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FROM THE EDITOR'S PEN  / What We Cannot Afford /   Editorial List

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 What We Cannot Afford

Last week, we hosted our tenth anniversary Fearless Caregiver Conference.  I have to say it was a doozey. We had experts on social security, long term care, and hospice on the panel and hundreds of family caregivers in the audience. It was a packed house of information, advice and sharing topped off with a proclamation from the honorable Lois Wexler, Mayor of Broward Country, Florida and a caregiver advocate,  officially noting the date as Fearless Caregiver Day.   Dr. Jamie Huysman, an old friend and Co-founder of the Leeza Gibbons Memory Foundation shared his thoughts on caregivers as first responders, and we honored our 2008 Caregiver Friendly Award winners.

As any event, there is always one moment which literally took the breath away from everyone in attendance. That moment came when a caregiver stood to talk with Florida's Secretary of Elder Affairs, Douglas Beach. She spoke of the times when she would bring her 54 year old daughter to the hospital.  When the hospital staff would realize that that the family was dealing with Alzheimer's care, they would address her daughter and ignore the caregiver who stood before us. The only problem with that situation was that it was the daughter and not her mother who was living with Alzheimer's disease.  She went on to say " If anything happened to me, there would be absolutely no one to care for my daughter, so I cannot afford to die."  It took many moments before anyone in that conference hall remembered to start breathing again.

See you on the road!


Gary Barg

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