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Today's Caregiver Newsletter
February 6, 2014  |  Issue #686  
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From the Editor's Pen Gary Barg • Editor-in-Chief • gary@caregiver.com

Gary Barg
The Joy Behar Interview

Gary Barg: Joy, it's a real pleasure to talk with you again and I loved reading Straight Talk, A Woman's Guide to Heart Health. It's filled with great information from you, Eve, and a slew of medical professionals. I was really taken with videotaped interviews with survivors. What do you think women can learn from these incredible survivor stories?

Joy Behar: Whenever somebody survives a horrible incident like a heart attack or cancer or a tragedy, I was thinking, how do you get through something like that? What you learn is the old adage, “If it doesn't kill you, it makes you stronger.” So you learn that you have to deal with your illness. You can't ignore it. You have to be somebody who is proactive about what’s going to happen to you. I come from a family with heart disease on my mother's side of the family and I'm very proactive; I learned that from my mother. She was on Coumadin for many years and if she were alive today, I think that she would have better care. She died in 1991, and a lot of things have happened since then to make it easier  ...more


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The Nose Knows
By Hannah Lee, Staff Writer

Belle started out as the puppy no one seemed to want. In her short life of just a few months, the beagle was returned twice after purchase from a pet store. Even though these returns had nothing to do with the dog’s temperament, it was the store’s policy to send “unwanted” dogs back to their breeders to ultimately be destroyed ...more

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When Your Caregiving Days Are Over
By Joyce Aleshire

I am a facilitator of a Cancer Caregiver Support Group in Ohio. We have monthly meetings at two different facilities in two different counties on the second Tuesday and second Wednesday of the month.

In the course of our meetings, several topics surface. One that got my attention most recently was: How a caregiver moves on once their caregiving days are done ...more

Nutrition and Heart Disease

Heart disease can be caused by a variety of conditions such as genetics or a physical calamity, but an increasing number of cases are being caused by poor nutrition. Whether you are taking precautions to avoid any heart disease in your loved one’s life, or are just now changing the nutrition habits of your loved one after a heart condition, there are important decisions that can make a significant difference  ...more

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Sharing Wisdom

From Ruth in Indiana:  Use "Light Therapy" for the fall and winter months. It’s great for seniors and just people in general that have to stay home for one reason or another.

From Joanne in Rhode Island:  My husband recently passed away and I cared for him at home for four years. He was non-ambulatory, had a feeding tube and for the last two years, a trach. Despite this, we did fine except for the constant stress of dealing with DME vendors, insurance companies and some medical providers. Having to always worry about not getting the things I needed for him was debilitating. Yet all I ever hear about is how tired and burned out I must be and in need of a night out or a vacation!

I stayed with my husband about 18 hours a day when he was in the hospital (no admissions for past 27 months), not only to attend to hygiene and skin care needs, but also to summon help as needed. Everyone who is telling caregivers to de-stress should instead focus on the sources of stress within the medical/health industry! One of the worst examples was when doctors and nurses would exclaim (in two different hospitals) that they had never seen anyone whose skin was in such perfect condition. Yet, unless I did all his changing and bathing myself and used all my own skin products, he was in danger of breaking down whenever he was hospitalized. Plus, I shouldn't have to fight to get him an appropriate mattress or wait for broken skin to appear in the hospital.

So, what I needed and didn't get, at least not without prolonged battles, was insurance coverage information, a responsive doctor and DME providers who provided what he needed (and had coverage for) without bait and switch techniques.

What I got and didn't need was everyone telling me I need a rest. I have all the time in the world now that he's gone and I miss him terribly.

 

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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