Choices ~ Healing ~ Love
November 1, 2002
VOLUME 4 ISSUE #1
Hope the fall is treating you all well. October came and passed in the blink of any eye. However, as I look back it was packed with conferences, workshops, meetings and so much going on. All in all, it's been very exciting... Not much in the way of fall foliage...it's almost like we went from summer to winter...I thought winter wouldn't hit us until January, just like the past few years.
The National Alliance For Caregiving hosted the Third International Conference on Family Care. There were over 700 participants from all over the globe. All who came together were harmonious, seeking out ways to provide for caregivers (carers) from their countries.
I believe the common thread that brings all caregivers together is the emotional and spiritual support, the connection to a higher power, the need to have our own needs met so that we can put our loved ones first.
I was totally moved by a young group of pre teens and teenagers who were carers for their parents in Australia. Their stories left everyone in the audience both male and female deeply touched in some way. Their love, will and fortitude are exemplary for all of us. This is a whole new generation of caregivers whose needs must be addressed: Children running home in between classes to feed, a parent or grandparent; sometimes missing school, worrying that social services may place them into foster care and place their loved one into a facility. The numbers of young ones are increasing in large numbers here in the US as well.
I also had the privilege of speaking at the Wellspouse Foundation's annual conference in Philadelphia, which was also very successful. It's true that spouses have many different issues around the role of caregiving. There may be problems with intimacy, role reversals, resentment, anger, guilt, but the well spouses too, are in need of working through the issues and making choices to heal themselves from within for what we don't heal emotionally tends to manifest in our organs and systems of our bodies. These negativve emotions feed off our bodies, comprimising our immune systems. For some well spouses, there is an issue of fidelity or perhaps a failing marriage before the diagnosis was ever spoken. It can bring diverse and difficult challenges that must be worked through very consciously for both parties.
There was a diverse representation of speakers at the Wellspouse conference but the general theme that seemed to run through the workshops and the keynote address was about the choices caregivers have. Choices that will empower you in any given moment.
Recently, during the past few months, I have been asked to give workshops to professional staffs in non profit organizations in the tri-state area. Topics have been focused on grieving, mindfulness, nurturing, stress techniques and re-connection with their inner being on a soulful level. It is interesting to see how much we are all in need of healing during these trying times. Overloaded schedules, administrative paperwork, insufficient staffing positions, all add to the energies that go out to the caregiver and the patient.
We are all in this together. Just like a pebble skimming the water of a lake radiating out in circles of ripples. How we are feeling in any given moment radiates out towards others vibrationally and most of us react without thinking. It is time for all of us to take responsibility for our own inner peace and well being so we can send out balanced, loving emotions towards all who enter our lives.
As I have mentioned before, I have been on the road and heavily involved in presenting workshops these past two months. We will be training new volunteers to help around the websites and in the office. At this time, I thank you for your continued patience and understanding if the newsletter doesn't arrive on time or if other aspects at the web site aren't updated in the timely fashion we would like to present to you.
Richest Blessings to you on your journey.
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: www.nofec.org.
We are actively seeking volunteers and interns to help us continue with our vision and mission. To become involved, please go to: Volunteers.
We are also creating a wish list for things we need to flourish in order to bring you so much more. NOFEC is now able to accept your contributions, donations and memberships online. Your valuable support in these areas helps us to continue to maintain the site and develop our programs for your use and benefits. Your support is gratefully appreciated. NOFEC
Spotlight Will Resume: January 2003
We will resume our giveaways in the month of December
Welcome Our Newest Edition To the Experts Area:
Mary C. Fridley
"Cash and counseling (C&C) is one of the ultimate forms of consumer direction in which consumers are given the option of receiving cash payments that they may use to purchase a variety of support services.
Ten Things To Ask Before Hiring A Home Care Agency By Shirley Cohen
Discounted Prescription Cards - Updated with new companies and information
Creating Rituals During The Holidays
With the holidays upon us, I have decided to reprint this article in hopes that many of you will choose to create even more special meanings for you and your loved ones.
Webster's Dictionary defines:
Creating rituals during the holidays is a way to give special meaning to those for whom you are caring as well as those for whom you are grieving. Creating a sacred ritual can offer a tremendous sense of honoring for the loved one you are missing. It also offers balance, comfort and support for you. The overall effect of creating rituals can assist you in coping with the coming holidays.
Express yourself through artwork.
Rituals empower people emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. Caregivers in all countries who create rituals through customs, traditions, and their own desire to invent a new ritual that provides meaning in their life, have the opportunity to extend a person's presence beyond death. While our society encourages us to mourn quickly and return to our normal lives, it is particularly difficult for former caregivers who have experienced so much loss in their roles. The death of a loved one after a long period of caring leaves the caregiver without motivation, a sense of place, self confidence, a network of friends and socialization challenges to actually make the return to our own lives once again. It is not just the loss of a loved one you experience; it is the loss of many things that were put on hold.
Rmember to be gentle and nurturing to yourself.
Richest blessings on your journey.
Copyrighted Gail R. Mitchell 11/08/01
Related Articles Here At The Site
The Holidays Are Coming: How To Make Them Sane & Satisfying
Our Life's Changes
Autumn reminds me of the eternality of life, and not to be fooled by appearances. The trees lose their leaves and, for a long time, appear to be dead. Yet meanwhile life has a far grander design, and in the spring they are renewed and grow to even greater stature. Often what seems like a death is just a sleeping. True life never dies; it just changes shapes and shows up in more wonderful ways.
So it is with the changes in our lives. We never really lose; we just build on what has been. If a relationship, friendship, career, or living situation is right and good for you, it will remain in force by the power of love and the Law of Attraction. If it ends or leaves, something better and more appropriate is in store. Sometimes relationships that appear dead are just sleeping, and, by applying more appreciation, can be renewed and go even deeper. The answer is always spiritual, and love is the highest expression of spirit.
I was reminded of the power of love during our recent Mastery Training in Maui. I had the honor to participate in monumental changes in the lives of people who are ready to claim the life they would choose. What a gift! Growth is not about finding out what is wrong and correcting it; it is about finding out what is right and drawing it forth.
I heard about a psychologist who was assigned to work with a young man with a long history of drug addiction. This patient showed up with a thick dossier of diagnoses and failed treatments. This psychologist, however, took a different tack. He didn't focus on his patient's addiction at all. Instead he kept asking the fellow, "Who are you when you are not an addict?" and "What did you do this week that was joyful, powerful, and productive?'" Over a period of time the young man's energy transformed and he utterly dropped his addiction. He shifted his sense of identity from addiction to personal mastery. As Dale Carnegie urged, "Give them a reputation to live up to!
Copyrighted By Alan Cohen
It is with great sadness that I share with you the following information. IVillage is no longer going to be involved with AOL. After four years of hosting the Empowering Caregivers site on AOL, the time has come to end the chat. I do not know the exact reasons for this separation. I do know that both corporations are out for themselves and genuinely not concerned with the mature members who are in need of the chats that were provided. I applied to host in the AOL Health area and was declined because I couild only offer time to host . Because of my workload I wasn't available to volunteer and give all the time they required beside the initial hosting time.
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
Town Hall Meetings -
The event will begin at 7:00 PM Eastern Time (New York) on November 20th, 2002. National Family Caregivers Association (NFCA) and WHYY will partner together to host a townhall meeting on the costs of family caregiving - to families, businesses and the community. Moderated by WHYY’s Tracey Matisak, Creating Community Solutions to the Costs of Caregiving, is one in a series of town hall meetings presented across the country by NFCA. WHYY will serve as NFCA’s media partner for all of the town hall meetings, providing live webcasts at www.widerhorizons.com.
We support NFCA's effort to "Share the Caring" and acknowledge National Family Caregivers Month (NFC Month) as an opportunity to provide community-based activities in support of family caregivers.
NFC Month is designed to raise awareness that will help people recognize and appreciate the caregivers' vital role. The goal is to build caregiver self-esteem, expand caregiver self-awareness and teach caregivers to become their own advocates.Call NFCA at 1-800-896-3650 or visit their website NFCA
November Is Also:
November is National Hospice Month
November is National Family Caregivers Month
National Home Care Month
National Alzheimer’s Month
National Adoption Month November
If you do a search from this site or any search engine under any of these categories you will find a large assortment of links to provide you with more information.Search
First International Eden Alternative Conference. (Nov. 19-22, 2002, Myrtle Beach, SC). Kingston Plantation, Embassy Suites in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Participants will be coming from the U.S., as well as Canada, Switzerland, Australia and other nations working to promote culture change in long-term care. For more information, email: SCEdenAlt@aol.com
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. To register for the conference, please click on this form
End Of Life: "Peaceful Death: Easing Fear for the Caregiver."
Dec. 6, 200210 am-3 pm.
Jewish Spiritual Care:
Body, Mind, Spirit, Healing Retreat.
Relaxation, meditation, healing prayer, imagery and fantasy, storytelling, drawing, labyrinth, and reminiscing. Johnson Institute at (636) 273-6898 or visit: www.GodHelpMyIllness.com or www.desertrenewal.org
What is SAD?
Many people experience a sense of sadness, loss and lethargy; sometimes even depression that accompanies the shortening days of the fall and winter. Many cultures and religions have winter festivals associated with candles or fire. This condition is known as "SAD" One recommendation to treat this condition is light therapy. This light brightens the room during the day time as if there was sunloight. To learn more click on these links:
Stroke: Our Nation's No. 3 Killer.
Tell Congress to take action and pass the STOP Stroke Act this year. Call toll free, at no cost to you, to 1-800-810-6559 from November 4-15 to urge your Member of Congress to support the STOP Stroke Act.The STOP Stroke Act (H.R. 3431) will help ensure that stroke is more widely recognized by the public and treated more effectively by health care providers. This vital legislation passed the Senate unanimously in February and has strong, bipartisan support in the House of Representatives.
When you provide care to a family member or friend, you tend to forget to take care of yourself. And, other family members and friends may be so preoccupied with the health issues of the family member with the illness or disability that they inadvertently overlook the needs and wellbeing of the family caregiver.
Kiss a Caregiver, sponsored by The Center for Family Caregivers, hopes to encourage family members and friends to show their love and support for the family caregivers in their lives. "We've designated this day, during National Family Caregivers Month and during the week of Thanksgiving, for everyone to show their love and appreciation for those who care for a relative with a chronic illness or disability," explains Denise Brown, Executive Director, for the Center for Family Caregivers. For more information please go to: www.familycaregivers.org.
Friday from 9:00 to 10:00 pm EST
Join our interactive radio community. Send an email to: John with Fabulous Life Radio in the subject line and you’ll receive: guest announcements, links to books and resources, supportive materials to coach yourself to success. Broadcast Area - On The Jukebox Radio Network:
Bergen County & Lower Westchester 103.1 FM
Applications are now being accepted for a unique opportunity to attend a caregiver facilitator-training seminar. Based on a national needs assessment of hospice family caregivers. The Hospice Institute of the Florida Suncoast is offering free national facilitator training seminars.The Caregiving at Life's End program helps family caregiver find growth and meaning in the end-of-life caregiving experience. This seminar is designed to prepare program facilitators and provide them all the materials for them to offer Caregiving at Life's End program in their communities.
National 2003 Medicare Education Campaign Launched
Services Administrator Tom Scully recently unveiled the annual national Medicare education campaign designed to help 40 million people with Medicare coverage get answers to their questions and make informed decisions about their health plans. The $25 million national advertising campaign featuresMedicare's newest television ads, which started airing on network television last week. The campaign also coincides with the annual election period for health plan options that begins in mid-November.
"People who are covered by Medicare, their family members and caregivers, need this information about Medicare and we want them to know exactly where they can find it Medicare beneficiaries, family members and caregivers can receive information through the 24-hour service of 1-800-MEDICARE, the Medicare & You 2003 handbook, and new decision tools at http://www.medicare.gov.The new decision tools to the Personal Plan Finder on the Medicare Web site will help beneficiaries, family and caregivers quickly develop a personalized report on the benefits and services offered by area health plans.
View Current Signatures
Sign the Petition
This petition was created by RSDSpouse Support Network www.rsdspouse.net and written by Michael Fowler.
Dorothy Womack- Contributing Writer & Poet At
I am delighted to introduce you to three of Dorothy's books which are now available for purchasing at Amazon.com and BarnesandNoble.com. I remember as if it were yesterday when I encourage Dorothy to begin publishing her writings. Now she has three books: 'Passage Into Paradise' is the true story of her mother's struggle with Alzheimer's, and her caregiving experience. 'Alzheimer's Angels' is a compilation of poetry concerning the caregivers and also the victims of Alzheimer's, written over a period of two years from dealing with online support groups. 'Sacred Sentiments' is all inspirational poetry, without any connection to Alzheimer's. Sentiments was created in order to reach Christians who were struggling with a myriad of issues, not necessarily Alzheimer's. Visit Passage Into Paradise, one of several of Dorothy's sites.
Forgive all who have offended you, not for them, but for yourself.”
Movement is a medicine for creating change in a person's physical, emotional, and mental states.”
Those who think they have not time for bodily exercise will sooner or later have to find time for illness
God provides the wind, but man must raise the sails.
The privilege of a lifetime is being who you are.
You are not here merely to make a living. You are here to enable the world to live more amply, with greater vision, and with a finer spirit of hope and achievement. You are here to enrich the world. You impoverish yourself if you forget this errand.
Not only is there a right to be happy, there is a duty to be happy. So much sadness exists in the world that we are all under obligation to contribute as much joy as lies within our powers.
John S. Bonnell, D.D.
We must walk consciously only part way toward our goal and then leap in the dark to our success.
Henry David Thoreau
These are truisms that only kids can express. A group of professional people posed this question to a group of 4 to 8 year-olds "What does love mean?" The answers they got were broader and deeper than anyone could have imagined.
"Love is when mommy sees daddy smelly and sweaty and still says he is handsomer than Robert Redford."- Chris - age 8
"Love is when a girl puts on perfume and a boy puts on shaving cologne and they go out and smell each other." - Karl - age 5
As you were leaving, my heart was breaking
I'd go forth to face the trials of the morn...
**Written for Mary Zinni
I AM NOT A CARE-GIVER ANYMORE, and that is the reason for this message...I recently lost both of my parents, who I have taken care of for many years. They both suffered from severe health problems and had to come and live with me (they were very much wanted in our home by my entire family). I wish I had found this website during those years, because sometimes the stress of taking care of my family, working and taking care of my parents seemed overwhelming! My Father passed away about 4 years ago and my Mother this past February. The guilt I am suffering through right now at times seems unbearable. I have to admit that there were times when I JUST WANTED MY LIFE BACK! Well, I have it back now - and all I want is my Mother and Father back. Be careful what you wish for, you just may get it!
I never realized what my role was as a care-giver until it was too late. My heart breaks for every elderly person I see. It's a much harder time for them than it was for me - I just never realized that until it was too late. I feel like I could have done so much more to help my parents through this very difficult time. Sometimes my frustration with the situation showed and I know I broke their hearts a time or two with my attitude. I have a lot of guilt that I could have done so much more than I did. I could have made their last days so much happier than I did. What I'm trying to say is, I was really happier caring for them than I am right now - having my EMPTY life back. I hope this message can help you cope just a little better than I did! Thank you,
I would appreciate your feedback. Meyers
I've been married nearly 15 years. At first we both worked. Living in his parents home sounded a great assist until we could save up for our own place in a year or so...Our daughter was born three years later. My mother-in-law stopped driving the same month due to deteriorating vision caused by IDDM. Soon after legally blind. My daughter is 11 1/2 now, son 9. We relocated half way across the country shortly after my FIL passed away 9 years ago.
Since then she and I have tackeled heart disease, ups and downs of diabetes, colon cancer, gal bladder surgery, hernia repairs, pnemonias, and multiple infections requiring hospitization and ongoing nursing care.
For better or worse....
The evil stepsisters won't help! My resentment is building! My SIL moved 10 minutes away and has 2 kids in their 20's. They won't take her shopping, physicians, or even help me out with baby sitting.
For better or worse...
I am drowning. I have fallen into Alice's rabbit hole and I can't climb out. Somedays the Queen of hearts is happy and we bake and shop. I breathe a long sigh of relief! Other days she enters the kitchen shouting "OFF WITH YOUR HEAD" and I know I am in for another long day. These are more the norm these days than the occasion. I am not seeking out a "pen pal for daily whining nor planning". I simply seek a supportive friend who is there... and understands. My Mother in law is also my best friend... and for better or worse, to my marriage and family, my worst enemy. Dutiful Daughterinlaw
A woman in her late 80s decides to move to Miami. As part of her prepara- tions, she goes to see her doctor to get all of her charts.
Two youngsters were closely examining bathroom scales on display at the departmentstore.
The Ring Bearer
A little boy was in a relative's wedding. As he was coming down the aisle he would take two steps, stop, and turn to the crowd (alternating between bride's side and groom's side). While facing the crowd, he would put his hands up like claws and roar loudly.
Gene the lawyer was walking down the street and saw an auto accident. He rushed over, started handing out business cards, and said, "I saw the whole thing. I'll take either side."
THAT'S IT FOR THIS ISSUE
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