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June 2017

Celebrate July 4th: Planning a Picnic for an Elder in a Senior Living Community

Barbecue_grill_sausage_sausage_227499Would you prefer a hot dog or hamburger? Ketchup, mustard, relish? Chips, salad, dessert?  All were available during the annual barbecue picnic at the nursing home where my parents, my uncle and my mother-in-law lived at different times. While people also enjoyed the monthly birthday dinners and holiday festivities hosted by the nursing home, the summer barbecue was one of the most anticipated events of the year.

Read full article on Agingcare about arranging a picnic when your loved one lives in a care facility:

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


Protection for Nursing Home Residents: Will New Rules Remain?

Nursinghome3New rules for the protection of nursing home residents have been implemented as part of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Many of these rules provide answers to concerns that have troubled families with loved ones living in skilled nursing facilities (SNFs), generally called nursing homes. I emailed Medicare expert Ginalisa Monterroso for an update on these rules and what they mean for nursing home residents and their families.

Read full article on HealthCentral about rules to protect nursing home residents: 

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


Is Alzheimer's As Hard on the Caregiver As the Person with the Disease?

AnxietyIt seems shocking to hear people ask whether dementia, particularly Alzheimer’s since it’s the best known, is as hard on the caregiver as it is on the person with the disease. After all, developing dementia of any kind is one of our greatest fears, even overtaking cancer. A caregiver who asks this question must be incredibly heartless and selfish, right? Yet, people who’ve never been a caregiver for someone with dementia need to think this through. When a loved one develops dementia, both the care receiver and the caregiver have entered an incredibly challenging time of their lives.

Read full article on HealthCentral about Alzheimer's and the toll it takes on the caregiver:

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

LAST DAY: Ebook on sale this week for $2.99 in honor of "the longest day" and Alzheimer's Authors


Hospice Care about Re-Focusing Priorities, Not Giving Up

Hands17Our culture is steeped in language that makes accepting the terminal diagnosis of ourselves or a loved one more difficult to accept than it needs to be. Doctors say, “I’m sorry, there’s nothing more we can do. You might want to look into hospice care.” Patients tell their doctors that they want “aggressive treatment,” until there is nothing else that can be done, then they will go on hospice care.

Read full article on HealthCentral about how hospice is an active choice:

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

Ebook on sale this week for $2.99 in honor of "the longest day" and Alzheimer's Authors


Parsing Validation: Helping People Living with Dementia Maintain Self-Worth

CaregiverWomanValidation is a term often used to describe different approaches to helping improve the quality of life of people living with Alzheimer’s disease and other types of dementia. Webster defines the word as “recognition or affirmation that a person or their feelings or opinions are valid or worthwhile.” I believe that all caregivers who practice any form of validation when caring for a person living with dementia aim for the same result. They want to help the person maintain their sense of self, and they want to lower the anxiety and stress that stems from the person living with dementia losing the ability to readily understand the world around them.

Read full article on HealthCentral about validating the people who have various types of dementia:

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

The stories in this fine book showed us how others have gone through similar things with their families and that is somehow reassuring. There are some helpful suggestions but mostly there is the recognition that others went through the same thing. All we can do is our best. That is greatly reassuring during these difficult emotional times. If you are a caregiver, this is a must read. - Delores Edwards


Nursing Home Staff May Not Always Foresee an Approaching Death

Deathcomfort2Dear Carol: My 83-year-old father died recently. He had been in a good nursing home for three years, and there were no changes I his condition that I could see, yet he suddenly died. I keep second-guessing the nursing home staff for not warning me, which is probably unfair, but I can’t help but feel that they should have had some clue to Dad’s impending death. I’m not saying that they were neglectful in any way, and certainly they weren’t responsible for his death. I’m just wondering why they didn’t pick up on what was happening so that we would have had some warning. Shouldn’t they have been able to let us know that he may only have a week or a month to live? Should I ask them for an explanation? – Pat

Read the full column on Inforum about how to cope with the shock of sudden loss under these conditions:

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

Ebook on sale this week for $2.99 in honor of "the longest day" and Alzheimer's Authors


5 Tips to Ease Discussions with Elders about Housing

Motherdaughter3As you watch your parents or other beloved elders age, sometimes worry becomes inevitable. Should they have housing upgrades? Can they continue to live independently? Your intention isn’t to take over their lives, but you may genuinely want to start the conversation about possible future changes. How do you do this without causing a backlash?

View full slideshow about how to talk to your loved ones about housing:

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

Ebook on sale this week for $2.99 in honor of "the longest day" and Alzheimer's Authors


Lewy Body Dementia Caregivers Share Their Personal Experiences

FatherDaughter8...As with most types of dementia, family members are the primary caregivers by default, at least at the beginning of the disease. They are usually the people who notice that something is not right with their spouse or parent. Again, like Alzheimer’s and most other types of dementia, care needs escalate with time. This ongoing care can be physically arduous and emotionally demanding. 

Jeanne Gibbs, whose husband had LBD, illustrates her husband’s state of mind with the scenario below, which she handled like a pro:

Sometimes (but certainly not always!) the cause confusion in dementia can be determined and dealt with.

I worked at home to support us. One day my husband, Coy, was waiting for a rain-delayed baseball playoff game, and he came into my office...

Read full article on HealthCentral about some of the challenges that lewy-body caregivers face:

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

Ebook on sale this week for $2.99 in honor of "the longest day" and Alzheimer's Authors

An amazing book of stories that will touch your heart and encourage you, especially if you are a caregiver. Carol  Bradley Bursack also has an excellent website devoted to the elderly and their caregivers. - Carol Heilman


Why Whole Foods Lower Your Risk of Alzheimer's, Diabetes, and Heart Disease

Diet1Poor diet has become increasingly recognized as a precursor to poor health, including diabetes and brain diseases, and the health issues are often intertwined. For example, diabetes increases the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. In addition, the suggestions for maintaining heart health are very close to those given to maintain brain health. HealthCentral conducted an email interview with Dr. John Douillard, DC, CAP, to discuss the ways that diet may influence the risk for developing Alzheimer’s disease in particular, but related diseases, as well.

Read full article on HealthCentral about how your diet  - especially whole foods - can lower your risk of Alzheimer's, Diabetes, and Heart Disease

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


Memory Expert Separates Fact from Fiction about Preserving Brain Health

Exercise13Myths about brain health are as rampant as they are for any feared disease. Neuropsychologist Dr. Michelle Braun is a memory expert who actively fights against these myths. In the process, she helps people learn how to reduce their risk for developing Alzheimer’s disease. Dr. Braun has worked for 10 years as a clinical neuropsychologist in departments of Neurology, Neurosurgery, and Psychiatry in hospitals and academia. In 2008, she received the Practitioner of the Year Award from the Alzheimer’s Association in southeastern Wisconsin.   #ENDALZ  #ABAM @healthcentral

Read full article on HealthCentral about how a memory expert views the preservation of brain health:

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

Minding Our Elders lets you know that you are not alone, that you are not going to be perfect, but you can get the job done, You do the best you can, and that is good enough. We can't be Carol, but we can learn from her going before us. What a friend to have. What a gift she gave us. – CM Jones