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August 2014

Elder Care and Time Mangement: A Challenge

Tips and thoughts from people whose lives have closely mirrored mine, in at least some aspects, have been generally welcome. I like stories. I like knowing how people make their lives work. If ideas are presented to me that way, I feel the flexibility of personalities and lifestyles blending, and that makes suggestions sound less like demands that I "shape up" and act like other people. I can then assimilate the story, take what works for me and ignore the rest - guilt free.

Read more on Agingcare about time management when providing care:

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Boundaries Can Help Make Toxic Caregiving Relationships Tolerable

It's natural for adult children to love their parents and even want to care for them as they age. If your parents abused you when you were a child, how do you care for them without harming yourself by being subjected to ongoing criticism and abuse?

Read more on Agingcare about detatching with love and setting boundaries:

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People with Down Syndrome Heroes for Alzheimer’s Research

People with Down syndrome have become one of our most important groups of volunteers for Alzheimer’s testing. Fortunately, many are more than willing to give their time and undergo some medical procedures in order to help others. Down syndrome is caused by the presence of an extra copy of chromosome 21.

Read more on HealthCentral about how Down symdrome and Alzheimer's relate:

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Online Caregivers Study Needs Volunteers

The University of Maryland is conducting an online study for caregivers. The purpose of the study is to learn more about the experiences and needs of caregivers, who are often overlooked. If you provide daily care for a loved one, you may be able to take part in the study. Or if a loved one takes care of you on a daily basis, they may qualify to participate.

For more information see the recruitment notice:

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

I hold onto your book as a life preserver and am reading it slowly on purpose...I don't want it to end.

Craig William Dayton, Film Composer


Is a Gender-specific Facility Right for Your Loved One?

Some families may prefer the perceived safety of an all-female patient population for their impaired mother or grandmother. Because my first concern is what the elder may want, I do have to wonder if the elderly mother or grandmother is actually happier in an all-female facility than she would be in mixed company. That's a highly individual matter.

Read more on Agingcare about women only care facilities vs. mixed gender:

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Helping Parents Without Taking Over Takes Tactful Approach

Dear Carol: My dad is very healthy and active at 78, while Mom is a cancer survivor, has lung disease and rheumatoid arthritis. Her health continues to decline but Dad keeps taking care of her with no regular help. They’ve always been very close. Neither my sister nor I live in their community and we worry about Dad’s health declining from all of his years of caring for Mom. When we suggest that he move Mom to assisted living, Dad gets upset.

Read more on Inforum about convincing caregiving dad to accept more help:

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Living with Alzheimer’s: PBS Documentary, Glen Campbell Tour

When a loved one receives an Alzheimer’s diagnosis the whole family is affected. For most, the first stage is utter devastation. Yet the human spirit can be incredibly resilient. After going through the grieving process, the person diagnosed with the disease and his or her loved ones most often come to accept their altered life as a new normal. 

Read more on HealthCentral about these riveting documentaries:

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How to Cope With Loved One's Repeated Questions

As we age, life takes on a different perspective. There's a human need to make sense of what has happened in one's past, and reflect on what will be our legacy. The added years give us a chance to view our past with distance and some perspective. Retelling stories about our past is one way to work through this process.

Read more on Agingcare about coping with Alzheimer's and repetition:

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Why Your Parent Can Often Fool the Doctor

My mom was a supreme example of fooling professionals. She fell in her apartment—often more than once a week. She had memory problems. She was taken advantage of by telemarketers. She had digestive issues. However, when I took her to her doctor, what I called her "hostess personality" took over. While she may have complained of pain in the car during our drive, the minute she had a chance to tell her doctor how terrible she felt she was perkiness personified.

Read more on Agingcare about how your parent may fool the doctor:

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5 Questions for Caregivers to Consider Before They Jump In

...These are questions at the heart caregiving. Unfortunately, for most caregivers, these questions do not arise until they are feeling overwhelmed and depleted. Being able to say, "No, I can no longer continue to provide care in this way," could possibly save you from emotional and physical burnout, while deepening the level of honesty and openness in your relationships with your parents and family.

Read more about the questions caregivers should ask themselves before jumping in:

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