Choices ~ Healing ~ Love
June 1, 2003
Publisher & Editor: GAIL R. MITCHELL- Grm4Love
UPDATES AT THE SITE
INFORMATIVE CAREGIVING ARTICLES & INSPIRATION
MESSAGE BOARDS & EMAIL BAG
JOKES & HUMOR
I just returned from a whirlwind business/vacation trip to California and Baja. I am delighted to report that the Finding The Meaning: Renewing Our Spirits Conference On Family Caregiving Sponsored By the Southern Caregiver Resource Center and Alzheimer's Association in San Diego was a huge success. It was also wonderful meeting some of the members of the community. Dr Ronda Talley spoke about of the programs that the Rosalind Carter Institue was involved in; Sherry Bell spoke on gratitude; Dale Bell, of ATSH - And Thou Shalt Honor fame spoke and portrayed President JFK in a powerful speech on the growing needs of the millions of caregivers.. (as he spoke I envisioned him powerfully shifting our legislators' viewpoints on Capitol Hill, and hopefully, one day, he will be able to do so... ) and Rev. Don Koepke touched our hearts... Likewise, the City of Los Angeles Department of Aging's Conference on Family Caregiving was equally a huge success. Helene Park put together a very special program with a wealth of informative break out sessions.
It was truly an honor to speak before the caregivers and to meet with them after as they shared their stories of strength, courage and healing. Some were quite emotional from the presentations and were able to heal and move into forgiveness and love where they had been carrying resentment, anger, hurt and guilt. Bravery at its finest.. Thank you to all of you who shared openly with me throughout the programs. You are all angels doing the work of God.
Having been attending workshops specifically for caregivers in many areas, I found it affirming to see the large number of attendees at 300 in the San Diego event. Veronika Glenn explained to me that they provided respite through funding so that the caregivers could attend. This is vitally important for those who are creating programs for caregivers to understand.
Service Providers and Organizations must provide respite in order for the caregivers to leave their loved ones to attend programs that are being offered for them. And, as caregivers, it is up to you to tell the organizations you participate in that you need this assistance. In the future, when you see caregiver events scheduled in your areas, it is up to you to call the sponsoring organization(s) and ask if they are providing the respite you need so that you can participate.
Having spoken with so many caregivers, I feel confident saying that caregivers need to be replenished... they need respite, they need friends who understand and they need to know about resources that are available in the moment. They are also needing to know the symptoms of different diseases for without this knowledge, their loved ones can go undiagnosed, especially when there is a form of dementia or lack of ability to communicate their pain or needs.
NOFEC has been undergoing the process of submitting proposals for funding for our programs with the awareness of these growing needs of caregivers. We continue working to fulfill the needs of caregivers on all levels. We hope that other service organizations will follow suit and entertain a new thought of collaborating with each other to make an even bigger impact for the caregivers who need this assistance.
Caregivers, please be aware, that when you read information in various newsletters, at different websites, etc on legislation, it only takes a few minutes to be responsible, to advocate not only on behalf of the caregivers but on behalf of your loved ones, to have legislation passed that we all need. To advocate and not say, "I am too busy" will help us grow in strength and numbers to have our voices heard.
I am pleased to announce that Beth Witrogen McLeod will be teaching a month long online course called "Caring for Your Aging Parents" for Barnes & Noble University Online beginning July 7th. It is targeted to reach adult children who are new to caregiving as well as those who may already be well entrenched. Please see below under "news" for more information. This is a program that is very dear to my heart ; and I am intending to participate in it as well... Thank you Beth for your incredible caring, integrity, professionalism and the guidance that you bring to all of us. You truly are a gift to so many of us.
May your journey be gentle and beautiful!
Caregivers Who Are Willing To Share Their Experiences
We are seeking caregivers who are willing to share their stories for our monthly featured spotlights. This has been so well received over the past few years and we would like very much to have you submit your stories. Writing your story creates a beautiful, healing opportunity for you to reflect, and grow through your sharing. It also is of great value to all the caregivers who read your story as they relate to what you are experiencing . The impact is so very powerful. Don't be shy... contact us: spotlight
Or click on this link:
We have over 75 new articles to present to you at this time. Please be patient as our volunteers work diligently to finish entering all of our articles into our new database... These articles should be posted by our next newsletter.. Thank you.
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.
Conscious Choices For Aging With Grace
Grace is ”beauty of form, movement, or manner” (Webster).
If we had a choice the majority of people in this world would choose not to grow old. This is a fact of life that many of us try to avoid. Yet, from the moment we are born, we are already beginning the process of aging and dying. This process is cellular.
Somewhere between the Boomer generation and that of my parents, our culture stopped the sacred tradition of respecting and revering the wisdom of the elders. Extended life spans are bringing new potentials into the aspect for aging with grace, dignity, meaning, empowerment and wisdom.
Today’s elderly save for retirement and move to Florida to die. As Eric Butterworth said, “We have a choice to live in the “entire-ment” of our lives.”
By living more consciously now, by creating with new meaning, purpose and passion, we elders-to-be can experience our lives more fully. We can choose to become more mindful - to listen with our hearts, and to do things that bring us inner freedom and Self Love.
It takes deep dedication to reach a state of peaceful being and to discover the gifts of the soul. Many Boomers, including me, are now working to transcend our pre-conditioned and self-limiting beliefs. This process enables us to become more connected with one another and facilitates us to encourage our parents to do so, as well.
What other reason is there to live so long? In this connection we are aligning with a “Higher Power” or “Universal Consciousness”. In becoming, we can choose to manifest to create a dance of harmony, cooperation, fluidness, and balance and love between others and ourselves. In doing so we are choosing to consciously grow older with grace. The ultimate fountain of youth, after all, is opening up to Love, which is the most powerful healing force in the Universe.
Ways to nurture and consciously choose to age with grace:
Nurturing the body, mind, and spirit
We must see our loved ones for who they are, what they have meant to us, and for what we may become, treat them as we would like to be treated.
Treat your loved one as you would want to be treated from the "heart"
Avoid compassion fatigue
Maintain a routine
Know your limits,
Don’t fall prey to the Martyr Syndrome Nor The Victim Mode
Don’t Forget: Ask For Help Before And During Times of Crisis.
Will you choose to provide an example for others, so that all around you may grow into a state of loving wisdom? “I am growing and am choosing to evolve as a human being- won’t you join me?”
"Caring for Your Aging Parents,"
One of our featured columnists here at Empowering Caregivers and an award-winning journalist and author, Beth Witrogen McLeod will be teaching a month long online course called "Caring for Your Aging Parents" for Barnes & Noble University Online beginning July 7th. It is targeted to reach adult children who are new to caregiving as well as those who may already be well entrenched.
The Iowa General Assembly has approved H.F. 386, which amends the Older Iowans Act. Among other measures, the legislation recognizes the need to support family caregivers within the context of home and community-based services. The bill was signed into law by the Governor on May 21, 2003. See details at: Iowa Legislation
In a landmark ruling, the U.S. Supreme Court has affirmed that all state employers must comply with the Family & Medical Leave Act (FMLA). By a six-to-three margin, the Justices ruled that state employees are fully covered under the FMLA and are entitled to monetary damages if they are deprived of unpaid leave to recuperate from a serious illness or care for a sick family member or new baby. More details: Ruling
Assistant Secretary for Aging, Josefina G. Carbonell, appeared before the Senate Special Committee on Aging to announce the release of a new public service campaign, "Who Cares for the Caregivers?" The campaign targets baby boomer caregivers with information on available support services in their community and how to access these services. More details on the testimony and public service campaign: AOA
The National Association of Area Agencies on Aging (N4A) has developed "Supporting Working Caregivers: A Self-Assessment Tool for Community Agencies." The instrument can be used by community agencies to measure progress in becoming caregiver-friendly. It offers a way to assess an agency's strength in addressing the needs of caregivers as well as areas where improvements may be needed. While it is intended for professional usage, family/informal caregivers can download the self assessment tool to see how they are dealing in their own situations: self-assessment tools.
Family Caregiver Alliance (FCA) has released 17 Fact Sheets in Spanish for caregivers of loved ones with stroke, Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease or other chronic disorders. The Fact Sheets cover topics ranging from caregiving tips and strategies, health conditions, legal issues to end-of-life planning. Download: Fact Sheets in Spanish
On 5/14, Rep. Nancy Johnson (R-CT) and Rep. Earl Pomeroy (D-ND) announced the introduction of bipartisan legislation to make long-term care insurance more affordable and provide tax breaks for families and caregivers who pay directly for long-term care expenses. The Long-Term Care and Retirement Security Act of 2003 (H.R. 2096) creates a tax deduction for people who purchase long-term care insurance policies and provides a $3,000 tax credit for caregivers. It also permits long-term care insurance policies to be offered under employer-sponsored benefit plans, including flexible spending accounts. The bill currently has ten co-sponsors and has been referred to the House Committee on Ways and Means. To view a summary, the full text, and status information, enter the bill number on the U.S. Congress’ Thomas Web site.
According to a recent issue brief from the International Longevity Center-USA, a large population of older adults and people with disabilities living near the Sept. 11 disaster area were left stranded in their homes without assistance. Although the brief was developed to address the needs of vulnerable New Yorkers, it raises issues of concern for cities across the United States planning for such emergencies as hurricanes, floods and tornadoes. For copies of the brief, visit http://www.ilcusa.org/pub/briefs.htm.
Most Americans over the age of 44 view long-term care as an important healthcare issue, yet have done little or nothing to prepare for the high costs of such a crisis in their lives, according to a Roper study released May 23 by the American Society on Aging (ASA). Sixty-two percent of those surveyed have at least one serious misconception about who provides long-term care coverage or the conditions under which coverage is offered. A press release with more details can be found at: Study As with any insurance, consumers should educate themselves about whether long-term care insurance is right for them and do comparison shopping for the appropriate policy.
The Green House Project E-Report: includes monthly updates on the Green House Project, an attempt to design, build and test a radically new approach to residential long-term care for elders, focusing on the idea that the physical and social environments in which we deliver long-term care can and should be warm, smart and green. For more information, visit http://thegreenhouseproject.org. To subscribe to the e-report, go to http://eden.webtoolbox.org/newsletter.
HHS Secretary Tommy G. Thompson today approved a Florida plan to allow more consumers to direct their own Medicaid home- and community-based care services instead of an agency directing services for them. Florida currently has demonstration programs underway in parts of the state for some beneficiaries, but today's announcement will allow consumers all across Florida to have control over the planning and purchase of long-term supports and services using a cash allowance. The new program evolved from
"This Florida plan will allow participants and their families to play an essential role in deciding how to plan, obtain and sustain community-based services," Secretary Thompson said. "We are committed to giving states greater flexibility in designing programs like Florida's to help persons of all ages with disabilities live fuller, more independent lives."
Additional information regarding federal support of self-direction options can be obtained at: independenceplus.
On May 20, the Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Labor released a jointly produced report on the shortage of long-term care workers in the US.The report is available at http://aspe.hhs.gov/daltcp/reports/ltcwork.pdf (PDF version) and http://aspe.hhs.gov/daltcp/reports/ltcwork.htm (HTML version).
In a recent report to Congress, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the U.S. Department of Labor (DoL), examine the adequacy of the long-term care workforce. The report, "The Future Supply of Long-Term Care Workers in Relation to the Aging Baby Boom Generation" includes a section addressing the role of family and informal caregiving in
HHS Secretary Tommy Thompson on May 13 announced the launch of two Web sites that aim to provide health information for Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and other Pacific Islanders. The Web sites expand on HHS' Steps to a HealthierUS initiative.
the NIH's National Library of Medicine will feature census data on major Asian-American populations; background on cultural traditions; and links to health policy offices, online medical databases, publications, and other organizations.
Next week, Congress will consider proposals to strengthen and improve Medicare. Some of these proposals will include:
It is essential, however, that any new benefit be provided through broader Medicare reform, not simply layered onto the existing program. Expanding Medicare to include prescription drug coverage should be a stepping stone toward drug coverage as part of an integrated benefit package.
How You Can Help:
I'm a writer working on an article for the Depend Connections newsletter geared toward caregivers. I need to interview a caregiver who deals with incontinence. Do you or anyone you know deal with this situation and would like to be confidentially interviewed? I'd simply like to email a few questions and the interviewee can remain completely anonymous.thanks for any help you can provide - Suzy Feine, Assistant Editor
Help Yourself Feel Better: Make A Difference!
Participate in the National Family Caregiver Story Project. It's easy to do and there are multiple benefits:
Please take the few minutes necessary to share your story and wish list with us. Just click on www.nfcacares.org, then click the story project icon on the far right of the web page and follow the simple instructions.
Always look at what you have left. Never look at what you have lost.
Robert H. Schuller
The greatest discovery of my generation is that human beings can alter their lives by altering their attitudes of mind.
Any fact facing us is not as important as our attitude toward it, for that determines our success or failure. The way you think about a fact may defeat you before you ever do anything about it. You are overcome by the fact because you think you are.
Norman Vincent Peale
You can chain me, you can torture me, you can even destroy this body, but you will never imprison my mind.
Death is the most crucial moment of our lives, and each and every one of us should be able to die in peace and fulfillment, knowing that we will be surrounded by the best in spiritual care
Choose a career you love, and you'll never work another day in your life.
It is wrong to think that misfortunes come from the east or from the west; they originate within one's own mind. Therefore, it is foolish to guard against misfortunes from the external world and leave the inner mind uncontrolled.
Since light travels faster than sound, is that why some people appear bright until you hear them speak?
If olive oil comes from olives, where does baby oil come from?
Some days you are the pigeon--some days the statue.
Who put 5 syllables in the word "monosyllabic?"
Last night I lay in bed looking up at the stars in the sky, and thought to myself, " Where the heck is the ceiling?"
A picture is worth 1000 words. But requires a lot more memory.
What do little birdies see when they get knocked unconscious?
Why can't women apply mascara with their mouths closed?
Never argue with an idiot. They drag you down to their level, and then beat you with experience.
Ever notice how drugstores make sick people walk all the way to the back of the store to get their prescriptions, but healthy folks can buy cigarettes up-front?
Why do banks leave both doors open, but chain the pens to the counter?
How come Tarzan doesn't have a beard?
Adapted From Anonymous Forwards
I have survived all the symptoms my body's deployed and kept twenty-six doctors gainfully employed!!!
"Well, Bill," said God, "I'm really confused on this one. I'm not sure whether to send you to Heaven or Hell! After all, you helped society enormously by putting a computer in almost every home in the world, and yet you created that ghastly Windows. I'm going to do something I've never done before. I'm going to let you decide where you want to go!"
THAT'S IT FOR THIS ISSUE
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