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June 12, 2014
Issue #722
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From the Editor's Pen Gary Barg • Editor-in-Chief • gary@caregiver.com

Gary Barg

A Loving Ode to Sneaky Wisdom

As we travel the nation talking with our fellow family caregivers, our hope is to help bring the best answers, support and advice to light. We talk about such things as the importance of being able to communicate with our loved ones for whom we care. This is extremely important as we all work so very hard to ensure they eat well, stop driving (if necessary), and even take their medicines as directed.

This effort takes diligence, fortitude and, most of all, quite a bit of sneakiness. You heard me. In this case, you have my full permission to extend your usual decent and truthful personality to include a bit of, as we say in the old country, blarney and maybe even a little white lie or two. All in the service of the greater good. In some cases, this is the only way you will be able to do all you can do to keep your loved one safe and secure.

To further extoll the virtue of loving sneakiness as you care for your loved ones, I offer the following suggestions that we have heard from family caregivers over the years. Don’t worry, you will have a chance to add your own successful little white lies to the list at the end of this article  ...more

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 IN THIS ISSUE



Fighting Caregiver Fatigue
By Kristine Dwyer, Staff Writer

Calvin’s day begins before 5 A.M. He knows another exhausting day lies ahead. He allows himself only enough time to have a cup of coffee and read the paper before lying back down by his wife’s side until 6 A.M. when the daily routine begins again; toileting, showering, dressing, wheelchair transfers, laundry, meal preparation, housekeeping, correspondence, paperwork, yard work, personal care. Soon it's time for a doctor appointment; more wheelchair transfers, a trip to the pharmacy, grocery shopping, and then, finally, a return home to continue the care routine  ...more

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I Miss Taking Care of My Dad
By Arthur Cohen

I miss taking care of my Dad. He was in pretty bad shape for quite a while toward the end and required lots of care. It was at this time of his life that he said one of the most memorable and flattering things he ever said to me. With all of the anguish and frustration and physical pain he endured, he told me that he feels safe when I’m around  ...more

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Helping Family Members to Deal with a Fall Risk
By Steven Allred, MS,PT, and Jennifer Ellis, MS,PT

“I’ve fallen and I can’t get up!” How many times have we heard comics deliver that line from a now-famous 1980s TV commercial?

The truth is that a dangerous fall is no laughing matter.  It’s a real worry — for those who suffer from balance dysfunction and for the family caregiver.  

Just the fear of a parent, spouse or other loved one falling  is enough to give a caregiver chills.  And the statistics bear that out.  The National Institutes of Health says that falls are the leading cause of fatal and non-fatal injuries in people 65 and older.  And The New England Journal of Medicine reports that if you’re elderly and are injured by a fall, there’s a good chance you’ll end up in a skilled nursing facility, such as a nursing home ...more

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Sharing Wisdom

From Dee:  
Caregivers should keep a file on a computer for the person they care for so they can update, print out, email or fax information whenever needed.  This is especially vital when there is a health emergency. 

  • List all medications including:  name of medication, strength (mg.), dosage and how many times a day, before, with or after meals); name of physician and their contact info (phone and fax); reason for medication (memory, kidneys, heart, etc.).

  • Keep copy of this list on refrigerator so anyone can access it in case of emergency.

  • Keep separate lists:  health related incidents (falls, surgery, hospitalizations, memory issues, etc.), doctor appointments and visits.

  • If dealing with a senior who resides at home, have a "lock box" to ensure that emergency personnel can enter rapidly if no one is around with a key.


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.  

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