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Fearless Caregiver Newsletter

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Fearless Caregiver Newsletter
 Thursday January 13, 2011 - Issue #16

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From The Editor

Gary Barg - Editor-in-chiefAn Interview with Betty White

You can call Betty White by many recognizable names— Sue Ann Nivens, Rose Nyland, animal activist and now, leading advocate for senior eye health. Betty has become the spokesperson for “My Eye Health: In the Wink of an Eye,” a national campaign to educate Americans, in particular older ones, about age-related macular degeneration, also called AMD, and the importance of early detection and treatment. AMD is the leading cause of blindness in Americans over age 60. About 15 million Americans — almost one in four over the age of 50 -- have AMD which may severely impact the ability to read, watch TV, drive or even recognize faces of family and friends. Editor-In-Chief Gary Barg sits down for an in-depth conversation with this legendary actress and dedicated advocate and Dr. Carmen A. Puliafito, Chairman of The University of Miami’s Bascom Palmer Eye Institute.  

GARY BARG: A very important issue that caregivers are dealing with is age-related macular degeneration as it is the leading cause of blindness in people over 60.  Can you tell me what it is exactly?

DR. PULIAFITO: Macular degeneration is a major public health issue for us now with so many seniors that are out there.  There are two forms of macular degeneration – the dry form and the more serious wet form of AMD.  What happens is the central part of your vision can be affected, the part of vision that you use to read, to recognize faces, to drive a car. And if you have the symptoms of blurry vision or wavy vision and you’re a senior, it may not be a cataract, it may not be glaucoma, it may be new wet AMD. You need to see your ophthalmologist because we have some great new treatments for wet AMD that can preserve or even improve your vision. It’s also very important to have a routine eye examination to know that you have the early signs of AMD and Betty will tell you about the great way to screen yourself...continued

Take care

Gary Barg


Feature Article

Make a New Year’s Resolution
to Schedule an Eye Exam

Early Diagnosis and Treatment Can Lessen Effects of Glaucoma, the “Sneak Thief of Sight”

Many people are making New Year’s resolutions to improve their health.  However, many may not be aware that an eye exam cannot only help to protect vision, it can uncover evidence of other diseases including diabetes or hypertension.

And, for eye diseases such as glaucoma, the damaging effects may be detected through an eye exam before a patient notices any symptoms....continued

Clinical Trial Spotlight

Guest Column

Everyday Tasks Made Easier
With Accessible Technology
By Patricia Kennedy, RN, CNP

What if vision challenges made it impossible for you to read a computer screen? Or limited dexterity left you unable to type? For many people living with chronic illnesses and disabilities, these questions are in fact realities. Symptoms such as vision impairments, cognitive challenges, and dexterity limitations can make the use of technology difficult and at times seemingly impossible...continued Long Term Care Channel


Helpful Tips for the Vision Impaired
By  Deborah Kogler

Here are ten simple tips to make living with low vision more manageable.

1. Lighting
Increase the amount of lighting directly over the task that you are doing. Focus the light directly onto what you are doing. LED lights, natural light and natural daylight bulbs are recommended.  Do not use fluorescent lights as fluorescent light causes glare...continued

Fearless Caregiver Guides

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Sharing Wisdom - Caregiver Tips

Vision Loss Tips

From Lois in Pennsylvania
My mother is declared legally blind because she has macular degeneration. She is in assisted living now; but she has had this deteriorating eye condition for much longer than she's been in assisted living. An invaluable resource for us has been the Foundation for the Blind:  You'll be surprised how much help they can be.

From Lori C. in Kansas
Check with your state Agency on Aging to see if there are any programs around that help people adjust to vision loss. In Kansas, we have a KanSail program through Social Rehab Services that helps people over 55. A person can still do a lot, even with less to no vision. It's not the end of their independence. While there are treatments that can slow down the loss, it usually still happens. Getting help adjusting to lower vision is always a good idea.


From Linda M. in Wisconsin
If you have an Aging & Disability Resource Center in your county, they can provide you with resources in your area and beyond. There are also Web sites. There are many adaptive devices to assist, and ideas as simple as putting a rubber band around you shampoo to tell the difference from the conditioner. Also ask about support groups for the visually impaired. Doing things now to prepare for future loss is important to adjustment.

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.

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

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Inside This Issue:

From the Editor
An Interview with
Betty White

Feature Article
Make a New Year’s Resolution to Schedule an Eye Exam

Guest Column
Everyday Tasks Made Easier With Accessible Technology  

Helpful Tips for the Vision Impaired
Sharing Wisdom


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Digital version of print magazine

Today's Caregiver Magazine - Nov/Dec 2010 


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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