Grateful List

As I look forward to 2009 and having Adopt A Caregiver become a reality, instead of just my vision, I realize how grateful I am for everything in my life. In these uncertain times, I am totally proud to be an American, and I hope that pride in our country returns, and that morality once more becomes more prevelant.

In the meantime, I’ve said before, I like lists. So here’s another grateful list.

I am grateful that I am able to sit here at my computer and talk about Adopt A Caregiver, and that today I met the Mayor’s Chief of Staff and gave him one of my books. The sun was shining today, which makes me feel better, my husband took my car in for service, and when he picks it up tomorrow he will gas it up for me. You think that’s not such a big deal? I come from the East Coast, and it was illegal to pump your own gas. I never really learned how.

I am grateful that I am seventy seven years old and still have a dream! And a goal! I am thankful for the help I am getting from around the country, and from you, my readers.

I am thankful that I am able to speak to local groups, and give interviews, one of which will be airing soon. Stay tuned, and I will let you know on Monday, whether or not you can tune in to see me speak.

I am warm well fed, spoiled by my husband, my daughter and granddaughter call every day, I like to read and knit and write on my blog.

I never know what I’m going to say when I sit down to write, most people would say that’s the wrong way to do it. Even I think it’s wrong. As a writer, I should be writing a draft, and editing it and trying to make it better, more coherant, more interesting, but, what you see is what you get. Me. I am only me; I keep telling my husband that I am only me. He says, “Thank goodness.”

I am blessed, I am spoiled, and I appreciate life with all it’s ups and downs. The good, bad, and the ugly, and believe me I’m no different than you are. I have all of the above too.

I believe that is is going to be the year that Adopt A Caregiver becomes a reality, one that all communities will adopt within themselves.

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

My Vision For Adopt A Caregiver

My vision is to inspire communities to join together to Adopt A Caregiver.

Or:

I see community leaders in the entire country inspiring members to Adopt A Caregiver.

Or:

If every community becomes aware that there are caregivers in their midst, and we inspire them to Adopt A Caregiver, we will be supporting their mental health and well being, as well as becoming their friend.

Which one do you like? Please comment and let me know.

Keep love and kisses in your life. Helene

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

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

Communities Come Together

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

Yes, my dream, my vision, but so attainable. One person can make a difference, with a little bit of help.

How can you help? Use your community. What is a community? A community is where you live, where you work, where you go to school, where you play Mah Jongg, Poker, Golf, cards, where you congregate for work or fun.

There are men, women, and children who are caregivers. They think no one understands what they are going through. That’s true, you never really know, unless you stand in their shoes. I think that is one reason I published my book, Behind The Mask. It’s one woman’s secret account of her thoughts and emotions and  love for her husband. I hope it helps others understand what a caregiver is going through.

They don’t want to talk about it, they don’t want to be a burden, they don’t want you to see them cry. Most of the time, they don’t cry, they don’t vent, they don’t get their emotions out. All they do, is care for someone 24/7. Put yourself in their shoes one time, think about them.

There are caregivers in your community. Find them, befriend them, don’t judge them, let them vent, encourage them to journal, or talk, or cry.

There are more and more younger people being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease, and other dementia. There is a stigma attached to Alzheimer’s Disease. I want that to disappear. I want to wipe away the tears and make life more pleasant for the caregiver.

Please help. How long does it take to email someone? A moment of your time, will give someone a lift knowing that someone is there to listen and to care.

I care! I want you to care too!

Keep love and kisses in your life. Helene

Websites to look at:

http://www.regional.org/aging/index.htm

click on the candlelight and watch the video.

Other great sites to look at today are

www.tenderlovingeldercare.com

and

www.knittingdoctor.com

www.lifeprints.com

Composed of information, stories, and comfort. If you know some others, please let me know.

When you find a caregiver, please look at her/him in a different light. Remember these people are suffering, hurting, wondering what else is going to happen to them.Will you be there for them?

If you Adopt A Caregiver, you  give a gift that lasts a lifetime, and costs nothing!

More and more I’m getting questions and being asked how it’s going. It’s going well. One by one, we are going to make a difference. Word of mouth is still potent.

Since I’ve had this last bout of Chronic Fatigue for the last seven weeks, I’ve done very little, but hopefully I will start feeling better and get back into calling people and having them call me.

Adopt A Caregiver is my passion, my journey, my future, and my vision to help all caregivers. Today, tomorrow, one day it will make a difference. One person can do it; with a little bit of help. Are you listening? Are you willing to Adopt A Caregiver, just look around you, and you will find one. Tell them your friend Helene sent you.

Keep love and kisses in your life. Helene

Courage, Community, Compassion

Today is World Alzheimer’s Day, and I was thinking about courage. There are all kinds of courage, but I was thinking about the time we, my sister and I, had to put our parents into a nursing home. It took the courage of our convictions to do it. My sister didn’t agree at first, and that created some guilt on my part. But she soon realized that I was right. I was also twelve years older than she was.

Courage was cleaning out the apartment. The personal belongings of a parent; papers and things from their desk, going through the closets and the closed drawers. It was heartbreaking to see how little was left inside those closed doors and drawers.

Where were the letters and pictures? Why did Mom throw all of them out? To make it easier for us? To make it easier on the grandchildren who loved them? Dealing with the grandkids took a quiet courage.

And then there was the courage to pull the plug. My father had already died, and my mother had no lungs left. She was on life support, couldn’t talk, we couldn’t get close enough to give her a hug, all we could do was hold her hand. It seemed to me her eyes were pleading for us to let her go. We talked to the lung doctor and there was nothing they were able to do.

Yet, when all is said and done, we know we did the right thing, and yes, it took courage.

When my husband was suddenly diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease and we had to keep this news a secret because he still worked and they insisted we not say anything. So we didn’t say anything.

It took all my courage tp write my guts out on paper in that secret journal. Who could I talk to except the paper? Seven years later the diagnosis was changed, and I showed my husband that secret journal. He said I had to publish it. It took courage for me to do it. But do it I did, and the rewards are now coming in.

My book, Behind The Mask, shows the courage and also the compassion for the new caregiver. My thoughts are their thoughts. I am so glad I took off my Mask. The comments are so heartwrenching and heartwarming at the same time.

And now since the book came out, I decided that I want everyone to adopt a caregiver. Older people have courage, dreams and wisdom.

I have a vision for the future. Committment to the community we live in. Find a caregiver, give her your support, write her an email, ask how she is doing, and mean it. Tell her/him you can listen, you have compassion and the courage to do this.

Now my courage comes from within myself. I know where I’m going and with everyone’s help my Adopt A Caregiver will be everywhere There are already many people helping me, planting the seeds.

Remember there is nothing to join, no dues to pay, no committment to anyone but yourself.

Support the caregiver, you too have courage, compassion and community within yourself.

Keep love and kisses in your life. Helene

Go Purple Sunday

World Alzheimer’s Day, and they said to ‘go purple’. No problem for me, it’s my favorite color. In fact I’m wearing it right now.I hope this day will mean everything they want it to be, for them ,and for Alzheimer’s Disease. This is so important, we must not lose sight of these achievements.

Being aware is so important. I never knew that until I was mugged in New York. I thought we were aware, but someone came up behind us and hit me across the knees. I went down like a bolt of lightening, and my husband chased the man. Lucky me, I’m short, so he never got to my knees, just my thighs. But it has made me aware of anyone and of everything around me.

Being aware is a good thing. Makes you think, makes you care. Makes me want to Adopt A Caregiver.

I went to a fundraiser this morning for the Henderson Hospice, a dream turned into reality.

Hopefully, my Adopt A Caregiver will also be a vision turned into a reality.

Today someone else picked up my blog and wrote about my Adopt A Caregiver program.   So now there are several sites out there who have mentioned my Adopt A Caregiver.

www.tenderlovingeldercare.com

www.genbetween.com/adopt a caregiver.

Thank you all for your good wishes, and for spreading the word and planting the seeds. I am watching them spread. It’s a good feeling.

Another good feeling is my granddaughter said I would have my brochures by Wednesday. Thank you Allison for all your hard work; on the book cover, the business cards, and the bookmarks. I love you for who you are. And even that you wrote to Oprah about me and Adopt A Caregiver.

Keep love and kisses in your life. Helene