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Thursday November 6, 2008 - Issue #405

Welcome to the latest edition of the newsletter.

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From The Editor

Gary Barg - Editor-in-chief 

An Open Letter 2008

Dear President-Elect Obama,

Congratulations on winning the election to the highest office in the land. As you well know, our already-divided nation was tested to its limits during this seemingly endless campaign season, and I sincerely hope that you are dedicated to taking immediate and honest steps to bring us together under your leadership. 

Mr. President-Elect, if I may be so bold as to make suggestions, I vehemently urge you to pay attention to the needs of a huge and under-appreciated voting bloc that is 54 million strong - the family caregivers. The true burden of the American healthcare system has been unfairly placed squarely upon the shoulders of these heroes on a daily basis. If all family caregivers went on strike today, we would have to find almost 200 billion dollars each and every year to replace the work they do for their loved ones for no salary and with little support.

From eldercare to long-term rehabilitation to special needs caregiving, all the candidates in this election (you, Vice-President-Elect Biden, Senator McCain and Governor Palin) have a personal relationship with caregiving and the healthcare system greater than at any time in recent history, and all of you have been open and honest about sharing your stories with us. This is truly a great thing for all caregivers.

Please understand that we as a nation stand behind you in these troubled times, but we also need you to stand behind us and our loved ones. We are interested in how you and Congress will decide issues such as Medicare, drug re-importation, medical research, and tax relief for caregivers, and we will be sharing our feelings and findings with our fellow caregivers.

We invite you to look to your family caregiver constituents for advice, support and wisdom, as we are all in this together.



Take care

Gary Barg

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Let's Talk About It - November 2008
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Emphysema Trial

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

Feature Article

Emotional States Play a Role in Level of Pain

By  Kerin McShane, T.C., M.S., Ph.D. 

For thousands of people, pain is a keen reminder of an injury or illness that can lead to equally disabling mental suffering. Out of fear, people whose systems are already compromised may feel their pain greater than they need to, causing an emotional reaction that keeps them feeling worse...Continued

Additional Article:
Matters of the Heart
Reclaiming Intimacy After a Heart Attack

By Mary Damiano

One of the biggest issues caregivers face when their loved one is recovering from a heart attack is resuming intimacy. One reason for this is the myth that sexual activity can bring on another attack...Continued

Today's Caregiver magazine - Digitial Edition

Today's Caregiver magazine - Sept/Oct issue

Caregiver Story
A Life Forever Altered, Forever Changed

By Sharon Pulido

Do you ever think things are going too good to be true and something bad must happen to compensate?  I have always thought that way.  When I met my husband, Mario, our life was wonderful...Continued

(Do you have a story? Tell us.)

New! on

Sharing Wisdom: Tips from Family Caregivers

The best ideas and solutions for taking care of  your  loved one often come from other caregivers. 

Please post your ideas and insights here and we will share them with your fellow caregivers.



Maintaining Emotional Intimacy
When Your Loved One Is Ill
By Mary Damiano

In our culture, when we discuss intimacy, many people think immediately of sexuality. While sex may be part of an intimate relationship, it in no way encompasses it. When we think of intimacy as only sex it makes it difficult to focus on the other really satisfying parts of human relationships...Continued

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

My mother is in the early  stages of Alzheimer's and can still help herself.  She is well enough now to still live alone, but I live very close by so I am with her all the time.

My mother is very stubborn and will not let anyone advise her, so what I need to know  is this: how do I get my mother to shower regularly and wash her hair? She swears that she takes a bath everyday, but I can tell when she has not taken a bath.  I think she believes that she washes her hair, (If that is possible) but I know that she has not washed her hair in over 2  months. What can I do?

Any advice you can give me will be most appreciated.

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:

An Open letter 2008
Emotional States
Caregiver Story
A Life Forever Altered, Forever Changed


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