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






Happy 2003. I pray that the New Year will be one filled with much forgiveness, healing, peace and love for all of you. I know that the holidays were difficult for many of you because loved ones are in end stages and many loved ones have passed.

While society has conditioned to us to reach the impossible dream, I encourage each of us to set realistic goals as a caregiver, especially for our loved ones who are not in our control. Unrealistic expectations that aren't fulfilled at this time can send one into a deep depression. Take things day to day, remembering to be fully present in each moment. Relish and cherish the good times and let go of the bad ones and the negative thoughts as quickly as you can.

Give yourself long time frames to reach your goals.. there's no rush.. stop and smell the flowers..

Don't put your focus on what you don't want. Ask out loud specifically for what you do want and be clear, because we get what we put our attention to.

Trust in yourself; have faith and know that you are part of a magnificent, ever expansive, Universe .. remember we are like the grains of sands that sparkle and make the beach.. we each are stars in this universe that bring with us our light...let it shine, let love in and send it our....

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


The Eyes-Windows To Our Souls


Update on NOFEC

National Organization For Empowering Caregiver's (NOFEC) invites you to sign up as members. If you are a family caregiver membership is complimentary. We invite you to fill in our caregiver survey . The surveys are confidential. The statistics will be used in our proposals as we apply for grants and funding. To reach the site click on this link: We are actively seeking volunteers and interns to help us continue with our vision and mission. To become involved, please go to: Volunteers.

Free Email Accounts At Empowering Caregivers

Sign up for a primary or secondary email account and tell a friend about your free email account at the Empowering Caregivers Site. You can sign up from the main page or click on this link: Free email account


Caregiver Books Given Away Monthly

RobertoM, Lovely2c, Happier2 have been chosen to receive Dee Marrella's book, "Who Cares: A Loving Guide For Caregivers." The book is a journal to be filled out by middle-aged or older adults. When completed, it becomes and autobiography for future caregivers to use and for family members to have as a momentum. The journal explains everything about them from their favorite brand of toothpaste to their desires concerning life support systems and more. Examples and guidelines are provided throughout the book.

Empowering Caregivers Chats Will Resume
Beginning January 13th 2003

Since the chats have been relatively slow, we will be taking a much needed breather during the holidays. Feel free to join in if there are others in at the scheduled time. We will meet again beginning Monday January 6th 2003.

IVillage Chat Will Resume After Febraury 1, 2003

I will also be taking a leave from hosting for IVillage until Febraury 1, 2003 and hope to see you when the chats resume on Thursdays at 8PM EST.

Respond To Our New Poll

Do you think that current national policy is favorable to the needs of family caregivers? Take our poll on the main page of the Empowering Caregivers site at: POLL

"Featured Guest Experts"

Featured- Columnist

Mary C. Fridley
Questions & Answers
January 2003
Alan Cohen
Make Whatcha Want
Reverand Edie Weinstein-Moser
The Broken Places

John Felitto
Decisions, Decisions

Sydney Tremayne
Bill Gates Would Never Fake It And Damn The Consequences!

Or click on this link:
Featured Guest Experts

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

Shirley Bay lost her brother suddenly at the end of December. It's quite a challenge for her since she cares for her husband full time with Alzheimer's and suffers daily losses with him. Her brother was her closest friend.

MDawn's grandmother transitioned also in December. MDawn struggled with her Uncle and family members to get her Grandmother Hospice but now she is at peace.

We send loving and healing throughts to both of you ...


Self Care

In a recent article in the New York Times, there was an article on a doctor from China, Dr. Hong Zhaoguang. The title was , “A Prescription For Self-Help & Self-Love in China” by Elizabeth Rosenthal.

Amidst the political atmosphere of China, Dr Hong speaks to the members of the government: "Comrades! Take care of yourself, teach yourself, liberate yourself, love yourself," he intones. "Health is gold and the key is in your hands!"

"Take care of your babies, caress them, hold them, and kiss them. It's not just about having good milk - there is emotional nutrition, too."

Just as in the United States, hospital costs have skyrocketed in China and the people are in need of helping themselves, seeking complimentary or alternative healing practices.

"My program is like a point-and-shoot camera," said Dr. Hong, who considers his work preventive medicine. "Other experts give people health advice but they talk about grams and calories and it's too complicated for them to follow. People don't need a great camera with lots of lenses. They need something that's simple, they can use."

He was a cardiologist in Beijing hospitals. Having studied in the United States, it is understandable that Dr. Hong has had exposure to other ways of healing that he has enthusiastically brought back to his homeland.

"We think of treating disease with medicine and scalpels, but words are very important, too; the patients come alive with smiles and hope," he said, holding court at his small cluttered office at a hospital in Beijing. To read the rest of the article click on this link: Selfcare

Copyrighted by Gail R. Mitchell January 2003


So, as it stands I will be hosting on IVillage on Thursday evenings in the 8PM EST time slot. AOL members please adhere to the following information so that you will not encounter too many difficulties.You need to register your screename at IVillage. When you are logged on, click on this link which will take you to the Thursday Scheule at IVillage. Scroll to 8pm and Click on the Empowering Caregivers Chat. If you are on AOL you will want to use HTML Chat. Or you can download a second browser: either Internet Explorer or Netscape and use the IChat or Java Plugins to have an easier chat experience both at IVIllage and here at this site this is the link: IVillageHealth CHAT SCHEDULE. If you have questions or need assistance please email: ivhealthhelp. You may also IM Cindy IVHealth Cindi

John Felitto Invites You To...
The Fabulous Life Teleconference Series

While we fine-tune this life changing forum, you can enjoy weekly teleconferences for only the price of a phone call! From the comfort of your home or office...

Pull your focus back to the principles your cherish, the behavior you deeply desire and the fabulous life you want to live

Learn to:

          • Relax
          • Focus
          • Achieve
          • Enjoy

Achieve far more than you think possible, personally, professionally and financially This Week...We will focus on Relaxation: The Door to Clarity, Focus, and Health & Success. Shift from the limitations of the "Critical Mind" to the unbounded "Creative Mind" This Month We Will Draw from the "Intentions" Articles Series:

  • Dynamic Meditation
  • In Search of The Authentic Self
  • Slow Down and Benefit From "Negative Emotions"
  • The Spiritual & Mental Principles For Evoking Your Greatness & More

Our Next Session Times:

  • Wednesday, January 8 from 1:30-2:30PM (ET)
  • Thursday, January 9 from 8:00P-9:00PM (ET)

There is no registration fee Join us ...At conference time, dial..
413 - 461 - 0333 Extension 449*

Free Caregiver Education Training Offered in Florida

The Hospice Institute of the Florida Suncoast is offering a free train-the-trainer program to help coalitions become a powerful resource for caregivers. Participants will learn how to promote and present the Caregiving at Life’s End program to members of their community.

Caregiving at Life’s End is a national training program to help family caregivers find growth and meaning in the end-of-life caregiving experience. It was developed based on a national needs assessment of hospice family caregivers.

The first training will be held in Florida from March 3-7, 2003. Additional sessions will take place in April, June, July and August. For more information, visit or call 727-586-4432.

The millions of people who tend without pay to the needs of people on Medicare need to know how the program works, but most are in the dark about what it covers. In a brief, Explaining Medicare to Caregivers, the Center for Medicare Education, CME says many caregivers have a “rude awakening” when they find out about the program’s premiums, deductibles and co-payments. Contact: CME 202-508-1210 or go to: Medicare 101


Are you having difficulty in understanding your options for health insurance? I so, is a new website under the banner of the National Health Law Program, (NHELP) whose mission is to improve health care for people of limited means. The site provides resources and information regarding insurance issues, including how to find lo-cost insurance and how to keep those costs down. HealthCareCoach

A Family Caregiver’s Guide to Hospital Discharge Planning

This is a new brochure for the National Alliance for Caregiving and the United Hospital Fund of New York. It offers advice on how to insure your loved one’s transfer from the hospital to the home is smooth. It helps you to understand the discharge planning process and how best to advocate for the services that you and your loved one need upon leaving the hospital. or


This is a free resource for people with Parkinson’s disease and their healthcare providers and caregivers. You may ask site specialists about questions you have. There are forums, chats and live educational events.

Caregiving & Depression

A fact sheet from the Family Caregiver Alliance (FCA) offers advice to caregivers and their families on recognizing risk factors for depression, such as feelings of exhaustion and isolation, associated with the demands of caregiving. The fact sheet contains resources and reading lists for families and healthcare providers. Contact: FCA 800-445-8106 or go to: FCA

Caregiver Resources in NY State

The estimated 1.7 million caregivers n New York State can share tips on how to manage their time and take better care of themselves through a newsletter published by the NY State Coalition for the Aging (CFA) Each month, the Caregiver Assistance News provides and idea exchange, a quick quiz and cartoon. Contact: CFA 518-465-0641 or go to NYS CFA

Working with Your Doctor When You Suspect Memory Problems

The California Chapter of the Alzheimer's Association has developed a booklet of tips for caregivers on better communication with physicians. Access and download this booklet at: Booklet


Contact Him Today!
Call 202-456-1111 or email
By January 10, 2003

The current stalemate in Washington over federal spending is jeopardizing increased funding for Alzheimer research. Unless the current budget impasse is broken soon, hopes for any research breakthroughs against Alzheimer's will have to be postponed. To read more please go to:

And Many More Unsuspected Sources

The federal government today published its biennial "Report on Carcinogens", adding steroidal estrogens used in estrogen replacement therapy and oral contraceptives to its official list of "known" human carcinogens. This and 15 other new listings bring the total of substances in the report, "known" or "reasonably anticipated" to pose a cancer risk, to 228 To read more please go to: LIST.

Cancer Sufferers Age 65+ May be Overlooked For Treatment

A recent study of cancer treatment showed a lack of care for seniors suffering from the disease, according to a press release from Last Acts Partner the American Society on Aging (ASA). The Seniors Research Group

(SRG)--with the backing of Pharmacia Oncology--surveyed 300 oncologists and primary care physicians and discovered a common occurrence of under treatment and lack of knowledge when it came to treating cancer in people age 65 and older. SRG attributed the under treatment to misinformation and incorrect opinions among these physicians. To read the full release, go to:


HHS Secretary Tommy G. Thompson today approved a New Hampshire plan to give families with Medicaid-eligible disabled children greater control of the care and services their children receive. This change will make it easier for those children to remain in their own homes.


HHS Secretary Tommy G. Thompson today announced approval of Arizona's plan to allow people with disabilities who return to work to retain their Medicaid coverage -- removing a key barrier to allow more disabled Arizonans to lead productive lives

New MS And Crohn's Drug

An experimental drug may offer hope for people with multiple sclerosis or Crohn's disease. Preliminary findings reported in the New England Journal of Medicine suggest that natalizumab can reduce relapses in some MS patients and improve quality of life for people with Crohn's disease. More infor




Don't just do something, sit there! Sit there long enough each morning to decide what is really important during the day ahead. .

Richard Eyre

I am the person who can smile in trouble that can gather strength from distress, and grow brave by reflection. 'Tis the business of little minds to shrink, but he whose heart is firm, and whose conscience approves his conduct, will pursue his principles unto death. .

Thomas Paine

The highest reward for a person's toil is not what they get for it, but what they become by it. .

John Ruskin

Be willing to be uncomfortable. Be comfortable being uncomfortable. It may get tough, but it's a small price to pay for living a dream. .

Peter McWilliams

Life's up and downs provide windows of opportunity to determine your values and goals. Think of using all obstacles as stepping stones towards building the life you want.

Marsha Sinetar

Reflect upon your present blessings, of which every man has plenty; not on your past misfortunes of which all men have some.

Charles Dickens

The secret of getting ahead is getting started. The secret of getting started is breaking your complex overwhelming tasks into small manageable tasks, and then starting on the first one.

Mark Twain

Do the thing you fear and the death of fear is certain..

R.W. Emerson

Today, My Best Friend Slapped Me On My Face

They kept on walking, until they found an oasis, where they decided to take a bath. The one who got slapped and hurt started drowning, and the other friend saved him. When he recovered from the fright, he wrote on a stone:

Today, My Best Friend Saved My Life

The friend who saved and slapped his best friend, asked him, "Why, after I hurt you, you wrote in the sand, and now you write on a stone?"

The other friend, smiling, replied: "When a friend hurts us, we should write it down in the sand, where the winds of forgiveness get in charge of erasing it away, and when something great happens, we should engrave it in the stone of the memory of the heart, where no wind can erase it."

  • Learn to write in the sand, when you have difference and hurt feelings with your friend.
  • Learn to write in stone when your friend had some thing done really good to you.


Wishes For The New Year

May your hair, your teeth, your face-lift, your abs, and your stocks not fall; and may your blood pressure, your triglycerides, your cholesterol, your white blood count and your mortgage interest not rise.

May you get a clean bill of health from your dentist, your cardiologist, your gastroenterologist, your urologist, your proctologist, your podiatrist, your psychiatrist, your plumber, and the IRS.

May you find a way to travel from anywhere to anywhere during rush hour in less than an hour, and when you get there may you find a parking space.

May Friday evening, December 31, find you seated around the dinner table, together with your beloved family and cherished friends, ushering in the New Year ahead. You will find the food better, the environment quieter, the cost much cheaper, and the pleasure much more fulfilling than anything else you might ordinarily do that night.

May what you see in the mirror delight you, and what others see in you delight them.

May the telemarketers wait to make their sales calls until you finish dinner, may your checkbook and your budget balance, and may they include generous amounts for your church and charities.

May you remember to say "I love you" at least once a day to your spouse, your child, and your parent(s). You can say it to your secretary, your nurse, your butcher, your photographer, your masseuse, your seamstress, your hairdresser or your tennis instructor, but not with a "twinkle" in your eye.

May we live as intended, in a world at peace with the awareness of the beauty in every sunset, every flower's unfolding petals, every baby's smile and every wonderful, astonishing, miraculous beat of our heart.

Bless you with every happiness, great health peace, and much love during the next year and all those that follow.

Author Unknown

All I Need to Know about Life I Learned From a Snowman....

It's okay if you're a little bottom heavy.
Hold your ground, even when the heat is on.
Wearing white is always appropriate.
Winter is the best of the four seasons.
It takes a few extra rolls to make a good midsection.
There's nothing better than a foul weather friend.
The key to life is to be a jolly, happy soul.
It's not the size of the carrot, but the placement that counts.
We're all made up of mostly water.
You know you've made it when they write a song about you.
Avoid yellow snow. Don't get too much sun.
It's embarrassing when you can't look down and see your feet.
It's fun to hang out in your front yard.
Always put your best foot forward.
There's no stopping you once you're on a roll.
Author Unknown

Top Of Page


Dear Gail,

When I first contacted Empowering Caregivers I was caring for my wife of 57 years. She was terminal wilth colon cancer and I had been caring for her for some 12 years plus. She died of the cancer on 5 May 2001. She was only 79 years old at the time of her death but she had shared my life for 57 years. I was devestated by her death but have continued to read your newsletters as they bring me a certain amount of comfort. I would like to hear from others who have devoted a share of their life to others who have cared for a terminal patient and now struggling with survival after the end of the caring. Sincerely Bill Saunders. Email Bill or respond to the posting for Bill


My partner of 20 years has been battling a rare cancer for almost a year but
is still not in remission. I have a stressful job but am trying to remain empathic. KF is on a 3rd round of chemotherapy, and is, thankfully, still able to take care of personal hygiene and even drive to appts. Most of my caregiving is in the emotional realm and housekeeping realm, with the worse times after chemo (weekly sieges of "flu") and if liver scans are in the wrong direction. Constant negativity (frowning, staring, pessimistic comments, etc.) and/or anxiety (needing continuous reassurance regarding appearance) from the care recipient is wearisome. Suggestions welcome. Thx,


I need help, any tips on getting my Dad in the shower. He refuses, keeps saying I took a bath or it's not bath day. He smells but neither my sister or I are willing to just throw him in the shower. Reend



Have You Ever Thought?

  • Why the sun lightens our hair, but darkens our skin?
  • Why don't you ever see the headline "Psychic Wins Lottery"?
  • Why is "abbreviated" such a long word?
  • Why is it that doctors call what they do "practice"?
  • Why is it that to stop Windows 98, you have to click on "Start"?
  • Why is lemon juice made with artificial flavor, and dishwashing liquid made with real lemons?
  • Why is the man who invests all your money called a broker?
  • Why is the time of day with the slowest traffic called rush hour?
  • Why isn't there mouse-flavoured cat food?
  • When dog food is new and improved tasting, who tests it?
  • Why didn't Noah swat those two mosquitoes?
  • Why do they sterilize the needle for lethal injections?
  • You know that indestructible black box that is used on airplanes?
  • Why don't they make the whole plane out of that stuff?
  • Why don't sheep shrink when it rains?
  • Why are they called apartments when they are all stuck together?
  • If con is the opposite of pro, is Congress the opposite of progress?
  • If flying is so safe, why do they call the airport the terminal?

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EMPOWERING CAREGIVERS is trademarked. All Information on this website is owned by Gail R. Mitchell. This includes but is not limited to the journal exercises, Newsletters and original articles, etc. Permission must be obtained from Gail R. Mitchell for any external use of this material. by G. R. Mitchell