Friday July 22, 2005, Issue #233

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From The Editor


In a recent telephone call with a friend halfway around the world, the true nature of caregiving became yet a little bit clearer to me. Hal is the primary caregiver for his mother who is living with early stage Alzheimerís disease.  He felt that he actually has it better than many others he has spoken with in his situation, due to his motherís sweet and loving disposition.

One day, Hal was confronted with a situation he had never let himself think about before. In retrospect, he admitted to himself that his motherís condition was deteriorating, but suddenly and seemingly out of the blue, he found that her condition had changed to the point where it was necessary for him to assist with her bathing.   Hal was, at first, understandably exceedingly disquieted by the task before him.  This was one life passage that was never before discussed or even contemplated by Hal as he was growing up.  He had taken on the role of caregiver to his mom without complaint and felt good about his ability to ensure that she was kept safe and sound in a loving home, but this would be one very big step he was about to take in his relationship with her.

Hal was quite surprised by his reaction to his first experience bathing his mother.

He had expected to now need years of couch-time with a therapist or at least to wake up trying to shake off the images of the experience. He knew that it was important for his mother to be living with him and that in her particular situation; it was the right thing to do, unless or until conditions demanded a different solution. What he hadnít realized was that the experience would leave him feeling honored and not just a little bit proud.  Honored that he was able to shepherd his mother through this crucial time in her life and proud that he was able to do what was necessary to keep her healthy and safe. This experience became a life passage from which Hal graduated cum laude, not only due to his hard work and good deeds, but also to his recognition of and appreciation for his own actions. 

Fearless Caregiver Manifesto

I will fearlessly assess my personal strengths and weaknesses, work diligently to bolster my weaknesses and to graciously recognize my strengths.


Gary Barg


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Feature Article

Lending a Helping Paw
By Mark Kostich

Clinical literature has long documented that animal companionship can help the pain and discomfort associated with many of lifeís greatest transitions.....Continued

Additional Articles::

Issues of Control

by Kate Murphy, RN

This week I would like to talk a little bit about control issues in caregiving. Control is probably one of the most important things our loved one can lose....Continued

Fitness at 50+: Five Barriers You Can Beat

While exercise is often touted as a fountain of youth, it often gets harder to do as you get older....Continued



Guest Column

Joint Efforts-Exercise and Arthritis: 
What Caregivers Need to Know

by Sean M. Kenny


Exercise is beneficial to everyone and exercise is especially vital to patients who have arthritis. Over 40 million Americans (1 in 7) have arthritis. Chances are you tend to be....Continued


Nine Ways to Get Someone to Eat 
by Jennifer B. Buckley

A common nutritional problem that can affect care recipients in poor health is cachexia-anorexia and it especially involves those in advanced stages of......Continued

F   r   o   m       O   u   r       R   e   a   d   e   r   s


My years as a caregiver ended with the death of my mother on Sunday.

Do you have any suggestions for dealing with bereavement?

I'm much more upset about her death than I thought I'd be, and it's obviously because I built such a connection to her caring for her for years.

Do you have any info about this particular phenomenon? Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated


Answer This Week's CareNote:
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Inside This Issue:

From the Editor
Feature Article
Lending a Helping Paw
Guest Column
Joint Efforts: Exercise
 and Arthritis
Nutrition Tips



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