ElderCare Beacon Newsletter

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ ElderCare Beacon
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++      October 1, 2000                                                                                Vol. 3, No. 18
ElderCare Online – The Internet Community of Elder Caregivers http://www.ec-online.net
"Tell me why – Show me how – Hold my hand" (sm)
Serving the Needs of Caregivers Since 1997

Dear Friends,

Last month was quite busy for the website: the Death & Dying Hot Topic drew a significant amount of traffic to the site, including many new users and professionals. Furthermore, CNN & TIME magazine noted this site in their webcast of "My Two Sons," a documentary about a family’s decision to place their father into an assisted living facility. ElderCare Online is increasingly recognized as a solid resource for caregivers, especially those coping with Alzheimer’s Disease.

You will notice the addition of a new section on the front page called "Partners in Excellence." ElderCare Online has developed numerous relationships with large and small organizations all over the world who share our commitment to helping caregivers improve quality of life for themselves and their aging loved ones. As we build these relationships, we will feature our "Partners in Excellence" proudly – this is a two-way recognition of the importance of working together to benefit caregivers.

I have been a member of the National Association of Professional Geriatric Care Managers (http://www.caremanager.org) for close to two years. Geriatric care managers work with families to find services, manage relationships with health professionals and balance family responsibilities to their loved ones. The Novartis Foundation for Gerontology (http://www.healthandage.com) is based in Switzerland and seeks to educate professional and family caregivers on healthy aging issues. High-quality articles and resources from ElderCare Online are prominently included on Novartis’s website

I am very excited about the participation in our community of our newest Mentor, Edyth Ann Knox. Edyth Ann is well-known to many of you by her screen-name, "Bubblehead," in several online forums. She brings many years of experience to ElderCare Online and shares it with our members in articles, discussion topics and her own chatroom. I encourage you to visit her personal pages on this site and to join the dialogues in the ElderCare Forum where Edyth Ann will moderate the General Caregiving section. She is also very experienced with Alzheimer’s care, so she will likely be busy throughout the Forum.

We have also added numerous original articles to the site. Our professional writers are generating so many high-quality articles every week that I am publishing more than one feature article with each newsletter. In the future, I will try to offer a variety or authors and topics with each newsletter. I encourage you to tell your friends about an article if you think they would benefit from it. Either point them toward the main page of the site (http://www.ec-online.net), to the topical Channel or directly to the article itself. In the future, we will add simple "Tell a Friend" buttons that automate this process.

This month’s Hot Topic will be a continuation of the Death & Dying topic from last month. It has been so popular (and I have been swamped with other work). In November we will have a new topic, which I promise will be innovative and informative.

Kind Regards,
Rich O’Boyle
ElderCare Online


ElderCare Forum: Caregivers Sharing Ideas and Support
Feature Articles: "Negative Emotions" and "Adult Day Care"
Caregiver Support Network: Edyth Ann Knox is New Mentor
Top AD/Caregiving Sites: Vote for ElderCare Online
Respite Rewards: Active Members Rewarded
Live Discussion Groups: Schedule for October
Subscription Information


ELDERCARE FORUM: Caregivers Sharing Ideas and Support

Since the ElderCare Forum came back online last month we have seen a surge is usage. So many new discussions have started and old ones revived that I thought I would highlight a few of them. The Forum is our community bulletin board – a place to post ideas, concerns and small victories so that others can share in them. That means that if you have a problem or need advice, we have a safe and constructive forum where you can raise it.

The Forum is regularly visited by dozens of hands-on caregivers, as well as our moderators, activists and mentors – both professionals and experienced caregivers. Barbara Bridges, Edyth Ann Knox and Douglas Chu are among those who are available to respond to your postings.

Recent posts:

- Concern for Mom (roosterhome): Mom has fallen and I am concerned with her care at the nursing facility.
- Control Issues (JMD): Alzheimer’s and Personality Changes.
- Other House (katzinr):Mother Wants to Go Home.
- Asset Protection & Law Suit (JanieR): Medicaid Planning and Family Law Suit.
- Death & Dying (Casey): Questions and Answers on End-of-Life Care.

You can follow these and many other discussion threads in the ElderCare Forum. Each month we reward a few new participants with free caregiving books or products from our affiliate partners. Please join in the community to share your wisdom and support your fellow caregivers. Access the ElderCare Forum at http://www.ec-online.net.

FEATURED ARTICLES: "Negative Emotions" and "Adult Day Care"

This month we have added a few new articles, including one from our newest Contributing Editor, Avrene Brandt, Ph.D. Dr. Brandt is a clinical psychologist with a private practice in Media, Pennsylvania, and a consultant at the Greater Philadelphia Chapter of the Alzheimer’s 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 Alzheimer’s Association, subsequently to become a consultant for them, and ultimately to write "Caregiver’s Reprieve: A Guide to Emotional Survival When You’re 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.

Dr. Brandt’s first article is entitled "Understanding and Acknowledging Negative Emotions." She helps caregivers understand their emotions, recognize that they are normal and prepare yourself to better care for yourself and your aging loved ones. Once "delivered" the caregiver role, your beliefs and expectations will affect how you cope. Typically we believe that as caregivers, (as with anything we undertake) if we work hard, things will get better. We also expect that we will be acknowledged and appreciated for our efforts, that we will make a difference in our loved ones condition and that we will have some control over the situation. The difference between what we expect and reality can set us up for frustration, anger, guilt and disappointment among other emotions.

Being a caregiver can be more difficult and stressful than you ever expected. This is partially true because it is hard to take care of someone whose needs intensify and whose condition worsens. Add to this a lack preparation and unrealistic expectations, and you can set yourself up for disaster. Nevertheless, every day new caregivers learn to cope with the challenges they face by understanding and acknowledging their emotions.

Read the complete article at http://www.ec-online.net/Knowledge/Articles/emotions.html along with other resources, books and related articles.

Contributing Editor Nancy Bryce has added a practical article entitled "Selecting an Adult Day Care Center." Adult day care is an increasingly popular and available service for people caring for aging loved ones, especially those coping with Alzheimer’s Disease. Adult day care provides a safe and constructive social environment for the care recipient as well as a period of respite for the caregiver. Nancy offers caregivers numerous tips and suggestions on how to find and transition to a day care program.

The complete article, including resources, books and web links is available at http://www.ec-online.net/Knowledge/Articles/adultday.html.


I would like to introduce you to our newest Mentor, Edyth Ann Knox. Many of you already know Edyth Ann – she is an active community member of several of the earliest online support groups for caregivers, including the CANDID chat room, the ALZHEIMER listserv from the Washington University in St. Louis and her own chatroom. She is lovingly called Bubblehead or Queen Bubble by her many online friends. For the last 8 years, she cared for her mother-in-law, Milly, with Alzheimer’s Disease at home. She passed on July 1, 2000 at home with the family. Before that, she worked in a NH in the 1970's and did in-home care for an agency in the early 1980's.

Edyth Ann has already begun responding to discussion threads in the ElderCare Forum and will be actively moderating the General Caregiving section (but participating throughout). She has a wealth of wisdom, tips and experiences to share with other caregivers. She also has a practical approach and a great sense of humor. Please visit Edyth Ann’s personal pages in the Caregiver Support Network for links to her writings, chatroom and selected websites at http://www.ec-online.net/Community/Activists/can.htm.

Dorothy Womack has added several new poems to her personal pages. She continues to provide our caregiving community with inspirational poems with Christian themes. You can visit her extensive collection of poems and websites at http://www.ec-online.net/Community/Activists/can.htm.

TOP AD/CAREGIVING SITES: Vote for ElderCare Online

Brenda Parris Sibley has established one of the best clearinghouses for Alzheimer’s Disease and caregiving sites on the Internet. She has contacted and worked with leading websites to collect them into a directory with rankings showing which are the most popular.

Just because a site is "popular" doesn’t mean it is the "best." Each of these 50-odd sites has a something unique and compelling about it. Over the last several months, I see more international sites and sites offering practical tips and resources. There are a few professional sites, as well as many personal sites. In August, ElderCare Online was ranked #4 – Thank you for all showing your support!

You can vote for ElderCare Online and visit the list of sites by clicking on the "Top AD/Caregiving Sites" icon on the front page of ElderCare Online at http://www.ec-online.net. 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.

RESPITE REWARDS: Active Members Rewarded

Each month we give our community members free books from the ElderCare Bookstore and free samples of products and services from our affiliate partners. We select recipients from our chat session participants, new newsletter subscribers and ElderCare Forum discussants. This month (September), I would like to congratulate the following active community members:

1. Jewel44317 -- free book
2. katzinr -- free book
3. maryk3 -- free AgelessCare membership
4. swanklet -- free AgelessCare membership
5. glarch -- free book

Recipients of free books can choose one titles from the following choices:

  1. Hard Choices for Loving People by Hank Dunn
  2. The Complete ElderCare Planner by Joy Loverde
  3. Hugs for Caregivers by Pauline Sheehan
  4. Therapeutic Caregiving by Barbara Bridges

These and numerous other books are reviewed by our staff in the ElderCare Bookstore at http://www.ec-online.net/Connections/bookstore.htm. The ElderCare Bookstore is one of the most comprehensive collections of caregiving books available on the Internet. We offer over 250 titles, arranged on "bookshelves" according to topic, theme or subject matter.

AgelessCare is a service that provides families with 24-hour nurse advice and medical counseling services (AgelessCare 24) and a leading national healthcare discount card including more than 70,000 pharmacy, dental, and vision care providers nationwide (AgelessCare Discount Card). AgelessCare is the only national company that provides an integrated Internet site with 24-hour nurse advice and a national healthcare discount program. Find out more about AgelessCare at http://www.ec-online.net/Connections/agelesscare.html.

LIVE DISCUSSION GROUPS: Schedule for October

October 4 (Wednesday 9:00PM to 11:00PM EST) "ElderCare Answers:" Host Rich O’Boyle leads a self-help discussion group on the topic of "Home Modifications and Improvements: Online Resources for Caregivers."

October 5 (Thursday 9:00 to 11:00PM EST) Host ZuZu leads a self-help group for dementia caregivers that emphasizes sharing experiences and best practices.

October 11 (Wednesday 9:00PM to 10:00PM EST) "ALZWell Tonight:" Host Susan Grossman leads a self-help group for dementia caregivers.

October 12 (Thursday 9:00 to 11:00PM EST) Host ZuZu leads a self-help group for dementia caregivers that emphasizes sharing experiences and best practices.

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 info@ec-online.net. If you don’t 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.


The ElderCare Beacon is published bimonthly by ElderCare Online. To subscribe to this free newsletter, go to the main page of the website at http://www.ec-online.net and add your e-mail address to the white box and click on the "Subscribe" button (just one click!).

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