Remembering to Care Award

On my mother's birthday, April 6, 1998, almost two years after her death, I am giving this award for the first time. This award is for the very special pages on the internet about Alzheimer's and caregiving. It is not an award for which one can apply. It will not be given often--no more than once a month (and sometimes I get so busy, as in Dec. 1998, that may I skip a month). This award is not for organizations but rather to honor some very special caring people who have been touched by Alzheimer's and/or who have cared for elderly parents (or spouses with dementia) and are sharing their experiences through personal home pages. In considering web sites for this award, I look for sites where a positive attitude shines through even in difficult circumstances, where a helping spirit is evident, and where original content is displayed.


I am giving this award first to one who is remembering to care in so many special ways, sharing her own story with many people. She herself is a victim of early-onset Alzheimer's Disease. Diana Friel McGowin is known as LILAUTHOR1 on her AOL chat for early- onset Alzheimer's victims. She is the author of the best-selling book Living in the Labyrinth, which has been published in eleven languages. She is an inspiration to us all, and very deserving of this award.


On Mother's Day 1998, I am giving this award to Susan, who is her mother-in-law's caregiver, and who has created a wonderful site that not only provides tons of information, but also provides emotional support for caregivers in many ways. Caregivers are invited to send in their stories, to do a memorial, to ask questions, and to write on the Anger Wall. Susan also began the Caregivers Ring which links together over thirty caregiving sites. Alzwell has been highly rated and has received wonderful reviews, like the one in Yahoo Internet Life's "Touched by the Net". Thank you, Susan, so much, for remembering to care.


On Father's Day 1998, this award goes to Bob Hoffmann, who is his wife's caregiver, and who shares her story and tons of information on his Hoffmann Family Homepage. Bob has gathered stories of other early onset victims which he also shares at his site, and he began a network of their caregivers. His site has received a four-star (the highest) rating from Mental Health Net. Bob also has written a column for Caregiving and he was chosen as a Caregiver of the Year for 1997. He has been a regular contributor to the Alzheimer List. In so many ways, he has remembered to care. Thank you, Bob.
Added Note (8/2/98): Bob's wife, Shirley, passed away on August 1, 1998.


In July 1998, I am giving this award to Marilyn Sheaffer for her Alzheimer's Disease in Our Family, where she shares her mother's story along with a lot of helpful information. Marilyn's mother had Alzheimer's, and she died just a couple of months ago, on May 15, 1998. Like Bob Hoffmann, Marilyn has been sharing this story for several years now, including journal entries, links to Alzheimer's information, and inspirational writings as well. Thanks so much, Marilyn, for caring and sharing.


In August 1998, I am giving this award to Kate, who has given caregivers a wonderful place to visit, Kate's Place. Kate was caregiver to both of her parents, to her father who passed away in February 1998, and to her mother who had died ten years earlier. Kate spent fifteen years altogether as her parents caregivers, and her site is filled with wonderful information and inspiration. Her page is home to the "Caregiver of the Month" and the "Caregiver Hall of Fame" where you will meet many heroes. A new feature is "After Caregiving" where those of us no longer in the role of a caregiver can find support. Thanks Kate, for your wonderful caring site!


In September 1998, I am giving this award to Elaine for her Eldercare Site. Elaine is her mother's caregiver, and her site is packed with practical tips and helpful information for caregivers. From her own experience, she offers advice on everything, from bed sores and swallowing pills to coping with confusion and agitation. There's humor and inspiration as well, and and links to chats, as well her collection of Solid Gold Links for caregivers. Thank you, Elaine, for sharing!


Marsha's beautiful site makes me say "WOW!" every time I visit it. Though it hasn't been around as long, Marsha (aka. Tay) has done amazing things with her site, full of treasured memories of her mother, letters, and poems as well as many links to Alzheimer's resources and tons of information. Recently she has added the beloved Poetry of Jerry Ham and the beautiful The Writings of Steven Stoker and others. What a wonderful, peaceful place this is for caregivers to visit! Thank you so much Marsha!


The November winner is Carla's Page, a very creative site by Carla, caregiver to her dad and mother of two small children. Her Dad's Page includes his picture and tells his story, and her Kids Page on Dementia helps kids to understand Alzheimer's and how they can help a grandparent who has this disease. Activities are suggested, and instructions for making a gift for the grandparent are included. Great page! Thanks so much, Carla!

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