USMC Specific

Support for Caregivers ©

Support for Caregivers ©
by Susie Mantell, award-winning author of the soothing relaxation CD, "Your Present: A Half-Hour of Peace"
[Find more of Susie's FREE stress tips at
http://www.relaxintuit.com ]


Stress & Perspective *It is not what you look at, but what you see.* -Henry David Thoreau


Dear Friends at Militarywives.com.

1. When I look at a patch of dandelions, I see weeds that are going to take over my yard.
Kids see flowers for Mom, and blowing white fluff you can wish on.

2. When I look at an old drunk and he smiles at me, I see a smelly, dirty person. I look away.
Kids see someone smiling at them and they smile back.

3. When I hear music I love, I know I can't carry a tune so I sit self-consciously and listen.
Kids feel the beat, move. They sing out words. If they don't know them, they make some up.

4. When I feel wind on my face, I brace myself, feel it messing up my hair and pulling me back.
Kids close their eyes, spread their arms and fly with it, until they fall to the ground laughing.

5. When I see a mud puddle I step around it. I see muddy shoes and dirty carpets.
Kids sit in it. They see dams to build, rivers to cross and worms to play with.

I wish you dandelions and mud puddles. (from an anonymous fwd)

*Experience is not what happens to you; it is what you do with what happens to you.* -Aldous Huxley


Support for Caregivers

Military life demands enormous sacrifice of all concerned. And for spouses and parents and siblings at home, theirs is compounded by the day to day realities of keeping households running, kids safe, healthy, learning, and in many families, aging parents or grandparents also require care and attention. A surprising number of young military wives find themselves caring for an aging grandparent or parent who has needs that can be overwhelming. If you care for an elderly love done with Alzheimers, Lewy Body or other Dementia and age-related disease, it is my heartfelt hope that you will find some help here. (If not you, but a friend, forward this to them.

While more people are living longer, and better, than ever before, for many families, age-related diseases still present complex, often life-altering problems. Many bright possibilities are in the pipeline, but for now, if you care for someone experiencing cognitive impairment or physical disability associated with age-related diseases, you know the unique challenges, profound stress and extreme fatigue that brings. You learn. You learn to savor simplicity, the twinkle in their eyes, and small, funny moments. You buy them soft, easy on-off clothing, revise goals,. You honor skilled, compassionate geriatric care-givers, find nursing homes, or caregiver respite and dementia daycare programs. And. . . you learn who your friends are. It is excruciating to research where to learn how to advocate for the parent who once soothed your own bad dreams, dried your tears, and. . . pushed your buttons. Now, they cannot button their own. There may be no words for the heart-breaking, bone-wearying stress of caring for a loved one being erased from the inside, one memory at a time. They are synthesized down to the most primal essence of self. If someone you know is retreating into the cave of care-giving, it is a desperately isolating place. Reach inside and take them to a movie.
Two questions every caregiver needs to hear:
1. How can I help?
2. Do you want to talk about it?
Ask. Ask again. Listen.

*She is a friend of mind. The pieces I am, she gather them and give them back to me in all the right order. *-Toni Morrison


Caring for the Elderly (& Your self)
http://www.relaxintuit.com/displaytips.asp?ID=235
http://www.relaxintuit.com/displaytips.asp?ID=171

Amazing Book:

I have just discovered a fabulous book on compassionate, realistic, care-giving. (Author refers to it as "care-partnering"--nice concept!) Of course, in other disabilities or injuries, the cognitive piece is not always impacted the same way as in dementia, but the physical needs and the emotional distress & sense of dis-empowerment are very similar indeed. Many, many of the concepts would be helpful for anyone caring for a loved one. You just have to get past the title, and read for applicable content, which is wonderful. Well-written, well-indexed, warm, clever, concise and gently readable.
Book: Learning to Speak Alzheimer's: A Groundbreaking Approach for Everyone Dealing with the Disease (by Joanne Koenig Coste)

Book: *The 36-Hour Day : A Family Guide to Caring for Persons With Alzheimer Disease, Related Dementing Illnesses, and Memory Loss in Later Life.* [Nancy L. Mace and Peter V. Rabins] 36 Hours refers to caregiver*s days. This best-selling book has remained the *bible* for families living with Dementia. Readable, informative,comforting, well-indexed.

Book/ Video/DVD: *The Forgetting: A Portrait of Alzheimer's.* Poignant, insightful, based on David Shenk*s best-selling book.

Alzheimers Association: Research, education, support for patients, families, caregivers .

Dementia and Alzheimers Caregiver Resource offering support, resources.

Visiting Nurses Association of America: Provides extensive variety of home-care nationwide .

Meals on Wheels: Nationwide delivery to those in need .

AARP: Extraordinary resource for seniors & families. Excellent publications,insurance, member discounts .

The Lighthouse: Leading resource worldwide on vision impairment and vision rehabilitation, education, research and advocacy.

God's Love We Deliver: (NY,NJ) Supports men, women, children living with HIV/AIDS and other serious illnesses.

Closing Thought. . .
Last night I saw a teenager at the deli, ordering his dinner, to go. After it was all cooked and packed, he suddenly froze in panic. *I am so sorry! forgot my wallet at home. Hold onto that please- -I'll be right back.* The owner scowled, shaking a 70-year-old finger at the boy. "Oh no you won*t! You'll take your dinner now and go straight home. The roads are freezing up, young man. You take your hot meal, get home safe, and come back tomorrow to pay me.* Relieved and appreciative, the boy grinned warmly and shook the owner*s hand in a promise. As other patrons paid, the owner looked each of us in the eye and admonished, *You drive safe and go straight home now. We don*t want anyone getting hurt.* One act of integrity and kindness at a time. . .This is the world in which I want to live.

Until next time I wish you . . .
Comfort, whenever you need some,
Time with loved ones, and time alone to replenish,
Compassion, for people we may never meet, in places we may never see, . . .and as always, Above all, Peace,
Susie

WHO IS SUSIE? 

National stress-relief expert Susie Mantell's soothing, award-winning relaxation CD, "Your Present: A Half-Hour of Peace" is physician-recommended to relieve Stress & Sleeplessness, Pain, Depression, Addiction rRecovery and PTSD. Featured in The Los Angeles Times, NBC,ABC -TV, Billboard, Navy-Marine Corps Relief Services, Memorial Sloan-Kettering, and The American Pain Society, listeners include The Mayo Clinic, U.S. V.A. facilities, Canyon Ranch (BEST SPA,") F.F.S.C.'s and MWR's. Customizing programs for American Express, Remington, The Arthritis Foundation, The National Conference on Loss, and The Coca-Cola Company , her techniques are found in Cosmopolitan, McCalls, WebMD and syndicated press. Fine more Free Stress-Relief Tips or Order "Your Present: A Half-Hour of Peace" at:
http://www.relaxintuit.com (SPECIAL: ORDER 5--GET 1 FREE!)
NOTE: Copyright © 2000, 2003 All rights reserved. For reprint email:
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Susie Mantell and Relax...Intuit(tm)LLC offer support as an adjunct to, but not a substitute for, professional health care.