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November 2017

Many dementia caregivers feel as though they are treading water just to avoid sinking under the often exhausting pressures associated with dementia care. But consciously changing your attitude can, with practice, significantly change how your days, and those of your loved one, unfold. Here are some tips to get started. Read more →


Following are tips that may help you find the right words, or at least some passable words, as well as advice from caregivers and spouses who’ve been through tough times. Read more →


While we like to think that most seniors have family members or at least lifelong friends to help them through their last years, many don’t. The term elder orphan is often used to describe these older Americans. While many have planned for this time in their lives by hiring attorneys to oversee the legal issues surrounding their potential need for care, others may not have been so wise. These seniors could be a prime target for a guardianship company that can swoop in and—legally—take over their lives, including their finances. Read more →


Many family caregivers use a significant amount of their own money to cover the needs of the person for whom they are caring. Often, these expenses are seemingly small, but they can add up. Sometimes, these expenses are enormous, especially for spousal caregivers. Costs can range from simple personal items to charges for adult day services. Either way, caregivers should develop a method of tracking these expenses. One reason is that, for some, the expenses could be taken off of their taxes. Read more →


Dear Carol: My mom was drugged into dementia. She started out having a thyroid problem, but she kept developing more illnesses and receiving more prescriptions. The prescriptions ranged from her thyroid medication, which was necessary, to anti-depressants, anti-anxiety pills, and counting until she was eventually put in a psych ward. There, she was prescribed Alzheimer’s medications and then moved to the memory unit of an assisted living facility where she was medicated with antipsychotics. To shorten the story, I have Power Of Attorney so I moved from one coast to the other in order to be with my mother and fight to get her well. I read your work religiously and know that you tell people to watch their elders’ medications. Please keep doing that. My mom is now living with me and takes just three necessary drugs. She’s again going to her art class, seeing friends, and enjoying life. NM Read more →


Even though holidays can be fraught with stress because of societal expectations that they be happy no matter what our circumstances, most of us have happy memories of celebrations when we were young. Our parents were in charge, and kids were the focus.   Read more →


Thanksgiving is over, and hopefully, most of you who are caregivers were able to enjoy helping your elder celebrate to whatever degree they could. Some of you will have had cheery loved ones, while others just “made it through the day.” Read more →


DEAR CAROL: My wife has had a stroke that’s left her mostly paralyzed on one side. She can’t speak well... Read more →


If we don’t voice the fact that our parents are aging and may eventually need assistance, and then, yes, die — it won’t happen. This is a version of covering our eyes when we were small and saying “you can’t see me.” Read more →


According to the National Sleep Foundation, changes to our sleep patterns are a part of the normal aging process. The foundation states that as people age, they tend to have a harder time falling asleep and more trouble staying asleep than when they were younger. Knowing this, and knowing about the common thinking that adults need less sleep as they age, HealthCentral asked Dr. Martha Cortes some questions via email about aging and sleep. Read more →