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Today's Caregiver Newsletter
February 11, 2014  |  Issue #687  
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From the Editor's Pen Gary Barg • Editor-in-Chief • gary@caregiver.com

Gary Barg

The Debbie Reynolds Interview

Gary Barg:  You have a unique approach to talking about caregiving. Can you tell me a little about that?

Debbie Reynolds:  I try to get the point across without being too dead-serious, because it is such a difficult subject. It’s life and life is not a bowl of cherries; because if it were, why am I feeling in the pits? My family has a history of longevity; my mom lived to be 82 and my daddy, 83. We all have caregiving situations. Every generation has to take care of the next generation, or not and not care at all. I don’t think that it’s “we” as a people who feel this way, because most of us want to take care of our loved ones. Not everybody gets to live well towards the end; and because people are living longer, you either have to take them into your home or find a place for them. This type of decision-making can either be life threatening or life making.

Gary Barg:  What is your personal experience with caregiving?

Debbie Reynolds:  My grandmother lived with my mom and daddy until she went blind, and then my mother became critically ill with a bad heart. My mother started having heart conditions when she was 39, so I’ve been a caregiver since I was 14  ...more

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Living Separate Lives "Together"
When advanced care means
living apart from your spouse

By Kristine Dwyer, Staff Writer

Marriages that last for a lifetime are rare and precious. Older couples have experienced joys, weathered many storms and have endured the tests of time. Understandably, the impact on the marriage relationship can be overwhelming when advanced care forces one spouse to move to a care facility ...more

Caregiver Calendar Sale

The Accident
By Pamela G. Stewart

I have chronic progressive multiple sclerosis. When this situation occurred, I was using a scooter or a walker as mobility aids, depending on my needs. For quite some time, I continued driving to work because I didn't feel like I had a choice. Too often, public buses didn't stop to let me on—perhaps because of the extra time it would take to load me ...more

Family Caregiving: Sharing the Work
By Rita L. Calderon

I am my brother’s keeper...
To love, comfort, honor in sickness and in health....

How we took these words for granted. Yet it was hard to visualize that bright-eyed, young beauty in front of us as old and sick. And easier to be our brother’s keeper when we lived in extended families in a less transient nation. If you can’t take Dad to the doctor next Tuesday, call your sister who lives over on Broadway, or the nephew or the neighbor  ...more

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From Sandra in Canada:  I have an elderly mother, 83, who was diagnosed bipolar 30 years ago. She has recently been placed in a nursing home, after being in the hospital psych ward for one year. She is in a deep depression. No drugs worked for her. Shock treatments are ongoing and help a little. Some of her coping mechanisms or reactions to her drugs (not sure which) are constant rocking and humming. Her depression has also caused her to believe she can't chew or digest regular food. She has lost 50 pounds and is on a pureed diet, but dislikes it. I am now on an anti-depressant myself. I'm finding my visits with my mother, whom I absolutely adore and have had an excellent relationship with all my life, emotionally draining. I am only visiting her once a week now, but what can I do to make those visits less draining for me and more beneficial for her? Any suggestions?

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