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About The Care Village

I'm Joyce and I started this company to help family care givers. I have been a care giver and I'm still a care giver. When I think about the aspects of my life that had the greatest effect on my life, it's been care giving. I was a care giver for my son when he was young and had asthma. I was a care giver for my husband when he was suffering from the effects of stroke, which eventually took his life in 1999. I was a care giver for my dog who had seizures. And now, my 90 year old mother, who does amazingly well on her own, still needs some help. 

We all have times in our lives when we care for someone else. And someday, we may be cared for by others and it's important to understand that role as well. We want to become good care recipients. 

I realized while being a care giver that sometimes you can lose yourself in caring for another. It can be an all encompassing role that slowly, and sometimes very quickly, steals time and assets from other aspects of our lives. Sometimes it's easy and rewarding. Sometimes it's difficult and totally draining. How do we survive and better yet, how do we thrive when there are so many demands put upon us and there seems to be no end in sight? 

I looked at what tools could be used to make all of our lives better. When my son was a baby, his pediatrician ordered a nebulizer to give him breathing treatments for his asthma. That machine changed all of our lives. He was able to breath, we were able to get some sleep, and had fewer trips to the emergency room.  When my husband was ill, taking medications was difficult. Although I would leave his noontime meds on the middle of the kitchen table in a cup, he wouldn't take them. I realized a medication dispenser was the answer and started looking for solutions. This was in 1997 and there were very few medication dispensers. I was an electronic engineer at the time and thought about designing and building one. That wasn't practical at the time, so I contacted the few that were available to find out if I could work with them to design an interface so that it would call me if he didn't take his meds. Now, of course, these devices can be found online and they will call you if the meds are not taken. Technology is helpful but sometimes you just need another hand or some quiet time. How can we solve that? Hiring help was not affordable. Community!

Community is "a feeling of fellowship with others, as a result of sharing common attitudes, interests, and goals". When there is someone who is caring for another, it can't be accomplished by one person, it takes a village. I realized that in order to maintain health and wellness, I needed a community. But when you're in the midst of being a caregiver, how do you find a community? And how do you meet with them? How do you build relationships to the point that you can ask for a favor and they can ask you as well? That's when the Care Exchange dawned on me. If I could help someone with something they needed, maybe someone would also help me with something I needed. And the need didn't have to be taking care of my loved one, it could be anything like mowing the lawn, helping with taxes, or providing a facial. Everyone has a talent they can share. And maybe there would be times when I just needed someone to take my loved one to the doctor. Our care exchange allows people within a care community to exchange time with one another in the community without cost. Read more about it on the Care Exchange page

CBD!!! How did I get involved with CBD? One day a few years ago my 87 year olf mother asked me for a brownie. I asked confused "You want brownies?" She said "I would like a brownie" in a tone of voice that I realized she meant a marijuana brownie. She was having trouble sleeping, loss of appetite, arthritis pain, and anxiety and had heard that brownies could help. I got a medical marijuana card and got my Mom some edibles. We figured out a good dose and within a very short period of time she improved. She was eating better, sleeping better, and when she would get anxious, she would pop a gummy bear and "chill out". I was sold on edibles for seniors. Then my beautiful dog, Jazzy started having seizures at 3 years old.  The veterinarian prescribed potassium bromide and phenobarbital. My beautiful, lively Jazzy became a beautiful white rug. She barely moved from being so sedated.  We went to a neurologist who put her on several different anti-convulsion meds to get her off of the phenobarbital. That worked for a while although she was having several seizures per month. I asked the neurologist about cannabis for seizures as I had seen Dr. Sanjay Gupta's documentary on cannabis, seizures, and Charlotte, the little girl who had hundreds of seizures per day. They knew nothing about it or if they did, they were not at liberty to prescribe it. I was on my own. I found CBD (cannabidiol) online and ordered some. It was expensive but it worked. At one point, Jazzy went 5 months without a grand-mal seizure after switching to a broad spectrum product. It was amazing. She was our normal girl again. We used CBD for almost 4 years until even the CBD didn't work. But it gave her years of a good quality of life. Again, I was sold. Then it dawned on me that CBD could help a lot of people who were taking lots of pharmaceuticals with some pretty serious side effects.  I started with myself, my family, and my friends. I had everyone on CBD and had some amazing testimonials. Not everyone improved for everything but there were some significant improvements. And all with no side effects, like stomach upset from NSAID's. No chance of overdosing or at least not that I know of thus far. My Mom uses CBD balm/salve for her arthritis in her knee, hands and feet. She uses CBD gelcaps for sleep. I use CBD balm/salve for lower back pain. I use tincture in the morning and gelcaps before bed. And I sleep very deeply with no side effects. I have friends who have knee pain and need a knee replacement where CBD provides pain relief. I have another friend who had shoulder surgery that was a failure and she couldn't lift here left arm above waist level. After CBD for 3 days, she could lift her arm above her head. My older brother, who will only take aspirin for pain, came to California with severe shoulder pain. I asked him to try the CBD salve but he rejected it. Finally, I told him to take it to his room and use it. Sometimes you have to put your foot down. LOL The next day, I asked him if he used the salve. He rolled his eyes and said "I wasn't going to tell you". I asked him if it worked. He said he was watching TV and his shoulder was really painful. He was going to get up and get some aspirin but saw the salve on the table next to him and decided to try that instead. He put it on. He said he forgot about it for a bit until he went to get up. Normally, pushing himself up out of the chair caused severe pain. He got up with no pain. I asked him if he used it that morning. He said "didn't have to, it didn't hurt". He swore that it was the rainy weather and that it was getting ready to go anyway. He said he didn't think it was the salve but asked me for another one before he left to return to New Hampshire. He was afraid to take it on the plane. It is legal in all 50 states because it has no THC in it. The greatest success using CBD has been with my youngest brother. He has stage 5 kidney failure and is on peritoneal dialysis. Peritoneal dialysis allows him to live a pretty normal life. Hemodialysis requires trips to a dialysis clinic 3 times per week for 5 hours. Peritoneal dialysis can be done at home by loading sugar water into the abdomen through a port. The peritoneal acts as a filter and filters the blood. Then the fluid is cycled out 2 to 4 times per day and new fluid transferred in. The only problems he was having was that he had terrible leg cramps in the night that woke him up several times and took 10-20 minutes to resolve. The next day, his legs would still hurt and sometimes he had a difficult time walking. He was also exhausted because his sleep was so disturbed. Immediately after taking CBD he stopped having cramps. Immediately! He hasn't had any debilitating cramps and the rare on that he may have is minor and resolves quickly. He did have a severe cramp while he was on vacation but believes he forgto to take his meds and CBD that day.  If you know of anyone who is on dialysis, please have them check into CBD and ask their doctor about adding it to their supplement regimen. It's offered significant quality of life improvement for my brother.

All of the improvements with the use of CBD is anecdotal only. It's what I've read and what current customers and CBD users relate to me regarding their improvement with pain, anxiety, pet issues. Anyone seeking to use CBD should talk to their doctor prior to using CBD. There are few studies on CBD because it was considered a class 1 substance since 1937 when it was outlawed. The Farm Act bill of 2018 change that and now growing and processing CBD is legal as long as it has less than .3% THC. The products I sell have 0% THC and have certificates of analysis from a third party testing company to prove it. Know your CBD!

I'm looking forward to helping care givers find the resources they need. I am excited about seeing forums spring up in different communities, online and otherwise. I'm looking forward to seeing people get healthier through a reduction in pharmaceuticals, particularly opioids and NSAID's. CBD has been used by many to relieve anxiety and care givers have lots of anxiety. I'm looking forward to seeing care givers helping other care givers so that we have a community of care that benefits all. 

Be part of our community because it DOES take a village. Help us grow this community of care and compassion. 

I wish you good health, wellness, and happiness.

Joyce Thomas


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