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Friday January 29, 2010 - Issue #469

Welcome to the latest edition of the newsletter 

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From The Editor

Gary Barg - Editor-in-chief 

State of the Caregiver Union

I received a call from the White House press office before the President’s State of the Union address. They asked if I would talk to the media about the fact that he would be discussing tax credits for family caregivers.  I said “Sure,” but received no calls the next day.  Oh well.  It was, and still is, wonderful to hear the President of the United States say the words “family caregiver.” The year was 1999 and the President in question, William Jefferson Clinton...continued

Take care

Gary Barg


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Feature Article


Benefits Counselors: Who are they and
do I need one?

By: Sandra Fusion, Staff Writer

There are so many benefits, both financial and assistance-oriented to which individuals are entitled. These include community-based programs, state or federal assistance programs (such as Social Security, Medicare, and food (stamps), as well as retirement and insurance programs to name a few.

One of the issues with having so many benefits available to elderly and disabled individuals is that it is difficult to track them and find out which ones are appropriate for the situation. This is where a benefits counselor can help...continued

Today's Caregiver magazine - Digitial Edition

January/February Issue

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Guest Column
Disaster Preparedness for Elder Loved Ones
By: Dana Carr

It’s no secret that a large percentage of deaths in Katrina-ravaged New Orleans were our sick and our elderly. Even institutions built to safeguard our elderly loved ones were ill-equipped to handle a disaster of this magnitude.

In his September 19, 2005 report, New York Times reporter David Rohde exposes Katrina’s impact on nursing homes and hospitals. About 60% of nursing homes failed to evacuate successfully before the storm hit. Many nursing home operators feared their frailest residents would die on the buses leaving town. So far, more than 150 of the deaths in New Orleans were patients in hospitals and nursing homes... Continued



Top 10 Ways for Caregivers to Spend Dollars Wisely 

Many caregivers grapple with financial choices that can allow them to continue providing care, support their loved one’s needs and keep them safe. Here are some actual ways that caregivers have wisely invested their dollars:

An Adult Day Program to support the care receiver and allow the caregiver some respite or the ability to stay employed.

Durable medical equipment such as bath benches, safety bars, raised toilet seats or portable commodes... Continued


I have been receiving your newsletters for quite some time and I must say "Thank you."  I am often encouraged and enlightened by the stories and it is nice to know that what I go through is very normal when caring for an elderly parent. 

I have been taking care of my mom for several years.  She lives alone with my oldest brother who is mentally handicapped.  Mom recently fell and broke her shoulder.  She spent many weeks in a rehab facility and quickly deteriorated until they figured out one of the psychotropic meds she had taken for several years was toxic.  That was stopped and she was transferred to the Behavioral Health Center in an effort to get her stabilized on new psych meds. 

Mom is currently in the hospital and the social worker requested Elder Affairs (Cares) to assess her to see if she is a candidate for a nursing home.  The Department of Children and Families (DCF) in Florida said that she can transfer the home into my brother's name because he is a mentally challenged son and his disability would make him an eligible candidate to receive her home without causing her to be ineligible for Medicaid.

My question to you is, do you have any advice for dealing with the doctor on getting the meds right and their referring her to more rehab rather than a long-term nursing home?  Also, do you know the facts surrounding Mom's home being put into her son's name.  He currently is on disability with Social Security.  Will he lose the home someday because of the disability income or could the home be put into a different sibling’s name eventually?  Or do you have anyone you could recommend I talk to about these issues?

Thank you for taking time to help if you can.

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.

Have an idea for an article? We are always looking for contributing writers. For more information contact

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Inside This Issue:

State of the Caregiver Union
Benefits Counselors: Who are they and do I need one?
Guest Column
Disaster Preparedness for Elder Loved Ones
Top 10 Ways for Caregivers to Spend Dollars Wisely 


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Let's Talk -
January 2010

What, if any caregiving resolutions did you make for the new year?

Share your story


I am the caregiver for my husband. Two years ago something happened to him and the doctors can't find out what has happened. My husbands hands and feet feel like sandpaper. He has had many test and he can't have a MRI because he has a pace maker....continued