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From The Editor
On The Caregiver Beat
I just dropped off my dog, Morris, at the vet’s
so they can put a scope down his throat and find out
why he is having breathing issues. Any of you who
know about my relationship with my constant
companion will understand that this is a shaky
moment for me, at best. As I was driving away
from the vet’s office, I kept reviewing in my mind:
“Did I ask enough questions? Did I tell them enough
about his symptoms? Did I let them know how much
Morris means to us?” This is certainly a common
occurrence for any human or animal caregiver.
While in the car, I was listening to a report on WLRN, a local
radio station. Since October is National Breast Cancer month, they
have been offering advice for people living with breast cancer and
their loved ones all month long. Today was an especially
poignant report. Kelley Mitchell, a WLRN-Miami Herald reporter, was
talking about her own breast cancer diagnosis on Christmas Eve, 2002,
when she was a reporter for the local ABC affiliate...continued
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The 411 on Parkinson's
By Sandra Ray, Staff Writer
Receiving a diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease (PD) can
be devastating for families. Even more devastating is
not understanding the disease, how to live with it, how
it can be treated, or anything else about this
debilitating disease. Families can be desperate for
information on PD and what to expect in the coming
weeks, months, and years...continued
Moving in With Family: Issues to
By Helen Hunter, ACSW, CMSW
Too often, the decision to
move into a family member’s home is made when a
crisis develops or as a last resort. Sudden
illness or injury strikes and the family is left
without a plan for long-term care for their
loved one. Experts suggest that all families
discuss the possibility of the need for
long-term care, and the possibility of family
members living together as a solution to the
daily care situation...continued
Caregiver Tips for Traveling
Traveling long distances with a person in the early stage of dementia
may still be quite enjoyable. As dementia advances, however, traveling
becomes unpredictable as the person becomes more confusing. Plan ahead
for a trip by gathering important documents: insurance cards, passports,
your physician's phone number, refills on medications and a copy of
medical records in case the person with dementia needs to see a
physician while away....continued
Share your tip, advice resource or observation.
From Charles in North Carolina
38 and my mom (now 69) has been living with me for the past
five years. Three months after I moved my mom here to North
Carolina, she became an amputee (due to diabetes,
circulatory issues and simply poor health). My mom also
struggles with MS, COPD, and other health issues. I missed
most of my early 30s just working through my mother's care
issues, her rehab, etc. Being her caregiver became so
engaging that it negatively affected my marriage. My advice
to anyone who has or is going through the same issues is to
get help. Do not take this on by yourself! Siblings, family,
and even senior care facilities should be considered as
resources. I actually do regret that I was not able to
actually see how my taking care of my mother (solely) was
having an ill-effect on my marriage. And no one ever came to
my rescue. Do not be afraid to ask or demand help when you
need it. Unless you tell people about the effect that being
a caregiver is having on your life, they will never know
and, most certainly, will never ask you about it.
From B. in the SonoMarin /ChilenoValley
I have been a home health aide/personal care attendant for
over 30 years. My clients all differ. I care for all ages
and all medical conditions. To put myself “in their shoes”
is how I become their most powerful partner. I help people
help themselves; their comfort is my comfort.
The best ideas and solutions for taking care of your
loved one often come from other caregivers. Please post your ideas
and insights and we will share them with your fellow caregivers.
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