Aging Feed

Dear Carol: My aunt, who has never married, always been a complainer. She has a decent retirement income but has always lived in a hovel because she never wanted to spend her money. Now she has chronic health problems. When my husband and I last visited her home we knew that morally we couldn’t let this go on because she was physically filthy and unable to care for herself, and she couldn’t climb her steps to go out. We finally convinced her to move to a wonderful care facility where she’s been settled for over six months. She has great food, a saintly aide that costs extra but is worth every penny, activities to attend, and lovely surroundings. Still, all she does is complain. It’s getting so that I can hardly stand to visit her, though visiting has been a priority so that we could keep an eye on things. She’s wearing me down. Why are some people like this? – RE Read more →


Pamper Yourself: Do something you enjoy. Read a good book, go to a concert, take a walk alone or with a buddy, have coffee with friends, get away from the computer. Anything that you really enjoy should help your body heal from the negative effects of constant stress. Read more →


When it comes to Alzheimer’s Disease (AD), the sad reality is that there is no cure. But a significant number of people have an increased risk due to genetics, and everyone has an increased risk as they age. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, of the more than five million Americans with Alzheimer’s, approximately 200,000 individuals develop the disease before age 65 (younger-onset Alzheimer’s disease or YOAD). Additionally, barring a cure or some type of prevention, someone in the United States will develop the disease every 33 seconds. Read more →


A recent study found that adult children caring for their parents, as well as parents caring for chronically ill children, may have their lifespan shortened by four to eight years. Caregivers could conceivably alter these statistics if they practice reasonable self-care. Here are some tips to get you started on the road to better health: Read more →


When I was a teen, my parents had a home specifically built with separate quarters so that my grandmother could live with us and still maintain her privacy. For us, it was simply a decision that would allow Grandma to move in—nothing newsworthy at the time. Nowadays, with our tendency to label trends, sociologists would call my family’s arrangement “multigenerational living,” and Grandma’s special living area would be considered an “in-law suite.”  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. This type of therapy seems especially helpful with those who are dying from Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia. Perhaps this is because in the final stage of dementia, people have usually moved beyond the point where conversation is possible. Read more →


Dear Carol: I’ve lived 900 miles away from my parents for years. My husband and I were tied down with caring for his parents, so we didn’t see my family as often as we’d like, but they always seemed fine when we talked or visited. Now, his parents have both passed and we’ve been traveling to visit my parents more often. These last few visits have highlighted my mom’s decline. It’s obvious that she’s got dementia but she ignores the symptoms and hasn't been diagnosed. Dad is in denial and covers for her, as does my only sibling. How do I even begin to help with this? – NY  Read more →


A study led by Becca R. Levy, PhD of Yale University and her colleagues has shown that our memory is actually shaped by age stereotypes. In other words, if you are ageist in your thinking, adhering to stereotypical images of older people as bumbling, forgetful, annoying people who are going “downhill,” your memory will likely age in accordance with the stereotypes that you carry. Read more →


According to the Alzheimer’s Association, in 2015 nearly 16 million family and other unpaid caregivers for people with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias provided an estimated 18.1 billion hours of unpaid care, a contribution to the nation valued at $221.3 billion. This is with caregiving being valued at only $12.25 per hour. Similar statistics are posted by the International Alliance of Carer Organizations, which tracks caregiving in countries around the world. Read more →