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FROM THE EDITOR'S PEN  / Celebrating the Centennial /   Editorial List

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 Celebrating the Centennial

Today, I head up the road to Port St. Lucie, Florida, as I have done for the past four years, to get ready to spend the day with the caregivers who will join us at the Treasure Coast Fearless Caregiver Conference. There is nothing so unusual about that. In two weeks, I wing up to New Haven, Connecticut, for the 8th annual event we will be holding in that community. Next year, it is on to cities such as Minneapolis, Nashville, Miami and others all across the nation, as well as our upcoming cruise.

What makes tomorrow’s event notable is that it will be the 100th event we have held since the very first one in Fort Lauderdale way back in 1998, when we simply wanted to bring a group of caregivers together to share with one another.  On that day, the late actor Robert Urich was the keynote speaker, having recently shared his own cancer diagnosis and remission on national television. One thing that was evident (and true at every event since) is that as caregivers, we love to share with one another. Another is that the advice we share is always as effective and appropriate as we could ever find from degreed professionals and many times, much more so. The reason for this is simple: the family caregiver is the person caring for their loved one around the clock and intuitively creating solutions for the challenges that we face on a daily basis.  In addition, each event only reinforces my certainty that caregivers whose loved ones are living with differing diagnoses and caregiving situations have much to learn from one another’s experiences. And it is only by sharing with one another do we find out what piece of the caregiving puzzle they have that can help us and vice versa.

This fact has come to life for me as I was asked to speak at a wide variety of healthcare conferences over the years: spinal cord, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s or even scleroderma.  Certainly, the medical issues were unique to the diagnoses; but the concerns and the stories of the caregivers I met at these various events could not have been more similar.  They were worried about the best care for their loved ones, had financial concerns, too much stress and too little actionable and appropriate information. 

I am blessed to be able to share these days with the true healthcare heroes in today’s world—family caregivers. I am also blessed to able to share the wisdom I learn within these newsletters, on and in the pages of Today’s Caregiver magazine.

I can’t think of any better 100th anniversary gift to give or receive.
Do you have any questions for our expert speakers (Family Practitioner, RN, Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Eldercare Attorney and Area Agency on Aging CEO)?


Gary Barg

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