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FROM THE EDITOR'S PEN  / Nifty Fifty.../   Editorial List

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“Nifty Fifty” or Beware the Ides of March


During the waning hours of March 15th 1996, I was sitting in my brother’s living room in New Orleans, Louisiana.  I had arrived on his doorstep a few days earlier, in the hopes of quietly ignoring one of those stereotypical milestones of one’s lifetime, my fortieth birthday,  (My editor’s column in the March/April ‘96 Today’s Caregiver magazine was entitled “Lordy, Lordy, guess who's forty”).  It looked as if my plan was going to be a success after all, including a nice quiet evening in the French Quarter (well, as quiet as possible on Bourbon Street). We were watching the final moments of the spring telethon for the New Orleans PBS station, which one of my brother’s friends, Charles, was hosting.  As the show ended, Charles looked into the camera and said “I want to wish my friend, Gary Barg, visiting from Miami, Florida a happy fortieth birthday tonight”.  Oh well, so much for slipping quietly into my next decade of life.  Now, on the eve of my 50th year, I have no such concerns.

What I feel this year as I look back over the past decade, is such tremendous gratitude for being able to spend so much time with my caregiving friends and family members. I have not had a single conversation with a family or professional caregiver over these past ten years, in which I have failed to become more motivated to continue our supportive mission and have always inevitably come away from the conversation having learned something of importance that I can share with my fellow caregivers. As I enter my “nifty fifties”, I realize that you have already given me the most valuable gifts I will ever receive. You have shared your lives with me in your emails, letters and conversations, and I hope that somehow we have returned the favor with our unwavering support and love.

So, this year, I would like to celebrate my birthday, by giving some gifts of my own.  Tell me about those simple things that help you get through the day as you care for loved ones or clients.  It could be how you maintain a sense of humor, what you do to take, as Dana Reeve referred to in our interview as, “A Mental Bubble Bath” or even how you get your family members to help so you can actually get away for a while. (Hey, I can dream, can’t I?)  We will look over your comments and present an annual subscription to Today’s Caregiver magazine for the top 50 responses. We will also share the results in this newsletter later in the month.

I recently spent the weekend at the beach with a group of friends who are all over 50 and if they are any indication, I can’t wait for the transformation, for as I slept in the living room in front of the television, they partied all night.  I told them if they didn’t behave, I was going to wake their grandkids up to come and take them home. Now, pass me that Geritol.

Email me your tips:

What gets you through the day?

Gary Barg

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