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18 Fearless Years


Gary Barg - Editor-in-chiefCreating Summer Respite Safaris

Let’s go surfin’ now
Everybody’s learning how
Come on and safari with me
(Come on and safari with...)

Songwriters: Brian Douglas Wilson, Mike Love

Now that the summer is here, we are proud to announce the launch of the 11th annual Today’s Caregiver magazine and caregiver.com Summer of Respite Campaign. It's time to consider how to give a break to the most important person in your loved one's life — you.

The way the Summer of Respite Campaign works is that we find the best (and most possible) opportunities to get some respite as you care for your loved one.

So, to start, the next time you are among your fellow family caregivers (support group, doctor’s waiting room, hair salon), turn to the caregiver next to you and ask what things they do to in order to take some time for themselves. It could be as simple as a pint of ice cream on the back porch. As well as their comments, email me your own respite tips to share within this column.
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If everyone sends their favorite tips, I'm sure there will be plenty of interesting ideas for all of us to add to our own lists. For those who think that respite is an impossible dream, I'm going to jumpstart this list with great ideas I've already received from family caregivers.


My husband and I take care of our adult very disabled son. Our last break was our 25th anniversary when we stayed at a neat little B & B, located in a historic town not too far from us. We did just what we wanted to do, which is rare. We walked around the town and ate at a couple of the well-known restaurants. Our "respite" time is very, very rare; but when we do get it, we try to enjoy it by keeping it simple and go where it is peaceful and quiet.

S. M. __________________________________________________________________________________

I am taking my husband living with dementia to a group at our church specifically for dementia patients. They keep them entertained, feed them, play games, create social interactions. And the CAREGIVER has some respite time! I am having a deluxe pedicure and manicure. Four hours of bliss and at the same time, he gets to talk to his heart's content to like-minded individuals who also need a friend!

D. J.

Went to see Elton John; had a Mom-sitter for 12 hours. It was a great time to be with friends and not worry about my mother.

C. J.

One thing I have done is to “take off” a few days and just read, watch TV, or go out with my husband, so it feels like I have taken a mini-vacation. It works.

I appreciate your email notices that focus on caregiving and the toll it takes on the caregiver, even if the family member is living in a facility. They remind me that others are having the same issues as I am.

Thank you for your support!

S. F.

Sharing my summer respite idea

Gary Barg
Today's Caregiver magazine

Wednesday June 19, 2013


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