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Choices ~ Healing ~ Love
November 1, 2004 Volume 7 Issue #2
Publisher & Editor: Gail R. Mitchell -


Fall is still gracing us here in the city with its vibrant colors. The Holloween parade gathered thousands of people along the avenue showing a strength and commaraderie that New Yorkers stand for so beautifully.Election day is two days away and the holidays are already upon us.

Several holidays creep up on us one after the other. For many, it is a sad time because things are no longer the same at home, and for many, this will be a first year without a loved one present. Some articles you might want to read or revisit for this time of the year are as follows: (Next month we will have more articles)

Take time this season to be gentle and nurturing with yourself. Too many caregivers allow stress to take over them to the point of no return. TV commercials, newspaper and magazine ads flash before our eyes calling stress a major killer. However, most people are into denial and don't do anything about it in their life until it is too late. Don't be a statistic. Learn to take time for yourself.. you deserve it ...

I encourage all of you to please take time to get out there and cast your vote. This election is one of the most important and it is up to you to cast your vote for the candidate who will represent caregivers as we grow in numbers and our challenges increase daily.

November ce4lebrates National Family Caregivers Month, National Hospice Month, Caring Coalition of Metro NY's Life Care Planning week and so much more. The newsletter is filled with candle lighting ceremonies for Alzheimer's and a National screening day.

That's about it for now.

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


Your Free Email Accounts At Empowering Caregivers
This Service Will Be Terminated : February 2005

If you have signed up for your primary or secondary email account free here at Empowering Caregivers, we will no longer be providing this service as of February 2005. Please do what you need to in order to change your account over to another service. Email account

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

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

New Chat Schedule

Our chats have been changed to new time periods. Monday through Thursday chats will be held from 8PM-9PM EST. See Schedule.

Empowering Caregivers Welcomes

Leeza Gibbons: Members
To Our Chats

We are very excited and delighted to partner with Leeza Gibbons organization,

Many of you are aware that Leeza has been making guest appearances on national television speaking on behalf of Alzheimer's Disease and other memory disease. He mother was diagnosed at 63 and she like all of us has become a caregiver. The diagnosis came shortly after her grandmother passed from the disease as well. was developed in response to the challenges Leeza and her family encountered while seeking specific and needed support. The program has already begun setting up wonderful centers. Leeza's Place is a multifaceted reprieve, for both caregivers and the recently diagnosed, that integrates educational programs, connective social activities, emotional support, and intergenerational programming designed to help you navigate through your community?s continuum of care. Leeza's Place was designed to ensure that others experiencing what the Gibbons family encountered would have access to new, supportive settings created for the purpose of educating, empowering and energizing.

The whole approach in body, mind and spirit mirrors the approach and vision of Empoweirng Caregivers / NOFEC and we feel this is a connection that will continue to grow and evolve in order to reach more caregivers; thus helping them to transform their caregiving into exeperiences t their experiences into more loving, healing and powerful ones.

Once again, welcome...

Mary C. Fridley
Questions & Answers
November 2004

Or click on this link:
Featured Guest Experts


If you are interested in submitting an article(s) please go to: Submit. You will find a form for submitting your article, bio/profile, copyright permissions, etc. Please review our guidelines for acceptance, submit and we will notify you upon acceptance.

The Story Of Neighborcare by Maggie Davis
Maggie Davis describes how this very unique concept of caring for others in need evolved on the Blue Hill Peninsula in Northern Maine.

If I Only Knew What I Know Now: ElderRage by Jacqueline Marcell
The author looks back with hindsight to see how the AD diagnosis for her father was missed. She encourages all to look for the telltale warnings and signs of this diseaseArticle.

A Suggestion For Caregivers: Treat The Other As The Equal He Or She Is by James Mille
The author discusses and provides helpful suggestions for Caregivers in regards to treatment of the individual in their care. Article

A Vision For The Future by Nisandeh Neta
We're living in an exciting period. Human consciousness is expanding so fast that the future is no longer predictable.

The 21st Century Brain by Janet B. Walsh
As we continue to age, we are witnessing how vulnerable we are to mind robbing diseases such as Alzheimer's Disease and Parkinson’s Disease. Now is the time to educate ourselves about keeping our minds fit no differently then we exercise our physical body to stay fit and healthy. Article

Positive Energy: The Tenth Prescription: Revel in Laughter, Play and All-Out Silliness by Judith Orloff
Dr. Judith Orloff persuades us to laugh as much as we can in order to free ourselves from negative emotions. She provides ways to “energetically nurture your inner child and to laugh more”. Article

Dismantling Nursing HOme Limit Options by Gema G. Hernández
The article discusses why a viable Nursing Home Provider Network is not going to exist any time soon.

In Memory

The world mourned a great loss this month - the loss of Christopher Reeve. It stunned the world. It appeared that he could make it through anything. Through the years Christopher Reeve and Dana Reeve did incredible work in the arenas of disabilities and caregiving. Their strength and courage were inspirational to us all.

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Understanding and Managing The Cost Of A Disease

Beyond the physical and emotional burden of an illness, there is no secret that the financial burden can and does take a heavy toll when we are sick or caring for a loved one. For most people, insurance companies share some of this burden. However, even when we do have good insurance coverage, we sometimes have to make substantial out-of-pocket payments for goods and services related to an illness. In this article, I hope to help you identify some of the costs associated with an illness and how to go about managing them to reduce their impact.

If you ask most people how much an illness is costing them, they are most likely going to look at what they spend on healthcare products and services, on such things as insurance premiums or co-pays, doctors visits, medications, hospitalizations, devices and so on. These are what are called direct costs and for some, these direct costs are very substantial. There are, however two other types of costs that are usually ignored or not seen as arising from one’s illness or that of a loved one. These are indirect costs and intangible costs.

Indirect costs are costs that are usually known as economic costs, that is the lost opportunity that came about because we did not go to work, or were not as productive or died early and hence reduced our ability to contribute to our families and the community. The people who are very much affected by this are the self-employed, and employers, especially small businesses. Also if you are the sole breadwinner of the family or your income is a substantial part of the family income, the impact of your illness on your ability to produce economically can be very huge.

Intangible costs are costs that arise from the impact of a disease on our mental state and relationships to friends, family and loved ones. Ask anyone who suffers from depression or is a caregiver to someone with Alzheimer’s disease and they will tell you that the intangible costs can sometimes be more than the direct costs. In fact, we cannot even begin to put numbers on these costs.

So, again, the three main types of costs that an illness imposes on us are the direct cost, the indirect cost and the intangible cost. How do you mange these costs to reduce the financial impact of the illness? In one word, planning. Think of this as a house that is going to need heat in the winter. A lot of people wait till it is freezing out there and then they start checking to make sure they have enough fuel to keep the house warm. Well, it is more expensive to buy heating oil in the middle of a deep freeze, that is, if you can find any. The smart person buys heating oil in the summer, when it is less expensive, and, when the deep freeze comes along, they are ready.

It is not a matter of if, rather a matter of when, we will get sick or have to take care of a loved one who is sick. So, how do you plan for dealing with direct costs? You look to make sure that you have adequate health insurance, know how to obtain prescription drugs at low or no cost, understand how to deal with hospital costs, have a reliable primary care physician, and evaluate and know your options with nursing homes.

To prepare for indirect costs, know your rights at the work place for when you get sick. As a start, familiarize yourself with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Family And Medical Leave Act. Also know about other laws that protect you with health insurance issue, such as COBRA and HIPPA. Get disability insurance. Intangible costs can be better handled by doing some panning on legal issues such as end of life planning, making sure you have your will, living will, powers of attorney and your estate planning taken care of. Also here will be a good time and place to have long-term care insurance taken care of.

Obviously, when you or a loved one gets sick, the primary goal is to get you or them better. However, the reality is that the cost of the illness is a major concern and one that can have a dramatic impact on the patient and their family. With some planning the financial impact of a disease can be minimized.

Dr. David Nganele Ph.D., MBA

Dr. David Nganele is a New York Times-profiled health education expert. He provides individuals with the knowledge and tools to help them become their own best doctor. He believes that “The More You Know, The Better You’ll Live.” He is also one of the premier writers and speakers on how to identify and manage the cost of healthcare while getting better services. His latest book is “Prescription Drug$; What You Must Know: From Avoiding Medication Errors To Saving On The Cost; A Manual For Your Peace Of Mind.” One of our featured columnists, he writes on topics which include prescriptions, healthcare and insurance

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CAREGIVING: A Series of Classes At CUNY, New York City

This course will provide support and guidance to caregivers, helping them move into this role with greater knowledge, awareness, and ease. Each session will begin with a presentation on relevant information and resources, followed by a question-and-answer and discussion period. You may sign up for the series, or for individual sessions. If you would like to attend these programs but are unable to do so due to caregiving responsibilities, our office can provide you with a list of volunteer programs and cost-effective alternatives for hiring an aid.

Gail Mitchell, Founder/President, National Organization for Empowering Caregivers in NYC; speaks nationwide on issues related to caregiving; creator, Empowering Caregivers, a major caregiving website that has had over three million visitors; author, more than 200 articles published in the U.S. and Canada.
4873 - 6 Wednesdays, October 20-December 1 6:30-8:30pm $135

Introduction to Caregiving
This session will provide an introduction to the unique role of the caregiver, and will consider how to respond positively to the challenges of caregiving. The session will focus on concrete strategies for promoting states of mindfulness and awareness and opening ourselves to forgiveness, healing, and love.
4874 - Wednesday, October 20 6:30-8:30pm $25

Getting Comfortable in Your Role as Caregiver
This session will address practical considerations that caregivers need to be familiar with. Topics to be discussed include How to Assess Your Loved One's Level of Need; How to Make Informed Decisions; How to Help Your Loved One Maintain His or Her Independence; and The Different Demands Placed upon the Caregiver When Caring for a Spouse, Parent, Relative, Child, or Friend.
4875 - Wednesday, October 27 6:30-8:30pm $25

Self-Care: Avoiding Stress & Caregiver Burnout
One of the most important aspects of caregiving is self-care. This session will consider the major causes of stress, its symptoms, and prevention; the importance of nurturing your soul; making time for your own needs; and knowing when and how to reach out for help and support.
4876 - Wednesday, November 3 6:30-8:30pm $25

Getting Proper Care for Your Loved Ones and Making Decisions about Placement
This session will cover aspects of care and placement issues. Topics to be discussed include Adult Day Care; Senior Centers; Assisted Living; Retirement Communities; and Nursing Homes, as well as transportation and meals-on-wheels programs. Also to be discussed are how and when to hire home care, how to choose an assisted living or nursing home, and how to break a promise you may have made.
4878 - Wednesday, November 10 6:30-8:30pm $25

Financial, Insurance, and Legal Issues
This session will cover financial, insurance, and legal issues, including wills, dnr's, proxy, probate, guardianship, and healthcare proxy.
4879 - Wednesday, november 17 6:30-8:30pm $25

Hospice, Death, Dying, Grief & Bereavement
This session will consider various end-of-life issues.
4880 - Wednesday, december 1 6:30-8:30pm $25

To register or receive a FREE catalogue of programs - (212) 817-8215 or send an email to"

Alzheimer's Foundation of America
Presents Two Annual Events In November:
National Memory Screening Day
National Commemorative Candle Lighting.

As you know, last year’s inaugural events were both very successful, with hundreds of sites participating across the country. This year, our initiatives during Alzheimer's Awareness Month will be more important than ever. There is a great deal of attention on Alzheimer's disease right now, and our activities in November will help to maintain and build on that focus. Furthermore, thanks to our united efforts throughout the past two years, AFA has achieved enormous momentum and recognition. Our growth and success has amazed even us. The timing is right for us to take advantage of this momentum and push forward on all fronts in order to fulfill our important mission.

Please reserve these dates:

National Commemorative Candle Lighting - Tuesday, November 10th.

National Memory Screening Day - Wednesday, November 16th.

AFA will send instructions and materials for these events, including press release templates, posters and memory screening educational materials, to all participating sites. We will assist you across all areas to help you seamlessly facilitate these events and gain maximum participation and media exp osure. We look forward to your participation.

Thank you,
Daniel B. Kaplan, CSW, LICSW
Director of Social Services and Training
Alzheimer's Foundation of America

November: National Family Caregivers Month


IThe ongoing theme for NFC Month is SHARE THE CARING, but each year NFCA focuses on different issues relevant to the family caregiving community. This year NFC Month messages and materials will provide information and education about three timely and important issues including:

  • How public policy affects a family caregiver's day-to-day life
  • Why a family caregiver's good health is essential to their loved one's well being
  • Things family caregivers can do to help keep their loved one safe

One of the most effective ways to shed light on the lives of family caregivers, celebrate their effort and provide family caregivers with an outlet for expressing their feelings and needs is by giving them the opportunity to tell their stories - and that's what NFCA is doing.

Click Here For : Ways to Celebrate National Family Caregivers Month

f you are a national not-for-profit organization with an interest in family caregiving you can become an endorsing organization of National Family Caregivers Month. As an endorser of NFC Month, your only obligation is to spread the word through newsletters, inter-office mail and your Web site, using the materials that we provide to you. By working together to spread the word, we hope to create as much energy and activity in support of family caregivers as possible during NFC Month. Please join us this year in becoming an endorsing organization. Contact NFCA at 800-896-3650 or email us at for more information. more

National Hospice Month

Considered to be the model for quality, compassionate care at the end of life, hospice care involves a team-oriented approach of expert medical care, pain management, and emotional and spiritual support expressly tailored to the patient's wishes. Emotional and spiritual support also is extended to the family and loved ones. Generally, this care is provided in the patient's home or in a home-like setting operated by a hospice program. Medicare, private health insurance, and Medicaid in most states cover hospice care for patients who meet certain criteria.

In recent years, many hospice care programs added palliative care to their names to reflect the range of care and services they provide, as hospice care and palliative care share the same core values and philosophies. Defined by the World Health Organization in 1990, palliative care seeks to address not only physical pain, but also emotional, social, and spiritual pain to achieve the best possible quality of life for patients and their families

NHPCO Offices: 1700 Diagonal Road, Suite 625, Alexandria, Virginia 22314 PH. 703/837-1500, Fax. 703/837-1233 (fax) Member Service Center 800-646-6460

November 14-20th Life Care Planning Week
Caring Coalition of Metro New York

National Organization for Empowering Caregivers along with the Hospice Alliance of Downstate New York, the Hospice And Palliative Care Association of New York State, the New Jersey Hospice and Palliative Care Organization, the N, AARP, Friends & Relatives of the Institutionalized Aged, the New York Citizens’ Committee on Health Care Decisions, the Metropolitan Funeral Directors Association and the New Jersey State Funeral Directors Association, have formed the Caring Coalition of Metro New York.

The Coalition believes it is essential for all individuals to know the choices they have in end-of-life care, to state their wishes and to ensure that all parties involved, family members, friends and health professionals alike, understand and respect those wishes. The Caring Coalition of Metro New York hopes to bring attention to the essential, but too often neglected, activity of advance care planning by establishing Life Planning Week in Metro New York during November.will be launched with the Governor and Mayor of NY signing a proclammation declaring Life Planning Wekk as an ongoing, annual event.

The Caring Coalition is soliciting partners in the metropolitan New York area for Life Planning Week. If you represent a Metro New York organization that would like to become a partner in Life Planning Week, please e-mail us or visit our website at: CCMNY or phone us at: 212.807.1204.

When Mom's Money Runs Out
by Kristin W. Davis

It's a dilemma for the ages. As Depression-era elders reach their declining years, their baby-boomer children worry that their parents will run out of money before they run out of years. Even supplemented by social security and pension payments, the nest egg that your parents took a lifetime to build isn't likely to be enough to cover an extended stay in a nursing home or assisted-living facility. Few seniors carry long-term-care insurance to cover the bills. At nursing homes around the country, most people go through their assets within a year, warns Charles Johnson, director of the Illinois Department on Aging. To read more:

Protect Your Computer Against Viruses

Viruses on computers are worse.. computers have become a life force for caregivers but you need to keep up with the latest anti virus software. Everyday over 50 viruses are detected and quarrantined on our network of computers. These come in emails from caregivers as well as businesses and spam. Please be responsbile.. take the time to keep your anti virus software updated so that you can remain on the computer, connected to others...…

The Presidential Election

In these final days before the November 2nd Presidential election, it is important to remember who we are as individuals, in family relationships and as a people of the nation.

Who we are crosses no boundaries, but I appeal to you as caregivers to make sure you get out and vote at any cost. If you can arrange for absentee ballots for your loved ones to be able to cast their vote, please do so.

We all have our own opinions and beliefs and we also have the power to make our voices heard.

This election is about all of these things. As caregivers we have more issues - real issues that involve the care, the compromises and sacrifices we make to care for our loved ones. We save the government almost $269 billion dollars so make sure you vote so that you can get more of your own needs met in the present as well as in the future. The situation is going to grow even larger in numbers.

Women,, y our numbers can count so greatly, so it is vitally important for you to get out and cast your vote. Women are a force that can change the world. Be a part of the force.

The Fearless Caregiver Conference
Tuesday, November 30th
North Haven, CT

A day of education and support for all Connecticut family caregivers will be held on Tuesday, November 30th from 9:30am-3:30pm, at the Fantasia Banquet Facilities (404 Washington Ave., North Haven). Topics such as navigating the healthcare and legal systems, improving the financial impact of caregiving on your family, and how to connect with local and national caregiving resources will be discussed. The Fearless Caregiver Conference is sponsored by the Agency on Aging of South Central Connecticut, the North Central Area Agency on Aging, the State of Connecticut Department of Social Services (Elderly Services Division), the Episcopal Diocese of Connecticut, and by Today's Caregiver magazine. Keynote speaker: Gary Barg, Editor-in-Chief of Today's Caregiver magazine, and author of The Fearless Caregiver. Limited free tickets are available for qualified caregivers; for all others, the cost is $45. For registration and information, please call 800-829-2734, or log onto

HHS To Give Awards During The Celebration Of
National Disability Employment Awareness Month

HHS Secretary Tommy G. Thompson on Wednesday, Oct. 27, presented the Secretary's Highest Recognition Award to six people during October's National Disability Awareness Month, reaffirming the administration's commitment to full inclusion in the workforce for people with disabilities.

Families Care: Alzheimer’s Caregiving in the United States
National Alliance for Caregiving and the Alzheimer's Association

National Alliance for Caregiving and the Alzheimer's Association announced the release of a new study on caregivers of older adults with Alzheimer's disease and other dementia. The study, entitled Families Care: Alzheimer’s Caregiving in the United States, found that family members caring for someone with Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, or mental confusion are more likely to be providing the most difficult kinds of care – e.g., bathing, feeding, and dealing with incontinence – and spend more time providing care than other caregivers.

To download the report, go to

For New Yorkers Re: Flu Shots
Senator HIllary Rodham Clinton

I began distributing a resource guide to New Yorkers searching for flu vaccine information. We have received hundreds of calls from New Yorkers wanting more information about where they can go to receive the vaccine, if they are among those at high risk for the flu or could forego the vaccine to ensure that someone else at greater risk gets one. What we realized is that for every call we have gotten, there are dozens more people who need this same information.

The resource guide developed by my office provides a list of agencies that are offering assistance to those seeking help in locating flu vaccine supplies throughout New York State. Also included is information on the flu, priority groups for vaccination, vaccination details and local facilities that are currently administering the vaccine. Since vaccine supplies are changing from day to day, the guide also provides phone numbers to get for the latest information on vaccine availability. Finally, the guide contains contact information for the Centers for Disease Control, New York State Department of Health, and the New York State Office of the Aging.

To access my Flu Vaccine Resource Guide, please go to:

Sincerely yours,
Hillary Rodham Clinton

KOPE: “Creating Writing Healing Journeys”.
(Submission Deadline December 1st)

A We believe that sharing creativity and wisdom can be very rewarding and contributes to personal growth and recovery Currently; we are developing a literary project concerning the recovery and healing process following a Stroke. We are in the process of collecting and editing creative writing works on this topic. Our intention is to publish this collection in an anthology. Please contact us to confirm your interest in this project. Should you choose to participate, we would be grateful for your commitment to this expressive therapeutic process. We look forward to working together with you on this meaningful and creative healing project. Please share with us your personal experience of Stroke recovery, rehabilitation and triumph over tragedy, in your own words. We are hopeful that this writing experience will be meaningful and therapeutic for you as well as for the many readers we hope to reach. Your creative writing work will be cherished andTherapist / Educator
appreciated. Upon acceptance, your original submission will be edited and published in an anthology, a collection of approximately 30 nternational submissions. To share you story, please contact:

Liz Pearl, M.Ed.
Psychogeriatric Therapist / Educator

KOPE Associates
“Creative Writing Healing Journeys”
584 Glencairn Avenue, Toronto, ON. M6B 1Z4
416. 781. 5418



As a mortal you are limited, but as a child of God you are unlimited….Life should be chiefly service. Without that ideal, the intelligence that God has given you is not reaching out toward its goal. When in service you forget the little self, you will feel the big Self of Spirit.

Paramahansa Yogananda

The very core of peace and love is imagination. All altruism springs from putting yourself in the other person's place.

Harry Emerson Fosdick

God's love allows no limits to be set for it by the character or conduct of man.

Anders Nygren

This is true love, the love born of faith and trust, the love born of brotherly unity, the love that comes from being one family, the love that comes from merging with God, the love which has no limit. This love will never break or fail.

M.R. Bawa Muhaiyaddeen

I John- "Whoever does not love does not know God, for God is love."

Grandfather, Sacred One, teach us love, compassion, and honor that we may heal the earth and heal each other.

Prayer of the Ojibway people of Canada

Where there is hatred, let me sow love

St. Francis of Assisi

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The Value Of Exercise

It is well documented that for every minute that you exercise, you add one minute to your life. This enables you at 85 years old to spend an additional 5 months in a nursing home at $10,000 per month.

The only reason I would take up exercising is so that I could hear heavy breathing again.

I joined a health club last year, spent about 400 bucks. Haven't lost a pound. Apparently you have to show up.

I have to exercise early in the morning before my brain figures out what I'm doing.

I like long walks, especially when they are taken by people who annoy me.

I have flabby thighs, but fortunately my stomach covers them.

The advantage of exercising every day is that you die healthier.

I don't exercise because it makes the ice jump right out of my glass.

I used to watch golf on TV but my doctor told me that I need more exercise; so now I watch tennis.

A daily exercise regime never killed anyone, but why chance it?

Isn't having good health merely the slowest possible way you can die?

I don't exercise at all. If God meant us to touch our toes, he would have put them further up on our body.

An Actor's Lines

There was once a great actor who could no longer remember his lines. After many years he finds a theatre where they are prepared to give him a chance to shine again.

The director says, "This is the most important part, and it has only one line. You walk on to the stage at the opening carrying a rose. You hold the rose to your nose with just one finger and thumb, sniff the rose deeply and then say the line 'Ah, the sweet aroma of my mistress.'"

The actor is thrilled. All day long before the play, he's practicing his line over and over again. Finally, the time comes. The curtain goes up, the actor walks onto the stage, and with great passion delivers the line, "Ah, the sweet aroma of my mistress."

The theatre erupts. The audience is screaming with laughter, but the director is steaming!

"You bloody fool!" he cries. "You have ruined me!"

The actor is bewildered, "What happened, did I forget my line?"

"No!" screams the director. "You forgot the rose!"

Coffee In Bed

A sweet little boy surprised his grandmother one morning and brought her a cup of coffee. He made it himself and was so proud. He anxiously waited to hear the verdict on the quality of the coffee.

The grandmother had never in her life had such a bad cup of coffee, and as she forced down the last sip she noticed three of those little green army guys in the bottom of the cup. She asked, "Honey, why would three little green army guys be in the bottom of my cup?"

Her grandson replied, "You know grandma, it's like on TV...'The best part of waking up is soldiers in your cup.'"

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