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Fearless Caregiver Newsletter
 Tuesday March 26, 2013 - Issue #129

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From The Editor

Gary Barg - Editor-in-chiefAn Interview with Jane Gilbert

President and CEO ALS Association

Gary Barg: Our family caregivers are dealing with all sorts of healthcare issues. But I find one of the most challenging is when the caregiver’s loved one is living with ALS, commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. Can you tell me the importance of family caregivers to people living with ALS and what the Association does for them?

Jane Gilbert: We have a series of recommendations that we certainly provide for people who are newly diagnosed. The thing that we recommend they do as quickly as they can is get to a certified center and start the process of working with good qualified clinical professional people who can really help not only the person with the disease, but their caregiver, as well. The clinical support not only improves the quality of life for the patient and their family, but it also extends the quality of life. We have 34 certified centers across the United States and many other clinics that we work with that provide not only that support...read more

Take Care

Gary Barg

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Feature Article

Playing Detective
By Jennifer Bradley, Staff Writer

The second-most common type of infection, a urinary tract infection (UTI), is responsible for approximately 8.3 million doctor visits each year, says the National Center for Health Statistics. A healthy number of those visits are from seniors and also repeat patients...read more

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Guest Column

Understanding "End of Life" Medical Decisions
By Rebecca S. Sudore, M.D., and Gloria Mayer, R.N., Ed. D.

No one knows better than caregivers the critical need for family members to make sure their loved-one’s end-of-life decisions are known and down on paper before they are needed. Unfortunately, so often these arrangements are not documented by the patient or family members in advance of serious illness or injury. The problem is further complicated by the reality that many elderly Americans are unable to understand the various documents and directives available to help them with this process...read more


Tips and Techniques for Dealing with Stress
By Dr. Rita Nachen Gugel

Change is an expected part of our daily lives today. Dealing with it so that YOU control IT rather than vice versa is an important and positive force in controlling your life. Try a few of these tips...read more

Ties That Bind Ad



I regularly run caregiver support groups, give talks to caregivers, and see them privately. I have had several questions from wives, who think they are selfish for still wanting a satisfying sex life, even in the midst of heavy caregiving duties. Some of them are in their 40s and their husbands can no longer use their hands for physical intimacy.  I am talking about spouses with intact cognitive abilities, but poor or no ability to use their arms or legs (ALS, Huntington’s, MS, post stroke).

This is also for those in a younger age group, but every age needs touch. I would think some strategies for a caregiver to consider: playful sex talk with a partner, self-pleasuring, watching sexy movies, reminiscing about younger days (and nights!) together, all the way to allowing for extramarital sex (which could be very charged with emotion and could harm a relationship already suffering with losses). Perhaps it involves grieving the loss of a sex life and trying to look at the bigger picture. Easier said than done, I suspect.

Not sure what to advise the wives. Can anyone offer some suggestions or advice?


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Inside This Issue:

From the Editor
An Interview with
Jane Gilbert

Feature Article
Playing Detective

Guest Column
Understanding "End of Life" Medical Decisions

Tips and Techniques for Dealing with Stress


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Let's Talk - Jan/feb 2013

Has your loved one recently moved into a facility? Are you considering this kind of move? What are your challenges or concerns related to the move?

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Digital version of print magazine March/April 2013

March 2013 Magazine Cover 


Educate yourself & other caregivers on any medication given to a loved one. The internet is wonderful to help you...continued