Into the Limelight: Perspectives on Caregiving
An interview with Dana Reeve
Like many of us, Dana Reeve became a caregiver
overnight. Her husband, actor and director Christopher Reeve, was left
paralyzed from the neck down as a result of a riding accident in 1995.
Nothing would be the same for the whole family. But as a family, the
Reeves have learned and grown from this experience. Dana Reeve spoke
with publisher, Gary Barg about her new life as a caregiver and a
caregiver advocate, how she copes and what she has learned.
Gary Barg: How did you explain to your son, Will, about Chris's
Dana Reeve: As a parent, I firmly believe that we need to be as
honest as we can be with our children, tempering what we say to match
the appropriate age level of the child. Children are extremely
resilient. I think if they feel safe, then you're giving them the best
possible tool any parent would give a child: to be able to cope with
life's inevitable difficulties.
At first, Will (he was three years old) was afraid of even seeing Chris,
but he adapted very quickly, Will repeatedly fell off his hobby horse in
the pediatric ward playroom and say, "Oh, my neck, my neck!" I would
have to tell him that his neck was fine and "Daddy's neck is broken and
he can't move." We would do this over and over again. It was sort of
like play therapy that he was devising on his own
Visit The Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation Holiday Gift Guide
Hope For The Holidays
Caregivers are stretched to the max during
the majority of the year, but during the holiday season, this
stress can take on an entirely different meaning.
Expectations and Traditions
Caregivers must first and foremost be realistic. Our culture tends
to paint a perfect holiday picture of families gathered around a
fireplace, drinking eggnog and laughing happily ...more
Ask any Senior... How is a Dog like a Light Bulb?
By Joanna R. Leefer, MBA, GSC
Most pet lovers already know the answer.
He lights up the room with his love. Senior care facilities think
this way as well. Many nursing homes, assisted living residences,
and senior centers offer visiting pet programs that allow residents
to interact with animals. The results often turn into a love fest! ...more
16 Stress Reducing Strategies
By Lisa Bailey
When my husband Phil’s colorectal cancer returned in
October of 2006, this time in the liver and lungs, I found myself stressed to
the max. With my full-time job as a kindergarten teacher, my commitment to my
adult children and grandchildren, and keeping tabs on my teenage daughter,
adding compassionate caregiving to my life’s work demands from me an incredibly
difficult balancing act ...more
Hello. I was diagnosed with a rare lung disease (LAM) a couple
years ago. I am on Social Security disability, require oxygen 24/7,
use a wheelchair for mobility and thank God every day for my
younger sister who is my caregiver 24/7.
Unfortunately, since she takes care of me, she is unable to work
and my Social Security benefits are barely enough to keep me going,
let alone give her anything. She used to go to college and had a
part-time job, but she had to drop everything after my diagnosis.
Things are getting harder on her as my disease progresses.
There is no cure or medication for it; only a double lung transplant
She tells me I am not a burden, but I don't know what else to call
it. Is there anything I can do? I have been asked by people if she
gets "checks from the state" for being my caregiver, but they are
unable to tell me how to go about this. Is there a program for
caregivers to get a wage for caregiving? Please, share any
information you may have on this. I would really appreciate it.
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