Caregiver Newsletter

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

Wednesday  October 28, 2009 - Issue #456

Welcome to the latest edition of the newsletter.

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From The Editor

Gary Barg - Editor-in-chief 

Trick or Treat?

Halloween is more than a night when little goblins and ghosties ring our doorbells looking for goodies; it also signifies the start of the holiday travel season. Many of us will be traveling with the loved ones for whom we care, or will have relatives visit us in our homes over the next two months. These visitations can either represent a ghoulishly frightening experience or they can be a real pleasure.

As in all things regarding caregiving, preparation is the key to success.  If you are to travel to other people’s homes, make sure they understand the needs of your loved one.  Will throw rugs need to be stored, beds need to be moved or even holiday decorations organized so they will not present opportunities for a fall? Do you know where the local durable medical equipment store or pharmacy is in your host family member’s neighborhood?   

If your fiends (ok, I’ll stop) and family members are coming to stay with you for a while, this presents a terrific opportunity to organize a holiday Reverse Gift List.  Is your nephew who is handy with tools coming?  Let him know that a really useful gift would be for him to be able to look at that squeaky door or even change the oil in the car.

Holidays offer a great opportunity for realistic family meetings about how your loved one is fairing. It will, frankly, be up to you to make sure that the session remains non-confrontational. Deep breaths and counting to ten helps.

Let’s work together over the next few weeks to help one another plan for a truly successful holiday season.

By the way, my vote is for Treat.
What tips can you share for successful holiday visitations?


Take care

Gary Barg

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Feature Article


Rural Caregiving

By Liza Berger, Staff Writer

Caregiving in rural America carries a unique set of challenges. Medical care and other health and social services are few and far between, and transportation is scarce.  Meanwhile, poverty and a lack of younger family members in these areas present still more impediments to securing necessary care for loved ones....Continued

Guest Column
Understanding Dysphagia
By: Jeri Logemann, Ph.D., Charles A. Stewart, M.D., Jane Hurd, MPA,
Diane J. Aschman, MS, Nancy L. Matthews, MA

At the age of 78, Maxine was a poster girl for an active senior lifestyle. She loved being the unofficial social director of her assisted living community in the Texas Hill Country, organizing shopping trips to San Antonio and calling the numbers at the daily bingo game. Physically, Maxine was in great shape. ...Continued

Be a part of the Dysphagia Focus Group



Moving in With Family: Issues to Consider
By: Helen Hunter, ACSW, CMSW

Too often, the decision to move into a family member’s home is made when a crisis develops or as a last resort. Sudden illness or injury strikes and the family is left without a plan for long-term care for their loved one.  ...Continued


As part of my role at the Family Caregiver Centre in Calgary, Canada, I run support groups for family caregivers. 
At a recent group a women shared that her mother-in-law had asked her if perhaps it might be better if her husband would just die. Her husband is a man in his early 60's who has frontal temporal lobe dementia. She reported having responded with some "not so nice" comments and wondered what she might have said that would have been more appropriate. Others in the group concurred that it is not unusual to have people make rude comments to them in relation to the person for whom they are caring.
Do you have any thoughts or can you direct me to an article that will be helpful for family caregivers in the north?
Thank you so much.

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.

Have an idea for an article? We are always looking for contributing writers. For more information contact

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Inside This Issue:

Trick or Treat?
Rural Caregiving
Guest Column
Understanding Dysphagia


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october 2009

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