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Tuesday December 23, 2008 - Issue #412

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EMERGENTag - Helping to Save Lives

Helping to Save Lives - EMERGENTag

From The Editor

Gary Barg - Editor-in-chief 

A Caregiver's Christmas

'Twas the night before Christmas,
When all through the house
A caregiver was scurrying,
Caring for her dear spouse;

His stockings were placed
Upon his feet with great care 
In hopes he felt well enough to step
      out for some fresh air

Their children were scattered,
All snug in their beds
Around this great country,
Not a care in their heads
And the caregiver who worked nights,
'Cause the funds they did tap
Had just settled down for a five minute nap

When in the next room, there arose such a clatter,
She sprang from her bed to see what did splatter.
Away past the bed sheets she had thrown in the trash,
Tore open a new set and hoped these would last.

The weight on her breast was of one who did know
That, by the luster of daybreak
Her sorrow would grow
When, what in any other year
Would be a thing quite so dear
That time when her family would visit
From far and from near

With no one to hold her, since her loved one took sick
She felt that the holidays were just a mean trick
More rapid than eagles her friends they did flee
When they could no longer travel or even take tea

No Cohens!, no Schwartzes!, no Millers!, no Dicksons
No, Olivets, no Lutids, no Donners and Micksons
For a while they gave support, for a while did they call
Now dash away! Dash away! Dash away to the mall!"

As new restaurants that before were easy to try,
When her loved one was too sick, away did they fly
So now with the holidays, the family will do
with the sleigh full of presents, and bad advice too.

And then, in a twinkling, I heard in the drive
Aunt Nancy and Chloe and all my in-laws arrive.
As I had in my hand, a bedpan disposal bound
I turned very quickly and tripped over the hound

My man was a mess from his head to his toes
And his clothes were soiled and not easy on the nose
A bundle of nerves, I shout out very loud
Words, which to this day, do not make me feel proud

He lie there so quiet, not saying a thing
When suddenly his laughter filled our home
Like a fresh breath of spring

He doubled over with glee making such a roil
That he slapped a bad knee through
    the all too grim soil
As his eyes twinkled through all the great mess,
This old dear for a moment, 
Forgot the pain of this past year 

On a normal night, the pain of his stump
Would make tighten his teeth,
But tonight, for a moment, his laughter
Caused such uncommon relief
That the joy of it encircled his head like a wreath;
As he lie on the bed he shook his round belly, 
For all the world, not unlike a big bowl of jelly.

He was lying there laughing, like a jolly old elf,
And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself;
When, all of a sudden, the door burst opened
      wide as can be
And what did I see, the Cohens, the Swartzes
and Aunt Nancy all looking at me
With nary a word and they made up the bed
Then they all straightened up and got us both fed

They all had not known the support that I needed
But once they saw they could help,
They learned and succeeded
In sharing the heart, the soul and the care
That I always was sure was really right there

I hadn't spoken a word of the great strain
     and the work
That I thought they had all turned into one major jerk
After knowing what help each could give if I did ask
I never alone had to shoulder the entire task

We had time to play and to sing and to wet a whistle
Until away they all flew like the down of a thistle
But I heard my loved ones, as they drove out of sight
"Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night!
And, we're coming back, next Friday eve
To take you for a bite."


Take care

Gary Barg

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Let's Talk About It - December 2008
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Emphysema Trial

Caregiver Bookclub
Take a look at the new books in our bookclub.  Listen to the interview with one of the authors.

Feature Article

Reaching People with Alzheimer's Through Music

By Barbara Jacobs, M.S.

Dr. Oliver Sacks, Professor of Clinical Neurology and Psychiatry at Columbia University, in his current bestselling book, Musicophilia, writes about the amazing therapeutic effects of music on people with Alzheimer's disease and other dementias....Continued

The Gift of Now

By Ann Fowler

A hedge row stitches suede sky to prairie patches.
I brake for a weathered, red truck and read the "eat beef" bumper sticker.
My pulse slows as Public Radio plays Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring.

Today's Caregiver magazine - Digitial Edition

Today's Caregiver magazine - Nov/Dec 2008 Issue 

Caregiver Story
Confessions of a Recovering Caregiver

By Daphne Simpkins  

Since my three-year stint as my father�s caregiver I wrestle with socially unacceptable urges to comfort, feed, and water just about anybody...Continued

(Do you have a story? Tell us.)

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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.



Nourishing Holidays
By  Rita Miller-Huey

Ah, ��Tis the season�.� But for many of us, it is another day of the same old thing, or, maybe worse, it is a time when there are even more expectations and responsibilities placed upon us than we usually face. ...Continued

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

There will be no carenote this week. This feature will return in January. 
Have a blessed and peaceful holiday season.

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Inside This Issue:

A Caregiver's Christmas
Reaching People with Alzheimer's Through Music
Caregiver Story
Confessions of a Recovering Caregiver


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