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Wednesday February 13,  2008 - Issue #366

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From The Editor

Gary Barg - Editor-in-chief

Happy Caring for Caregivers Day  2008

 As any astute longtime reader of this column knows, there are certain times of the year when we like to share our favorite appropriate stories with you. You might call them our seasonal chestnuts. One of these times is during Christmas, when we roll out our version of “The Night Before Christmas’ aptly renamed “A Caregiver's Christmas”    Another is on this very day, when we like to recount the story of our Valentine’s Day lovebirds – Mike and Mindy…

Mike and Mindy

They heard about the session in the news that very morning. Let’s call them Mike and Mindy. I was in their town to host an information and resource panel and had a short interview on one of the local television stations, which prompted their attendance. The idea of the panel was to enable caregivers to ask questions of their local experts and receive immediate attention. My role was to moderate and (hopefully) motivate.

At first Mike and Mindy didn’t ask any questions, it seemed as if it took all their available energy not to burst into tears. Finally, their story emerged; they had been primary caregivers for Mindy’s Mom, who lived with them for over 18 years before she passed away last fall. Now, his dad needed care. The rest of the story was familiar enough, no local family except for a brother living 30 miles away who might as well have been living on another planet. The question they finally asked that day was delivered in a low but plaintive tone “How can we get away, if even for a while?” 

To me, the answers were simple enough. Their community was at no loss for respite opportunities. But as I listened while they were given credible options for temporary relief, I realized something. These folks were too drained and too lost to be able to even hear the answers given. They were like the person who needed to gain muscle strength before being able to perform a strenuous physical task, but were too weak and depressed to even start the exercise needed to develop the muscles to begin the task in the first place. 

I know that they received good advice that day and one of the agencies was committed to following up with them, but I don’t know if they will be able to find the energy to help motivate each other to the action they so desperately need. I hope so. 

The take-home lesson for all of us who empathize with Mike and Mindy is that although they have consistently exhibited real love for their family members, the people they really need to turn their attention to this Valentine’s Day (and beyond) is themselves.

The lessons of the story remain as true as the day I met Mike and Mindy.  Happy Valentine’s Day, or as I like to say “Happy Caring for Caregivers Day.”

Help us retire the Mike and Mindy saga by sharing your favorite Valentines Story.

 

Take care

Gary Barg
Editor-in-Chief
gary@caregiver.com

 


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Feature Article

Fearless Caregiver Abroad

By Cheryl Ellis,  Staff Writer 


Over a year ago, Steve Herzfeld took a fearless leap of caregiving faith when he moved to India with his parents.. ...Continued
 


Additional 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


 

Caregiver Story

Mutual Caregiving

By  Camilla Hewson Flintermann


Having been a caregiver for twelve years for my husband, Peter, who died in June, 2001 of Parkinson's disease, I have been very aware of the role I filled...  ...Continued

(Do you have a story? Tell us.)


Caretips

Top 10 Ways for Caregivers
to Spend Dollars Wisely

By Kris Maxham, Staff Writer
 

Many caregivers grapple with financial choices that can allow them to continue providing care, support their loved one’s needs and keep them safe.  ...Continued


 

Carenotes

I am a caregiver for my mother (she is 76) and I am 53.  My father died about 2 years ago and my sister passed away last March '07.  Anyway I am all that she has (my brother lives in Nevada) and I just happen to live across the street from her.

Anyway, do you know of who I can email and or call to ask some questions on help with her.  For instance, I cannot get her to wash her hair and I have a hard time getting her to even take a shower and I get mad and it turns in to a yelling match.  And, this is not the mother that I knew!  If I yell at her too much she just starts crying.  So, I am at wits end for answers on what I am doing wrong and how to handle it.  Who can I talk to?  If you can advise I would greatly appreciate it.

Sincerely,

CLD

 

Answer This Week's CareNote:
carenotes/2008/index.htm

 

 


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Inside This Issue:

From the Editor
Happy Caring...
Feature Article
Fearless Caregiver Abroad
 
Caregiver Story
Mutual Caregiving CareTips
Carenotes


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