The Caregiver's Beacon Newsletter

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The Caregiver’s Beacon (tm)
“Tell me why – Show me how – Hold my hand”
September 1, 2011                                                                                Vol. 12 No. 6
ALZwell Caregiver Support and ElderCare Online and
Serving the Needs of Caregivers Since 1996

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Dear Friends,

Labor Day here in the U.S. is celebrated as a way of honoring the many workers who built the country. Back in the 1940’s and 1950’s after World War II, these were the men and women who built our interstate highway system, assembled cars and trucks, taught the children of the Baby Boomers, and laid the foundations of our international leadership. Fast forward to the 21st century and American “Labor” is more and more service workers, financial professionals, retail sales persons, and healthcare workers.

I would like to dedicate this newsletter to the millions of healthcare workers who get up every morning and attend to our sick loved ones. Some find easy criticism in the healthcare workers who provide care in nursing homes and public hospitals. Indeed, these institutions are strapped for cash and paying their staff decent wages is a constant struggle. Too often, individual members of the staff lose their focus and the quality of care suffers. Deep down, healthcare providers intend to provide the best, most compassionate and innovative care. But it seems that the deck is stacked against them.

The perverse payments systems and competing financial organizations seem intent on severing the most important link to their customers, the hands-on healthcare providers – the nurses, CNAs, and staffers – who make the difference day-to-day for people in institutional care. It’s no wonder that these healthcare professionals are at odds with their management and are pushing for formal recognition and bargaining power as unionized workers. I just hope that these efforts at unionization continue to have the patient at the center, rather than just desperate grabs for the shrinking pool of money in the healthcare system.

Don’t get me wrong: I am the first to insist on maintaining good relations with all of the healthcare professionals on you and your loved one’s team. But, there comes a time when you have to put your foot down and insist that the staff put aside their grievances with management and focus on quality care. Your best defense against indifferent care is to STAY INVOLVED all the time if your loved one is in the hospital or in a long-term care facility. Don’t be a pest! But make it clear that you are relying on the professionalism of the staff to ensure your loved one’s well-being. Do your part, and they will do theirs.

Best Regards,
Richard O’Boyle, Publisher
ElderCare Online
ALZwell Caregiver Support



Keepin’ Up With ALZwell: “Dementia Risk Factors” by Nicole Jewell
Feature Article: “Ten Warning Signs That Assisted Living May Be Needed” by Nicole Jewell
Our Sponsor: Watch the Video! The Prism Personal Care Planner and Organizer
Caregiver Support: The ElderCare Forum
Book Review: “Coping With Your Difficult Older Parent: A Guide for Stressed Out Children” by Grace Lebow and Barbara Kane
Subscription Information


KEEPIN’ UP WITH ALZWELL: “Dementia Risk Factors” by Nicole Jewell

Rather than a specific disease, dementia is a set of symptoms that can be caused by or accompany other diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, or Huntington’s Diseases. It can also be brought on by strokes, both minor and major and HIV or AIDS. Whatever its cause, dementia has several risk factors that all people should be aware of as they age. Some cannot be helped while others can be avoided.

Read the complete article at…

FEATURE ARTICLE: “Ten Warning Signs That Assisted Living May Be Needed” by Nicole Jewell

Let’s be realistic. Time catches up with all of us, and slows down the best of us. Certainly there are some individuals who are capable of living full, active “in the now” lives well into their 90s. But sadly, these people are a rarity. Even with medical breakthroughs, the body still physically wears down and sometimes mental faculties go the same route. What are some of the most prominent warning signs that assisted living may be needed?

Read the complete article at…

OUR SPONSOR: The Prism Personal Care Planner and Organizer

Keeping track of important information can be difficult. In the event of an emergency, you will want to have all of it handy. This workbook enables you to collect vital information and use it to save time when visiting with your loved one's doctor or other advisor. You do NOT store information on a computer -- you keep it with you at all times so it remains secure and private.

Please note that we now have an explanatory video…

Our special edition of the popular Prism Personal Organizer and Prism Medical Manager combines the two original workbooks under one cover. This high-value workbook would normally cost you $36. Prism Complete Planner and Organizer Special Edition $19.95

The Special Edition contains the following:

Prism Personal Organizer  
Keep track of personal information in the event of an emergency. Have the information handy when meeting with lawyers, doctors, accountants, or home care aides. Be prepared with essential information for applying for Medicaid or other benefits.

Prism Medical Manager    
Be prepared for doctor appointments with symptoms, previous medical conditions, and healthcare information. Make the most of the limited time that the doctor has for you. Use as a notebook to write down exactly what the doctor tells you, avoiding medical errors.

The Special Edition includes all of the pages and worksheets PLUS all of the downloadable extra worksheets.

Watch the new explanatory video and order it on our secure server at …


The ElderCare Forum has been continuously providing support to caregivers since 1997. The technology certainly has changed over the last 14 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 4,500 registered members.

Visit the ElderCare Forum at

BOOK REVIEW: “Coping With Your Difficult Older Parent: A Guide for Stressed-Out Children” by Grace Lebow and Barbara Kane, with Irwin Lebow

"Coping with Your Difficult Older Parent" is a unique and excellent book in the field of eldercare. It is the first self-help book written for caregivers, which offers practical, easy to apply tips and guidance on how to respond to and cope with a parent’s difficult behaviors. This is a book of hope for all grown children who are struggling with anger, stress and frustration caring for their parents, whether it is on a daily basis or by long distance.

Read the complete review at…

The Caregiver’s Beacon is published monthly by ElderCare Online and ALZwell Caregiver Support. To subscribe to this free newsletter, visit the subscription information page at

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