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Caregiver Lagniappe
In and around New Orleans, there is a tradition known as Lagniappe [lan-YAP] which according to Wikipedia means a small gift given to a customer by a merchant at the time of a purchase, such as a 13th beignet when buying a dozen, or more broadly something given or obtained gratuitously or by way of good measure; a bonus. Since my brother, Steven lived in New Orleans for many years, this was a tradition with which I am fondly acquainted. It is also something that I feel I regularly receive as we travel the country hosting the Fearless Caregiver Conferences.

Due to the outreach necessary to put on a successful event, I have spent time with many of the care professionals in the communities in which the events will be held. And more often than not, I hear things that I am able to share in this column which I would not have known otherwise. That being said, it is especially nice to receive such a lagniappe from people I have known for years. In December of this year we will host our 65th Fearless Caregiver Conference kinda-sorta in our own backyard, about an hour and a half away in the Treasure Coast area of Florida.

Last week, I drove there to attend the Senior Healthcare Networking Group, a monthly morning meeting for care professionals in the Treasure Coast. It was fun and interactive group of folks who I suspect have known each other for quite some time. They were warm and inviting and seemed quite receptive to having such an event in their community. I sat with my good friend, Laura Zel from the Just Checking program, who related a story to me that was told to her by Donna True from the Alzheimer’s Association, Southeast Florida Chapter.

It seems as if a gentleman who Donna works with in her role as Community Education Coordinator was having a tough time realizing he might need to consider long term care for his wife. He could no longer get her to eat or bathe and caring for her at home was taking a physical toll on him, as well. After investigating facilities in his area, he chose one which became a true partner in care for his wife. He told Donna something that she regularly relates in support groups across the area. He said" Moving my wife into the nursing home now gives me the time to love her."

Hey, that's even better than a 13th beignet.


Gary Barg

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