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Today's Caregiver Newsletter
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May 22, 2014
Issue #716
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From the Editor's Pen Gary Barg • Editor-in-Chief • gary@caregiver.com

Gary Barg

In a Word: Curmudgeon

Two colleagues I truly admire have recently been commenting in respective articles about something near and dear to my own heart.

Lynn Friss Feinberg, senior strategic policy adviser for the AARP Public Policy Institute, and Howard Gleckman, author and resident fellow at The Urban Institute, have been writing about the importance of language when talking or writing about family caregiving. In part, their comments centered on the absurdity of the term “Informal Caregiving.” I can think of a slew of words which can be appropriately modified by adding the word “informal,” but as any caregiver can attest, caregiving is not on that list.

In fact, what Howard and Lynn have done is to awaken our good friend, the Caregiver Curmudgeon, of whom little has been heard in the past few years. One of his pet peeves turns out to be the careless application of inappropriate language  ...more



Paranoia: Know the Signs
By Jennifer B. Buckley

Aside from confusion and memory loss, common hallmarks associated with Alzheimer’s disease, paranoia is systematic of the illness as well. Not only does the condition rear its ugly head in people living with Alzheimer’s, but also people with other mental illnesses. Caring for a loved-one who is paranoid can be a trying task. Do you know the signs of paranoia?  ...more

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Confessions of a
Sometimes Caregiver
By Emily Cooper

My mother, an 86-year-old widow, lives alone in a small town in the farming country of central Kansas. Born and raised in the town, she returned there with my father after his retirement, leaving the big city in order to spend their “golden years” with her sisters, brothers, and childhood friends back home. Unfortunately, it wasn’t long after my parents’ return that the siblings became ill and died; many of the old friends died as well  ...more

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Embarrassed About Incontinence? Don’t Be
By Michael Plontz, Staff Writer

One thing that most caregivers have in common is dealing with incontinence in their loved ones or themselves. There is still a stigma attached to this ailment, but the only way to combat this misconception is to learn more about it, bring it out into the open and discuss it.

Urinary incontinence can occur at any age for any number of reasons. Women are 50% more likely to be affected than men. The most common symptoms are bedwetting, leakage after coughing, sneezing or laughing, and a general uncontrolled leakage of urine  ...more

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Sharing Wisdom

From Amanda:  
I wish I could help all of you. I recently became a care coordinator in Minnesota and, from what I'm reading, almost all of you sound like you could benefit from some respite. Sometimes the local hospitals have caregiver respite programs that can send volunteers to give you a break. Hospital discharge planners are a wealth of information as well. You don't have to be a patient to call for assistance with finding resources. You can also check with your local county family service department to have someone do an assessment for services. Anyone can receive the assessment regardless of income. In some instances, insurance companies provide, as a benefit to the insurance, a care coordinator such as myself who can assist members and families in finding the right resources to fit their needs.

The care coordinator most likely will be associated with a state medical plan, not necessarily with private companies, but you could certainly call to find out. Another route is to contact church parish nurses. They are underutilized and can be a huge resource for people. Don't give up. There are many resources out there that people don't know about, but you have to get in there and dig for help!

From Kristeen in Wyoming:  
I wanted to add to Amanda's posting, “Please seek some assistance.” I work for a non-profit hospice.  Even if I cannot personally help, I do have information that may help the situation. Senior centers often have dementia groups, counseling and information. Some assisted living centers offer respite for caregivers. If your family member is violent, talk to their doctor about medications. Find a doctor that specializes in geriatric care.

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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