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February 2016

Compassion Fatigue: The Stage When Caregivers Pass Burnout

Emotions...Those times have come dangerously close to burnout, but I have always moved through them with a focus on faith and self-care. Since my darkest days, however, I’ve learned that there is another stage that exists beyond burnout—one that can be extremely scary. This stage is called compassion fatigue.

Read more on Agingcare about compassion fatigue and your risks:

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


Sex in Retirement Communities—Who Business Is It?

CoupleRelaxOur society has marginalized people over fifty when it comes to love and sex. The "ick" factor is natural, when one thinks of his or her parents. Who wants to think they ever did that? Of course the fact that you and your siblings exist is a clue, but still, it's just something most of us don't care to think about. But parents age. Some are widowed or divorced and they remarry. Still, we'd rather not know too much information about their intimate life. Then there's your grandparents. Yeah, your grandparents.

Read more on Agingcare about sex and elders:

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


Providing Individual Attention Important for Alzheimer’s Eating Study Shows

FoodIt’s natural for caregivers to worry if their loved one is getting sufficient nourishment. People with dementia are often a challenge because they forget to eat, or they may have problems remembering how to transfer food from the plate to their mouths. Some people have trouble chewing and swallowing, especially during later stages of dementia. Since depression is another issue that is common for people with dementia, a Taiwanese addressed these issues together. The study, published in the Journal of Advanced Nursing, found that dementia patients who received individualized instructions on good eating habits had fewer symptoms of depression.

Read more on HealthCentral about how individual attention can help people with Alzheimer's eat better:

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

 

6 Ways for Caregivers to Weather Criticism from Outside Sources

CaregiverStress2Because the needs of each individual and family structure vary greatly, family caregiving is an art more than a science. While there are people who aren’t cut out to be caregivers, most who take on the challenge do the best that they can under their unique circumstances. Yet, they often receive criticism, sadly even from other caregivers. How can family caregivers who are already doing so much for their love one(s) weather criticism from outsiders about how they provide care? 

View slideshow on HealthCentral about caregivers weathering criticism:

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


Migraines: Causes and Treatments for this Potentially Disabling Condition

Abstract-of-blue-ice-10023106Misunderstandings about migraines have led many people to say that they are having one when they may actually be experiencing a stress headache or a sinus headache. These misconceptions can leave potentially serious health issues unaddressed, so understanding migraines is important for those who may mislabel their own intense head pain as well as for those who truly suffer from these attacks.

Read more on Agingcare about migraines and the challenges people who have them may face:

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

Global Alzheimer’s Study Now Enrolling


Brain Games: Do They Offer Brain Protection or Simply Entertainment?

BraingamesDo brain games make a difference in staving off brain diseases such as Alzheimer’s or are they just harmless fun? While studies have been all over the map on this issue during the last few years, lately they indicate that at least formal brain training may help, which indicates to me that well designed informal brain training would have at least some validity. The National Institute on Aging (NIA) has this to say:

Read more on HealthCentral about brain games and their contribution to cognitive health:

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

Global Alzheimer’s Study Now Enrolling


Was It a Mistake to Place Your Parent In a Nursing Home?

Hands2If there's one emotion that nearly anyone caring for vulnerable people can count on it is guilt. We feel guilty about a decision to take some kind of action. We feel guilty about a decision to wait. We feel guilty about asking others to help. We feel guilty about not asking for help. Caregiver guilt is human, and for most caregivers, the guilt is largely unearned. Of course, we don't always make the right call regarding every circumstance. But we do our best. I'd hazard a guess that the most painful decision for most of us to make is whether or not it's in our loved one's best interests to place him or her in a nursing home. If it is also in our best interest, then the guilt looms even larger.

Read more on Agingcare about the guilt we often feel about nursing home placement:

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

Global Alzheimer’s Study Now Enrolling


Potential Hospice Help Sometimes Rejected because of Misinformation

Alzheimers_elder_caregiver6Dear Carol: I know from reading your column that you are a champion of hospice care. We want our loved ones to be comfortable, so providing drugs for pain relief makes sense to me. Even stopping treatment that is meant to cure a disease when the person is past the stage when that treatment will help makes sense. What doesn’t make sense to me is when hospice won’t give food or even liquids. Aren’t people hungry? Isn’t this causing death? Ronny

Read more on Inforum about hospice myths:

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


Anxiety May Speed Onset of Dementia When Paired with MCI

CommunicatingPeople with mild cognitive impairment are more likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease than the general population. Therefore, these findings suggest that while lowering stress is good for all of us, it’s vital for those who have MCI to keep stress levels low in order to decrease their risk of developing full-blown Alzheimer’s disease.

Read more about the connection between MCI, anxiety and 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


Communicating With a Person Who Has Dementia Takes Skill, Heart

Comfort3Communicating with someone who has dementia can be an ever-changing challenge. But some things never change. One of those constants is that caregivers and friends must fully understand and accept that the person with dementia is not a child any sense of the word.  Treating our elders with respect and dignity means understanding that lost cognitive ability doesn’t take away their adulthood. Elders have lived a lifetime and have left a legacy – some more admirable than others. However, nothing they have done or not done during their lives turns them into overgrown children. 

Read more on HealthCentral about communicating with loved ones who have 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