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From The Editor
The Difference Is You
As the height of the holiday season rapidly
approaches, I start to think about one of my all-time favorite holiday
movies “It’s a Wonderful Life.” The film’s protagonist George, played
to perfection by Jimmy Stewart, is disheartened about how his life had
turned out and certain in the knowledge that it would make no big
difference if he had never been born. Clarence, the Angel who is
seeking his wings, grants George his wish and, presto, George was
never born. The moral, of course, is that George actually
touched so many people in his life that without him, the world would
be a lesser place. His existence, no matter how useless he thought it
was, made a positive difference to a wide array of folks...read more
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Holiday Help: Relieving Caregivers’ Stress
By Cheryl Smith
Who doesn’t feel overwhelmed sometimes by
the bustle of the holiday season? Add to that the
responsibility of caring for a frail elderly loved one, and
burnout is simply a concept waiting to become reality. But
wait. If you’re one of the 22 million households providing
care for a family member or friend, there is hope. Stress
doesn’t have to take the starring role in your family
festivities this year...read more
When Selecting an Adult Day Health Care Program
Trust Your Instincts
By Naomi Berger
Baby Boomers, more than 77 million
strong, are also known as the Sandwich Generation.
They are the ones raising their own kids and having to
care for their aging parents at the same time. In one
way, an enviable position to be in for those whose
parents are in good health and maintain an active
lifestyle. But for other Boomers whose parents have
chronic health issues, are isolated or depressed, the
responsibility can be daunting and overwhelming to
you, the caregiver...read more
Family Friendly Facilities: The Only Way to Go
By Michael Brodie
Caregiver Support Coordinator
In most cases, when we think of care
facilities, we imagine the building and maybe the layout and
people we might encounter there. But what will let you know if
this is a caregiver and family friendly facility. Below are
some key items to look for and ask about when interviewing
No restrictions on visiting hours, day or
night, as long as the resident agrees, and no other residents
are disturbed...read more
Share your tip, advice, resource or observation.
From Joyce in Ohio
I am a facilitator of a cancer caregiver
support group and there is a common bond with the caregivers. They
feel one another’s stress, pain, anguish, and being overwhelmed
because they are or have been there. It's wonderful to watch as
they share their stories; heads nod at almost every word because
they have experienced the same. Just talking about an issue and
knowing you're not alone in your situation can do wonders,not to
mention the friendships that develop. Support groups can be very
productive for the caregiver. Sometimes it's hard to make a
meeting with all the responsibilities, but at least you know we
are here if you need us!
I am 46 and I cared for my 76-year-old mother
for three years after she suffered a stroke. I had the guilt and
caregiver burnout and the self-neglect just like most of us
caregivers. I had to literally force myself to go out once in a
while alone so that I could keep my sanity. I did this for both
myself and her. I realized that when it was her time to pass on to
heaven, I would have to get used to being without her. If I
had not mentally prepared myself for that, I think I would not
have been as strong as I am today. She passed away in March and I
am now dealing with the holidays without her. Christmas was her
favorite time of the year, but I will enjoy it for I know that
is what she would want. Please do not feel guilty for taking care
of yourself. You cannot save her if you run out of oxygen first.
Put the mask on your face first and then on hers.
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.
Support Group Directory. Click
for information about any caregiver support groups in your area.
need your help.
Please add information about your local support
groups to our
Group Directory. Include the name of the group, where and when it
meets, city and state and support group leader contact information.
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