Saturday, January 26, 2008

You Could Win a Hamilton Beach Stand Mixer, but you need to hurry!

Enter to win at MyWoodenSpoonDOTcomOkay, maybe we can't get help from the government with caregiving, but A Cowboy’s Wife is having a contest on her food blog! You can win a Hamilton Beach® Stand Mixer and she’ll ship anywhere so everyone is eligible!

Check the contest out, and be sure to check out the recipes she has. I love her blog a lot and think you will too.

I really should not encourage you to go enter the contest, since I really need a new mixer, but I know that you will love her site and it would be so great to me if another family caregiver was to have a chance to win this thing. It is the kind of thing we can't justify splurging on, so it is a great contest to get a chance to enter. Don't miss your chance, you only have until the end of January to get your entries in.

I had meant to post this long ago, to give everyone more time, but I just kind of got this lost in the shuffle with a lot of other things and remembered I needed to get my tail in gear on it when I realized there was only a week left to the month.

Where has it gone? 2008 is moving faster than 2007 did!

Social Security Caregiver Credit Act of 2007 still in Subcommittee on Social Security

Well, it should be no surprise that H.R. 1161: Social Security Caregiver Credit Act of 2007, is *still* sitting in the House Ways and Means, Subcommittee on Social Security. It went in there on March 7, 2007 and has sat there since. They plan to let it die out like the other family caregiver bills they have had fall into their laps. Really really not good given everything that the family caregivers do in this country and all the money we save everyone on long term care insurance and senior care housing and everything else. We should have at least a little help somewhere, shouldn't we?

Friday, January 18, 2008

Greenhouse Porch

One of the hardest things about being a caregiver can be having to see your care recipient give up things they once loved to do. As someone moves from being self sufficient to needing a caregiver it is not only their independence that is stolen from them, it can be their favorite activities as well.

I have long since planned to build a greenhouse porch off the front of the house where we can start plants early in the spring without having a late frost get them. My plan is to make it wheelchair friendly so my dad can help with the indoor garden that this will create.

I remember that he loved to try to grow corn in the garden, and we have always loved to grow strawberries and tomatoes.

My plan is to make this greenhouse porch into a hydroponics garden so that the plants will grow quickly. I will need to get some good quality grow lights to build into the porch as I design the greenhouse, but I think that the finished result will be a very useful space that my parents will enjoy for years to come.

And maybe we can have fresh tomatoes, lettuce and strawberries in the winter. Need to try roses too... it would be nice to have a room filled with lovely roses in the middle of January next year.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

New gadget detects Alzheimer's early

Here is something that I thought might be of interest to everyone here. According to the article I found on Wired yesterday, there is a new gadget that detects Alzheimer's early, the gadget is being developed by researchers at Georgia Tech and Emory. I don't have a lot of time at the moment to look more into this, but I will be getting back to checking it out as soon as I have had my morning coffee and put a few shelves up in the office.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Long Term Care Insurance

As family caregivers there is one thing we all know, it is important to be able to afford to take care of yourself long term. That is why I have an interest in long term care quotes.

While health insurance will pay for medical bills and doctor visits, you need long term care insurance to pay for long term care either in an assisted living facility or in your own home.

Elderly are not the only ones that might require long term care, anyone of any age can find themselves in need of assistance because of an accident or serious illness.

Arm still hurts

Pain in my shoulder is still persistent. I think my only hope to get it to stop hurting is going to be to stop using the arm for a while and let the shoulder fully relax and recover from whatever injured it. At least the pain is not as severe as it had been, instead of an 8 out of ten I'd now give it a 6 or 7 out of ten. It's still playing heck with my focus though.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Inexpensive Eyeglass

I suppose after 10+ years I am in need of a new pair of eyeglasses, so when I saw the sponsorship chance to look into the Great Discovery: I decided that this was the one for me to take a closer look at. Visiting their website I was able to find over 75 different styles of eyeglasses priced at under $10.00

I have no real idea on what their quality is, since I did not get a pair of the eyeglasses, but I can tell you that they are very nice looking glasses they offer and the site lists that even the $8 pairs come with anti scratch coating, full UV protection, a hard case for protecting the glasses when they are not being worn, and a microfiber cleaning cloth for the lenses.

They also have a full guarantee on the glasses that states all sales are final, but-- they will give a 50% refund if you are not satisfied (Shipping and handling of $4.95 is not refunded).

These are just a few of the styles they offer...

My dad's new glasses

We went into town the other day and picked up my dad's new glasses. They look good, but I think he was hoping they would help him see better than they do. His stroke left him with splotches in his vision on the left side, so it's impossible for him to read or see that way very well. I wish there was something that could be done to correct the black spots in his vision, but apparently the optometrist he went to don't know about it if there is.

Shoulder very sore

I don't know what I did, pulled a muscle helping my dad around or something, but my left shoulder is currently in its second day of *HURTING*. It's like I have a muscle that got pinched under the edge of the shoulder blade - is that possible? I've been applying FreezeIt to the shoulder, but once the stuff wears off the pain is still there. I had hoped that sleep last night might be the cure, but that didn't work. My next step is to try a long hot bath tonight, we'll see if that helps it any. If not I'm not sure what I'll do aside from load up on pain pills and try not to scream.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Credit Card search engine

Credit card bills pile up when you are a full-time family caregiver. It seems like you are always paying out money to the credit cards and yet are you getting anything back? Does your credit card offer a reward program?

The CreditCardSearchEngine, one of the Internet's longest running credit card search engines, can help you find a Credit Card Reward Program that fits in with your needs as a caregiver. Use the site to compare offers from leading U.S Credit Card issuers such as J.P. Morgan Chase, Bank of America, Citibank and find the program that is perfect for your needs.

Even find cards to help repair bad credit.

Is there a tax break for family caregivers?

I need to look into the taxes when I start digging into tax papers and see what there is in there about family caregivers. I thought I had heard somewhere something about it making a difference on the taxes if you are a family caregiver? I'll try and remember to look that up later on when I start messing with the tax stuff. Surely they would have information on that at the IRS or AARP websites?

Old Faithful

I've always wanted to see Old Faithful, I guess it's stories of my parents visiting the park years ago that has me so interested. That was back when a man could cast a fishing line out into a geyser and reel back in a hot wash cloth to wash the baby's bottom with. I don't think they would let you fish for wash cloths now days, but it would still be a wonderful trip to take one day.

I found a site earlier that had a link to watch Old Faithful on a web cam, I need to see if I can find that link again. Might not be able to go there, but I can at least maybe see the geyser thanks to modern technology.

Home Fitness Equipment from Allegro Medical

As family caregivers we sort of end up with a mini ER in our medicine cabinets and micro physical and occupational therapy offices in our living rooms. We start with one or two things that we think might help our loved one recover from the stroke or heart attack or whatever other condition dropped them into need for care and slowly that list builds until we have a few boxes of home fitness equipment here and there and maybe a treadmill or stationary bike that never got put to the use it had been bought for.

And still, we need to pick up more. If there is a chance of our care recipient regaining the use of their left arm or if a different kind of cane might help them walk better we are going to buy it. It's not a question of buying new toys or buying something for one person that others can make use of, and it's definitely not because we can afford to buy the things, it is a simple matter of wanting what is best for our loved one.

Allegro Medical can help you shop for the things that you need, allowing you to search by conditions such as Alzheimer's or stroke to let you find the things that you need. Visit their website at the link above to find out more about the medical supplies and equipment that they offer.

Support family caregivers

I really wish that I had managed to find the time to get my caregiver website organized to help with questioning the 2008 candidates about their stances on things that effect family caregivers, and I plan to work hard as I get the time to move that site toward being ready for pushing to get bills moving through congress that could help family caregivers. With the problems of the for-profit nursing homes we need to focus on family caregivers as the solution for caring for the elderly and those unable to provide care for themselves.

Health care in the 2008 debates

There seems to be a certain level of recognition by the 2008 candidates on the needs of health care and Social Security in the country, with New Hampshire State Director of AARP Kelly Clark stating after the New Hampshire debate; "...there was an in depth discussion about the health care crisis, with a thoughtful discussion about health care cost, quality and coverage. The Democrats, though not as in depth, also discussed health care."

It is good to see the candidates are taking an interest in health care, but I have to wonder how much of that is aimed at big business type of health care and how much will really do the uninsured family caregiver that has no money to see a doctor any good?


There is not a lot that a family caregiver can do to help invest in their own future, usually because there is no funds to invest, but one of the best investments that I can recommend for any investment portfolio is gold.

When you buy gold you are investing in a hard asset that you can be reasonably certain will hold value and even increase in value as the years go by.

The Monex Deposit Company has a staff of hard asset professionals that are ready and waiting to help you with your investment then assist you in arranging for personal home delivery or storage in an independent bank or depository. Backed by over 30 years of experience, the Monex Deposit Company is a trusted name in hard asset investing.

Fight for family caregivers to get support they need

Why is it that with the known for-profit goals of most nursing homes there is little assistance for family caregivers to help care for the elderly and those needing long term care at home? Nursing homes have been proven to be understaffed and neglectful of the people that have been placed in their care. We need to get more laws passed for family caregivers to support them in their efforts and get the care of our loved ones back in the home and away from those who are only interested in how much money they can make from the needs of the elderly.

Nursing home abuse: maggots in elderly woman's foot

Here is something that I think would make anyone sick. When you take a loved one in to a nursing home you expect a certain level of care, you certainly do not expect the staff to ignore them to the point that there are maggots infesting wounds. That is what a lawsuit in 2006 alleged happened to one 76 year old woman.

You can read about this at the Lawsuit: Maggots Lived In Nursing Home Resident article on the CBS affiliate website.

This is a unconscionable thing to have happening in places that we trust to care for our loved ones, and is all the more reason why family caregivers need to be given all of the help they can be given to allow them to care for their elderly loved ones at home in a properly caring environment where the elder care recipient receives the level of care they require.

Where to look for local beauty jobs

It is not easy for a family caregiver to find the time to work outside the home, but I know there are a lot of caregivers out there that do work outside the home as well as providing care for their loved one. One of the difficulties is in finding work, particularly if you are in an industry that might have harder to find positions such as cosmetology.

Now there is a way to locate beauty jobs in any area using a quick and easy zip code lookup to find information on not only what positions are available in your area, but what company they are with and what experience is required. BeautyJobs is behind the launch of the brand-new online job search engine that was created exclusively for the beauty industry and is available free of charge.

Link to nursing home checklist

Okay, found the article again on nursing home neglect and the link to the nursing hone checklist that I had said that anyone considering a nursing home should look over. As I said, the article ran in the December 2006 issue of Reader's Digest and is titled Deadly Neglect: The shocking truth about what's going on in America's nursing homes, written by Andrea Billup. If you can find the issue you really should check out the article, I know that even the so-called best places are very poor when it comes to actually taking the time to make sure that their patients are well cared for.

Nursing home neglect

I know that I dislike nursing homes, but I have always tried not to let that taint my efforts to help others that might see them as the best alternative, however, it is hard to keep up that neutrality when being dehydrated in a nursing home a week after he suffered a massive stroke nearly killed my father. Then he was left neglected and ignored by the staff in several of what were supposed to be some of the best nursing homes in the country.

I was reading an old copy of Reader's Digest (December '06) and there is an article in it titled "Deadly Neglect: The shocking truth about what's going on in America's nursing homes". The article is a scary insight into things I already knew about, such as the fact that the majority of nursing homes are for-profit and working in the black while understaffed to the point that patients are neglected - sometimes to deadly results.

The articled links to a nursing hone checklist that anyone considering a nursing home should look over even if they can not get a chance to read the article. I'll see if I can find that and get the link to the checklist posted for you.

Kava Kava

If you do very much looking into herbal supplements and alternatives for medicine, then chances are you have come across an herbal supplement called Kava Kava. Used for centuries as a ceremonial drink in the South Pacific, Kava Kava found a popularity as a treatment for anxiety and insomnia. FDA concerns that the herb, which is a member of the pepper family, might be linked to liver damages seems to have been traced to the use of non-root parts of the plant in cases where it might have been the catalyst for the damage. Still, it is recommended that Kava Kava not be taken for extended periods and that it only be taken by healthy adults. For example: it is known that those with Parkinson's Disease will suffer more frequent "off" periods when they are consuming Kava Kava.

Kava Kava is illegal in some countries, with countries like the UK stating that "There is no evidence to support a safe dose of kava." - Medicines Control Agency, UK

The agency went on to state: "There is clear evidence linking kava-kava with rare cases of liver toxicity... Investigations have been unable to identify factors that would predict which individuals are at risk of adverse reactions."

Kona Kava Farm - - grows the most potent variety, and lists themselves as being organic certified for all of their kava products. They state that "We use ROOTS ONLY from our Kava plants. We have 90% lateral roots and 10% underground, making our Kava some of the most potent and safe available." This stance has come about because of the discovery through government investigations that substantial amounts of the aerial parts of the kava plant had been being exported to North America and Europe prior to 2002 for the production of commercial preparations. In the South Pacific, traditional use of kava calls for the stem peelings and leaves to be discarded. Only the rhizomes, which are extracted with water, are used.

I do not know how safe Kava Kava is, like the UKs Medicines Control Agency, I am uncertain on what a safe use for kava would be, so I encourage anyone with an interest in it to research the product thoroughly and consult your doctor on your risk factors for liver complications, then only purchase from a kava seller that you feel can be trusted to provide only non-aerial plant sections.

Clinton's comments on C-Span?

I had heard something on some message board about some things that Clinton had to say on caregiving when she was on C-Span, but I can't find a transcript for that. If anyone knows where there is a transcript I would dearly love to read it over and see what it was that she had said. Thanks

Candidates on Social Security

I have been looking for information on what the candidates stances are on the issues that concern caregivers, but I have not yet located anything on it. I did find something about their positions on Social Security at, but that is the most information I have been able to locate on the subject and that is just a few comments on their positions and links to their websites.

Those links are:

Hillary Clinton’s Website
Barack Obama’s Website
John Edward’s Website
Rudy Giuliani’s Website
Mit Romney’s Website
John McCain’s Website
Fred Thompson’s Website
Mike Huckabee’s Website
Ron Paul’s Website

Dennis Kucinish’s Website - page comes up as parked domain

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