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Give and Receive

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“The Giver is always giving, and yet it needs a receiver to complete its circuit of circulation.  Are you a receiver?  We must learn to give and receive.”  That statement is by Lloyd Tupper,

When you are a caregtiver it seems like you are always giving, and giving, and giving.  And you make the ill person take, and take, and take.  Neither feels good about what is happening, and some of us get downright angry about it.  Receivers who are ill feel guilty for having to be taken care of.  They want to help out in some way.  Caregivers need the chance to be on the receiving end once in a while. 

Two things need to take place.  One: agree that you are Care Partners in this experience.  You are on the journey together and each has a role to play. Two: Caregivers need to ASK for help and ACCEPT help from friends and family because they want to be in the giving role and you need to receive their help.  How do you ask?  Be specific about what you want.  “Can you take the car and have it washed and gassed up?”  Can you stay with Jim while I run to the grocery?  I will be gone 2 hours max.”  Both of you will receive the JOY of being givers and receivers.  Try it, it works!

Touch of JOY

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Caregiver Truths

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Anne Lamott has written a book, “Traveling Mercies.”  In it she says that her most popular prayers are, “Help me, help me, help me” and “”Thank you,  thank you, thank you.”  Sounds like the caregivers prayer.

She also has a wonderful quote:  “All you can do is show up for someone in crisis.  Your there-ness … can be life giving, because often everyone else is in hiding.” 

Ain’t it the truth.  If you are a friend of a caregiver …. SHOW UP, the Caregiver already has!

Touch of JOY

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Let’s Visit Granddad

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My grandchildren visit my husband who has Alzheimer’s Lewybody.  To make it more comfortable for them, we all plan to entertain grandad.  One day my granddaughter did a tap dance routine, while my grandson choose to demonstrated Tai Kwan Do and talk about his black belt.  Another time all of the grandchildren came and decorated their Easter eggs in the activity room so he could watch.  Many pictures were taken during these visits and there was lots of laughter.

On Memorial Day, we “invented” a 500 mile race.  We bought 4 tiny pull back cars in different colors. We made a very simple track with strips of plastic framing material that we taped to the table so the cars couldn’t fall off. We decorated the track with little flags and added a stop ramp at the end.  All of the residents in the memory support unit took a turn while others watched and wondered which car would win!  Granddad enjoyed it all and most importantly his grandchildren felt needed. 

I hope you’ll find that this game can be used over and over.

Touch of JOY


Want To Pay It Forward?

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* Next time you pass through the toll booth, pay for the person behind you.

* Drop off a plant, flowers, or an apple pie at the police department.

* Write notes or bring flowers or goodies to your past teachers.

*  Anonymously order dessert for someone at a restaurant.

*  Pay for the person behind you at the drive-through window.

*  Leave a note of appreciation for a hotel bellhop, housekeeper, or concierge.

*  Take flowers to a hospital ward and leave them for someone who hasn’t had any visitors.

*  Open the phone book, pick a name, and send them movie tickets annouymously.

*  Write a think-you note to a person from your past who has made a difference in your life.

*  Surprise a neighbor by mowing their lawn.

*  Bring home-cooked meals, blankets, a bathroom kit, and/or socks to a homeless person in your community.

Find more ideas at  You can also download free Smile cards at

Don’t forget to thank that care giver down the street!!

Touch of JOY


Caregiver or Care Partner

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My husband has the greatest Care Parner, Kathy!  As a gift I gave her a T shirt with the folloowing message on it.  The message says everything that is in my heart and describes her to a “T”. 


“The heaing arts are so much more than needles, thermometers, scalpels, and drugs.  It’s the touch of her hand … the tone of her voice… the silent prayers she says over each patient.  In their most vulnerable hour she is there.  Anyone who’s ever been there knows that all the medicine in the world is no match for the touch of her healing hands.  Copyright by Suzy Toronto, 

Click on Suzy’s website and buy a T-shirt for someone you know is a caregiver.  It will mean more than you will ever know.

Touch of JOY

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