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Thursday August 18, 2011 - Issue #551

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From The Editor

Gary Barg - Editor-in-chief 

A Rich Life

I wrote a caregiver communiqué last winter to highlight the challenges coping with senior falls and what we would need to do to help our loved ones live safely at home.   My dear friend Barbara Rich, who was the Betty in this story, passed away last week, with her beloved daughter and truly Fearless Caregiver Wendy (Donna in this story) at her side. I’d like to share the story once again in her honor. Our thoughts and prayers are with Wendy and her family.

When I returned home to South Florida after college in the early 80s, my close group of new friends and neighbors included Betty. Betty was more than 20 years older than the rest of us, but could outthink, outdance and had more energy than any of us.

Fast forward to a few years ago when I received a call from Betty’s daughter Donna, who lives in a neighboring county.  She told me a horrific story that culminated with Betty’s hospitalization and admittance into a nursing home for rehabilitation.  The week earlier, Betty had fallen in the bathroom and found herself jammed between the bathtub and the commode...continued

Take care

Gary Barg

Clinical Trial Channel 


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Feature Article

Rocks and Caregivers…What's The Connection?

By Kristine Dwyer, Staff Writer

Rocks and caregiving do not seem compatible in the same sentence or have an obvious connection. Rocks may seem ordinary, seemingly useless and taken for granted. Rocks may even seem unchanging; however, they do go through cycles and are constantly changing due to environmental influences, much like caregiving itself. Robert Greenleaf once wrote, “Caring for persons, the more able and the less able serving each other, is the rock upon which a good society is built.”...continued

Guest Column

The Healing Power of Music

By Steve Toll and Linda Bareham 

What better “medicine” than a “treatment” that has only positive side effects and “therapy” that is actually enjoyable? That is the “miracle of music” when applied with intention. Music is shown to have the ability to help organize the brain; especially vital to those who are afflicted with Alzheimer’s...continued


Moving on: Tips for Selecting a Senior Living Community
By Patricia O’Dea-Evans, MS, RN, LCPC, CCM

Making the move to a senior living community can be one of the biggest life changes for an older adult.  Thankfully, today’s wide range of eldercare options means that there is literally something for everyone in terms of care levels and cost.

The key to finding the perfect senior housing solution involves a careful analysis of what’s needed and research on what’s available. Here are some tips for success...continued

Share your tip, advice resource or observation.

Sharing Wisdom - Q&A

My mother was diagnosed with dementia and paranoia. My father is 81 years old and in fair health. He wants to correct my mother when she says something incorrect and he has to be right about everything. My mother accuses him of stealing from her. My dad calls and complains because he is tired of being called a thief. I tell him to just let it go, but he won’t. I sometimes feel he doesn't want to take full responsibility for my mother’s care, and tries to make me feel guilty because I'm not there all the time. Does anyone have any advice for this? Any suggestions would be appreciated.

From Russ in MT
You may consider hiring a professional personal caregiver to come in periodically as it sounds like your dad is already struggling with managing her disease from an emotional point of view. Your dad may be overwhelmed and a professional caregiver also can give him, and you, some respite and an opportunity to get away for a couple of hours to regain perspective. Perhaps you and your dad can use the time to go for a drive in the country, go out to lunch, or attend a local support group together to help cope. Watching how a professional responds to your mom may also give you both some pointers to use. Hope my "two cents" will help and please take care.

From Chris in OH
Many times, it is difficult for a spouse to accept the changes going on with their spouse. Communications change and unless they understand the reasons for the break down, it will be hard to handle. My suggestion is to learn not to say things that challenge the person. Keep questions simple, like “Do you want to wear this outfit or the other one?” not “What do you want to wear?” This is too open-ended. Work with your father to see if he can make these changes. If not, then bring other caregivers into the situation.

From Shelby in FL
D., I understand completely as my mother is going through the same thing. When she accuses me of stealing, I have to remind myself that she is not feeling well and not to take it personally. Instead, I reply that it must be someplace in the house, that I will help her find it, and I take action to do so. The issue is not so much that they think someone is stealing as they have misplaced it. It is hard for them to accept that they have lost control of things in their environment and would really like to have the item they are looking for. Humor really helps, also. When my mother accuses me of taking something because she cannot find it, I reply, "The dog has buried it again because he wants to play hide and seek; let’s find where he put it," or something like that. Good luck!

This was a recent question with responses from  the CareNotes forum. If you have a situation you are having trouble dealing with or need an answer to a question, email to post it on our weekly CareNotes



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Inside This Issue:

From the Editor

A Rich Life

Feature Article

Rocks and Caregivers…What's The Connection?
Guest Column

The Healing Power of Music


Moving on: Tips for Selecting a Senior Living Community  
Sharing Wisdom



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