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CARENOTES | Past Carenotes | Let's Talk


Welcome to CareNotes. In this special section we will feature a reader's letter and provide an opportunity for an interactive exchange that will help find some answers and possible solutions to concerns. If you wish to respond to this letter, simple follow the link provided at the end of the letter and add your comments and thoughts to our CareNotes Board.

This Week's Carenote - 02/01/11

My greatest fear is dying before my husband and father. Both are in diapers; one is tube fed and quadriplegic and the other is bedridden also. If I have an accident, who will know it? They will be left by themselves, hungry, etc.  My world is small.  It might be a week before anyone realizes they are alone.



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Name: Margarita
Location: Gainesville, VA
Date: 02/09/2011
Time: 02:27 PM


Dear A. God bless you and give you health, strength, peace and patience today and always. There is an online community called Lotsa Helping Hands [LHH]- They will help you organize friends and family who want to help with visits and calls, transportation to the doctor, meals, etc. Two caregivers in our support group have used them very successfully. Please check their website. God bless you,

Name: William F. Thompson
Location: Spokane, WA
Date: 02/06/2011
Time: 01:50 PM


I am reasonably healthy at age 85. Yes, once I wanted to live to 100, but the fear of a son or daughter dying first changed my mind. I guess I'll let God take charge. It never was up to me in the first place. Take care of yourself.

Name: Rodger Wetzel
Location: Bismarck, ND
Date: 02/05/2011
Time: 05:45 AM


First of all, bless you for your dedicated caregiving. I hope you also are taking care of yourself by using respite, some inhome services, adult day care at times, etc. Some options are to have your postal carrier alert someone if you do not pick up your mail, research any daily call programs, carry an emergency alert button yourself, open a window shade daily and have your neighbor watch for it, etc. Contact your local area agency on aging or senior center for other ideas. Best wishes!

Name: Roxanna
Location: Champaign, IL
Date: 02/03/2011
Time: 08:45 AM


Reassurance calling will connect you with others. Alot of aging agencies offer this service free. Join a support group even if it is only phone support. The Lifeline is a great idea. You have reason to be concerned, and planning ahead is a must. Is there no family in the area to help you? Is one of them a veteran? The VA has a great new caregiver website. Please take care of you.

Name: Barb
Location: CO
Date: 02/02/2011
Time: 08:40 AM


Please call your local Area Agency on Aging. They have a wealth of information that may help you, not only with information and recources but respite care. Good luck!

Date: 02/01/2011
Time: 04:36 PM


Pull together a small network of individuals..friends, neighbors, fellow church members, and, of course, family and let them know what needs to be done if you should become incapacitated. Also contact your local Visiting Nurse Association to see if there is anything that can be done on their part for you. God Bless you!

Name: Eva
Location: Spring, TX
Date: 02/01/2011
Time: 01:33 PM


I also had that concern since I am my husband's caregiver and have a few health challenges of my own. Our 3 children live in another state, our parents live in a city 2 and 3 hours away. However, there is other family in the surrounding cities. You should make sure there is a phone within reach of your husband & father (provided they can use one). Perhaps you could have a family member or friend (no matter how far away they live) call at least every other day just to check on you. They should be told that if you do not answer and return their call within a certain period of time, they should notify the police or other public authority to stop by your house to make sure everything is okay. This should give you some peace of mind. Best of care to you.

Name: Chris Gutierrez
Location: Pasadena, CA
Date: 02/01/2011
Time: 01:32 PM


Hi A, I do not know why but your note hit me like a ton of bricks. You ask a very good question. I would look into a Life Alert type of system where you can wear a pendant and push a button if you have an accident. If your husband and/or father have the capacity to push a button, perhaps you can have a system by their beds as well. Just a thought...good luck!

Name: C Garrett
Location: Texas
Date: 02/01/2011
Time: 11:07 AM


Invest in Lifeline or Life Alert for yourself in your home. This has given me peace in case something happens to me before my bedridden husband. Also, always let someone (friend, relative, neighbor) know when you are going somewhere so you're accountable to someone for your whereabouts. Hope this helps.

Name: Dawn Song
Location: Oregon
Date: 02/01/2011
Time: 09:54 AM


Ask a friend, relative or neighbor to contact you once a day (or more often) at a time when you are usually up and about or awake. You could also send an email daily or more often to someone who will notice whether that email is there or not and make contact with you if it isn't. You could also get on an alert system of some kind that contacts you daily or more frequently. Help is there, but you must ask for it and set it up. You have a tremendous job to do. See if you can get some outside help, too, maybe some counseling to help you with your anxiety.

Name: Connie
Location: Oregon
Date: 02/01/2011
Time: 09:02 AM


You MUST try to expand your 'world'. Even if you are in a small community. Who has POA for YOU? This newsletter has a TON of information, and while it is going to take time to do so, it is of utmost importance for you to get support, even if it is only online or by phone. I have no idea where you live and what resources are handy, but as you have the ability to get online, make us of the many tools available. Get pertinent information on both of your charges (medical, financial). Make copies for someone you can trust to contact the proper authorities. If you qualify, perhaps a social worker can assist in some planning. Good luck, but ask for help. It is out there........

Name: Evangeline
Location: Louisiana
Date: 02/01/2011
Time: 07:48 AM


many areas have a saefty check service sign up and someone calls each morning (around the same time) to to be sure you are ok. check with your local sherriff's department or if you have a Triad or United Way office in your vacinity or ask your local council on aging.

Name: Chris
Date: 02/01/2011
Time: 07:37 AM

I suggest you invest in an emergency alert system - the kind where you wear the necklace to call for help. Although money is tight these days, the peace of mind will be worth it.

Name: Chris Cremean
Location: Swanton, OH
Date: 02/01/2011
Time: 07:25 AM


This can be a large fear and one that you should reach out to others in the community, at least to share information and develop an emergency plan. Review any existing contacts; churches, doctor, family, friends or neighbors for someone to have information about medical conditions, emergency numbers, medical providers. Another idea is to go ahead and get a life alert in the home, so if anyone has an emergency, help can be called. Hope this helps. If you need other information, go to

Name: Bette
Location: Delaware County, PA
Date: 02/01/2011
Time: 07:22 AM


Put in a call and an email to both your local police and U.S. post office, saying that if there is an accumulation of more than a day's mail, the postal carrier should notify the police to make a wellness check on th household(s) and residents. In addition, the name(s) and phone numbers/emails of any emergency contacts should be left in a prominent place in the home(s).

Name: Michelle Byler
Location: Area Agency on Aging, Harrison, AR
Date: 02/01/2011
Time: 06:58 AM


Check with the volunteer organizations in your area. There may be one that calls home-bound individuals on a daily basis to check on them. If they are unable to reach someone, they can contact the proper authorities. You should also consider a personal emergency response system. Your husband or father could push the activation pendant and the call center would call 911 if there was an emergency. You can contact your local area agency on aging or hospital for information about these units. You do need to have an emergency plan in place should something happen to you. You may be surprised at the number of people who may be willing to help, if you just ask. You should also look into a support group for caregivers in your area and grants for respite or adult day care as well. Above all, you need to take care of yourself - physically and emotionally - so you can continue to care for your loved ones. Make sure you have regular check-ups so you can be around for many years to come.



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