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Welcome to the first edition of the CareRunner newsletter! At CareRunner, our goal is to help you by providing the tools, resources and information you’re looking for to more confidently and easily care for your Loved one. We hope you find this newsletter helpful and interesting.

I founded CareRunner while caring for my Father. It was very hard and very stressful to stay organized and find the information I needed while working and taking care of my own family. I realized that there were few really good resources to help me with this hard job. In the beginning, like many of you, I was a bit overwhelmed by the demands and stress of being responsible for someone I care about so deeply. I learned a lot in those first few months! Among the things I learned was that there are many of us in the same situation – caring for a loved one, wanting to do the right thing, limited in our resources and lacking the know how to get it all done. I also came to realize that there were many just like us who had come before us and found some answers, shortcuts and solutions, but until now there was no single Internet site where all this great help could be shared. The Internet is a very powerful tool that enables us to come together to learn from each other, to find what or who we need right now and to find some encouragement when times are hard.

Hopefully, you’ve already found CareRunner.com to be a great resource. The site is still young but growing every day, so please keep coming back to see what’s new and improved. With your feedback, we will continue to improve the site and add new features to help you.

Through the newsletter, we are excited to be able to bring you even more information to help you care for your Loved One.

Enjoy!

Marc Kiven
Co-Founder

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CareRunner Online Tools – an overview of how CR’s tools allow you to manage the information and communication concerning your Loved One

Our new Health & News section – in-depth information on diseases and medications as well as the latest news on topics we care about

CareRunner Goods and Services – helps you find the things you need right now

CareRunner Stories – Hear the inspiring story of a fellow CR member

Partner Insight – It’s relevant information from a Goods & Services’ partner

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Carerunner
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If you are responsible for coordination or providing the care of a Loved One, then you are a CareRunner and CareRunner.com was designed with your needs in mind. CareRunner.com is designed to be a “one-stop shop” for the needs of CareRunners. Currently, there are four main areas on the site:

 

Each area offers different types of resources for CareRunners.

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CareRunner Online Tools
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My Online Tools is a suite of customizable tools to help you get organized, communicate with family and friends and keep track of important medical information and documents. If you need it, it’s there. If it’s not there, let us know! Inside My Online Tools you’ll find:

Community Journal - The Community Journal is the place for your community of family and friends to stay connected safely and securely. Here Community Members can post or read updates, share words of encouragement with your loved one, discuss care giving ideas or just exchange thoughts.
  Health Record - An on-line filing cabinet for the secure storage of and easy access to important personal health information. The area is private and accessible on a permission only basis. Personal health records, prescription details and instructions, doctor and emergency contacts, and even legal documents can be stored safely and be available at your finger tips.
  Calendar - The calendar feature helps Care Runners keep track of a wide variety of tasks and events such as doctor visits, caregiving schedule, family gatherings or even schedule times when family or friends will be helping out. Functions include event creation, invitations, reminders, instruction for other helpers and a wide variety of other helpful functions such as auto emails and real time alerts.
  Photo Gallery - Post your special moments, add comments and share with your family and friends. Make as many albums as you'd like. And have others do the same so your Loved One can stay connected and be reminded of the love and support from their community.
  Private Messaging- At times you need to have a more private discussion with one person or a small group. Use private messaging to communicate quickly and efficiently.
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Our New Health & News Section
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Health and News is a comprehensive source compiled to help answer all your health-related questions and keep you up to speed on breaking health news. Here, you'll find information on conditions, procedures, medicines, therapies, alternative treatments, and more. An easy to use search box can help guide you to the information you are looking for, or select your area of interest from one of the sections containing topic specific information:

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CareRunner Good and Services
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Good and Services is a directory giving you access to virtually any care-related product or service you need - locally or nationally. You can use the directory to locate caregivers, medical equipment, physical therapy products and much more. To ensure your success, we have partnered only with leading caregiving product companies such as Vitality Medical, HeartMath, DiabetesStore.com, and Walgreen's. In Services, we have partnered with leaders like Caring.com, sittercity, eHealth Insurance and the National Homecare Network. Both sections are organized for easy access to everyday and specialty needs like:

 

Goods

Services

And more...

And more...

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CareRunner Stories
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The Holidays are coming

by Patti G.

Ah the holidays! A cozy fireplace, everybody is smiling, sharing a tale or two preparing for the big feast, sugar plums dancing in their heads… wake up, wake up! Being a Care Runner during the holidays can be as difficult for you as it is for your Loved One. But I learned some things over time that helped make the holidays joyful for all of us.

My mother was at her worst during the holidays, always sad and depressed and saying “this is my last year”. Well six years came and went, but this year mom will get her wish as she passed away in August.

For a little background, my mother lost my father 21 years ago, but what hit my mother the hardest were the deaths of my two brothers. One passed suddenly in 1999 of a heart attack in her house just 16 days after his 50th birthday. My other brother (whom I was also a caregiver for) died from cancer in 2004 two days after his 53rd birthday. I can tell you I was beginning to dread my birthday!

Through my experience, I have found that those you are taking care of do want to be a part of the “traditions” even though their words, attitudes or mood may indicate otherwise. They are scared, partially because they have forgotten, and believe it or not, somewhere inside of them they don’t want to be a burden. So their defense is not to participate, becoming obstinate and very childish. To help understand, you need to change roles and feel like a child, as they do.

To keep my sanity and not become fully consumed with anger or resentment I tried to recreate the traditions my mother cherished. I started preparing my mom by giving her a countdown book for the days of Christmas. You remember, each day you open a window or a door until Christmas. For a special surprise, I would sometimes put a piece of chocolate behind that day. But be careful, they catch on fast. The next day I asked my mom where all the chocolate was and she said, “I don’t know someone must have taken it”. With assistance she would write down her Christmas list and she would begin telling her stories. My mother would remember things from when she was a child and she would laugh and my heart would swell bigger than life. I wrote all these stories down to share with other family members even if they were the same stories over and over.

Involve your loved one in the preparations. Even the most menial task means something to them. This is not easy because they will be angry, stubborn and any other emotion they are having that day. Don’t be afraid to tell them they need a time out - better yet give yourself a time out. More important, be kind to your immediate family. Many times they do not know what to say or how to help you and I’ll bet, more times than not, you have taken your frustration out on them.

Each day you open a window or a door that has a surprise behind it also. Every breath you take is fresh and new. Find yourself an inspiring phrase to say each day and live it.

And look to us for help as well. CareRunner is a rare collection of people who have the experience and heart to help and support you in any way we can.

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Partner Insight
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What you should know about blood pressure

Brought to you by ActiveForever.com, proud sponsor of this issue of The CareRunner Newsletter

What is Blood Pressure and how is it measured?

Blood pressure is the pressure exerted by circulating blood on the walls of blood vessels, and is one of the principal vital signs. The pressure is determined by the force and amount of blood pumped, and the size and flexibility of the arteries. It’s expressed in millimeters of mercury, abbreviated as mm Hg. There are two pressure measurements:

  • Systolic blood pressure is the top number of a blood pressure reading. This shows the maximum pressure in the blood vessels as the heart contracts and circulates blood throughout the body.
  • Diastolic blood pressure is the bottom number of a blood pressure reading. It shows the lowest pressure in the blood vessels between heartbeats, when the heart is at rest.

What do the test results mean?

In adults, normal blood pressure is a systolic pressure under 120 and a diastolic pressure under 80. High blood pressure (also called hypertension) is defined as a systolic blood pressure reading of 140 mm Hg or higher or a diastolic blood pressure reading of 90 mm Hg or higher and The National Institutes of Health has multiple categorizations for high blood pressure. If you have a question about your blood pressure, always consult your physician. To learn more about blood pressure, go to Health and News on www.carerunner.com and search Blood Pressure.

Does a health care professional have to perform a blood pressure test?

No. There are a wide variety of blood pressure monitors, like the Advocate® Automatic Blood Pressure Monitor. If you are watching blood pressure for yourself or a loved one, visit Goods and Services on www.carerunner.com or enter the contest below for a chance to win a Advocate® Automatic Blood Pressure Monitor.

Enter to win a blood pressure monitor, courtesy of ActiveForever.com and CareRunner!

The Advocate® Blood Pressure Monitor (model KD-575) offers precise blood pressure readings on an easy to read display. This blood pressure monitor can accurately measure your systolic and diastolic pressures as well as your pulse. It features:

  • Large, easy to read LCD Screen
  • Convenient upper arm use
  • Super-Low Noise Air Pump
  • Automatic Power Off After 3 Min. Of Non-Use
  • Time & Date Display
  • 120 Times Memory capacity

Enter to win by clicking here and entering your name, email address and phone number (for notification purposes only). Deadline for entry is 12/31/2009. No cash substitutes for the prize will be offered and employees of ActiveForever.com, Commission Junction and CareRunner, LLC are not eligible to win. One entry per person is permitted. Contest is only valid within the United States except for states where prohibited by law. Winners will be notified by phone. The winner's name may be requested at info@carerunner.com. Alternatively you may request this information by mailing a postcard or letter to Newsletter Giveaway, c/o CareRunner, LLC 43 Sunset View Road, Deer Park, IL 60010.

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