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September 2014

Will Your Advanced Health Directive Help You In An Emergency?

You’ve had an advanced health directive, often called a living will, drawn up along with your other legal documents. This vital document tells medical people how you should be treated if you can’t speak for yourself. It also names a health proxy to speak for you. This advanced directive is also included in a Power Of Attorney for health. You congratulate yourself on getting this task done. You’re confident that your wishes will be followed no matter what happens to your health.

Read more on HealthCentral about how your advanced directive may fail you:

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Senior Citizens Often Still Caring for Elderly Parents

Dear Carol: I’m an only living child, age 62, and my parents are both in their 90s. It’s becoming increasingly difficult for me to keep up with my parents’ needs even though they are in assisted living. They not only want me to take them to all of their medical appointments, which I want to do, they also want me to attend every event at the facility. When I remind my parents that not only do I work, but that I’m getting older and have health issues of my own, they act surprised and then forget all about it. I feel guilty if I miss anything. How do older caregivers keep up with it all? -  Angie

Read more on Inforum about how many caregivers are senior citizens themselves:

Purchase Minding Our Elders: Caregivers Share Their Personal Stories – paperback or ebook

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


Third Protein May be Catalyst for Alzheimer's Disease

The masses of plaques and tangles found during autopsies of older human brains are thought to be caused by a combination of beta-amyloid and tau proteins. These plaques and tangles have long been considered by many scientists to be the cause of Alzheimer’s disease.

Read more on HealthCentral about the third protein as a possible cause for Alzheimer's:

Purchase Minding Our Elders: Caregivers Share Their Personal Stories – paperback or ebook

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


Caffeine May Help Prevent Alzheimer’s

In modern U.S. culture, coffee has literally been raised to an art form, with baristas topping complicated coffee-based drinks with drawings that will disappear with the first sip of the brew. Few coffee drinkers, whether they buy their coffee at these high-end shops or perk it at home in a humble pot, are drinking coffee for its health benefits. For the most part, they drink it because they like the taste, because it’s a comforting habit or for its invigorating kick.

Read more on HealthCentral about how caffeine may help prevent Alzheimer's:

Purchase Minding Our Elders: Caregivers Share Their Personal Stories – paperback or ebook

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


Exercise Could Help Prevent Alzheimer’s Recent Study Shows

The hippocampus, which is the area of the brain damaged by Alzheimer’s disease, plays an important role in forming long-term memories as well as in spatial navigation. Now, new evidence shows that exercise helps keep the hippocampus healthy.

Read more about exercise and Alzheimer's prevention on HealthCentral:

Purchase Minding Our Elders: Caregivers Share Their Personal Stories – paperback or ebook

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


Alzheimer's Buddy Program Unique Blend of Bonding and Education

...In order to do this successfully, it helps to have a solid relationship built on trust. Knowledge of the person's likes and dislikes, his or her work history, marriage status, children and life in general can be helpful. It is trust, however, that is essential, and a trusting connection is something that a physician may find hard to establish in a few office visits. That kind of relationship depends on the heart as much as the brain and often comes in a relationship that is formed over time.

Read more on Agingcare about the Alzheimer's Buddy Program:

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


CMS Increases Goal to Reduce Use of Antipsychotics in Long-term Care

It’s long been a goal of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid to reduce the use of antipsychotics in nursing homes. Historically, these antipsychotics have often been used as chemical restraints to control “behaviors” in agitated or aggressive nursing home residents. The result was that many elders were unnecessarily drugged into passive, zombie-like behavior. This made them easier for staff to care for but the drugs not only reduced the quality of life of the elder, they often had life-threatening side effects. This type of so called care also reduced the elder to a state where his or her dignity was abused.

Read more about the focus on reducing the use of antipsychotic drugs in long-term care:

Purchase Minding Our Elders: Caregivers Share Their Personal Stories – paperback or ebook

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


Dementia: Coping With "I Want to Go Home"

...Some people go as far as taking the person in the car and driving around the block, then re-entering the house. This can work for awhile, but not likely that long. No matter what you do, you will hear it again: "I want to go home."

Read more on Agingcare about coping with a loved one who repeats "I want to go home"

Purchase Minding Our Elders: Caregivers Share Their Personal Stories – paperback or ebook

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


Some Caregivers Criticize Rather Than Support Each Other

Dear Carol: My parents are together in a wonderful nursing home close to where I live. I visit most days after work, spend a lot of time there on weekends and use my vacation hours for their medical appointments. I’m also on call for emergencies. I’m not married, so I can’t quit my job.  A married woman who I thought was my friend throws guilt my way because she takes care of her mom in her home. She says that I’m not a real caregiver and that I just keep an eye on my parents and I make too big of a deal of what I do.

Read more on Inforum about how some caregivers criticize rather than support others:

Purchase Minding Our Elders: Caregivers Share Their Personal Stories – paperback or ebook

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


Is Over-medication a Problem In Your Loved One's Nursing Home?

...Anti-psychotics were frequently prescribed when people had dementia. For some, a light dose may have been just the right thing, but one medication doesn't suit all elder issues. Gradually, nursing homes came under more intense scrutiny for safety and most states put strict guidelines in place about hygiene, restraints and, of course, medications for the convenience of the staff.

Read more on Agingcare about medications in nursing homes:

Purchase Minding Our Elders: Caregivers Share Their Personal Stories – paperback or ebook

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