ElderCare Beacon Newsletter
ElderCare Online The Internet
Community of Elder Caregiversä
The Winter Holidays are upon us in full force. That means most of us are pigging out at family parties, shouldering numerous obligations and spending to the hilt. As caregivers, you give and give and give sometimes until you are exhausted. Give yourself the greatest gift of all this season: take care of yourself physically and emotionally. My friend Tom Schumacher and I have written a caregiving tip that will form the basis of this newsletters welcome.
Make yourself some promises this Holiday season:
Wishing you all the blessings and promises of a new year.
Kind Regards and Happy Holidays,
INSIDE THIS ISSUE
Exercise and Chocolate?: You Can Have Both!
EXERCISE AND CHOCOLATE?: You Can Have Both!
We are still looking for caregivers to help us complete our Healthy Aging Survey. We need feedback from individuals on the types of lifestyle changes you have (or have not) made. Did you start an exercise program or stop smoking? What things helped or hindered you from making these changes? The survey results are part of Dr. Joanne Singletons ongoing research into what helps people stick with self-care plans. You input will be used to develop programs that help caregivers improve their own quality of life.
And now on to chocolate As an incentive to complete the five-minute survey, I will be providing a complimentary exercise video and workbook to fifteen respondents. I got special permission from Dr. Singleton to include a box of Godiva chocolates in each of the video packages. So please complete our survey and I will send the gifts as soon as our survey is complete in January.
You can access the survey at http://www.zoomerang.com/survey.zgi?AR0WHKQFYMEA6DS8BFFT38B3. If you have trouble accessing the long link, just go to the front page of the site and click on the Healthy Aging Survey link under "Whats New."
All survey results are completely confidential and private. We may follow up by email to request your mailing address to send your video and chocolates and to clarify individual responses.
HOT TOPIC: Healthy Aging (Continued)
Healthy diet and behaviors are the gift that you give yourself. As caregivers, you have particular challenges maintaining your own health and vitality. This topic is a joint production of ElderCare Online and the Institute for Healthy Aging at Pace University's Lienhard School of Nursing in New York City. The information contained herein is intended to help men and women ages 40 and older to enhance their wellbeing now and for the future.
If you are stressed out and unwell, then you will not be able to care for your loved one to the best of your ability. This month we are publishing a series of articles that are designed to help you maintain your own health. These are the second installment of articles and site updates:
We have published two book reviews on the site:
Our newest article is "Exercising Care" by Constance M. Serafin, M.Ed., M.S., R.N,C, FNP:
Youve probably heard of the physical benefits of exercise reduced rates of heart disease and diabetes, improvement in blood pressure levels and protections against osteoporosis, to mention a few. But what about improving balance and strength to make walking and climbing easier and to help prevent falls? What about finding an outlet for your frustration and anxiety? What about feeling better about yourself and how you look? These are less known benefits of weight training and aerobic exercise programs. Constance Serafin, a Registered Nurse and Family Nurse Practitioner at Pace Universitys Health Care Unit, has written a useful article designed to help caregivers develop an exercise program for themselves. The complete article includes ideas on how to get started and how to design a personalized exercise plan.
"Proper Exercise 40+" Chat Session with Joanne Singleton:
Our final chat session of the year will be presented on Wednesday, December 20. Dr. Joanne Singleton from Pace Universitys Institute for Healthy Aging hosts a discussion on "Proper Exercise for 40+" as part of our monthly Hot Topic.
You can read a transcript of the Memory Enhancement chat session, the complete series of stress reduction and healthy lifestyle articles and the book reviews in the Healthy Aging Hot Topic at http://www.ec-online.net/Knowledge/HotTopics/healthyaging.htm.
FEATURED ARTICLES: Family Transitions and Holiday Hassles
This issue we have two featured articles added to our library of caregiving knowledge.
Dr. Avrene Brandt, who has written the series on "Emotions," has completed an article on "Transition Issues for the Elderly and Their Families." In this article she looks at the changes that senior adults and their families encounter as parents transition into being "older adults." These changes will be described and recommendations made as to how to adjust to change and maintain a fulfilling lifestyle. As adults approach their senior years many aspects of life (physical, social, financial, and employment) are changing. For most seniors, the retirement years are anticipated positively and with an expectation of more leisure time and a lessening of demands and responsibilities. Neither seniors nor their families are adequately prepared for the stresses that also accompany aging. The goal during the senior years then is to maximize the positive and develop strategies for coping with the stresses.
Avrene Brandt is a clinical psychologist with a private practice in
Media, Pennsylvania, and a consultant at the Greater Philadelphia Chapter of the
Alzheimers Association and to geriatric and rehabilitation facilities in
Pennsylvania, Delaware and New Jersey. When her father was stricken with illness, she
became intensely aware of the demands placed upon his caregiver, her mother. It was
observing her mother as a "textbook, stressed caregiver" that led Avrene to
contact the Alzheimers Association, subsequently to become a consultant for them,
and ultimately to write "Caregivers Reprieve: A Guide to Emotional Survival
When Youre Caring for Someone You Love." She holds a Ph.D. in Clinical
Psychology from the University of Massachusetts and a Masters of Science in Psychology
from the University of Massachusetts.
ElderCare Online Mentor and Edyth Ann Knox is an experienced caregiver. As 24/7 caregiver for her mother-in-law Milly, she learned the in and outs, and ups and downs of caregiving from the best teacher there is: Experience. In her most recent article, "Home Care for the Holidays," Edyth Ann discusses practical solutions to help Alzheimers Disease caregivers enjoy the Holidays with less stress, more quality time with their families and fewer safety concerns for their loved ones with the disease.
The article provides tips and suggestions in the areas of Holiday parties, Winter Safety and Holiday Decorations. The article concludes with an exercise for caregivers to "Write Your Own Sanity Clause" by Rich OBoyle and Tom Schumacher.
Edyth Ann Knox (known to online friends as Bubblehead or Queen Bubble) was the 24/7 caregiver for her mother-in-law, Milly, for over a decade. As an early adopter of online communities for caregivers, she has earned the respect and friendship of numerous other wired caregivers. She has been a creator and participant in some of the Internet's earliest online caregiving communities: the Washington University at St. Louis's Alzheimer's Listserv, other e-mail support groups and her own real-time chat room. She brings years of experience as a practical caregiver, wise mentor and easy-to-laugh friend to new and experienced caregivers alike.
You can read the complete article in the Home Care & Independent Living Channel at http://www.ec-online.net/Knowledge/Articles/holidays.html.
CAREGIVER SUPPORT NETWORK: New Poems by Dorothy Womack
ElderCare Online Mentor Dorothy Womack has written several new poems and inspirations this month. I have included them in her personal pages. You can visit her personal pages and those of other Mentors at http://www.ec-online.net/Community/Activists/can.htm.
OUR SPONSOR: Park Ridge Center Offers Courses for Caregivers in Chicago
In January, The Park Ridge Center for the Study of Health, Faith, and Ethics will conduct two workshops for caregivers that address ethics and spirituality in caring for the elderly.
"Retrieving Spiritual Traditions in The Long Term Care Of The
Elderly" January 16, 2001; The Park Ridge Center, Chicago, Illinois $150
"Making Tough Decisions: Caring For The Elderly At Home"
January 30, 2001; The Park Ridge Center Chicago, Illinois $125
The Park Ridge Center for the Study of Health, Faith, and Ethics is a non-profit research organization that addresses the difficulties confronting patients, health care professionals, and institutions. Located in Chicago, IL, the Center was founded as a response to tremendous advances in medical technology. People were being asked to make life and death decisions in an environment where religious beliefs and values that underpin health care seemed removed. The Center saw the need to retrieve the spiritual dimensions of health care and support ethical decision making. Its mission is to explore and enhance the interaction of health, faith, and ethics through research, education, and consultation to improve the lives of individuals and communities. The Park Ridge Center is located at 211 E. Ontario Street, Suite 800, Chicago, IL 60611. To register for workshops or for more information about "Retrieving the Spiritual Traditions in the Long Term Care of the Elderly" education program call toll free 1(877) 944-4401, or visit http://www.parkridgecenter.org.
TOP AD/CAREGIVING SITES: Signpost to Older People and Mental Health Matters Journal
This months featured caregiving site is "Signpost to Older People and Mental Health Matters Journal" at http://signpostjournal.connect-2.co.uk/.
Signpost is a specialist quarterly journal aimed at those working with and caring for people with dementia, older people with mental health problems, and their caregivers. Signpost provides an interagency and multidisciplinary communication network for formal and informal caregivers, with the intention of supporting common aims and a shared vision of improving practice and quality within EMI services. The overall aim of Signpost is to enhance the quality of care received by older people with special mental health needs and thereby improve their quality of life.
Simon ODonovan, a senior psychiatric nurse specializing in dementia care and working for Cardiff & Vale NHS Trust, Wales, UK, is currently studying for his Doctorate in Nursing at the University of Glamorgan in Mid Glamorgan. He needs your input to complete his thesis. It is an investigation of the stresses and problems that caregivers experience when caring for a friend or relative with dementia in the community. This research will help us better understand the factors involved in caregivers' decisions to relinquish caregiving and admit their loved one to permanent care settings, as well as how services can support continued caring at home. I highly recommend that caregivers take some time to help them complete one of the questionnaires at http://signpostjournal.connect-2.co.uk/dementia.htm.
The website is a great resource for articles on every aspect of dementia care for both family caregivers and professionals. I recommend the issue on "Rarer Dementias." It seems that there is so little out there on these other forms of dementia, so this site helps broaden all of our understandings of dementia care.
To access the Signpost website go to http://signpostjournal.connect-2.co.uk/.
Brenda Parris Sibley has established one of the best clearinghouses for Alzheimers Disease and caregiving sites 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 didnt catch your attention last time.
LIVE DISCUSSION GROUPS: Schedule for December
December 20 (Wednesday 9:00 to 11:00PM EST) Dr. Joanne Singleton from Pace Universitys Institute for Healthy Aging hosts a discussion on "Proper Exercise for 40+" as part of our monthly Hot Topic.
Transcripts from previous discussion groups and guest sessions are posted in the ElderCare Community Center at http://www.ec-online.net/Community/communit.htm.
If you regularly attend an online support group or host one, please forward information on it to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you dont have a chatroom or website, but are interested in hosting a session on ElderCare Online, please fill out the Community Activist form at http://www.ec-online.net/forms/formactivist.htm.
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