Wednesday December 28,  2005, Issue #255

H a p p y    N e w    Y e a r !

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From The Editor

Look Onward

I have been wondering lately if there is one defining lesson to be learned from the soon-to-be-departed 2005.  So many things have happened to our families, our nation and the world that it would seem an impossible thing to try and select just one such lesson.  No matter where we live, we could not help but be affected by those in the path of natural disasters such as Katrina, Wilma, Rita, countless tornados, a Tsunami, and various floods and fires.   This year, we have celebrated the small victories with our loved ones; a moment of clarity and recognition from a mother living deep within the shadows of Alzheimer’s, the first words of an eight year old boy living with Autism, the first steps of a loved one wounded in war, or even the new friends and compatriots found at a local support group that you finally decided to join. 

Reflecting on our 2005 Fearless Caregiver Conference tour, one overriding element of each event had been the fact that almost every caregiver starts the day thinking they are absolutely alone in their pain, fears and challenges and by the end of the day are overjoyed to find out that there is actually a tremendous amount of advice, support and wisdom that can be found by spending time with others who are also caring for their loved ones. 

So, upon reflection, I think there actually is a defining lesson to be learned from the waning days of 2005. Consider that as we enter the new year,  not only are we not alone as we care for our loved ones, but we actually represent potentially the most powerful force in our nation’s history.   Imagine if all 54 million caregivers only bought products that were “Caregiver Friendly” and only elected those with our best interest in mind. Imagine what kind of world that would be to live in.  And your voice can be heard, no matter if you are a caregiver living in rural Alabama, upstate Maine or urban Philadelphia.

As a state representative in Ohio told me a few years ago, he is more moved by a heartfelt message written in pencil on the back of an envelope, than any organized email campaign with tens of thousands of signatories sent with the push of a button. Although, I feel that it is vitally important to join advocacy groups dealing with issues of importance to you and your loved ones, it’s still your voice that needs to be heard.

My defining lesson for 2005 -- Ladies and Gentleman, start your pencils. 

Take care
Gary Barg


2006 Caregiver Friendly Award Nomination

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Feature Article

Children as Caregivers
by LeAne Austin, RN

"It’s my responsibility,” he told me. “We’re family.” His name is Joel and he is 11. His 13-year-old brother, Scott, feels the same way, explaining that it’s “just something you do, you take care of each other.” . ...Continued

Additional Articles::

Nourishing Holidays
By Rita Miller-Huey

Ah, “‘Tis the season….” But for many of us, it is another day of the same old thing, or, maybe worse, it is a time when there are even more expectations and responsibilities placed upon us than we usually face....Continued

Caregivers New Year's Resolution
by Kristine Dwyer, LSW

In this new year, I will……….

Learn to take one hour out of each day just for myself to read, enjoy a hot bath, journal my thoughts or call a friend. ...Continued




Guest Column

Enjoying Special Occasions
By Jennifer Kay, L.C.S.W. 

Holidays and special occasions can bring out the best and the worst in us. The prospect of wonderful, happy times abound, filling us with somewhat unrealistic hopes for our relationships ...Continued


Top Ten Ways To Care For Yourself
During the Busy Holiday Season

By Jennifer Buckley

  1. Keep a diary. Start today. Describe your fears as well as your hopes, the reality of what each day is like, Don’t be afraid to write about the losses, big or small. .....Continued

F   r   o   m       O   u   r       R   e   a   d   e   r   s


Hi! I have just found out I have Bipolar and am uncertain what that means for my life. I am having a very difficult time at work and am on a leave of absence. My mood swings are getting under control but I feel very nervous about going back to work. I feel like the same things will repeat themselves as soon as I return. I feel so uncertain about work. I like my job, I just am not good with people. I fear becoming distracted once again and not being able to meet my quotas. That will lead to me being fired. I would rather have my dignity and quit than be fired! Do you know if most people with bipolar have a hard time working?


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Inside This Issue:

From the Editor
Looking Onward
Feature Article
Children as Caregivers
Guest Column
Enjoying Special Occasions
Top Ten Ways


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