October 1, 2002 - VOLUME lll ISSUE #9

Publisher / Editor - Gail R. Mitchell





You are cordially invited to listen to Gail Mitchell
Jacqueline Marcell's Internet Radio program,

"Coping with Caregiving"
WSR Show Arcive
Show Archive @ ElderRage.Com


It's difficult accepting that we are entering fall. Many of you who know me will remember that I always say Christmas is just around the corner once Memorial Day has come and passed.

The time away from the site has been very profitable for me in terms of beginning to get my own health in balance and in establishing business connections for NOFEC so I am truly blessed and grateful for the opportunity. While I knew it would be a long journey through lots of paper work etc, I could never have truly imagined how much was involved.

New York City still isn't the same since 9/11 last year. All sorts of plans are being arranged to memorialize the tragic time frame. I, myself, still feel numb as I look down certain avenues where I could view these majestic towers and I miss not seeing them. I get a choked feeling in my throat and heart. While I don't live in fear of more attacks, I know that no matter what precautions have been taken by the government, there will just never be enough. The scale is just too grand to properly man huge skyscraper buildings, airports and so much more. So security issues look like they may be in place, but the underlying truth is it is just a superficial band-aid. The heaviness diminishes somewhat day to day for me. I can't help but wonder how many millions are still traumatized by the events and how many may not even be aware of all that they are holding in throughout the world. Evidently there are many because NOFEC has been asked to make several outreach presentations on how to cope with the lingering effects for several organizations and their staff. Last Acts.Org has compiled a list of national events and programs that will take place. Click on this link to see the lists: LastActs.Org

In the midst of this time of memorializing, I was also deeply disturbed by the Congress passing legislation that allotted $356 billion dollars for the military. I just was speechless at the numbers. I could only think if one or two percent was allocated to caregivers, how wonderful this could be...While I am not making a political statement, it makes me wonder where the priorities of the nation are. I encourage you to vote, write letters and respond to the needs of the caregiver whenever you are asked to do so in order to make a difference and to have your voice be counted. While no one is calling "Family Caregiving a crisis at this point" the number "54 million" quoted by the NFCA is an indication of where we are headed. There are fundraisers for all types of diseases and none for caregivers. The numbers increase daily for caregivers who are suffering from isolation and depression and their immune systems as well as their overall mental, physical, emotional and spiritual health are at risk when they are totally immersed with no assistance or support.

While Empowering Caregivers is still limited in staff, we do expend quality energy in bringing you information, news, articles and the emotional and spiritual support which is so urgently needed by so many of you. We take great pride in providing these services. As we enter our 4th year, we are grateful for your support and feedback. Let your voice be heard. Let us know what you want and what your needs are.... we are here for you.

This fall there are many events related to caregiving that will be taking place. 2002 International Conference on Family Care, Hosted by the

National Alliance for Caregiving (USA), will bring diversified caregiving contingencies from all parts of the globe to D.C. in Oct, The Wellspouse Foundation will be sponsoring their annual conference in Philadelphia in October, September 8th is Grandparent's Day and ASTH - And Thou Shalt Honor will debut on PBS on October 9th.

Also check the schedule and link for Jacqueline Marcell's Internet radio program tat takes place on Saturdays. The program is much needed and Jacqueline fills each week with several special guests who offer so much to caregiving, so please check it out.

There are over 35 new articles at the site. I hope to see you at the boards once again and in the chats..

This is a lengthy newsletter so I won't delay you any longer....

Richest Blessings to you on your journey.
We always welcome your contributions, feedback, support and suggestions. Have a wonderful week.
In Love & Light,


Cleaning Up The Clutter In Our Lives


Empowering Caregivers / NOFEC Gear:

Empowering Caregivers and the National Organization For Empowering Caregivers now offers customized logo products for your personal use. Your purchases help us to maintain this site and reach out in helping all of you..Empowering Caregivers Gear

Two New Articles Added To The Site Regarding
The Media and How To Survive Through September 11th

I for one haven't been listening to the hype on the television and radio that started a few weeks ago here in NYC. I am grateful to two very special therapists who deal with grieving that have contributed articles to the site for the two new articles that arrived today 9/8/2002. I am adding them into the newsletter as well as doing a special mailing so that those of you who are in need of healing on deeper levels will feel supported. They are as follows:

Update on NOFEC
Please Send In Photos Of Yourselves Caring For Your Loved One(s)

Work has begun on developing the NOFEC web site at We are looking to incorporate special photographs of members' caregiving their loved ones. Rather than purchasing stock photos, we are asking the community to participate by either sending special photos via email or snailmail. Contact us at PHOTOS

For those of you whose photos are used, we will be sending some of our gifted books on caregiving to show our appreciation. Thank you for your support.

Special Healing Prayers
For Special People In the Background
In The Empowering Caregivers Community

This summer has brought a tremendous amount of illness and surgeries to many current and former caregivers that are apart of the community. Please take time to send out some extra special loving thoughts to Karen Kowal, Ann Overby, one of our current hosts, Dee Ratcliff, Karen Evans and Patti St.Clair. You have all been on my mind throughout the summer and I continue to pray for easier healings for all of you. Richest blessings....

September Spotlight At The Site

This month's Spotlight features two aspects of a very important organization that has been growing with coalitions and great recognition on the work they are doing to raise the consciousness of the nation on the growing needs of family caregivers. It is with great respect that we honor "And Thou Shalt Honor (ASTH)" and their PBS program, which will be airing across the nation on October 9th. See the posting under news below.

Also featured is, a caregivers resource directory in conjunction with ASTH.

Caregiver Books Given Away Monthly

We have resumed our monthly book giveaway to new members at the chats and forums./message boards. Three names will be randomly chosen to receive books generously gifted to the site by authors who are well known in the field of Caregiving and End-of- Life issues.

This month's recipients are:
NanciO, Carewind, and Fighter2

They have been mailed "Who Cares, A Loving Guide For Caregivers" by Dee Marrella. "Who Cares" gives you a special opportunity to write your story and to tell your loved ones about yourself while you are healthy and alert. Then, if and when you become less alert, your future caregivers can check this book and know exactly what you need or desire. With this book you can still have some control over your own destiny.

The book is in journal form and can be filled out by middle-aged or older adults. It is an autobiography written by the individual for his / her future caregivers telling them about your past, who you currently are, what your needs and desires would be down the road.

Welcome Our Newest Edition To the Experts Area:
Featured- Columnist

Mary C. Fridley
Questions & Answers
October 2002
John Felitto
Slow Down And Benefit From "Negative" Emotions
Beth Witrgen McLeod
Caring for Aging Parents - Excerpt - Chapter 4
Alan Cohen
Why Your Life Sucks!
Edie Weintein-Moser
Dancing With Angels Part lI
John Felitto
Can Self-Acknowledgment Be Our Greatest Gift to Others?
Harvey Cohen
Time Is My Servant
Sydney Tremayne
More Than One Executor Needed
To Avoid Having Your Life Trashed

Or click on this link:
Featured Guest Experts

(New Caregiver articles will be posted ongoing on the first of each month

Adult Day Care: One Form of Respite for Older Adults - Terri Whirrett-
Adult day care centers, also known as adult day services, have been providing a form of respite for caregivers for more than twenty years. In 1978 there were only 300 centers nationwide. By the 1980s there were 2,100 centers, and today there are about 4,000 centers nationwide, according to the National Adult Day Services Association (NADSA). NADSA reports that the need for such centers has "jumped sharply to keep pace with the mushrooming demand for home and community based services."

Stumbling Through The Rubble- Debbie Ficocelli
I've missed being attentive and devoted to my patient, loving, and understanding hubby; how our relationship hasn't been destroyed I'll never know. Every sacrifice I chose to make he supported me; even if he thought it was not always fair for us to be totally responsible; he managed to grasp my decisions as if they were his own; whatever the cost to us; knowing I never do anything without being totally absorbed by it.

Elder Abuse and Neglect: In Search of Solutions - Part l & Part ll
Every person—every man, woman, and child—deserves to be treated with respect and with caring. Every person—no matter how young or how old—deserves to be safe from harm by those who live with them, care for them, or come in day-to-day contact with them.

Signs & Symptoms Of Approaching Death- Hospice Patients Alliance
When confronted with approaching death, many of us wonder when exactly will death occur. Many of us ask the question, "How much time is left?" This can often be a difficult question to answer. The dying do not always cooperate with the predictions of the doctors, nurses or others who tell family members or patients how much time is left.

Caregiving - A Profession And A Way Of Life - ARA
"Care" and "giver." It would be hard to imagine two more positive words. Together, they describe those who daily make a positive difference in the lives of nursing home residents nationwide. Caregivers are compassionate and hard working, dedicated to serving the needs of others -- and they are truly the heart and soul of nursing homes.

AXA Foundation Family Care Resource Connection
The AXA Foundation in collaboration with the National Alliance for Caregiving has funded the creation of the AXA Foundation Family Care Resource Connection. This on-line connection is designed to help family caregivers and the professional community that works with families gain access to hundreds of resources on the widest range of issues.

Putting Sleep Problem Myths to Bed - Sonia Ancoli-Israel, Ph.D
How often have you heard that, "Older people are supposed to sleep less." Is this true or is it a myth? Are changes seen in sleep part of normal aging, or is there something else going on that causes older adults to sleep poorly?

Siblings of Children with Special Health and Developmental Needs - Donald Meyer
Since 1986, when Congress passed the Temporary Child Care for Children with Disabilities and Crisis Nurseries Act (as amended), respite care programs for children with special health and developmental needs have expanded to almost every state. Increasingly, agencies that administer these programs are broadening their attention to include all family members, and to offer many family support services in addition to respite care.

The 9 Insights To The Wealthy Soul- By Dr. Michael Norwood l & ll
The prologue to Michael's book is compelling pulls you in to the final stages of his father's life. Many of you will relate to what transpires. Michael lost his sister as a young boy, his father and now cares for his mother who has Alzheimer's.

Hospice Care and the Medicare Hospice Benefit-By National Hospice Foundation
Coping with a terminal illness can be a daunting experience - not only for the dying patient, but also for his or her loved ones. Every day, we are faced with tough decisions on end-of-life care. Questions we are asking may include:

Ovarian Cancer: Why Can't Women Test If Men Can? By Kathy
Years ago, Gilda Radner died of ovarian cancer. Her symptoms were inconclusive, and she was treated for everything under the sun until it was too late. This blood test finally identified her illness but alas, too late. She wrote a book to heighten awareness

Caregiving and Teens: Caregiving? What's it all about?- NYS Office Of Aging
When you help a frail elderly or disabled person to live at home - you're a caregiver. Most older people live healthy, active lives, but some need help to do for themselves. As a caregiver you may help someone with such tasks as shopping, bathing, cooking, cleaning, climbing stairs or lifting things.

Elderly At Most Risk For Hyperthermia & Heat Related Illnesses - NIA
People over 50 are at the greatest risk of suffering heat-related illnesses. Many people die of heat-related illnesses each year; most of these deaths can be prevented with advance preparation.

Keeping Cool in the Summer Heat: Guidelines for The Elderly - NYS Office Of Aging
With the hottest part of the summer approaching, the New York State Office for the Aging wants to encourage families of older New Yorkers to help protect seniors from the consequences heat can have on their health.

Respite For Persons With Alzheimer's Disease Or Related Dementia - Joyce H. Louis, M.S
Ms Louis discusses the various options available for respite care.

Ten Ways To Simplify Your Life by Jennifer Ottolino
In this very fast paced world, it seems impossible to simplify our lives. But think about this, how much time and energy do you waste on the unnecessary? How much time do you waste because you can't find things? How much energy do you waste telling yourself all the things you should do? We often make life much more complicated than it needs to be and somehow we have convinced ourselves that our lives must be filled to max. We over schedule our lives, and then wonder why we feel dissatisfied. In turn, we end up spending the majority of our time on the things that don't matter to us. Here are some strategies to help you weed out the unnecessary and simplify, simplify, simplify.

Your Thyroid
The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland located at the base of the neck below the Adam's apple. It is in charge of making and storing hormones that play a role in metabolism, organ function affecting the heart rate, blood pressure, body temperature, cholesterol level, body weight, energy level, muscle strength, skin condition, menstrual regularity, memory, the rate at which food is converted to energy and many other conditions.


To All Caregivers

I closed my eyes and tried to imagine what is going on in each of your heads. To do that, I tried to recall what was going on in my head when I was a caregiver for my mom. On that basis, let me make a few guesses as to what is going on in your mind. I'm almost certain it is a complicated mix of thoughts and emotions.

  • How as I going to handle both my family and caregiving?
  • Why do I feel so stressed?
  • Where is the energy I used to have?
  • Am I making the right decision?
  • Will I be able to do all of what is expected of me?

Let's face it, caretakers have a huge responsibility - some take on the task out of love, others out of obligation. In either case, you are "IT". You are the one bearing the burden of having another human being's welfare in your hands, an awesome responsibility!

Each of us has a different set of circumstances. In my case, I left my family in Pennsylvania and traveled to New Jersey to be with my mother three days a week. For a short time, I tried to schedule days so that either one of my two sisters or I was with my mom each day of the week. I was told, in no uncertain terms, that I should not force my desires on others. You know what? - I was wrong. From that point on, I never asked what they were doing. I tried to make out I was an only child. 1 would do as much as I could for my mom. What I did, I did with love and caring. My siblings, whom I love, dealt in their own ways with helping out mom. I finally found peace within - No more comparing and measuring.

When I was caring for my mom, I did find ways of helping to make her life more comfortable (I was always so happy when she seemed pleased about something.) Here are some of those ways:

  • Instead of taking my mom to a restaurant, where we were relatively rushed and space restricted with her wheelchair, I took her to a pleasant food court in a Mall. This way, we were never rushed, a large restroom was nearby, and she loved watching all the activity going on.
  • I always carried an extra set of clothing and underwear for her, in my car trunk. (It was needed on day when we were out and she suddenly became ill.)
  • I arranged for my mom's friends to come to the Mail and visit with us. Mom always looked forward to this. (I would call one week in advance and arrange with Mom's friends' daughters or granddaughters to drive.)
  • When I would leave my mom to go back to my family in Pennsylvania, I would always give her a big hug and kiss and told her whom we would be seeing the following week. (I truly believe we all need something to look forward to.) I would also hand her a magazine she enjoyed reading and "treats' to snack on during the week.
  • I purchased a phone with very large numbers. I also took her telephone book and rewrote her important telephone numbers and names in very dark, large print. Her telephone was her lifeline to friends and family.
  • I purchased a radio and put it on the one AM station she always listened to. (I taped a little note on top of the radio telling anyone who might change the station where to put it back.)
  • When my sister & I found it necessary to find a nursing home for my mom, we tried to make her room as comfortable as possible.
    1. I made a collage of pictures of her from her younger years through her 90's. She was so proud of that. I put it right over her bed. From her wheelchair, she would stare at it and be ready to reminisce whenever anyone commented on her beauty in the photos.
    2. We purchased a large clock with numbers she could easily see.
    3. There was a notebook I put near her bed. I asked visitors to sign their names and when they visited. That way, we could see who was kind enough to spend some time with mom. I tied a pen to the book so one would always be handy.
    4. My mom always complained of feeling cold. I found a cozy, soft scarf. I folded each end up to make two pockets. She wore this scarf around her neck most of the time. When her hands got cold, she would stick them in the pockets.
    5. I found a cute decal that said, "Have wheels, will travel," and put it on the back of her wheelchair. People would pass by, comment and laugh. She loved the attention. (Remember - humor almost always works!)
    6. When her eyesight deteriorated, I purchased a man's watch with an expandable band (some links had to be removed) and very large numbers. She always liked to have a watch.

It is amazing what unique ideas caregivers come up with to help make their loved ones more comfortable and at peace. As I said before, when I felt my mom was comfortable and at peace, my life seemed calmer. Perhaps there can be an exchange of unique, helpful ideas you caregivers out there would like to share.

Remember, You are only one person. You cannot control your loved one's aging process or happiness. Be loving and caring. Don/t expect accolades. If you truly are doing your best, be at peace. That peace will grow even stronger after your loved one is gone. Then, you will have little reason to feel guilty about doing your part during a very hard time. Please remember as you fall asleep tonight to save one big hug for yourself. Only a fellow caregiver knows how much you need it and deserve it.

Copyrighted by Dee Marrella
"Who Cares"


9/11 Lights On

Please join us on 9/11..we have less than two weeks to get the word out all across the nation. Let's see how powerful e-mail can be! Feel free to copy and paste this and email to your friends.

On Wednesday, September 11, 2002 everyone in the USA who will be driving a motor vehicle is asked to drive with their headlights on during daylight hours.

Though no explanation is needed as to why we are commemorating September 11......we hope more importantly to pay respect to the victims of that day, show our nation's solidarity and show support for our men and women of the Armed Forces.

Remember!!!......................9/11 LIGHTS ON!

"Coping with Caregiving"
Featured Guest Gail Mitchell
Live On Internet Radio
September 21, 2002 6PM EST , 3PM PST 6:00PM EST

Listen to Gail R. Mitchell, creator of Empowering Caregivers, and founder and President of the National Organization for Empowering Caregivers NOFEC live on Internet Radio Saturday, September 21st at 6PM EST and 3PM PST. She'll be a guest on Jacqueline Marcell's program, "Coping with Caregiving." Jacqueline is the author of, "Elder Rage, or Take My Father" Please! How to Survive Caring for Aging Parents." Call in with your questions at: 888-327-0061. The show will be archived for a month and available for listening online anytime approximately 24 hours after the taping. See: for details.

For In Studio Guests:
Directions to 1819 Aston Avenue, Suite 101 Carlsbad, CA 92008 Phone: 760-602-3000 and 888-327-0061 Jacqueline's cell (714) 878-3713

  • Take the #5 freeway to Palomar Airport Road
  • Take Palomar Airport Road East
  • Turn left on College Boulevard
  • Turn right on Aston Avenue
  • Take an immediate first right into parking lot Go quite a ways to the very end of the parking lot

To view listings of other dates and guest participants, please go to:

Two-Hour PBS Documentary Celebrates and Explores The Emerging Healthcare Issue of Long-Term Caregiving in America
Award-winning Actor Joe Mantegna to Host Special
Premiering Wednesday, October 9 at 9PM/EST on PBS

AND THOU SHALT HONOR-Caring for Our Aging Parents, Spouses, and Friends, a groundbreaking two-hour documentary hosted by award-winning actor Joe Mantegna, set to premiere on Wednesday, October 9 at 9PM on PBS (check local listings). The film and its accompanying nationwide outreach program is the first major PBS initiative on caregiving, an emerging healthcare issue of staggering proportions.

Filmed all over America, the program makes it clear that today's longer life-spans come at a cost, and that a disproportionate amount of that cost is borne by those who step up to assume responsibility for their loved ones. Not everything about long-term caregiving is dark, however. This commitment can be a spiritual journey that expands the boundaries of love. AND THOU SHALT HONOR is a Wiland-Bell Production in association with Oregon Public Television (OPB) and Independent Television Service (ITVS) who are co-presenting the project. Executive producers and directors Harry Wiland and Dale Bell have each personally experienced the challenges of caregiving.

Virtually no government assistance is available to those who prefer to keep their ailing elders at home

The reluctance of many people to put their loved ones in a professional care environment is understandable. Professional caregivers are often underpaid and overworked. On the national average, each professional caregiver today has to tend to the needs of 11 patients – and these patients can be demanding and difficult..

The PBS broadcast AND THOU SHALT HONOR will be extended by a national outreach campaign, an extensive searchable Web site already in operation at and a resource book The Caregiver's Companion, with a foreword by Rosalynn Carter, published by Rodale Inc. and PREVENTION magazine.For more information go to.ATSH


2002 International Conference
on Family Care
October 12-14, 2002
Washington, DC
Hosted by
National Alliance for Caregiving (USA)

Theme: Family caregiving knows no international boundaries. Whether in China, Guatemala, France, Japan, the United States or any other country, family caregivers face increasing stress and health burdens as they try to cope with the demands of caring for relatives while balancing work and family. But despite the increasing media attention to this issue, there are few opportunities to share information about programs that really help family caregivers across the age span and about policies that support them.

The Third International Conference on Family Care will be a forum for caregiving groups, advocates and policy makers from around the globe to share their experiences and lessons in creating innovative and effective programs to empower and assist family caregivers.

Following the successful gatherings in London in 1998 and Brisbane, Australia, in 2000, this three-day conference will highlight best practices on both the governmental and private sector levels with the goal of advancing the caregiving agenda.

Sessions will focus on programs and policies addressing the wide range of family caregiving situations, including:

  • Eldercare
  • Care for people with mental illness
  • Care for people with disabilities
  • Care for people with mental retardation and developmental disabilities
  • Care for children and adults with chronic illnesses
  • Care at the end of life
  • Grandparents caring for grandchildren
  • Caregiving by young people

For more information please go to:National Alliance for Caregiving

Beyond Coping: Renewing Our Spirits
Well Spouse 2002
WSF National Conference
Philadelphia, PA
October 18-20

Renew old friendships – make new friends. Share your stories and concerns with other well spouses living with a chronically ill or disabled partner. Learn new ways to deal with the challenges of caregiving.Program highlights

Keynote address by Suzanne Mintz, founder of the National Family Caregivers Association

Outstanding workshops

Barry Jacobs: Ambivalence Revisited
Gail Mitchell: Mindfulness – An Approach to Empowering Caregivers
Elizabeth Ziegler: Lifting Our Spirits
George Hopper and Lois von Halle: Communicating Effectively with Health Care Professionals
Jane Hamilton: Do You Want to Know How I Really Feel?
Steven Feldman: Legal and Financial Planning

Special interest group meetings Great Dining (2 dinners and 2 breakfasts) plus Cocktail Hour Reception, Dancing, Comedy Show, Sightseeing and shopping in Philadelphia's historic district For information and Registration Visit our website at Email us at or call Julie DiBenedetto at 732-577-8208

Palliative Care Conference
Thursday, November 21st, 2002

On Thursday, November 21st, 2002, the Professional Educational Center will host a Palliative Care conference. Distinguished speakers from leading institutions in palliative care, including Harvard Medical School, the National Institutes of Health, and the Jewish Home will share their expertise and knowledge. Physician CME's, Administrator CEU's and Nursing CU credits will be offered. Register for the upcoming conference or download and print a program and registration form. For more information, contact Naim Gribaa at 212-870-4762 or To register for the conference, please click on this form

National Committee to Preserver Social Security and Medicare
1.800.966.1935 or
Lifespan Friends
Send Emails Easily To Your Congress
For Respite Care Legislation

You can also send email regarding the Lifespan Respite Legislation to your Congressional delegation by going to the following link and typing in your zip code This is vitally important for all caregivers to do.

Chicken Soup for the Caregiver's Soul
Caregiver Stories Needed

Over 54 million Americans help care for ailing family members or friends. Millions more selflessly minister to people in daycare, emergency, and community services. While often rewarding, this benevolent care-giving requires tremendous emotional, physical, and spiritual strength. That's why we are creating Chicken Soup for the Caregiver's Soul, 101 Stories to Uplift, Honor, and Support the Caregiver.

Please share your inspirational, true stories, 1200 words or less, to help us care for those who lovingly care for others. For each story selected, a 50-word biography will be included about the author and $300 will be paid.

The submission deadline is December 1, 2002. For details and guidelines see or send stories with your name, address and phone number to

Grandparent's Day is September 8th!

Don't overlook Grandma and Grandpa on Grandparent's day! And Check out our new area on Grandparenting.

Grandparent Caregivers
Grandparents Raising Children

Today, more than any other time in history, Grandparents are caring for grandchildren in a variety of new roles. Death of a parent, abandonment, parents who are in prison, substance abuse, unemployment, mental illness, divorce, teen pregnancy, violence in the family home and those whose parents work full time are just some of the reasons for this new trend. Whatever the scenario is, grandparents are overwhelmed and feeling isolated in their newly defined roles as grandparent(s) caring for their grandchildren. Check out these articles:

Accelerates Departmental Work on the New Freedom Initiative HHS Secretary Tommy G. Thompson today announced the creation of the HHS Office on Disability to oversee the coordination, development and implementation of programs and special initiatives within HHS that impact people with disabilities.

Margaret J. Giannini, M.D., F.A.A.P., currently the principal deputy assistant secretary for aging at the Administration on Aging (AOA), has been appointed the director to the new HHS Office on Disability.

The announcement builds on the work of President Bush's New Freedom Initiative, a comprehensive plan to tear down barriers facing people With disabilities, which prevent them from fully participating in community life. The new office will help centralize many of the recommended strategies outlined in a report to President Bush, which explored solutions to reducing barriers in all areas of society for people with disabilities.

New Online Course Educates Americans on End-Of-Life Care Issues

A new web resource, Finding Our Way: Living with Dying in America - The Online Course (, is now available to all Americans. This real, web-based course is part of the Finding Our Way national public education initiative focused on bringing practical information on end-of-life issues to the American public. The course is completely self-paced and all course materials are included on the web. This online course grew out of a 15-part national newspaper series that appeared in more than 160 newspapers and reached millions last year. For questions regarding the course or the newspaper series, please contact Kevin Harris by email at or by phone at 703-556-6800. To learn more about Finding Our Way: The Online Course and to register, go to: To learn more about the Finding Our Way newspaper series, visit:

Nominations - Annual Family Caregiver of the Year Award
Contest Honors Five Family Members Caring for An Aging Relative - Sponsored by Caregiving newsletter and

Anyone caring for an aging relative, friend or neighbor is eligible for the award. Nominations are accepted annually from June 1 through October 15. Family caregivers can be nominated by other caregivers, health care professionals, family, friends, even themselves. An independent panel of judges chooses five winners based on the following criteria:

  • The caregiver's ability to complement their caregiving responsibilities with their own needs and interests.
  • The caregiver's problem-solving techniques.
  • The caregiver's use of community services.
  • The caregiver's community involvement.

To nominate a family caregiver, simply write an essay describing how that caregiver meets the above criteria. The letter should include the names and addresses of both the nominator and the nominee.

Letters can be sent via e-mail to Denise M. Brown at Denise or via regular mail to Tad Publishing Co., P.O. Box 224, Park Ridge, IL, 60068.

Winners will be notified by phone during the first week of November. Profiles of the winners will be featured in the December issue of Caregiving newsletter. Letters nominating persons who did not receive an award will be featured in Caregiving throughout the following year.All nominees will be recognized for their efforts with a certificate. All nominees and their nominators also will receive a copy of the December issue of Caregiving newsletter. Additional prizes include a subscription to Caregiving newsletter, for as long as the winners need the newsletter, and discount coupons to other useful products, services and handbooks.

To learn more about the Caregiver of the Year award call 773-334-5794.

Elder Law Answers Offers Informational Web Site

Alzheimer's Disease being the most common form. Deciding when to limit or stop driving can be a confusing issue for individuals diagnosed with dementia and their caregivers. Earlier diagnosis and better medications may allow people to drive longer, further complicating the decision. Most information about dementia warns against driving, but does not describe when or how to stop. The Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc., the MIT Age Lab and Connecticut Community Care, Inc., have developed a guide to Alzheimer's Disease, Dementia and Driving as a tool to help individuals and caregivers determine when it is time to stop driving.


The Rosalyn Carter Institute for Human Development:
Your Responses Are Needed

The Rosalyn Carter Institute for Human Development is working to define the components of a quality caregiving community. Using input provided by family caregivers, professionals and caregiving experts, the RCI will develop a Community Caregiving Capacity Index, a measurement instrument that communities can use to assess their ability to respond to caregivers' needs. Please submit your input:

Alzheimers, Dementia & Driving

This site is great. It has several forms that you can print out such as the Driver's with Dementia worksheet, and the Agreement about Driving form .

The Health Directory
New AIDS Drug Raises Hopes, Fears
August 22, 2002

NEW YORK (AP) -- The federal government has approved tests of an experimental and potentially expensive AIDS drug that could prolong the lives of patients with drug-resistant strains of HIV.

The Food and Drug Administration has granted a priority six-month review for the experimental drug Fuzeon, which would be used to treat people with drug-resistant strains of HIV, The Associated Press reports. The drug belongs to a new class of drugs called fusion inhibitors, which block HIV from entering cells. In clinical trials, people with drug- resistant HIV who added Fuzeon to their drug regimen were twice as likely to see their virus levels decrease to undetectable levels than people not taking the new drug.

However, the drug is difficult to produce and so would likely be very expensive, and may cost as much as ,000 to ,000 per year per patient, the AP says.Dubbed Fuzeon by its developers, Roche Group and Trimeris Inc., the drug won a priority, six-month review from the Food and Drug Administration. The companies hope to put Fuzeon on the market by spring. more

HHS Awards Millions
To Train, Educate Providers
Caring For People With HIV/AIDS

WASHINGTON (HHS) -- HHS Secretary Tommy G. Thompson announced 11 grants totaling $25.6 million to support the training and education of health care professionals treating people living with HIV/AIDS.

"These grants will help us further the training and education of those health care providers who treat people with HIV and AIDS," Secretary Thompson said. "In the fight against AIDS, all Americans with this disease deserve the most current prevention and treatment information from knowledgeable providers." more

New Colon Cancer Test

An accurate and non-invasive colon cancer test may be on the horizon. The experimental test detects cancerous gene mutations and requires no dietary changes or physical discomfort -- just a stool sample to be analyzed in a lab. In studies, the PreGen- Plus test appeared about as accurate as a Pap smear, with a low

rate of false positives. Although it finds roughly the same number of cancers as flexible sigmoidoscopy or older forms of

stool tests, the PreGen-Plus test is not as sensitive as colonoscopy, still considered the best screening test for colorectal cancer, The Associated Press reports. Two clinical trials of PreGen-Plus are currently underway in the United States, with results of the first expected next year.


Lighthouse International Publishes New Guides
For Caregivers of
Visually Impaired People

Lighthouse Int'l has just published a 24-page handbook, "When Your Partner Becomes Visually Impaired...Helpful Insights and Tips for Coping." The booklet covers topics such as dealing with issues of dependence and independence and stress; organizing your home for accessibility and comfort; and improving communications. The booklet represents the experiences of caregivers in support groups. In addition, Lighthouse has published a discussion guide for support group leaders of programs for caregivers of visually impaired people; it provides an 8-session program to help caregivers address their feelings and issues.

These publications are available from Lighthouse International, 1-800-829-0500 and

"Caregiver Friendly" Awards Program

Today's Caregiver announced the inaugural "Caregiver Friendly" awards program. - Today's Caregiver, the first national magazine for family and professional caregivers and announce a call-for-entries in the inaugural "Caregiver Friendly" awards. They are designed to celebrate products, services, books and media created with the needs of caregivers in mind. The magazine's Founder and Editor-In-Chief, Gary Barg, said, " I think the time has come to give recognition to those producers and manufacturers who share that goal".

Caregiver Friendly Awards are presented in four categories, Products, Services, Books and Media. Award winners will be announced in the March/April 2003 issue of Today's Caregiver. Recipients will also be recognized at an awards luncheon during Today's Caregiver's annual Sharing Wisdom Caregivers Conference. The conference will be held April 23, 2003 in Fort Lauderdale; Fl. Winners will also be profiled on

"This award is designed to help family caregivers recognize and reward those organizations who will care for them in as committed a manner as they care for their loved ones."

Award entry applications can be found at or by calling 1-800-829-2734. Entry deadline is November 29, 2002.

A New Book,
"Men As Caregivers: Theory, Research, and Service Implications"

Betty Thomas and Edward Thompson have co-edited a new book, "Men As Caregivers: Theory, Research, and Service Implications" (Springer, 2002). The book addresses the fundamental gaps in our knowledge and theories about the growing male population of caregivers (nearly 45% in the workplace; perhaps 30-35% in the general population). The authors identify the limitations that result from viewing male caregivers through the same lens of women's experiences. They pay special attention to male Alzheimer's caregivers, fathers of adult children with MR/DD, gay male caregivers with partners with AIDS, and sons caring for parents.

Paid leave legislation passed the California Assembly

Paid leave legislation passed the California Assembly last night, by a vote of 46-31. A more expansive bill has already passed the California State Senate.
The bill (SB 1661- Kuehl) allows workers to collect partial wage replacement (55-60% of salary) for up to six weeks to care for seriously ill family members or for parental leave. The bill expands on the states existing Temporary Disability Insurance (TDI) system, which provides partial wage replacement to workers who are seriously ill. The more than 13.1 million workers covered by the program would pay an additional $27 a year in disability insurance to cover the costs of the expansion.

The bill now goes back to the California Senate for final approval. We fully expect this approval will be granted. SB 1661 then goes to the Governor's desk where he has until September 30 to sign or veto it.

WHAT YOU CAN DO TO HELP: If you're in California, please send the Governor a fax from this website. And wherever you are, Please forward this email and call to action to anyone and everyone in California you know. Lissa Bell, National Partnership for Women & Families, 1875 Connecticut Ave NW, #650, Washington, DC 20009 . 202 986-2600 (ph) 202 986-2539 (fax)

Alzheimer's Angels: A Compilation of Poetry
Honoring Caregivers and Victims of Alzheimer's Disease
By Dorothy Womack

If you enjoy Dorothy Womack's writing and poetry that we feature here at the site, you will enjoy her recently published book which you may purchase vby clicking this link..Dorothy's Book

Free Caregiver Train-the-Trainer Program:
Caregiving at Life's End

When caring for a friend or family member, the opportunity to discover meaning in the caregiving experience is sometimes missed. The Hospice Institute of the Florida Suncoast's "Caregiving at Life's End" project, funded by the Administration on Aging, teaches trainers a framework for caregiver training that creates meaningful experiences for caregivers in their community.

"Caregiving at Life's End: The National Training Program" participants will receive the skills and training materials needed to implement an effective community caregiver training. The free training sessions begin in March 2003. For more information about the training or to receive an application form email or call 727-773-2561.

British Medical Journal Publishing Needs Answers From Caregivers Caring For Loved Ones With Alzheimer's For Their New Site

The British Medical Journal Publishing Group in London, England are in the early stages of developing a website that aims to translate evidence about the best treatments for common conditions into information that easily understood by patients. We are committed to improving communication between doctors and patients. To supplement this information we have dedicated part of the site to an area where people can see the personal experiences of others who have suffered from the same condition. One of our topics is Alzheimer's disease and we are therefore looking for people who are caregivers of Alzheimer's sufferers. If you would like to participate or would like to know more about this project please get in touch with me at Many thanks. Andrea Lane
BMJ Publishing Group

September Brings National Assisted Living Week:

Assisted living providers across the country will participate in community outreach events slated for September 8-14 to help educate consumers about their senior care choices. The Assisted Living Federation of America's (ALFA) theme, 'Your Choice:Your Future,' encourages consumers to take advantage of obtaining valuable information about assisted living and learning the importance of 'aging in place'. A Virtual Media Kit filled with helpful information, ideas and suggestions is available on the ALFA Web site at The kit is designed to help assisted living providers effectively educate the public during National Assisted Living Week




I know of no single factor that more greatly affects our ability to learn and perform than the image we have of ourselves. Who we think we are influences everything we do, every thought we have, every feeling we allow. The most dramatic and most lasting changes that take place in people's abilities occur when they abandon a concept of self, which had previously limited their performance.

Timothy Gallwey

Without our realizing it, holding on to old feelings, habits and lifelong conditioning takes effort. The isolated ego defends itself by remaining constantly on the alert. Is this situation a threat? Is that person going to do what I want? The constant need to protect oneself psychologically may be too subtle to notice, but it occupies and enormous part of everyone's unconscious life..

Deepak Chopra

Our individual personal reality – the way we think life is and the part we are to play in it – is self created. We put together our own personal reality. It is made up of our interpretation of our perceptions of the way things are and what has happened to us. We make some basic decisions about life when we are being born and we add to the script and embellish it during our childhood. We end up with a view of ourselves and the world that is usually highly inaccurate because our perceptions at an early age are not accurate. And, of course, the decisions we make about our perceptions are certainly not accurate. Out of that we put together our personal view of the world, and then we put together an environment that is a perfect reflection of our view of the world.

Stewart Emery

Our character, basically, is a composite of our habits. "Sow a thought, reap an action; sow an action, reap a habit; sow a habit, reap a character; sow a character, reap a destiny" is the way the maxim goes. Habits are powerful factors in our lives. Because they are consistent, often unconscious patters, they constantly, daily express our character and produce our effectiveness or our ineffectiveness.

Stephen R., Covey

The past explains how you got here. But where you go from here is your responsibility. The choice is yours.

Maxwell Maltz, M.D.

At the very instant you think (believing it), "I am happy," a chemical messenger translates your emotion, which has no solid existence whatever in the material world, into a bit of matter so perfectly attuned to your desire that literally every cell in your body learns of your happiness and joins in. The fact that you can instantly talk to 50 trillion cells in their own language is just as inexplicable as the moment when nature created the first photon out of empty space.

Deepak Chopra

It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.

Antoine de Saint-Exupery
The Little Prince

Everything I need to know about life, I learned from Noah's Ark...

  • One: Don't miss the boat.
  • Two: Remember that we are all in the same boat.
  • Three: Plan ahead. It wasn't raining when Noah built the Ark
  • Four: Stay fit. When you're 600 years old, someone may ask you to do something really big.
  • Five: Don't listen to critics; just get on with the job that needs to be done.
  • Six: Build your future on high ground.
  • Seven: For safety's sake, travel in pairs.
  • Eight: Speed isn't always an advantage. The snails were on board with the cheetahs.
  • Nine: When you're stressed, float a while.
  • Ten: Remember, the Ark was built by amateurs; the Titanic by professionals.
  • Eleven: No matter the storm, when you are with God, there's always a rainbow waiting.

A List To Keep
The list we should all carry around

    1. The most destructive habit..............................Worry
    2. The greatest Joy.............................................Giving
    3. The greatest loss......................Loss of self-respect
    4. The most satisfying work....................Helping others
    5. The ugliest personality trait....................Selfishness
    6. The most endangered species........Dedicated leaders
    7. Our greatest natural resource....................Our youth
    8. The greatest "shot in the arm"...........Encouragement
    9. The greatest problem to overcome......................Fear
    10. The most effective sleeping pill.........Peace of mind
    11. The most crippling failure disease................Excuses
    12. The most powerful force in life..........................Love
    13. The most dangerous pariah......................A gossiper
    14. The world's most incredible computer.......The brain
    15. The worst thing to be without......................... Hope
    16. The deadliest weapon.............................The tongue
    17. The two most power-filled words................."I Can"
    18. The greatest asset.........................................Faith
    19. The most worthless emotion......................Self-pity
    20. The most beautiful attire................................SMILE!
    21. The most prized possession....................... Integrity
    22. The most powerful channel of communication.......Prayer
    23. The most contagious spirit....................Enthusiasm

To the WORLD, YOU may be ONE person but to ONE person, YOU may be the WORLD!

Things You Can Control In Your Own Life

        • What you do.
        • What you say
        • What you think.
        • Your work
        • The people you associate with.
        • Your basic physical health.
        • The environment you live in.
        • Your fiscal situation.
        • Your time.
        • Your legacy.

To You, I Belong..

How do I tell the one who brought me
Into this world, that I'm set to leave?
How do I comfort her, explain what this means
Without hurting, harming and shattering dreams

Mom, how I've tried to take care of you
To help you feel safe and protected too
My love longs to cradle you, as my own child
To act as a buffer from the pains of this world

I am not leaving, by choice of my own
God has called me to return to His Throne
You'll be watched over, and cared for, indeed
My children have promised to now oversee

Your time remaining, although fleeting at best
So your heart will know peace and your mind will know rest
Mom, I'm still beside you - You're never alone
It's only my body, from your sight, that has gone

But my spirit is free and connected to you
I am your child - But you are mine too ---
Somehow, I know that you'll be alright
And I will be waiting - When you enter the Light

A reversal of order, alas, this is true
Yet, what I want most is the best part for YOU
Our bonds are eternal, steadfast and strong
We're a part of each other......
And it's to you, I belong.....
**Written for Denise Cooper
c)2002 Dorothy Womack
Alzheimer's Angels: A Compilation of Poetry
Honoring Caregivers and Victims of Alzheimer
's Disease By Dorothy Womack

Online Contributing Writer & Poet For:

Top Of Page


I am getting really sick and tired of hearing about all the baby boomers who are caregivers of elderly parents. I was born in 1969, my mother was born in 1925 and died this January at the age of 77. I am not considered a baby boomer not even a "tweener" yet I have cared for my elderly mother and father since I was a teenager. In fact at the age of 7 after finishing 1st grade I became aware of the fact my parents were "older" and I would be faced with taking care of them early in my life.

Women my age do not understand what I have done (24/7 skilled level nursing type care for 17 months plus all the other time by myself) and few baby boomer women give me respect because they are not aware of what I have done - I am just another young selfish woman to them.

I just do not fit in anywhere as a caregiver of elderly parents. Yes, we all experience similar feelings as caregivers, but there is something hurtful about not being recognized. It is strange that my 4th grade teacher and dear family friend lost her 90 year old mother 10 days before my mother died and I have another friend whose 80 year old mother died 6 weeks before mine. The later friend was married the year I was born! They have leaned on me for support, but I did not feel support in return.

Of course, there are other 32 year olds whose mothers' die (my mother lost her mother at the age of 24), but there is something different when you grow up with older adults and the people you associate with are older adults and you are faced with all the elderly issues in addition to losing your parent when you should be doing the things young women do - like diapering your first baby not your mother.

I personally do not believe caregivers are respected at all. We are pee-ons and even considered below nurse aides by home health and hospice agencies and many other areas of the medical field. We have no rights.Beverly



Merger Joke

In a surprising blockbuster merger, drug company Pfizer Inc. has agreed to buy rival Pharmacia Corp. for about $60 billion in stock. Pfizer makes Viagra, and Pharmacia makes Rogaine hair products and the Nicorette smoking cessation line... Now you'll grow hair that stands straight up for 12 hours...

Ways To Use An America Online Disc

  • Drink coaster
  • Door stopper (use multiple disks)
  • Ice scrapper
  • Shower tile
  • Place holder in a book
  • Mini-Frisbee
  • Air hockey puck
  • Dog chew toy
  • Fly swatter (tape it to a long stick)
  • Joke disk (pull out the inside)
  • Pooper scooper
  • Grill scraper
  • Wrist slicer (after receiving first AOL bill!)
  • Destroy them (to relieve stress)
  • Prop up uneven table or chair legs
  • Greeting card (bind two together at one end)
  • Halloween Treat (give them away all night long)
  • Bulletproof vest
  • Paper weights
  • Refrigerator magnet (glue a magnet to the back)
  • Christmas Ornaments (the more the merrier!)
  • Give them to young children to use as building blocks.
  • Warm milk & AOL disks for Santa.
  • House insulation.
  • Hockey Puck (rubber band a few together)

"Old" Is When...

"OLD" IS WHEN...Your sweetie says, "Let's go upstairs and make love,"and you answer, "Pick one, I can't do both!"

"OLD" IS WHEN...Your friends compliment You on your new alligator shoes and you're barefoot.

"OLD" IS WHEN...A sexy babe catches your fancy and your pacemaker opens the garage door.

"OLD" IS WHEN...Going bra-less pulls all the wrinkles out of your face.

"OLD" IS WHEN...You don't care where your spouse goes, just as long as you don't have to go along.

"OLD" IS WHEN...You are cautioned to slow down by the doctor instead of by the police.

"OLD" IS WHEN..."Getting a little action" means I don't need to take any fiber today.

"OLD" IS WHEN..."Getting lucky" means you find your car in the parking lot.

"OLD" IS WHEN...An "all-nighter" means not getting up to pee

"How to Forgive"

The preacher, in his Sunday sermon, used "Forgive Your Enemies" as his subject. After a long sermon, he asked how many were willing to forgive their enemies. About half held up their hands.

Not satisfied, he continued on for another twenty minutes, repeating his question. This time he received a response of eighty percent.

Still unsatisfied, he lectured for fifteen more minutes and repeated his question. With thoughts of Sunday dinner, all responded except one older gentleman in the rear.

"Mr. Jones, are you not willing to forgive your enemies?"

"I don't have any," replied Mr. Jones.

"Mr. Jones, that is very unusual. How old are you?"

"Eighty six," was the reply.

"Mr. Jones, please come down in front and tell the congregation how a man can live to eighty six and not have an enemy in the world."

The old man teetered down the aisle and slowly turned around. "It's easy. I just outlived the them all."

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