A Patient Advocate Shares Her Best Advice for Caregivers

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We all know that patient advocates focus on patients’ care. But if you’re a caregiver who needs assistance, a medical advocate can help you too, with everything from driving your loved one to doctors’ visits to helping you navigate health insurance. Gina Hannah Gina Hannah is a patient advocate, part of a growing industry of laypeople dedicated to helping meet … Read more

Caregiving: Cracking the Emotional Code

Caregiving: Cracking the Emotional Code

Few things can be more stressful to a caregiver than taking care of a loved one with chronic pain. In a society that values work and activity, the sufferer of chronic pain is often the object of disbelief—viewed not as having an illness but as being a complainer or just plain lazy. Such social stigmatization is further … Read more

Dave Dravecky

Dave Dravecky

When San Francisco Giants pitcher Dave Dravecky took his place on the mound in Montreal in August 1989, the occasion continued Dravecky’s triumphant return to the world of professional baseball. Just five days earlier, he had rejoined the major leagues following a cancer diagnosis and surgery that removed half of the deltoid muscle in his … Read more

Anger & Caregiving

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For people who suffer from chronic pain, the daily business of life can be daunting. Just getting out of bed or reaching up to open the kitchen cupboard can be excruciating. It can be exhausting to have a conversation or to simply walk across the room. The physical demands of caregiving are difficult enough, but … Read more

Reducing Caregiver Stress by Improving Communication

Reducing Caregiver Stress by Improving Communication

If the person you care for is in pain, your caregiver stress can be high…especially when it comes to communication. Talking to someone in pain isn’t easy, and it’s hard to know when to not talk and simply listen. Perhaps the person you care for needs medical help but is refusing to get it? Suppose their pain … Read more

Surviving the Holidays When You’re in Pain

Surviving the Holidays When You’re in Pain

What to DO 1. PRIORITIZE. Focus on accomplishing the most important things, and let everything else go. 2. PLAN AHEAD. A large portion of holiday stress comes from the last-minute rush to get everything done. Consider planning your holidays two months in advance, and put your plans on paper. 3. USE A LIST. • Look at each item and … Read more

Ace Young on Pain, Family and Caregiving

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It was on a Sunday, the day before Labor Day 1996, when Ace Young, now a Grammy award winner and American Idol star, received news that one of his older brothers had sustained severe injuries in a near-fatal car accident. Ryan Young, a healthy athlete who dreamed of playing professional basketball, broke his back in … Read more

Caregiver’s Toolbox: Best Resources

Caregiver’s Toolbox: Best Resources

Are you struggling to find ways to be supportive to a friend or family member with chronic pain? It is not always easy to know what to do. It took years, but I finally have discovered the most helpful resources to show my support and concern for my partner who is in pain. In the … Read more