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 Thursday August 12, 2010 - Issue #498

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From The Editor

Gary Barg - Editor-in-chief 

Written In Ink

I just got off the air with Dr. Merle Griff. Merle is the founder of SarahCare Adult Day Centers and was the chairperson of the NADSA (National Adult Day Services Association) when I joined their trustee board. She also has a radio show which airs on WHBC radio and graciously invited me to speak to her audience.  It was actually Merle’s last words on this particular show which caught my attention. She said “As you take out your calendar to schedule your loved one’s doctor’s appointments, take out a pen and also schedule some time for yourself.”  Merle’s point was to schedule it in pen to make sure that it is more difficult to erase from the schedule.

This reminded me of the time that the executive director of my grandfather’s adult day center finally got my mom to take a break. She told Mom to go to the beach, spread out a towel and enjoy herself for the day. Well, other than being on the cell phone constantly to the adult day center to see how Gramp was doing, Mom did just fine in her first respite day...continued

Take care

Gary Barg




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Dealing with Chronic Pain

Feature Article

Morbid Obesity and Caregivers:
Learning What Works

By Sandra Ray, Staff Writer

It’s not really news anymore – Americans as a rule are overweight. In fact, more than half of the population struggles with weight or is considered obese. Obesity is generally defined as someone who has a body mass index (BMI) of more than 25. Yet, despite campaigns to bring awareness to the problem and the increased number of options for individuals to work through these issues, obesity continues to increase...continued Cancer Channel

Guest Column

Just What The Doctor Ordered?

By Dr. Larry Tune

During these tough economic times everyone is looking for ways to save money and cut costs.  In my practice, more and more I see insurance companies and pharmacies attempting to reduce health care expenditures.  This is a noble cause – unless it negatively impacts patient health.  Using words like “generic alternative” and “therapeutic equivalent”, medications are being switched – and this could have unintended consequences our health care system...continued



Claire from Ohio shared the following tip.  You can find more tips from fellow caregivers and share  your own at
I was organizing my father's medication one day and my son, a firefighter paramedic informed me that if something happened to him and they were not sure what meds he was taking they would have to bag the entire group of pills and the hospital would then need to sort them out.  I thought that would be that much more time that they couldn't diagnose his problems. My father was on 26 pills a day and a shot to his belly. I devised a spread sheet with his medications, what they were for, dosage and when he took them. I then proceeded to add all of his surgeries and dated them, where he got them done at, and all of his doctors' names. I kept a sheet in my car, purse, in his walker, and by the door in a file marked in big letters with his name and medical file. I took this to every doctor's appointment, hospital visit, and medical visit. I would update it on the computer and put the newest version everywhere for emergencies. It saved so much time - hospitals loved it. Doctors loved it —especially the ones on call that didn't see my father every day. I ended up doing them for my mother and father-in-law also. If you don't know how to do spreadsheets - try a Word document table.

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I am trying to keep my mom and dad in their home as long as possible and we have hired an aide from a home care company. She is able to help with bathing and household chores, but is not allowed to actually give my mom her medicine from the pill dispenser I put the medications in.

The aide can remind Dad to take his pills and ask him to give Mom’s medication to her, but she cannot actually administer the meds herself.  I can’t be there all the time to make sure they get their medication at the right time every day.  Does anyone have any suggestions for what to do in my situation?


Answer This Week's CareNote Support Group Directory. Click here for information about any caregiver support groups in your area.

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Inside This Issue:

From the Editor

Written In Ink

Feature Article

Morbid Obesity and Caregivers
Guest Column

Just What the Doctor Ordered




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Educate yourself & other caregivers on any prescription drugs given to a loved one. The internet is wonderful to help you...continued


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