is going to send her home Tuesday at twelve o'clock."

The woman said, "Thank God! That's wonderful! She's going home at twelve o'clock! I'm so happy to hear that. That's wonderful news."

The guy on the other end said, “From your enthusiasm, I take it you must be one of the close family."

She said, “What close family? I'm Sarah Finkel! My doctor doesn't tell me anything!"


An elderly married couple scheduled their annual medical examination the same day so they could travel together. After the husband's examination, the doctor said to him, "You appear to be in good health. Do you have any medical concerns that you would like discuss with me?"

"In fact, I do," said the man. "After I have sex with my wife for the first time, I am usually hot and sweaty. And then, after I have sex with my wife the second time, I am usually cold and chilly."

"This is very interesting," replied the doctor. "Let me do some research and get back to you."

After examining the elderly wife, the doctor said to her, "Everything appears to be fine. Do you have any concerns you would like to discuss with me?"

The lady replied she had no questions nor concerns.

The doctor then asked, "Your husband had an unusual concern. He claims that he is usually hot and sweaty after having sex the first time with you and then cold and chilly after the second time. Do you know why?"

"Oh that old buzzard!", she replied. "That's because the first time is usually in July and the second time is usually in December!"


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