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Retiree Jerry Cohen's savings are slipping away as he cares for his ailing wife, Harriet, at home. If he put her into a nursing home instead, Medicaid would pick up most of the cost. "It just doesn't make any sense. Any rational person can realize a home environment with a caregiver is best," says Cohen, who echoes the experience of many when he adds, "I love her now more than when I first met her." The struggles and rewards of caregiving are given equal treatment in "And Thou Shalt Honor ..."
The job entails endless hours, no pay and a varied workload--everything from cutting up food to securing a wheelchair, emptying a bedpan and dressing grown-ups. Family caregivers--13 million strong, by some estimates--have no formal training to help their elderly, physically or mentally ill family members get through the day, and in the process often drive themselves to the brink of exhaustion. But there is hope: former First Lady Rosalynn Carter, who has made care-giving her mission.
April 1, 1997 | NICK GREEN
Actress and comedian Betty White of "Golden Girls" fame will be the guest of honor at a benefit dinner April 26 for the nonprofit Caregivers group at Oxnard's Tower Club. Caregivers is an organization of volunteers who provide friendship and assistance to elderly residents of Ventura, Santa Paula and Fillmore. White has made a video about elder abuse on behalf of the California attorney general's office. Tickets to the fund-raiser are $100. Call 652-0566 for reservations by April 11.
August 20, 2001
The article "Cancer's Toll on Marriage" (July 16) by Judy Foreman clearly outlined what stress in a medical crisis does to a marriage. Caregivers may survive emotional strain but their physical health suffers. They have been found to have lower activity levels of immune cells that kill infectious intruders and destroy tumor cells before they become full-blown cancer as reported in Annals of Behavioral Medicine. Studies have found that people caring for ailing relatives also tend to gain more weight and have higher cholesterol and blood pressure than non-caregivers.
April 27, 1997 | DAWN HOBBS
Middle-aged adults who find themselves taking care of their elderly parents often have many questions, as do the parents. The Camarillo Health Care District will address some of those questions in the Monday evening workshop "What They Didn't Tell You About Growing Older."
December 20, 1997
Holiday blues can overtake anyone, but they are a special challenge to individuals and families struggling to take care of an ill or disabled loved one at home. Eighty percent of long-term care in the U.S. is provided by families and friends. The Los Angeles Caregiver Resource Center is one of 11 in the state that supports those taking care of family members with brain impairment such as dementia or stroke. It provides caregivers with short-term relief from the demands of providing 24-hour care.
May 5, 2002 | From Times Staff Reports
Low-income people caring for frail, elderly residents in Ventura County may be eligible to apply for emergency financial help from a senior advocacy group in Thousand Oaks. Senior Concerns, a nonprofit social service agency, has more than $6,000 in grant money to help caregivers with groceries, payment of utility bills or other costs that may have caused a hardship. The grant, from the Older Americans Act, must be spent by June 30.
March 11, 2008 | My-Thuan Tran
A former employee of an adult-care center was sentenced Monday to 90 days in jail for attacking a disabled man and recording the beating on his cellphone camera. Patrick John Solis, 23, a former worker at Jossen Vocational Academy, pleaded guilty to misdemeanor battery and felony false imprisonment of a dependent adult. On April 12, 2006, Solis and co-worker Michael Douglas Rama made a 30-second cellphone video of themselves slapping a mentally disabled adult, who is seen wailing and trying to ward off the beating.
February 3, 1997
To better understand the church-state issues inherent in the Jan. 25 article, "U.S. Abandons Aid to Church Caregivers," your readers need to have some background information including who the caregivers are. The Christian Science nurse is trained in traditional nursing skills that are nonmedical in nature. It is they and the sanatoriums that employ them that receive Medicare and Medicaid payments specifically for practical care. Christian Science practitioners who give treatment through prayer are not reimbursed by government programs.
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