The Caregiver's Beacon Newsletter

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The Caregiver’s Beacon (tm)
“Tell me why – Show me how – Hold my hand”
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February 15, 2003                                                                                 Vol. 6 No. 4
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ALZwell Caregiver Support and ElderCare Online
http://www.alzwell.com and http://www.ec-online.net
Serving the Needs of Caregivers Since 1996
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Dear Friends,

Just a short welcome letter this issue. We have been hard at work on the Forum over the last few weeks and we need your feedback. I upgraded the software and it looks a little bit different from the previous version. All of the same features are there but we need your feedback on whether we should keep this version or go back to the old one.

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

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INSIDE THIS ISSUE

Feature Article: “Vitamins and Supplements for Seniors” by Rich O’Boyle
Elder Journal: “The Changing Faces of Love in Older Years” by Paul Takayanagi
Caregiver Store: “Elder Care: Balancing Work and Family” + Buy One, Get One Free
ElderCare Forum: The New, New Forum
Chat Schedule: Updates for February
Subscription Information

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FEATURE ARTICLE: “Vitamins and Supplements for Seniors” by Rich O’Boyle

Anti-aging and alternative health products are extremely popular among people, especially senior citizens. One in ten seniors uses some type of dietary supplement on a daily basis, such as ginkgo biloba, St. John’s wort, glucosamine, melatonin, and other herbal and botanical preparations. Some of these supplements may indeed have beneficial medical uses, but may also increase risks for adverse reactions.

“Dietary supplements” refers any product intended for ingestion as a supplement to the diet. According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, this includes vitamins; minerals; herbs, botanicals, and other plant-derived substances; and amino acids (the individual building blocks of protein) and concentrates, metabolites, constituents and extracts of these substances.

Read the complete article, along with reviews of many common supplements and cautions at http://www.ec-online.net/Knowledge/Articles/vitamins.html.

ELDER JOURNAL: “The Changing Faces of Love in Older Years” by Paul Takayanagi

One of the primary gerontology concepts I teach is that of cohorts. The definition for cohort is that persons born around the same time period, have shared life experiences that greatly influence who they are individually and collectively. Examples of the primary cohorts alive today are the WWII generation, the Baby Boomers and GenX.  The cohort concept enables us to look at generations and groups of people and develop general and specific understanding about who they are, what their needs are and how we can better serve them.  Cohorts of persons can have similar values, tastes and trends. They can also have the same attitudes about politics, the economy and most importantly for this month’s column, love, relationships and sex.

You can read the complete column at http://www.ec-online.net/Knowledge/Columns/elderjournal0203.html. On Tuesday, February 18 from 9:00 to 11:00PM EST Paul will host a chat session to discuss the topic of his column. Last month was a real hit. I am so pleased that Paul has joined our team.

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.

The complete chat transcript along with Paul’s regular column is available at http://www.ec-online.net/Community/transcript012103.htm.

CAREGIVER STORE: “Elder Care: Balancing Work and Family” + Buy One, Get One Free

There are literally hundreds of books that have been written to guide families through the caregiving journey. Many of them are exceptional – but you probably only need to buy or read four or five of them, depending on your specific needs.

If you are working full-time (like most caregivers), John Paul Marosy’s practical book, “Elder Care: A Six Step Guide to Balancing Work and Family” should be on your reading list.

John Paul’s hands-on book is the only resource of its kind that I am aware of. It is the only book that addresses some very difficult issues that caregivers with conflicting responsibilities at home and in the office regularly face. For example, detailed questionnaires that help to assess how your eldercare situation is impacting work. It also gives you insights on what to say – and what NOT to say to your supervisor.

The book includes information, tips, worksheets, and wisdom on the following topics:

  • Assessing your situation at work: the impact your elder is having on your work, the level of trust between you and your supervisor, etc.
  • Assessing your eldercare situation: feelings and concerns, holding family meetings, setting up an information folder, etc.
  • Learning about resources at work
  • Weighing options and implementing a plan
  • Long-Distance caregiving
  • Eldercare Resources

John Paul’s book is available directly from ElderCare Online’s secure caregiving store at http://www.ec-online.net/Store/store.htm

Throughout the month of February we are offering a special bonus: If you buy ANY product from our store (including John Paul Marosy’s book) we will give you free lifetime access to our “Managing Medicines Safely” online tutorial.

We offer informational booklets, videos, and audio cassettes in our store, including:

  • “Coping With Alzheimer’s Disease” Learning Resource Guide (booklet)
  • Seven educational booklets (cd-rom)
  • “Prism Personal Planner and Organizer Special Edition” (workbook)
  • “Show Them That We Care: A Nine-Step Guide to Visiting Residents in Nursing Homes” (video and handbook)
  • “Elder Care: A Six Step Guide to Balancing Work and Family” by John Paul Marosy (book/workbook)
  • “Surviving the Holidays and Special Occasions” (audio cassette)

Visit our store now and claim your free “Managing Medicines Safely” online tutorial at http://www.ec-online.net/Store/store.htm. You can order online with our secure credit card processor, or call us at 1-888-774-7655 to place your order.

ELDERCARE FORUM: The New, New Forum

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.

(1) The new version of the Forum has a slightly different look and feel, but the same great people and messages. Please give us your opinion about the new version and Vote on Preference for Forum Style: http://eldercare.infopop.cc/6/ubb.x?a=tpc&s=4956035941&f=2026095151&m=2856040622

(2) One of the most convenient features of the Forum is the ability to view the newest messages without having to browse through every listing. The “New Since Last Post” and “Today’s Active Topics” links are hidden away a little bit. You can find these links by clicking on the tiny little globe in the upper left side of the message board.

(3) I also updated the “Newcomer’s Posting Guide.” This is a great little summary of how to get started as a new member. If you have been unsure of how to get started or a little nervous about posting, please review this quick section and jump right in.

The Forum has a new address: http://eldercare.infopop.cc/6/ubb.x.

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.

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 February

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.

February 17 (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.”

February 18 (Tuesday 9:00 to 11:00PM EST) “Elder Journal:” Host Paul Takayanagi will host an informative discussion on the topic of “The Changing Faces of Love in Older Years.” You are encouraged to read his monthly column before joining the session (not required).

February 19 (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."

February 19 (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.”

February 19 (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.”

February 20 (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.”

February 24 (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.”

February 26 (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."

February 26 (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.”

February 26 (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.”

February 27 (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.

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