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January 2016

Is It a Good Idea to Quit Your Job to Care for Your Elderly Parent?

WomenOldYoungYou already know what may be gained by giving up employment and becoming the sole caregiver for your parents. You are the hands-on person and know their care intimately. You know how they are doing day and night and you hope they will appreciate your help. They raised you and you want to give back. You also could save the money that would be spent for in-home care or adult day care, plus you likely put off, if not eliminate, the need for nursing home care. Therefore, quitting a job and staying home to care for your aging parents could save them significant money. What do you lose if you quit your job to provide care for your parents?

Read more on Agingcare about quitting a job to care for your parents:

Global Alzheimer’s Study Now Enrolling

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“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


The Challenge of Overcoming Denial to Seek Potential Dementia Diagnosis

Fog4One reason for this intense fear of Alzheimer's is obvious. While many types of cancer can be cured, most types of dementia cannot. However, another reason is that the idea of being betrayed by our brains to the point that we are essentially lost in the disease is abhorrent to most of us. This fear, unfortunately, tends to make many people less than willing to see a physician for dementia testing even when they are showing signs that point to the illness. People don’t want to hear that they have dementia.

Read more on HealthCentral about overcoming denial:

Global Alzheimer’s Study Now Enrolling 

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Can caregivers be subject to abuse by their care receivers?

AggressionWhen we think of domestic abuse in a family where elders are cared for, we generally think that the elder is the most likely person to suffer abuse. Statistics would probably prove this to be a fact. However, there are many caregivers who can truthfully say that they are emotionally, verbally and even occasionally physically abused by their care receiver. 

Read more on HealthCentral about how caregivers can be abused by their care receiver:

Global Alzheimer’s Study Now Enrolling

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


Surprising Changes that May Indicate Dementia

BrainWhen the average person thinks of dementia, generally Alzheimer’s disease comes to mind, and when people think of Alzheimer’s they think of memory loss. Both of these conclusions are understandable since Alzheimer’s is the most common form of dementia and memory issues are often the first symptom of that disease. Surprising then, to many people, is the fact that there may be more subtle indicators of potential Alzheimer’s disease or other types of dementia than memory lapses. If we feel that dementia may be in our future or that of our loved one, what other indications of cognitive change should we watch for?

Read more on HealthCentral about subtle signs of potential dementia:

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

Global Alzheimer’s Study Now Enrolling


Having the End-Of-Life Talk with Our Elders

ElderTalkFew of us like to consider the fact that our parents will die. However they will. Nothing will change that fact. Good medical care, solid healthful habits, a pleasant social life – all of these may extend our years, but in the end, we will die. With this in mind, it is to everyone's advantage to discuss the details at as early a stage as possible. As I told my kids when I had my own legal papers drawn up, "Let's do all of this and then get on with the business of living." We did just that, and while my sons didn't find the prospect of my death fun to talk about, they dutifully listened to what I had drawn up and where I keep my papers. Whether it is the adult children or the parents who don't want to have the talk, this is something that needs to be done.

Read more on Agingcare about having the end-of-life talk:

Global Alzheimer’s Study Now Enrolling

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


Treating Pain in Elderly a Careful Balance

FriendlyOlderWomanDear Carol: My mother is 87-years-old and lives with terrible arthritis pain. She had one hip replacement at age 75, but it’s too risky to do more surgery now. When she uses her walker every step is agony. Mom recently moved from assisted living to a wonderful nursing home because she needs a wheelchair fairly often and she has developed some other health problems. They take good care of her, but it seems as if more could be done for her pain. Her stomach is sensitive so all she takes is Tylenol. Mom has always been brave about her pain and she doesn’t complain but I can only imagine how bad it is. I’ve seen her X-rays. She has virtually no cartilage in her knees or hip. Her hands and feet are swollen and twisted. How can I help? Katherine

Continue reading about treating pain in the elderly:

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

Global Alzheimer’s Study Now Enrolling


Specialized Music Therapy for Alzheimer's and Other Types of Dementia

ReverieHarpCredit...Fridays at the nursing home were very popular. Regular music groups would come by at the week’s end to play old favorites for the residents, always filling the room with cheer. My dad, who had dementia caused by failed surgery, loved the live music but also responded well to CDs of his favorites from the big band era. I know that his quality of life during his last ten years would have been diminished without music to help override the effects of dementia.

Read more on Agingcare about specialized music therapy for people with dementia:

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

Global Alzheimer’s Study Now Enrolling

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Getting Over the Guilt of Placing a Loved One in a Home

AnxietyFor many caregivers, placing an elder in a home spells failure on the part of the caregiver. Even when carers know they've done all they can, a subconscious nagging voice often tells them they are giving up on their parents or spouse. I'm here to tell you that you are not giving up. You are just getting help. 

Read more on HealhtCentral about getting over the guilt of placing a loved one in a 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.”  Craig William Dayton, Film Composer

Global Alzheimer’s Study Now Enrolling


Dementia Service Dogs an Idea That Needs Support

DogServiceMost of us are aware of service dogs, especially guide dogs for people with sight impairment, because we see them around our communities. These dogs are not pets. They are working animals and are allowed wherever the person they serve goes. Increasingly, other service dogs are being trained to help people with impaired hearing, people who have grand mal seizures and people with Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome. With more than five million people in the U.S. alone coping with the effects of Alzheimer’s, any attempt to help people with dementia have a better quality of life is welcome. So why not have trained service dogs for people with dementia?

Read more on HealthCentral about service dogs for people with 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.”  Craig William Dayton, Film Composer

Global Alzheimer’s Study Now Enrolling


What Complications of Alzheimer’s Cause Death?

  Brain6If you asked a friend or neighbor what they think are the most common causes of death in elderly people they’d probably list heart attack, stroke, cancer and pneumonia. Few would say Alzheimer’s disease. One reason for the lack of knowledge, according to Byron D. James, Ph.D. who is a researcher with the Rush Alzheimer’s Disease Center, is that “Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias are under-reported on death certificates and medical records.”

Read more about the complications of Alzheimer's that can lead to death:

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

Global Alzheimer’s Study Now Enrolling