The Caregiver's Beacon Newsletter
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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.
Some people make “New Year’s Resolutions” on December 31. Others (myself included) make Birthday Resolutions. Why not consider making Springtime Renewal Commitments? It’s a better time of year to get more active outdoors, focus on healthy habits (far away from Christmas and Thanksgiving food binges), and work at improving personal relationships.
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 http://www.ec-online.net/Knowledge/Articles/renewal.html. 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…
INSIDE THIS ISSUE
Feature Article: “Recognizing and Treating Depression: A Guide for the Elderly and Their Caregivers” by Richard O’Boyle
FEATURE ARTICLE: Recognizing and Treating Depression: A Guide for the Elderly and Their Caregivers by Rich O’Boyle
This article is of special importance to elderly and their caregivers. While depression is increasingly identified and managed in the general population, the real hidden sufferers are the elderly and their caregivers. About 5% of the general population suffers from one or more episodes of depression in a given year. But 15-40% of the elderly and a whopping 60% of intensive family caregivers do.
Depression starts out subtly, but ends up infiltrating our lives, sapping health and enjoyment. There are rarely easy cures or solutions, but recognizing that one is affected, and then taking measures to get better are necessary for one’s own quality of life.
The following article is somewhat lengthy. I sought to incorporate the latest medical thinking along with practical and non-medical approaches to coping and curing depression. I admit that the article might best be broken into two or three individual pieces because it variously deals with the medical causes of depression, elderly depression, and caregiver depression. In the interest of not duplicating resources, introductory text, and theories, I have combined the pieces into one long article.
Please take the time to read this article. I believe that it is a foundational piece for every caregiver to read, and I apologize for taking this long to publish it. Print it off and keep it handy if you can’t read it in one sitting. The complete article is available at http://www.ec-online.net/Knowledge/Articles/depressionguide.html.
HEALTHY AGING: “Relaxation Resistance” by Thomas J. Schumacher Psy. D.
Our widespread inability to relax is rarely acknowledged. Few of us are comfortable admitting that we have a tremendous amount of difficulty in being able to relax. Come Monday morning, when asked about your weekend, you reflexively spout out that is was “great.” It is equally as common for us to list our relaxation activities (i.e., we were at the beach house, out on the boat, etc., etc.) as though these activities clearly imply that we truly enjoyed them and we were readily able to relax. However, relaxation is usually about a state of “being” and not about a state of “doing.” Therefore, no list of relaxation activities guarantees “being” in a state of relaxation.
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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 4,000 registered members.
Visit the ElderCare Forum at http://eldercare.infopop.cc/6/ubb.x
ELDERCARE BOOKSTORE: Tax Preparation Software 2010
It’s that time of the year again: April 15 is right around the corner and that means federal and state tax returns are due. Amazon.com sells just about every software package you might need. What’s nice is that you can just download the software right to your computer instead of waiting for the package to arrive (and paying shipping charges). Of course you can order the boxed editions as well.
Remember: you can help us out greatly by using our little bookstore as the starting point for your shopping. Just go to http://www.ec-online.net/Connections/bookstore.htm and then click on the appropriate link to get over to the main Amazon website.
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 http://www.ec-online.net/Knowledge/Newsletters/subscribe.htm.
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