FROM THE EDITOR'S PEN /
No Turkeys in These Rooms
Over the past month we have hosted two
Fearless Caregiver Conferences, one in Branford, Connecticut and
one in Fort Myers, Florida. This was our fourth time to visit
with the folks in Connecticut and the first time for Fort Myers.
And yet, I bring lessons from both events:
In Branford, we were joined by our friend
Linda Dano and her friend, Mo (A beautiful 10 year old Lhasa
Apso, who like my Morris, stays by her side nearly everywhere
she goes). Linda brought the message of the importance of
having support partners as you care. She believes so much in the
value of support in beating depression that she has been going
around the country talking to caregivers about the concept (supportpartnersprogram.com).
Linda, who had been dealing with an
emotional whirlwind over the past few years, was a caregiver for
her father who was living with Alzheimer's. Soon after her
father passed a few years ago, her loving husband and mother
passed away within days of each other. She was devastated and
just as she started to find her bearings once again she lost her
beloved dog Charlie. But Linda was not there necessarily to
talk about her struggles, but her recovery. What the audience
gleaned from Linda's heartfelt message, was that no matter what
you are living through, there is hope.
In fort Myers our keynote speaker, Dr. Doug
Beach, Florida's Secretary of Elder Affairs shared with us not
only his vision for eldercare in the state but his own story as
a family caregiver, humorous moments, painful missteps and all.
Doug taught us that no matter who you are talking with: doctor,
state leader, senator or president, there is every chance that
they are also a family caregiver with many of the same hopes and
fears for their loved ones that we all have as family
And finally, a gentleman in attendance at
the Fort Myers conference, spoke of what I consider one of the
weaknesses of the English language. That the word "caregiver"
does not always truly represent our relationship with our loved
ones. His solution? Rather than calling himself a caregiver he
refers to himself as a Love Sharer. Nicely stated.
Happy Turkey day to you and yours.