Aging Feed

Valentines Day, Anniversaries Can Be Painful for Caregivers

DepressedWoamnDad always got Mom roses for Valentines Day. Yellow roses. They were her favorite. After Dad's brain surgery resulted in dementia and he needed nursing care, I took over ordering the flowers for Mom. I have ordered a lot of yellow roses through the years. Pain was always connected with it because the whole process was one of keeping up tradition while the meaning of the tradition was not clear to the receivers. 

Read more on HealthCentral about helping loved ones celebrate special days that they don't understand:

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“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

Global Alzheimer’s Study Now Enrolling


Depression: How Big of a Risk Factor for Alzheimer’s Is It?

Brain9It seems that there’s always something new popping up in a headline stating that this condition or that disease increases our risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. While the constant barrage of negative information can be frustrating, it’s simply a byproduct of the intense research being done to discover the cause or causes of Alzheimer’s. That’s all good. For people with depression, however, seeing their illness on lists for traits that make them more likely to develop AD is worrisome. How seriously should people with depression take this information about which they can do little?

Read more on HealthCentral about depression and Alzheimer's:

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

Global Alzheimer’s Study Now Enrolling


Valentine's Day When Your Spouse Is Unresponsive

DifficultLoveThis Valentine’s Day, millions of spouses will be masking their pain as they struggle to celebrate a day dedicated to love. Their husband or wife who has dementia either doesn’t understand what the day is about or, worse yet, doesn't recognize them for who they are. 

Read more on HealthCentral about Valentine's Day when your spouse doesn't know you:

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

Global Alzheimer’s Study Now Enrolling


Informing Person with Dementia of the Death of Loved One Judgement Call

Sunset3Dear Carol: My grandmother died suddenly leaving my grandfather, who has middle stage Alzheimer’s, more confused than ever. I’ve been arguing with my parents about how to handle his repeated questions about where my grandmother is. Both of my parents feel that they need to keep telling him that she died because that’s the truth. I know they mean well, but it seems as if his pain is fresh each time and I think I've read where you shouldn't tell people with dementia about a death. I’d hate to lie to my grandfather but I don’t know what to do. Is there some rule to go by? Amanda

Read more on Inforum about telling whether or not to repeat information about a death to someone with Alzheimer's:

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

Global Alzheimer’s Study Now Enrolling


Defining Our Role as Caregivers Is Often a Process

Family2Throughout several decades, I've been a care provider for many. Most of my care receivers were elderly, including one neighbor, an aunt and uncle, two in-laws and two parents. Each one needed varying amounts of care. I'm currently providing assistance for another. This relationship is vastly different from the others, yet there are also many similarities. Through it all, I've had a hard time accepting the caregiver label.

Read more on Agingcare about the challenge of defining our role as a caregiver:

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

Global Alzheimer’s Study Now Enrolling


Alzheimer’s and Communication: Some Suggestions

Hands8Since communication is vital to quality of life, we who care for those with Alzheimer’s or other diseases that make understanding language difficult need to learn unique methods of coping with the challenge. It’s not easy. When your wife thinks you are her brother, when your dad thinks his best friend is robbing him, when your 75-year-old mom insists that her baby is in danger – it will be your challenge to try to find words or actions that will calm your loved one and redirect his or her thinking. Conversely, when your loved one is trying to tell you that he or she wants coffee but is saying the word “bread,” you will be faced with the challenge of trying to understand what is desired. 

Read more on HealthCentral about communicating with people who have dementia:

Global Alzheimer’s Study Now Enrolling

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


Medications Should be Carefully Controlled as Alzheimer’s Advances

Medical_drugs_tablets_222894While Alzheimer’s specific drugs may help slow symptoms for some people, they also may increase the risk of hip fractures, fainting, urinary problems and other health issues. Most researchers now think that a time comes when many medications for the elderly are no longer beneficial and may be harmful. According to an article in JAMA Internal Medicine, researchers at the University of Massachusetts Medical School in Worcester looked at 5,406 nursing home residents who had late-stage Alzheimer’s or dementia with more than half of them being older than 85. The scientists found that 2,911 of the patients – nearly 54 percent - were taking at least one medication of questionable benefit. 

Continue reading on HealthCentral about when it's time to start pulling back on Alzheimer's medications:

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

Global Alzheimer’s Study Now Enrolling


What If Your Valentine Has Dementia?

Flowrers7

Has your spouse’s dementia made him forget that there is such a day as Valentine’s Day? Worse yet, has your spouse forgotten who you are? Under these circumstances, the second being far more devastating than the first, why would you want to go through the motions of celebrating Valentine’s Day?

Read more on HealthCentral about celebrating Valentine's Day when your spouse has dementia:

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

Global Alzheimer’s Study Now Enrolling


Where Is the Line Between Caregiver Stress and Burnout?

CaregiverStressEvery person who becomes a caregiver will have unique personality traits, yet we nearly always share certain feelings and experiences as we travel a road similar to one another. That’s one reason that caregivers often turn to other caregivers for support. It’s a version of the adage that we need to walk in another’s shoes in order to truly understand what they feel.  One of those shared experiences is a certain amount of stress. Some personalities cope with the ever changing, nearly always challenging, business of caring for another adult with health issues better than others. 

Read more on Healthcentral about the line between caregiver stress and burnout:

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

Global Alzheimer’s Study Now Enrolling


The Many Faces of Dementia: Knowing the Symptoms

FacialExpressionsDementia is not a single disease. It’s a non-specific syndrome that affects cognitive areas of the brain that control memory, language, attention and problem solving. To be considered dementia, the problems must be severe enough to affect daily living. Because Alzheimer’s is responsible for 50 to 60 percent of dementia cases, it’s the most broadly recognized form. However, there are up to 50 different known versions of dementia. Dementia symptoms can include changes in personality, mood and behavior. While some cases, such as dementia caused by medications, infections, hormone imbalances, vitamin deficiencies and alcohol and drug abuse can be cured, most cases cannot.

Read more on HealthCentral about the many ways that dementia can present itself:

Global Alzheimer’s Study Now Enrolling

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

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