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Thursday September 4, 2008 - Issue #396

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From The Editor

Gary Barg - Editor-in-chief 

In The Cone

Our condolences to those who lost loved ones in the hurricanes of the past two weeks, either in the tropics or in the Gulf Coast.  We are all grateful that Hurricane Gustav was no Katrina, but the days after any storm are when so many lives are lost, so I ask our friends in the affected areas to remain vigilant and safe.  As I write this column, we in South Florida are actually “in the cone” of two tropical systems with two more right behind them. The cone refers to the area of uncertainty in which a hurricane is projected to move.  We all tend to follow the line down the middle of this area when watching the weather maps on T.V., but hurricanes are seldom so willing to fall in line until shortly before they land.  Having lived through all but one hurricane in this area since I was born, including Andrew and Wilma, I know that even at the last moments before landfall, hurricanes can have a mind of their own.  Of course all areas of the country have their natural challenges, from earthquakes to floods to extreme weather and all of these natural events demand respect and require preparation.          

In order to reduce our own Caregiving Cones of Uncertainty, I suggest the following:

  1. It pays to be prepared.  If you are not a caregiver, you never know when you will get that phone call in the middle of the night informing you of a loved one’s illness.

    When my dad took ill, I remember sitting on the floor of my parents living room, searching through boxes of papers, trying to find the ones I needed.  Two weeks earlier he was a healthy 59 year old retiree, who had always handled our family’s finances, with no thought that we would soon be at a loss for what to do upon his sudden illness.
  2. Like a hurricane, you never know where the next healthcare challenge will strike. Do you have all of the Advanced Directives in place for your loved one?  That’s great, now what about you?  Do you have your own Advanced Directives in place?  Who will be your caregiver, if you should need one?  Have all adults in your family discussed their end of life wishes with one another?

    Like hurricanes, we can’t plan for everything, even the best of plans do not allow you to escape all pain, and we can never know upon whom disaster will next fall. But, having a plan in place is sure a lot better than scrambling when healthcare disaster strikes.

Then hopefully, the only cones you have to think about are connected to scoops of ice cream…


Take care

Gary Barg

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Let's Talk About It - August 2008
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Caregiver Bookclub
 Take a look at the new books in our bookclub.

Feature Article

Prescription Drug Programs for Caregivers

By  Marie Santangelo, Staff Writer

As caregivers know, not all loved ones may qualify for Medicare or Medicaid. This puts some medications, especially newer ones, out of reach. Patients in need of help with drug costs need to look at a variety of sources.  ...Continued

Additional Articles:

Diabetes, Exercise and Caregiving

By: Sean M. Kenny

The benefits of exercise for people with diabetes can be quite substantial. With both forms of diabetes, type 1 and type 2 (insulin dependent and non-insulin dependent respectively), exercise can play a vital role in the prevention of costly, uncomfortable and sometimes fatal complications.  ...Continued

Today's Caregiver magazine

July/August Edition

Caregiver Story
Just Do It and You Get Through It - My Personal Story

By Lois A. Troutman

The title of this article exemplifies a motto I adopted early on in my life as a caregiver.   Caregiver is a word that I never expected would be in my job description when I got married to Kenneth E. Troutman on March 22, 1975. ...Continued

(Do you have a story? Tell us.)


Issues of Control
By Kate Murphy, RN

This week I would like to talk a little bit about control issues in caregiving. Control is probably one of the most important things our loved one can lose.....Continued

Have you ever used the Personal Emergency Response System (PERS)?  If so let us know what your experience was.  Email us.

I was recently  in the doctor's office with my mother who was  diagnosed with Neurosarcoidosis.  I have been her caregiver for the past two years, and it has been hard at times.  I read the article about the young lady who went home after 20 years to care for her father who had Alzheimer's, it struck me hard, because my husband and I have chosen, due to finances, to keep her home with us. She gets way better care with us and has yet to have a bed sore! I have had to learn a lot of medical procedures, and I have given up on ever going back to work - not that I had a career, but I did enjoy working part-time.  We recently had a scare with my husband, and I had to be with him for the week, and that is very hard to find help for caring for my mother. 

I guess I am writing because I feel that there is no help out there from the medical field for respite care unless you give up all the funds you have. We have had to overcome many hurdles, and many more to come. Is there any help out there for a family like ours.  We would greatly appreciate it.


Answer This Week's CareNote:
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Inside This Issue:

In The Cone
Prescription Drug Programs
Caregiver Story
Just Do It.....


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