The Caregiver's Beacon Newsletter

The Caregiver’s Beacon (tm)
“Tell me why – Show me how – Hold my hand”
April 1, 2005                                                                                        Vol. 8 No. 1
ALZwell Caregiver Support and ElderCare Online and
Serving the Needs of Caregivers Since 1996

It’s Spring again. The warm weather is spreading up from the South of the continental United States and will eventually hit the most Northern reaches. While we often focus on the improving weather at this time of year, it’s also a good time to consider improving our own personal, spiritual, and emotional relationships as well.

Some people make “New Year’s Resolutions” on December 31. Others (myself included) make Birthday Resolutions. Why not consider making Springtime Renewal Commitments? It’s a better time of year to get more active outdoors, focus on healthy habits (far away from Christmas and Thanksgiving food binges), and work at improving personal relationships.

Renewal mean taking a fresh look at your life. I tend to view things in categories such as nutrition, exercise, self, relationships, and environment. You don’t have to revamp every aspect of your life. But you can make a huge impact by taking one core issue that you grapple with, find its root cause, and deal with it methodically. One person may have food and weight issues, while another may have some sour relationships that cause emotional stress, or another may need to cheer herself up.

I have written a bonus article this month that includes some insights and suggestions to help jump start your own personal renewal commitments at I have also added a very comprehensive feature article (it’s more like three articles in one) on Recognizing and Treating Depression. You can read more about this particular article below…



If you have trouble with links, the complete issue is available online at

Feature Article: “Recognizing and Treating Depression: A Guide for the Elderly and Their Caregivers”
Healthy Aging: “The Psychology of Confidence” by Thomas J. Schumacher, Psy.D., R-CSW
Caregiver Store: Prism Complete Medical Planner + Free Online Tutorial
Practical Article: “Stretch Your Eldercare Dollars” by Phyllis Staff
Book Review: “Waiting for the Morning: A Mother and Daughter’s Journey Through Alzheimer’s Disease” by Brenda Parris Sibley (Reviewed by Mary B. Walsh)
Subscription Information


FEATURE ARTICLE: Recognizing and Treating Depression: A Guide for the Elderly and Their Caregivers

This article is of special importance to elderly and their caregivers. While depression is increasingly identified and managed in the general population, the real hidden sufferers are the elderly and their caregivers. About 5% of the general population suffers from one or more episodes of depression in a given year. But 15-40% of the elderly and a whopping 60% of intensive family caregivers do.

Depression starts out subtly, but ends up infiltrating our lives, sapping health and enjoyment. There are rarely easy cures or solutions, but recognizing that one is affected, and then taking measures to get better are necessary for one’s own quality of life.

The following article is somewhat lengthy. I sought to incorporate the latest medical thinking along with practical and non-medical approaches to coping and curing depression. I admit that the article might best be broken into two or three individual pieces because it variously deals with the medical causes of depression, elderly depression, and caregiver depression. In the interest of not duplicating resources, introductory text, and theories, I have combined the pieces into one long article.

Please take the time to read this article. I believe that it is a foundational piece for every caregiver to read, and I apologize for taking this long to publish it. Print it off and keep it handy if you can’t read it in one sitting. The complete article is available at

HEALTHY AGING: “The Psychology of Confidence” by Thomas J. Schumacher, Psy.D., R-CSW

Let’s face it -- most people wish to speak to their partner, spouse, family, friends, colleagues and accounts with an air of confidence. They believe that if they project confidence, they will project credibility and the people in their life will heed their recommendations and advice … both at home and in the market place.  Similarly, they believe that if they speak without an air of confidence, then people will be suspicious of them and will withdraw. They believe that not appearing confident is tantamount to inviting attack and criticism. Who would want to be in a relationship with someone, or do business with someone who does not comport himself or herself with a posture of ultimate confidence in what they say?

As a result, many people work hard to craft an image of confidence. They develop their speech patterns, appearance, clothing and manner to suggest that they know what they are doing.  Any doubts or uncertainty must be banished if the person is to succeed. Key: Unfortunately, many people are far better at projecting confidence than in being confident. They suppress their private doubts out of fear and embarrassment. Most cannot admit their doubts to their loved ones and/or business associates. Many cannot admit their doubts to themselves.

Read Dr. Schumacher’s complete article at

CAREGIVER STORE: Prism Personal Organizer and Medical Planner + FREE Online Tutorial

Our two workbooks, the Prism Personal Organizer and the Prism Medical Manager are designed to take some of the load off of your back when it comes to record-keeping and the day-to-day management of medical affairs.

Both workbooks offer practical worksheets to collect information that is useful when filling out forms for your loved one, applications for government benefits, hospital records, and the detailed information that your doctor wants you to follow. The Medical Manager also helps you keep track of your loved one’s condition so that you have a record of questions you want to ask the doctor, changes that have occurred over time in your loved one, and issues that need to be raised.

Normally we sell the two workbooks separately, but we have combined them into a Special Edition – what normally would cost you almost $24 is available for only $15.95. The Special Edition includes the two workbooks, as well as access to a password-protected section of the website that includes new downloadable worksheets.

To place your order in our secure online store, visit us at If you have any questions, call us toll free at 1-888-774-7655.

Throughout this month we continue to offer a special bonus: If you buy ANY product from our store (including the Prism Personal Organizer/Medical Planner) we will give you free lifetime access to our “Managing Medicines Safely” online tutorial.

Visit our store now and claim your free “Managing Medicines Safely” online tutorial at You can order online with our secure credit card processor, or call us at 1-888-774-7655 to place your order.

PRACTICAL ARTICLE: “Stretch Your Eldercare Dollars” by Phyllis Staff

We frequently get requests for information on how to safe money and provide better care for our loved ones. Here are some solid tips on how to make your dollars go further. Make sure you review the additional articles at the end of this one because there are even more tips that can literally save you thousands of dollars.

Read the article at

BOOK REVIEW: “Waiting for the Morning: A Mother and Daughter’s Journey Through Alzheimer’s Disease” by Brenda Parris Sibley (Reviewed by Mary B. Walsh)

I was probably among the first visitors to Brenda Parris Sibley's web site, "A Year to Remember...with My Mother and Alzheimer's Disease," back in 1996. I had a special interest in Alzheimer's, because our family had just come through our own caregiving journey. Our grandmother, who we cared for in our home for seven years, had died in May of 1996 a little over a month after Brenda's mother passed away. I visited her site many, many times over the next few years. I thought it was wonderful!

I have just finished reading "Waiting for the Morning" and it has touched me in a way I honestly did not think it could.

Read the complete review at

Mary B. Walsh is the author of “One Family’s Journey Through Alzheimer’s.” Mary and her husband moved to Pennsylvania to care for his grandmother. After they moved there, his grandmother was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease. Her book shows that despite a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s Disease, the rest of the world does not stop. She tells her own story with love, humor, and compassion. Read an excerpt from her book at

Recommended readings for eldercare, Alzheimer’s Disease, and other related topics, including book reviews, excerpts, chat transcripts with authors, and practical videos is available in the ElderCare Bookstore at


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

You may also go to the main page of the website at or 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) 2005 Prism Innovations, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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