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December 2014

A Fresh New Year is Approaching: Smudge It Early and You’ll Save Some Stress

One of the many things caregivers have in common guilt. Generally, it's unearned guilt. We haven't done enough. We could do something better. We are imperfect caregivers. So? We are human. There isn't a person on earth who can guess another person's needs and respond exactly right every time. Read more →


Cultural Differences Can Influence Elder Care

Dear M. H. Your issue is partly cultural, though many of your sisters in caregiving who have no cultural conflicts are in a similar position. Yes, it’s harder for you with parents who grew up where women’s roles were so strict, so I don’t want to diminish that part of your problem. It’s very real. Read more →


New Year’s Resolutions: Are They Practical for Caregivers?

More than once, the head nurse at the home told me I needed to take a day off, but I just couldn't do it. I'd make all kinds of excuses, but mainly I just said "they need me." This was a facility that I'd visited nearly every day for over 15 years. Read more →


3 Triggers for Alcohol Abuse in Elderly

Most seniors, like the rest of the population, don’t abuse alcohol. They’ve gone through their adult lives with an occasional social drink or a glass of wine with dinner. However, life events can cause a senior extra stress that for some may lead to self-medicating through alcohol. Read more →


Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff: Bloopers Can Add to Family Christmas Stories

We can plan ourselves silly, but the unexpected will always occur. The only remedy for this is to not take ourselves or our plans too seriously. Life throws curve balls, but many of them aren’t that huge if we don’t exaggerate their importance. Read more →


Administration on Aging Programs Provide Assistance for Caregivers Nationwide

Nearly any family caregiver has felt isolated and alone at one time or another. For many, that feeling is chronic. Friends don’t understand the strain we are under. Some people get no support from their extended family or friends. Where can we turn when there seems to be nowhere to turn? Believe it or not, many resources are at your fingertips on the Administration on Aging website. Read more →


It’s Christmas Day: Are You Enjoying It?

To me - a rather obsessive person when it comes to doing everything I can do to make something "right" for everyone else - there's something nice about knowing that I can do no more. The time has come that I must be done, so I may as well enjoy myself and accept the less than perfect results. - Read more →


Christmas Is Here: Our Best Is Good Enough

Will the Christmas tree bring Mom of happy memories of past Christmas pleasures or will it remind her of the Christmas tree fire in her home when she was a five year old child? Will the gathering of loving relatives bring her a feeling of being loved and cared for will she suffer from horrible anxiety because of all of these people who are to her strangers? Read more →


How Does a Spousal Caregiver Continue on After Partner’s Death?

Dear Carol: I’ve read about people with dementia giving up after his or her caregiving spouse dies but I wonder about how often the reverse happens. My husband is 72 and I’m 65. He’s in late stage Alzheimer’s and I’ve been his caregiver for many years. We don’t have any children so we moved 500 miles to be closer to my husband’s siblings. But now, other than his family, we don’t have nearby friends. I was a teacher for decades but those colleagues are still back in our home town. Read more →