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Wednesday, February 7,  2007 - Issue #313

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From The Editor

Hold the Champagne

As reported here a few weeks ago, after many years of hard work from dedicated care advocates, the Lifespan Respite Care Act was signed by the president late last year. Unfortunately, Washington being Washington, the good fight is not yet over.  

I would like to share an important message from Jill Kagan, Chairperson of the National Respite Coalition: 

Dear SPOCS, State Respite Coalitions and Friends of Respite,

Here is your first task to get the money for the Lifespan Respite Care Act in FY08!

Senators Clinton and Warner want to send a letter to the Senate Budget Committee  signed by as many Senators as possible urging them to set aside funds in the Senate Budget Resolution for the Lifespan Respite Program. They have already sent around a "Dear Colleague" letter asking other Senators to sign onto their budget letter, but they have specifically asked us to follow up and help them get these signatures from your Senators as soon as possible.

They need the signatures by February 7, 2007, so make this call today!!

ACTION:  Contact your Senators today by calling the Capitol Switchboard at 202-224-3121 and asking for their offices. If you don't know who your Senators are, go to and type in your zip code. Call only your two Senate offices and ask for the Health Legislative Assistant (LA).


"Senators Clinton and Warner have sent around a "Dear Colleague" asking Senator ____________ to sign onto a letter to the Senate Budget Committee. They are asking the Budget Committee to reserve funds in the FY 08 Budget to fund the Lifespan Respite Care Act over the next five years (Total $289 million). The Act was signed into law by the President last December.

I am calling to urge Senator ____________ to sign this letter before February 7 by contacting either Senator Clinton's or Senator Warner's office.

 We have _____________family caregivers in our state who are providing $__________ in uncompensated care. (See attached table to fill in the blanks) If they don't get respite soon, they might be forced to place their loved ones in much more costly nursing homes or foster care.  Please act today."

If you have any questions or need more information, please don't hesitate to contact me today! And please circulate this message widely!!  Thanks and have a great day.

 Jill Kagan, MPH
Chair, National Respite Coalition
4016 Oxford St.
Annandale, VA 22003

No rest for the weary respite warriors –yet.

Do your part. Please make a call.


Take care
Gary Barg


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Feature Article

The Inconvenience of Incontinence
by Kristine Dwyer, Staff Writer


Just mention the word “incontinence” or “bladder leakage” and watch people react. Most people are reluctant to speak about it and many are afraid to even discuss it with their doctor....Continued

Additional Articles:

Lending a Helping Paw
by Mark Kostich

Clinical literature has long documented that animal companionship can help the pain and discomfort associated with many of life’s greatest transitions.   ...Continued

The Not-So-Primary Long Distance Caregiver
by Catherine Murphy, R.N.

For every primary Caregiver out there, you will find at least double the number of long distance...Continued


Guest Column

Piece By Piece
by Nickolena Kassolis


Alzheimer’s disease came into my life in January of 2001, and at the time, it seemed like the lesser of two evils....Continued


Taking Advantage of  Your Community Support System

Investigate community health care options.  What healthcare agencies offer affordable home care, what housing options are available, retirement communities, assisted living centers?...Continued



I was wondering if you could direct me to a resource to find a group home setting (a farm, etc.) where adult mentally challenged individuals could live.  The parents of this individual are very well off and money is not a problem.  They have a mentally challenged adult son (40) and they need to find alternatives to their current arrangements.  Do group homes/compounds exist for such people?
We need an alternative to live-in companions.  I sincerely appreciate any help you can provide to me.  Thank you.



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Inside This Issue:

From the Editor
Hold the Champagne
Feature Article
The Inconvenience of Incontinence
Guest Column
Piece by Piece

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