As we prepared to post this week's newsletter, we learned of
the passing of Senator Ted Kennedy. Our thoughts and prayers go
out to the Kennedy family on their recent losses of Eunice
Shriver Kennedy and Senator Kennedy. As well as
their countless contributions to society during their lifetimes,
they were also loving family members and friends to many who are
grieving at this moment. That is something that truly transcends
all things, including politics.
My husband had a significant stroke in 2007.
He's fairly independent, but had to go on
disability due to the many "souvenirs" from his
stroke and diabetes. He can drive some,
and is able to work about 2 hours a day. I
am legally blind and hearing impaired. I
work full-time outside of the home and also run
a home business my husband had before his
We live in Vermont, and there's
a small stroke support group that meets once a
month. There are no caregiver support
groups, though. Most people rely on their
circle of friends and relatives for support,
rides, activities, etc. For us, that's not
possible. Our children and grandchildren
live about 3 hours away in a very remote area.
The few friends we had before the stroke have
dwindled down to about four, and we rarely see
them. A Sharegiver's Program has just
started at our local hospital rehab center, and
my husband is a pilot member. Hopefully,
this will generate a little activity for him.
As far as help around the house (repairs,
mowing, shoveling, rides, etc.) we don't qualify
for any of the assistance programs because we
make too much money. But we also don't
have friends or relatives who can help out.
Sorry for the long background info, but thought
it would be helpful for the real issue at hand:
you frequently mention in your e-newsletter how
important it is to engage family and friends,
and that caregivers should give themselves a
break by enlisting the help of others. How
can I do this when family members are too far
away, friends have pretty much deserted us, and
BOTH my husband and I have debilitating issues?
I can't just jump in the car and go away for a
day or two -- I'm legally blind and cannot
drive! I can't call someone and ask for
help with chores or errands, or plan an activity
together -- we have so few contacts, and they're
always busy or unavailable. We don't
belong to a church or any clubs/organizations.
Moving to another locale would be too taxing and
stressful for both of us. So days,
sometimes weeks, go by with no phone calls or
visits. Yes, we have the internet, email
and a cell phone -- but just being able to get
out and DO something with others would be nice!
Do you have any suggestions? Do
others grapple with this? If so, how do
they handle it or fix it? I'm so grateful
for our two beautiful German Shepherds -- at
least they provide SOME measure of
Thank you for any advice
you can offer.
Last week, when
Morris asked for your vote, the competitions
website went down for the next 24 hours. A
conspiracy….hmmm. Let’s show them that
they can’t keep a good dog down and please
Many of you have heard about my dog Morris
who accompanies me everywhere and is in fact
sitting with me on the chair as I write this.
He asked me to see if you would lend a hand and
vote for him in this week’s competition.