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The Ribbon - Care for Caregivers
Volume 6, Issue 12
June 16, 2002

www.TheRibbon.com

1104A Murfreesboro Pike
PMB 114
Nashville, TN 37217-1918

Another possibly bittersweet occasion....Father's Day. What do you give the man who has everything he needs or wants or the man who possibly doesn't even know who you are? The answer is TIME!!! Go visit your Father, Grandfather, or Husband and spend some time just being there. Hold his hand, give him a hug or a kiss. As my friend, Jan, has on her emails....The Heart Always Remembers!!

My Grandmother heard me discussing Father's day with my mother the other day. She asked me in an incredulous voice, "Are you going to buy her a Father's Day gift?" I thought for a moment and said, "You know what, I should. My mom has been both Father and Mother to all of us kids for the majority of our lives." I don't remember exactly how old I was when my parents divorced but I do know that my father was not around for most of my life. My mom wasn't perfect but she managed to keep a roof over our heads one way or the other and some kind of food in our mouths.

Some fathers passed away early and Mom had to raise the kids. It's a struggle for Single moms, no matter how they became single moms.

Today, I will go to the cemetary and visit my Father's grave. I will visit Bree's grave, he is the grandfather who along with Nanny took me and my brother in when it was too much for mama. I will also visit Peepaw's grave, he is my mom's dad and the man who taught all of us morals. I will also walk next door and thank my mother for doing her best for all of us 6 kids.

Jamie


Technical Difficulties
At The Ribbon

I'm sure that many of you realized that the last issue of The Ribbon was a week late. A week before it was due, I discovered that I had somehow received a virus, perhaps what they call a "worm" in my computer. It didn't remove everything, just some things. However, my biggest fear was that I could potentially spread it through e-mails to The Ribbon readers.

So my mission was to "reformat" my computer which meant wiping out my hard drive and reinstalling everything. Thankfully, it did not remove my address book. It was a difficult week for me but, with the help of some very kind Dell technicians, I have everything back.

The experience made me realize how important it is to keep the Anti-virus program updated (mine was out-of-date...Never again will that happen!!) and again, how important it is to be careful of what you download and/or open in the way of mail.

Please be careful. If you don't know the sender, delete it.

For The Ribbon readers, I would ask that in the future, you include the word Ribbon in the subject line of anything you send to me.

Again, my apologies for the lateness of the last issue but I wanted to be sure I did not pass anything on to you.


Karen
The Ribbon


...And today's weather report...hazy, hot, and humid...

It's that time of year again when cicadas sing, mosquitoes bite, and the air conditioner runs nonstop. Summer in many parts of the country is lazy, hazy, and HOT and for our older loved ones dangerous, too. Hot humid conditions are perfect set-ups for heat exhaustion, dehydration, and breathing problems in healthy younger people, but in older adults they can be a formula for disaster. Here's a brief picture of normal changes with aging that put us at greater risk for problems: the body's temperature control mechanism becomes less efficient and cooling through perspiring is diminished, bodily water content decreases, and lung capacity is reduced. In general, there are fewer reserves available to call upon in time of need. Now, add chronic diseases like cardiac, lung, or dementia, and older adults become disasters waiting to happen. So, to keep your loved ones safe, and help them and you enjoy the summer, here are a few survival tips:

WATER, WATER, WATER, I can't say enough about the stuff. Water is essential for temperature control, cell hydration, and for every bodily function. Dehydration is a serious problem for older adults. Statistically, an older adult who is hospitalized for dehydration (primarily from a long-term care facility) is at higher risk for death within one year, and the risk increases with age.

Keep a sport bottle of water handy and remind your loved ones to drink up. Unless the doctor has imposed a fluid restriction, encourage at least 2 quarts a day. Water is the best choice but clear juices work well too. For loved ones that balk at drinking plain water, mix together half water and half juice. Avoid caffienated beverages, they act as diuretics and rid the body of precious fluid.

Heed air quality reports. Poor air quality will exacerbate breathing problems. Maintain your loved ones in air-conditioned environments. Avoid outdoor forays unless going from an air-conditioned car to an air-conditioned building. Remember to bring along plenty of water!

Do not spend time outside in the heat. Heat exhaustion, or hyperthermia, can come on rapidly in older adults. Signs to watch for include fatigue, dizziness, nausea and vomiting, and/or confusion. Hyperthermia is a life threatening condition and a medical emergency.

With knowledge and good planning you and your older loved ones can enjoy the summer together. Remember, as caregivers your health is important too, so apply the tips above to yourselves. Drink plenty of water, stay indoors when the air quality is poor, and avoid the heat. Do yard work or outdoor exercise early in the morning and remember to carry water wherever you go. Enjoy!

By Mary C. Fridley RN, C


Mary is a registered nurse certified in gerontology with more than twenty years in the geriatric health field. She is the owner of Gero-Resources specializing in caregiver, eldercare, and successful aging education. She provides staff and community education as well as motivational speaking engagements. Mary is also an author of two caregiver advice columns and contributes articles to various websites. She will be happy to answer your questions or concerns while maintaining your anonymity. She can be reached at Gero-Resources, P.O. Box 4743, Crofton, MD 21114 or at geroresources@hotmail.com


Links

Depression And Delusions Tightly Linked In Alzheimer's
www.docguide.com

Delusions and depression are strongly associated in Alzheimer's disease, and management of both of these conditions must be taken into account in patients with Alzheimer's.

From Kevin@theribbon.com


Book Review

"Losing My Mind," by Thomas DeBaggio

Just recently I read the book, "Losing My Mind ," by Thomas DeBaggio. I read it the lazy way, audio style. It is a book I feel all caregivers should read.

Mr. DeBaggio was diagnosed with the disease at age 57. He has written exactly what it feels like to have the disease. He takes you on a journey into his mind and you get a glimpse of what the world is like as an Alzheimer's patient sees it. At end of most of the chapters information is given about the disease which is very concise and easy to understand.

From LTU1022192@aol.com


Want to Chat?

The Gathering Place is open Monday through Friday at the following times:

9pm-11pm EST
8pm-10pm CST
7pm-9pm MST
6pm-8pm PST

The Gathering Place - Online Alzheimer's Caregiver Support
www.TheRibbon.com/GatherPlace

The chat is web based so anyone can join in no matter where you are. The people there will give you all the support you need. If you need help entering the chatroom, please send an email or Instant Message to PHOTOLJT@aol.com.

Looking forward to seeing you there.


Another web based support chat is at www.ec-online.net. The schedule is as follows:

Enter the chatroom from the front page of either website or at http://www.ec-online.net/chat.htm. All times are U.S. Eastern Standard Time (GMT +5). We have begun to provide chats that are hosted by caregivers in Australia. Australian times are GMT +10.

June 17 (Monday 9:00 to 11:00PM EST) "Bubblehead's Chatroom:" Host Edyth Ann Knox leads a supportive chat group for dementia caregivers on the topic of "Caregiving for People with Dementia."

June 19 (Wednesday 5:00 to 7:00AM EST) "Ozcarers' Chatroom (or Pong's Place):" Hosts Pongfoot (David) and Splash (Edith) welcome caregivers from around the world to drop in and put their feet up for a while, chat with other caregivers and " Take a Break."

June 19 (Wednesday 1:00 to 2:00PM EST) "Sugarlips' Chatroom:" Host Vicki Gardner welcomes caregivers for a social and networking discussion group on the topic of "Expressing Our Emotions."

June 19 (Wednesday 9:00 to 11:00PM EST) "Bubblehead's Chatroom:" Host Edyth Ann Knox leads a supportive chat group for dementia caregivers on the topic of "Caregiving for People with Dementia."

June 20 (Thursday 9:00 to 11:00PM EST) "Sugarlips' Chatroom:" Host Vicki Gardner welcomes caregivers for a social and networking discussion group on the topic of "Expressing Our Emotions."

June 24 (Monday 9:00 to 11:00PM EST) "Bubblehead's Chatroom:" Host Edyth Ann Knox leads a supportive chat group for dementia caregivers on the topic of "Caregiving for People with Dementia."

June 25 (Tuesday 9:00 to 11:00PM EST) "Children of Aging Parents:" Host Brian Duke from CAPS and the Institute for Aging at the University of Pennsylvania leads a discussion for family caregivers seeking understanding and resources.

June 26 (Wednesday 5:00 to 7:00AM EST) "Ozcarers' Chatroom (or Pong's Place):" Hosts Pongfoot (David) and Splash (Edith) welcome caregivers from around the world to drop in and put their feet up for a while, chat with other caregivers and " Take a Break."

June 26 (Wednesday 1:00 to 2:00PM EST) "Sugarlips' Chatroom:" Host Vicki Gardner welcomes caregivers for a social and networking discussion group on the topic of "Expressing Our Emotions."

June 26 (Wednesday 9:00 to 11:00PM EST) "Bubblehead's Chatroom:" Host Edyth Ann Knox leads a supportive chat group for dementia caregivers on the topic of "Caregiving for People with Dementia."

June 27 (Thursday 9:00 to 11:00PM EST) "Sugarlips' Chatroom:" Host Vicki Gardner welcomes caregivers for a social and networking discussion group on the topic of "Expressing Our Emotions."

July 1 (Monday 9:00 to 11:00PM EST) "Bubblehead's Chatroom:" Host Edyth Ann Knox leads a supportive chat group for dementia caregivers on the topic of "Caregiving for People with Dementia."


On AOL Only

Hosted by:
HOST iVH Phenix
Date:
Tuesday
Time: 8:00 PM Edt
Place: Positive Reflections

Alzheimer's & Dementia Caregivers Support Group
Weekly@ Friday
Time: 9 PM EDT
Place:
Health Conference
Hosted By:HOST iVH KerlyQ & HOST iVH Piper

Editor's Note: We cannot STRESS ENOUGH how important it is to attend a support group whether in person or online. Only those who have been through it or are going through it can give you the support you need. Please attend a support group soon!!


Email Bag

From joibob@msn.com

My significant other of many years was been diagnosed with AD in 1998. He either doesn't believe it or completely ignores it and I have not pushed it. He takes his aricept, does all the shopping, cleaning etc. and is very highly functioning.

I recently took him to a major medical center close to us in Houston to make sure I am on top of everything, and he has undergone further extensive testing, before we even see the head doc.

My problem is that I was told that he will be definitely TOLD in no uncertain terms, that he has AD. I am considering not taking him back for the results. Do you have any suggestions as to how to handle this. He is very happy type person and has gotten tears in his eyes the few times I have brought up the possibility that he has it. Most of the time he ignores any possibility, but he goes with me any time I ask him . I just don't see how it will do any good.

He has his few affairs in order, etc.

Any suggestions from anyone would be appreciated.

Sincerely,
Jane


From me.allen@juno.com

Congratulations, Karen & Jamie, for the success of The Ribbon. You're doing such needed work to encourage caregivers. I've been referring many people to The Ribbon, both caregivers who need comfort and writers who want to share.

Mary Emma

Mary Emma Allen
Author/Illustrator/Speaker
me.allen@juno.com
http://homepage.fcgnetworks.net/jetent/mea


Here it is, another short but sweet issue. We Thank All of You for you patience while we dealt with the virus problem. We think we have the greatest group of readers around!! Hopefully, we will not have to deal with this type of problem again.

Hugs and Peace,
Karen and Jamie

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