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Thursday June 12, 2008 - Issue #383

Welcome to the latest edition of the caregiver.com newsletter.

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From The Editor

Gary Barg - Editor-in-chief

My Dad

Although he passed away three years before the first edition of Today's Caregiver magazine rolled off the presses and when spam was still just considered a canned meat substance, I like to think that our Dad's heart, soul, humor and compassion can be found within all we do around here.

Dad was a gregarious guy who loved nothing more than learning all he could about the people he would meet, and was as comfortable talking with the guys on the line in his lumber plants as he was talking with the “suits” at corporate headquarters. Dad retired in 1990 at the age of 59 but soon afterward developed bone marrow cancer and since he was also a self-sufficient Marine, convincing him that spending time in a support group of others also dealing with cancer would be of value to him seemed an unlikely prospect. 

Therefore, I was justifiably surprised when, in a news report saturated with Gulf War stories, Tom Brokaw, ended his program with a personal interest story about cancer support groups.  They cut away to a support group in my home town of Miami, Florida and there was my dad, in a lively discussion with his fellow support group members.  A few months later, shortly before he passed away, dad told me that he regretted not finding his support group earlier than he did, because that little group had become such an important part of his life.  

One other thing about Dad. Shortly after moving back home after college and while grappling with some of the choices I faced trying to figure out in which direction to take my life, I remember one night when Dad stayed up waiting for me to come home so he can tell me a few words which would guide me to this very day. He said simply "I love you and respect you." For some reason, that short phrase made it all seem so very clear to me. Funny how some people only need a few words to make the greatest impact.

It's no wonder that some of the responses from last week's question about Male Caregiver were some of the best we've ever received:


I was a male home caregiver for my father-in-law...Continued


My wife of 40 years was severely injured in a car accident on 12/19/1989 ...Continued


My friend's father cared lovingly  for his wife through the entire course of Alzheimer's...Continued


My last parent, my mother, died on April 24, 2008 following a long battle with Alzheimer's...Continued


I wholeheartedly and joyously applaud all those male caregivers out there...Continued


 
Happy Father’s Day...again!



Take care

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

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Let's Talk About It - June 2008
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Feature Article

Male Perspective: Caregiver Burnout

By Judd Lewis Parsons


Your wife has just been diagnosed with breast cancer. Welcome to one of the hardest experiences you and your wife will ever go through. Nothing can truly prepare you for this...Continued
 


Additional Articles:
 

My Mother's Keeper: The Eye Doctor Appointment

By: Beverly Bernstein Joie, MS, CMC

For the past several years, my step-sister had been taking my mom to see the ophthalmologist. They had their routine;  ...Continued
 

 
 

Caregiver Story
Jane

By Frank Benoit
 

Living with a person who has dementia
Is like dealing with someone in absentia.
She is not the girl you used to know;
Not the same personality - oh no! ...Continued

(Do you have a story? Tell us.)


Caretips

Coping with Grief
By  Dorothy Womack

Today I am talking to those of you who are the remaining spouse, having placed your loved one into a care facility.  ...Continued


 

Carenotes

My mother has been living with us (myself & my husband) for 5-1/2 years, after major surgery. She is now 99 years old. She was hospitalized for a stomach ulcer in December; then the very end of January, she fell & fractured her back. A month almost to the day later, she fell again & ended up with a chest wall contusion. She also has had squamous cell cancer cells treated either with surgery in the past & most recently by radiation.

She gets a nice amount of hours worth of help each week, a total of 20 hours. But, the rest of the time, I'm the only who cares for her. I have found a way of shopping as fast as possible in the 1 or 2 hours I get per day, 5 days a week. Sometimes, I can't make it out, due to a nurse, etc. coming for a visit. I get so depressed. I just can't go out whenever I want or need to. Before her falls, we did everything together. This is what kept her young mentally. I haven't been "away" in so long, I can't remember. I would just love to get away for one over-night someplace, but would have to put her in respite care, which I know would be very unpleasant for her. Putting her into a nursing home is out of the question. I actually need to know how other people deal with the constant moaning, either from pain or just old age or what. It can go on for hours on end. I sleep with my door & hers open, so I can hear her if she needs help during the night. I haven't had a decent night's sleep in over 4 months. Again, the moaning is driving me to distraction. How do other people handle this. I have found, since reading some shares on this site, that it's important to care for yourself.

I have started to take care of me first in the morning before getting her up & ready. In the past, I would take care of her first & by the time I was ready to get myself ready, I was totally exhausted & just didn't care. Now, it helps my morale by getting myself ready, i.e., showered, makeup & hair done, dressed & ready for whatever the day brings. It helps so much deal with problems throughout the day. Except for the moaning. I'm at the point, I'm ready to moan myself about the moaning. Please, some feedback on this. Have a great day.

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

 

 


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Inside This Issue:

My Dad
Male Perspective
Caregiver Story

 


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