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FROM THE EDITOR'S PEN  /The Calculated Ambush/  Editorial List  

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The Calculated Ambush

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Last week was the fourth annual Nashville Fearless Caregiver Conference. Thanks to all our wonderful Tennessee Fearless Caregivers for such warm southern hospitality.  

As well as our local and national experts and partners, I was also impressed to see that the local, state and federal support agencies were well represented by Cathy White, Director of Nashville’s Agency on Aging & Disability and Clara Kelly, the agency’s Family Caregiver Specialist, Jim Shulman, Executive Director of the Tennessee Commission on Aging & Disability, and the Regional Director of the Administration on Aging, Costas Miskis.

At the morning Q and A expert panel discussion, we talked a LOT about two vital issues for any successful Fearless Caregiving: Preparation and Communication. It all started when a gentleman in the audience asked a reasonably simple question about learning to communicate with his senior loved one for whom he was caregiving. I thought one of our extremely talented panelists would answer and we would move on to other issues.  But after every one of the panelists addressed the issue, the topic developed a life of its own with a room filled with caregivers all weighing in.  This phenomenon usually happens when we discuss the issue of “Taking away the keys.” So much so, we always hold any driving questions until the last half hour of the Q and A session or else it completely swamps all other topics.  

I was gratified to see that the driving issue’s traditional place of honor at the conferences went to the above-mentioned twin topics.  I spoke about the concept of the Caregiving Board of Directors Meeting you can have with the adults in your family. The attorney on the panel spoke of the importance of having the appropriate paperwork in place before such conversations and even mentioned that the best place to keep legal documents is not in a safe deposit box, but rather the freezer for immediate access. Especially when dealing with issues relating to cold cash (sorry).  


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