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From The Editor
Don’t Question the Questions
As we round the corner and enter the fall season of
our 15th Fearless Caregiver Conference year (silly you, still living
in the summer), the many conference rooms, banquet centers and
convention centers in which we have held the events filter through my
mind. The consistent themes that I see in my mind’s eye are, of
course, the support, camaraderie and interactions between family
caregivers. This solidarity that unites caregivers even extends to the
celebrities who attend the events since they all share the common
experience of family caregiving. But the overriding theme that I see
which has held each and every event together is actually the value of
asking questions—no question at all...read more
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A Medical Look at Dysphagia
By Valeri Thelen, Staff Writer
The Agency for Health Care Policy and
Research estimates that more than 60,000 Americans die from
complications associated with swallowing difficulties each
year—more than liver and kidney disease, as well as HIV/ AIDS
Clever Cooking in a Tough Economy
By Helen Hunter, ACSW, LSW, GCM
Families throughout the country are
increasingly being challenged in finding creative solutions to
eating healthy in spite of rising prices. The following are clever
cooking strategies, which can assist today’s family in providing
healthy daily meals without breaking the bank...read more
Tips for Managing Incontinence with Frontotemporal Dementia
By Geri Hall, PhD, ARNP, GCNS-BC, FAAN
From Sandi in FL
mother has Alzheimer’s and Parkinson's and, because of those
issues, resides in a wheelchair. I am her sole caregiver.
She came to the Keys so I could oversee her care while she lived
in a nursing home about a mile from my home. It has been quite the
experience, with a lot of twists and turns. The first nursing home
closed down and evicted everyone "just like that." Over 100
residents were split up, all were scattered to different places,
some died as a result, and a few quickly got to travel together to
yet another nursing home on short notice. My mother was one of
those people. She had to move north to Homestead, over 100 miles
round trip for me, while I worked 90 miles round trip in the other
direction. It took me almost two years to "get her back" to the
local facility by my home.
I learn something from my
mother every day, even though she is now 87 and I am 62, just
retired from teaching second grade. (She is a saint, a pleasant
saint.) When I am not with her, I am forever dealing with
paperwork issues, medical reports, meetings about her, billings,
Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, a vast array of roommate
issues over the years, nurses, caregivers who, though nice, don't
speak her language or mine. At this point, my mother hardly speaks
at all and eye contact is something we have to work at as
Parkinson's takes away your ability to show expression. She also
has a tremor. It's hard to watch your own mother progress into
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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