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From The Editor
Lessons From The Storm
Donna, Isabel, Betsy, Inez, David, Andrew,
Frances, Jeanne, Katrina, Wilma. This is not an
invitation list for a family reunion, just a list of
the hurricanes that I have been lucky(?) enough to
live through. Since I was born, I have never
missed being there when a hurricane hit my neck of
the woods in Southeast Florida. When I graduated
from college upstate, I drove back home through the
onset of Hurricane David. Years later, when
Hurricane Andrew hit, I was home visiting my mother,
even though I had lived away from Florida for the
previous eight years. (The Chamber of Commerce
finally asked if I wouldn’t mind never coming back!)
And after I came back to South Florida to start
magazine, I actually moved into my new home in
Fort Lauderdale in the eye of a hurricane (don’t
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Extended Families: Our Greatest
By Helen Hunter, ACSW, CMSW
There are many family situations today where you can find three, four or even five generations living under one roof. While the circumstances that result in multi-generational living vary from financial to health-related to simple family closeness, families who choose to live together face initial periods of adjustment. Many of these family members ultimately find their relationships strengthened by their mutual experiences and their patience in dealing with many issues at once...continued
Morbid Obesity and Caregivers:
Learning What Works
By Sandra Ray, Staff Writer
really news anymore – Americans as a rule are
overweight. In fact, more than half of the population
struggles with weight or is considered obese. Obesity is
generally defined as someone who has a body mass index
(BMI) of more than 25. Yet, despite campaigns to bring
awareness to the problem and the increased number of
options for individuals to work through these issues,
obesity continues to increase...continued
Care Travel: A Prepared Traveler is a
Whether you travel abroad or
domestically, there are some tips you should keep in
mind. These suggestions have been written for the
special needs traveler, but they apply to anyone going
Share your tip, advice resource or observation.
Sharing Wisdom - Q&A
Dave from New Hampshire
biggest tip I could suggest when caring for an elderly
individual is the approach. My father-in-law, who has
since passed, was never easy to help. He was a
very independent man and a former Marine. However, as
time went on, his medical issues became very severe.
As he required more and more help, he began to get more
angry with my wife and me at mentioning an assistance
device (“hurt the ones you love”). What my wife and I
realized is that each doctor’s appointment and each new
medical issue brought a realization within him that
independence was being lost. The key we found was to
never treat him as though he was a child (big mistake).
Discuss the increase in care needs with them and ask for
feedback. Never let a comment such as “I am BURDEN” go
without an immediate dismissal and a redirect of how
important they are to you. Include them in everything
you can. My wife and I never took a vacation that didn’t
include him and it was fun. Caregiving is certainly not
an easy task, but I made a friend, gained a wealth of
knowledge in history, and my wife and I have grown as
close as close can get. We miss you, Charlie.
Diana from Wisconsin
I have been taking care
of my boyfriend who is in the end stages of type 1 diabetes. About six
years ago, his family, with the help of the county health and human
services department, put L in a nursing home against his will. L hated
every minute that he was in there. It took us a year and a half (part of
that, getting him off the drugs they were giving him), a good lawyer,
and an excellent licensed psychologist to get L home. I now have a power
of attorney. I want to emphasize to everyone the importance of giving
power of attorney to someone you trust. It is way too easy to commit
someone against their will. With L, there was no investigation done.
Afterward, I was told that no one considered the fact that his mother
might be lying because she did not want to help take care of her son.
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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