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From The Editor
An Interview with Rodney
and Holly Robinson Peete
Mr. and Mrs. Peete, better known as Rodney Peete, NFL Football quarterback,
and Holly Robinson Peete, actress, created the HollyRod Foundation eleven years ago to give a voice
and a hand to those striving for quality of life when theirs has been diminished due to disease or
disorders. Through watching Holly’s father, Matthew T. Robinson, writer, producer and actor,
struggle with Parkinson’s disease, the Peetes were moved to form the foundation. After Holly
and Rodney’s eldest son, RJ, was diagnosed with autism, the foundation’s mission expanded to create the HollyRod4kids initiative.
Holly and Rodney sat down recently with Editor-in-Chief Gary Barg for a wide-ranging interview about
caring for one another and their loved ones, as well as those in need and their family caregivers.
Gary Barg: You
started HollyRod Foundation after
Holly's dad, the great Matthew Robinson,
was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease.
He was, of course, noted for being the
first Gordon on Sesame Street and also
writer and producer of The Cosby Show.
Why did you start the foundation?
What are its goals?
Holly Robinson Peete:
The Foundation was started in 1997 when
my husband, Rodney, basically told me to
stop feeling sorry for myself that my
dad had Parkinson's disease, but to feel
blessed that we had the resources to
take care of him when so many people did
not. We provide physical,
occupational and speech therapies and
other services to families affected by
Parkinson's disease that otherwise would
not be able to access those services.
So we are thrilled to be able to
continue his legacy by helping other
people with Parkinson's disease;
especially since my dad has been gone,
it has been eight years now...continued
Caring Gifts for Caregivers
By Cheryl Ellis, Staff Writer
Nearly any season has its typical
gift giving occasions. From yuletide to birthdays and
anniversaries, the need to find an appropriate gift
presents itself. When the gifts are for caregivers or
their special needs loved ones, it becomes necessary to
place a little more thought into the right gift.
A Caregiver’s Memories:
How to Deal with Moving On
Patricia St. Clair
It was during that period of
time after the hungry feasters snaked through the line of platters,
bowls and trays of assorted delights, but prior to the point when
the reality of the quantity eaten exceeds the norm. Just a glance at
the dessert table with enough confections to put even the most
sedentary soul on a sugar high is incentive enough to linger in
hopes that the consumed food would shift downwards and leave a gap
for the addition of a dessert...continued
Remember the Studebaker?
Reminiscing as Therapy for Your Parents
By Paula Tchirkow, MSW, LSW, ACSW
Not again? You’ve heard that story about Sunday trips
in the big black Studebaker at least 100 times. But you
sit politely as your elderly mother recalls her
grandfather’s rumble seat, running boards, chrome grill
and overflowing picnic basket...continued
Sharing Wisdom - Caregiver Tips
From Gail in Wood Dale, IL:
Dress the person you take care of for success. Easy
fitting warm-up clothes with elastic waists are very
comfortable and can be easily pulled down for bathroom
visits; they look nice enough to go out, and are loose
enough to wear to bed. If the person has a memory disorder
and they happen to leave the house unexpectedly, they are
always dressed. Darker colors hide accidental spills. Adult
diapers are so good now, they are almost like underwear. And
Velcro gym shoes are heaven-sent.
From Ruth M. in Boynton Beach, FL:
Because my husband has dementia, he messes things up,
loses or hides stuff. Because most things in the mail are
important, I leave only the junk mail for him and secure the
rest in a place where it can't get lost. I hide glasses,
keys, etc. and replace them with unimportant things.
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.
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