Aging Feed

The Stages of Alzheimer's and the Caregiver's Role

Brain16While Alzheimer’s disease will progress differently for each person, scientists and clinicians have attempted to stage the disease as a way that helps people living with Alzheimer’s and their families understand what is happening, as well as to plan for the future. Some divide AD into seven stages, some five stages, but currently three stages is the format most often used. The Alzheimer’s Association uses three stages, so that is what we will use for our foundation here.

View slideshow on HealthCentral about the stages of AD and how the caregiver needs to learn to respond:

Purchase Minding Our Elders: Caregivers Share Their Personal Stories – paperback or ebook

Minding Our Elders lets you know that you are not alone, that you are not going to be perfect, but you can get the job done, You do the best you can, and that is good enough. We can't be Carol, but we can learn from her going before us. What a friend to have. What a gift she gave us. – CM Jones


6 Tips to Help You Have More Fun While Caregiving

MotherSon3Many dementia caregivers feel as though they are treading water just to avoid sinking under the often exhausting pressures associated with dementia care. But consciously changing your attitude can, with practice, significantly change how your days, and those of your loved one, unfold. Here are some tips to get started.

View full slideshow on HealthCentral about having more fun with caregiving:

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


Elder Abuse: How Seniors and Their Money Can Be Legally Hijacked

SusanHodgesGuardianshipBookJacketWhile we like to think that most seniors have family members or at least lifelong friends to help them through their last years, many don’t. The term elder orphan is often used to describe these older Americans. While many have planned for this time in their lives by hiring attorneys to oversee the legal issues surrounding their potential need for care, others may not have been so wise. These seniors could be a prime target for a guardianship company that can swoop in and—legally—take over their lives, including their finances.

Read the full article on professional guardianship companies on HealthCentral:

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


Tax Expert Tips for Family Caregivers

ChristopherChericoMany family caregivers use a significant amount of their own money to cover the needs of the person for whom they are caring. Often, these expenses are seemingly small, but they can add up. Sometimes, these expenses are enormous, especially for spousal caregivers. Costs can range from simple personal items to charges for adult day services. Either way, caregivers should develop a method of tracking these expenses. One reason is that, for some, the expenses could be taken off of their taxes.

View slideshow on HealthCentral about taxes and parent care:

Purchase Minding Our Elders: Caregivers Share Their Personal Stories – paperback or ebook

An amazing book of stories that will touch your heart and encourage you, especially if you are a caregiver. Carol  Bradley Bursack also has an excellent website devoted to the elderly and their caregivers. - Carol Heilman  *Great Christmas gift!


Mismanaged Prescription Drugs May Create Dementia-Like Symptoms

Medication8Dear Carol: My mom was drugged into dementia. She started out having a thyroid problem, but she kept developing more illnesses and receiving more prescriptions. The prescriptions ranged from her thyroid medication, which was necessary, to anti-depressants, anti-anxiety pills, and counting until she was eventually put in a psych ward. There, she was prescribed Alzheimer’s medications and then moved to the memory unit of an assisted living facility where she was medicated with antipsychotics. To shorten the story, I have Power Of Attorney so I moved from one coast to the other in order to be with my mother and fight to get her well. I read your work religiously and know that you tell people to watch their elders’ medications. Please keep doing that. My mom is now living with me and takes just three necessary drugs. She’s again going to her art class, seeing friends, and enjoying life. NM

Read full column on Inforum about why we need to be careful with prescriptions drugs, especially with older people:

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

 


Making Holidays Special for Your Elders No Matter Where They Live

  Christmas10Even though holidays can be fraught with stress because of societal expectations that they should be happy no matter what our circumstances, most of us have happy memories of celebrations when we were young. Our parents were in charge, and kids were the focus. As our parents age and can no longer be in charge of celebrations, the duties tend to fall to adult children. Our heart's desire is to provide a way for our aging parents to enjoy the holidays, but their circumstances can make that challenging. First and foremost, however, remember that it's your presence that is the most important thing. That, and helping your parents to feel included in whatever way they can participate.

Read the full article on Agingcare about how to make Christmas special for your loved ones:

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


Was Your Thanksgiving Day a Dress Rehearsal?

FatherDaughterThanksgiving is over, and hopefully, most of you who are caregivers were able to enjoy helping your elder celebrate to whatever degree they could. Some of you will have had cheery loved ones, while others just “made it through the day.” Often, with elders who are frail or sick, we really don’t know what a day will bring. When I had multiple elders living in multiple places, each holiday was a challenge. I wanted to give everyone the holidays they were used to, and that, of course, was impossible. Therefore, I was hard on myself.

Read full article on Eldercarelink about how Thanksgiving can affect caregivers:

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


Minding our Elders: Accepting Reality Precedes Feeling Gratitude

OlderManDEAR CAROL: My wife has had a stroke that’s left her mostly paralyzed on one side. She can’t speak well and she cries often. We’re in our 70s and have spent our lives as active church people. In fact, we’ve done our share of visiting hospitals and nursing homes representing the church. We’ve told people that what they are facing is their reality and that we will pray for them. We’ve told them to be grateful for what they have. Now, the shoe is on the other foot. I’m having a difficult time feeling grateful for anything at all. Instead, I feel angry, exhausted, frustrated and frightened. How could I have been such a hypocrite all of these years? – Roger

Read full article on Inforum about accepting reality to find your way to gratitude: 

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


Family Conversations: Where Do Your Parents Want to Live Their Last Years?

FamilyconversationTalking with our elderly loved ones about how and where they would choose to live their remaining years can be more than awkward. It can be frightening. For many, it’s not as much the fear of the elders’ reactions to our words as it is an effort to preserve our own denial. If we don’t voice the fact that our parents are aging and may eventually need assistance, and then, yes, die — it won’t happen. This is a version of covering our eyes when we were small and saying “you can’t see me.”

Read full article on HealthCentral about talking with your parents about their wishes:

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


Sleep Expert Tells How to Tame the Insomnia That Can Come with Age

SleepProblemsAccording to the National Sleep Foundation, changes to our sleep patterns are a part of the normal aging process. The foundation states that as people age, they tend to have a harder time falling asleep and more trouble staying asleep than when they were younger. Knowing this, and knowing about the common thinking that adults need less sleep as they age, HealthCentral asked Dr. Martha Cortes some questions via email about aging and sleep.

Read more about aging and sleep issues on HealthCentral:

Purchase Minding Our Elders: Caregivers Share Their Personal Stories – paperback or ebook

An amazing book of stories that will touch your heart and encourage you, especially if you are a caregiver. Carol  Bradley Bursack also has an excellent website devoted to the elderly and their caregivers. - Carol Heilman     *Great Christmas gift!