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 Thursday March 3, 2011 - Issue #527

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From The Editor

Gary Barg - Editor-in-chief 

Sophia's Choice

I received a call from my good friend Penelope today. I always enjoy spending time with her and her husband, Jim, when I visit the town in which they live.  A more lively, fun and loving couple you will never find.  I looked forward to a night at a local Italian bistro, alternately laughing and solving all the problems of the world in one evening.   Penelope called to tell me that they will not be in town when I visit next week.   The reason is that they will be traveling to Penelope’s hometown to see her mother and her mother’s doctors.   I have met Penelope’s mother Sophia and I will tell you that this apple did not fall far from the tree.  At 86, Sophia will wear out visitors who are decades younger than her (like me) as she whips around town playing tour guide. Recently, however, after months of pain in her side, Sophia found out that she will soon need to consider having hip replacement surgery. The reason that Penelope and Jim are flying home is their concern over what happened when Sophia’s two sisters had surgeries necessitating the use of anesthesia...continued  

Take care

Gary Barg



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Feature Article

Driving Dilemmas: Risk vs. Independence

By Kristine Dwyer, Staff Writer

Driving a car is a symbol of independence and competence and is closely tied to an individual’s identity. It also represents freedom and control and allows older adults to gain easy access to social connections, health care, shopping, activities and even employment. At some point, however, it is predictable that driving skills will deteriorate and individuals will lose the ability to safely operate a vehicle...continued

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Guest Column

Coaxing Spring

By: Jennifer Cleveland

We are entering the time of year that some of us find hard to bear–and that is late winter.

The sparkle of the holidays end; family members go back to their cross-country locales, and so begins, for those of us in the colder parts of the country, the longest, starkest part of the year.  Add a serious illness to that image, and it is no wonder that those afflicted, and their caregivers, feel especially overwhelmed and let down...continued

Today's Caregiver magazine - Digitial Edition

January/February Issue


Blood Pressure: It’s a Balancing Act
By: Jennifer Bradley, Staff Writer

Most people hear about all the symptoms and side effects of high blood pressure. The opposite end of the spectrum can be just as daunting if not kept in check. Low blood pressure is desirable in many cases, unless the reading is too low.  Low blood pressure can cause major damage to organs, especially the brain...continued

Share your tip, advice resource or observation.

Sharing Wisdom - Caregiver Tips

From Mary

After five years of long-distance caregiving, my mother passed away just after New Year’s. I am glad I interrupted my work career to drive up and care for her monthly, then weekly.  I was able to be with her during her last weeks.

Luckily, she was mentally sharp till the last two days. Unluckily, she had a doctor who was reluctant to give up and order hospice care.  My mother was diagnosed with colon cancer at Christmas time.  We finally got the orders the day before New Year’s Eve. My mother rapidly declined over the holiday weekend.  Hospice responded to my late night call on New Year’s Eve with verbal assistance, and a hospice nurse came on Saturday to show me how to administer oxygen. After more midnight calls Saturday and Sunday, the whole team came on Monday. They were wonderful, but my mother died the next morning. Hospice took care of the end and stayed with me (I have no other family).

We need to make more doctors aware of the health care available from hospice and palliative teams. They are invaluable to family as well as the patient. To order this care is not a "death notice," but an acknowledgement that more care is needed at the home of the patient. It is not to give up, but to care more.

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.

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

Sophia's Choice

Feature Article

Driving Dilemmas: Risk vs. Independence
Guest Column

Coaxing Spring


Blood Pressure: It’s a Balancing Act
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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