ElderCare Currents Newsletter


ElderCare Currents™


May 1, 1999 Vol. 2, No. 5


ElderCare Online – The Internet Community of Elder CareGivers



Sunday, May 2nd 8-10PM EST: Therapeutic Caregiving with Barbara Bridges

Please excuse us while we switch over to a new and improved chatroom. Since January, we have been using a free chatroom provided by Xoom.com. It served our purposes well, but many of you have had trouble getting bumped out. Some WebTV users weren’t able to get in at all. Until we resolve the problems (hopefully by June!), we will be having a limited schedule for chats.

Do you have a suggestion for a chat topic? What are the best times for you to attend chats? We are open to volunteers or professionals who would like to host regular or special-topic chats. Please e-mail us at roboyoboy@worldnet.att.net! In the works: Chat for Parkinsons caregivers.


Caring for a loved one with Alzheimer's disease may be one of the greatest challenges a family can experience. Until recently, information on how to "Alzheimer's-proof" your home has been difficult to find. A detailed article is now on the website that provides information on modifying the home to care for a person with Alzheimer's. It is intended to make it easier for families and caregivers to create a safer and more sensitive home environment. Mark Warner, an architect with extensive experience in home modifications for the elderly and persons with disabilities, describes the steps to take and products that are available to modify your home and tackle the difficulties you may encounter along the way.

Sections include: Inside the Home; Doors; Your Back Yard; Wandering; and Patterning. You can access the "Caregivers Guide to Home Modification" on the Home Care & Independent Living Channel at http://www.ec-online.net/Knowledge/knowhome.htm


"Caregiving: The Spiritual Journey of Love, Loss and Renewal," by Beth Witrogen McLeod

In the past nine years, the number of family caregivers in North America has exploded by 300 percent, reaching into a quarter of all households. As baby boomers age and lifespans increase, the medical and ethical issues involving in caring for the elderly and dying will affect us at a personal and profound level.

With unflinching authority and compassion, this powerful, unique book bravely speaks to what is perhaps the greatest of life's challenges: caring for an ill or dying person. As baby boomers age and lifespans increase, the issues in CAREGIVING are of the utmost timeliness. Expanding on her prize-winning series in the San Francisco Examiner, Beth Witrogen McLeod relates her own experiences as a caregiving daughter as well as the inspiring and poignant stories of others, informing them all with indispensable medical, financial, psychological, and spiritual advice from world-renowned experts.

Beginning with an account of caring for her own dying parents - a situation for which she was entirely unprepared and from which she had much to learn - McLeod moves on to discuss at length how caregivers can open their hearts in the presence of suffering and find meaning in loss.

Combining real-life stories with interviews of medical professionals and spiritual leaders, McLeod offers important advice and words of wisdom. She proves that giving is far more reflective of our common nature than violence or greed, and that by facing together the fear of dying, we can change our lives and the lives of those around us in a positive and permanent way.


"By my old professor's side, I learned the precious value of caregiving. I am grateful that Beth McLeod has put together a fine source to help bring out the helping heart in all of us."
-- Mitch Albom, author of Tuesdays with Morrie

"Caregiving has a big heart - on a much-needed topic. A rare book of spiritual and practical wisdom."
-- Sue Bender, author of Plain and Simple and Everyday Sacred

"A poignant, wise, and in-the-trenches view of caregiving that is both practical and spiritual, especially of value to mid-life adults."
-- Jean Shinoda Bolen, M.D., author of "Goddesses in Everywoman" and "Close to the Bone"

"Caregiving provides inspiration for anyone whose life is dedicated to service. Beth McLeod's experience and wisdom shine through as she shares her heartfelt journey of loss, surrender, hope, and healing."
-- David Simon, M.D., medical director, the Chopra Center for Well Being, author of "Return to Wholeness" and "The Wisdom of Healing"

"An inspirational book.... The author has ventured where there was no path and lit a beacon for all to follow."
-- Anne Bashkiroff, Cofounder, Alzheimer's Association and Family Caregiver Alliance

"A wealth of knowledge and resources.... With the voice of experience and compassion...This book is a true gift for professionals as well as loved ones."
-- David Kessler, author of "The Rights of the Dying"

"When it comes to both the nightmares and the nobility of caregiving, Beth McLeod has been there. Her moving, personal story pulls no punches . . . Her book bears witness to a truth we all have to learn: caregivers are the soul of the nation. We need to put this book on America's required reading list."
-- Theodore Roszak, author of "America the Wise" and "The True Wealth of Nations"

"McLeod eloquently.... shows us how our grieving builds our humanity. And she inspires parents, spouses, and adult children to carry on their mission to care with compassion, pride, and faith."
-- Lucy Jo Palladino, Ph.D., author of "Dreamers, Discoverers, and Dynamos"

"Beth McLeod writes with the knowing heart of a caregiver and with the pen of a poet. Her personal journey underlies the book's truth, while the pain and spiritual growth ... she explores and documents so well will touch all readers."
-- Suzanne Mintz, President and cofounder, National Family Caregivers Association

"No book about the silent crisis of caring has been more deeply felt....Beth McLeod's wisdom comes from an unflinching look at the real-life experience of family care: how it changed her own life, how it makes us grow up often in spite of our wish to remain our parents' children . . . and how we may emerge from its spiritual tests strengthened down to our souls."
-- Paul Kleyman, Editor, Aging Today, American Society on Aging

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