Caregiver Newsletter

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

Wednesday August 19, 2009 - Issue #446

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From The Editor

Gary Barg - Editor-in-chief 


Two More Wishes to Go

Be careful what you wish for is the theme that comes to mind when watching the Town Hall meetings that are happening across the country this month.  The topic is health care reform and the conversations are energized to say the least.  I have long had the wish to see us as a nation fully engaged in a thought-provoking healthcare conversation. It is one topic that is especially valuable to present and future caregivers. Better we talk of health reform around the water cooler than what happened last night on Jon and Kate or who was latest contestant to leave the island.  

In particular, it is good to hear people talk about advanced directives.  Of course, some of the definitions of advanced directives and end of life planning that are being bandied about need clarification. The funny thing is that whenever advanced directives are discussed in public, more people are made aware of them which leads to more being filled out for ourselves and our loved ones.

As in everything of importance to caregivers, it is vital for us to seek out the truth. Whether it is dealing with our healthcare partners, long -term care placement, hospice care, or end of life planning, there are too many opportunities for mal-information to be disseminated.  When that happens, it actually helps no one and can possible be harmful to our loved ones.  So in the interest of furthering useful conversation, please allow me to help with a textbook definition of advanced directives used for purpose of end-of-life planning.  The following is taken directly from the Wikipedia website:
Advance health care directives, also known as living wills, advance directives, or advance decisions, are instructions given by individuals specifying what actions should be taken for their health in the event that they are no longer able to make decisions due to illness or incapacity.
Pretty simple and vitally important.

For my personal story on the topic:
Deja Vu
Many of you have heard about my dog Morris who accompanies me everywhere and is in fact sitting with me on the chair as I write this.  He asked me to see if you would lend a hand and vote for him in this week’s competition. 

Take care

Gary Barg

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Feature Article

Your Home Health Care Aide:
Establishing A Positive Relationship

By  Kim Champion 

You've made the decision to let an aide come into your home to assist. That was hard enough. Now you re getting apprehensive about what to expect when the aide arrives for work.  ..Continued

Care Verse
My Favorite Days

By  Lisa Cohee

My favorite days begin as such
with a bit of sunshine and lives to touch
My favorite days consist of this
a sweet elderly lady who asks for a kiss...Continued

Guest Column
Meet Them Where They Are
By Malika Brown, MSW, LSW

Oh boy, there goes mom again: “I want to go home! Take me home!” She actually is home, but she wants to go back to her home from childhood.

“Delores, come here!” Her sister’s name was Delores, but your name is Elaine, and her sister passed away long ago...Continued

(Do you have a story? Tell us.)



Give Yourself a Break, Right Now

Doctor appointments that must be scheduled; the constant care and attention your loved one needs, both physically and emotionally; the back and forth to grocery stores, drug stores, physical therapy sessions and, most of all, the need to know you are doing the "right thing" for loved one in need of your care....Continued



I am about to become the full time caregiver for my sick mother and I don't know what to expect.  I have read about the hardships associated with such a job and am sometimes petrified.

What can I do to prepare myself for this role?  I know there is no set answer, but I would like to hear from other caregivers how they prepared for their roles.

Answer This Week's CareNote 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.

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Inside This Issue:

Two More Wishes to Go
Your Home Health Care Aide
My Favorite Days
Guest Column
Meet Them Where They Are


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August 2009

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