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FROM THE EDITOR'S PEN  / Wisdom Sharing 101 /   Editorial List

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 Wisdom Sharing 101

She was in her mid-twenties. Her hand had been up for a while before I was able  to bring the microphone to her so that she could ask a question of the expert panel at this past Wednesday's Miami Fearless Caregiver Conference.  As she spoke, she started crying.  Her mother had recently fallen and broken her neck and she explained the challenges she was having as a new caregiver, both mentally and financially. Not to mention the challenges a caregiver faces when a loved one is neither young nor old enough to easily find services.  

One panelist, Agustin Rodriguez from the Miami-Dade Alliance for Aging immediately offered advice and information and later the young woman asked me to direct her to the table where his materials were displayed.  But, what I was most taken by was the abundance of information, support and advice that came from her fellow caregivers in the room, regardless of their own caregiving situation.  Some of the best advice she received was from the mother of a disabled teenager, but she was also counseled by people with loved ones much older than her 62 year old mother.

At the end of the day, one of the most important elements of successful caregiving is learning to reach out to those who are the greatest caregiving experts-your fellow caregivers. This is important to do no matter where you meet another family caregiver and regardless of the age, illness or care situation with which they are dealing. I guarantee you that you will be pleasantly surprised at what you learn from them as well as what you are able to teach them.  Lesson learned.   


Gary Barg

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