Friday, September 26, 2008

Tales of Loss

So much bad news in my life.
Since August 2005, I have lost 3 parrots (Gwennie, Goober and Prism), a cat (Zen) and a father (the presumptive subject of this blog), plus a job (Connecticut Publishing). My white cat is going to be put to sleep tomorrow, if he survives the night, and my sure-thing job ended without warning, so let's up that count to 2 jobs and 2 cats. Plus my health is still not what it should be--I was nearly immobilized by my leg going bad in the spring, although it's better now due to nearly constant therapy.
Last year, when I was watching my father die, my friend asked me how I got out of bed in the morning without being crippled by grief. I told him honestly that if I gave in, even for one day, and called in sick to my life, that's where I would end up--in a bed the rest of my life, unable to get up and face the world.
There is good among the bad, of course. I've been named a Featured Blogger at Wellsphere:

Top Health Blogger - Wellsphere

So anyone who goes there searching for information on Alzheimer's will have access to my blog posts. I've got a few articles in my archive that I want to write about and hopefully I'll get to them over the next few days. So many new treatments seem to be coming out. Too late for my dad, but I try to think that it's not too late for someone else's dad (or mom, husband, wife, etc.)

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Ask Medicare Webcast September 18 noon EDT

Sharing with any who might be interested:

Dear Bert,

On behalf of Medicare, I’d like to invite you to a live Webcast unveiling Ask Medicare, a new caregivers initiative from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), that will be held at 12:00 pm EDT on Thursday, September 18, 2008. (See below for more information about the initiative.)* I came across your blog while researching caregiver blogs for this project and I found your relationship with your father very touching and relatable. Several years ago I helped my mother care for my grandmother in hospice at our home so I recognize some of the challenges and questions that you’ve addressed here; I hope that this new site will prove a helpful resource for other caregivers out there. I feel really good about being involved with this project and excited to see an institution like Medicare make an effort to reach out to citizens in a way that makes since for how normal people live their lives.

Here’s the basic info on the launch (sorry it’s long but I found it all important):

During the Webcast you’ll have the opportunity to submit questions related to caregiving that may be answered by Kerry Weems, Acting Administrator of CMS, as well as other leading experts from organizations including the Administration on Aging, the National Alliance of Caregiving, and AARP. We will also be unveiling the new Ask Medicare Web page, This web page will provide updated, easy to use information and tools to assist caregivers in talking with their loved ones to make a family plan and in making informed healthcare decisions about a variety of topics from Medicare coverage to technology updates to emotional support.

How can you be a part of the conversation?

1. Register for the live Webcast here. The Webcast will be held Thursday, September 18th, from 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM EST.

2. Share this opportunity with readers. Perhaps you could mention the event in a post and let your readers know we are welcoming all interested eyes and ears to be a part of the initiative. If you’re interested, we can send you a link to a countdown widget that you can add to your page leading up to the Webcast and that links to the event registration page.

3. Ask your questions. Submit your questions related to Medicare and resources needed for caregivers using the form available on the Webcast registration page. You can also submit your questions during the Webcast using a similar form on the specified link.

4. Share your story. We are collecting caregiver’s personal stories that could be shared with our readers. Tell us your experiences as a caregiver and your advice for others. I’ve attached a letter from my colleague Wendy Davis with more guidance, if you are interested.

*Ask Medicare was developed in consultation with caregivers and partners to provide answers to common problems and address a wide range of questions about caregiving. We're reaching out to caregivers who can provide helpful feedback, interact with leaders of this initiative, and ultimately feel confident sharing this resource with their readers. CMS is the US federal agency which administers Medicare, Medicaid, and the State Children's Health Insurance Program.

I hope you’ll be able to join us for the launch and provide your reflections on the new site. Getting feedback from bloggers who attend the launch is going to be priceless going forward in making the site practical and valuable.

Please contact me with any questions leading up to the launch or if you would like to be more involved.

Best wishes,

Nicole Landguth

p.s.- Here’s a link to our Blogger Code of Ethics for your reference. At Ogilvy, we take this code very seriously and want to express the value we see in maintaining a mutual relationship with those we reach out to.

Nicole Landguth

360 Digital Influence

Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide

1111 19th Street NW

Washington, DC 20036