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Caregiver News
December 10, 2013  |  Issue #669  
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From the Editor's Pen Gary Barg • Editor-in-Chief • gary@caregiver.com

Gary Barg
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 accident?

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  ...more

Visit The Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation Holiday Gift Guide

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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

Caregiver Holiday Special

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


From Bonnie:  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 is effective.

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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