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Friday April 1, 2010 - Issue #479

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  From The Editor

Gary Barg - Editor-in-chief 

No Foolin’

Today, Ms. Oneida Jones opened her front door to see her estranged sister-in-law Gladys standing on the front porch holding a picnic basket which was filled to the brim with Oneida’s mother’s favorite foods and drink.  “I have seen the light,” said Gladys, “and finally realize all you go through as a family caregiver.  I am sorry for my ignorance and have come to take Mom to the park so you can have the day to do whatever you want, as long as you have fun.”

Throughout the day in Oneida’s state and across the nation, in fact across the world, the same scene played out.  Family members and long lost friends came by to see what they can do to help as we care for our loved ones...continued 

Take care

Gary Barg

Long Distance Caregiving Support




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Feature Article

The New 'Female Problem'

By Patricia Grace

In the halls of the nation’s businesses, the hushed whispers which were once reserved for gossip and Monday morning quarterbacking now echo the despair stressed out women are feeling in their role as caregivers. While men do represent a growing percentage of today’s caregivers, the role is still largely filled by women. In what could be considered the new “female problem” in the workplace, male management does not have the tools to adequately discuss and remedy this female ailment.

Caregiver Stress Defined

An individual’s face may not readily give away clues that they are suffering from caregiver stress, but a quick look at their employee attendance record will reveal absenteeism due to their work as a caregiver for an aging loved one. The fact that this individual has a higher utilization of the healthcare benefits and increased prescription plan participation for stress-related disorders may also warrant their classification as a caregiver...continued

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Guest Column

Enjoying Special Occasions

By Jennifer Kay, L.C.S.W.

Holidays and special occasions can bring out the best and the worst in us. The prospect of wonderful, happy times abound, filling us with somewhat unrealistic hopes for our relationships. We are often disappointed by how these special occasions turn out. Add to the normal tensions of holidays, the image of someone you love being ill or incapacitated, and you have the makings of very difficult times. Many times we wish we could just disappear until the holidays are over.

Caregivers may have unusually high expectations during holidays and special occasions. Knowing that this might be a last birthday, anniversary, Thanksgiving, Hanukah etc., caregivers may feel enormous pressure to make this time especially significant. The care giving family faces the normal tensions families experience in the holiday season, but their resources are usually depleted, energy levels are low and free time is limited...continued



Bed Safety in the Elderly  

Few if any tasks as a caregiver needs to be as done responsibly and efficiently as does helping your loved one in and out of bed. Establishing a ritual that you and your elderly loved one can follow will ensure the best possible care. Depending upon your loved one’s flexibility and maneuverability, you may or may not be their sole means of movement in and out of bed. Here are some helpful hints to think about as you tend to your loved one’s need for more help in and out of bed...continued



My mom is 87 years old, very overweight, barely ambulatory and in poor health. I am at work most of the day and I have a cousin who helps me to care for her when she can. Mom wears a Life Alert and accidentally sets it off several times per week. My cousin is on my mother's "in case of emergency" contact list for Life Alert but lives pretty far away. Does anyone have any suggestions to  keep her from setting it off accidentally?

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:

From the Editor

No Foolin’

Feature Article

The New 'Female Problem'
Guest Column

Enjoying Special Occasions

Bed Safety in the Elderly




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March 2010

My husband is in a nursing home and I have become friends with a man whose wife is also a resident.  We have spent time together listening to music in the day room of the facility and attending afternoon and evening programs there.

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Finding help through the V.A. and local Elder Care services has been invaluable. I have been the sole caretaker for my invalid mother for over 10 years...continued




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