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Thursday October 16, 2008 - Issue #402

Welcome to the latest edition of the newsletter sponsored by by Precision Foods, the makers of Thick-It® Instant Food Thickener and NEW Thick-It® Purees.

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From The Editor

Gary Barg - Editor-in-chief 

The October Surprise

In presidential politics, an October Surprise refers to some planned or unforeseen event that occurs too close to election day for the candidate who would be negatively affected by such a surprise to un-do the damage to his or her vote count. Such a surprise occurred in the last election cycle when Osama Bin Laden released a videotape days before the election. For the sake of maintaining some level of sanity this year, I am praying that no such surprise arises within the next three weeks.

For caregivers, every new day without some type of surprise is counted as a blessed relief. In fact, I believe that one of our major caregiving challenges is to ensure that unpleasant surprises are kept to a minimum. When my dad took ill in 1990 at the age of fifty-eight, suffice it to say that we were about as unprepared as anyone could be. It took an entire month to find the necessary information that Dad could have found within minutes. These days, there is no excuse for any family to be as surprised as we were when Dad took ill so suddenly.

It is imperative that all of the adult members of your family have their healthcare documents in place in case of such an event happening to your family. And it is not only unfair but also irresponsible just to ask your senior loved ones to fill out their advanced directives since this affects all of us. In fact, there is no better way to ensure your parents participation than to place your own completed advance directives in front of them and say, “now, let’s get to work on yours.” In this way, you can almost guarantee there will be no personal October Surprise (or January Surprise, or February Surprise or July…)

Caregiver Family Checklist


Take care

Gary Barg

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Let's Talk About It - October 2008
What gifts have you found in caregiving?  Did this new relationship bring you closer to someone? 

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Caregiver Bookclub
 Take a look at the new books in our bookclub.

Feature Article

Dementia and Incontinence Treatment

By  Sandra Ray, Staff Writer

Dementia is a devastating disease that affects approximately 24 million people worldwide; its most common form, Alzheimer’s disease, affects more than 4.5 million people in the U.S. according to the Alzheimer’s Association....Continued

Additional Article:

Are You a Type D Personality? Here’s the Antidote

By Debbie Mandel

Most of us feel frustrated when we think we have no control over what is happening to us. Living in ambiguity or uncertainty, we turn to our crystal balls and forecast gloom and doom in our lives. ...Continued

Today's Caregiver magazine - Digitial Edition

Today's Caregiver magazine - Sept/Oct issue

Caregiver Story
Wrestling with Care

By David Gillaspie 

Caregiving in America is in great demand, from adult foster home owners offering familiar surroundings, to assisted living center staff patrolling hallways to answer assist request buzzers and lights....Continued

(Do you have a story? Tell us.)


Shattering the Myths of Incontinence

Incontinence is often the leading reason for nursing home placement with approximately one half of all residents being incontinent....Continued

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

My wife is getting to the point where she will not be able to cope on her own. We were wondering what it is we need to do financially and otherwise to prepare for the day when she has to go to a nursing home. (As much as I try not to think about it, it is inevitable)

 Our life savings is quickly disappearing  and she is only 46 years old. I would welcome suggestions from those who have gone through the same experience, or those who might not have gone through it but are familiar with the process.


Answer This Week's CareNote:
carenotes/2008/index.htm Support Group Directory. Click here for information about any caregiver support groups in your area.

Caregivers need your help. Please add information about your local support groups to our Support Group Directory. Include the name of the group, where and when it meets, city and state and support group leader contact information.

Have an idea for an article? We are always looking for contributing writers. For more information contact

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Inside This Issue:

The October Surprise
Dementia & Incontinence Treatment
Caregiver Story
Wrestling with Care


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