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 Wednesday August 25, 2010 - Issue #500

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From The Editor

Gary Barg - Editor-in-chief 

Funny Stuff

As the calendar pages flip from summer to fall and (hopefully) the heat lets up just a little, I am inclined to talk about something that many who are not family caregivers do not understand—caregiver humor. This refers to those situations which arise out of your caregiving that you cannot help but chuckle about. Especially as we enter the silly season of politics, a little humor may go a long way.

One of my favorite humorous stories about family caregiving came from a social worker named Claire who attended a recent Fearless Caregiver Conference. She told a story about her days as a trainee when she was working at a long-term care facility. These were the days before Naomi Feil developed Validation Therapy, which encourages validating the beliefs of those living with mild dementia (as long as they are not harmful to themselves or others). In other words, respect their beliefs as opposed to arguing with them...continued

Take care

Gary Barg


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Feature Article

Tools For Starting a Caregiver Support Group

By Kristine Dwyer, LSW

Starting a caregiver support group takes time, energy, organization and an ongoing commitment. It is not a one-person job but it does usually need at least one energetic, organized person to start the group and share enthusiasm for its success. Here are some useful suggestions for developing your own caregiver support group: ...continued Cancer Channel

Guest Column

When Depressed Husbands Refuse Help

By Beverly Wax

To the outside world, Emme lived a charmed life. She was a successful model, creative director of her own clothing line, a television host, lecturer, and mother of a beautiful baby girl. Only her family and closest friends knew she was actually dealing with a devastating situation that is all too familiar to wives across the country: a husband who has depression but won’t get help. ...continued



Tip From Corky1947

My 68-year-old husband is on a two-hour medication regimen. It starts at 7 AM and ends at 7 PM. I purchased one of those seven-day plastic medication dispensers and used a permanent marker to count off 1 through 7 on the top of each compartment, left to right, on each box; #1 is for 7 AM, #2 is for 9 AM, and so forth. I then put the corresponding box number on each drug bottle. For instance, he takes Plavix at 7 AM (box #1, which is also the 'Sunday' box on the strip); I marked his Plavix bottle with #1. He takes Coumadin at 7 PM, which is box #7 on the strip and #7 on the bottle.
I created an Excel spreadsheet that shows not only what he takes every two hours, but also who prescribed the medication, the dosage, and why he's taking that drug. I also summarize the total amount of each drug and supplement he takes daily (he takes Sinemet six times a day). This spreadsheet is in every wallet and in a few locations in my home and car. At the bottom of the spreadsheet, I have his drugs segregated on a shelf separate from mine. I have shown my system to several friends and relatives because my husband would not capable of caring for himself in the event that something happened to me.
I use a professional timer in the house to keep his meds on schedule. Once I set it to go off in two hours, all I have to do is stop/start it and it automatically resets to two hours. When away from home, I use a small portable timer to do the job. I know it sounds complex, but once it's done, very little needs to be done again. I mark new drug containers with the corresponding number of the empty containers. This routine has given me peace of mind. By the way, I give a copy of the spreadsheet to all his doctors. When the list is updated, I give them new copies.
Share your tips and questions on our caretips forum at:


I am very interested in starting up a support group in Dubuque County, Iowa where I live.  I've already called local area agencies and hospitals and have found none listed for this particular area. 

As a family caregiver myself, I feel there is a strong need to have a support group.  I am asking whether you can provide me with a little guidance.  I would like to know who to contact who could help me get something started.
Thanking you in advance for your assistance,


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

Funny Stuff

Feature Article

Tools for Starting a Caregiver Support Group
Guest Column

When Depressed Husbands Refuse Help




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Aug/Sept 2010

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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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