Latest from The Spokesman-Review
My friend Kathleen entered a new world 11 weeks ago when her husband had a stroke that he is recovering well from. But Kathleen, a retired nurse in her 60s, has learned so much she didn't know about the caregiving role. Here are some things she learned that she gave me permission to pass on:
- Caregivers are like sherpas to mountain climbers. The climbers get all the attention and praise while the sherpas do so much of the heavy lifting. Her point: Appreciate the sherpa, too. They are climbing the mountain as well. And carrying a huge pack of responsibility.
- Offer to help only if you mean it and can do something and then tell the caregiver the times you are available and what you might do to help. Kathleen's husband is able to go into work a couple of hours a day, but he can't yet drive himself. This is one example of where a specific action — driving her husband to work - would help.
- Quit saying they both look great. They do. But people can physically look good and feel like crapola inside. When you tell them they look good, it comes off as you "look good so you should be back to 100 percent." They are not. They are climbing the very steep mountain.
- Drink lots of water. It helps with anxiety.
- Be aware of caregiver grief. Their lives change, often forever. And they are experiencing all the emotions associated with grief — anger, depression, sadness.
(S-R archive photo of two Mount Everest sherpas)
Many doctors recommend that patients take a daily dose of aspirin to reduce their risk for a future heart attack or stroke. Now three new studies suggest taking the cheap powdery pill every day can also reduce a person's risk for cancer, or prevent the disease from getting worse in patients who already have it. The studies, all led by Professor Peter M. Rothwell, a professor of clinical neurology at the University of Oxford in the U.K. are published in the March 20 issue of The Lancet and The Lancet Oncology/Ryan Jaslow, CBS News. More here.
Question: Do you take an aspirin daily?