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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 on HealthCentral about accepting your imperfect self

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.”  Craig William Dayton, Film Composer 


Cultural Differences Can Influence Elder Care

Dear Carol: My family immigrated here nearly ten years ago. Our country of origin is a place where caring for parents is the job of the daughter. No one questions it. I have two brothers, who also live here in the community with our parents, yet the fact that our parents need quite a bit of help is ignored by them. My father expects me to jump the minute he needs something, but that’s what he’s used to. My mother knows no other way, so I don’t blame her. 

Read more on Inforum about how cultural differences can influence eldercare:

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


Hearing Aids Help Balance, Prevent Falls for Some Elders

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), falls are the leading cause of both fatal and nonfatal injuries for people over 65. Falls can cause moderate to severe injuries, such as hip fractures and head traumas, and can increase the risk of early death. Fortunately, falls are a public health problem that is largely preventable. The CDC suggests these steps as a start:

Read more on HealthCentral about how hearling loss can affect balance:

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


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

...This is a new year, which makes it a good time psychologically for an attitude adjustment on your part. Changing your attitude toward your caregiving responsibilities doesn't mean that you don't love the person you are caring for as much as ever. Changing your attitude may even be evidence, once you think about it, of the depth of your love.

Read more on Agingcare about how changing our attitude may give us a fesh look:

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.”  Craig William Dayton, Film Composer


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.

Read more on HealthCentral about alcohol abuse in seniors:

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.”


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

No matter how well we plan, most of us have some loose ends to tie up Christmas Eve day, just before going to church or having the family gather at our home. The present that was ordered early and then delayed remains in question. Will it arrive in time? The fruit tray reserved at the grocery store? Will it be there when we arrive to pick it up?

Read more on HealthCentral about Holiday bloopers that we should just let go:

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


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 on HealthCentral about the AoA website:

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.”  Craig William Dayton, Film Composer


It’s Christmas Day: Are You Enjoying It?

Merry Christmas to all of my wonderful readers! I can't say Merry Christmas to caregivers any better than I did in 2010, so I'm linking back to that article. It is, afterall, Christmas.

Many people are celebrating Christmas Day, today, December 25th. Caregivers may find the word "celebrating" a little over the top, but try not to be too dismissive.   If you are caring for a parent or spouse who doesn't recognize you for who you are, that doesn't mean your efforts are unappreciated. Know that on some level, your love is understood. Celebrate that. 

Read more on HealthCentral about Christmas Day as a caregiver:

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


Christmas Is Here: Our Best Is Good Enough

The decisions caregivers of elderly loved ones must make during the Christmas holidays are fraught with opportunities to make mistakes in judgment. Chief among them is how much to include a loved one who has dementia in the festivities.   Will the Christmas tree bring Mom 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?

Read more on HealthCentral about accepting that our decisons are made and we did our best:

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.”  Craig William Dayton, Film Composer 


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 on Inforum about moving on after long-term caregiving:

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.”  Craig William Dayton, Film Composer