The Caregiver's Beacon Newsletter

The Caregiver’s Beacon (tm)
“Tell me why – Show me how – Hold my hand”
August 10, 2003                                                                                        Vol. 6 No. 11
ALZwell Caregiver Support and ElderCare Online and
Serving the Needs of Caregivers Since 1996


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

Feature Article: “Thoughts on Thinking” Part 2 by Thomas Schumacher
Elder Journal: The Post-Retirement Caregiver: Unexpected Outcomes
Caregiver Store: The Practical Caregiver Training Video
Top Alzheimers/Caregiving Websites: “Coaching Caregivers” by Jim Ferry
Chat Schedule: Updates for August
Subscription Information


FEATURE ARTICLE: “Thoughts on Thinking” Part 2 by Thomas Schumacher

In order to combat distorted thinking patterns you must learn to leave your negative thoughts behind.  Mark Twain once quipped: “Life does not consist mainly—or even largely—of facts and happenings.  It consists mainly of the storm of thoughts that is forever blowing through one’s head.”  How true, but the trick is not to stop the ongoing storm of thoughts, but rather to change the nature from destructive to positive and life-enhancing ones.  When that happens, you’ve made a giant step toward living the good life based on your positive self-esteem and the personal confidence to deal effectively with life’s problems.

As you commit yourself to eliminating these negative ways of thinking, you must understand two factors.  First, these bad thinking habits are much more likely to emerge when you are fatigued or highly stressed, or when there is a significant problem facing you.  These situations weaken your ability to cope and contribute to distorted thinking.  Ironically, these bad thinking habits emerge when there’s a problem, and that’s exactly when effective coping responses are needed most.  When things are going reasonably well, they may not be apparent at all.

You can read the complete article at

ELDER JOURNAL: “The Post-Retirement Caregiver: Unexpected Outcomes” by Paul Takayangi

Retirement, once a time of life attainable only by the wealthy, has become an expected goal for hundreds of millions of working Americans.  Most people expect to retire from the work they are doing currently at some point in the future.  Many see retirement as a leisure-filled time of life that will enable them to do all of the things that they have put off doing in their working years.    But this is not always possible.   Sometimes health problems develop soon after retirement that changes the expectations for the person.  The retirement expectations can be especially foiled when a person finds her or himself as the primary caregiver to an elderly loved one.  The long term outcome of being a caregiver is that it can be a 24 hours/7 days a week responsibility.  I know caregivers who long for a “regular eight hour day” and would be hugely relieved if that were possible.  Many of these caregivers are living out their retirement years in unexpected ways.

Read the complete column at

CAREGIVER STORE: “The Practical Caregiver Training Video”

The Council for Health Education and Development, LLC (CFHED) is a comprehensive information and training center for caregivers. You are now able to learn the basic caregiver skills that are used by licensed therapists in the healthcare industry. By incorporating these skills, the possibility of injury to yourself or your loved one will be significantly reduced, confidence in your caregiver skills will be enhanced and you will have a basis on which to judge the care others administer to your loved one in various settings.

Developed by a therapist director of rehabilitation in both hospital and long-term care units. The only full-length video available for family members with no medical training. This video can be used in home or professional settings.

The video includes information on:
- Body Mechanics
- Ambulation
- Communication
- Eating
- Self-Care
- Independence
- Positioning
- Transfers

The video comes with a "gait belt" that is used to help another individual to safely transfer in and out of bed, a chair, or a car. The video will train you, the family caregiver, to have the skills and tools necessary to protect yourself from injury and to keep your loved one mobile and independent for as long as possible.

Purchase the VHS video cassette (78 minutes; includes bib and gait belt)
for $90.00 (plus $5.00 shipping and handling)

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.

TOP ALZHEIMERS/CAREGIVING WEBSITES: “Coaching Caregivers” by Jim Ferry

For the last ten years Jim Ferry has worked as a professional geriatric care manager (GCM). Over the years working as a GCM, he has become very aware of the feelings of stress and overwhelm often felt by caregivers. In 2003 he founded Coaching Caregivers, LLC.  Coaching Caregivers, LLC, offers solutions and support through programs, products and services for busy adults with caregiving responsibilities.

Through personal consultation, coaching, tele-classes and online publications, Coaching Caregivers, LLC, provides web-based solutions to caregivers who are feeling stressed and overwhelmed. Clients live and work nationwide and beyond, but share the need for caregiving solutions and a desire to begin or resume personal and professional achievement.

For years he has guided caregivers through the maze of caregiving and long-term care issues and options. He has worked closely with both caregivers who live near and at a distance, from their loved one in need of care. As a coach, his aim is to help clients put effective caregiving solutions in place while also being their partner as they take action on personal and professional goals.   A coaching session might include assisting a client with identifying appropriate home care options for a disabled loved one while also helping you formulate the action steps necessary to attain your compelling future!

With an appropriate caregiving solution in place, clients will discover increased levels of time and mental energy. And with a "new perspective," you will begin achieving on many levels.

You can visit the Coaching Caregivers website at

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 (or following this complicated link: 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 August

We are in the process of revising and updating our chatroom schedule. Please e-mail suggestions on appropriate times and topics. In the meantime (until mid-September) we will have a general schedule of every evening Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday from 9:00pm to 11:00pm EST. Most chats will have a designated moderator, but as we are adjusting the schedule, some chats may be unmonitored.

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.

Enter the chatroom from the front page of either website or at 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.

Enter the chatroom from the front page of either website or 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

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