Adopt A Caregiver

I always talk about Adopt A Caregiver. I think it’s a wonderful idea, and I wish that everyone would do it. At least try it.

It’s so simple, I am sure all of you know someone in your own community that is a caregiver. Doesn’t matter what kind of care-giving the person does. Cancer, Alzheimer’s Disease, anything.

All you have to do is email this person, tell them you are trying to understand what they are going through. Since you cannot stand in their shoes, perhaps you can get that person to talk to you, to vent, to help you ‘see’ what they see. Just listen, do not  judge just be there as a friend, an understanding friend.

Twenty years ago when I was a caregiver, I wrote something that I never put into my book, Behind The Mask. I though it was too harsh. It went something like this:

Where were you when I needed  you? When I was crying my eyes out alone and scared. You all called and asked how my husband was doing, no one asked me how I was doing.

I’d like to think all that has changed, that people are more tuned in, and are more aware of the needs of caregivers.

Now that my husband is diagnosed again, it starts all over again for me.

I’d like to think we are better prepared this time around.
The one thing I do remember, and know to be true. I will have to live in his reality, when the time comes.

Please go out and Adopt A Caregiver.  Give the gift that lasts forever, and costs nothing.

Keep love and kisses in your life.

Reflections Of Me: Me and Alzheimer’s Disease

Hard to take in this diagnosis, even the second time around. The difference is I’m not looking for the next thing to happen.

Instead I focus on each day, making loving memories, savoring my love notes every morning and all the kisses I get every day. It’s getting to be too many to count. I love them.

We’ve made peace with Alzheimer’s Disease. We have made our decisions, and our wishes known to the family and hope it’s a long time in the future for any further actions.

Alzheimer’s Disease is something that makes me sad for Howard. He is smart enough to know when he is losing it.

Last time, twenty years ago, he said his mind was like a sieve, pieces just fell through the openings. Sometimes just a blank page.

Thank goodness we have a great support group, they are very protective of us. Thank you all.

How many of you know someone who has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease two times??? I wonder, as I think the percentage is higher than I thought.

Meditation and journal writing for me is a tremendous help, as are all my friends and family and writing buddies.

Remember to Adopt A Caregiver. Give the gift that keeps on giving, and costs nothing.

Keep love and kisses in your life.

Caregivers, You Are Number One

Yes, you are number one and that is as it should be. You need to treat yourself gently. Give yourself a break, don’t knock yourself down. It’s hard enough, without you thinking negative thoughts. I know it’s difficult, but try to make an effort.

Today I am grateful for my Anthem Authors Meeting, we only had nine attend, but we all read something. I am grateful to know such talented, interesting and really nice people.

Today, I am grateful for my new Hanukkah gifts, I love them. A cuddly throw, a beautiful big bag, (to carry books) a sweet smelling soap, and a picture of my granddaughter and her new husband. What more can anyone ask for?

Today, I am grateful that my Chronic Fatigue has eased up to the point that I can function again.

Today, I am grateful for my husband, who did so many errands yesterday and today did paperwork all day, my family who continue to call long distance at least 5 times a week. I am very blessed!

Today, I am grateful that the winds stopped, and the sun came out. Even though my Fibromyalgia body hurts, I’m smiling.

Today, I am grateful for all the good friends I have made on line. And those who chose me because they believe in my vision for Adopt A Caregiver.

Today, I vow that I will write to all the people who have emailed me at my blog, or bought my book and I will send thank you notes to many of them. I won’t do this today, but will do it over the next few days.

What are you grateful for?

What do you want to happen?

Give the gift that lasts forever, and costs nothing. Adopt A Caregiver. Tell them your friend Helene sent you.

If you don’t know how a caregiver feels, read my book, Behind The Mask.

Keep love and kisses in your life. Helene

Caregivers, We Do Care

Dear Caregiver,

I know this is a hard time of year for most of you. It must seem like everyone else is out shopping, having a good time, making a big family dinner; and there you are home alone. I’m so sorry, I know what it’s like to stand in your shoes. I’ve been there, and although my husband’s diagnosis was changed in 2000, I still feel for all caregivers. Only someone who has stood in your shoes, can feel your pain.

If you can, try to take a few minutes, some part of the day, and just sit and watch the outside, or meditate for five minutes, or take a coloring book and crayons and color outside the lines. Write down three things you are grateful for, start a journal, write a letter to your self. Tell yourself how wonderful you are, what a admirable person you are, tell yourself that you are strong, that you can handle whatever comes along.

Start a memoir, write about the good times; or use a recorder and just talk about your life. Someday your kids and your grand kids will see you as you were, a young person, with your dreams and your goals and your passion. They will admire you and look up to you, see how much you have contributed in your lifetime.

I admire you, and I hope that one day my vision for Adopt A Caregiver will become a reality. Someday we might have an Adopt A Caregiver day to celebrate all caregivers.

Give the gift that lasts forever and costs nothing. Adopt A Caregiver, and tell them your friend Helene sent you.

Keep love and kisses in your life. Helene

I'm Home

It was wonderful seeing all the kids and grandkids this weekend, but it’s also great being home in our own bed. The trips get harder as we get older, but we will keep doing it as long as we can.

This is a slow time of year for reading blogs I’m sure, so I will spend some time formulating my plans for Adopt A Caregiver. I will share them with you, because they are so simple in my mind’s eye.

Everyone lives in a community, everyone needs to know who is a caregiver, and take some responsibility to see that somene will write to them, be their friend, share their life with them and help them out by just being there. All it takes is an email. Encourage the caregiver to write, to vent, to talk. Many of these people are so alone, and even with a wonderful attitude about life, they are still alone.

In the next couple of weeks, I hope to write to all those courageous men and women  who have written to me and shared their story, or just told me that Adopt A Caregiver is a noble and worthwhile effort. I will not let you down.

At some point, I’d like to talk to Mayors, builders of homes who have Directors of Activities, clergy, teachers, councelors, therapists, assisted living directors, national organizations, anyone who can help me impliment my Adopt A Caregiver plan. It’s not that hard. I need to make everyone aware.

You must stand in someone’s shoes before you can understand what they are going through, and I can help explain that, either by talking to the group, or they can buy my book, Behind The Mask. We all need more compassion. Smile, be friendly, don’t look the other way.

Give the gift that lasts forever, and costs nothing. Tell them your friend Helene sent you.

Keep love and kisses in your life. Helene

Going To See The Kids: Hooray

Weather permitting, we are going to see the kids tomorrow..this time it will be a short trip, coming home on Sunday. Next time we will stay a little longer. They are calling for another storm watch on Monday or Tuesday, so we’ll keep it short.

I thought I could get back to knitting and I started a hat, a red hat for my husband, but so far I haven’t done any knitting. It will have to wait until I get back home. I used to take my knitting with me, but too much to do in California and all the kids and grandkids to see, so I’m content to leave my knitting at home.

It’s that year end time also, and I have to go thorugh all my drawers and papers in my office and start throwing out. I have a pretty big office, and the more space I have, the more I collect.

I’m going to pack now. See you when I get home on Sunday.

Keep love and kisses in your life. Helene

Adopt A Caregiver. Give the gift that lasts forever, and costs nothing. Tell them your friend Helene sent you.

There are caregivers in your community, I’m sure you know one, or know of one.

Snow!

Snow in Las Vegas, the airport is closed because they don’t have snow clearing equipment and the snow is still coming down.

Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue makes a lousy day of it, I sat in my lounge chair most of the day. Sometimes I just can’t keep my eyes open, but I can’t sleep. Not a lot of fun, especially if everything is hurting.

Enough complaining.

I want to wish my family and my friends a Happy Hanukkah. Enjoy being with family. Hopefully we will get to California either Friday or Saturday. Whenever we can.

Adopt A Caregiver, give the gift that lasts forever, and costs nothing. Tell them your friend Helene sent you.

Keep love and kisses in your life. Helene

Weather Not Permitting

Looks like the weather will not be permitting us to leave tomorrow for California.

We can go on Thursday, not a real problem, just a tad disappointing.

There are more important things in life, aren’t there? It might be a good time for me to catch up on things here at home. Maybe get some knitting done, write some comments on other blogs which I like to do. And check myself on Facebook, seems there is never the eough time to do that.

I also want to write to all the caregivers who wrote me recently, I’d like to catch up with them. Tell them my plans for Adopt A Caregiver will be moving along in the coming year. I have just about finished writing up my vision/goal plan; I might even put some of it up here next year for all of you to read.

The story I wrote last week is now posted on our Anthem Authors website. www.anthemauthors.com if anyone wants to read it.

I wrote to a few of our brave heroes whereever they are. I thank them all for keeping us free.

Give the gift that lasts forever, and costs nothing. Adopt A Caregiver and tell them your friend Helene sent you.

Keep love and kisses in your life. Helene

Snow? In Las Vegas?

We might have a dusting of snow tomorrow morning. It’s cold here, in the low 30’s right now.

We are supposed to leave for California on Wednesday, but if the weather is bad, we will have to wait a day or two. But we will go..

I sent my book Behind The Mask to the Writer’s Digest Self Published Book Awards contest. I received a nice letter and certificate from them today. I didn’t win, but the letter included the the Judge’s commentary, telling me what they liked and how the book could be improved. I received a four out of five for structure and organization, grammar, and cover design. Thank you Writer’s Digest.

The sequel to Behind The Mask, will be Adopt A Caregiver. That is my life journey now. I hope to improve the quality of life for the caregiver and get them some real people support. I wish I had the time to write to all the caregivers I know. I hope between now and the end of the year, I can at least write one email to each and every one of them.

I’m working on Adopt A Caregiver, trying to write it all down on paper, and iron out the kinks, so that everyone can hear my plans. They aren’t a secret.  I am passionate about my subject and I feel that ther coming year will be great. I’m looking forward to it with joy, encouragement, and interest.

Every day, there is something new, something different. To all of you who have shared your stories, I thank you. To all of you who don’t want to talk about it, I suggest and encourage you to write it out. No one has to see it but you. Try to find one time during the day that you can do something for yourself, even if it’s taking a bath, or listening to music you love. There is always something to be grateful for. So many people will be facing the holidays alone and depressed. I wish for them something good each day.

Keep love and kisses in your life. Helene

Adopt A Caregiver, tell them your friend Helene sent you. It is the gift that lasts forever, and costs nothing.

Community Get Together

One of our neighbors always invites the entire block to her house before the holidays. This gives everyone a chance to talk and to meet our neighbors and get to know them. It’s a wonderful warm, inviting evening and it’s nice seeing everyone in this kind of setting once a year.

Our neighbors are our friends. Our community is made up of blocks of homes, neighbors all. And every community has caregivers. Look around you. Listen. Try to find one.

Adopt A Caregiver, give the gift that lasts forever and costs nothing. Tell them your friend Helene sent you. Such a nice way to help support caregivers who are so busy helping others in their household. Think about what they are going through. Put yourself in their shoes for a few minutes. Think of ways you can help. Send an email.

Keep love and kisses in your life. Helene