Tuesday, October 28, 2008

A Free National Telephone Class and Webinar For Family Caregivers

In honor November being National Family Caregivers Month and NFCA being 15 years old this year, NFCA is hosting a free teleclass and webinar for Family Caregivers. Info is below:

A Free National Telephone Class and Webinar For Family Caregivers
on Communicating Effectively with Healthcare Professionals

Dear Family Caregivers:

In less than two weeks we will again be celebrating National Family Caregivers Month a special time, each year, to thank, support, educate and empower family caregivers nationwide.

This year, in honor of NFC Month and our 15th Anniversary, we are delighted to be hosting a FREE Family Caregiver telephone class called "Communicating Effectively with Healthcare Professionals" to help you improve communications with healthcare professionals and to become better healthcare advocates for yourselves and your loved ones.

Please plan to join us for this 2-part FREE class available by phone and Web on:
Thursdays - November 6 and 13 from 2:00 to 3:00 pm Eastern Time.

One of the most important attributes of being an advocate for your loved one is the willingness and the ability to speak up and keep your eye on the ultimate goal, protecting not only the health and safety of your loved ones but your own as well.


For more information call us at 800-896-3650.
This year, give yourself a gift by taking the time to learn how to communicate more effectively with health care professionals. It is a gift that can last you a lifetime.

Take care,

Suzanne Mintz
NFCA president and co-founder

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Saturday, August 30, 2008

Because I Care Resource Fair - San Marcos, CA - Sept. 6, 2008

If you're in the San Marcos, CA area, this resource Fair may be of interest!:

In 2003, Sharon Hamill, a professor of psychology at Cal State San Marcos, had a one-day event on campus for families dealing with Alzheimer's disease. Since then, the fair's scope has become broader to include other conditions such as stroke and diabetes.

“We found there was a need to expand the focus,” Hamill said. This year, the university has partnered with the city of San Marcos to combine Because I Care with the city's annual health fair. There will be 20 workshops on aging, family caregiving and living healthy lives.

Because I Care Resource Fair

When: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sept. 6
Where: San Marcos Senior Center, 111 Richmar Ave., San Marcos
Cost: FREE!!!!

Information: (760) 744-5535; www.csusm.edu/becauseicare

Have a great Labor Day weekend!

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Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Medications in Disaster And Hurricane Situations

With Hurricane season in full swing, this article from the Florida Department of Health is a great checklist of what meds to have ready to go in an emergency.

"In the event of a tropical storm or hurricane, you may need to evacuate your home and regular services may be temporarily limited. To ensure that you are able to continue taking your medications under such circumstances, the Florida Department of Health (DOH) recommends that you plan now by taking the following measures:

o Call your doctor now and request a 30-day supply of medication if possible.

o Get a pill organizer and pack enough pills for two weeks. Get assistance from your caregiver or medical professional in making sure you have packed enough of the medications you will need.

o Make a list of all your medications: how they should be taken, what time, etc. Make copies of the list. Put one copy with the medications; give one to a friend, and keep one with you at all times. Make sure to list any allergies, as well as foods you need to avoid. Your doctor’s name and emergency phone number should also be on this list. Your medical professional or caregiver should be able to assist you in this.

o Pack your medications now to have ready to carry with you at a moment’s notice.

o If you are taking prescription narcotic pain medications, keep them with you at all times.

o If you are on a special diet or require special supplements, take a two-week supply with you.

o Over the counter items that you should also bring with you: Pain reliever/ Ibuprofen, antacid, laxative/suppository, Imodium, Benadryl, decongestant, antibiotic ointment, lubricating eye drops.

o If you are using respiratory medications with a nebulizer, bring it with you."

A link to this article is online here

Stay Safe!

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Monday, August 18, 2008

2008 National Caregivers Conference

The 2008 National Caregivers Conference has been scheduled!

When: Wednesday, October 29th, 2008
Where: Woodbridge Hotel and Conference Center Formerly the Sheraton at Woodbridge Place, Iselin, New Jersey

From the website:
Our conference will concentrate on the critical importance of caregivers. This year, we are coordinating a conference that will direct caregivers towards information on easily accessible, cost effective supports to all populations, regardless of age or disability. Knowledge of available resources can help to alleviate the stress associated with caregiving, sustain families and marriages, improve caregivers’ health and well being, reduce the risk of abuse and neglect, and minimize or delay the need for more costly out-of-home placement.

Info & Registration info here: http://www.nationalcaregiversconference.com/

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Change of focus of this blog

Hi All!
Well, it has been a while, and I want to apologize, but I hope to do better.

I have decided to change the focus of this blog a bit.

While I'll probably still use it to "vent" a bit ;-) I'm also going to try & make it a source of general Family Caregiving info & links that you can use right away.

So look for some links & info to be coming your way more frequently!

Have a great day!



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Monday, November 26, 2007

Family Caregivers on NBC's Today Show!

Hi All!
I hope you all had as peaceful a Thanksgiving as possible!
The media is starting to take notice (about time! ;-) of the work that Family Caregivers do!
Last Wdnesday (right before Thanksgiving) Suzanne Mintz, President of NFCA was interviewed, along with Family Caregiver to his wife, Rick King.

Check out the video below!

He cared for his wife till the end
He cared for his wife till the end

Have a great day!


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Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Next Phase

Well...we reached another phase this weekend.
We got Maman a hospital bed. Yep.
I had frankly resisted this for a while, but we were offered one from my sister-in-law who had bought it for my father-in-law before he passed away.
It's actually a great bed, and Maman likes it, so that's good.
It goes up and down. the head and knees both come up, and it has rails...everything you need to keep your 90 year old mother from trying to get out of bed on her own! ;-)

Take care!


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Friday, June 29, 2007

Pacing yourself

So...have you ever had someone say to you:
"You really need to take time for yourself"
Yeah, right....well, they're right!
I know, I know...it's hard enough being a caregiver without taking the extra time to carve out time for yourself...but it's worth it.
I'm actually taking a day & going away with my husband tonight.
Yep, it's only a day, but even THAT is a break.

There's NO WAY to pace your self with caregiving.
Pacing yourself implies that you know where/when the end of the race is.
As caregivers we don't know when it will end.
For some it's a sprint, for others (like yours truly!) it's a marathon.

But finding even a few minutes...hey even if you have to lock yourself in the bathroom! ;-)...to be by yourself or with someone you like spending time with, it's worth it....OK, the bathroom analogy can be taken a few ways from here...I'll leave it to you! ;-)

oh...and yeah, my "52 Fun Feats for Caregivers" e-book is chock full of great ideas! ;-)

Really....don't try & "pace yourself" just do something nice for yourself...your caregiving duties will be there when you get back!



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Saturday, May 26, 2007

...and the fun continues....

WOW..it has been a while since I posted...I'm sorry about that!...but Caregiving gets in the way of blogging!
As an update....PT went REALLY well...I'm actually in better shape than I was before I bulged-out my disks. I was given some great exercises to do by my Physical Therapist..and What a Concept! I'm actually keeping up with them!

But things with Mom have been a challenge...
In Monday May 14th she decided to try & get out of bed by herself ....not a smart move considering she's paralysed on her right side and is 1 week from turning 90.... Result? Free ambulance ride to the ER....after 4 hours of waiting (ONLY four hours!)...X-rays show a non-displaced fracture of her right shoulder....and she was sent home! I love our health care system....she's in a sling for the next 4 weeks....Orthopedist was seen...had to have a CAT scan done to confirm the x-rays (they were confirmed!)....rails now on her bed...Thank goodness for small favors in that it's her disabled side so she still has use of her "good" left arm.....

Bottom line: transferring is even more of a challenge with this...well...actually EVERYTHING is more of a challenge with this!

The lesson...remember that with Caregiving, things can change in an instant.

I was interviewed for the next issue of TAKE CARE!, the National Family Caregiver's Association newsletter (free to Family Caregivers by the way! go to http://www.thefamilycaregiver.org to sign up for it) and I had just told the reporter that with caregiving, you always have to plan ahead, but then be ready to have those plans change!....Fun, huh! ;-)

Anyway, I plan on getting back to updating on a more regular basis...but then again...plans can always change!....

Hang in there!


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Thursday, November 23, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving

It's Thanksgiving here in the U.S.
I'd like to take a moment to thank all the Caregivers who have become a part of Caregivers Community and who have been so supportive of me and of each other.

We all need friends who understand what we are going through as Family Caregivers and I am eternally thankful for all of you.

For those of you who are celebrating today, remember to breath and take a break when you can! Ask for help, and accept it when it's offered!

Know that those you care for are thankful for you (Even if they don't always show it!).

So: Happy Turkey Day to all!...I'm off to mash potatoes! (My husband is peeling!)


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Monday, November 13, 2006

The PT Parade!

Well, PT had started....and boy am I sore!
I have a bunch of home exercises to do...as well as my "normal" caregiving duties to continue.

It's interesting that when my back went out, people told me to "be careful."
Yeah....I'll try, but I still need to get Maman in & out of bed, take her to the bathroom, boost her up in her wheel chair, etc, etc....and I don't always have help available.

So....a caregiver's work is never done! (Although I do thank goodness have some help during the weekdays!)

So, you get hurt, you start to heal & you go on....yep...life as a caregiver! ;-)

Till next time, Peace!


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Thursday, November 09, 2006

The Physical Toll of Caregiving

It started routinely enough...

Last Sunday I was boosting Maman up in her wheelchair...and then I proceeded to fall to the floor in pain....It took me 15 minutes to get up off the floor, and that only with the help of my husband.

I had to call a friend to get Maman into bed that night because I could barely move.

An MRI a few days later showed that I now have 2 bulging disks in my lower back (between L3/L4 & L4/L5 for you medical types!). Frankly this really sucks.

I was put on 3 different meds which I stopped 6 days later because of the side effects, so now it's up to me to manage the pain...all while dealing with the reality of still having to care for Maman.

Have you ever noticed that as a caregiver, people tell you to "be careful?" Well, yeah, I'm trying, but the reality is that Maman still needs care & I ned to keep living my life...so I just take it one day at a time...and a glass of wine with dinner (now that I'm off the meds! ;-)

I start PT today...we'll see how much that helps...

How have you dealt with the the physical toll of Caregiving?

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Tuesday, November 07, 2006


Welcome to the Caregivers Community Blog! If you've come here from my website www.caregiverscommunity.com, GREAT! If you found me another way, awesome! I'm glad you're here!

I've been a Family Caregiver for almost 12 years...November 17th will mark the 12 year anniversary of my mom's hemorrhagic stroke. She's been in a Wheelchair since. Then, within a year of Maman's stroke (OK...Just so you know "Maman" is French for Mom & that's what I call her..."Mom" just doesn't fit! ;-) Papa (aka: Dad) was diagnosed with Alzheimer's....You can get all the gory details...OK not really gory...just long winded...At http://www.caregiverscommunity.com/aboutus.html
Grab a cup of coffee, or a bottle of wine, and stay a while!

Anyway, this will be the place that I'll be venting, asking for input and hopefully sharing some useful info & insights for family caregivers anywhere/everywhere!

So, welcome! And let me know what you'd like to talk about!


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