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Fearless Caregiver Newsletter
 Thursday February 17, 2011 - Issue #21

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From The Editor

Gary Barg - Editor-in-chiefAn Interview with Dr. Bob Arnot

Gary Barg: Your dad passed away after a massive heart attack. I was hoping you would talk a little bit about your role as a family caregiver.

Bob Arnot:  Well, with both my parents, there were a number of chronic diseases that they had.  Both of them actually did have heart disease.  I, as a physician and advocate, of course, was really trying to upgrade their care, which is a tough, tough, tough thing to do. You first and foremost have to be a disruptor because, after all, Mom or Dad is very comfortable being wherever their head is at, being in with their old doctor. With both my parents, I had to push.

For instance, my mother had an aortic valve that had closed down to a very small area, way passed the time she should have had surgery.  Her doctor actually sent her home and said, ďI will see you in six months.Ē  Well, she was not going to come back in six months.  She had a near-death episode and, fortunately, we got her into the hospital, got the right surgeon and a new aortic valve. She survived, but the tough thing about being a caregiveris that itís not enough to just care an awful lot and do everything humanly possible.  You have to be able to navigate the health care system, which is far from easy...continued

Take care

Gary Barg


Feature Article

Caregivers Challenge:
Finding Daycare Options

By Cheryl Ellis, Staff Writer

Caregivers who are just beginning their journey may feel day care services are for later stages of their loved oneís situation.  The sooner caregivers locate and enroll their family member in a program, the greater the benefit for all concerned.  Finding the appropriate day care can be challenging, but has grown much easier over time. 
More adult day care centers are popping up in different areas.  You may begin to notice more of them than you did previously, which expands options for places to start...continued

Guest Column

Eating Disorders: How to Offer Support
By Christopher Clark

You are a spouse or parent of someone with an eating disorder, you are all too aware of that feeling of helplessness as you watch your loved oneís physical and psychological condition deteriorate.  You may notice changes in personality.  An individual may turn from being sociable and energetic to being withdrawn and depressed...continued Long Term Care Channel


Blood Pressure: Itís a Balancing Act  

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

Fearless Caregiver Guides

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Sharing Wisdom - Caregiver Tips

Petra from Brooklyn, NY
I have an organized list of medical records as the caregiver for my brother, and I keep one for myself.  It is on the computer, which makes it easy to update and print as necessary.  In addition, I can email and share with family members as needed. On the Medication Record, I note the name of the patient, primary physician(s) with phone numbers, and the emergency contact person (namely myself). This has each medication name, the condition it treats, start and end dates, dosage, prescribing doctor, and possible reaction/side effects.  On the last page, I have listed all medical doctors' names including surgeons and what was performed, date and results of surgery. On the Serious Illness Record are all treatment dates (most recent on top), medical condition, outcome, hospital name and address, primary doctor, and results of treatment. These two documents come in very handy at the hospital and save my having to repeat constantly.



Lisa from Newport News, VA
To accommodate a wheelchair ramp at my home, I recently had to buy a new storm door and I'd like to share what I learned. The newer doors have a "stop" built into the closer so that you can tap it with your foot and it holds the door open. Then to release the stop, you only have to open the door a bit more and it slowly closes. Because the stop is built into the closer (not the door), I'm thinking that this new and improved closer can probably be purchased and installed on an existing storm door. I can't tell you how handy this feature has been because it frees me up to focus on my mom as we enter the house instead of trying to hold the door open with my foot.



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
An Interview with
Dr. Bob Arnot

Feature Article
Caregivers Challenge: Finding Daycare Options

Guest Column
Eating Disorders: How to Offer Support†

Blood Pressure: Itís 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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