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February 2018

...Accepting this current failure to produce a drug that is of real help to people with the disease has been a struggle for researchers at large. There are still many questions about exactly what triggers Alzheimer’s disease and whether or not there is just one cause or if there are several. Researchers will continue to try to solve the puzzle. Most likely they will eventually develop a method that can reliably prevent or cure Alzheimer’s through pharmaceutical intervention. Meanwhile, as is often the case, acceptance of this current failure has led to studies that seem to have produced some hope on a more basic level. Read more →


It’s thought that sundowning stems from a combination of factors such as disorientation due to lack of light, fatigue, and disruptions in the body clock. While there’s no cure for sundowning some medications and lifestyle changes can help. Below are some tips that may help you and your loved one cope with this often frustrating end-of-day behavior: Read more →


Video: Molly Wisniewski of Upside To Aging Interviews Carol Bradley Bursack

From Molly Wisniewski of Upside To Aging: This week I sat down with author, writer, blogger, and consultant on aging... Read more →


...Some situations, of course, leave no room for laughter. But some tough times can offer moments of levity if we choose to recognize them. My sister, Beth, and I experienced what to some people may be a rather macabre situation during the three days our mother was going through the death process. If we hadn’t maintained our senses of humor, I’m not sure how we would have handled those sad, seemingly endless days. Read more →


Dear Carol: My dad’s been in a nursing home for several years and is ready for hospice care. I read your column about hospice care being covered by most insurances but I’m wondering what happens in a nursing home. Does insurance start to cover nursing home costs, then, too? Would it be better to move Dad home for this time period? It’s hard to make these decisions at such a stressful time. – RE Read more →


Forgiveness, or the lack there of, can loom large in the life of a caregiver. Forgiving doesn’t mean forgetting. That is rule number one for people to remember when they are working toward crafting better relationships with family members and others whom they care about. Forgiveness can have enormous benefits for the health of the person who does the forgiving. Considering that negative thinking can be disastrous to your own health, you may want to work toward the positive habit of forgiveness. Here are some people that you may need to forgive along with reasons why you should. Read more →


Nothing can make it easy for us to watch the cognitive decline of someone we love. Nothing will take away the agony of seeing loved ones so changed from the individuals they used to be. But imaginatively entering into their world is the most effective way to survive, and occasionally enjoy, the world of dementia caregiving. Read more →


Many, if not most, younger people find the idea of older adults having sex uncomfortable. Even middle-aged people avoid thinking that their parents are still enjoying sexual intimacy. They know it’s likely, but they don’t like thinking about it. It’s their parents for heaven’s sake! This attitude is terribly sad. For most people, physical touch and emotional caring - which underlie good sexual encounters - are needed for true quality of life. Sex for older adults is simply normal. Read more →


Hospice organizations are keenly aware of the soothing power of music. Sometimes the music may be used casually, by the facility or the family, knowing that this is a type of music that the person who is in the dying process had always enjoyed. Increasingly, though, employing trained music therapists has been favored. Read more →


For most of us, our parents are just there — seemingly invincible as we grow up. Once we leave home, we’re on a mission to move into our own adulthood with our parents moving to the background, but still a solid, if often unacknowledged, presence. As we move on with our lives, creating careers, marriages, and possibly children, most parents continue to be involved in some capacity.  Read more →