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August 2008

A Reminder That Caregivers Have Personal Dreams

YourHighestPotential I've come across a book that has absolutely nothing to do with caregiving. However, the first chapter made me weep. The little girl the author describes was me, the caregiver to be. Written by Annette Colby, Ph.D., Your Highest Potential is a book about living your dreams, no matter how many detours you encounter in life. I truly believe my caregiving years were meant to be. I spent two decades caring for seven elders. It was just there to do and I did it. I also have a son with health issues, and that has meant ongoing caregiving.

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Don't Blame Everything on Dementia

Another supper post from my friend, Leah, who has vascular dementia - and diabetes.

"I made a mistake with my insulin, a mistake not caused by my dementia.  It was evening and I was getting ready to go to bed.  At night, I use 75 units of long acting insulin which helps to hold my blood sugar level for 24 hours.  Instead, I took 75 units of Humalog, the fast acting insulin I normally take with meals."

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Night Care Services a Great Idea

I've frequently written about adult day care. It's a wonderful resource for many who have elders who can't be left home alone during the day. The family must work or be gone from time to time. They may just need respite and/or the person with Alzheimer's may need some stimulating activity. Adult day care - or day services, as I prefer to call it - is a quickly growing field. However, a story on nydailynews.com gave me a real "aha moment." Titled "Elderly with dementia get help with ElderServ at Night program in Riverdale," the story tells of a night program for elders with dementia. Yes, nights.

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How to Die Organized: Ten Tips

The authors of a neat little organizer titled, "Putting Things in Order: A Journal to Organize Your Life for the Next Generation," sent me their top ten list of things to do so you can be organized with the paperwork you want your heirs to have. Before I tell you about their book, here's the list as written by authors Ellen Baumritter and David Finkle:

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Over-the-Counter Drugs Could Be Causing Symptoms

I received an email last week from a woman who was worried that her mother was being over-medicated. She had a point. We discussed the fact that the mother should get all of her prescriptions in the same place. This is smart for anyone, as when all of your medications are in one computer system at one pharmacy, the system should catch any interactions.

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Taking Alzheimer’s Drugs is Showing Promise of a Longer Life

While it's well known that the drugs available now for people with  Alzheimer's disease, namely donepezil (Aricept), rivastigmine (Exelon), galantamine (Razadyne), and memantine (Namenda), don't cure the disease, they do help slow the decline and even put off behavioral changes, for many people. Now, a study published on medpagetoday.com titled

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Elders and Sex: Who Gets to Decide What is Proper?

Coolsiteoftheday Minding Our Elders is honored to be named Cool Site of the Day for August 17th. If you enjoy Minding Our Elders Blog, please click the icon above vote!   Thanks,  Carol

You see an older couple walking hand in hand down the street, staring into each others eyes and grinning. Their hands are clasped.” Ah, cute,” you think. Then they giggle and – kiss. Yikes! Aren’t they kind of old for that? Our society has marginalized people over fifty when it comes to love and sex.

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Baby Talk and “Elderspeak” Disturbingly Related

"Here you go, Hon. Anything else?" Though cringing inwardly, I smile outwardly and say, "No thanks."  The waitress, perhaps in her early thirties, is just trying to be nice to me. I understand that. I happen to be a small person, rather short, tiny bones - the kind of person where, when the prairie winds invade our metro area and tall buildings create wind tunnels, I could use a few rocks in my pockets to hold me down. However, that, plus the fact that I'm old enough to be this woman's mother, doesn't give her a right to talk down to me. She, of course, doesn't realize she is talking down to me. She's just being nice and thinks I'm "sweet." But would she call a twenty-something woman "Hon?" I doubt it.

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