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Today's Caregiver Newsletter
March 4, 2014  |  Issue #693  
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From the Editor's Pen Gary Barg • Editor-in-Chief • gary@caregiver.com

Gary Barg

An Interview with
Rodney and Holly Robinson Peete

Gary Barg: You started HollyRod Foundation after Holly's dad, the great Matthew Robinson, was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease. He was, of course, noted for being the first Gordon on Sesame Street and also writer and producer of The Cosby Show. Why did you start the foundation? What are its goals?

Holly Robinson Peete:  The Foundation was started in 1997 when my husband, Rodney, basically told me to stop feeling sorry for myself that my dad had Parkinson's disease, but to feel blessed that we had the resources to take care of him when so many people did not. We provide physical, occupational and speech therapies and other services to families affected by Parkinson's disease that otherwise would not be able to access those services. So we are thrilled to be able to continue his legacy by helping other people with Parkinson's disease; especially since my dad has been gone, it has been eight years now.

It has been really gratifying in the face of something kind of ugly and tragic, mainly my father's diagnosis. Then about ten years ago, our oldest son was diagnosed with autism. What we found, among other things, is that autism is pretty much unaffordable, much like Parkinson's. It is not covered by insurances in most cases and we wanted to help families affected by autism as well. So we have a dual mission. We started with Parkinson's, but in effect, it is all about compassionate care  ...more

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Morbid Obesity and Caregivers:
Learning What Works
By Sandra Ray, Staff Writer

It’s not really news anymore – Americans as a rule are overweight. In fact, more than half of the population struggles with weight or is considered obese. Obesity is generally defined as someone who has a body mass index (BMI) of more than 25  ...more

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Caring For A Stroke Survivor
With Sleep Apnea
By Deirdre Stewart, RN, PhD

Sleep apnea is common in stroke survivors. Recent studies suggest that as many as 65% of stroke sufferers experience some degree of sleep apnea. According to a leading researcher and physician in the field of sleep-disordered breathing, Mark E. Dyken, MD, University of Iowa, this high rate of sleep apnea in stroke survivors “requires aggressive assessment”  ...more

Planning For The Financial Independence
and Security of A Disabled Child
By Philip H. Mondschein, Esq

As an elder law attorney, I am often asked by a parent of a disabled child “How can I provide for my child’s financial needs when I am no longer alive?” People are concerned that, by leaving an inheritance directly to their disabled child, this will usually disqualify the child from most means tested public assistance programs. If the parents make an outright gift to another sibling can they be assured that this child will properly look after the disabled child?

The solution to the problem is to create a trust known as a “supplemental needs trust” for the benefit of the disabled child. The purpose of the trust is to preserve eligibility for public assistance programs, such as Supplemental Security Income (SSI). In most states, eligibility for SSI automatically creates eligibility for Medicaid, which may be the only health insurance the disabled child is able to receive ...more

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CareNotes

From Wanda:   I've been trying to find help for my spouse who is 58. He was diagnosed at 34. Now that we need more help, we've been told he isn't 65. Nursing homes are not where he should live. What is a person/family to do when they no longer can care for someone at home, but don't want to have them live in a nursing home with people terminally ill or who don't know where they are? Are there places for younger people? We live in rural USA and not much help is here.

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