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July 2018

August 2018

Some types of dementia are reversible: The National Institutes of Health says that some types of dementia can be stopped or reversed with treatment. Normal pressure hydrocephalus, caused by excess cerebrospinal fluid, can be helped by surgical intervention. Some drugs, vitamin deficiencies, alcohol abuse, depression, and brain tumors can cause dementia-like symptoms. Most of these causes respond to treatment. Read more →


...The questions in Simpson’s newest book illuminate the bond between two generations of women — one just entering adulthood; the other approaching the years when one wonders how much of life remains. Are you afraid of dying? How do you want to be remembered? Is there anything that you really regret or wish you did differently when you were younger? What do you hope to live to see? These are the questions asked and answered with love and wisdom. Read more →


Dear Carol: My dad is in a good assisted living facility. He’s 96, and other than congestive heart failure, he’s in fair health for his age and has a good attitude for the most part. He was having physical therapy for hip and knee problems but now refuses it. I feel that at his age he can do what he wants so I haven’t pushed it. He uses a wheelchair to get around for the most part, but he can transfer himself. The nurse at the ALF said that he’d probably qualify for hospice care, though a doctor would have to make the determination. She did say that it’s a good idea for us to check into hospice because they can offer a lot of assistance that the assisted living facility can’t provide. Read more →


An article in the Daily Mail speaks to this issue in a delightful manner, stressing that people have differing views about addressing our elders at any time but particularly when they are in need of care. One view is that pet names such as Sweetie are demeaning. This attitude comes from a woman whose family wasn’t used to terms of endearment. The opposing view is from a woman completely comfortable with these terms and finds that they encourage bonding. My own view? It depends. Read more →


For many of us, a car is a sign of independence. But this emotional connection to our automobiles is part of what makes convincing a person that he or she is no longer capable of driving such a volatile battle. The longer adult children or others wait to discuss driving issues with a loved one, the harder it can be. Read more →


Often, we don’t even notice that we’ve slipped into a routine of combined stress and numbness until a friend or family member takes a moment to ask what is new in our lives. If our first thought is that nothing much has changed since we are just caregivers doing what we do, then it’s time to take a look at how we can refresh our attitude toward our lives, and in the process, perhaps refresh the life of the person for whom we are responsible. Read more →


The people we love and care for often reach a point where we can no longer be sole care providers and we need to look at options. This is painful, because up to this point we’ve likely been partners in their care but haven’t had to make forceful decisions. Now, things have changed. Because so many people have a negative view of nursing homes, the idea of going to a care facility terrifies many older people and being the person to make this decision can be agony. Read more →


According to the National Cancer Society, the majority of bladder cancers occur in the older population, with the average age... Read more →


Dear Candid Caregiver: My mom passed two years ago and my dad hasn’t done well since. Recently he had a stroke. My sister, who lives 1,000 miles away, came out for mom’s funeral, and she also visited for a few days after dad’s stroke, but she has a job and a family and couldn’t stay long. Now, dad’s been diagnosed with vascular dementia. Realistically, I’m the sole caregiver. I have two teenaged children, a husband who is, so far, supportive, and a job.  Read more →


Dear Carol: My husband has been diagnosed with a slow-growing type of leukemia that is well controlled by medication. He takes several medications for other health problems, too, but he’s doing well physically considering the issues. He’s never been easy to get along with because he knows everything and can have an acid tongue, especially toward me. I have stood up for myself when I’ve needed to, and he used to calm down, and sometimes apologize. Now, though, he’s getting far worse. Our grown kids don’t want to be around him, and old friends are staying away. He rants at everyone. Is this normal crankiness? TG Read more →