« June 2014 | Main | August 2014 »

July 2014

Parent Care: Should Adult Children Split the Cost?

The reality is that when it comes to assisted living, most families pay their own way. If the adult children have the resources, many times they will help out if their parents don't have enough income. This, of course, can cause issues within the extended family context, especially if some siblings are wealthier than others. How do families decide whether or not the children financially contribute to their parents' care, and if they do, who pays how much?

Read more on Agingcare about the cost of elder care:

Support a caregiver or jump start discussion in support groups with real stories - for bulk orders e-mail Carol:


3 Triggers for Alcohol Abuse in Elderly

Alcohol abuse can occur at any age, but in the past most doctors looked for the signs in younger people. There’s also a bias in society at large, including some doctors, that people who abuse alcohol will be of a certain type. It can be hard for a doctor to look at a sweet, grandmotherly woman and think that perhaps the “occasional” glass of wine she admits to drinking may actually be a good portion of a bottle on nightly basis. But things are changing. Now, the NIH Senior Health site is promoting awareness of alcohol abuse among the senior population.

Read more on HealthCentral about seniors and alcohol abuse:

Support a caregiver or jump start discussion in support groups with real stories - for bulk orders e-mail Carol: 


Long-Distance Caregiving Resources Increasing

Dear Carol: My husband’s parents moved to a warmer climate 12 years ago. My father-in-law had a minor heart attack a few months back and my mother-in-law has developed severe arthritis. We’ve tried to convince them that it’s time to move back to our community so we can offer more help, but they say they are used to their adoptive home and don’t want to move. They still have friends and enjoy activities. My husband and I both have jobs and teenagers in school so we can’t move even if we wanted to. How do we handle the growing needs of his parents? Mary Ann

Read more in Inforum about long-distance caregiving resources:

Support a caregiver or jump start discussion in support groups with real stories - for bulk orders e-mail Carol: 


The Pros and Cons of Robotic Elder Care

The last two generations have produced far fewer children than our grandparents' generation. This translates into a lack of people who can provide care for our ever-growing aging population. Additionally, as people live longer they often need more care for a longer period of time than in the past. This includes nearly all elders; not just those with Alzheimer's.

Read more on Agingcare about using robots in elder care:

Support a caregiver or jump start discussion in support groups with real stories - for bulk orders e-mail Carol: 


Is Living With Adult Children a First Choice for Seniors?

Most of us want to be independent. Children, if they are mentally and physically healthy, generally separate from their parents as soon as they are financially able to do so. They no longer want their parents laying down the rules. Adults, too, want to make their own rules. The idea of living with one's adult children, no matter how well you get along, can be disconcerting. The intimacy of shared living space can simply mean too much of a good thing.

Read more on Agingcare about choosing to live with adult children:

Support a caregiver or jump start discussion in support groups with real stories - for bulk orders e-mail Carol: 


Caregiver Guilt Over Nursing Home Placement

When my dad first needed nursing home care, I was worried about every little detail of his care. He was so very vulnerable. Even though, because my uncle was a resident of the same home I knew the staff well, fear that Dad would suffer from not having every attention I could give him gripped me for the first weeks. Eventually, I had to learn to detach a little. I knew it was painful and impractical for me to be so wrapped up in each detail of his life. The facility was excellent. Dad was as okay as he could be. He had daily attention from multiple family members. What more could I do?

Read more on Agingcare about guilt over placing a parent in a nursing home:

Support a caregiver or jump start discussion in support groups with real stories - for bulk orders e-mail Carol: 


Caregivers Friends May Suddenly Become Scarce

In situations where an aging parent lives with the caregiver, friends can feel like they are intruders. Also, they may feel uncomfortable because they don't know how to act when an ailing elder, especially an elder who is cognitively compromised, is present. In any event, the resident parent is often seen as a barrier to the intimacy of "old times," and friends may stop coming around.

Read more on Agingcare about how caregiver's friends may scatter:

Support a caregiver or jump start discussion in support groups with real stories - for bulk orders e-mail Carol: 


One in Three Cases of Alzheimer’s Lifestyle Related

Scientists who attended the 2014 Alzheimer's Association International Conference in Copenhagen this month seem energized from their collaborative effort. News stories will be filtering out for weeks to come about the studies presented at the conference. However, to me, one of the most interesting and encouraging conclusions so far is that lifestyle changes may hold back Alzheimer’s symptoms for up to 10 years.

Read more on HealthCentral about lifestyle and how it affects Alzheimer's risk:

Support a caregiver or jump start discussion in support groups with real stories - for bulk orders e-mail Carol: 


Who Is a Family Caregiver?

...Whether or not they are caregivers in the legal sense that they can file for benefits or qualify for respite care isn't what we're considering in this article. We're looking at the emotional investment of caregiving as well as time and physical presence. Additionally, there's no way to overstate the role of the advocate in a vulnerable person's life. This role may be one of the most important ones we play no matter how much or little we are physically present to provide hands-on care.

Read more on Agingcare about what makes a caregiver:

Support a caregiver or jump start discussion in support groups with real stories - for bulk orders e-mail Carol: 


Infections or Medications Can Skew Dementia Diagnosis

Dear Carol: You’ve often cautioned people not to jump to conclusions about dementia saying that a qualified physician like a neurologist should make the diagnosis. I was grateful to have that information at hand when my father started having memory problems. Our fear that he had Alzheimer’s disease was laid to rest after his neurologist discovered that the cause was over-the-counter sleep medications plus a vitamin deficiency. It took some time, but now Dad is back to his healthy self. Please keep passing on this information.  - Brent

Read more on inforum about how medications and infections can cause Alzheimer's symptoms:

Support a caregiver or jump start discussion in support groups with real stories - for bulk orders e-mail Carol: