The Caregiver's Beacon Newsletter

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The Caregiver’s Beacon (tm)
“Tell me why – Show me how – Hold my hand”
March 1, 2010                                                                                       Vol. 11 No. 1
ALZwell Caregiver Support and ElderCare Online and
Serving the Needs of Caregivers Since 1996

Welcome Back!

It’s been almost three years since I sent out our newsletter due to pressing personal and career issues. I’m happy to say that I will be much more active on the website – providing updates and the regular monthly newsletter.

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.

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…

Kind Regards,
Rich O’Boyle, Publisher
ElderCare Online


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

Feature Article: “Tax Credits for Caregivers,” by Richard O’Boyle, Publisher
Book Review: “They’re Your Parent, Too: How Siblings Can Survive Their Parents’ Aging Without Driving Each Other Crazy,” by Francine Russo
Caregiver Support: The ElderCare Forum
Caregiving Tip: Never ruin an apology with an excuse.
Subscription Information


Feature Article: “Tax Credits for Caregivers,” by Richard O’Boyle, Publisher

Two important tax benefits are available to caregivers: The ability to lump your dependent loved one’s medical expenses in with yours (and potentially claim a deduction for them), and the Child and Dependent Care Credit for costs associated with having someone provide care to your loved one who lives with you. Individual states may have additional tax benefits. Please consult your state’s taxing authority for more details.

Caregiving expenses may be combined with your personal medical and dental expenses. You may be able to deduct expenses associated with helping with activities of daily living such as toileting, bathing and dressing if they add up to 7.5% or more of your adjusted gross income.

Read the entire article…

Book Review: “They’re Your Parent, Too: How Siblings Can Survive Their Parents’ Aging Without Driving Each Other Crazy,” by Francine Russo

Francine Russo has diligently researched the published literature as well as interviewed professionals such as gerontologists, psychologists, geriatric care managers, and attorneys. The heart (and soul) of her book are the frank and very real case studies with siblings involved in challenging caregiving situations.

“They’re Your Parents, Too” offers the time-pressed reader with practical advice on topics such as:

  • Deciding who in the family should take the lead in financial, medical, and caregiving matters;
  • Balancing the contributions of siblings who have different skills, proximity to the parent(s);
  • Understanding and accepting the unique emotional challenges that dementia creates in a family;
  • Coping with re-emerging childhood rivalries, feelings of guilt, unresolved parent-child relationship issues; and
  • Ensuring – in the midst of this emotional whirlwind – that your parent(s) get the best possible care without driving you and your siblings crazy.

Read the complete review at….

Caregiver Support: The ElderCare Forum

The ElderCare Forum has been continuously providing support to caregivers since 1997. The technology certainly has changed over the last 13 years. One thing that has not changed is the valuable exchange that has served so many caregivers over those years.

This is a safe place for people to share ideas, humor, anger, and make lasting relationships. No topic is out of bounds. Drop by today to browse or join in the discussions. We have currently over 4,000 registered members.

Visit the ElderCare Forum at

Caregiving Tip:

Never ruin an apology with an excuse... “I’m sorry, but…”


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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