Teaching Teens About Tissue Donation

Here’s one way to help teens make an informed decision regarding tissue donation: Community Tissue Services, the organization behind FiftyLives, has designed an educational program for high school students.

Focusing on the importance of tissue and organ donation, this informative program creatively presents the facts. Students also learn how to discuss the subject of donation with their family and how to register to be a donor. The program includes:

    • Lesson Plan
    • PowerPoint Presentation
    • Student Guide (includes Pre and Post Tests)
    • Letter to Parents
    • Brochure
    • Video

As part of the curriculum, a staff member from Community Tissue Services (CTS) will come to your location to educate the students. If you’d like more information on this valuable program, please contact your local tissue branch or call CTS at 800-684-7783 ext. 3364.

Announcing the Share Your Gratitude Contest

FiftyLives is all about celebrating the amazing stories of gifts given and received. With the season of giving upon us, we want to encourage everyone to say “thank you” to the people who have touched their lives for the better.

Share Your Gratitude

Think of one person and one incident, gesture, or gift that you’re truly grateful for. Then go to our Facebook page and tell your story. Including a photo is optional, but we’d sure love to see the person you’re thanking (and you, too) if possible.

Win 2 iPads

We’ll be highlighting some entries throughout the holidays. After all entries have been received (contest ends Dec. 15), we’ll choose one winner to receive 2 iPads: one for the winner, and one to give as a really nice thank-you gift.

We can’t wait to see how you express your appreciation. Go forth and say thanks!

Submit your entry on Facebook (make sure you “LIKE” our page first).

November Is National Family Caregivers Month

Day in and day out, more than 65 million family caregivers in this country fulfill a vital role on the care team. No one else is in a better position to ensure continuity of care. Family caregivers are the most familiar with their care recipients’ medicine regimen; they are the most knowledgeable about the treatment regimen; and they understand best the dietary and exercise regimen.

This statement made by the National Family Caregivers Association (NFCA) paints a vivid picture in the minds of caregivers. The selfless daily acts these people make on a continual basis inspire us.

National Family Caregivers Month takes place each November and provides an opportunity to raise awareness of family caregiver issues, celebrate the efforts of family caregivers, educate family caregivers about self-identification, and increase support for family caregivers.

To help FiftyLives show our support for caregivers, our friend Lauri Sachs of the Cincinnati office of Homewatch CareGivers offered this list of 10 important things all caregivers need to keep in mind:

  • Accept help. Be prepared with a list of ways that others can help you and let the helper choose what he or she would like to do. For instance, one person might be happy to take the person you care for on a walk a couple of times a week. Someone else might offer to pick up groceries for you.
  • Don’t give in to guilt. Feeling guilty is normal, but understand that no one is a “perfect” caregiver. You’re doing the best you can at any given time. Your house does not have to be perfect, and no one will care if you eat leftovers three days in a row. And you don’t have to feel guilty about asking for help.
  • Get informed. Organizations such as the Red Cross and the Alzheimer’s Association offer classes on caregiving, and local hospitals may have classes specifically about the disease your loved one is facing.
  • Join a support group. A support group can be a great source for encouragement and advice from others in similar situations. It can also be a good place to make new friends.
  • Stay connected. Make an effort to stay in touch with family and friends. Set aside time each week for socializing, even if it’s just a walk with a friend. Whenever possible, make plans that get you out of the house.
  • Commit to staying healthy. Find time to be physically active on most days of the week, and don’t neglect your need for a good night’s sleep. It’s also crucial to eat a healthy diet.
  • See your doctor. Get recommended immunizations and screenings. Make sure to tell your doctor that you’re a caregiver. Don’t hesitate to mention any concerns or symptoms you have.
  • Practice self-care. Participate in activities you enjoy. Keep your sense of humor. Reward yourself as often as you can.
  • Adopt stress reduction techniques. Try things like yoga, deep breathing, meditation or massage.
  • Learn to let go. Accept that you may not be able to do things the way you used to. Simplify your lifestyle to conserve your time and energy for what’s most important.
We hope these tips provide you with some tools to help ease the stress of being a family caregiver. If you need further assistance with caregiving, HomeWatch Caregivers would be a great place to start. You can reach Lauri in their Cincinnati office at 513-407-9824 or find a local provider in your area by looking here.