Caregiver Newsletter

Produced by Caregiver Media Group, publishers of  Today's Caregiver magazine and

Friday May 8, 2009 - Issue #431

Welcome to the latest edition of the newsletter.

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From The Editor

Gary Barg - Editor-in-chief 

Caregiver Mom


Mother’s Day is this coming Sunday (although it could be argued that every day is Mother’s Day.) At every conference where our mom has joined us, we always introduce her as the mother of Today’s Caregiver magazine and  Truth be told, this is more than just a little accurate.

It was by watching her dedication to our dad and grandparents that allowed me to see what challenges caregivers face on a daily basis. It was into her back bedroom that I trudged with the first pieces of computer equipment we used to start the magazine way back in 1994.  It was her honesty and commitment which allowed her to write an ongoing column called “Phoenix Rising” about her life after caregiving including dating again, identity theft and job hunting as a senior citizen. (Don’t tell her I called her that.)  

As I write this, I know that we all have stories to tell about out moms— good, not-so-very-good and frustrating.  Take the time to tell them how you feel on Sunday, either in person, on the phone or in silent prayer. Forgive the forgivable transgressions which are somewhat unavoidable when raising children and thank them for the role they played in your becoming who you have become.  Even if they cannot understand the words you say, the emotions will come through loud and clear.  In fact, since the ratio between male to female caregivers is nearly 45/55, the stereotypical role of Mom as caregiver may be changing before our eyes. But that is a story best saved for Father’s Day.



Take care

Gary Barg

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Feature Article

Caregiving for a Parent or Elderly Person

By  Patricia St. Clair

Throughout our lives we are usually identified by our roles as son, daughter, brother, sister or parent.

As our parents age, however, roles often reverse or take on new meanings...Continued


Care Verse
Band of Brothers
By  Kristine Dwyer

Men gather ‘round the table,
coffee cups in hand;
each wearing symbols of wars gone by.
Military experiences shared;
the peer support ever so strong....Continued

Guest Column
Considerations for Caregivers
By Arthur N. Gottlieb MSW, LMSW, CSA

Caregiving is not for everyone. Remember, it’s not about you. If the relationship is too emotionally charged or patience is not your best virtue, find someone else to take over the primary role of caregiver.   ...Continued

(Do you have a story? Tell us.)



Brain Exercises for Caregivers
By Cheryl Ellis, Staff Writer

Brain foods and brain vitamins have naturally led to brain stimulating exercises.  It’s considered “old news” that anagrams and crossword puzzles help the brain work out....Continued



My 86 year old mother has been diagnosed with cancer.  Right now she is living with my sister (who we will call Sis) who is her primary caregiver. Sis is an attorney and has a fledgling practice.  Her husband works from home 4 days a week. He is with my mother a good deal of the time. My husband and I are retired and live about an hour away. We have two other sisters, and a brother who see and call my mother when they can.    I call regularly and see her at least once a week. So 95% of the caregiving falls on Sis and her husband.
My mother is in the middle of radiation treatments.  She goes 5 days a week.  My sister takes her 4 of the days, I take her one day. I take her to her various doctor's appointments and am in the process of cleaning out her apartment and moving her permanently to Sis. 
My mom is experiencing some problems with short term memory loss.  She is also taking Percoset for pain which probably adds to that problem. The radiation is starting to take a toll on her.  She is experiencing vomiting and diarrhea.   In my mother's mind, it seems that she can only deal with the fact that she is feeling sick.  She cannot seem to understand that this is short term and if she can get through these next couple of weeks, she will start to feel better.  The doctors seem to feel that she has somewhat of a chance of curing the cancer. One of the issues is that my mom does not seem to have much of a will to try to fight the cancer. 
Sis has been taking such good care of  my mother. She has a wound which has to be dressed twice a day.  Not a pleasant thing, but Sis has been doing it since February.  She fights my sister every step of the way and it is really taking on toll on Sis.  She doesn't want to take the anti-nausea and anti diarrhea medicine.  She complains when Sis leaves for work.  She doesn't want to get out of bed.   Today she refused to go for radiation. Sis is a very strong person, but I think she is at her breaking point.
What more can I say.  I'm sure our story is a familiar one.  What can we do to make it easier on all of us?  Are there resources available? And how do we find out about them?
Any help you can give will be so very much appreciated.
Thank you.


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Inside This Issue:

Caregiver Mom
Caregiving for a Parent or Elderly Person
Guest Column
Considerations for Caregivers


Let's Talk - April/MAY 2009
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