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April 2010

Alzheimer’s Journal Reports on Quick Test to Spot Early Alzheimer’s

Does the fact that we locked our keys in the car twice last month mean we should go through Alzheimer’s testing? Probably not. However, if you notice that you are having episodes of forgetfulness that are worrisome, there’s now a quick, inexpensive and painless test available. Read more →


Your parent is dying: When is hospice needed?

A billboard in my city carries a simple message: "Most families say, "Why did we wait so long to call hospice?" When I talk with our local hospice folks, they say that is the message they hear most often. Yet, I understand why people do wait. Read more →


Computers Help Us Communicate With Hard-Of-Hearing Loved Ones

My dad suffers hearing loss so severe that even though he wears hearing aids people often have to write down what they are trying to tell him. Since I live out of town, I call my parents often, but Dad must rely on Mom to tell him what I say. Read more →


Addressing Elders in Respectful Terms

Some people like to be called "Hon," and if that works for the person that's fine. After the staff gets to know the resident, things can change. My mother's name was Ruth. Most people called her Ruth. However, after many years of visiting my uncle and eventually my dad at Rosewood, and then becoming a resident herself, she was intimately known by the staff. Read more →


Finding Escorts for Doctor Appointments a Problem for Agencies

HIPAA (medical privacy laws) often prevents a non-family member from going in the doctors office with the patient, but at least the volunteer is there to keep the elder company while he waits to see the doctor, and the volunteer can reassure the resident that she will be waiting for him when the doctor visit is done. Read more →


Getting Doctors to Ask the Right Questions

I'm not going to be so naïve as to say call the doctor ahead of time. Go ahead if you can. You may get lucky. But, if you write the doctor well ahead of Mom's appointment, and spell out as briefly as possible what your concerns are, you may have a better chance of success. Read more →