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Fearless Caregiver Newsletter
 Tuesday June 21, 2011 - Issue #39

Welcome to the latest edition of the bi-weekly newsletter.

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From The Editor

Gary Barg - Editor-in-chief An Interview with Debra Kleesattel

Debra Kleesattel, Ph.D., is the Director of Operations for Humana Cares.  Humana Cares, a national division of Humana, Inc., provides integrated complex and chronic care management programs for nearly 125,000 Humana members across the country.  Before her present role, she was the Field Care Manager Coach for Green Ribbon Health, a Medicare Health Support pilot project.  Before joining Green Ribbon Health, she was the Family Caregiver Resource Specialist for the National Family Caregiver Support Program at the Area Agency on Aging in Rocky Mount, North Carolina.   

Editor-in-Chief Gary Barg spoke with Dr. Kleesattel about the challenges of self-identification for caregivers, partnering with your loved oneís healthcare team and the importance of self-care for caregivers.

Gary Barg:  How would you suggest that a caregiver could best partner with their loved oneís care management team?

Dr. Debra Kleesattel:  Caregiving happens on such a continuum and what oftentimes happens, because that caregiver does not do what we call self-identification, they do not see themselves as caregivers.  They see themselves as doing what everybody would do for their loved one. 

So recognizing early on in the process of starting to provide care for someone, I think having that open and honest dialogue and communication about boy, I am seeing some changes happening here and maybe some assistance I am providing, so let us talk about that. ...continued

Take care

Gary Barg

A new channel is available on   To learn more about CMT - CHARCOT-MARIE-TOOTH, click here.

Feature Article

The Value of Massage for Caregivers

By Kristine Dwyer,  Staff Writer

Massage therapy isnít just a luxury anymore and has actually become a vital part of health care practices worldwide. It is a holistic therapy that has shown positive effects on physical and mental health in addition to enhancing medical treatments. Having a massage does more than just relax the body and mind. There are measurable physiological and psychological changes that occur; especially when massage is used as a preventative and continuous therapy...continued

Silent Call - Stay Safe in Your Own Home

Guest Column

Those Inexplicable Instructions!
By Dr. Barry Tepperman

It happens to every caregiver. You're at the doctor's with your loved one. You and your loved one are both feeling well, and your loved one is looking forward to a vacation away-with some strenuous physical activity. Just to check, you tell the doctor your plans: you're off, together, to the Great Smoky Mountains for some hiking. A concerned frown comes over the doctor's face, and your doctor says, "I really don't think you should do that..."continued

Fearless Caregiver Conference


Improving Doctor/Caregiver Relationships
By Ryan Mackey

Tips for Doctors from Caregivers

Allow yourself to feel for the caregiver and be in support of their role.

Be as up front as possible with any health conditions or diagnoses of loved ones.

Do not be afraid to ask how the caregiver is doing, and think of their needs even when tending to a loved one....continued

Fearless Caregiver Guides
View sample pages


I am 36 and I take care of my husband who is 38 and has Bipolar II disorder.  He has had this for about 7 years.  I love him very much and we have two teenage daughters; we've been married 16 years.  Right now I am at my breaking point. I feel like *me* is completely gone. All I can do is think about how to respond to him so that I donít set him off. He is staying on his meds for as far as I can tell. The biggest thing I deal with is his inability to communicate with anyone and mostly me. He absolutely refuses or cannot try to talk to anyone about daily life. If I talk to him once per day, that is a lot! And then itís usually like we just met and we talk about the weather.
I want to break free of this; I want him to try to work on his issues, but he wonít. I want to divorce him right now because I just need to have a real relationship. But I love him and I promised him for better or for worse. I want to always be there for him, but I need things, too. I feel as if I just donít get to have feelings and preferences. I think I need to find someone who can listen; someone who cares about me.  I need to find people like me, but there are no support groups in my area that I can find.


Answer This Week's CareNote 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
Debra Kleesattel

Feature Article
The Value of Massage for Caregivers

Guest Column
Those Inexplicable Instructions!

Improving Doctor/Caregiver Relationships†


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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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