Choices ~ Healing ~ Love
February 1, 2003
Publisher & Editor: GAIL R. MITCHELL
UPDATES AT THE SITE
INFORMATIVE CAREGIVING ARTICLES & INSPIRATION
MESSAGE BOARDS & EMAIL BAG
JOKES & HUMOR
February is here and for most we tend to think of Presidents' Day and Valentines Day. When I think of Valentines Day, I am not only reminded of "unconditional love" but of the "heart”. "Heart" being the essence of whom we are. The balance of our body, mind and spirit. To balance these three aspects is a life long process on a journey of self-discovery and growth. All three elements are interdependent on one another in order for the soul to be in harmony.
So in this month of Valentine's Day let yourself take time to reflect on your own matters of your own heart. Allow yourself to give you the love you truly deserve. Committ to making Valentines Day everyday of the year celebrating those in your life and most importantly your own uniqueness and beauty.
Richest Blessings to you on your journey.
Update on NOFEC
National Organization For Empowering Caregiver's (NOFEC) invites you to sign up as members. If you are a family caregiver membership is complimentary. We invite you to fill in our caregiver survey.. The surveys are confidential. The statistics will be used in our proposals as we apply for grants and funding. To reach the site click on this link: 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.
Free Email Accounts At Empowering Caregivers
Sign up for a primary or secondary email account and tell a friend about your free email account at the Empowering Caregivers Site. You can sign up from the main page or click on this link: Free email account
Sanely45, Outraged, StanleyK have been chosen to receive Charles P. Pierce's book, Hard To Forget: An Alzheimer's Story. The story tells of an fity+ socially prominent woman who is becoming an embarrassment to her family. It shares her rages towards her husband, her doctors and about her wandering through the city streets. The story begins in the early 1900's and shares how she is brought to a special doctor who was an academic named Alois Alzheimer.
Respond To Our New Poll
Do you think that current national policy is favorable to the needs of family caregivers? Take our poll on the main page of the Empowering Caregivers site at: POLL
Our hearts go out to the families, co-workers and friends of the crew of the Columbia Space Shuttle. I know we were all stunned to hear this news. It seemed so ironic to me since they were so close to landing and being home with their loved ones. Please keep them all in your thoughts and prayers as I am.
If you remember nothing else remember this: all behaviors are expressions of need. Research has shown that an Alzheimer's affected loved one can still experience emotion and a sense of self even in the more advanced stages. The inability to effectively communicate her or his emotions or thoughts results in difficult, disruptive, or inappropriate behaviors. The truth is, the behaviors are inappropriate to you, but not to your loved one. She/he sees the world through her/his mind's eye. Frustration, anger, emotional or physical pain and thoughts are being communicated on your loved one's level. It's up to you to listen, observe, and try to understand and address those needs.
President and Mrs. Carter Announce Gift of Nobel Prize
AMERICUS--President Jimmy Carter and former First Lady Rosalynn Carter announced a substantial financial gift to the Rosalynn Carter Institute for Human Development (RCI) at Georgia Southwestern State University at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 28. The donated monies are part of the 2002 Nobel Peace Prize.
AARP is surveying the public about their attitude toward euthanasia. We urge all of you to participate and vote at: survey
Two new guides are available for those living with the special caregiving problems presented by advanced cases of congestive heart failure and chronic obstructive lung disease, COPD.. they can be downloaded at www.medicaring.org or all AARP Foundation at 800 775 6776 Living With Advanced Congestive Heart Failure (CHF) or Living With Advanced Lung Disease in PDF format.
I am a doctoral student named Danita Ewing studying family nursing at Oregon Health and Science University. I am conducting a study of family caregivers that use the Internet to support their caregiving. The purpose of the study is to learn how using the Internet is or is not benefiting family caregivers in order to design web sites for caregivers which can help meet their needs. Please visit the study web site at: study
If you have any questions about the study, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org .Thank you for taking the time to consider adding this to your site. It would be very helpful if you could return e-mail me to let me know by February 10th if you agree to have this information posted on your site.
Danita Lee Ewing RN, MS, Doctoral Candidate Graduate Research Assistant, School of Nursing. Oregon Health & Sciences University, Portland, Oregon
As a public service the American Academy of Home Care Physicians (AAHCP) has posted a list of members who make house calls on its website.
Patients and family members who need a physician or other practitioner to come to their home can go to the website located at www.aahcp.org and click on "Locate a Provider" to access the database, which is arranged by state. Once the appropriate zip code is located, the site visitor has access to a provider's name and contact information. Forty states, Puerto Rico, and Japan are represented on the site. For additional information, contact the Academy by telephone: 410-676-7966 or e-mail: email@example.com.
Beginning today, treat everyone you meet as if they were going to be dead by midnight. Extend to them all the care, kindness, and understanding you can muster, and do it with no thought of any reward.
The Jewish Home and Hospital (NY) will be hosting an Alzheimer's conference on May 21, 2003, at the New York Academy of Medicine in New York City. This event is being hosted by the Professional Education Center of the Jewish Home and Hospital. This conference features an array of distinguished speakers, such as Dr. John Hardy, a Professor at Mayo Clinic and the Chief of Neurogenetics at the National Institutes on Aging/NIH; Dr. Howard Fillit, the founder of the Institute for the Study of Aging and Professor of Geriatrics, Medicine, and Neurobiology at Mt. Sinai/NYU Medical Center; and Michael Shelanski, M.D., Ph.D, a distinguished Professor of Pathology and Chairman of the Department of Pathology at Columbia University and Director of the Alzheimer's Disease Research Center at Columbia University. The conference hosts are currently applying for Administrator, Nursing, Social Work, Pharmacy and CME credits. For more information about this upcoming event, please contact Naim M. Gribaa at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by phone at (212) 870-4762.To learn more about the event and The Jewish Home and Hospital, visit: http://www.jewishhome.org
"Easing the Burden of Family Caregivers" is now available on the Medicare Rights Center website. The fact sheet includes facts and figures on caregivers, as well as policy recommend-ations to support the work of family caregivers. The fact sheet is available: www.medicarerights.org/FactSheet-Caregivers.pdf
Ohio will soon have a new service to ensure the safety of many elderly citizens - a daily automated call to their home to check on their well-being. If they don't answer the phone, local police may visit the home to find out why. Funded through the Ohio Attorney General's office, the pilot program aims to assist frail elders living at home who may not have a relative or friend living close by who can check on them. The full article is available: article
The Michigan Department of Community Health recently determined that Medicaid recipients who need long-term care may no longer be able to access these services in their own homes. A recent administrative decision determined that although offering in-home services is within the department's discretion, it is not required to do so. The result is that decisions to offer in-home services will vary by locality. More information on Michigan's policy change can be found: changes
The National Institute on Aging's Alzheimer's Disease Education and Referral Center is very pleased to announce the release of the newly updated publication "Alzheimer's Disease: Unraveling the Mystery." This 60-page book and accompanying CD-ROM offer a comprehensive overview of the brain and Alzheimer's disease (AD) in easy-to-understand language. Contents include: a walking tour of the brain; current research and understanding of the causes, diagnosis and treatment of AD; and resources for AD caregivers. The CD-ROM includes an animation video showing the progression of AD in the brain, as well as graphics and text files.
Studies show that most people have strong ideas about the ways they wish to face the end of their lives. Yet in many instances, their loved ones or their physicians do not know these choices. While conversations about end-of-life choices can be difficult to begin, it's vital to communicate about these issues before a crisis occurs. The resources below can give you some ideas on ways to "start the conversation" in your family and in your community.
Beginning today, treat everyone you meet as if they were going to be dead by midnight. Extend to them all the care, kindness, and understanding you can muster, and do it with no thought of any reward. Your life will never be the same again.
Be daring, be different, be impractical, be anything that will assert integrity of purpose and imaginative vision against the play-it-safers, the creatures of the commonplace, the slaves of the ordinary.
Sir Cecil Beaton
The difference between the impossible and the possible lies in a person's determination.
I can give you a six word formula for success: 'Think things through - then follow through.'
I find it fascinating that most people plan their vacations with better care than they plan their lives. Perhaps that is because escape is easier than change.
If you don't design your own life plan, chances are you'll fall into someone else's plan. And guess what they may have planned for you? Not much.
"Is the man of the house home?", they asked.
"No", she replied. "He's out."
"Then we cannot come in", they replied.
In the evening when her husband came home, she told him what had happened.
"Go tell them I am home and invite them in!"
The woman went out and invited the men in"
"We do not go into a House together," they replied.
"Why is that?" she asked.
One of the old men explained: "His name is Wealth," he said pointing to one of his friends, and said pointing to another one, "He is Success, and I am Love." Then he added, "Now go in and discuss with your husband which one of us you want in your home."
The woman went in and told her husband what was said. Her husband was overjoyed. "How nice!!", he said. "Since that is the case, let us invite Wealth. Let him come and fill our home with wealth!"
His wife disagreed. "My dear, why don't we invite Success?"
Their daughter-in-law was listening from the other corner of the house. She jumped in with her own suggestion: "Would it not be better to invite Love? Our home will then be filled with love!"
"Let us heed our daughter-in-law's advice," said the husband to his wife.
Go out and invite Love to be our guest."
The woman went out and asked the 3 old men, "Which one of you is Love? Please come in and be our guest."
Love got up and started walking toward the house. The other 2 also got up and followed him. Surprised, the lady asked Wealth and Success: "I only invited Love, Why are you coming in?"
The old men replied together: "If you had invited Wealth or Success, the other two of us would've stayed out, but since you invited Love, wherever He goes, we go with him. Wherever there is Love, there is also Wealth and Success!
I have been caregiver to my 85 yr. old mom for the past 4 years. I am the youngest of 10 children & am not close to any of my siblings as I was born late in life to my parents. My dad died before I was born so my entire childhood it was just my mom & I. I also have 2 grown daughters & a wonderful supportive husband. I gave up a career that I really enjoyed in order to take care of my mom as all of my siblings refused. I don't regret this at all even tho I miss my job & we have had to make changes in our lifestyle to be able to manage on one income. I would do it all over again in a second as I have enjoyed my time with my mom. My problem is that after 4 years without so much as a day off I can tell that I am really getting burned out. To make matters worse I am in a very small town without any type of support group etc. My husband's job (long distant trucker) requires him to be away from home days & sometimes weeks at a time so it is impossible to schedule any type of regular outings such as church etc. My siblings answer to helping with mom is to call her every 6 months or so & come see her every couple of years for a few days. But when they are here they refuse to be tied down by her care as they are on "vacation". I would be very interested in any ideas on how to deal with them & also how to deal with the stress that constantly being on duty is creating in my life. I love my mom & want to make what she has left of her life as comfortable as possible & feel very guilty over the feelings of resentment that I have started having over how this has completely taken over my life physically, emotionally, & financially. Jann
My name is Ben and I have recently gotten engaged. My fiancé has a 13 old son with epilepsy. I have known about this for some time but I haven't spent that much time with Mike until recently. Just this weekend he had a seizure while I was around (the first bad one I had witnessed). It has made me really aware of much I don't know about this disorder. Mike is a really sweet kid and I love my fiancé. I guess I was just wondering if you all could give me advice about how to care for a child in this situation...(remember, I am learning how to care for any child (this is my first marriage and child) and now a special needs child). I was also wondering what treatment options are most successful....I dont know much about this disorder and I would love to take as much pressure off my fiancé as possible. Thanks for all the help you all can give me. Ben
I recently moved my mother in with my husband, daughter and me. It is much easier for me as I no longer have to spend the day at mom's caring for her, then coming home and trying to take care of my own house and family. My husband was in total agreement with our decision to have her here, and we added on to our house to accommodate her desire for privacy. The move hasn't been easy for her, naturally, and I try to keep her stress to a minimum, especially since she wanders at night when she's upset.
Recently, though, my husband has been loudly argumentative in front of her; critical of me, our daughter, the dog, anything. My attempts to divert him until we can be private are backfiring miserably. It seems that he's taking advantage of knowing I won't participate in an argument in front of her. She becomes upset and fretful, and I am the one that has to deal with the aftermath, which is usually tears, night wandering, frustration, etc.
A teenager was walking down the street past his Grandpa's house when he noticed his Grandpa sitting on the porch, in the rocking chair, with nothing on from the waist down.
"Grandpa, what are you doing sitting out here with nothing on below the waist?" he asked.
The old man slowly looked at him and said, "Well, last week I sat out here with no shirt on, and I got a stiff neck. This is your Grandma's idea."
Fat Cat Heaven
A cat dies and goes to Heaven. God meets him at the gate and says, 'You've been a good cat all of these years. Anything you desire is yours, all you have to do is ask.'
The cats says, 'Well, I lived all my life with a poor family on a farm and had to sleep on hardwood floors.' God says, 'Say no more.' And instantly, a fluffy pillow appears. A few days later, 6 mice are killed in a tragic accident and they go to Heaven. God meets them at the gate with the same offer that He made the cat.
The mice said, 'All our lives we've had to run. We've been chased by cats, dogs and even women with brooms. If we could only have a pair of roller skates, we wouldn't have to run anymore.'
God says, 'Say no more.' And instantly, each mouse is fitted with a beautiful pair of tiny roller skates.
About a week later, God decides to check and see how the cat is doing. The cat is sound 'How are you doing? Are you happy here?'
The cat yawns and stretches and says...
'Oh, I've never been happier in my life.
And those Meals on Wheels you've been sending over are the best.
Oh, My Funny Aging Bone
Several women appeared in Magistrate's Court, each accusing the other of causing the trouble they were having in the apartment building where they lived.
The case was dismissed for lack of testimony.
THAT'S IT FOR THIS ISSUE
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