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FROM THE EDITOR'S PEN  /Julia Child,  One and All /  Editorial List

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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.


Gary Barg

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