Assisted Living Feed

Tips to Reduce Loneliness in Elders around the Holidays

Christmas17It's human to feel that holidays should be happy times, with generations of traditions coming to the forefront. After all, we say we celebrate holidays. Doesn't that mean happiness? The reality, however, is that many people can feel isolated and lonely during this sometimes forced "season of goodwill."  
Elders can have an especially hard time with the holiday season. While aging and maturity can bring the wisdom of years for many people, there are inevitable losses that come to even the most healthy individuals. Many of these losses are emotional and social in nature. Spouses become ill or die. Other aging relatives and friends become seriously ill or die. Neighborhoods change, often leaving even those well enough to remain in their own homes feeling friendless and isolated. The holidays can bring this isolation and a feeling of loneliness to a head.

Read the full article on Agingcare about what you can do to reduce loneliness in elders during the holidays:

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!


Alzheimer's Apathy Preventable with Stimulation

Depression2Lack of enjoyable, stimulating activity can lead to apathy for anyone but particularly those with Alzheimer’s disease. According to a 2013 report by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), apathy is one of the most common neurobehavioral symptoms in dementia. Strong, focused stimulation can help people with Alzheimer’s disease overcome apathy. People with mild dementia will decline more quickly into severe dementia if they also suffer from apathy, therefore engaging, stimulating activities are especially vital to this group.

Read the full article on HealthCentral about how to help be living with dementia overcome apathy:

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

Last day to register for the Caregiver Smile Summit! Keep the entire summit for yourself to watch when you can. Over 50 presenters with excellent information: 

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Changing Caregivers Can Be Traumatic for Elder

OutsideHelpDear Carol: My dad has been a widower for years. Because of a stroke history, he needs someone around, at least during the day, so we started in-home care with an agency. Unfortunately, that didn’t work out, but we got lucky and the sister of a neighbor was available for hire. She and dad became a real team. Now, this caregiver is having her own health problems and is moving out of town. Dad insists that he won’t have anyone else. He says that he'd rather be alone which isn’t an option. How do we get him to give another caregiver a chance? – AM

Read full column on Inforum about how changing caregivers can be handled:

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


Be Prepared and End-Of-Life Conversations Needn't Be Horrible

Family3Sex and death. It's odd that those two topics should bring so much anxiety to parents and children. But, there you have it. One – sex – is about the beginning of life. The other – death – is about the end. Both are a part of the lifecycle, but if anything, sex is easier for many to discuss than death. I've found in my experience that it isn't always the elders who shy away from end-of-life talks. Some do, of course, but many would like to discuss the arrangements they've made for finances, as well as their opinions about what measures they would want to be taken if they needed someone to make their decisions if they can't, however the adult children often find excuses to put off that particular "talk."

Read the full article on Agingcare about how end-of-life conversations need not be terrible experiences:

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!


The Differences Between Palliative Care and Hospice Can be Confusing

DeathComfortMany people have heard of hospice care but they mistakenly think that it’s just a way to help cancer patients be more comfortable at the end of their lives. Fewer people have heard of palliative care, and they may have no idea what it is. The truth is that hospice and palliative care are related but used for different reasons at different times, and everyone should be well-versed in what they offer. Here, we’ll clarify some points of confusion.

View slideshow on HealthCentral about the differences between palliative care and hospice: 

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

 I'm honored to be among over 50 presenters in this summit who want to help make your caregiving journey easier. Click the image to learn more:

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Aging in Place or Assisted Living: It's About Choices

Assistedliving1It’s not hard to understand why 60-year-olds would say that they want to remain in their home for life rather than move to assisted living or a nursing home. These are generally people who are relatively healthy and feel that they can hire help for whatever they need down the road. Indeed, aging in place sounds like a wonderful concept. What could possibly be wrong with it? 

Read the full article on HealthCentral about how people go about making choices in where they spend their last years:

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

Over 50 experts can guide your caregiving journey when you won this virtual summit. click the image to learn more:

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Did You Promise Your Parents You'd Never Put Them In a Nursing Home?

Nursinghome4... So, with some guilt, we start looking at other options. For some people, this means having your parents move in with you. If there is enough room that everyone has privacy and the personalities blend, this can work. However, before making such a move, make sure your head is as engaged as your heart. While you are considering this option, you also may want to read "Living With Elderly Parents: Do You Regret the Decision?"

Read the full article on Agingcare about the sacred promise and how life can change:

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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Conserving Estate Money No Excuse for Risking Elder's Health

Nursinghome3Dear Carol: My mom moved into the memory unit of an assisted living last year and she loves it. She’s very social so this environment is perfect for her. Now, my brother has suddenly decided that he wants Mom to come and stay with him for the winter since he lives in a warmer climate. He’s the man so he has the Power Of Attorney. Mom doesn’t want to leave her comfortable little apartment, but she’s said if he really wants her there for a time, she should do it. My fear is that the move could make her dementia worse. My brother says he just wants to spend more time with Mom, but he's never been that close so the only true motivation that I can see is that he knows how expensive AL is and he’s struggling financially. I think that he wants to save the estate money. I’m not trying to keep Mom in my town to be selfish. I just want her happy. How do I handle this? – SD

Read the full column on Inforum about the wisdom of moving 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

Over 50 experts can guide your caregiving journey when you won this virtual summit. click the image to learn more:

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Contracts for Retirement Communities May Require Expert Help to Fully Understand

Contract-signing-10044619Dear Carol: My husband and I are trying to help my brother select a retirement community that would also offer assisted living for his future needs. He’s 74 and has early Parkinson's disease so he wants to make this move soon. Our experience with trying to decipher the pricing structures of the places that we visited has been enormously frustrating.  Is there some sort of resource that covers retirement living contracts that transition to assisted living and perhaps even nursing care? We really need some guidance. Thanks for any help that you can provide. – TL

Read full article on Inforum about the ins and outs of signing a contract for assisted living:

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

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Convincing Elders That It's Time for Assisted Living

Nursinghome3Conventional wisdom says that we all want to stay in our own homes for as long as we can. That is likely how most of our elders feel; however, it's not always in their best interest to do so. How do we talk with them about the realities and dangers of staying at home once their health is failing, and how do we convince them that a move to an assisted living center could be a very good – and positive option? I believe that part of the problem with convincing elders, and many younger people for that matter, is that people haven't been inside a modern assisted living center. Deep inside their gut, they harbor the outdated image of an "old folk's home." They consider a move from the family home one more step away from independence and one step closer toward death. They think a move to assisted living signifies to the world that they now have the proverbial "one foot on a banana peel and one foot in the grave."

Read more on Agingcare about how to help your elders understand when they need a safer environment:

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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