The Caregiver's Beacon Newsletter

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
The Caregiver’s Beacon (tm)
“Tell me why – Show me how – Hold my hand”
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
January 15, 2003                                                                                 Vol. 6 No. 2
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
ALZwell Caregiver Support and ElderCare Online
http://www.alzwell.com and http://www.ec-online.net
Serving the Needs of Caregivers Since 1996
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Dear Friends,

The Eldercare Chatroom is going to get quite a workout over these next several weeks. For years we have hosting guest sessions along with our regular nightly chats. Over the next five weeks we will have all of our regular nightly chats plus four special sessions. These special sessions herald a new effort on our part to provide additional expertise and topics of interest to our members. I don’t want anyone to think that there’s anything wrong with our current lineup of hosts – they are all doing a great job.

I am responding to some very helpful suggestions in our recent surveys. People expressed an interest in a revival of our “Alzheimer’s Answers” ask-the-expert sessions, as well as specific set topics (especially managing care plans and alternative medicine). We even had at least three requests that “Yours Truly” get back into the hosting lineup, so I will start to host a regular monthly session on a Tuesday night. It looks like Tuesdays are going to become our special nights for guest hosts.

Remember back in October when public television aired the caregiving documentary “And Thou Shalt Honor?” Well, several television stations are re-broadcasting it over the next few months. I was so happy to be able to see it when it first aired. It is heartfelt and informative. It is also accurate: no fantasies about Super Caregivers and the quick ABCs. Maryland Public Television (which reaches viewers in Maryland, Northern Virginia, Washington DC, Southeast Pennsylvania, and Delaware) is showing the program on Wednesday, January 22 at 8:00PM EST.

Right after the show, viewers will be directed to our chatroom to talk about the program and to connect with each other in real time. So many professionals are curious about how our online support groups work. This gives us a huge opportunity to help people who are just coming to terms with their caregiving roles by giving them a safe and supportive place to learn and share. Please welcome these new chatters with open arms. Hopefully this will become a model for future outreach and support projects.

As I mentioned, I will be hosting a chat session on Tuesday, January 28 from 9:00 to 11:00PM EST on the topic “Setting Goals and Keeping Resolutions.” If you have had trouble achieving goals in your life, whether they are financial, personal, or caregiving-related, this hands-on session will give you a great boost. I have been training in the martial arts for a few years and have had the benefit of learning some critical techniques from my instructors. I want to share them with you.

Last, but not least, I want to just point out a very helpful aid program specifically for people who suffer from rheumatoid arthritis. Rheumatoid arthritis is a crippling auto-immune disease far worse than the aches and joint pain associated with the more common osteoarthritis. You can take a few over-the-counter pain pills for that. But rheumatoid arthritis is far harder to treat. The drug company Abbott Laboratories has developed a new drug called Humira. I’m not a fan of consumer advertising of drugs, but they are offering free access to the drug for people who do not have prescription drug coverage. If you or your loved one has rheumatoid arthritis, see you doctor about this drug, and contact Abbott (http://www.humira.com) about getting the drug for free.

Kind Regards,
Rich O’Boyle, Publisher
ALZwell Caregiver Support
ElderCare Online
Prism Caregiver Education Series

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

INSIDE THIS ISSUE

Feature Article: “Medicare 2003 in a Nutshell” by Carole C. Lamson & Martin Petroff
Parkinson’s Disease Resource Center: Preview Now Available
And Thou Shalt Honor: Program Rebroadcast and Live Chat (Maryland Public Television)
Elder Journal: Holistic Gerontology by Paul Takayanagi
ElderCare Forum: Updates and User Tips
Chat Schedule: Updates for January
Subscription Information

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

FEATURE ARTICLE: “Medicare 2003 in a Nutshell” by Carole C. Lamson & Martin Petroff

The Medicare program is a system of health insurance for the aged and disabled. It is administered by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, formerly the Health Care Financing Administration. It consists of two basic units: Part A provides coverage for the costs incurred by eligible beneficiaries for inpatient hospital care, inpatient care in a skilled-nursing facility following a hospital stay, home-health care and hospice services; Part B is a voluntary program in which eligible beneficiaries who pay a monthly premium are entitled to reimbursement for physician and other medical services and supplies. As discussed above, Medicare does not pay for care that is primarily custodial.

It is important to remember that purely custodial care (the type of care that most persons at home or in nursing homes require) is not covered by Medicare or Medigap policies. The only home-care or nursing-home services that Medicare covers is for skilled nursing or rehabilitation. Long-term-care insurance or Medicaid are the major alternative sources for paying for custodial-care services.

The complete article, along with eligibility, enrollment, and benefit information is available at http://www.ec-online.net/Knowledge/Articles/medicare2003.html. Carole C. Lamson is a member of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys and the National Association of Estate Planners. Martin Petroff, formerly staff attorney for health affairs for the New York City Department for the Aging, is a member of the Executive Committee of the New York State Bar Association Elder Law Section. Their law firm, Lamson & Petroff, provides a broad range of legal services, concentrating on the rights of the elderly and disabled, estate planning, trusts, public benefits, probate and guardianships. The office is located at 270 Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10016, (212) 447-8690.

PARKINSON’S DISEASE RESOURCE CENTER: Preview Now Available

Our recent website improvement survey highlighted the need for more specialized information for people caring for loved ones with Parkinson’s Disease. I am very excited about this new Resource Center. I just finished adding the first wave of articles, resources, and book reviews.

The Parkinson’s Disease Resource Center includes several informative and well-written articles on the disease; links to advocacy and support organizations; reviews of leading books on the subject; and of course links to our online support services. In the coming weeks, we will further incorporate your suggestions. In early February we will host an “Ask the Expert” chat session with a doctor from Albert Einstein University.

Please stop by and visit the new Parkinson’s Disease Resource Center. If you know of someone who cares for an individual with the disease, refer them to the website! You can access the PDRC at http://www.ec-online.net/Knowledge/SolutionSets/parkinsons.htm.

"AND THOU SHALT HONOR:" Program Rebroadcast and Live Chat (Maryland Public Television)

Join Maryland Public Television (MPT) on Wednesday, January 22, 2003, 8:00 – 10:00 p.m. for a two-hour encore broadcast of “And Thou Shalt Honor” on emerging healthcare issues of long-term caregiving in America. The program is available to viewers in Maryland, Northern Virginia, Delaware, Washington, DC, and Southeast Pennsylvania.

This moving production focuses on family members communicating and navigating their way through the medical, financial and legal labyrinths of care giving. Hosted by Joe Mantegna, “And Thou Shalt Honor” provides context and commentary for unfolding, compelling, real-life stories. Experts and voices of family and professional caregivers are woven throughout narrated segments.
 
Local experts, through Maryland’s State Department of Aging, will be available at Maryland Public Television throughout the broadcast to answer, direct, and assist viewers with questions and offer needed support and resources. Between 8:00 and 11:00 PM viewers may call 800-222-1292.

The Harry & Jeanette Weinberg Foundation, the Hospice Alliance of Maryland, the Baltimore Commission on Aging and Retirement Education and MPT are making the phone bank possible. The Maryland State Department of Aging joins MPT as a community partner.

Please join ElderCare Online for an online chat following the program from 10:00 PM to Midnight.  Just log onto http://www.ec-online.net to discuss the program, share information and resources – or just have someone to talk to. For further information go to the Maryland Public Television website at http://www.mpt.org

ELDER JOURNAL: Holistic Gerontology by Paul Takayanagi

This month we are running the first regular column by Paul Takayanagi, Elder Journal. Paul is on the faculty of the Gerontology Department at San Francisco State University. He has also taught at the University of California, Berkeley; California State University, Hayward; Chabot Community College; and the Graduate Theological Union. He is also the Education Director of Alzheimer’s Services of the East Bay in Berkeley, California.  He is a member of the American Society on Aging and currently is a Chairperson for their Summer Series on Aging.

I welcome Paul’s insights and breadth of knowledge, and I am sure you will also. What is particularly exciting is that Paul will be also hosting a regular chat session each month. This gives us all an opportunity to discuss the interesting topics that he raises in his columns. The “Holisitc Gerontology” chat is scheduled for Tuesday, January 22 from 9:00 to 11:00PM EST.

Aging is a social phenomenon with wide reaching variables, but it is still viewed by the average citizen, as primarily a health issue. The number of times that I have been introduced as “Dr.” (read M.D.) are countless just because I was talking to a group about aging issues.  Of course, I always correct the introduction by stating that I am not an M.D. and that I see aging as a social issue that affects persons of all ages. In my work, aging is a multi-faceted process that incorporates a person’s whole body, mind and spirit. While physical health and health care factors are important, they are by no means the only factors in the aging process. A person’s mental outlook combined with an enthusiastic spirit in a supportive environment can often make the difference in whether she or he is actually physically healthy at every age and most particularly, I have learned, when one is older.

You can read the complete column at http://www.ec-online.net/Knowledge/Columns/elderjournal0103.html. As we compile more columns by Paul and our other authors, we will create an “Op-Ed” style section of the website. Authors on topics of varied interest to family caregiver and those professionals who assist them are welcome to contact Rich O’Boyle, Publisher, about joining our team of writers at rich@ec-online.net.

ELDERCARE FORUM: Updates and User Tips

The Forum has been completely upgraded and enhanced with the most current software and a fast reliable server. I am so pleased that we have made this big step, even if it costs a few extra dollars each month and a great deal of headaches.

I welcome back all members who joined the previous version of the Forum. Your personal profiles and posts have been transferred to the new Forum. If you have forgotten your password, you can request that it be sent to you automatically by e-mail.

The Forum has a new address: http://eldercare.infopop.cc/6/ubb.x. All old links will NOT work. This was unavoidable, even though I tried hard to make the transition as seamless as possible.

In the transition to the new server, we had to delay the importing of some messages. Most of these messages came from the “We Laugh to Survive” and “Residential Options” section. These posts will be reloaded in the coming weeks. So if you see a thread that has not been discussed in a while, or one where there are no “views,” it is due to this delay. Just because a thread is a year old does not necessarily mean that it is outdated and irrelevant. Many old threads have gotten a new lease on life!

The Forum contains numerous new features that make it the most interactive and dynamic message board of its kind. While you don’t have to familiarize yourself with every bell and whistle, knowing some of the helpful features will allow you to get so much more out of it.

For example, features have been added that allow you to:

  • personalize all of your posts with a little face picture (or “avatar”);
  • select certain discussion threads to receive e-mail updates when others comment on them;
  • initiate private discussion threads and invite others to participate in them;
  • subscribe to regular updates of sections of the message board, such as “News & Research;”
  • and much more.

I intend to post tips and updates frequently to the newsletter and message board. And for many of you, we have added a slew of new smilies and icons. These are fun ways to get your message across a little better and to share some fun.

If you are not already registered, I invite you to join us again in the new and improved “ElderCare Forum” at http://eldercare.infopop.cc/6/ubb.x.

CHAT SCHEDULE: Updates for January

Beginning this January we will be revisiting out chat schedule and enhancing it with new topics, and perhaps a new host or two. We view our chatroom as a serious support tool. While we often cut loose and gab, we also use it to help caregivers in immediate need, or to provide a consistent avenue for intelligent discussion. I welcome your continued feedback on the value and role of our chatroom and sessions. We have taken the responses in the current survey to heart and will be incorporating them immediately.

Enter the chatroom from the front page of either website or at http://www.ec-online.net/chat.htm. All times are U.S. Eastern Standard Time (GMT –5). We have begun to provide chats that are hosted by caregivers in Australia. Australian times are GMT +10. Hopefully this will not cause a great deal of confusion and instead give us more opportunities to connect with each other.

Our current chat schedule is posted in the ElderCare Community Center at http://www.ec-online.net/Community/communit.htm.

January 15 (Wednesday 5:00 to 7:00AM EST) “Ozcarers' Chatroom (or Pong's Place):" Hosts Pongfoot (David) and Splash (Edith) welcome caregivers from around the world to drop in and put their feet up for a while, chat with other caregivers and "Take a Break."

January 15 (Wednesday 1:00 to 2:00PM EST) “Sugarlips’ Chatroom:” Host Vicki Gardner welcomes caregivers for a social and networking discussion group on the topic of “Expressing Our Emotions.”

January 15 (Wednesday 9:00 to 11:00PM EST) “Bubblehead’s Chatroom:” Host Edyth Ann Knox leads a supportive chat group for dementia caregivers on the topic of “Caregiving for People with Dementia.”

January 16 (Thursday 9:00 to 11:00PM EST) “Sugarlips’ Chatroom:” Host Vicki Gardner welcomes caregivers for a social and networking discussion group on the topic of “Expressing Our Emotions.”

January 20 (Monday 9:00 to 11:00PM EST) “Bubblehead’s Chatroom:” Host Edyth Ann Knox leads a supportive chat group for dementia caregivers on the topic of “Caregiving for People with Dementia.”

January 21 (Tuesday 9:00 to 11:00PM EST) “Elder Journal:” Host Paul Takayanagi will host an informative discussion on the topic of “Holistic Gerontology.” You are encouraged to read his monthly column before joining the session (not required). The column is available at http://www.ec-online.net/Knowledge/Columns/elderjournal0103.html.

January 22 (Wednesday 5:00 to 7:00AM EST) “Ozcarers' Chatroom (or Pong's Place):" Hosts Pongfoot (David) and Splash (Edith) welcome caregivers from around the world to drop in and put their feet up for a while, chat with other caregivers and "Take a Break."

January 22 (Wednesday 1:00 to 2:00PM EST) “Sugarlips’ Chatroom:” Host Vicki Gardner welcomes caregivers for a social and networking discussion group on the topic of “Expressing Our Emotions.”

January 22 (Wednesday 9:00 to 11:00PM EST) “Bubblehead’s Chatroom:” Host Edyth Ann Knox leads a supportive chat group for dementia caregivers on the topic of “Caregiving for People with Dementia.”

January 23 (Thursday 9:00 to 11:00PM EST) “Sugarlips’ Chatroom:” Host Vicki Gardner welcomes caregivers for a social and networking discussion group on the topic of “Expressing Our Emotions.”

January 27 (Monday 9:00 to 11:00PM EST) “Bubblehead’s Chatroom:” Host Edyth Ann Knox leads a supportive chat group for dementia caregivers on the topic of “Caregiving for People with Dementia.”

January 28 (Tuesday 9:00 to 11:00PM EST) “Setting Goals and Keeping Resolutions” Host Rich O’Boyle leads a goal-setting chat session. If you have had trouble achieving goals in your life, whether they are financial, personal, or caregiving-related, this hands-on session will give you a great boost.

January 29 (Wednesday 5:00 to 7:00AM EST) “Ozcarers' Chatroom (or Pong's Place):" Hosts Pongfoot (David) and Splash (Edith) welcome caregivers from around the world to drop in and put their feet up for a while, chat with other caregivers and "Take a Break."

January 29 (Wednesday 1:00 to 2:00PM EST) “Sugarlips’ Chatroom:” Host Vicki Gardner welcomes caregivers for a social and networking discussion group on the topic of “Expressing Our Emotions.”

January 29 (Wednesday 9:00 to 11:00PM EST) “Bubblehead’s Chatroom:” Host Edyth Ann Knox leads a supportive chat group for dementia caregivers on the topic of “Caregiving for People with Dementia.”

January 30 (Thursday 9:00 to 11:00PM EST) “Sugarlips’ Chatroom:” Host Vicki Gardner welcomes caregivers for a social and networking discussion group on the topic of “Expressing Our Emotions.”

Enter the chatroom from the front page of either website or at http://www.ec-online.net/chat.htm.

SUBSCRIPTION INFORMATION

The Caregiver’s Beacon is published bimonthly by ElderCare Online and ALZwell Caregiver Support. To subscribe to this free newsletter, visit the subscription information page at http://www.ec-online.net/Knowledge/Newsletters/subscribe.htm.

You may also go to the main page of the website at http://www.ec-online.net or http://www.alzwell.com and add your e-mail address to the white box and click on the "Subscribe" button (just one click!).

To unsubscribe from this list, follow the customized link that is provided below by our ListBuilder software. You may also customize your profile and sign up for additional monthly News Briefs on special topics.

(c) 2003 Prism Innovations, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Subscribe Now +++++ Return to Front Page +++++ Read Back Issues