ElderCare Beacon Newsletter
ElderCare Online The Internet Community of Elder Caregiversä
As we celebrate this holiday season, I hope that each of you has the opportunity to look back on the year and reflect. Have you been able to take time for yourself? Is your loved one getting access to the best care and services s/he needs? Are you involving all the right people including family members and respite workers? Remember that caregiving requires the wisdom to know when you need assistance and when you need a break.
I am happy to welcome two guest writers to the ElderCare Beacon this month: Mary Waggoner and Geri Hall. Mary is the founder of the Elderly Care Konnection website and a geriatric care manager in Florida. Geri is known by many of you as one of the leading activists on the University of St. Louis Alzheimers Disease e-mailing list. These two women bring many years of experience and compassion to caregivers.
This newsletter also includes a link to a brief survey that will help us here at ElderCare Online to develop better-focused content that meets your needs and interests. Please read the brief introduction in this newsletter and fill out the survey.
Thank you for your support and positive feedback. Have a peaceful and blessed holiday season and best wishes for 2000.
INSIDE THIS ISSUE
Monthly Feature: Planning for the Holidays by Mary Waggoner
Caregiving Tip Elderly Smoking
MONTHLY FEATURE: Planning for the Holidays
The holiday season is often a time when we reflect on the past. For caregiving families, this can be a painful time of year. They remember the holidays before their loved one became ill or before their loved ones personality began to change due to a terminal illness. For many families the holiday season is, therefore, bittersweet.
In some families, it is one adult child who is doing the majority of the caregiving. This situation often harbors unspoken resentment that may surface during a family gathering if not dealt with beforehand. Each adult child has separate memories of the same loved one, therefore each child approaches the concept of caregiving from different points of view. It is best to discuss differences and perceptions of caregiving before a celebration to reduce the unspoken stress that can lead to an unpleasant holiday gathering of loving friends and family.
The need to prepare a "Norman Rockwell" holiday resides in many women, who are often the primary caregiver of not only the aging loved one but also their immediate family members. The internal stress this creates often leads to depression or anger.
Below are some suggestions to help relieve the stress level and enjoy the holiday season:
PLEASE HELP WITH OUR SURVEY
I have developed a short survey that I am asking your assistance in completing. As I devote more of my efforts to our online community, I want to be sure that it reflects all of your interests and needs.
Specifically, I am looking to see where you are from, whom you are caring for, what are your topical information needs and how you perceive the actual website.
This is NOT an attempt to drop cookies on your hard drive, track your clicks or amass personal information! After I collate the survey results, the information will be deleted. If you do not want to answer a question, simply skip it or cancel the survey.
I will select seven respondents for a special prize as gratitude for fully completing the survey.
I am using a web service called "Zoomerang" to administer the survey and collate the information. Please begin the survey by clicking on this link:
Thank you for participating. The survey has been closed.
NEW ARTICLES ON THE WEBSITE
Helping Your Elder Adjust to a Residential Facility: Geri Hall gives us some practical tips on how to ease the transition of your demented loved one into a residential facility. Residential Options Channel.
Taking Away the Car Keys: Suggestions for Caregivers: I have revised this favorite article in light of the American Medical Associations recent decision to allow doctors to report unsafe drivers to state motor vehicles authorities. Home Care & Independent Living Channel.
Seven Stages of Alzheimers Disease: I have added more detailed information to this often requested article using Dr. Reisbergs seven-stage scale of Alzheimers Disease progression. Alzheimers & Dementia Care Channel.
CAREGIVING TIP: Smoking and Dementia
My Dad has been going downhill pretty fast over the last couple of months, but he still
likes to have his cigarette on occasion. The biggest worry lately is that he has to be
closely monitored when he does have the cigarette. He's been know to drop it in his lap,
scratch somewhere with the cigarette in his hand, even just holding it until it burns all
the way down and gives him a blister on his finger. Half the time he doesn't even really
smoke it, he just holds it.
RECOGNIZING CAREGIVER BURN-OUT
Many caregivers experience burn-out, anger and frustration. Beware: This stress can sometimes lead to unintentional elder abuse.
Abuse can take many forms -- including physical abuse, neglect, psychological abuse, rights violations, or financial exploitation. And it is important that you find help if you feel that you may be too stressed before more serious consequences occur.
The American Academy of Family Physicians has produced a short video clip, "Silent Cries For Help: Coping With Caring For The Elderly," that profiles one caregivers experience with burn-out and her solution to the problem.
Watch the online video at http://www.broadcast.com/medialink/99-470.html.
Are you interested in other video clips and broadcasts? Let us know about possible topics
or online resources.
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