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FROM THE EDITOR'S PEN  / No Turkeys.../   Editorial List

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No Turkeys in These Rooms


Over the past month we have hosted two Fearless Caregiver Conferences, one in Branford, Connecticut and one in Fort Myers, Florida.  This was our fourth time to visit with the folks in Connecticut and the first time for Fort Myers. And yet, I bring lessons from both events:

In Branford, we were joined by our friend Linda Dano and her friend, Mo (A beautiful 10 year old  Lhasa Apso,  who like my Morris, stays by her side nearly everywhere she goes).  Linda brought the message of the importance of having support partners as you care. She believes so much in the value of support in beating depression that she has been going around the country talking to caregivers about the concept  (

Linda, who had been dealing with an emotional whirlwind over the past few years, was a caregiver for her father who was living with Alzheimer's.  Soon after her father passed a few years ago, her loving  husband and mother passed away within days of each other. She was devastated and just as she started to find her bearings once again she lost her beloved dog Charlie.  But Linda was not there necessarily to talk about her struggles, but her recovery. What the audience gleaned from Linda's heartfelt message, was that no matter what you are living through, there is hope.

In fort Myers our keynote speaker, Dr. Doug Beach, Florida's Secretary of Elder Affairs shared with us not only his vision for eldercare in the state but his own story as a family caregiver, humorous moments, painful missteps and all. Doug taught us that no matter who you are talking with: doctor, state leader, senator or president, there is every chance that they are also a family caregiver with many of the same hopes and fears for their loved ones that we all have as family caregivers.

And finally, a gentleman in attendance at the Fort Myers conference, spoke of what I consider one of the weaknesses of the English language. That the word "caregiver" does not always truly represent our relationship with our loved ones. His solution? Rather than calling himself a caregiver he refers to himself as a Love Sharer. Nicely stated.

Happy Turkey day to you and yours.

Gary Barg

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