Author and Holistic Healer Roland Comtois Shares Tips for Caregivers on International Radio Show –Caregivers Coast to Coast Talk Show Offers Resources for Caregivers of Individuals with Dementia–
Providence, Rhode Island – (February 16, 2013) According to the Alzheimer’s Association, an estimated 15.2 million Americans are providing home-based care for loved ones who have dementia. The ravages of the disease on those who suffer from it, from memory loss, mood swings, depression and poor judgment to the complete inability of the patient to function independently, are well documented. But for those who care for them, spouses, siblings, children, friends, neighbors and even paid professionals, the effects can be equally devastating. It goes without saying that the emotional stress of caring for someone with dementia is very high. Physical stress, caused by a lack of sleep and exercise, a poor diet and very real feelings of isolation, follows closely behind.
Enter Rhode Island natives Roland Comtois and Anne Cerullo. Former nurses whose paths crossed some 20 years ago when they worked in a Rhode Island nursing home, they are coming together in a new international online radio program, Caregivers Coast to Coast, created by Cerullo as an information and support resource for caregivers of loved ones suffering from all types of dementia. Comtois, an author, inspirational speaker and healer will be a featured guest on the show that airs February 18 through February 25 at 2 PM and 12 midnight at www.talkstreamradio.com when he shares alternative healing tips with listeners.
Anne Cerullo is a Board Certified Psychiatric and Mental Health Clinical Nurse Specialist, knowledgeable caregiver, scientific researcher and accomplished potter, who has spent 30+ years dealing face-to-face with Alzheimer’s and its attendant casualties. She worked on the front lines with patients for over 20 years before joining Rhode Island Mood and Memory Research Institute in 2003 to work in Clinical Research trials were she felt she could really make a difference in combating this disease. As a Psychiatric Nursing Home Consultant, she was increasingly frustrated and disheartened by merely putting “band aids” on patients with this fatal illness. She wanted to help stop Alzheimer’s in its tracks before any more damage was done.
“I am now working alongside Dr. John Stoukides, Medical Director at the Rhode Island Mood & Memory Research Institute, as a Senior Clinical Research Coordinator and Psychometrician. Our research is making significant inroads into treatments that can hopefully slow or arrest the progression of the disease in patients with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease. So there is real hope on the horizon for patients and their loved ones,” said Cerullo.
But until we find a cure for those afflicted with Alzheimer’s, Anne is making sure that those who took her place on the frontlines, the caregivers, get the support they need as well. In addition to her day job at the Research Center, she launched her online radio program on January 30 as an international resource for caregivers of loved ones with dementia. This one-hour talk show airs daily at 2 PM and 12 midnight on www.talkstreamradio.net and features new weekly interviews with experts in the field of dementia, geriatrics and caregiving. Believed to be the first online radio show totally dedicated to the needs and support of caregivers, Caregivers Coast to Coast focused its first three broadcasts on the scientific research, types of dementia and behavioral issues caregivers face. Guests have included Dr. Stoukides whose medical expertise includes geriatric medicine and memory research and health care professionals from Rhode Island assisted living centers.
Alternative healing modalities for caregivers is the topic for the show airing February18 – 25 when Roland Comtois will be sharing his insights on the importance of self care, the positive benefits of healing touch and visualization for caregivers. Endorsed by the National Institute of Health, complementary and holistic treatments have proven beneficial in providing pain and stress relief, just what the doctor ordered for caregivers who could really use them.
“Roland blends his medical background as a geriatric nurse with his life’s experience as a caregiver, a grief counselor and holistic healer to help people cope with the debilitating effects of personal loss,” said Cerullo. “I am thrilled that he is a guest on our show. His expert insights on caregiving and alternative healing, from Reiki and therapeutic touch to visualization practices, are invaluable for our listeners. I encourage everyone to listen in as what Roland has to say is helpful for anyone experiencing stress as well.”
“I have worked with people of all ages and from all walks of life as they have taken care of their loved ones through debilitating diseases. Caring for someone with dementia is particularly draining, not just because one can feel helpless as the disease takes its course, but also because of the guilt the caregiver feels when their help just isn’t enough,” says Roland.
There are steps caregivers can take to balance and restore their energy and ward off any potential illnesses the stress can cause. Roland talks about the healing effects of Reiki and visualization along with the need for caregivers to take care of themselves while they are taking care of their loved one.
“A diagnosis of Alzheimer’s is similar to feeling the loss of a loved one when they pass on. But the grief process for them begins while their loved one is still here with us and lasts longer,” says Roland. “It is important that you practice self care, that you take the time to meditate, breathe, relax, remember the good times and remember the love you shared. You need to release your emotions and let go of any misplaced guilt you feel.”
Above all else, Roland advises, caregivers must honor themselves. “Trying to find your way through loss requires a steadfast and conscious kindness that only you can bestow on yourself. What is required is that you stay as strong as you possibly can, and if you can’t, that’s really okay too. When tiredness and exhaustion are upon you, take whatever steps you need to ease your brokenness. It’s important to give yourself the right amount of time to work through the different stages of grief and loss.”
Tune into Caregivers Coast to Coast at www.talkstreamreadio.com to hear Roland his thoughts, experiences and advice on caring for the caregiver and let them be part of your first step to healing.
For more information about Roland Comtois, contact Cindy Clarke at 203.454.4230. To learn more about Anne Cerullo’s Caregiver Coast to Coast radio show, visit http://www.facebook.com/CaregiversCoastToCoast
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