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FROM THE EDITOR'S PEN  / Hard Questions and Scary Combinations

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 Hard Questions and Scary Combinations

She raised her hand as I was seeking questions from an audience of family caregivers during a Q and A session last year. The event was one of the first specifically rural Fearless Caregiver events we have held and the room was packed with caregivers who had driven in from miles and miles around to be there. The questions were open, honest and wide-ranging. Yet, I had no way of being prepared for what I was about to hear as I reached the shyly waving lady with my microphone. “I was just wondering if anyone can tell me what to do, my husband has Alzheimer’s disease and owns an extensive collection of guns and knives. I cannot seem to get him to stop carrying his loaded guns around the house. I have not been able to get any help from the local sheriff’s office or even from his doctor.”

You could have heard a pin drop immediately after she stopped talking, but within minutes, she was receiving a pocketful of valuable advice, including a commitment from an elder care attorney to take on her case pro bono that very day. Alzheimer’s caregiving and gun collections; now there is a scary combination we don’t often hear about at our traditional Fearless Caregiver Conferences. At that moment, I vowed to hold as many events in rural areas as I could, and this year, with strong local support we will be holding 12 such events (not a bad start). In fact, I am going back to that same town this year and can’t wait to hear how things worked out.

Most all caregivers face life and death decisions, stress and financial challenges on a daily basis, but for the 65 million caregivers living in rural America, some of these challenges are made worse by isolation, gaps in rural care, physical hardships of running a farm with little or no help and living miles from the nearest neighbor. And many do not know that there is so much support available from their community and fellow caregivers. This is why we are so proud to present our annual Rural Caregiver issue of Today’s Caregiver magazine.

Please look over the list of Rural Fearless Caregiver Conferences. If you live in the area of an event, join us. If you know anyone living in the area, please share the information with them. Maybe they also have hard questions and scary combinations in need of immediate attention by their fellow caregivers.

See you on the road.


Gary Barg

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