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Thursday May 5, 2011 - Issue #536

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From The Editor

Gary Barg - Editor-in-chief 

Having Meaningful Conversations on Mothers’ Day

I recently spoke with my friend Harry about his 90-year-old mother, who lives two counties away. He described her as a fiercely independent woman who lived alone and was still driving. But recently, she had become noticeably frail and was not allowing anyone into her home.  On her recent Easter visit to his home, Harry noticed she hadn't changed or showered during the entire three-day stay. This was in distinct contrast to the fastidiously clean woman he had known his entire life. Harry told me he was worried about bringing the issue up with her because she might stop talking with him, as she had with Harry's brother after he had repeatedly attempted to communicate these same concerns....continued

Take care

Gary Barg

Incontinence Simplified


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Feature Article

Telehealth Moves from the Doctor's Office
to the Home

By Sandra Ray, Staff Writer

When many rural communities in the 1990s began to look for options to provide medical care to their area without a physician in residence, telehealth options surfaced and flourished. Patients could visit an office once or twice a week, have a traveling nurse take vitals, and then speak to a physician through a video relay service. For those areas who before had no health care, the programs provided much-needed access to individuals who otherwise may have gone without.....continued

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Guest Column

Final Wishes

By Emily Jaschke  

 “I’m too ornery to die; I’m going to stick around forever to make everyone else’s life miserable.” Those were the only words of wisdom I had that alluded to her last wishes. My mother was dead. I did not understand why, and the responsibility of her final internment was placed upon my shoulders...continued

Leadership Summit


What Did You Say?
By J B Buckley

Do you find the need to repeat yourself more often than not to the person you are caring for? Does your talking level closely resemble your yelling level just so your care recipient can hear you? Are you speaking so slowly that you end up losing your train of thought? It is possible that the person you are caring for is one of the 28 million Americans suffering from hearing loss...continued

Share your tip, advice resource or observation.

Sharing Wisdom - Caregiver Tips

From M.M. in Tucson, Arizona
With disposable plates, cups and cutlery, caregivers are not required to deal with dirty dishes, ever. If your person is incontinent, then layer at least three sheets with disposable pads on each so when there are accidents, you can easily remove a sheet with minimal effort. Velveeta melted on anything can make food easy to swallow. Low sodium V-8 juice is great; you don't have to add thickeners. If you are not set up for wheelchair access to an existing bathroom, then cut a hole in the screen for a hand-held shower outside.  If there is difficulty moving a person, request a lift from the insurance company. Demand a suction machine if a person has any difficulty swallowing food. This will save you a few trips to the ER for aspiration pneumonia.
Above all, do not despair; there really is a solution to every challenge you are facing. Good luck; wind at your back!


From Suzie in Massachusetts
One thing I've been told by gerontologists is to try to keep my elderly clients awake during normal daytime hours—with maybe a one hour or one and a half hour nap at the most. Encourage fluids, decaffeinated beverages instead of caffeinated, and exercise like walking, range of motion exercises and housework. If you think something is unusual about your loved one, make a list to bring to the next doctor's appointment. You could write down what a typical day is and see what the doctor says. Also, tastebuds do fade, but the sweet tooth seems to last the longest.



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Inside This Issue:

From the Editor

Having Meaningful Conversations on Mothers’ Day

Feature Article

Telehealth Moves from the Doctor's Office to the Home
Guest Column

Final Wishes


What Did You Say?
Sharing Wisdom



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Educate yourself & other caregivers on any medication given to a loved one. The internet is wonderful to help you...continued


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