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July 2018

"The Candid Caregiver (TCC) is a safe place for all caregivers, of any condition area or caregiving level, to go for candid yet professional guidance. Questions will be answered, tough topics will be discussed, and the caregivers will ultimately have a place where they, themselves, feel cared for. No topics are off the table. Ask your questions and share your stories on social media using the hashtag #TheCandidCaregiver." Read more →


My car, buffeted by wind that had chilled to 30 below zero, plowed through yet-to-be-cleared streets. Mom had set off her personal alarm so the dispatcher called me as planned. It had been one of those days. I’d just returned home from the nearby nursing facility after trying to calm my dad, who was experiencing a major anxiety episode due to his dementia. No rest for the caregiver. I climbed back in the car and fought my way through the streets to Mom.  Read more →


Dear Carol: Mom had a stroke two years ago and Dad provides her care. She's had health issues for over 10 years so he's actually been a caregiver for a long time. Now, Mom's developed vascular dementia. I don’t think she's ready for a nursing home, but I do feel that Dad is risking his health by doing too much. They need help. The problem is that Mom doesn't want "outsiders" in her home, and Dad does what Mom wants. I help when I can but have a job and family. How do I convince them to accept assistance from an in-home care agency? – GB Read more →


"Where's my college ring?" This had become Dad's mantra during some months of his early demented years. I knew he hadn't gotten a ring when he graduated from college. His college career was interrupted by World War II, then work and a family. He went back to school during his work career. I, at age fourteen, attended his college graduation. I suppose, with a family to support, he didn't think a college ring was important. He didn't order one. He never owned one. But no way would he believe that now, as a man in his late seventies with heavy-duty dementia Read more →


One of the most painful times for some families comes when their loved one can no longer thrive with in-home care and is in need of the skilled care that a nursing home can provide. Difficult as this time can be, emotion must be put aside so that necessary research can be conducted to find the best care facility possible. Read more →


A dementia caregiver guide for navigating through delicate situations: Providing care for someone who lives with any type of dementia — whether it’s Alzheimer’s, vascular, Lewy body or any of the myriad incarnations — can be intimidating. We watch helplessly as someone we love changes dramatically in how they view the world, and in the words and actions that they can understand. These changes can lead to situations where we unintentionally say and do things that make life harder for everyone involved. Read more →


Specialized care is needed at different stages of dementia. Frequently, the only way to provide that kind of care is to move the person to either a memory unit or a family home, while supplementing care provided by family members with paid in-home caregivers. In many cases, it’s simply unrealistic to expect to never have to relocate someone who has dementia. At the same time, frequently moving someone with dementia around can be problematic.  Read more →


As 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? Read more →


Let me start at the beginning: A couple of weeks ago, I attended a training program at Bethany Homes, a care facility near my home Read more →


Unlike me, many caregivers care for an elder or a spouse who lives in the same home. If you are fortunate, your care receivers may be cognitively able to understand that this is a bad day for you and you may not be as helpful as you’d like. If this is the case, tell them that you are sick, or that you have a migraine, or whatever your issue is. Read more →