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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November 1, 2002                                                                                 Vol. 5 No. 20
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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,

I am going to try to stick with a new schedule for writing this newsletter: I will alternate a personal welcome letter (sort of a monthly column of “what’s on my mind”) with a more nuts and bolts letter about what is happening with the websites and community. My goal is to be a little more consistent in what I write, and also to be able to dedicate more time to writing a nice and thoughtful column each month. Since I am “The Boss,” I may break the rules every now and then ;)

I want to thank the hundreds of respondents to our annual survey. Each year we try to take the pulse of our members and visitors through a detailed questionnaire and survey. This year we had the strongest response ever. I am pleased to provide a snapshot (as well as some details) of the current survey. I have hidden all personally identifiable information such as e-mail addresses to protect privacy. I am publishing a sampling of comments, as well as the overall data for your review.

We are taking all responses seriously, even those that poke a finger in our eye. We respect the numerous opinions. Of course, we particularly enjoy the positive responses, but we act on ALL matters that have been raised. We have not intentionally deleted any responses, although we may not publish every one. The survey results published for public view on the website are a fair representation of all the results. The survey is still open, so please give us your feedback if you have not already done so.

Beginning at the end of this year and into the new year 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 have gotten some very interested feedback from professionals in the field who like what we are doing… let’s take this to a new level!

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. For the time being, I will only post the calendar for the first two weeks of November because we are actively developing the schedule for the next few weeks.

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

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INSIDE THIS ISSUE

Feature Article: “Moving Your Elder In With You: Practical Tips & Suggestions” by Nancy Bryce
Caregiver Store: Caregiver Education Series and Store Updates
Healthy Aging: “Cross Training for Seniors” by Rich O’Boyle
Survey Results: “The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly”
ElderCare Forum: Updates and User Tips
Chat Schedule: Updates for November
Subscription Information

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FEATURE ARTICLE: “Moving Your Elder In With You: Practical Tips & Suggestions” by Nancy Bryce

If you are considering having your elderly parent or relative move into your home, you are not alone. According to Business Week, May 17, 1999, 22 percent of seniors are expecting to move in with their kids, and 54 percent of baby boomers are expecting their parents to move in with them.

When you consider all the lifestyle adjustments, role changes, and changes in relationships that will ultimately occur by having your elder move in with you, the prospect may seem daunting. So, before you make a quick decision, it is important to look at all the issues facing everyone involved.

The complete article addresses emotional issues, practical living arrangement considerations, assistance with daily activities, independence, relationship changes, and a host of other topics. You can read the complete article at http://www.ec-online.net/Knowledge/Articles/movingin.html

CAREGIVER STORE: Caregiver Education Series and Store Updates

Our online store has been busier than every over the past two months. We have tallied orders from as far as Brazil and Hong Kong. I am double-checking our records, but I think we have shipped an order to every state in the U.S.! I’m not saying that we are a bustling online merchant like Amazon.com (although our bookstore sales have continued to climb as well), but we are a serious, stable, and reliable online business. We now accept telephone order to our toll free number (1-888-774-7655). We also now accept American Express credit cards, in addition to Visa and MasterCard.

Our most popular products continue to be our Special Edition Complete Personal Planner and Organizer, the Coping With Alzheimer’s Disease Learning Resource Guide, and John Paul Marosy’s book on Work-Caregiving balance. All of these resources are available in our secure online store at http://www.ec-online.net/Store/store.htm.

HEALTHY AGING: “Cross Training for Seniors” by Rich O’Boyle

Most athletes tend to pick a sport or exercise routine that they excel at or enjoy and then stick with it – training year after year to improve their skills and ability. But many fitness experts recommend “cross-training,” participating in more than one sport or activity to get the most out of their routine and to relieve boredom. For seniors, this advice may be doubly wise as cross-training can help minimize injuries and enhance well-being by creating a more well-rounded exercise regime.

According to Bryant Stamford, Ph.D., director of the Health Promotion and Wellness Center and professor of exercise physiology in the School of Education at the University of Louisville, Kentucky, in cross-training, two or more types of exercise are performed in one workout or used alternately in successive workouts. A distance runner in training, for example, may also lift weights twice a week, perform daily stretching exercises, and do high-intensity bicycle sprints weekly.

According to Dr. Stamford, cross-training helps you:

  • Add variety to your workouts to keep you interested. You can use traditional training methods like running and swimming as well as exercise on various machines or in stretching programs such as yoga,
  • Develop your entire body, rather than specific parts or energy systems (aerobic vs. anaerobic),
  • Distribute the load of training among various body parts, thus reducing the risk of injury, and

Keep training while you are injured. When one body part is injured, you can train using different muscles and joints.

To read the complete article, which offers simple exercise routines and combinations, visit the Healthy Aging Channel at http://www.ec-online.net/longwellchannel.htm or go directly to the article at http://www.ec-online.net/Knowledge/Articles/crosstraining.html.

SURVEY RESULTS: “The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly”

Each year we try to take the pulse of our members and visitors through a detailed questionnaire and survey. This year we had the strongest response ever. I am please to provide a snapshot (as well as some details) of the current survey. I have hidden all personally identifiable information such as e-mail addresses to protect privacy. I am publishing a sampling of comments, as well as the overall data for your review.

We are taking all responses seriously, even those that poke a finger in our eye. We respect the numerous opinions. Of course, we particularly enjoy the positive responses, but we act on ALL matters that have been raised. We have not intentionally deleted any responses, although we may not publish every one. The survey results published for public view on the website are a fair representation of all the results.

Please visit our survey results page at http://www.ec-online.net/Knowledge/Misc/survey2002.html

The survey is still open to responses. We will continue to collect feedback, as well as reward all respondents with free access to our online tutorial “Managing Medicines Safely” (a $3.95 value). We appreciate all of the positive feedback, as well as suggestions on how to improve our offerings. Believe me, we have taken all comments to heart and are incorporating your suggestions every day. I am still collating the first wave of e-mail addresses: I expect to send out the complimentary passwords later this week, as well as to notify book winners of their prizes.

If you have not already filled out the survey, please visit it at http://www.zoomerang.com/recipient/survey-intro.zgi?ID=PB7ABEXQNAWX&PIN=S2DAHPMFY506.

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 November

Beginning at the end of this year and into the new year 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. For the time being, I will only post the calendar for the first two weeks of November because we are actively developing the schedule for the next few weeks.

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.

November 4 (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.”

November 5 (Tuesday 9:00 to 11:00PM EST) “Children of Aging Parents:” Host Brian Duke from CAPS leads a discussion for family caregivers seeking understanding and resources.

November 6 (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."

November 6 (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.”

November 6 (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.”

November 7 (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.”

November 11 (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.”

November 13 (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."

November 13 (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.”

November 13 (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.”

November 14 (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) 2002 Prism Innovations, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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