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Using It or Losing It

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That is one reason why I am looking forward to conference number 126, to be held next week in Boca Raton, Florida. Not only for the education that will be imparted by such as Veronica Castro, Caregiver Support Coordinator at the Veterans Administration; Lola Rain, Senior Living Manager at Care Innovations; Dr. Jon Segal of; Jeannie Lavoie, RN, with Humana; Kim Clawson, Elder Helpline Director at Your Aging Resource Center, Area Agency on Aging, Palm Beach/Treasure Coast;…(whew, I think I need to rest for a second here)…our Lunch and Learn mother and daughter team of Fearless Caregivers, Connie Alexander and Heather Muncy; AND the 2013 Caregiver Friendly Award recipients, but most especially, because I am always astonished by the wisdom, love and support that is shared among the family caregivers in attendance.

Whether it is the caregiver who stood up to respond to misplaced misgivings about hospice care by a fellow family caregiver at a previous Boca Raton event or the caregiver at a Philadelphia event who, upon hearing a fellow attendee talk about how helping those in need in her community has affected her own health, responded by saying “I will help you.” The next year, these two newly fast friends were sitting together and sharing stories of their work together during the year.

For me, one other study of about eight years ago says it all. Stanford University researchers discovered that nearly 40 percent of family caregivers pass away before their loved ones do, due to the effects of stress. That is a result that we can all work to reduce – together.

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