Monday, April 30, 2007

Bid4Prizes - lowest unique bid wins

Everyone loves a good auction, right? Finding neat stuff for a good deal and trying to skillfully outbid others. There is not a lot of skill in most online auctions though, because it is all based on how much you are willing to pay for something.

There is an auction that takes a bit of skill, though. A unique auction idea called bid4prizes that gives the prize to the lowest unique bid. Yes, that's right. The lowest unique bid. At Bid4Prizes you are trying to offer up a unique number that is the lowest possible bid amount.

But really, what could you win that would be cool when your winning bid could be $1.53... .96.... or even one penny? How about current prizes that include a Playstation 3, Plasma TV, and my personal favorite a Dell XPS 700?

You can bid using your cell phone or over the Internet and you pay only shipping and applicable taxes on anything won.

Caregiver Websites

I want to begin spotlighting websites that are kept by other caregivers that show what being a caregiver is like. I am a private person, and so I do not talk a lot about the day to day things that a caregiver goes through, so I wanted to present the sites of caregivers that do discuss what life is like as a caregiver. Just to give those that are interested an idea of what it is like to walk a little ways in the shoes of a caregiver.

If you have a caregiver's website that you would like to have featured on this blog, please leave a link in the comments section and I will get to your website. Thanks.


Martin Worldwide mailing lists [paid post]

Looking to start a home business on the side to help pay the bills? Many home businesses require direst marketing to make sales. If your business is going to be in need of good, high quality Mailing Lists to generate sales leads, then you want to be certain that the lists you get are filled with prospects that are proven responders with a history of active, responsive and impulsive buying.

Martin Worldwide has an extensive database categorized into over 100 demographic and psychographic selects from a database of over 290 million consumers and 14 million U.S. businesses. They are one of the only major list providers to guarantee data integrity in writing.

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Contact: Chip Matthews, Client Relations Manager

This post is a paid advertisement for Martin Worldwide

This blog post was based on information provided by Blogitive. For more information, please visit

Medication safety

I was doing some research on medication safety with plans to start work on an article on safety and medication, and I found a website that I think is worth looking at a little closer.

The Institute for Safe Medication Practices is a nonprofit organization that is devoted to medication error prevention and safe medication use.

Relaxation Tip - candlelight bath

One of my favorite ways to relax is by taking a long hot bath by candlelight. Even if I can not spend more than a few minutes relaxing in the tub, I like to fill it with as warm a water as I can stand to get into, then light candles all around the room (in safe places) and relax for a little while in the tub. It is a wonderful way to calm the mind and relax tensed muscles.


Sunday, April 29, 2007

Book - Appreciative Coaching: A Positive Process for Change

Looking for a little summer reading? How about picking up something in the field of business coaching? Capella University faculty member Sara Orem, PhD, of Capella's School of Business and Technology, has co-authored a book titled ‘Appreciative Coaching: A Positive Process for Change’ with co-authors Jacqueline Binkert, PhD, and Ann Clancy, PhD.

The book is published by Jossey-Bass, a non-fiction book publisher based out of San Francisco and is on coaching managers, executives and others that are in a position to effect change within a company.

Sara Orem, PhD, is a faculty member of Capella University, which is known as an accredited e learning university. The school offers online graduate degree programs and bachelor's degree programs in fields such as business and information technology.

Talking about the book Orem says that it guides the reader through four stages of "Discovery, Dream, Design and Destiny" to inspire them to empower themselves and their future.

This post is a paid advertisement for Capella University.

This blog post was based on information provided by Blogitive. For more information, please visit

Poor little dog worries so

My mom has a Shi Tzu, and whenever she leaves the house he just frets his fur off. (Actually Shi Tzu's have hair, not fur, making them great for people with allergies). Anyway, the poor little fellow gets so worried when she leaves. I used to have a chihuahua that was the same way, she would just cry whenever I left. There is a lot of love and dedication in them little critters.

Mom's dog will worry too if she has a bad dream, waking her up when she has one or if he can't wake her he'll come get me and make me go wake her up.

Sunday outting

It's a beautiful sunny day, and although we had been going to go out and work in the yard, we have decided instead to take dad out driving around for the day. He'll enjoy getting out and just driving and it's been a while since we went for a long Sunday drive, so it should be fun. My sister is driving so it's a nice family outing for Sunday and pretty skies with a scattering of clouds. I'll take my camera and see if I can get some pictures of Alaskan scenery.

Botox injections [paid advertisement]

As we get older we start to look for ways to look younger. One way that many turn to seems to be the Botox injection that many day spas, such as Puremed Spa, specialize in.

When you are in states that have a lot of sunlight exposure that ages the skin prematurely, you will find that Botox is likely in high demand. For example there is a high demand for botox Los Angeles and other cities in California and Nevada where people spend a great deal of their time exposed to the Sun

Botox is the trade mane for the cosmetic use of botulinum toxin A - this is a toxin that blocks the nerve impulses, temporarily paralyzing the muscles that cause wrinkles. Injections of Botox into the facial muscles results in the muscles being paralyzed and unable to contract to create wrinkles in the surface of the skin.

If you, or someone you care for, are considering Botox treatments then I encourage you to please look into it carefully. Research some of the drawbacks and side effects that come with the treatment before you make the decision to get Botox injections.


This post is a paid advertisement for Puremed Spa.

This blog post was based on information provided by Blogitive. For more information, please visit

Handrails 2.0 ?

My dad's 'fall down go boom' experience has me pondering if, when we go to make improvements around here the next time, it might work to set up a series of hand rails that are strategically placed and bolted to the floor. It would be kind of like them little lead things in banks and airports where you have a hand rail that guides the person from point A to point B but would have breaks in it so that you can go off the guide path if you want/need to. I need to get out a floor plan for the house and look at if that is something that is feasible.


Pure stubbornness

Earlier I was sitting here working on the computer when I heard a massive *CRASH* in the front of the house. Leaping up I dashed into the front room to see what had happened and found my dad sitting on the floor behind a disarrayed recliner. Easy enough to figure out what happened. He tried to walk and used it as a cane to balance and over went the chair and down went dad. ::shaking head:: Stubbornness. Pure stubbornness.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Simmons Jannace & Stagg

Has your role of being a family caregiver forced you to look into selling a business? Perhaps your parents or spouse had a business that they can no longer run and it is time to sell it? You want to find a law firm that has experience with business law and can provide quality representation at a reasonable cost.

Simmons Jannace & Stagg say that their "Clients turn to us because we listen to their needs and always put their interests first." That is the kind of support and concern for your needs that are important when you are faced with preparing a buy/sell agreement for your family business. Simmons Jannace & Stagg, LLP, has been helping businesses large and small for a decade. They have clients that include Fortune 500 companies such as: Home Depot U.S.A., Inc., Bank of America Corp., J.P. Morgan Chase & Co., Coca-Cola Enterprises Inc., Staples Inc., and Circuit City Stores, Inc. (just to name a few).

Their commitment to service, and to their clients, has earned them the highest peer review rating by Martindale-Hubbell, which rates legal ability and ethical standards, and the loyalty of their clients.

This post is a paid advertisement.

Love the link

The Family C.A.R.E. blog will soon be allowing link love in its comments. I will be removing the nofollow tag in the blog's HTML code and allowing comments to benefit in search engine searches. This will be a way of thanking those that comment on my blogs and letting them share in some of the link love. I will not tolerate SPAM and comments are going to be moderated to prevent spamming of my blog, so please make sure that if you want to get some link love you actually post something worth posting rather than just a "Nice blog - visit mine!" link. I'll let you know when I have disabled nofollow here.


Relaxation Tip - Smooth jazz

Okay, my current tip for relaxing is to tune in your local smooth jazz station on the radio (okay, you don't HAVE to make it jazz, that's just what I am listening to), get a mug of something warm and comforting to sip (I'm sipping French Vanilla coffee) and kick back and let the music flow over you.

It's soothing and relaxing and you can just let your mind drift on the notes of music as the stress floats away.

The radio just summed it up with "Relax, unwind, enjoy. 105.7 The Breeze."

So, relaxation tip for today. Get a radio and listen to something smooth and peaceful that lets you just relax and unwind.


Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Web forms

As I sit here contemplating the power of the letter writing campaign, I am also thinking about forms on websites. The Web form has come to be a staple of doing business on the Internet. Unfortunately not everyone is adept enough with HTML to create the forms they need for their websites.

With Forms4Free you do not need to know HTML to create an HTML form for your website. They can help you make your form, then for a one time fee of $19.95 you can download the Formmail file. The Formmail file enables your website to send you the results of the form in an e-mail.

By processing forms through you own website you can have a more professional looking site and avoid the advertisements that other services place on the form redirect pages.

This post is a paid advertisement for

H.R. 1161: Social Security Caregiver Credit Act of 2007

I would like to encourage anyone that wants to help family caregivers to please write to your representatives and ask them to please sponsor bills such as H.R. 1161: Social Security Caregiver Credit Act of 2007. The Social Security Caregiver Credit Act of 2007 would amend title II of the Social Security Act to credit prospectively individuals serving as caregivers of dependent relatives with deemed wages for up to five years of such service.

Please, ask your representative to support and co-sponsor this bill. Others that would be good to write to with requests to co-sponsor the bill are the members of congress that had co-sponsored H.R. 175: Family Caregiver Security Act of 2005 - those are:

Rep. Donald Payne [D-NJ]
Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger [D-MD]
Del. Madeleine Bordallo [D-GU]


H.R. 175: Family Caregiver Security Act of 2005 - [109th Congress]

Unfortunately H.R. 175: Family Caregiver Security Act of 2005, that was introduced in the 109th Congress, has died on the books. Congress sessions last for two years, and since the Family Caregiver Security Act of 2005 was never acted upon after it entered the House Ways and Means, Subcommittee on Health, and House Energy and Commerce, Subcommittee on Health. Therefore, the bill was allowed to die after introduction with no debate by the members of congress and no chance to reach the house or senate.

The Family Caregiver Security Act of 2005 would have sought to amend title XVIII of the Social Security Act to provide for the use of qualified family caregivers in the provision of home health aide services under the Medicare Program.

This would have meant that family caregivers would have been treated like any other care provider, rather than being penalized for being related to the care recipient.

Care recipients should have the right to choose their care provider and caregivers should have the right to be entitled to the same programs and benefits as non-family members that provide the same level of care.


Monday, April 23, 2007

Information on Wilderness Programs for Troubled Teens

There is a lot of stress involved in being a family caregiver, and unfortunately that stress is often shared with members of the family. When someone becomes a caregiver to their parent or parents, it can be hard on their own children. The division of their parent's time between them and now their grandparents can cause stress and lead teens particularly to feel frustrated.

One topic that has had varying levels of support and questions is the benefits of Wilderness Programs for Troubled teens. Parents question if the programs work, if they are right for their teen and what rules and regulations are established for such programs to adhere to. is a website that will offer information on the purpose of wilderness programs and help parents understand and choose wilderness programs that might be appropriate for their struggling teen.

Still uncertain about if your teen is right for a wilderness program? has a directory of not only wilderness programs, but also alternatives to wilderness programs. Search their directory for information on programs in each state and learn the pros and cons of different types of wilderness programs.

This post is sponsored by


H.R. 1161 Social Security Caregiver Credit Act of 2007

As family caregivers, one of the biggest sacrifices made is our own future. Without the ability to work it is difficult to provided for our own needs in the future.

This bill, that is currently before the House Committee on Ways and Means, was sponsored by Rep. Nita M. Lowey, of New York's 18th district and would "amend title II of the Social Security Act to credit prospectively individuals serving as caregivers of dependent relatives with deemed wages for up to five years of such service."

While H.R. 1161 only covers 5 years of provided care, and most caregivers must provide care for a significantly longer period of time, I still think that it is a good sign.

H.R. 175, The family Caregiver Security Act of 2005, slipped off the books in the House of Ways and Means, please, don't let H.R. 1161 fall between the cracks as well. Write to your congressman and ask them to please cosponsor H.R. 1161.

Thank you!

Edit: you can find out up to date information on this bill at GovTrack.US

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United Vacation Network ?

United Vacation Network sounds like a good site, unfortunately the only thing I can find on them is a series of links from one site to the next in a never ending cycle. Although they sound good, I can't access the United Vacation Network because I get an error from Firefox telling me "... the server is redirecting the request for this address in a way that will never complete."

Bummer. I really wanted to check out their website to see what they have to offer. From what little I can find they say that they have a staff of professionals trained to help you plan your next vacation and describe themselves as a travel fulfillment company that can help clients both big and small with cruises, resorts, airfare, rental car, and other aspects of travel.

Hopefully they'll get that redirecting problem fixed soon so I can check them out more.

This post is sponsored by United Vacation Network

Cat burgular

Dang cat keeps taking my chair every time I get up to do anything. Almost smashed him a few times today. Now he's sitting over there just watching me with this "You need to stand." look on his face. Apparently the humans chair is more comfortable to him than the his bed is.

Who has the time to sleep?

Nearly 4 in the morning and I am just finally wrapping things up and getting ready to get off to bed. I definitely have to do something about sleeping a more normal cycle than what I have got into the past few weeks. I prefer to wake early, but lately I seem to be waking no earlier than 10 in the morning and staying up to past 3 in the morning.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Mechanic school directory [paid post]

The Mechanic School Directory can help you find schools in the field of mechanics. From diesel mechanic schools to aircraft mechanic schools. Motorcycle mechanic schools, and even HVAC (Heating and Air-Conditioning systems) schools. The Mechanic School Directory has information on schools from across the country.

Whatever kind of training you are looking for in the mechanics industry, from aircraft mechanic schools to a good Welding School, you can find information at the Mechanic School Directory. Search schools based on state, or get suggestions on the top schools in each industry.

Whether you are looking for something in your free time to help you make some money later on, or you are looking for something for your son or daughter, the Mechanic School Directory is a good starting point.

This post is a paid advertisement for Mechanic School Directory

Don't let another caregiver bill die out, please

The Social Security Caregiver Credit Act of 2007 looks to me like the current best bet for any caregivers to be eligible for being treated with even a smidgen of the same respect as a non-family member providing a tenth the services that a family member provides, so please *PLEASE* if you have any experience with how to help convince a place like the Ways and Means committee to treat it nicely, which is where it is now, then please share and let's get this bill passed. It would be a shame for it to die on the books like the Family Caregiver Security Act of 2005 did. Thanks!

Social Security Caregiver Credit Act of 2007 ( H. R. 1161)

Okay, there is a bill on the books that is very similar to the Family Caregiver Security Act of 2005, but not exactly.

Social Security Caregiver Credit Act of 2007 ( H. R. 1161) would seek to amend title II of the Social Security Act to "credit prospectively individuals serving as caregivers of dependent relatives with deemed wages for up to five years of such service."

It's not a perfect plan, but it looks like they still realize that family caregivers should not be panelized for being family members.

The fill description of the bill as it was introduced is:
Social Security Caregiver Credit Act of 2007 - Amends title II (Old Age, Survivors and Disability Insurance) (OASDI) of the Social Security Act with respect to determining entitlement to and the amount of any monthly benefit, including any lump-sum death payment, payable under OASDI on the basis of the wages and self-employment income of any individual. Deems such an individual to have been paid a wage (according to a specified formula) during each month during which the individual was engaged for at least 80 hours in providing care to a dependent relative without monetary compensation for up to five years of such service. Makes this Act inapplicable in the case of any monthly benefit or lump-sum death payment if a larger benefit or payment would be payable without its application.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

SLDA's Three Stepping Stone process for landscape design

Being a caregiver, it is important that is you are going to be having someone landscape your yard for you that they take your needs and the needs of your care recipient into consideration. SLDA's Three Stepping Stone process for landscape design helps to define what you want in your Landscape Design, as well as needs such as traffic flow, pets, and children - or in this care, people with walkers or wheel chairs.

They then create a design that works within your needs, the needs of the landscape for your yard, and the budget you specify. They create detailed drawings that explore different angles and perspectives and a CAD design that lets you make changes on the computer using 2-d and 3-d images. Once it has been fully planned out, and the design meets your satisfaction, SLDA begins supervising and constructing it to match the agreement. And best of all, you're kept in the loop. You can make sure that things are going to work out for your care recipient. You get daily updates in person as well as a customized client work in progress section where you can view weekly notes and photos of your landscape. It can't be easier to oversee your landscaping and make sure it will be enjoyed by you and your care recipient for years to come.

This post is a paid advertisement for SLDA

Care recipient friendly landscaping

Something else that I am trying to take into consideration are placements on things like statues and flowers. I want them to be where my dad can see and enjoy them rather than have them tucked out of his view.

It makes no sense to landscape a part of the yard that will hardly be seen, so I will focus mainly on where I know my dad will be able to enjoy it even if me and mom are not going to be spending time in that area. Particularly if mom and me won't be in that area. I also want to fix the garden so he can sit back there while me and mom work in it.

Planning the yard to be care recipient friendly

I have been working on what I will be doing out in the yard to get it ready for summer and one of the biggest challenges is designing it to be accessible for my dad. I want to be sure that he can enjoy the yard as much as the rest of us, but there are problems such as mosquitoes and sunlight - one of the medications he is taking makes him sunburn easily.

So, I'm pondering things and trying to figure around the areas where the best shade is. Seems like one of the most challenging yard plans I have tried to come up with.

All inclusive vacation to Jamaica or Mexico [paid post]

Looking for a great all inclusive getaway to someplace such as Jamaica or Mexico? Maybe something like the Moon Palace Gold and Spa resort in Cancun, Mexico? With all inclusive vacation packages and top destinations such as Dominican Republic, Jamaica, and Mexico, it is no wonder that people love

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This post is a paid ad for

Friday, April 20, 2007

S 1065 IS: Heroes at Home Act of 2007

I was over at THOMAS searching around for things that might have some impact on Family Caregivers and came across S 1065 IS: Heroes at Home Act of 2007. This bill was introduced by Ms. Clinton and referred to the Committee on Armed Services.

Basically what the bill is looking to achieve is:
To improve the diagnosis and treatment of traumatic brain injury in members and former members of the Armed Forces, to review and expand telehealth and telemental health programs of the Department of Defense and the Department of Veterans Affairs, and for other purposes.
A section that caught my attention was the following:
(e) Eligibility for Compensation- A family caregiver of a veteran or member of the Armed Forces who receives certification as a personal care attendant under this section shall be eligible for compensation from the Department of Veterans Affairs for care provided to such veteran or member.
and followed soon after by:
(g) Construction- Nothing in this section shall be construed to require or permit the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to deny reimbursement for health care services provided to a veteran with a brain injury to a personal care attendant who is not a family member of such veteran.
Unless I am reading this wrong, then this bill would allow for family caregivers of veterans or members of the armed services to be compensated by the Department of Veterans Affairs for the care that they provide. This would be a major step forward for caregivers, as it would help to establish that providing care to another is a commitment that should not be divided by relationship to the care recipient.

Family caregivers should be eligible for the same compensation for the care they provide as non-family caregivers provided they have the proper skills and training nd the care recipient has proven medical need of a caregiver.

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Drug rehabilitation information [paid post]

When you or someone that you love needs help, you want to be sure that you have found all of the information necessary to find the right treatment program for you or your loved one's needs.

4rehabilitation has formed alliances with drug rehabilitation treatment program providers to help place drug addicted individuals into drug rehabilitation centers for drug treatment that will allow them the best chance of recovery from their addiction.

In addition to their website, 4rehabilitation has a toll free hotline available for those seeking drug addiction treatment information. If you have questions about any step in the rehabilitation process, their compassionate operators are ready to listen and offer advice and information.

This post is a paid advertisement for 4rehabilitation

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Caregiving Basics Resource List

The National Institute on Aging has a resource list for caregivers that are caring for a loved one with Alzheimer's.

In addition to resources available for caregivers to Alzheimer's patients, the page includes information on books and publications that can be of help to caregivers in general and new caregivers facing the unknown terrain of being a caregiver to their parents.

You can find the entire list of books and publications, with information on where each is available, at the National Institute on Aging - Caregiving Basics: A Resource List

Gold Coin investing with Monex Deposit Company

Many people think that an investment in gold coins is beyond their ability for investing. In truth you can buy American Gold Eagle coins, a $50 US face value, in units of ten coins from the Monex Deposit Company and have them delivered to you. These are one ounce coins of .9167 fine gold that are recognized as legal US tender.

Gold is one of the most sought after of the precious metals for investment purposes, and the gold coin is a true treasure to hold. Now you can afford to build up your own treasure chest filled with American Gold Eagle coins and tuck it away for your retirement.

For over 30 years the Monex Deposit Company has been providing investors with competitive precious metal prices. Investors can enjoy the benefits of a convenient market that allows them to purchase precious metals for either personal delivery or deposit into an independent bank or depository.

Don't wait until it's too late, invest in your future today.

This post is a paid advertisement for the Monex

Spammer at working on my last nerve

I went out to last night and was looking around on it. out of the three people that had signed up since I was last there, only one was actually a legitimate caregiver. One was questionable on what they were, and the other one was very obviously that same spammer I had kicked off three times before.

Why the guy is picking on that site I have no idea, but he is starting to get on my last nerve. He's a persistent cuss that just wants to post a long post of links to porn sites.

I have the site set up so that only caregivers can comment, and you have to have me manually set your status to being a caregiver. I don't like that, would rather allow people to comment simply by registering, but that prick is determined to hit the site with as much porn as possible so I can't do that. He just re-registers and I have not yet found how to block his ISP.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Another link on caregiving I want to be able to find again

Another article on caregiving that I found while I have been idly searching around online, and want to refer back to, is Caregiving and Stress at A Healthy Me.

It has some information on studies about caregiver stress and looks like it has some good information on caregivers in general.

A link I want to find again on caregiving and siblings

This is a link that I want to be able to find again, it's on caregiving and siblings. I just had a few minutes right now to scan the article and want to go back and read it more closely.

It starts out talking about the 2000 Meg Ryan movie "Hanging Up", and goes on to discuss how to look at dividing up caregiver responsibilities between siblings. I don't think it's going to give anything that is new information to me, but it's still something that I want to read back over when I have more time.

On being a family caregiver to Mel Brooks

You want to read a great article on being a family caregiver? When you start to think that you must be alone in this crazy chaotic world of providing care to your loved one it can help to know that you're not alone. And I think that it can also help to know that it's something that everyone, no matter who they are, might face.

I just read an article by Max Brooks, the son of comedian Mel Brooks, on what it is like to be the caregiver of someone famous.

It's not very different from being a caregiver to someone that's not famous. We all need basic things, we all face basic challenges. I smile at the start of the article where he talks about trying to get his dad, who falls asleep watching television, to go to bed. I have often played out the same scene with my own father. Like Mel Brooks my dad loves old war movies, which is another thing that made me smile as I read the article.

Being a caregiver for your parent is not very different from one caregiver to the next, no matter who your parent is.

Check out the article at Saving Mel Brooks in MSN Men's Health.

Mortgage Lowdown and the Carnival of Home Improvement [sponsored post]

I've talked a bit about home loans in the past. About how you can get one for improvements around the house when you are a new caregiver and need to install assistance stuff like wheelchair ramps and handrails and such.

There is a blog, called Mortgage Lowdown, that all about home loans and what people should consider when they are looking into home mortgages. And it is also the host of the Carnival of Home Improvement. This is a great collection of blog posts that pertain to real estate, mortgages, home improvement and other issues of interest to any homeowner.

A few of their links in a recent carnival are to a blog that tells you the secrets to how to keep your lawn looking good, an article on recovering the seats of dining room chairs, and an article on starting up a fresh water aquarium.

Check out the Mortgage Lowdown blog and particularly their Carnival of Home Improvement for great information on home mortgages and making your home look great.

This post was sponsored by the Mortgage Lowdown blog

Tax season is over

Well, the taxes almost got to me and my cat, but we're through the tax season and still sane... well, okay, I'm sane, Harry is going into theatrical death throes at the revelation that we are now going to start getting ready for next year's taxes.

Silly tom cat, he can get so dang theatrical about things. ::shaking head::

Friday, April 13, 2007

Harry Potter helps me with my taxes

I've got myself a new tax accountant this year. He seems to know what he's doing, and assures me that I won't have any problems with the questionably large deductions for catnip.

I'd found Harry all splattered half in and half out of his cat bed, so I took a picture, then laid out the tax forms I had been working on and he took interest in the pen. I managed to catch this adorable picture of him doing my taxes for me. And the below picture of him correcting the taxes that I had already tried to fill out myself.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

New site and blog on baby fashions [paid ad]

As aunt to a dozen nieces and nephews and great aunt to six and counting, I know that it can be hard when a new baby comes along to find something that is in fashion to buy for the littlest family member. Baby fashions seem to shift as quickly as adult fashions.

There is a blog that is just getting started on the new Baby Clothing Site that has the goal of being a place where visitors can read and comment about infant and toddler fashion. The blog was by a mom to brag about the styles of her baby girl's fashions, but she welcomes others to comment on their handsome young men as well.

Let's face it, for not just mom's, but for aunts and grandmothers too, getting pretty dresses and smart looking suits for babies is fun. Share in the fun and brag about how good the baby in your life looks.

This post is a paid advertisement for the Baby Clothing Site

Home health care worker and nursing care facility worker vs. family caregiver

Family caregiver compared to home health care worker and nursing care facility worker.
Home health care services
Earnings: weekly $415.12 Hourly $14.41 Hours worked per week 28.8

Nursing and residential care facilities
Earnings: weekly $393.58 Hourly $12.05 Hours worked per week 32.7

Part-time Family care provider
Earnings: weekly $0.00 Hourly $0.00 Hours worked per week 28.8

Full-time Family Caregiver
Earnings: weekly $0.00 Hourly $0.00 Hours worked per week 168.0
If a home health care nurse did the same job that a family caregiver does, the home health care nurse would be paid $2,420.88 per week. Limits of an 8 hour work day 5 days a week and we have $1,152.80 per week that a home health care provider would make for taking on less than half the duties of a family caregiver.

Right now only a few states will allow for a family caregiver to be paid for providing care, and those states require the care recipient to be on Medicaid.

A worker in a residential care facility does not even have to be a nurse. Most of the staff in those facilities do not even have CPR certification. One care facility, that I recall being in the news not very long ago, was hiring 16 year old girls to work for them and had no actual nurse on staff.

Why is there no assistance programs for family caregivers?


Source for statistics on pay for home health care services and nursing and residential care facilities - U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Office of Occupational Statistics and Employment Projections

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

On Call 24/7

One of the things that a full-time family caregiver has to get used to is being on call 24/7. One of the most common problems that they face is exhaustion. A depletion of their energy to the point that they are unable to care for two people at one time (themselves and their care recipient) and so the caregiver often makes a choice to neglect their own needs to provide care for the care recipient.

It can be difficult to make time for yourself when you are trying to dedicate your all to caring for someone else. You may even feel guilty about taking time to yourself.

In the past I have declined help with even the most basic of things, such as helping my dad from a chair to his wheel chair, only to think immediately afterward that I should have accepted the offer of assistance. The problem with being in a mindset where you want to be able to do everything is that over time the offers of assistance get fewer and fewer and eventually you are left with a realization that you could have let others help, but no one is offering to help any more.

If you are just starting out as a caregiver, it can be feel like you are imposing on others if you accept their offers of help. You might feel like it is your responsibility to get something done and feel bad about it when someone else does what you perceive as your responsibility. Learn early on the lesson that you can not do everything on your own.

Ways to avoid burning out:
  • Eat well balanced meals - it can be hard to eat well when you are always on the run, particularly if you and your care recipient are on different diets or eat at different times of the day, but it is important to do your best to eat healthy to help you maintain energy.
  • Exercise - even if it is just for 30 minutes three times a week. By doing strength training and something such as yoga you can be better ready to help your care recipient move about and avoid falls. Trust me when I say that it is not something that comes naturally for a 5'2" woman to catch a 6'2" man and keep him standing upright. Keep yourself in shape and you'll be better ready when something happens that demands you being in shape.
  • Get out and enjoy the open air. Going to the doctor's office? Make time in the schedule to stop for a few minutes at the park and walk along the trails with your care recipient. Fresh air and nature does wonders for helping to recharge your batteries. Got to the doctor's office a little early? Don't mess with the waiting room, sit in the car for a few minutes and people-watch or enjoy the birds in the trees with the windows down. It can be more re-energizing than you would think.
  • Take up a hobby that allows for interruptions. As a full-time caregiver you are going to be needing to jump and run more than you can imagine. So find a hobby that you enjoy that allows for interruptions. You don't want to have to hurry back because the paint is drying, so if you enjoy painting see if oils might be an option. Knitting requires a lot of counted stitches, and it is not easy to keep track of just where you are sometimes (I tried knitting) so one option if you love to knit might be to keep a counting string looped into your work so that you can more easily count back to where you left off when you have to drop things and run.
  • Enjoy the sunrise/sunset. At least occasionally you should get a nice cup of coffee or tea (hot or cold) and sit in a comfortable place where you can watch the sunrise or sunset. Don't let anything intrude on your thoughts, just enjoy the slow play of colors across the sky and landscape as the light changes. This is one of my favorite ways to recharge. To just sit and let my mind clear early in the morning and watch as the sun rises over the distant mountains and peeks through the window to caress my face as I let my eyes drift closed. Very relaxing.

DVD chaos and HDMI cables and switches [sponsored post]

Something that I am working on tonight is getting the televisions and stereos sorted out and hooked up and getting my DVD recorder set up. You would think as many years as I have owned the thing I would know how to connect them cables up straight. And I'm not even technologically handicapped. ::shakes head::

For some reason every time I unhook that DVD recorder, even if I just unplug from one TV and carry it as a set in and plug the cord straight into another TV - it won't work. I don't know what the deal is, but there is something about it that it refuses to make life easy on me.

What I need is a system to allow me to just leave the DVD recorder set up and never have to move it again. Or maybe a longer cable so that I can leave the DVD recorder in my bedroom and run a second cable on a switcher to the television system in the front room for when something needs to be recorded off the satellite system.

Technical Cable Applications carries HDMI Switches and all the needed cables, adapters, and equalizers for long distance HDMI Cable runs in residential as well as commercial settings. And they sell cables in lengths ranging from 8 meters up to 30 meters, so I can easily wire the cable in and not have to worry about it being too short to make the run from my bedroom to the television in the front room.

I also want to check out their HDMI switch, which allows for the connections of up to four digital A/V appliances. I think that is just what I need for setting up the switching system that I have in mind for being able to control the A/V stuff in this house. Which would be a nice change after how many years that stuff has controlled me instead.

This post was sponsored by TCA Inc.

Snow is melting - time to start spring to-do lists

As the snow melts away, my thoughts turn to what can be done in the yard so that my parents can enjoy it as much as possible this summer. I want to get the back porch screened in so that the mosquitoes care not a problem out there in the mornings and evenings, they're awful in the summer and leave huge welts on my dad when they bite him. I also want to redesign things and make paths around to the garden area for my dad's wheelchair. That is something that I had been trying to get done the past couple of years but things always seem to crop up that get in the way of getting that done.

So, checklist for this spring (as soon as the ground dries up some):
  1. screen in the back porch
  2. build a wheelchair path from the porch to the garden
  3. establish locations to plant at least three rose bushes
I'd also like to plant a lilac tree, but I am not about to hold my breath on being able to afford a decent sized lilac tree.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Happy Easter!


Recharge in an Orlando villa [paid post]

Where do you go to recharge your batteries from the stress of being a caregiver? How about to a villa in Orlando? Orlando Florida is a great destination for vacationing, with theme parks, golf courses and the beach all within easy driving distance. You can get away from the chaos for a few weeks and enjoy relaxing in a Villa in Orlando to help you recharge.

Thinkflorida, UK based with offices in Kissimmee Florida, provides many services such as: rental car, ticket and online booking for Private Pool Homes, Condo’s and Town Houses in the Disney area. Each unit is separately featured with 15-20 pictures, floor plans, all amenities and 360 degree tours of all main area’s, inside and outside, of the property.

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This post is a paid advertisement for Thinkflorida

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Alaska not even mentioned in 'Federal and State Family Caregiving Legislation: A Summary of Bills from 2004-2006'

The following information is excerpted from the PDF document: "Federal and State Family Caregiving Legislation: A Summary of Bills from 2004-2006" by the Family Caregiver Alliance, National Center on Caregiving.

The stress, financial strain and compromised health of family caregivers is very often overlooked, as is the value of the care that they provide. The PDF document states that, "If family and informal caregivers are going to be able to provide good care, keep their loved ones living at home or in the community rather than institutions, and take good care of their own health and maintain quality of life, they need assistance." Among the kinds of assistance that is recommended as needed is financial assistance. The PDF document goes on to examine some of the bills that have introduced and concludes:
As evidenced by the bills introduced in the last three years, family caregiving issues are now on the policy agenda at both the federal and state levels. However, less than 25% of those family caregiving bills that were introduced were enacted, and the programs and laws that currently exist only skim the surface of what is needed. In caring for their loved ones, family caregivers save taxpayers an estimated $306 billion in long-term care costs a year.2 As new legislative sessions get underway in states across the country and in Congress and as the public becomes more aware of caregivers' stories – their contributions to society and the harmful effects they often suffer as a result of caregiving, we expect lawmakers to continue to promote policy initiatives and innovations to support the nation’s family caregivers.
Hawaii introduced the most caregiver-related bills between 2004 and 2006 with 9 of the 16 bills that were introduced being in Hawaii. Makes them sunny warm beaches look mighty tempting to a cold Alaskan. In fact, I don't even see Alaska mentioned in the document.

Illinois, Minnesota, Michigan, Virginia, Hawaii, California, Idaho, Louisiana, Arizona, Alabama, New Jersey, PA (think that's Pennsylvania?), Washington, NE (I should know what NE is (that Nebraska?) but it's 3 a.m.), Maryland... think that's all of them. And no Alaska. ::shakes head:: Come on people. Don't anyone in Alaska care about the seniors anymore? Are you trying to chase the people that built and protected this state to places like Hawaii and Arizona?

Caregiving at 2am

So.... what's so difficult about being a full-time caregiver?

How about still being awake listening to the news at 2 a.m. when you would like to go to bed? I know that the moment I give up and head for bed dad's going to decide he's through watching the news, so here I sit meandering around checking out other people's blogs and procrastinating on working on my novel since I don't have the brain power at the moment to remember just what it is that I was planning to do to kick off chapter 19.

Think I'll shut off the computer and kick back and listen to the wind. It's blowing out there and making all kinds of wind sounds, hopefully taking the snow all away with it too.

Friday, April 06, 2007

Miami Dolphin Tickets [paid post]

There is something about getting a ticket to something like an NFL, MLB, NBA or NHL game that leaves people a little crazy I think. A big part of it is just trying to get good seating. The tickets sell out fast and unless you know where to look you wind up sitting behind a post trying to see what's going on from the back row.

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This post is a paid advertisement for Premium Seats USA

Question everything, even doctors

I keep saying that caregivers should be able to question their care recipient's doctors. Apparently I am not the only one. Check out this article by a doctor at Strength for Caring. It starts out with a note by the doctor about a guy that told of his doctor not being able to clear up a cough that had lasted for months, yet a second doctor was able to clear up in two days.

We like to think that the doctors know all and can be trusted to give our loved one the best care there is, but sometimes a different perspective can make all the difference. Be warned though, don't blindly trust that second perspective - my dad was told he was dying in two weeks and not to even bother getting ready for Christmas. Man was his regular doc pissed about that.

Article at About on the effects of being a caregiver on someone's health

An article at titled - Why Being a Caregiver is Hard on Your Health - discusses something that I think anyone that has been a caregiver for a while already knew, but it's still interesting to read about.

The article starts out with:
In a study of the effects of stress on caregivers' health, researchers at the University of Arkansas found a surprising link between the type of assistance caregivers provide and the amount of stress they report.
And covers information on what causes the stress and so forth. Worth checking out rather you are a caregiver or interested in what makes being one so difficult.

Boston Condos [Paid post]

When you become a family caregiver, one of the things that most people notice first is a significant change in their finances. If you are thinking about selling or renting out a condominium that you maybe used as a vacation home or something, then you should look into is a website dedicated to condominiums. They let Realtors, owners, and developers list condominiums to be bought, sold, or rented. They claim to have over a thousand unique visitors every day, which makes them an ideal place to list condominiums to be sold or rented.

Whether you have Boston Condos that you want to list. or a condominium from anywhere else across the country from the Florida Keys to Seattle, can help you find renters or buyers.

Got something in the high class luxury high rise condos market? has recently launched a "Building Specialists" section with Realtor specialists in luxury high rise condominiums.

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Looking for help with a project to help family caregivers

Okay, I am looking for help here. I want to see if something can be done in Alaska for family caregivers. I know that there is a program that lets family members be paid to provide care, but that if Medicaid focused and if the person the care is provided for makes $1 over the allotted amount then they can't get Medicaid, nor can they afford to pay a caregiver.

However, a non-family caregiver can be paid in this state without the care recipient being on Medicaid. Something needs to be done to make it possible for family caregivers to be at least helped with medical costs for themselves.

Even congress knows that this is a necessity, H.R. 175 was all about making it possible for family caregivers to be paid the same as non-family caregivers as thought they were a nurse. Massachusetts seems to have a program to allow for family members to be paid $1,500 a month. Why does Alaska not care about their seniors? They take away the longevity bonus and they force them to turn to strangers for their most personal assistance needs?

Support the caregivers that provide our elderly with a chance at living a full life all their lives. Help me to make things different in Alaska for family caregivers.

I'll be discussing this more here and at as I get that website revised over the weekend.

Family C.A.R.E. is in the Daily News

The Anchorage Daily News did an article on bloggers in the Valley, and I was one of the four bloggers that they profiled for the article. Family Care Info is listed in the profiles section for the article.

You can see the article online - Online journals share Mat-Su life with the world. And if you want to check out the profiles, they can be found here.

I can't say I like the picture, but who likes how they look when they know readers all across their home state will see it? LOL (all across the world in fact, since it's online too)

Unique wedding favor ideas from the Knot Wedding Shop [paid ad]

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This post is a paid ad for the Knot Wedding Shop

Massachusetts has a program to help Family Caregivers

Well, apparently Massachusetts has a program to help Family Caregivers - now if we can just get something like this going on a national level...
Enhanced Adult Family Care (EAFC)
"Enhanced Adult Family Care (EAFC) is a MassHealth program that pays family members or non-family members to care for elderly or disabled adults at home. The goal of the program is delay or prevent nursing home placements. EAFC makes it possible for frail elderly and disabled residents to stay in their own homes or homes of caregivers instead of being institutionalized."
They will pay the caregiver $1,500 per month provided they are approved by the program and willing to provide 24-hour support. Trust me, family caregivers provide 24-hour support to their care recipients. You wake when they wake, you stay awake as they nap during the afternoon, you stay awake as they fall asleep, then you wake up every time they have to get up to use the bathroom or knock their blankets off or need to be scooted back up on the bed. You better be able to lift and hold up someone that is a good foot taller than you and may outweigh you. You need to be able to have a stomach of steel when they get sick and be able to care for them and clean up anything. You have to know more about medications and blood pressure and their health history than their doctor knows and you need to be able to make a snap call on questioning a doctor or nurse in what they are saying when you know it is not right.

Caregivers are not given the credit they deserve and they certainly are not paid what they should be.

Family Caregivers have the highest stress unpaid job in the world.

Oh, and you need to have developed a keane Spidey sense, and be fast enough to duck before the steel urinal hits you in the back of your head.

Ranting about government and citizens looking out for illegal aliens and ignoring American citizens

I don't understand it. President Bush will sign into law a bill to authorize $289 million during the next five years so that states can train volunteers and provide respite services to families caring at home for family members. The government says that anyone not related to someone can be paid nurse wages to help out with daily activities. But a person that provides care to a family member in medical need of full-time care can not even get a break on their taxes or assistance with medical or anything?

Why is it that family members that provide care for their loved ones in need are left with nothing toward their own health and future, but illegal aliens are given money hand over fist because they are in the country illegally? We have churches and other groups jumping up and down going all bleeding heart about the picked on illegal aliens that might be deported and how they have to have full medical and food stamps and money for housing and on and on, and yet the family caregivers have nothing.

There is a place on the public assistance applications that specifically says:


or Latino?


That is EXACTLY how it is laid out. All they want to know is "Yes or No" are you Hispanic or Latino. They don't want to know if you are Native American, or Native Alaskan, or African American, or anything else. Just a whole column that is asking "Are you Hispanic or Latino? Yes or No".

Their little asterisk takes you to a disclaimer that says:

"*Disclosure of your Race and Ethnicity information is voluntary and will not affect your eligibility or level of benefits. This information will be used to assure that program benefits are distributed without regard to race, color or national origin."

Okay, first off, I need to note that in a separate column they do ask about race. Again it is optional to answer, and their choices there are: Alaskan Native, American Indian, Asian, Black/African-American, Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander, White.

Now, why do they have to know, specifically, if you are Latino or Hispanic? Aren't there other ethnic groups out there? Why not ask if you belong to one of them?

Sorry, rant off. It just annoys the heck out of me that the government and citizens of this country are so dang wrapped up in making sure that the people that are in this country illegally are taken care of that they neglect the people like me that were born here, that provide needed care to a WWII veteran, and can not even afford to go see a doctor or dentist myself or take my cat (that may have busted his leg) to a vet.

(Note to animal lovers: Harry is doing okay, curls up in my lap and purrs, but his ankle is still swollen and hurting him and he's keeping it up off floor when he walks. He spends most of his time in a soft cat bed with food and water beside it. He's not being abused other than his owner don't have the cash upfront that vets demand to even look at, much less take care of, hurt animals.)

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Field fresh flowers for family caregivers [paid post]

Flowers are a great way to say Thank You to a family caregiver or to let that special someone know you are thinking about them. And it is easy to shop for lovely bouquets at Dot Flowers and you can choose either same day delivery from your local floral shop with Florist Direst or you can purchase field fresh flowers from Dot Flowers' growers' farms and have them delivered anywhere in the United States.

You can get flower delivery to anyone anywhere in the country. Maybe send a bouquet to your parents, or the sibling that takes care of your parents? How about the elderly family member or spouse that you provide care for?

The preceding post is a paid ad for Dot Flowers

What else would you like to see?

I'd love to hear what else you would like for me to write about, so if there is anything you want to see an article on please feel free to let me know in a comment here at the blog or by sending me an e-mail at sandra at phantascene . com (no spaces of course, and at = @) So let me know, I'll be glad to research it and get an article posted on anything related to family caregivers and issues that concern them.

Articles on railing installation

I'm going to be working on a series of articles for helping family caregivers build things like hand rails and bedside rails and other necessities of helping a care recipient live a more independent life even when they require 24/7 assistance. My dad needs full-time care and assistance when moving from a chair to bed or such, but by installing railings I can take some of the weight off my shoulders and have him hold the railing for standing and such. Even a little bit of railings in the house helps to tremendously lessen the back pain I get trying to help him around.

Using small business phone solutions help coordinate family caregiver programs

In a lot of ways, coordinating groups is very similar to trying to run a small business. Which is why putting small business phone systems to work for your group can help your team reach whatever goals it has set to reach.

Consider the possibilities of putting small business phone technology to work for your group, of having an easy 4-digit calling extension to keep your group connected all across the country. Whether you are trying to get a bill through congress or setting up a caregiver support network, your team members can share the same phone system on the same private list of extensions.

The preceding post is a paid ad for Xpander Communications

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