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@susanharkema

Susan is the creator of MyHealthVoice.com, built upon her 20+ years in healthcare and her experiences as a caregiver and patient. She is a writer, speaker and advocate for people living with chronic or life limiting illness as well as their family and professional caregivers. Learn more - www.myhealthvoice/susanharkema/.

Can you be a caregiver and still pursue your dreams?! Let’s see.

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*+-Last year, I conducted a small, but revealing, reader survey to see what issues concerned people most. Somewhat surprisingly, the desire to pursue one’s dreams while being a caregiver emerged as an important topic for many. As I reflected on this topic further, in light of my current caregiving situation (my 83-year-old father living with us with moderate care needs), …

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New Documentary “Nine to Ninety” Airing on PBS

Seniors woman with her caregiver at home

*+-Phyllis is 89 years old (now 94 at the time the film is being aired) and the story shared in this documentary about her and her husband, Joe, hits close to home for me. This touching and revealing movie gives you a sneak peek inside what a family goes through when they love their elder adults and the struggle that the caregivers, …

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Six Theories Why Some Caregivers Suck at Self-care

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*+-Are you great at being a caregiver but suck at self-care? Me too. Just the other day I made a colorful, varied and healthy lunch for my dad while I ate cold pizza. And, although I am meticulous about making sure that he is clean, odor-free and his clothing and bedding are fresh, I just forget some days to take a …

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5 Secrets to Gaining Your Physician’s Respect

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*+-Have you ever felt dismissed or demeaned by a physician? This blog is going to give you five secrets I’ve uncovered from years of working with physicians, personally and professionally. They, just like us “normal” folk, have varied personalities and preferences. It sounds obvious, but, many times, we expect physicians to be better than “normal.” We expect them to have …

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Dad Diaries: Six Falls and Counting! Four Ways to Prevent the Next One

Senior adults in a stretching class

*+-Today ends Fall Prevention Week; an annual awareness effort to highlight the devastating effects of falls in seniors and to spread prevention tips that really work. Luckily for me, my dad confesses when he’s had a fall before I find out some other way (a new bruise or scab on his knee, something in disarray on the floor, or someone alerting …

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The Medical Mentor

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*+-Title: The Medical Mentor: Get the Health Care You Deserve in Today’s Medical System Author: Bob Sheff, MD My Take on this Title: When a physician becomes a patient, some amazing realizations can surface. That’s what happened to Dr. Sheff. When he became a patient, he found out firsthand just how intimidating, confusing, and downright scary it can be to face …

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MHV featured in US News & World Report Article

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*+-Who’s Caring for You in the Hospital? When everybody is wearing white, it’s difficult to figure out who’s who. “When a friend or family member is admitted to the hospital, you can feel like you’re drowning. There are important decisions to make, and caregivers are often inundated with information. That’s why it’s important to stay on top of who’s who …

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The Power of Patience

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*+-Title: The Power of Patience: How to slow the rush and enjoy more happiness, success and peace of mind every day. Author: M.J. Ryan My Take on this Title: This book has become my touchstone (or worry stone) as well as my mental first aid kit. I carry it in my purse on days when I think I might need a dose of …

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