FROM THE EDITOR'S PEN /
Cannot Afford /
Last week, we hosted our tenth
anniversary Fearless Caregiver Conference. I
have to say it was a doozey. We had experts on
social security, long term care, and hospice on the
panel and hundreds of family caregivers in the
audience. It was a packed house of information,
advice and sharing topped off with a proclamation
from the honorable Lois Wexler, Mayor of Broward
Country, Florida and a caregiver advocate,
officially noting the date as Fearless Caregiver
Day. Dr. Jamie Huysman, an old friend and
Co-founder of the Leeza Gibbons Memory Foundation
shared his thoughts on caregivers as first
responders, and we honored our 2008 Caregiver
Friendly Award winners.
As any event, there is always one moment which
literally took the breath away from everyone in attendance. That
moment came when a caregiver stood to talk with Florida's
Secretary of Elder Affairs, Douglas Beach. She spoke of the
times when she would bring her 54 year old daughter to the
hospital. When the hospital staff would realize that that
the family was dealing with Alzheimer's care, they would address
her daughter and ignore the caregiver who stood before us. The
only problem with that situation was that it was the daughter
and not her mother who was living with Alzheimer's disease.
She went on to say " If anything happened to me, there would be
absolutely no one to care for my daughter, so I cannot afford to
die." It took many moments before anyone in that
conference hall remembered to start breathing again.
See you on the road!