Sep 30, 2012

Recovering from Stress

"What makes the difference between those who thrive as adults and those who don't?" David Crenshaw, PhD

Those of us who are caregivers for someone with dementia are susceptible to post-traumatic stress disorder.  Recent studies suggest three ways to help ourselves be more resilient after experiencing trauma:  having strong supportive relationships, having a belief in a spiritual source - know God does not abandon us, and feeling successful in what we do.  These are three ways to overcome the trauma that caregiving can cause.  Even yesterday when I took Dwane to Walmart to look for a new bed cover for his bed, I briefly lost him twice.  Very anxiety causing.  I would be looking for a bed cover in one aisle and look up and he would be gone.  No harm came from it as I found him quickly, but it did bring back memories of how often this happened before and how anxiety-causing it is.  I think it is important for us to acknowledge the anxiety --- and consequently, trauma, that the task of caregiving can create for us.   And, take action steps to recover from it. 

Sep 29, 2012

Reduce Breast Cancer Risk

"Experts recommend following these gold-standard guidelines to reduce your risk of developing breast cancer." Debbie Saslow, American Cancer Society

1.  Shed excess pounds.  Losing even 5% of body weight (about 10 pounds) lowered breast cancer by about 12%.
2.  Start exercising.  Women who regularly engage in any form of physical activity were 6% less likely to develop breast cancer.
3.  Stop smoking.  Smokers are 16% more likely to develop breast cancer than nonsmokers.

Being a caregiver for someone with dementia affects our health in negative ways.  Here are 3 ideas to help lower your risk for getting one disease, and exercise helps reduce overall stress.   An added benefit. 

Sep 28, 2012


"October 7-13 is Fire Prevention Week.  Celebrate by making sure your home's smoke alarms are in good working order." Cooperative Connections Oct. 2012

Safety is a major concern for all of us who are caregivers.  Our own safety and that of the care receiver.  Safety concerns are probably the biggest reason to consider assisted living.  It is very, very difficult to maintain your safety and the safety of the care receiver in your own home.  There are many things to consider when thinking of safety, but a simple one to take care of is your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.  As we celebrate Fire Prevention Week, why not consider replacing the batteries in all your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors?  That is something simple we can do to ensure our safety.  But, the safety of the care receiver may take more than that.  It certainly takes more than one person can deliver.  One must either hire in-home paid health aides or consider placement in an assisted care facility.  Financial concerns are one of the considerations.  Assisted care facilities are priced from about $3000-$3500 per month and up, depending on services.  Home health care starts at a minimum of about $20 per hour.  Think about the needs of your care receiver, the finances you have available -- and make a decision that is best for you both.

Sep 27, 2012

Getting What We Think About

"When you deliberately seek positive aspects of whatever you are giving your attention to, you, in a sense, tune your vibrational tuner to more positive aspects of everything. And, of course, you could tune yourself negatively as well. But as you are deliberately looking for positive aspects in yourself or in others, you will find more of those things: "The better it gets, the better it gets," for you get more and more of what you are thinking about —whether you want it or not." Abraham

There seems to be truth to the above words.  Not that it is magical and that if we think of something, we automatically get it.  But, it seems that the theme of our thoughts does create our reality.  That is something to think about.  What are the positive aspects of being a caregiver?  For me it helped me stop working so hard professionally, it helped me realign my priorities, it helped me consider my values, it helped me decide to create this blog to share ideas and supports with others.  What have been positive aspects of your caregiving? 

Sep 26, 2012

Alternative Medical Options

"Acupuncture has undergone the gold standard of scientific testing - randomized, controlled, double-blind studies - and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) deems it effective for dozens of conditions, notably pain relief."  Aviva Patz, Health Magazine October 2012

In acupuncture practitioners insert needles into the skin at strategic points.  It has been used to help people lose weight, quit smoking, boost fertility, lift depression, relieve pain, ease itching, help heal knee and shoulder injuries and treat both migraines and asthma.  I know people who have found acupuncture immensely helpful.  If interested, make sure the practitioner is licensed.  A list of licensed practitioners can be found at:

Sep 25, 2012

Living to Our Potential

"I am not bound to win, but I am bound to be true.  I am not bound to succeed, but I am bound to live up to what light I have." Abraham Lincoln

Wise advise.  How many of us do live up to the light we have?  It seems fear, or circumstances, or distractions can keep us from living up to our light.  The Bible advises us to not hide our light under a basket, but it seems life circumstances and the shaping of our early environments can stifle our willingness to be true to ourselves.  In fact, a lot of us lose our way so that we don't even know or remember how much light we have or how to let it shine.  Difficult circumstances may have helped bring out the best in Abraham Lincoln.  Being in relationship with someone with dementia is also a difficult circumstance.   Let us make the choice to have it bring out the best in us.  Let us allow our light -- our individual uniqueness -- shine. 

Sep 24, 2012


"Joy is the infallible sign of God's presence." Cardinal Timothy Dolan

Joy and kindness toward all others is the infallible sign of one's true religion.  We all know people who go to church, but then speak harshly about others at the church -- perhaps sometimes we have done that ourselves.  But, the true sign that one is on a spiritual path is congruity:  kindness toward self and others, contentment, honesty, good will, and yes, joy.  We can see either the negative side of things, or we can see the beauty.  We can see this caregiving as a tedious, horrid task; or we can see that it might be a way to bring out the best in the caregiver and ourselves.  Since the stars do not fall out of the sky, perhaps we can trust that there is a benevolent energy with a benevolent plan for the universe and for us.  Last night after church I stopped to listen a bit to some musicians playing Irish music outdoors.  A lovely evening.  There is so much for which to be grateful. 

Sep 23, 2012

Those Who Serve

"Our belief that our joy and delight may somehow steal something from others is a dangerous and corrosive myth.  Just as there is a time for every purpose under heaven, so is there time for nourishment and joy, especially among those who serve." Wayne Muller

We who are caregivers are among those who serve, and I caution us to be alert to the myth that there is no time for nourishment and joy for us.  Any of us who are caregivers are tuned in -- to more or less degrees -- to the needs of another human.  That can serve us well, especially in the years that a person is a parent to very young children.  But, it can also be dangerous and corrosive --- if we do not meet our own needs while arranging for the needs of the person for whom we provide caregiving.  It is like the oxygen mask on the airplane; we must meet our own needs first -- that is the only way we will have anything to give another human.  What can you do today to meet your needs?  On this first weekend of autumn in the northern hemisphere, is there time for a walk in nature?

Sep 22, 2012

EmSeeQ Bracelet

"Patient wandering is a constant worry for Alzheimer's caregivers.  The EmSeeQ, a bracelet worn by people with dementia and the only cellular-based emergency locator, can help."  Reader's Digest June 2012

Although we who are caregivers for someone with Lewy Bodies Dementia usually do not need to worry about wandering (although there certainly were phases of that for us, especially in stores), other types of dementia do have this characteristic.  This bracelet looks like a a good option for someone who is caregiver for a person who does wander.  The device can be activated to "call" 911,enabling a quick location and recovery.  Cost $225 with a $35 monthly service fee.     They say they have rescued more than 100 persons so far.  What I have done in lieu of something like this is to put in Dwane's wallet contact information for me, along with his diagnosis. 

Sep 21, 2012

Positive Thinking

"Whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things." Philippians 4:8

It seems we tend to think of positive thinking as kind of a New Age, current thing, and I don't happen to think of the Apostle Paul as being a promoter of positive thinking -- but, I reconsider because of this line that he wrote to the Philippians.  He seems to be clearly recommending thinking of the positive aspects of life.  Good advise; whether given 2000 years ago or now.  There is the good and the less good in every life in every day.  It is our choice what we focus upon and emphasize.  There is the beauty of the changing color of foliage outside my window, the robin who just flew into a towering spruce tree, the warm waning summer days and cool nights, the presence of people we love and by whom we are loved in our lives.  Life is good.  It is very, very good.  Despite some evidence sometimes to the contrary.  Life is good.  It is a rare gift, and one I want to choose to live fully.  I hope you do too.

Sep 20, 2012

Eldercare Locator

"The Eldercare Locator is designed to help older adults and their families and caregivers find their way through the maze of services for seniors by identifying trustworthy local support resources."   or 1-800-677-1116

This service is a public service of the U.S. Administration on Aging, connecting you to services for older adults and their families in your own area.  It has been very difficult, indeed -- trial and error, to find services in my geographic region.  Many services provided in more populated areas are not available in this, more rural, area.  Eldercare Locator is designed to provide ideas for services any where in the U.S.  If you are having trouble finding services to support you and/or the person for whom you provide caregiving, this might be a source of information for you.  When I put in our zip code on the above website, the site did provide me with 4 agencies, and their contact information, in our state which provide services or information for older adults who need more support services. 

Sep 19, 2012

Our Perspective

"Your life is a mirror peopled with the forms of your own acceptance." Ernest Holmes

It seems to me that the above quote is true.  If we expect bad things to happen, they will.  If we expect good things to happen, they will.  That does not mean that unfortunate things do not happen, but - if we focus on noticing the good around us, more of that will be evident to us.  I gave a talk to a religious group recently about the unconscious and its implications, using as an example The Wizard of Oz.  Fun.  If it is true that our actions are motivated by what is unconscious, then it serves us to get acquainted with the unconscious.  Whether one chooses that journey or not, it is important to notice what we notice.  Do we notice aches and pains, or good health?  Do we notice the unkindness of other people, or the kindness?  Whatever we focus our attention upon will multiply.  We will still have to deal with the occasional unfortunate event -- it seems that is a part of being human, but largely our lives will be ones in which we see the good, the joy, the health, the kindness of others.

Sep 18, 2012


"The transtheoretical model's five steps to getting unstuck:  precontemplation, contemplation, preparation, action and maintenance." Dr. Oz

This model is well known in substance abuse circles and used to get people to consider changing their destructive habits.  As caregivers, we can become stuck too:  in our attitudes, in our belief that we have to be the ones providing the service, in our reaction to the perceived expectations of others.   This model is actually based on a sound psychological theory, and it does seem to work to get people unstuck.  In what way might you be stuck?  Sometimes we cannot do much about our circumstances, but we can always do something about our attitudes.  When was the last time you laughed?  A dear friend commented to me over the weekend that she had heard me laugh and realized that she had not heard that in a very, very long time.  How can you make space in your life for laughter? 

Sep 17, 2012

Fiscal Considerations

"The poverty rate for all women ages 65 and older is 11.5 percent, that rate for single women is almost twice as high, at 19.1 percent.  For older singles, a National Council on Aging analysis of data from The American Community Survey shows that a senior living alone spends almost 35 percent of their income on housing, compared to 22 percent if they live with others. 
Read more at"
Interesting information on the cost of living alone --- which those of us whose spouse has dementia will encounter.  In fact, most females will encounter living alone at some point in their lives; very likely during the last period of their lives.  As we find our way among the financial obligations of providing care for someone with dementia, let us also keep an eye on our financial needs after this time has passed.  If you do not have a financial advisor, perhaps it is time to consider one.  Do make sure the person is reputable and certified.  Check with others, check with your local consumer's offices, but do check to make sure you are getting information from someone trustworthy.  You are worth it, and it is important for you not only to handle the finances now, but when you are alone.

Sep 16, 2012

Telling Our Story

"When was the last time you told your story?" Question put to the sick by a Native American Medicine Man

Many healing models are based in telling your story:  therapy, the 12 Step Programs, Beginning Experience and Marriage Encounter.  It is believed that in the telling of your story, you heal -- and you inspire others to heal too.  As humans, other's stories are often similar to our own.  If it can happen for any human, then it could be true for us too.  Evolution and myths would suggest this to be true.  That is the basis of this blog:  that in telling our story others may be helped.  Caregiving is a lonely, isolated role.  Finding ways to reach out to others and to find support from others is important to help us combat the stress and loneliness of this path.  Telling their story is important too, for the person with dementia.  As caregivers, one of the things we can offer is a listening ear.  If not our own, then someone else's ear.  In this way we can each tell our story, be honored and find support. 

Sep 15, 2012

Early Signs of Dementia

"One of the classic early signs of Alzheimer’s disease is an increasing difficulty with money management."--  neuropsychologist Katherine Rankin, PhD, who conducts research at the UCSF Memory and Aging Center in San Francisco.

Perhaps difficulty with money was one of the first things you observed about which you were concerned.  Some of the other 11 symptoms are surprising:  Frequent falling, missing sarcasm, disregard for the law and social norms, staring in an unfocused way, eating non-food objects, losing knowledge, losing empathy, ignoring embarrassment, engaging in rituals or compulsive behavior, and difficulty in speaking fluently.  Dr. Rankin says that if there is a change in the behavior or personality of a person, it warrants being checked.  It could be dementia.  You can read the entire article at:    from Everyday Health Women's Health

Sep 14, 2012

No Guarantees

"There are no guarantees.  From the viewpoint of fear, none are strong enough.  From the viewpoint of love, none are necessary." Emmanuel

How true.  When one is in a place of fear or anxiety, reason and trust and logic are missing; and fear has no power when we are in love.  The Course of Miracles says that there is only fear and love.  That might be true.  It seems that anger, anxiety, sadness -- all may be based in fear; while joy, well-being, and contentment are based in love.  Have you felt the difference?  The difference when you are feeling love versus when you are feeling fear?  Fear manages to trick us into thinking of and worrying about all kinds of potential calamities; whereas, love enables us to know that all is well.  Even in the position of caregiving, we can know that good is the essential quality of all things.  What is the good that is coming out of caregiving for you?  It might be a re-prioritization of time and values; it might be the task of learning to take care of yourself while providing caregiving; it might be seeing the people who are available to love and support the care receiver and us in this process.  Of one thing we can be certain:  we live our lives differently when we believe, really believe that good is the underlying quality of all things. 

Sep 13, 2012


"A study from Carnegie Mellow University finds that when older folks do mindful meditation, they become less lonely, which reduces their risk of health problems." Dr. Oz and Dr. Roizen

In citing the above statistics, Dr. Oz and Roizen suggest meditation for persons living in assisted living.  They suggest that perhaps a group of people in assisted living could together do meditation.  They give 5 steps:  1.  Sit together in a quiet room, making sure everyone is comfortable.  2. Close eyes, breathe slowly in and out.  3.  Gently tense your toes as you breathe in and relax them as you breathe out.  Repeat this tense-and-relax moving slowly up your body to your face.  4.  Try to keep your mind blank.  Expel thoughts along with your breath on the count of 1-2-3.   5.  Now sit peacefully for 5 minutes.  Breathe in and out.  Let your mind release thoughts. 

Since loneliness is revealed to be a factor in older folks, according to an AARP survey, meditation is a good tool for you and perhaps for your care receiver. 

Sep 12, 2012


"Your happiness is the most significant contribution that you could make." Abraham

Some mental health people say that the greatest gift we can give to those people who care about us is to be happy.  Isn't that what we want for the people we love?  For them to be happy.  And, the lovely thing is, it is our choice whether to be happy or not.  It takes just as much energy (perhaps even more) to be disgruntled and grumpy, as it does to be happy.  Our choice.  It is my belief that external circumstances do not matter too much, where one lives does not matter too much, how much money we have (as long as we have enough to meet our basic needs) does not matter too much.  No circumstance is perfect.  Yes, our lives would be different if we were not providing caregiving for someone with dementia, but we can still choose to be happy here and now, in this role as caregiver.  Granted it is harder to be happy if we are so overwhelmed and stressed with responsibilities that we have a hard time even breathing.  If that is the case, we must do something to lighten our load.  And, then:  let us make the choice to be happy.  Here and now.  Happy. 

Sep 11, 2012

Our Actions Speak For Us

"I care not for a man's religion whose dog and cat are not the better for it." Abraham Lincoln

Me too.  And, I would add the betterment of one's children, spouse, neighbor, nation, world.  If people are not better off because of knowing us, what is the point?  We all know people who go to church, treat acquaintances well, but go home to yell at their families.  A friend was asking me what she should say to her son.  I reflected to her that her behavior might speak more clearly than her words --- in what she was modeling for him.  A wise person once said that the greatest gift we can give our family is our own happiness.  Sound selfish?  Not really.  If we are honest, isn't that what we would want for those we love?  Their happiness.  Then, does it not make sense that they would want the same for us.  A sign of a mature person is one who treats everyone else with respect.  Not just the minister, not just the mother-in-law.  Everyone.  The clerk at the store, other drivers, the refuse collector, the serving staff at the cafe'.  My father owned and operated a gas station.  One of the ways I noticed that would reveal to me what kind of a person I was with was how they treated a gas station attendant.  We no longer have gas station attendants in most locations, but we still have waiters and waitresses, clerks at stores.  It tells a great deal about a person how he/she treats people in serving positions.  Is the world a better place because of your beliefs? 

Sep 10, 2012

Be Still

All the wisdom traditions say to be still -- that the stillness will bore holes in our useless knowing." Mark Nepo

Do you find yourself, especially when trying to go to sleep, sorting life in your head?  I do.  Especially when I believe I have too many things to do.  So, how does one become still?  There are suggestions that work.  Write a list of all the things you have to do; that will take away the anxiety of your trying to remember them and worrying that you won't remember.  Another tip I use is to stretch my legs every night before going to bed.  Troubled by restless leg syndrome, this habit enables my legs to relax enough that my mind also relaxes.  A chiropractor taught me a leg stretch that is wonderful.  You lie in a doorway with one leg up the frame of the door and the other leg on the floor in the doorway.  Then you alternate the other leg on the other side of the door frame.  Hold for the slow count to 30.  This enables the whole back of the leg and hip to relax.  The other stretch I do is a simple Achilles tendon stretch.  Leaning in a 45 degree angle against a counter (or other immovable object), place first one heel on the floor behind you, and then the other.  A simple and easy way to take care of yourself and ensure you get the sleep you need.

Sep 9, 2012


"Ingratitude is a painter of hard lines on the face." Emma Curtis Hopkins

It seems that Dwane finally accepts living in assisted living.  The owner of the facility told me that it had been especially hard for him to accept, and -- if he had not accepted it, he would have had to go to a locked facility.  What a relief that he is choosing to be happy where he is.  It is not perfect, but, then, neither is my living situation.  He has chosen to move from his large, spacious room (with an inferior bathroom) to a regular room on the main floor.  I have surrounded him with his things; those things he wants and enjoys to feel he is at home.  He has his reclining lift chair, and the wing back chair from home, a tv that I hope he can operate (sometimes can and sometimes cannot), books, vcr and tapes, talking books, paintings he likes on the walls -- I want him to be content and occupied with pleasurable things.  This next weekend our son-in-law is taking him to a car show of vintage cars prior to WWII.  He will love it, if he can physically handle the outing.  The PT (physical therapy) is helping with the inoperable back pain, but it is still incapacitating for him at times.   Five long months it has taken for him to accept that he needs assistance, and even now he sometimes lapses into thinking he could be at home or on his own.  It is still baffling that with his type of dementia he is so unable to see his needs at times, but at other times he will tell me that he knows he is where he needs to be.  His acceptance is such a relief.

Sep 8, 2012

Walking Our Own Path

"In actuality, underneath all the plans, pressures, and expectations, underneath all the subtle guidance and nudging we receive from almost everyone, the next step is truly unknown and has never been taken by anyone."  Mark Nepo

If you, like me, have had people who felt free to give their opinions on how you provide caregiving, this quote is a comfort.  No one can walk in our shoes.  No one knows what our situation is like.  It is incredible audacity for anyone to give unsolicited advice to anyone else.  A good practice is to give your opinion ONLY when asked, and then very carefully --- noting that it is, after all, only your opinion.  It takes courage to walk our own path, especially amidst the criticisms and opinions; but walk it we must.  There is so much truth in the adage that we can only please ourselves; and it is extremely stressful to try to please anyone else.  So, today, what do you think is the next best thing?  Let us trust our own judgment. 

Sep 7, 2012

Enjoy that Cup of Coffee

"Researchers report that people age 65 and over who drank 3-4 cups of coffee a day were more likely to postpone or prevent the development of Alzheimer's Disease." Prevention Magazine, Oct. 2012

The research suggests that caffeinated coffee may suppress enzymes involved in the formation of neuron-damaging plaque.  It may also boost levels of cytokines, which protect against dementia.  This research comes from the University of South Florida College of Pharmacy.  Along with our other health-supporting habits of good nutrition, daily exercise, meditation; if you like coffee, here is another way to support our own health. 

Sep 6, 2012


"I mean to sing to Yahweh all my life, I mean to play for my God as long as I live." Psalm 104

Joy and playfulness:  they may not be terms one usually connects with caregiving, but they are essential to well being and fullness of life.  When immersed in the day-to-day 24/7 caregiving, it is hard to think of joy and being playful.   So, it is important, in whatever way works for you, to make space in your life for your own joy and playfulness.  What is playful to you?  I went out in our hot tub the other night, a glorious night with a full moon, the creek playing music in the background, and the hot water to ease any muscle tensions.  That is one way to be playful.  It is important that we not wear "the hair shirt" of responsibility too heavily.  It is so important that we take time to play.  What can you do that is playful today?

Sep 5, 2012

Nature as Meditation

"Sit in reverie and watch the changing color of the waves that break upon the idle seashore of the mind." Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Longfellow mixes the idea of nature with silencing the mind.  A recent speaker said research now shows that when the thinking mind is turned off, the meditative mind automatically engages.  She called it the default setting of the mind.  The trick is to turn off thoughts.  Even when I have trouble getting to sleep at night, it is not usually physical discomfort, but thoughts that keep me awake.  Not even worries usually.  Just thoughts of things I want/need to do, conversations that took place, ideas from something I read.  As humans we treasure our ability to think, but it is important to not let thinking take control of us.  The meditative state -- that state of no thought -- is deeply healing.  Harvard Medical School research indicates that 20 minutes a day of deep relaxation or meditation can dramatically reduce our stress and improve our overall health. 

Sep 4, 2012

Immunization for Flu

"It may seem too soon to worry about the flu, but outbreaks have been known to begin as early as October," Kevin Ault, M.D., medical advisor to Families Fighting Flu.

According to the the American Journal of Public Health, getting the flu immunization cuts your risk of becoming infected by 85%.  About 200,000 Americans are hospitalized each year with the flu; for tens of thousands, it is fatal.  As caregivers for someone with dementia, it is important that we take care of our own health.  Receiving a flu shot may be one of those ways.  It seems odd to think about flu shots already, especially with the West Nile Virus running rampant right now; but flu season is just around the corner.  Having our immunizations uptodate is just one way we can take care of our health.  So, too, are regular doctor visits, dental visits and vision checks --- as well as adequate sleep, good nutrition and exercise. 

Sep 3, 2012

Phone Therapy

"Depressed people assigned to phone therapy were more apt to stick with an 18-week treatment plan than those who were told to attend in-person sessions.  More than 70% of depression sufferers face obstacles with face-to-face care," David C. Mohr. Ph.D. Northwestern University

Another affirmation for getting either therapy or life coaching via the phone.  Caregivers may have a very difficult time getting away to go to appointments, but can manage time to be on the phone.   And, most certainly, caregivers are at a risk for depression.  But, even if you are not depressed, caregivers need support.  Caregiving is a tremendously stressful and isolating task.  Even if you are not depressed, the stress of caregiving prevents us from having our most creative thinking -- a skilled listener can help you find the best options among your choices.  Please consider getting yourself the support of a therapist, life coach, dear friend or support group.  You deserve it.   

Sep 2, 2012

Conquering Fear

"I will always have fears, but I need not be my fears, for I have other places within myself from which to speak and act."  Parker J. Palmer

It is easy to let fear take reign in one's life.  Mark Nepo tells of the blind Frenchman, Jacques Lusseyran, who was able to walk in his own apartments only when he chose not to be afraid of the obstacles.  Fear made him more blind than the loss of his vision.  So, too, for us.  Fear is disabling, blinding, and immobilizing.  When we stop to think about it, what - really - is there to fear?  Not much.  If we watch the news, we may fear economic disaster, or muggings or other forms of violence, or health crises.  But, really, how many of these things have happened to you personally -- especially collectively and on a regular basis?  Of course, bad things happen.  But not the majority of time.  Let us let fear go.  Let us have the confidence in ourselves that we will handle whatever comes up; we do not need to fear it in advance -- because most of what we fear never, never happens.  What a waste of our creative energy.  Today, let us focus on what is going right in our lives.  The good things far outweigh the negative -- even when things are not going very well.  Today I will enjoy the changing leaves (yes, already they are changing up in this high country), I will enjoy some time with family, I will enjoy a walk in the woods, I will enjoy my time providing life coaching to a dear friend, I will eat good food, and enjoy the waning days of summer. 

Sep 1, 2012


"Climb the mountains and get their good tidings." John Muir

This week I was talking with the nurse at the assisted living facility, telling her the results and recommendations of all the recent doctor appointments.  She listened and then told me of a meeting the staff had where they were talking about Dwane's needs and services.  She said the leader of the team said, "I don't know how Judith did it by herself for so long."  How affirming!!!  After all the criticism and second guessing when the decision was made to have Dwane move into assisted living, to have people who see Dwane 24/7 reflect what I knew:  his needs had grown beyond anything that could be dealt with at home -- especially with his resistance to any additional help; and I did a very, very good job while I did it.  Yes.  I will hear those good tidings, and I will rest in the assurance that Dwane is in exactly the right place now.  And so am I.