ElderCare Beacon Newsletter
ElderCare Online The Internet Community of Elder Caregiversä http://www.ec-online.net
Happy New Millennium!
I hope that everyone has recovered from the holiday season. While most of you were preoccupied with family activities and hands-on caregiving, I hope that you had the opportunity to pass some of the responsibility for caregiving onto other family members and enjoy yourselves.
As we begin the year, I want to welcome all of our new members and our new volunteers. In the next few months, we will be introducing several experienced caregivers as Activists and Mentors. These folks will help to answer the many questions that you e-mail each week, host online support groups and help write practical articles to relieve the stresses of caregiving. Please stand by until February for a complete mini-site featuring our volunteers.
Two of our volunteers, Mary Waggoner and Dorothy Womack have already prepared helpful articles for this months newsletter. Please continue your positive feedback.
INSIDE THIS ISSUE
Monthly Feature: Caregiver Resolutions by Mary Waggoner
MONTHLY FEATURE: Caregiver Resolutions by Mary Waggoner
This millenium, I vow to keep the following resolutions:
1) I will set limits.
2) I will accept and enlist help.
3) I will learn to say no.
4) I will accept the Unthinkable Thoughts as part of being human.
5) I will find enjoyable ways to ease stress and take care of myself. Here are some
This millenium, I will keep these resolutions and accept that I am only human.
Copyright 1999 by Mary Waggoner
PLEASE HELP WITH OUR SURVEY
I have developed a short survey that I am asking your assistance in completing. As I devote more of my efforts to our online community, I want to be sure that it reflects all of your interests and needs. The survey will expire on January 15, 2000, so please respond if you have not already done so.
Specifically, I am looking to see where you are from, whom you are caring for, what are your topical information needs and how you perceive the actual website.
This is NOT an attempt to drop cookies on your hard drive, track your clicks or amass personal information! After I collate the survey results, the information will be deleted. If you do not want to answer a question, simply skip it or cancel the survey.
I will select seven respondents for a special prize as gratitude for fully completing the survey.
I am using a web service called "Zoomerang" to administer the survey and collate the information. Please begin the survey by clicking on this link:
Thank you for participating. The survey has been closed.
NEWSLETTER ARTICLE Caregiver Guilt by Dorothy Womack
The role of a caregiver at home is usually followed by
varying degrees of guilt. This happens regardless of our effectiveness, as it seems to be
virtually impossible to care for ones loved ones and simultaneously face the
realities that we will inevitably lose them. Most of us eventually confront not only the
loss of our loved ones, but the guilt that we could have done more, should have known
better, would have done differently in retrospect. This increases not only our guilt, but
our grief as well. We long to spare our loved ones from the ongoing progression of disease
and death but we cannot save or rescue them. We are helpless in the face of the
inevitable Life in the body ceases to function and life in the spirit begins. Our
loved ones depart houses no longer adequate to hold them and move onto a new dimension,
while we remain behind often shattered by our grief and shackled by our guilt. We
only compound our grief when we weigh ourselves down with guilt. We take on a task that
requires Herculean effort - and despite our best intentions, there is an end that we
anticipate, but seek desperately to avoid. At the end of human life exists a new beginning
not just for our loved ones but for ourselves as well.
From time to time, we provide our valued newsletter subscribers with access to time- and money-saving opportunities. We never reveal your personal information or e-mail address.
Drugstore.com is one of the leading Internet stores selling health and wellness products, personal care products, prescription drugs and other products used by caregivers. Please browse through the drugstore and compare prices with your brick and mortar drugstore. With the $10 coupon, you will likely find some great bargains.
In addition, drugstore.com is extending their "philosophy" gift offer for new customers. The details? With ANY purchase, all drugstore.com customers get a FREE gift set of 3 luxurious bath and skincare products from philosophy (limit one per household). The gift set is a $25 value.
Please follow this link or copy the code into your browser exactly. This will ensure that ElderCare Online receives the proper credit for your order and that you receive the $10 discount.http://www.drugstore.com/user/promo.asp?code=rewards&aid=2579&aparam=10-promo
JANUARY CHAT SCHEDULE
We will be running a more complete list of ElderCare chats and real-time support groups on the Internet in the February 1 issue of the newsletter. This month, ElderCare Online will only host one special chat session. Look for the Caregiver Support Network in February it will include details on these and other online support groups. If you regularly attend an online support group or host one, please forward information on it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Chat on ElderCare Online:
January 25th at 1:00PM EST: "Diagnosing Alzheimers Disease" with Dr. Mary Sano from the Gertrude Sergievsky Center at Columbia University. Join us for an informative and lively discussion of the procedures, tests and issues associated with diagnosing Alzheimers Disease and distinguishing it from other forms of dementia.
I also want to tell you about two consistently helpful support groups on the Internet: Bubbleheads Chatroom and the Candid-Dementia Chatroom. Both have regular attendees and set (although flexible) topics. The participants will make you feel right at home and help you with your caregiving ups and downs
Monday night chats start at 9:00PM EST in the Candids Virtual Carers Chatroom at http://dementia.ion.ucl.ac.uk/candid/chat.htm . On Tuesday nights the chats also start at 9:00PM EST but they are in Bubbleheads Chatroom at http://members.xoom.com/Bubblehead/AlzheimersCG.htm. If either chatroom does not accept your nickname or tries to tell you that you need a password just add a number to your nickname like 54 and you should be able to come right in. For more information, contact Edyth Ann aka Bubblehead aka Queen Bubble email@example.com ICQ # 2665330
January 10th and 11th "End Stage Issues and the Final Passing:" This is a subject that is very popular but I avoided over the holiday months. Many including me are now facing this stage. There are many more that will be facing it sometime in the future. For some it is going to be very hard and frightening. I find that it is often harder when this topic is not discussed and it is the unknown that is really frightening rather than the event.
January 17th and 18th "When Is It Time That the LO Should No Longer Live Alone:" The early stages are equally as scary because in many cases we naturally tend to cling to denial and most family members facing this situation is doing so without any idea of what this disease is or any experience. Most will set with a set of ideals and values only to find that many do not apply in the reality of the disease.
January 24th and 25th "Alzheimers Disease Behaviors and How To Adjust For Them:" As your LO progresses in the disease you are going to see a wide range of behaviors that may not have been normal prior to the disease but may have a normal range in the disease. Even though there are medications to help deal with some of these behaviors at there worst, medication is still used only when environmental adjustments and our ability to adapt does not bring it to a manageable level. The big problem is so many CGs never had to learn how to adjust the environment or their approach to deal with these behaviors let alone know that there are things they can do.
January 31st and February 1st "Pick's and Other Dementias:" Having regular discussions on other dementias is necessary. Even though these other dementias are generally lumped under Alzheimers Disease, they are different.
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