The Caregiver's Beacon Newsletter

The Caregiver’s Beacon (tm)
“Tell me why – Show me how – Hold my hand”
September 27, 2003                                                                                        Vol. 6 No. 12
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

News You Can Use: Memantine Advancing Toward Approval in U.S.
Feature Article: “Long-Term Care Insurance: The Basics”
Elder Journal: Lifelong Education: The Importance of a Curious Mind
Caregiver Store: The Practical Caregiver Training Video
Solution Sets: Buying Long-Term Care Insurance
Chat Schedule: Updates for October
Subscription Information


NEWS YOU CAN USE: "Memantine Advancing Toward Approval in U.S."

A Food and Drug Administration advisory panel has recommended that the agency approve memantine as a new treatment for Alzheimer's Disease in the U.S. The panel said on September 24, 2003 that the drug is safe and effective for the treatment of moderate to severe Alzheimer's Disease. Forest Laboratories, the maker of the drug, said they expect it to be available in the U.S. to patients by the end of 2003.

Memantine is a new type of drug that works differently from currently available anti-cholinesterase inhibitors, which are generally only effective in milder forms of the disease. Memantine has been found to slow deterioration in individuals with moderately severe Alzheimer’s Disease, researchers reported in the April 3 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

Read the complete news update at

FEATURE ARTICLE: “Long-Term Care Insurance: The Basics”

Few individuals or families actually plan for disability and dependence in later life. Sadly, the lack of planning and self-education often results in lost opportunities to prepare for potential disability. Without the planning and discussion of these issues, we are often forced to learn quickly about available options after a traumatic accident, diagnosis of dementia, or loss of ability to care for oneself. While many of us are emotionally resilient, we usually are not financially resilient.

It’s surprising that so few families plan for long-term care given the high probability that our aging loved ones will ultimately need it. Perhaps it has been out of mind because it has been out of sight. With the wave of aging parents of Baby Boomers, it will finally come into focus. Consider that two in ten people over age 50 will require long-term care, four in ten people over age 65, and seven in ten people over age 75.

Read the complete article at

ELDER JOURNAL: “Lifelong Education: The Importance of a Curious Mind” by Paul Takayangi

It used to be that the word “education” primarily conjured visions if school children all lined up in neat rows, learning their lessons from the months of September to June.  As soon as people graduated from high school, they were off to work, to be married, and to start families.  A few went on to college and obtained degrees that would, hopefully, serve them in their chosen careers.  After graduation, “education” was a thing of the past, something only young people did except for the occasional “on the job training” a worker may have to take to stay current.  That neat scenario of “education” is at least a couple of decades old, if not a couple of generations.

Now, children are learning their lessons year round in public, private or alternative schools or being home schooled.   The majority of Americans graduate from high school and also go on to college.  An undergraduate degree is no longer the primary “ticket’ needed to get a good job.   A graduate degree, work and life experience and a lot of extra curricular activities, like public service or volunteer work, are often required to obtain a highly placed position in a company.  Education is an ongoing activity as people move through life because of technology updates, industry developments and career changes.

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.

SOLUTION SETS: Long-Term Care Insurance Analyzer

We have updated and enhanced ElderCare Online’s Long-Term Care Insurance Analyzer, our mini-resource center on buying long-term care insurance. Now we offer not only numerous articles and tools, but also a free e-book called “The Insiders Guide to Long-Term Care.”

So many caregivers have seen the devastating financial consequences of paying for services for a loved one, including homecare and nursing homes. This resource center offers you valuable information and insight on how to avoid the expenses for yourself.

Take a look at our article “Long-Term Care Insurance: The Basics” at, and then visit the Long-Term Care Analyzer at for even more detailed tools to assess your needs.

Then request a free quote and a copy of the e-book “The Insider’s Guide to Long-Term Care.” You will be contacted by a licensed professional to discuss whether or not long-term care insurance is right for you. The is absolutely no cost and no obligation. Get your quote and e-book at

CHAT SCHEDULE: Updates for October

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

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) 2003 Prism Innovations, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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