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'Dear Friends' March 2010

Week of March 1, 2010
  

The Caregiver Winter Olympics

Dear Friends:

      Once again the Olympic Games have had us thinking about the similarities between the athletes and family caregivers. We wrote about the games in Beijing in our August 4, 2008, Dear Friends letter. These last few weeks all eyes have been on Vancouver, B.C.
       Certainly both Olympians and caregivers dedicate a lot of time and effort as they focus on a goal that, at times, presents a variety of challenges. And both, to a large extent, rely on perseverance and inner strength, even at times when they feel they can't continue. (On the other hand, unlike Olympians, sometimes caregivers have little or no time to prepare!)
       Sad to say, family caregivers may not receive any medals . . . in this life. But, be assured, they -- you -- are storing up "treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor decay destroys, nor thieves break in and steal" (Matthew 6:21).
       The 2010 Winter Olympics has had us speculating on what some winter-game "caregiver events" might be. Perhaps. . .
       --The Insurance-Form Moguls. (There can be more than a few bumps along the way to getting claims settled.)
       --The Generation Biathlon. (Two very different skill sets are needed, back to back, if you're a member of the "sandwich generation." Stopping by the nursing home to have lunch with Mom and then rushing to go pick up the kids after school for soccer practice, for example.)
       --The Daily-Schedule Luge. (Swoosh, swoosh, swoosh, swoosh, swoosh. Get up the next day and do it again!)
       --Team Bobsled. (It's you and the others who love your care-receiver racing along -- taking the curves, handling the speed -- and always aiming for the same goal: helping your precious loved one.)
       --Speed Shopping, Short Track. (Stopping at the convenience store on your way from here to there, and zipping up and down the aisles to get exactly what you need -- yes, the items are overpriced compared to a bigger (slower) store -- and out the door.)
        --Couples Figure Skating. (With you and your partner; that is, your care-receiver. The "dance" the two of you do, time and again in so many ways, with each helping the other and both having the concern that, at times, you're skating on thin ice!)

- - -

      We're so pleased to welcome Carmela V-B. of New Mexico as the newest member of the Friends of St. John the Caregiver.  Please keep her and her intentions in your prayers. She has promised to pray for you and yours.
       Again this week we cordially invite you to join the Friends of St. John the Caregiver. (FSJC's programs include YourAgingParent.com and CatholicCaregivers.com.) You can find out more about becoming a member here.
       No meetings, no dues. All we ask is that you pray for caregivers and those receiving care. Our members include caregivers, care-receivers, and those who support both (including quite a few former caregivers).
       You can:

        sign up on-line here
       
        or call us toll-free at 1-800-392-JOHN (5646)
      
        or print and mail an application form.

       God bless you!

                                                          Monica and Bill

To contact us
To join FSJC
To make a donation
To view or make prayer requests
Materials order form
Past "Dear Friends" notes
"Among Friends" quarterly newsletter
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Week of March 8, 2010
  

When the Professionals and Your Care-receiver Disagree
-and-
Always a Parent: Worries About Adult Children

Dear Friends:

      Who doesn't love two for the price of one . . . even when the price is free? We've added two new Topics on YourAgingParent.com and included both for the March "Catholic Caregivers" flier. Here are two excerpts:

When the Professionals and Your Care-receiver Disagree

       Mom doesnít want to move to a nursing home. Dad doesnít believe he needs someone in the house 24 hours a day if heís going to remain there. Your wife is absolutely set against surgery. Your husband would be crushed if someone took away his driverís license. But these are the steps that the professionals are recommending. What can you do?

       The first reaction you may have to such professional recommendations is ďThis canít be true.Ē This is a natural response. No one wants to hear the bad news that a love oneís condition is deteriorating.

       You can read more here.

Always a Parent: Worries About Adult Children

       Maternal or paternal instinct isnít something that can be shut off once a child reaches a certain age. In the midst of your concern for your parent, he or she is also worried about you. That concern, that love, has been a cornerstone in your relationship. Itís not about to suddenly change now.

       Your mother canít help but worry when she sees how much her problems and her needs stretch your patience, your strength, your schedule. She knows youíre overworked, frightened, and sad. You can tell her not to worry, but she does anyway. She sees the truth.

       Here are some things you can do to help ease your parentís mind ó and yours.

       You can read more here.

- - -

       In addition to the monthly flier, you can find updated Bulletin Briefs and Prayers of Intercession at CatholicCaregivers.com.

- - -

       We're so pleased to welcome Eleanor S. of Wisconsin as the newest member of the Friends of St. John the Caregiver.  Please keep her and her intentions in your prayers. She has promised to pray for you and yours.
       Again this week we cordially invite you to join the Friends of St. John the Caregiver. (FSJC's programs include YourAgingParent.com and CatholicCaregivers.com.) You can find out more about becoming a member here.
       No meetings, no dues. All we ask is that you pray for caregivers and those receiving care. Our members include caregivers, care-receivers, and those who support both (including quite a few former caregivers).
       You can:

        sign up on-line here
       
        or call us toll-free at 1-800-392-JOHN (5646)
      
        or print and mail an application form.

       God bless you!

                                                          Monica and Bill

To contact us
To join FSJC
To make a donation
To view or make prayer requests
Materials order form
Past "Dear Friends" notes
"Among Friends" quarterly newsletter
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Week of March 15, 2010
  

Think Pink

Dear Friends:

      It can be a little startling in the deep purple of Lent to show up for Sunday Mass and find the priest decked out in pink. (All right, technically perhaps we should say violet and rose, not purple and pink.) Like Advent's Gaudete Sunday, Lent's Laetare Sunday -- with its pink vestments -- is a reminder in the middle of a penitential season that life isn't all penance. That, truly, there are reasons to hope, and to to rejoice.
      (You can read more about Laetare Sunday here and about Gaudete Sunday here. And, we should note, rose-colored vestments aren't required, just allowed. Not every parish has them since they're used so infrequently.)
       In a similar way, in the midst of caregiving and care-receiving, it's good to remember there are reasons, there are ways, to celebrate, too. To put aside the fears and obligations and all the rest, if only for a short period, and . . . think pink!
       There are two opportunities (very good excuses) for doing that this week. The first is St. Patrick's feast day on Wednesday. And the second is the feast of St. Joseph, which is on Friday. Either is a good day to split a decadent dessert, splurge on fancy coffees, enjoy a favorite but rare entree, or find some other way to have a "mini-celebration."
       A caregiver needs that. And so does a care-receiver.
       Our advice is to take a tip from the Irish when it comes to St. Patrick and from the Italians when it comes to St. Joseph: Celebrate! (Here are recipes for Irish soda bread and for Italian zeppole (St. Joseph's Day cake).)

- - -

       Looking for other ways to mark anniversaries and birthdays? That's a Topic on YourAgingParent.com. Read more here.

- - -

       Want to find out more about liturgical colors? You can read more here.

- - -

       Again this week we cordially invite you to join the Friends of St. John the Caregiver. (FSJC's programs include YourAgingParent.com and CatholicCaregivers.com.) You can find out more about becoming a member here.
       No meetings, no dues. All we ask is that you pray for caregivers and those receiving care. Our members include caregivers, care-receivers, and those who support both (including quite a few former caregivers).
       You can:

        sign up on-line here
       
        or call us toll-free at 1-800-392-JOHN (5646)
      
        or print and mail an application form.

       God bless you!

                                                          Monica and Bill

To contact us
To join FSJC
To make a donation
To view or make prayer requests
Materials order form
Past "Dear Friends" notes
"Among Friends" quarterly newsletter
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Week of March 22, 2010
  

Ancient Prayers, New Technologies

Dear Friends:

      In this week's letter we thought we'd share a few on-line resources that can enhance your prayer life. These are some of the ones we like:
       Audio: The daily readings for Mass.
       Podcasts: The Rosary and the Liturgy of the Hours. (Here's how these can be downloaded on to a computer or an iPod or an MP3 player. Or, you can play the item on your computer without downloading it.)
       Videos: Today's Mass. A reflection on today's readings. (And this is a nice educational series on the sacraments. Check out the one on the Anointing of the Sick if this is something you and your care-receiver have been considering.)
       And, or course, we recommend "A Caregiver's Prayer" on our JohnTheCaregiver channel on YouTube!

 

 - - -

       Again this week we cordially invite you to join the Friends of St. John the Caregiver. (FSJC's programs include YourAgingParent.com and CatholicCaregivers.com.) You can find out more about becoming a member here.
       No meetings, no dues. All we ask is that you pray for caregivers and those receiving care. Our members include caregivers, care-receivers, and those who support both (including quite a few former caregivers).
       You can:

        sign up on-line here
       
        or call us toll-free at 1-800-392-JOHN (5646)
      
        or print and mail an application form.

       God bless you!

                                                          Monica and Bill

To contact us
To join FSJC
To make a donation
To view or make prayer requests
Materials order form
Past "Dear Friends" notes
"Among Friends" quarterly newsletter
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Week of March 29, 2010
  

Holy Week and Easter, 2010

Dear Friends:

      Blessings on you and your loved one this Holy Week and Easter, 2010. Perhaps you can't attend the services at your church this year because of your duties as a caregiver or your limitations as a care-receiver but -- as we've said before -- be assured that God understands. He's the one who asked you to help your loved one or to accept help from him or her! And be assured that you remain in our prayers and in the prayers of all the members of the Friends of St. John the Caregiver worldwide.

- - -

       Check your local TV listings to see if any of the local Holy Week services are being broadcast in your area. And you can go on-line to "attend" the services at St. Peter's Basilica in Rome. Here are a couple of resources for that:

Catholic Television

EWTN

- - -

       As mentioned last week, here are some other resources, too:
       Audio: The daily readings for Mass.
       Podcasts: The Rosary and the Liturgy of the Hours. (Here's how these can be downloaded on to a computer or an iPod or an MP3 player. Or, you can play the item on your computer without downloading it.)
       Videos: Today's Mass. A reflection on today's readings. (And this is a nice educational series on the sacraments. Check out the one on the Anointing of the Sick if this is something you and your care-receiver have been considering.)

- - -

       We've posted the new monthly material at CatholicCaregivers.com. The subject for April's flier is "At the Hospital." (There are new Bulletin Briefs and Prayers of Intercession, too.) We've also posted it under the Topics section on this site. Here's how it begins:

      The sights, the sounds, the smells . . . a hospital seems like a different world to most of us who arenít in the medical field. Itís a foreign place where we donít know the language, the rules, the customs. So when your loved one must enter one, often itís not just a time of worry and fear, but also a time of confusion, both for your care-receiver and for you.
     These are some suggestions for making the experience easier:

       You can read more here.

- - -

        We're so pleased to welcome Heidi R. of California as the newest member of the Friends of St. John the Caregiver.  Please keep her and her intentions in your prayers. She has promised to pray for you and yours.
       Again this week we cordially invite you to join the Friends of St. John the Caregiver. (FSJC's programs include YourAgingParent.com and CatholicCaregivers.com.) You can find out more about becoming a member here.
       No meetings, no dues. All we ask is that you pray for caregivers and those receiving care. Our members include caregivers, care-receivers, and those who support both (including quite a few former caregivers).
       You can:

        sign up on-line here
       
        or call us toll-free at 1-800-392-JOHN (5646)
      
        or print and mail an application form.

       God bless you!

                                                          Monica and Bill

To contact us
To join FSJC
To make a donation
To view or make prayer requests
Materials order form
Past "Dear Friends" notes
"Among Friends" quarterly newsletter
 

 

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