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Fearless Caregiver Newsletter
 Thursday October 21, 2010 - Issue #4

Welcome to the latest edition of the bi-weekly newsletter.

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From The Editor

Gary Barg - Editor-in-chiefAn Interview with Melanie Bloom

After her husband, NBC News correspondent David Bloom, died from complications of deep-vein thrombosis (DVT) while covering the war in Iraq, Melanie Bloom felt the need to speak out.   Following David’s death in April 2003, Melanie became more aware of DVT and pulmonary embolism (PE), a potentially fatal complication of DVT. She learned about the risk factors for this condition—such as restricted mobility—that may have led to the development of David’s fatal blood clot. Melanie also learned that David had a silent risk factor, Factor V Leiden—an inherited blood coagulant disorder that can increase a person's risk of DVT. Having three or more risk factors for DVT may put someone at risk and could lead to a potentially fatal PE. David had four.   Most important to family caregivers, Melanie also learned that DVT can be prevented if you are aware of the risk factors, signs and symptoms, and speak to your doctor.   Melanie sat down with Editor-In-Chief Gary Barg to talk about some very important health issues of which family caregivers need to become aware.

Gary Barg: I was a big fan of your husband's work on NBC and it was a shock to hear how he died in Iraq.  It was actually the first time I heard about DVT.

Melanie Bloom:  Gary, me too. I had never heard of it before; so the most important person in your life died from something you do not even know about. It is pretty hard to swallow that.  And thank you for saying you enjoyed his work.  That means a lot...continued


Take care

Gary Barg


Genworth Financial


Feature Article

Dad's House

by Sharon R. McMurray

Our first reaction was “He can’t live alone.”  How could he manage without her?  She was his companion in the house they bought the year after they married nearly sixty years ago. A typical homemaker from the 50s era, she cooked for him, washed the laundry, managed the finances, later drove him where he needed to go, and did a hundred other things...continued Cancer Channel

Guest Column

Laughter is the Best Medicine

By Helen Hunter, ACSW, LSW

When was the last time you had a really good laugh?
The scientific definition of laughing is a “successive, rhythmic, spasmodic expiration with open glottis and vibration of the vocal cords, often accompanied by baring of the teeth and facial expression”. That doesn’t begin to tell the story of what laughing does for us, however. The bottom line is that laughing is medically beneficial...continued



Bipolar Tips for Families
  • Become as educated as possible on the different terms, symptoms, and causes of bipolar disorder
  • Talk to doctors and look for any possible warning signs of worsening condition. .continued

Sharing Wisdom - Caregiver Tips

From Diane in Fredonia, NY
My husband has ALS and we are trying to restructure our house with a minimum of effort and money to make it more accessible. While trying to figure out how we can re-do the bathroom to make the shower work for him, we came up with a neat solution. We had a hot water faucet put on our garden hose and I can shower him on the deck while he's seated in a plastic chair. Luckily, our deck is very private;  but if you have close neighbors, even a shower in a bathing suit is better than no shower at all! Of course, this only works in warm weather.   Winter sponge baths have worked well since we discovered some great no-rinse soaps at our local medical supply store.

From Jane in Kansas City
When my husband broke a bone in his foot, he needed a wheelchair for whenever he left the house because he was not supposed to put weight on the broken bone. Like a super-caregiver, I rented a wheelchair and dutifully hauled it in and out of the car each time he needed it.  After four days of this, my back hurt so much that I couldn't think straight! It dawned on me that most places we go have wheelchairs at their doors.  So I returned my rental wheelchair and started using the available wheelchairs at the mall, the doctor's office building, etc.  It has saved my back often!


The best ideas and solutions for taking care of  your  loved one often come from other caregivers.  Please post your ideas and insights and we will share them with your fellow caregivers. 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

An Interview with
Melanie Bloom

Feature Article

Dad's House

Guest Column

Laughter is the Best Medicine

Bipolar Tips for Families
Sharing Wisdom



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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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