Welcome to the October 2007 Seniors Digest!
Each issue, we invite you to read the articles in Seniors Digest…and for October, we also highlight some video offerings. In The Art of Aging, host Ron Reagan and a cast of Seattle-area medical experts share the latest research on aging, which emphasizes the importance of the mind-body connection.
Did you know that even though lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered children are likely to face rejection and disapproval from family members, they are nonetheless more likely to be asked to serve as a family caregiver when a parent needs care? I was recently honored to be asked to participate in the Caregiving in Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Families video, which calls attention to some important issues of LGBT family caregivers. Read on to find out more about these two videos, and to watch them online.
Then, check out the October Upcoming Events listings. It’s a busy month filled with opportunities to learn about caregiving, career options, the Senior Lobby Day, fall protection and more!
Also in this issue….
- October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month
- CareCommunity Website Offers Convenient Support for Caregivers
- "Fire Prevention Week" Word Scramble
For More Information
Check out SeniorsDigest.org, our national companion website. The Seniors Digest Resource Center is a great place to begin your search for information about issues of interest to seniors and their families.
We hope you will refer to our electronic pages often—to obtain advice, to learn of new and exciting services, and to offer us your constructive feedback.
Read Seniors Digest and tell us what you think. We are here to help.
Don Moreland, Chair
Seattle-King County Advisory Council
on Aging and Disability Services
* More About Rachel Diaz
Rachel is a licensed social worker and acupuncturist working for Evergreen Drug Treatment Services. She formerly taught at Bastyr University, and is currently a faculty member at the Wu Hsing Dao School of Acupuncture and the Seattle Institute of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine.
Rachel cared for her mother, Ofelia, for over 7 years. Rachel graciously agreed to be part of the LGBT Caregiver video in which she describes her caregiver experience as one of many transitions—from her role as long distance caregiver which left her "stuck in the middle" of conflicting priorities, to moving her mother, who had Alzheimer's disease, to the Northwest.
One of seven children, Rachel was the primary caregiver for her mother, regularly flying from Seattle to New Mexico and managing what she could over the phone. The responsibility of caregiving fell to Rachel as her siblings, several of whom lived in the same town with her mother and had difficulty managing her increasing needs. Without it being spoken, it was assumed that Rachel's being a lesbian meant that she "had no life"—in spite of raising a child together with her partner of 25 years.
One of the most compelling scenes from the video is when Rachel describes her mother as "fading away." Rachel says that she felt honored to participate in the final transition with her mother. Ofelia passed away on August 21, 2007, and Rachel was with her at all times during the final days. Rachel tells us that her mother literally woke her up just minutes before she died. Rachel says, "I had fallen asleep by her side, and she must have known how important it was to me to be awake and with her as she died."