Most statistical reports I've read say that approximately 30% of the caregivers die before those they are caring for. When I use this statistic during my talks, it nearly always gets a gasp. Some of these deaths, and many disabilities (obvious and not so obvious to by-standers) are due to depression.
GilbetGuide (I must ask where this name came from) is a terrific resource for seniors and caregivers. I've got the Web site listed among my favorites, on the right column of this blog, because I consider it one of the best.
Loooong ago, when I was young, my grandmother, who was terribly crippled with Rheumatoid Arthritis, moved in with us. We built a house to make it the living situation comfortable for all. We were fortunate to be able to do this.
My brother and I were teenagers, and we had an "after-thought" two-year-old toddler sister. So, there were kind of four generations living in the home, together.
Paula Span, who teaches at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and is at work on “When the Time Comes: Aging Parents, Tough Choices,” to be published by Springboard Press next year, has a good piece on getting your elders to talk about what they want as they age - what decisions you should make when they can't make them.
I had just left a comment on my other blog site at Our Alzheimer's for a woman whose dad, an Alzheimer's patient, was opening the door to strangers. Her mother needed some way of knowing when he opened to door to strangers or if he went outside. Wandering is a huge problem with Alzheimer's.
You'll find a good, insightful article on the PsychCentral site titled "Health System Creates Caregiver Stress."
If any of your readers disagree with the what the title is saying, I'd love to hear from you. Okay - dead silence. I'd love to hear from you anyway.
The Multiple Sclerosis Quarterly Report has an article on caregiver stress and what it does to the caregiver's body. This study is about caregivers of those with MS, however the statistics mirror nearly every study on caregiver stress I have read.
When I was writing my book, Minding Our Elders ,I tried my best to interview people with stories as different from one another as possible. Obviously, there would be some common links - that was part of the point. However, I didn't expect to find so many people with sibling problems. Some of the issues were just annoyances. But some were serious. Many of them stemmed from childhood - the "Mom always loved you best" thing.
I've found an exciting new site by a seasoned professional called Aging Grandparents.suite 101. You'll find the link under more favorite blogs on the right, but I wanted to call attention to this one. Maryan Pelland is fun, smart and knowledgable. Give it a try!
A news release has brought attention to the updated version of "Since You Care publication, Medications and the Older Adult." MetLife has some excellent studies on caregiving and aging. They make their research known and available to the public. This particular publication could be a valuable asset to caregivers and elders.