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Fourth of July weekend has arrived and I would like to wish you and your families a very happy one. I have a friend who is in visiting from Vancouver and he 's all excited about going to see the fireworks. I had to get in touch with the fact that I wasn't. I am just not in the spirit. As a matter of fact, I am truly saddened by the state of affairs and as a non profit I am not supposed to voice my opinions in welcome letters or editorials. Yet, I can't wonder how many of us are not feeling the spirit as we normally do.
I am working at coming to terms with it bykeeping myself in a loving space; to know deep within that no matter what is going on in the world, my intentions for remaining peaceful and loving must come from within. This means not focusing on and reacting to what is going on outside of me in terms of things I cannot control. No matter what goes on with our government or in the world, we are all free within our spirit.. So as editor I am also torn from within how to present information to keep you abreast of what is happening both negatively and positively within healthcare and caregiving. I am finding that after working on this newsletter today, I have eliminated a lot more information until I am able to present it to you objectively.. where by I inform you of the choices and options, and how you disseminate it will reside in your own hands. Hopefully by the next newsletter I will be able to come to terms with it all.
I will keep this welcome short and brief... we have some wonderful new articles, a wonderful review in the "Caregivers' Concerns" column on the movie , "The Notebook" and more...
May your journey be gentle and beautiful!
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Reverse Mortgage To The Rescue: Why Senior Citizens Must Have Them - by Dennis Haber, Esq. CSA
Take Time For You By Ridgely Goldsborough
If I Only Knew Then - What I Know Now! - Jacqueline Marcell
Oma Maurey, one of NOFEC's board of director members ' aunt she cared for long distance passed the day before she helped her kitty cat, Montana transition. Ona herself has been an advocate and carer for many of her family members and we send our loving prayers out to her during this time.
The world also lost a very special administor of peace. Anyone who had an opportunity to listen to or meet Mattie Stepanek will understand. I had the pleasure of meeting Mattie briefly last year at an event sponsored by the Rosalynn Carter Institute and NQCC organization.
The 13-year-old MDA National Goodwill Ambassador’s remarkable life and spirit will be rememembered for his strength, courage and love.. he will be remembered by his poetry, his books and his ideas for maintaining peace in the world. Through his books, he has touched millions of lives.. Our hearts go out to his mother, Jeni....Mattie was a great humanitarian who will be remembered through the ages..
The Enduring Sacrifice Of The Heroic Lover
Just when my parents thought they could begin their "golden years" together, my grandmother was stricken with Alzheimer's. My father, Bud Newman, fulfilled his vow to his dying father-in-law, to bring my grandmother to live with them if she ever became too ill to fend for herself. As he was the retired military officer, and my mother worked full time, my father served as Grandma's primary caregiver. Not too many years after Grandma died, my mother was diagnosed with small-cell lung cancer -- only three months from diagnosis to death. My father fulfilled another vow -- one he made on his wedding day -- to keep my mother in sickness and in health. For as long as he was able, my father cared for my mother at home, navigating the complex regimen that accompanies cancer treatment. My dad is the heroic lover.
It seems that all films that espouse strong traditional virtues are set in the past. 27-year-old Rachel McAdams was fresh off her contemporary high school man-eater role as Regina in Mean Girls when she took on the period character of young Allie. I asked if she thought her generation could learn anything about love from her grandparent's generation. At first she popped off with a standard response, "trying to teach people anything about love is kind of pointless." But then she thought more about it and offered: "They could set a good example." She spoke about the need to wait, "there isn't instant gratification in love, I think it's a lot harder than people think." McAdams said she didn't feel qualified to preach because she really didn't know that much about love, but it sounded to me like a pretty good sermon: set a good example, be willing to wait, be ready to work hard.
Marc T. Newman, Ph.D.
Marc T. Newman is the chief content provider for MovieMinistry.com. membership. His Grandmother died of Alzheimer's not too long ago, and the film, "The Notebook" really touched his heart. Marc is President of MovieMinistry.com E-mail:Marc Newman
Building Caregiver Coalitions
The New York Regional Office (NYRO) of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services cordially invite you to a satellite broadcast and webcast entitled "Building Caregiver Coalitions" on Tuesday, September 30th from 1 P.M. to 3 P.M. Eastern Time at 26 Federal Plaza, 38th floor, Room 38-110-A. We encourage you to invite representatives from current and potential partners and your partners may recommend other interested participants.
This broadcast is an effective way to build and mainm viable partnerships and coalitions/associations. Caregiver coalitions help access caregiver populations, including ethnic groups that depend on family members for health information. Participation in these coalitions will help the address outreach to all populations. You may register for this broadcast at http://cms.gov/events, call CMS RO II at 212 264-3657http://www.state.de.us/dhss/dsaapd/agingguide.html or e-mail If you have additional questions, or require further information, please contact Barry Klitsberg at 212 264-3662 or e-mail Barry
Today, the Supreme Court delivered a blow to patient's rights in the case of Aetna Health Inc. v. Davila. The Court decided that patients couldn’t sue health plans under state law for denial of health coverage. Instead, patients will only have access to limited and inadequate remedies under federal law.
U.S. Senators Barbara A. Mikulski (D-MD) and Kit Bond (R-MO) have introduced the Ronald Reagan Alzheimer's Breakthrough Act of 2004 (S.2533). The legislation would double the funding for Alzheimer's research at the National Institutes of Health and launch a public education campaign to get the word out on the latest advances in research and prevention. There are also dditional provisions which include increasing funds for the National Caregiver Support Program to $250 million, implementing a $5,000 caregiver tax credit; and incorporating the Lifespan Respite provisions of S. 538.
The American Geriatrics Society Foundation for Health & Aging is proud to announce the release of their second edition of Eldercare at Home as a resource for families and friends who are caring for older people at home. Written by experienced health professionals the books is a tool for caregivers who are working in consultation with a health care professional in providing home care for an older person. There is a plain text version available free of charge on line at www.healthinaging.org
On April 12th, more than 500 American Heart Association "citizen advocates" and staff came from across the county to deliver a message to Congress. Representing every state in the Union, The District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, thse heart disease and stroke survivors, volunteers and staff came to urge lawmakers to make cardiovascular disaeases, the nation's No. 1 killer, the No. 1 priority. The took the neccessary steps towards making a difference in the lives of the Americans' futures. For more information on what the Heart and Stroke Advocacy is doing, please go to: AmericanHeart.
In mid May, the American Heart Association kicked off their "Take Heart 2004", their election-year candidate education initiative. Members of the advocacy network recently began receiving letters announcing the program, accompanied by a pocket question card addressing the issues. For more information go to: Take Heart 2004.org.
Technology for Long-Term Care (LTC), was created to provide ready access to information on technologies that can help provide higher quality care for the elderly and the disabled. It is a newly designed governement site. The content is informing and educating the long-term care provider or potential consumers about available technology products. The site has a "Consumer Forum" section to provide reviews from users who have had experience with a certain product. View:
California's paid family leave program, the most comprehensive paid leave program in the nation, will take effect July 1, 2004. Under the program, workers will receive up to 6 weeks of partially paid leave per year to care for a seriously ill family member (parent, child, spouse or domestic partner) or new child (birth, adoption or foster care).
Over 13 million California workers are eligible to receive income replacement (55% of wages up to $728 a week) when they take leave to care for an ill family member or a new baby. You can apply to a state-administered, employee-funded insurance fund. The cost is minimal. More info:
The Alzheimer's Foundation of America is publishing a new magazine for caregivers called, "Vantage." Several of the columns involve contributions from readers. Currently, Carol Steinberg, Executive Vice President of the organization is seeking contributions from family/informal caregivers for their column, “It Works! Practical Tips from the Frontlines.” Ideally, the suggestion should be about two paragraphs; AFA will include the caregivers’s first name, last name or initial and city where they live. E-mail Carol: or fax it to Carol, at 646-638-1546. . Thanks so much. Carol
It was an exciting evening of entertainment to honor unsung heroes of caregiving as the Rosalynn Carter Institute (RCI) held its first-ever Gala Celebration of Caregivers June 15 in Atlanta’s Symphony Hall with more than 1,700 guests from across the nation who gathered to help former First Lady Rosalynn Carter acknowledge professional caregivers who often go unrecognized, with the presentation of the inaugural RCI Caring & Competent Caregiver Awards. Performer Clay Aiken and a host of other talent performed throughout the evening.
The 2004 RCI Caring & Competent Caregiver Awards were made in four categories: Nurse’s Aide/Patient Care Technician, Licensed Practical Nurse, Certified Nursing Assistant, and Home Health Aide. Winners, selected from 280 national nominees, were:
The 2004 award winners received a bronze medallion on blue and white ribbon, presented by Mrs. Carter, and a $1,000 educational grant.
The study is sponsored by The National Health Council, a nonprofit organization. The purpose of the study is to understand how people with chronic conditions (and their caregivers) perceive the quality of healthcare in America, and how they might help make the healthcare system more responsive to patient needs.
Not everyone who responds will be qualified and invited to participate, but those that are will be asked to participate in a scheduled 90-minute telephone conference. For their time we will send $50 to the participant or their favorite charity.
An email address NHC_Research@yahoo.com for the purpose of this study. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to let me know at either address, or feel free to call me toll-free at 877-333-0031. Thank you in advance for your assistance with this study.
June 13, 2004 - The Bush administration recently confirmed that it would revise the federal law to count the savings from the Medicare drug discount card as income and reduce food stamp benefits for low income seniors. At this rate, low income seniors and disabled persons face a predicament to choose between food and medicine. Food Stamp officials are currently aware not to count $600 subsidy under the Medicare drug discount card as income when determining eligibility for food stamps
The American Health Assistance Foundation’s Alzheimer’s family relief program (AFRP) provides direct financial assistance and resources for the continued care and support of Alzheimer’s patients and their caregivers. Grants are provided for expenses such as short-term nursing care, home health care, respite care, adult day care, medications, medical or personal hygiene supplies, transportation, and other expenses related to care for the patient with Alzheimer’s disease. Applicants for these grants must not have cash assets in excess of $10,000, must be diagnosed by a practicing, certified physician, and must have corroborating statements from the patient’s physician, health professional or social worker. Eligible applicants may receive grants of up to $750. Applications are accepted on an ongoing basis. Visit the above website for application guidelines.
Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour recently passed a law authorizing the largest cut in Medicaid eligibility that will affect 65,000 low-income senior citizens and disabled persons. Per the new law, the maximum income eligibility has been reduced from $12,569 per year to $6,768 a year for an individual. Many of these individuals who suffer from a myriad of chronic conditions live on such low income that it will be virtually impossible for them to meet their health care expenses.
What is the first step you can take to enroll your family, friends, and clients in this work that means so muchto the future of our freedoms in New York?
The very first thing you can do is send a simple e-mail or letter to these friends stating why you support NYNCPP’s work and ask them to go to the NYNCPP website toregister their support. Registration takes 30 seconds and is free!
That’s all. That’s the first step. NYNCPP needs to be able to say to legislators that we have tens of thousands of supporters in New York. Right now we have 2,000 registered. Please help us increase this by five fold by contacting those that care about your opinions TODAY.
Please ask everyone you know who supports a natural lifestyle, consumer choice, and your welfare to register their support for nyncpp’work at www.nyncpp.org.
We ask you to take action on an important bill recently introduced in the U.S. Senate that would support improvements in end-of-life care planning and education, the Advance Directives Improvement and Education Act (S.2545). Last Acts Partnership strongly supports this bill and has worked closely with Senator Nelson’s staff on its development.
Services with funds to increase public awareness about advance directives.
Love fulfilled sees where we could have gone the way of love before, if we'd known how, and how insecurities limited many of our choices. Love fulfilled perceives new meaning and higher reasons behind many of the mysteries of why things happened as they did. Living from the heart is business -- the business of caring for self and others. Understanding this will take us past the age of information into the age of intuitive living.
No matter how committed your love relationship or marriage, you'll always be "single," as well as part of a couple.
Harold Bloomfield, M.D.
They may forget what you said, but they will never forget how you made them feel.
Carl W. Buechner
I was going to buy a copy of The Power of Positive Thinking, and then I thought: What the hell good would that do?
Nothing stops the man who desires to achieve. Every obstacle is simply a course to develop his achievement muscle. It's a strengthening of his powers of accomplishment.
Be kind and merciful. Let no one ever come to you without coming away better and happier.
Kind words and good deeds are eternal. You never know where their influence will end.
H. Jackson Browne
My own experience and development deepen everyday my conviction that our moral progress may be measured by the degree in which we sympathize with individual suffering and individual joy.
T. S. Eliot
I expect to pass through this life but once. If, therefore there can be any kindness I can show or any good thing I can do for any fellow being let me do it now...as I shall not pass this way again.
Did God Create Everthing?
The professor of a university challenged his students with this question. “Did God create everything that exists?” A student answered bravely, “Yes, he did”.
The professor then asked, “If God created everything, then he created evil. Since evil exists (as noticed by our own actions), so God is evil. The student couldn’t respond to that statement causing the professor to conclude that he had “proved” that “belief in God” was a fairy tale, and therefore worthless.
Another student raised his hand and asked the professor, “May I pose a question? “ “Of course” answered the professor.
The young student stood up and asked : “Professor does Cold exists?”
The professor answered, “What kind of question is that?...Of course the cold exists... haven’t you ever been cold?”
The young student answered, “In fact sir, Cold does not exist. According to the laws of Physics, what we consider cold, in fact is the absence of heat. Anything is able to be studied as long as it transmits energy (heat). Absolute Zero is the total absence of heat, but cold does not exist. What we have done is create a term to describe how we feel if we don’t have body heat or we are not hot.”
“And, does Dark exist?”, he continued. The professor answered “Of course”. This time the student responded, “Again you’re wrong,Sir. Darkness does not exist either. Darkness is in fact simply the absence of light. Light can be studied, darkness can not. Darkness cannot be broken down. A simple ray of light tears the darkness and illuminates the surface where the light beam finishes. Dark is a term that we humans have created to describe what happens when there’s lack of light.”
Finally, the student asked the professor, “Sir, does evil exist?” The professor replied, “Of course it exists, as I mentioned at the beginning, we see violations, crimes and violence anywhere in the world, and those things are evil.”
The student responded, “Sir, Evil does not exist. Just as in the previous cases, Evil is a term which man has created to describe the result of the absence of God’s presence in the hearts of man.
After this, the professor bowed down his head, and didn’t answer back.
The young man’s name was Albert Einstein.
Top Of PageChoices ~ Healing ~ Love
I’m responding to your welcome letter in your June newsletter that addressed some issues on the poverty of caregiving. My entire family: husband and 5 children all suffered financially from my stroke. The medical bills devastated my husband and I as we were plunged into instant poverty. One year Medicaid picked up our bills and denied us the Medicaid the next year because we had no unpaid bills (they had paid them) I guess every other year they will consider you. Why must a family be so financially devastated by aging parents or disease?
Two years after my paralyzing stroke my husband had his foot amputated. Deeper poverty followed. All savings and investments were gone. My daughter 31 became an instant caregiver with no training or preparation. As most caregivers, she took charge of my care. The other children took turns buying our medications and physically helping out.
This is an abomination for functioning families to have no assistance with in home help or financial burdens. Our problems became our children’s’ problems. They all did what they could. Seems no agency was concerned with their enormous burdens. As you said the Reagan’s had money and means to deal with difficulties. If we just had a little help for caregiver’s families and the financial means to take up some slack it would make a powerful impression. I know as a patient what an effect my illness has had on everyone that knew me. Mary OBX NC - Caregiver Conference
DRIVING Two elderly women were out driving in a large car - both could barely see over the dashboard. As they were cruising along, they came to an intersection. The stoplight was red, but they just went on through. The woman in the passenger seat thought to herself. “I must be losing it. I could have sworn we just went through a red light”.
Mildred turned to her and said, “Oh, am I driving?”
DOWN AT THE RETIREMENT CENTER 80-year old Bessie bursts into the recreation room at the retirement home. She holds her clenched fist in the air and announces, “Anyone who can guess what’s in my hand can have sex with me tonight!!” An elderly gentleman in the rear shouts out, “An elephant?” Bessie thinks a minute and says, “Close enough.”
A little old lady was running up and down the halls in a nursing home. As she walked, she would flip up the hem of her nightgown and say “Supersex.” She walked up to an elderly man in a wheelchair. Flipping her gown at him, she said, “Supersex.” He sat silently for a moment or two and finally answered, “I’ll take the soup.”
THAT'S IT FOR THIS ISSUE
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July 1, 2004
Publisher & Editor: Gail R. Mitchell - grm4love
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