FROM THE EDITOR'S PEN
/Julia Child, One and All /
Last week's Fearless Caregiver Conference
held in Port St. Lucie, Florida created such positive energy
that I think the conference center is still spinning. Douglas
Beach, Florida's Secretary of Elder Affairs, graciously joined
us and responded to every question that was posed to him by our
audience of intrepid caregivers. Wow, I think that any White
House spokesperson would be glad these weren't the members of
the press he or she had to regularly face. To Secretary Beach's
credit, he answered every question honestly and directly, even
if there were no great solutions to the concerns about the
dwindling resources we are facing around the nation. And as the
caregivers told me later, they truly appreciated his candor.
As I was standing in the doorway at the end
of the day, an attendee told me that she got the answers she was
looking for concerning stress management and that she'd be back
next year. Moments later, another attendee told me that her
only disappointment with the conference had been that she did
not find the "magic bullet" she was looking for regarding
stress. Yes, she had learned about the importance of managing
her stress, how to get her family members to help, and how other
members of the audience successfully dealt with their own stress
and depression, but she felt that there was no one magic bullet
and for that she was disappointed.
I thought about what she had said for a
moment and realized that actually all of the ingredients for her
own stress reduction recipe was in fact to be found throughout
the day's proceedings. She just had to pick and choose which
would work for her. Of course there is no one magic bullet for
every caregiver, but rather there was the opportunity to create
her personal recipe for stress management or if I may, "Stressipe."
All she had to do was pick the ingredients off the shelves
throughout the day.
There was the caregiver who spoke of the
value of her support group, or the gentlemen who discovered his
artistic talents, the family member who learned to take a
"Mental Bubble Bath." These are all ingredients for the lady
standing in front of me to choose from in order to create her
very own signature dish. She thought about that for a while,
smiled and said, "You know, I think I'll be back next year too."
As far as I'm concerned, there can never be
enough cooks in this kitchen.