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Caring For Aging Parents
While Caring For Yourself

Author of
"Elder Rage, Or Take My Father ...Please!
How to Survive Caring For Aging Parents"

How Do I Handle My Aging Loved One Who:

Is experiencing increasing levels of memory loss?
Wants all my time and attention?

Is a danger on the road but refuses to give up driving?
Refuses to allow any caregiving help in the home?
Needs to see a psychiatrist but refuses to go?

Menopause Doesn't Happen In A vacuum

Although the Power Surge community primarily focuses on menopause,
we don't limit ourselves to menopause, alone. Midlife comes replete with a host of issues that touch our lives and greatly impact upon the menopause experience.

They further challenge us during the process of our "getting older."
Many things in our lives will change - one of them,
naturally, being ourselves. Our children will grow up and leave,
and those who gave us care for many years -- our parents --
will age and, hopefully, live long lives.

As we baby boomers age and enter our menopausal years,
simultaneously, our parents health-care and well-being will become our
responsibility. As women, it frequently becomes our responsibility
to become the caregiver when our parents are no longer able to care
for themselves like they used to.
Needless to say, there are many psychodynamics associated
with caregiving -- not only caring for those we love, but
finding ways to manage being a caregiver while
caring for ourselves at a time when we're dramatically
challenged by the menopausal years. -- Dearest.

Jacqueline Marcell,
author of 
Elder Rage, Or Take My Father ...Please!
How to Survive Caring For Aging Parents,
Jacqueline Marcell is a former college professor and television executive who,
after the experience of caring for her elderly parents became an author, publisher, radio host, national speaker, and advocate for eldercare awareness and reform. She is the devoted daughter in her riveting bestseller, 
Elder Rage, or Take My Father... Please! How to Survive Caring For Aging Parents, a Book-of-the-Month Club selection, which is being considered for a feature film.

Elder Rage has received 45+ prestigious endorsements, including: Hugh Downs, Regis Philbin, Dr. Dean Edell, Duke University Center for Aging,
Johns Hopkins Memory Clinic, and the National Adult Day Services Association who honored Jacqueline with their Media Award, for her tireless efforts to bring attention to the value of Adult Day Care. Numerous publications have featured Jacqueline, including Prevention and Womans Day, but it was
when she landed on the cover of AARP's Bulletin (circulation 22 million),
that Elder Rage catapulted to national attention. The National Association of
Women Business Owners will present Jacqueline with their
Advocate of the Year award at their Remarkable Women Awards in October.

Jacqueline also hosts the radio program heard worldwide,Coping with Caregiving  Jacqueline has a Web site at www.ElderRage.com.

Meet and talk with
Jacqueline Marcell
Oct. 16th
at 9 PM (ET)
Power Surge Live!


Read the transcript here 

*** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** ***
How Do I Handle My Elderly Loved One?
by Jacqueline Marcell
*** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** ***

How Do I Handle My Elderly Loved One Who:

Is experiencing increasing levels of memory loss?
Wants all my time and attention?
Is a danger on the road but refuses to give up driving?
Refuses to allow any caregiving help in the home?
Can no longer take proper care of their finances?
Needs to see a psychiatrist but refuses to go?

Is experiencing increasing levels of memory loss?

Immediately call the Alzheimer's Association (800-272-3900) and ask for a
referral to a geriatric dementia specialist, a geriatrician, an elder care
specialist. The Alzheimers Association will have the most up-to-date elder
care, memory loss, dementia and Alzheimers disease information. They also
have caregiving tips for someone with Alzheimers disease. Since there are
less than 9,000 geriatricians (an MD with a specialty in geriatrics) in the
entire U.S., your loved ones doctor is probably not trained to uncover the
early stage of dementia, so dont waste time, as it is of great importance
to get an early diagnosis and proper treatment.

Inquire about three medications that may mask symptoms and slow the
dementia down and improve cognitive functioning, possibly keeping your
loved one in the intermittent and manageable early stage 2-5 years longer:
Aricept, Exelon and Reminyl. Once your loved one has progressed further
into the dementia, these medications will help, but they will not take them
back to stage one, which is much milder. Also, ask about Vitamin E therapy.
Make sure the doctor rules out reversible dementias such as a B-12, folate
or a thyroid deficiency. Understand that depression alone can cause
dementia-like symptoms, and that needs to be ruled out, and or treated. The
right doctor is the first key.

Consider making large "direction" signs and place them all over their house
with specific easy-to-follow instructions. "Brush Teeth, Turn off Stove,
Lock Door." Get a large wall calendar so that they can check off the days.
To help insure that medications are not forgotten or doubled, make a chart
that they can check off each time they take their pills. An erasable board
will work too. Put up large labeled photographs of family members and
friends. More on page 282 of Elder Rage

Wants all my time and attention?

Set reasonable but strict limits of when you can be available and when you
can't. Never allow yourself to be manipulated. If you never give in to
demands, your parent will learn that moaning and groaning doesn't work and
will eventually stop trying. If you give in to extreme begging, they will
continue to push harder and harder, knowing that you will eventually cave
in. Always use an answering machine to screen your calls and never pick up
and respond if your parent is being nasty or negative. When they ask for
your help in a more normal, reasonable way, respond positively to reinforce
the good behavior, telling them how proud of them you are and how much you
appreciate the way they have approached you this time. Assure them of your
continued support.

Getting your loved one involved in daily activities will be the best thing
for both of you. Call your local Area Agency on Aging, Department of Aging,
or the Eldercare Locator (800-677-1116) to find the Senior Centers and
Adult Day Care Centers nearby, and learn about enrollment and schedules. It
may take a lot of coaxing and compassion to get your parent out of the
comfort zone of being at home and to consent to go to a Center where they
don't know anyone. Remember that any type of change can be extremely
frightening for elders. The professionals at the Centers are very familiar
with this elder care problem and will help you. Ask one of the social
workers to call and talk to your parent a few times, or maybe she can drop
by the house to help develop a relationship.

In addition, you can take your loved one out for lunch and then when they
are in a good mood, casually stop by the Center to say hello to that social
worker. Have an appointment set up so you can take a tour, meet the other
seniors and staff, which will reduce some of the anxiety. Make it gradual,
and encourage your loved one to attend no matter how much they protest. You
might give them a job there to do, to help with the Bingo for the
seniors. They may hate it at first, saying that everyone is too old, it's
too much effort, or they just don't like it, but don't give up. Eventually
they'll make new friends and look forward to all the activities. The
pressure on you to entertain them will be drastically reduced, as will your
stress level

Refuses to allow any caregiving help in the home?

Keep in mind that any kind of change can be very frightening for elders and
fear of the unknown can be greatly intensified. Have their doctor write a
"prescription" that they must have a caregiver come in to help them. Ask
the doctor to sternly advise them that they must have some caregiving help
in their home, or legal action may have to be taken. You can also have a
elder care agency send a social worker to help convince your parent how
much easier things would be if someone came in to help them. Assure your
loved one that you will monitor the caregiver to make sure things are done

If that doesn't work, contact Adult Protective Services and ask them to
send a social worker to talk to your parent. Their report automatically
goes to the local police department, so they will be visited by an officer
soon. A uniformed police officer may be just enough to convince your
obstinate parent of the seriousness of the situation.

Decide if you want to hire an elder care agency (which can be more
expensive, but the caregivers are usually supervised and bonded), or if you
want to find someone on your own (which will require more on-going
supervision from you). Some agencies will do extensive background checks,
others will not. Inquire as to exactly what background checks have been
done on the caregiver you are thinking of hiring from an agency and get
those in writing. If they will not put this information in writing, they
probably have not done background checks. In either case, it's best to pack
up all the valuables and remove any temptations from caregivers who come
into the home.

As you begin interviewing caregivers, involve your parent in the hiring
process. You can obtain an Application For Employment form from your local
stationery store which will list the questions you can legally ask.
Together, make a list of the non-negotiable qualities and characteristics
you want in your caregiver. More on page 286 of Elder Rage.

Can no longer take proper care of their finances?

Convincing your parent that they need help with their finances can be very
difficult, so plant the idea sooner than later. One solution is to get your
loved one a "companion" credit card, with a minimal low limit, added to
your own credit card account. This way, you get the bill and they don't
have to carry around cash that may get lost or stolen. The most critical
issue is to obtain a Durable Power of Attorney (one for health and one for
financial), prior to any diagnosis of dementia. These documents give you
legal authority to act on their behalf if they become incapacitated. These
documents should be drawn up by an "Elder Law" attorney (check the yellow
pages for AttorneysElder Law) who will be familiar with all the current
state and local laws

Needs to see a psychiatrist but refuses to go?

Modern medicine has made tremendous advancements in treating mood
disorders, such as anxiety and depression. Drug therapy could make a
significant difference in how your loved one feels. A psychologist cannot
prescribe medication, so be sure to find a geriatric psychiatrist, an elder
care specialist, as they will be experienced at diagnosing elderly
behavioral symptoms. This usually requires a referral from your primary
care physician. If your parent is suffering from depression have your
family physician talk with your parent about how these feelings are nothing
to be ashamed of and how unnecessary it is to suffer nowadays. The doctor
should make light of seeing the specialist and assure your loved one that
they are not going crazy or losing their mind. Ask the doctor to write a
formal "prescription" and suggest that he "rave" about how much this other
doctor has helped so many of his patients who are just like your parent.


*** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** ***
Respite Care: Getting A Break
*** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** ***

What is respite care?

Respite care means giving caregivers a break. It's more of a concept than a
specific type of care. Anyone with a little experience knows that caring
for someone who depends on you requires patience and stamina. The hours are long and it can be a frustrating and anxiety-provoking experience, for even
the most patient person. Respite care offers temporary or intermittent
ongoing care through a range of in-home and out-of-home service options. In
essence, respite serves a dual purpose of keeping the care recipient safe
while giving the caregiver time away from constant caregiving

Respite care can be informal. For example, another family member or a
friend can take over caregiving duties for a few hours or a few days a
week. More formal arrangements can be made using a paid home care worker, either hired independently or through a home care agency. Most home care agencies can arrange for overnight, or even 24-hour care for a period of

Other good sources of respite include adult day care centers, or special
community-based respite programs for respite care during daytime hours. For
individuals who require nursing care, many nursing homes can also provide
short-term stays for respite care.

Who needs respite care?

Caregivers do. The main goal of respite is to prevent caregiver burnout. If
you are a caregiver, you will need to protect your own health in order to
provide the best level of care for your loved one. This means setting aside
some time for yourself, making sure your own needs are met including
getting to regular doctors appointments, running errands, and maintaining
contacts in the community: in a sense having time off to "recharge your

It may be hard to admit, but a caregiver who is under too much stress from
the constant demands of caregiving cannot provide adequate care. Without a
break, the caregiver's health can suffer leaving two people who need care
instead of one. Your ability to cope is essential to caring over the long
run. Some signs that may signal a need to arrange for respite care include:

Increased anxiety Loss of sleep Physical strain (e.g., frequent colds, high blood pressure,  back strain) Increased irritability Feelings of anger towards the care recipient Exhaustion Feelings of isolation from friends or outside activities

Where can you find respite care?

Programs actually called respite are relatively few and far between. Some
states and local communities offer specialized "respite care" programs,
though these vary considerably in size and scope. Your local Area Agency on
Aging may be able to assist you in locating a program in your area. Since,
these programs differ substantially, be sure to ask about who can be served
including eligibility restrictions based on age, diagnosis, income, and
other factors. Many services and programs offer respite care to meet a
variety of needs, preferences and budgets. Determine first whether or not
you want care provided in your own home (if you reside with the care
recipient), in the community (by day), or overnight in a facility. Once you
have made your decision, you can explore the following care options:

Family and Friends -- If you have family members who have offered their
support, contact them to see if they can schedule a few hours or a few days
a week to assist. If your care recipient has friends in the area who are
able to provide you with some relief, contact them as well. Whoever you
choose, make sure you go over all duties and responsibilities before you
leave, and answer any questions. Also, remember to leave emergency numbers in plain view for the respite caregiver.

Volunteers -- It may be possible to locate a volunteer to provide periodic
respite care. Check with local volunteer programs such as the Volunteers of
America, senior centers, religious groups, or United Way. Volunteers should
not be expected to handle complex care needs, but may be helpful in
providing companionship or supervision of a homebound elder for a brief
period of time. Explicit instructions should be given to make sure the
volunteer understands what needs to be done and who to contact in case of
an emergency.

Home Care Agencies -- If you choose to use a home care agency to provide
respite care in the form of a homemaker or a home health aide, make sure
you give the agency a complete overview of your care recipient's physical
and mental status. Once the agency sends over a homemaker or home health
aide to your residence, you should go over a list of duties with them and
answer any questions they might have. Again, always leave emergency contact numbers in plain view.

Adult Day Care Centers -- If you decide that what you really need is
respite several days a week outside of your home during the day time, you
should contact an adult day care center. Adult day care centers are
generally open weekdays, typically for 8-hour days and serve one hot meal
and snacks during that time. Some centers are open on Saturdays as well.
Many charge on a sliding scale depending on income. Most centers are
staffed with social workers and activity coordinator or recreation
therapists and provide social and recreational activities and help with
basic activities of daily living. Some centers also employ nurses and
physical therapists and offer personal care, health monitoring and
rehabilitation. Specialized programs also cater to the needs of people with
dementia. It can take several weeks to complete the enrollment process, so
don't wait to sign up until the last moment.

Senior Centers -- If an elder does not require individualized care, a
senior center offers relevant social or recreational activities that can be
used as respite care. The main goal of a senior center is to provide
diverse activities for active seniors including painting, cards, outings,
lectures, dancing, movies, book sales, bingo and bridge. Transportation is
often available.

Skilled Nursing Facilities (SNF) -- Some SNFs (nursing homes) accept
individuals on a short-term basis for respite care. SNFs usually are
equipped to admit people with dementia or other chronic health conditions
requiring 24-hour care or supervision. The staff at any facility will need
a current medical history before agreeing to provide respite care for
anyone. Respite beds in a skilled nursing facility are often hard to come
by and many make respite spots available only when they have empty beds. Be aware that not all nursing homes have openings for respite care and few may be willing to take Medicaid for respite beds. Make sure to contact the
facility in advance and also to confirm a respite arrangement.

Respite Centers -- Respite centers are community-based centers that are
geared at providing relief for primary caregivers. They are generally open
four hours per day (e.g., 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.) and serve snacks and
lunch. These centers are usually free or low cost, and provide activities
like cards, bingo, painting or watching movies. Most are equipped to manage
clients with dementia. Respite centers typically do not offer

Who pays for respite care?

Paying for respite depends on the type of care selected. Informal
arrangements are low cost or no cost. Varying hourly or daily rates apply
for respite care at home, in a day program or a short stay in a nursing

Relief care from family members, friends or volunteers is free. Some states
subsidize the cost of dedicated respite services for qualifying individuals
(e.g., low-income Medicaid-eligible, frail elder, Alzheimer's disease,
etc.). Community-based respite centers may even be free. Independent
providers (private individuals for hire) typically charge about $8-$15 per
hour. Home care agencies generally charge from $15- $30 an hour (most have
a 4-hour minimum). Senior Centers are a good low cost alternative for
healthy active elders, most programs are free, but offer little
individualized attention.

Adult day health centers utilize a sliding scale, with fees averaging about
$45 per day. Some may accept Medicaid reimbursement, if medically-oriented
services are provided. This cost often includes transportation to and from
the center. Skilled nursing facility rates vary from state to state and may
be reimbursable by Medicaid for qualified low-income persons. Private rates

Few health insurance companies cover respite expenses. However, designated long-term care insurance may have a provision for respite care assistance. Be sure to check your policy coverage.


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Power Surge Recommendations

*** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** ***     
*** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** ***   

The one thing that eliminated my hot flashes, depression,
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generally gave me back my life the past 5 1/2 years has
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they are most concentrated. Read more about my personal story

Ask Medical Director, Aaron Tabor, M.D. anything at
Ask The Soy Doctor

Read Dr. Tabor's last transcript


*** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** ***     
*** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** ***   

If you're dealing with menopausal issues you can't resolve
with other natural modalities and with all the controversy
surrounding conventional / synethetic hormone therapy, you
if you want to switch or start using hormones, make sure they're
NHRT (natural hormone replacement therapy) or HIH, Human
Identical, naturally compounded, plant-derived hormones.
Pete Hueseman, R.Ph., P.D., a Power Surge
Pharmaceutical Consultant who will discuss with you and
your doctor low-dose natural hormones to suit your body's needs,
not synthetics and not the typical "One size fits all."

Ask Pete Hueseman directly at Ask The Pharmacist
View Pete's last transcript in the Library: Click Here


Soy Isoflavones (Revival Soy), vitamins, herbs, creams,
naturally compounded "bio-identical" hormones
(molecularly identical to those your body produces)
compounded by Power Surge Pharmaceutical Consultant
of 8 years, Pete Hueseman, R.Ph., P.D.
and The Women's Active Multi Vitamin
contains every vita-nutrient a midlife woman needs


The Power Surge Newsletter disclaims any representation for the accuracy or completeness of information contained herein. The sharing of information herein is not indicative of Power Surge's personal endorsement of same. It is purely for informational purposes. Health matters should be taken up with one's personal physician. Nothing in the Power Surge Newsletters, chats, message base, bulletin boards is intended as a substitute for professional medical advice. Opinions expressed are Dearest's and the authors who contribute to Power Surge and don't reflect the opinions of America Online.

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Good Health!


Visit our recommendations page
for tips and advice on multi-vitamins and supplements to help ease menopausal symptoms, and improve your overall health.

'Power Surge recommends Revival Soy Protein to replenish estrogen

Doctor-formulated Revival Soy Protein is the #1 doctor-recommended soy protein in the country. Soy isoflavones eliminate menopausal symptoms.

When you order a month's supply of Revival Soy Shakes or Soy Bars, you will receive a FREE Variety Pack of all Revival favorite products plus a Revival drink cup and shaker cup, newsletters and more (A $29.95 value). To take advantage of these FREE gifts, mention Offer #3000

Read one of Medical Director, Dr. Aaron Tabor's transcripts

Ask the Soy Doctor

Visit our recommendations page for tips and advice on multi-vitamins and supplements to help ease menopausal symptoms, and improve your overall health.

 'For natural, bioidentical hormones, Pete Hueseman and Bellevue Pharmacy Solutions

Why put your body through the rigors of adjusting to the "one-size-fits-all" HRT when naturally compounded, bio-identical hormones can be tailor-made to your body's needs?

Read Pete Hueseman's, most recent transcript about natural, bio identical hormones.

Ask The Pharmacist

Also, read Paul Hueseman, PharmD's transcript
on bio-identical hormones

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Menopause And Your Sex Life
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