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Wednesday December 13,  2006, Issue #305

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From The Editor

Gimmicks and Gambits.

One of the greatest challenges we face as family caregivers comes not from the health care system, lack of financial resources or even the illness our loved ones are dealing with, but from our loved ones themselves. There I said it. Sometimes those loved ones we are endeavoring to help, can be obstinate as heck. Yet, sometimes what we see as obstinacy or just plain orneriness is nothing more than manifested fear.  They know as well as we do that their lives are changing and the independence they cherished for so many decades is being taken from them more by nature than by you, but since railing against nature seems a futile gesture – pushing back at you will do just fine.

Although I do appreciate the reasons that our loved ones will fight all efforts to make sure their homes are suited for their present physical condition or when they are sure they do not need any in-home assistance even though they desperately do need such support, I am not beyond suggesting trickery, subterfuge and just plain gimmickry to help keep them safe from harm.  

Some of the gambits I have heard include:

  • Making sure you let mom know that your insistence that she keep her doctor’s appointment is that it will make you feel better, not because you are worried about her.

  • Telling dad that the in-home assistance you seek is not because he is incapable of caring for himself, but that you are concerned about your mom, his well-spouse

  • Taking away the distributor cap in the car

  • Giving your loved one non-working car keys just so he or she has a set in their pocket

  • Getting rid of the car and saying that you will be glad to give them a ride until it is repaired

I know that we all have one sure-fire motivation tool (see, I did not say non-truth) that we resort to when caring for our loved ones.  Tell  us yours….

My sure-fire gimmick  

Take care
Gary Barg



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Feature Article

Understanding Challenging Behavior
By Sharon Roth Maguire MS, APRN-BC, GNP, APNP


While being a caregiver to unusual or so-called “difficult” behaviors, it is quite common for persons with dementia to display these types of behaviors and while many of these behaviors are predictable, ...Continued

Additional Articles:

Learning How To Be A Caregiver
By Jennifer Kay

It was a beautiful day in March 1995, when my mother and father gathered their family around and my father told us, in his usual intellectual matter-of-fact way, he was going to die.   ...Continued

Escaping the Holiday Coulda-Woulda-Shouldas
by Sherry Issa  

Enjoying the holidays as a caregiver includes letting go of a dangerous mindset called “coulda-shoulda-woulda” thinking, also known as the if-only syndrome.....Continued


Guest Column

Eight Tips to Managing Caregiver Guilt
By Dr. Vicki


Guilt is a common feeling in the landscape of caregiving.  Guilt can propel you to be the best you can be…or it can immobilize you...Continued


Holiday Stress and Caregiving
By Michael Plontz  

While everyone else is enjoying the hustle and bustle and the joy of the holiday season, there are many caregivers out there who just want the whole thing over with.  ...Continued

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


My mother has a caregiver who, in addition to stealing, refuses to be paid any way except "under the table." For those of you who have non-family caregivers, are they, in general, put on as employees or as independent contractors? I'm not talking about the ones you get from agencies that do it for a business but, rather, the person who is just doing it because they are good at it and care, the individual person not connected with an agency.

I'm concerned that when this one goes, she'll have a fall on the way out, no workers' compensation, nothing of record because she's paid under the table, only my mother's home owner's insurance. A claim could wipe out what little she has left.

How can I force this person to do the right thing and at least get her own worker's comp. insurance? Or even give me her SS#? Only reason she's still there is because my mother is cruel and intimidating and has threatened more than once to make life hell for any replacement and they'd be gone in a week. Frankly, it wouldn't take that long but she fails to understand that in that situation, she'd end up in a nursing home, which I want to avoid, and if she does the same thing, it would be a series of homes.

Thanks in advance.


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Inside This Issue:

From the Editor
Gimmicks and Gambits
Feature Article
Understanding Challenging Behavior
Guest Column
Eight Tips to Managing Caregiver Guilt

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