Caregiver Newsletter

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

Friday May 29 2009 - Issue #434

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From The Editor

Gary Barg - Editor-in-chief 

Forward Together

Last week I told you about the informal Care Advisory Board that my friend put together when he thought there was some immediate challenges facing his 93 year old mother.  One of the most thought-invoking responses I received was from my friend Heddie Sumner in Midland, Michigan. I have to admit I am justly prejudiced towards paying close attention to what Heddie has to say, because I’ve had the honor to speak at two of her events and can attest to what a service she offers to the caregivers in her community. 
Dear Gary,
This was a great editorial noting the importance of involving friends and family. However, my one concern is that there appeared to be no discussion that included the mom herself. (There are plans for a 2-week visit.) The elder needs to be involved in the conversations about care. Even when there are early Dementia issues (not specified here), one has the capacity to share wishes and concerns. At the age of 93 I am sure that the mom mentioned here has specific wants and goals for her own care.
Long distance caregiving is always a challenge. Having a core group to assist makes this easier. That group needs to be aware of Mom’s wants as they have their discussions. These may not always go down the path of the wants of the adult children and family. In this era of supporting the concept of “family centered care” that takes into consideration the person needing care and the supporting family, all voices need to be heard in order to develop and promote a viable plan of action. The multiple issues noted certainly complicate the matter. Will this be easy? Maybe not. However, we owe it to our elders to respect their dignity and hear their voices.
Best wishes to this caregiving family. I encourage them to involve mom in these early discussions, not later.
Thank you,
Heddie Sumner
Heddie Sumner, RN, BSN
Director of Education and Resource Development
Senior Services/Midland County Council on Aging

I am happy to report that as soon as my friend returned stateside they did sit down with Mom and things are being handled as a family unit with her in the midst of the decision making. Some things are better than they had thought and some not so good, but together I am convinced they can work it all out.

Take care

Gary Barg

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

Feature Article

Planning For the Future
with a Special Needs Child - Part 3
The Balancing Act

By  Harry S. Margolis and Eric Prichard

Planning for your own long-term care when you have a child with special needs requires a delicate balancing act between establishing your own financial position to ensure a comfortable retirement and making sure that your child's needs are protected, both while you are alive and after you are gone. ...Continued

Care Verse
Alzheimer's Hero

By  Valerie Stephenson

You entered my world extending your hand,
Reaching for the “me” that I had lost.
You helped me remember who I am
With kind and gentle reminders
Of the memories composing my life...Continued

Supporting Caregivers As They Support
Our Veterans
By  Kristine Dwyer, Staff Writer

As the wars rage on in Iraq, Afghanistan and beyond, our Armed Forces continue to be prepared for lengthy overseas deployments, often serving multiple or extended tours of duty.....Continued

(Do you have a story? Tell us.)



Tips and Techniques for Dealing with Stress
By Dr. Rita Nachen Gugel

Change is an expected part of our daily lives today. Dealing with it so that YOU control IT rather than vice versa is an important and positive force in controlling your life. Try a few of these tips.....Continued


My grandmother recently had her leg amputated and came home to my mom's house where she now lives. My Mom has vowed never to put her in a nursing home but I am concerned. Mom is Almost 70 and will have to do a lot of lifting. None of her children live at home.  I do not want her to give up her life in the process of taking care of her mother. When we suggest paying someone to come in at least 3 times per week, she says that is too expensive.

How best can I suggest to her that a nursing home is the way to go without making her angry?

Thank you.

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Inside This Issue:

Forward Together
Planning for the Future with a Special Needs Child -
Part 3
Supporting Caregivers as They Support Our Veterans


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