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October 2008

Canadian Researchers Find Psychotropic Drugs Can Affect Driving

A media release on marketwire.com caught my eye, because elders and driving is a tough issue for many of us, let alone elders who are in the early stages of dementia. Also, many people without dementia take some of the drugs listed, namely antidepressants.

Read more about dementia medication and driving:

Social Stigma Still Evident for Alzheimer’s, Dementia and Mental Illness

Why is it that, in this supposedly enlightened age, mental illness still carries a stigma? Why is it that when people talking about someone who is ill, say in their office, and it's the flu or even cancer, they will discuss it openly, however if it is a mental illness, say depression or schizophrenia, they will whisper about it? Are they afraid that they, too, will succumb to this disease if they admit it's real. Do they feel that they are somehow protecting the dignity of the person with the illness if they whisper rather than talk normally about a person's mental illness?

Read more about social stigma and dementia:

Insurance: Are Seniors Being Duped into Buying Policies They Don’t Need?

This helpful article on seniors and insurance comes from AgingCare.com:

"Seniors are inundated with a never-ending onslaught of insurance offers. Disability insurance, Medigap, mortgage life, self-funded healthcare, permanent life, term life…and the list goes on. Salesmen use many questionable tactics to get seniors, who are often times too trusting and easily fooled, to buy insurance policies they don’t need. For example, the pitch may offer a very low-cost first month premium, but the small type grants the insurer the right to charge your parent’s credit card at a greatly inflated rate every month."

Readmore about seniors and insurance on agingcare.com:

Obsessive Caregiving Can Be Harmful To Caregiver and Care Receiver

Carol O'Dell, author, blogger and much more, like yours truly, knows her subject because she lived it. She writes excellent posts, and is gracious enough to pass on my material from time to time. I like to do the same with hers. Here's an excellent post of Carol's that many of you will relate to titled, Have You Taken Caregiving Too Far For Your Own Good? :

"I was recently at an event where a woman received the caregiver of the year award for her community. Her daughter wrote a lovely letter about all her mother did for her mother. The list started at about 5am and ended about midnight–with frequent middle of the night interruptions as well. The list went on and on. Daily baths, attention paid to her mother’s nails, lotions, pulling chin hairs…on and on and on. She got a standing ovation, but my heart ached for her. She was in her early 50s and looked in her late 70s. She was smiling but looked as if life had beat her with a crowbar."

Read Carol's full post on obsessive caregiving:

Awareness of Personal Growth During Caregiving Can Help Caregiver Health

In a story on health.usnews.com titled "Caregivers Face Multiple Strains Tending Older Parents," a study was examined that showed "middle-aged adults who regularly help their elderly parents get by experience a drop in health and well-being in their own lives..." The study is reported in an edition of the Journal of Gerontology: Social Sciences earlier this year.

Read more about caregiving and personal growth:

Loneliness In Elders Cause for Concern

I've always needed a lot of solitude, or "alone time," as I've called it. Since I was a small child caught up in books, I was aware that I am different than most people I know. If I tell people I'm not "social," they always, always, disagree. It seems that, because I am friendly and easy to talk to, people assume I'm social.

Read more about elderly, loneliness, depression and dementia:

Should Aging Parents With Dementia Lose the Right to Vote?

My parents, products of the Depression and World War II, had very strong opinions about the right to vote. It was considered nearly sacred, a right that was not to be ignored. They weren’t political people, just people who deeply appreciated the right to vote and realized the importance of doing so.
Some of my memories of my vibrant mother in action ...

Read more about aging parents and voting on agingcare.com:

Getting Health Problems Covered by Insurance

Via Health.com comes this article on getting health treatments paid for. Titled, "Money and Health: Paying for Treatments : 4 Ways to Get Your Medical Expenses Covered," this informative article begins: "The last thing anyone suffering from a long-term health condition needs is to become embroiled in a drawn-out fight with an insurance company over treatment payments. The best protection is preemption. If you’re having a scheduled procedure, talk to your health-care provider..."

Read more about getting health treatments paid for:


Any Age Caregiving: Breast Cancer Journey Planner Feels Like A Supportive Friend

BreastCancerJouneyOrganizer Primarily, I write about elder care. But people can get breast cancer at any age. And, unfotunately, caregivers often neglect their mammograms, and find they are not only caring for an elder, but traveling the journey of a breast cancer patient, as well.


So, in honor of National Breast Cancer Month, I'm introducing my caregiving readers to a new tool for people diagnosed with breast cancer. The Breast Cancer Journey Planner, by Carrie Sanders, a cancer survivor herself, (found at www.therapyinseattle.com) is being promoted in conjunction with this special month.


The Breast Cancer Journey Planner feels beautiful and special in the hand. The three-ring-binder format invites the reader to use the book as she chooses. It’s easy to add notes from doctor visits and letters from friends. You can add photos and journal entries.


Not that The Breast Cancer Journey Planner doesn’t have tons of advice and guidance on its own. I just happen to love “planners” that give people freedom to do it their way.  This book accomplishes that goal to perfection.


No cancer diagnosis and no treatment plan will be one-size-fits-all. Why not have a journal filled with advice and a Web site to visit for comfort and guidance, all of which you can turn into a unique record of your journey? All of that, with education and encouragement all the way? This is a fantastic concept.


Go to Carrie’s site and check it out. I can tell you first hand that, if you have been diagnosed with breast cancer,  this book will feel like a supportive friend.  If you have a friend with breast cancer – here’s the perfect way to say, “I care.”


Find out more at www.therapyinseattle.com.