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Travel on freighters costs less

(ran PT, LT, CI, HT)

Travelers who like to cut costs on cruises might want to take a freighter. It takes longer but savings are substantial.

For example, two freighters, the Kiwi and the Boomerang, sail to Australia and New Zealand at low rates until Sept. 30. The Kiwi takes 46 days on round trips from Los Angeles at $4,370 per person for a double cabin, and the Boomerang takes 66 days from Jacksonville at $5,280 per person for a double cabin.

ABC Containerline cruises operate from the U.S. East Coast and Halifax departing every 20 days to Liverpool and Hamburg. Fares range from $1,200 to $2,400.

Various types of freighters carry passengers, but the most common and most modern are containerships.

For more information, Freighter Cruise Newsletter is published monthly. Subscriptions are $18 per year. Write Maris USA Ltd., 215 Main St., Westport, CT 06880-3210.

Companies offer to move workers' parents

A growing number of businesses are offering to move workers' elderly relatives when they relocate employees, according to a new survey.

Atlas Van Lines found that more workers are bringing mom and dad along when they are transferred. And, according to the same survey, if workers refuse a job transfer it is increasingly because they are reluctant to leave an elderly relative behind without family support.

Atlas found that 64 percent of workers who decided against relocation said concern for a parent or other older family member was the main reason.

Even if businesses aren't willing to pay to relocate an elder, an increasing number of companies will at least help transferred workers locate services for them. Atlas said 24 percent of employers helped transfer elderly relatives or provided help with home-care services in 1994, up from 16 percent in 1993.

Work/Family Directions, the nation's largest supplier of elder-care referral services, said questions about finding elder housing and other relocation issues are up sharply.

Experts counsel that for a move to succeed for all family members, the elderly relative has to be flexible, fairly independent and willing to relocate. It will be disastrous if the older people feel they have been forced to give up friends and memories of their own life or if they no longer have the skills or the energy to establish new ties.

For more help making these dicey decisions, consult Jane Holston's guide Smart Moves for the Relocating Family, (River Forest, $14.95).

Free booklets can help stroke victims

Two free booklets for stroke victims, their families and the clinicians who care for them are available from the federal Agency for Health Care Policy and Research. The booklets can be ordered in English or Spanish.

The agency says that stroke victims often are not placed in appropriate rehabilitation programs and that consumers need to know some facts about post-stroke care, whether it takes place at home or in an institution.

For example, if families are not involved in rehabilitation training, progress will be a lot slower for the stroke victim.

"Post-Stroke Rehabilitation: A Quick Reference Guide for Clinicians" and "Recovering After a Stroke" are available by writing AHCPR Publications Clearinghouse, P.O. Box 8547, Silver Spring, MD 20907.

Also available are guides on depression, urinary incontinence and pressure sores, all of which might come in handy for caregivers dealing with stroke victims.