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FROM THE EDITOR'S PEN  / The Moment /   Editorial List

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The Moment

There comes a moment in the development of any important skill set where we first feel the confidence of our newly acquired abilities. For pilots, it may be the first solo flight; the highwire acrobat most likely crosses that threshold once the safety net is taken away; and I imagine that surgeons feel it with the very first cut into a living patient.

Today, at the Creston, Iowa, Fearless Caregiver conference hosted by the Area XIV Agency on Aging, I learned of such a moment for a newly minted Fearless Caregiver. A gentleman in the first row raised his hand during the question and answer period to ask the expert panel about how best to work with the health care system. His wife is living with Parkinsonís disease and they were at the event together as carepartners. She has had Parkinsonís for many years and he has learned to become her informal care manager whenever she is in the hospital. He said that he never hesitates to ask the healthcare professionals (including doctors) if they washed their hands before they start to treat his wife. Some stop immediately and wash or rewash before they start treatment.

How many of us would feel easy about asking that question of our doctors as they walk into the examination room? A true Fearless Caregiver moment if I ever heard one.

Go ahead and try it the next time you take your loved one for an appointment. Let us know what happens.

Gary Barg

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