The Caregiver's Beacon Newsletter


+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
The Caregiver’s Beacon (tm)
“Tell me why – Show me how – Hold my hand”
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
November 15, 2001                                                                                 Vol. 4 No. 21
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
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, 

As the Thanksgiving, Christmas and Hanukkah holidays approach, we are reminded of the importance of family and the interrelations among all family members. All too often, the primary caregiver carries the greatest responsibility for their loved one’s wellbeing. With the pressure to be merry and the cost of decking the halls, we know that you will be stretched even further. With the economy so slow, many of us will be watching our purses even more closely.

So from now through the end of the year, we will be working harder to provide you with the support and relief that you need as a caregiver. Make sure that you take time out for yourself over the next several weeks. We are placing additional resources into our chatroom throughout this holiday season. Edyth Ann will start hosting on Mondays and Vicki will start a new chat session on Saturday afternoons. Please let us know if the times are convenient for you, especially the Saturday session.

The grandmother of dementia chatrooms has closed down with little notice and less fanfare. The CANDID chatroom had been up and running since about 1997, making it one of the first online support groups outside of the AOL behemoth. It’s a shame to see the room go. I remember visiting the chatroom years ago when I just started ElderCare Online. Edyth Ann, Thumper, Oma, Doug, and numerous other caregivers took me under their wings and helped me to jump start my own chatroom.

Sadly, the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery in London that supported the chatroom has decided to end its involvement. Doug Keck will continue to host the Pick’s Disease chats from his online community through Yahoo! Groups (http://groups.yahoo.com/group/picks-support/join) on most nights. We are still working out a schedule, but Doug hosts chats on Yahoo! at 8:30 to 9:00PM EST most nights. After that time, he will likely come over to our chatroom here at ElderCare Online. Edyth Ann will begin hosting a regular Monday night chat here (which she used to host on CANDID).

I welcome all current and former CANDID chatters to participate in the chats on this website. While we have a strong focus on dementia caring, we also address general eldercare issues and topics. If you see a need for a specific topic, or can think of a way that we can make you feel more welcome, just let us know (rich@ec-online.net). If you have friends who are lost without the CANDID room, forward them a link to our chat schedule and welcome them in. I will try to contact CANDID directly to see if they will redirect chatroom traffic to me and Doug so people don’t fall through the cracks.

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

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

INSIDE THIS ISSUE

Feature Articles: Homecare for the Holidays by Edyth Ann Knox
Newsletter Briefs: Receive Monthly News Briefs on Special Topics
Beauty Beyond 50: Self-Care Tips for Women Aged 50+
Our Sponsor: LifeFone Personal Response Services: Emergency Response at the Touch of a Button
Book Review: Caring for Yourself While Caring for Your Aging Parents
Top Alzheimer’s/Caregiving Sites: Care Management Resource Guide
Chat Schedule: Updates for November
Subscription Information

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

FEATURE ARTICLES: Homecare for the Holidays by Edyth Ann Knox

The Holidays are times of great joy, feasting and family traditions that fill us with secure and warm feelings. They are times to reestablish family ties and bonds. The Holidays are days we remember and cherish for years to come.

Yet for those caring for a family member with Alzheimer’s Disease the Holidays can be filled with trips to the doctor or the emergency room. They can be times that our loved one may show frustration, agitation or aggressive behaviors, instead of being filled with joy and good will. This can destroy the Holidays for the caregiver and the rest of the family. Many caregivers often cease participating in the Holidays altogether after a horrendous holiday.

The Holidays are times that can bring great stress for many. When you add a loved one who has Alzheimer’s Disease into the mix often the stress can become too much for both the caregiver and the loved one. You do not need to dread the arrival of the Holidays. There are ways you can still celebrate the season by making adjustments and considerations to improve your chance of a safe and happy holiday for both you and your loved one.

To read the complete article with tips on parties, holiday decorations, winter safety, and maintaining your own sanity, click here… http://www.ec-online.net/Knowledge/Articles/holidays.html

We also have a new discussion thread called “Holidays are coming, What to do?” started by member jaftx in the ElderCare Forum at http://216.122.139.136/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic&f=2&t=000045. You can join in the conversation or just read up on what others are thinking…

NEWSLETTER BRIEFS: Receive Monthly News Briefs on Special Topics

Prism Innovations is launching a new free monthly newsletter service. These “News Briefs” will be short one or two page long e-mails that focus on specific topics of interest, including an article, resource links, tips, and recommended readings. At first, we will launch five new Briefs on the following topics:

- Alzheimer’s Disease
- Caring for Aging Parents
- New Caregivers
- Professional Caregiver
- Former Caregiver

Each Brief will launch during a different week of the month in addition to the bi-monthly Caregiver’s Beacon newsletter. Hopefully, they will evolve into individual newsletters in their own rights. Of note is the News Brief for Professional Caregivers. This Brief is being developed with the special interests of geriatric care manager, facility-based professional, elder lawyer, or non-profit organization in mind.

As I mentioned, each subscription is free and optional. To sign up, follow the link at the very bottom of this newsletter. BE CAREFUL: The link is customized just for your e-mail address. By following the link, you will have the option to UNSUBSCRIBE from this newsletter. DO NOT unsubscribe. Instead, follow the instructions for completing your member profile. You will be asked to provide some basic demographic information, as well as select the “Interest Groups” of your choice. Only provide as much information as you feel comfortable with. You do not need to sign up for any News Briefs – you will continue to receive this newsletter as you always have, and nothing will change.

We have the utmost respect for your privacy, and we pride ourselves on our integrity as a business. We do not rent our mailing list or otherwise provide it to outsiders. From time to time you may see paid advertisements in this newsletter and the News Briefs (just like newspaper advertising). We never reveal your name, e-mail address or personal information. For more information, see our Privacy Policy at http://www.ec-online.net/about/privacy.html.

Remember, use the ListBuilder link at the very bottom of this newsletter near the copyright 2001 information. And DO NOT unsubscribe (unless you REALLY want to).

BEAUTY BEYOND 50: Self-Care Tips for Women Aged 50+

Jo Peddicord, syndicated columnist and author of “Look Like A Winner After 50 With Care, Color & Style,” knows that when a woman looks good she feels better. She says, "We are lucky to be living in a time when it is possible to grow young and look ageless, an idea unheard of not too long ago." With her permission we will be publishing some “look good, feel better” tips in this newsletter:

 - De-emphasize the fullness in the chin area by applying a brighter shade of lipstick and standing straight.
 - The keywords for Fall 2001/Winter 2002 fashions are wrinkle-free, matching duos (two garments of the same color) and long skirts. Colors range from stone, orange, chocolate, moss to burgundy, purple, red, royal blue--all these plus lavender, light blue and pink.
 - During tough times do more exercise, vigorous physical activities, walking to stay positive and erase worry. Personal care is even more important; it influences how you feel.
 - Give your hair a different, new look; change your part from one side to the other. Does the color give you a youthful look? If not, change it, too.
 - About vitamin E, one of the best anti-aging, skin and energy vitamins--get natural rather than synthetic. It's more expensive but the body absorbs it better. Look for "mixed tocopherols" or "d-alpha tocopherols" on the label.

Tips are copied with permission from Jo Peddicord’s website http://www.beautybeyond50.com. She publishes several books, audio tapes, and fact sheets with tips to help women aged 50+ look great and feel better about themselves.

OUR SPONSOR: LifeFone Personal Response Services: Emergency Response at the Touch of a Button

When you have LifeFone in your home, you can always get help from a caring professional 24 hours a day every day of the year.

Research supports the common sense notion that getting immediate help makes getting through an emergency more likely and boosts the odds that a senior will continue to live independently. The longer a person spends helpless, the greater the likelihood he/she will be discharged into supportive care. For elderly people who live alone, becoming incapacitated and unable to get help is a common event, which usually marks the end to their ability to live independently.

According to the Yale University School of Medicine, one in three Americans aged sixty-five and older falls at least once a year. Is your loved one at risk? http://www.lifefone.com/who.html.

LifeFone is a small waterproof pendant button that signals a 24-hour emergency response team. The LifeFone Emergency Response Center will dispatch your local emergency services if you need help, notify neighbors or family, and stay in contact with you until the emergency is over. This service brings incredible peace of mind to family members who can not be there for their aging loved ones at all times.

LifeFone provides help at the push of a button 24 hours a day.

LifeFone
- Saves lives when seconds count by ensuring early intervention
- Allows your elder the freedom to live independently
- Provides peace of mind for you and your family

Read testimonials at http://www.lifefone.com/testimonials.html, including an audio recording from a satisfied customer. LifeFone understands that your loved one may resist using this device. We provide tips that can help convince your at-risk elder that the LifeFone will be good for them at http://www.lifefone.com/convince.html.

For more information about LifeFone, visit our website at http://www.lifefone.com or call 1-800-882-2280.

BOOK REVIEW: Caring for Yourself While Caring for Your Aging Parents

About two out of three of our members are caring for aging parents. Many of you would benefit from the wisdom that author Claire Berman shares in her book, “Caring for Yourself While Caring for Your Aging Parents.” She uses case studies, interviews, and a wealth of personal experience to guide readers through the issues associated with “parent caring.” Claire’s helpful book gives caregivers the insights that they need to keep their caregiving role in perspective – to provide loving care while retaining their own sanity and wellbeing.

Staff Writer Phyllis Laudano has written a more detailed review of the book at http://www.ec-online.net/Knowledge/BookReviews/bermancaring.htm

For other book reviews, excerpts, interviews, and chat transcripts, visit the ElderCare Bookstore at http://www.ec-online.net/Connections/bookstore.htm. We have dozens of useful references for you, including about 300 hand-selected caregiving books.

TOP ALZHEIMER’S/CAREGIVING SITES: Care Management Resource Guide

If you are searching for a nursing home, homecare agency, adult day care, hospice, or other eldercare service provider, you have several online resources available. Websites including http://www.careguide.com, http://www.eldersearch.com, and http://www.seniorhousing.net offer searchable databases for professional and family caregivers.

For the last few years the database that I have been using for my personal searches has been the Care Management Resource Guide. This is the first and best online guide. It started as the essential desktop resource book for social workers and discharge planners, so they have years of experience. The key to a great searchable database is the accuracy of the information. I can only imagine how hard it is to continuously update phone numbers, contact names, addresses, and service areas for the tens of thousands of listings. Unless maintaining the database is your primary business, it will not be the best.

Dorland Healthcare Information maintains The Care Management Resource Guide as their core business. Of course there will be bits and pieces of old information in any database. But I am confident that it is the most accurate of the resource guides available. By the way, this is NOT a paid advertisement.

My only qualm with the database is that it is not as intuitive for a family caregiver. Remember, it is designed for professional case managers, so you have to have a good idea about what the different categories of care providers are all about. Nevertheless, with a little practice, you will become a very efficient searcher.

Visit (and bookmark) the Care Management Resource Guide at http://www.cmrg.com.

For additional Alzheimer’s and Caregiving websites, Brenda Parris Sibley has established one of the best clearinghouses on the Internet. She has contacted and worked with a variety of websites to collect them into a directory with rankings showing which are the most popular. Brenda and the other webmasters and webmistresses have done an excellent job of creating unique and compelling sites that speak directly to family caregivers. In each issue of this newsletter, we will mention one of the many sites that comprise the Top AD/Caregiving Sites List.

You can browse through other sites and vote for ElderCare Online by clicking on the "Top AD/Caregiving Sites" icon on the front page of ElderCare Online at http://www.ec-online.net (or following this complicated link: http://new.topsitelists.com/topsites.cgi?ID=1&user=bpsibley&area=bests.) You are welcome to use ElderCare Online as your portal to access these sites, since I know that you will want to visit again and again. I suggest that you access the list often as new sites are added regularly, and as you explore the list, you are bound to find one that didn't catch your attention last time.

CHAT SCHEDULE: Updates for November

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.

Topics are suggested and NOT required. We always focus on the issues and that our members want to discuss. Please remember that we have a new chatroom. If you had trouble using the old one, please give it another try! Please note the new sessions added on Monday evenings, Wednesday mornings, and Saturday afternoons.

Our current chat schedule is posted in the ElderCare Community Center at http://www.ec-online.net/Community/communit.htm as well as at the end of this newsletter.

November 15 (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 17 (Saturday 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 19 (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 20 (Tuesday 9:00 to 11:00PM EST) “Parent Caring:” Host Brian Duke leads a discussion group for people caring for aging parents. In partnership with Children of Aging Parents support groups.

November 21 (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 21 Thanksgiving Holiday: No chats scheduled.

November 22 Thanksgiving Holiday: No chats scheduled.

November 24 (Saturday 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 26 (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 28 (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 28 (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 28 (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 29 (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) 2001 Prism Innovations, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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