Caregiving Feed

Restless Leg Syndrome: What It Is and How To Cope

Doctor...RLS can affect caregivers and/or their care receivers, both of whom can be short on sleep. Knowing that we had a need for a sympathetic medical ear, I asked Keith W. Roach, MD, Associate Professor of Clinical Medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College, for the facts. I have been a fan of Dr. Roach’s work for a long time because he has what I consider to be a balanced approach to medical care and he projects an attitude of relatability and sympathy. Dr. Roach answered my questions by phone.

Read the full interview with Dr. Roach on Agingcare:

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


When Is It Time to Accept Hospice Care as Treatment Option?

GrandmaGranddaugherDear Carol: My dad is 79 and has suffered from aggressive prostate cancer for several years. What could be done has been done, so far, but the cancer has now spread to his liver and bones. We want Dad to have chemotherapy but his doctor says that he’s not a candidate for this treatment. Dad says he doesn’t want to go through it anyway. I think that they are just giving up. Shouldn’t the doctor be encouraging Dad to fight the disease? I thought that doctors were supposed to do everything to save lives. I think if the doctor insisted, Dad would agree. What can we do so that Dad gets all of the treatment possible? FMC

Read more on Inforum about when the time for hospice may be here:

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


Adult Grandchildren As Primary Caregivers Not Uncommon

GrandparentDaughterWhatever the reason that caregiving begins, I hear from a number of young adults who are trying to care for one or more grandparents. Most of them love their grandparent dearly, but they often come up against obstacles that are quite overwhelming for people so young. One young woman recently wrote about the problem of getting health information about her grandfather, because the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) laws won't allow her to do so without the proper paperwork, and her grandfather doesn't see the need to have this youngster involved in his clinical care. The problem is that the grandfather doesn't understand that no other family member is available to help him. 

Read more on Agingcare about grandchildren who are primary caregivers:

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


Pursing Creative Arts Could Help Delay Alzheimer's

ArtBrushesCompleting crosswords, making a habit of Sudoku and playing challenging brain games on the Internet have long been suggested as methods of maintaining our cognitive health. These are all fine pursuits, but recent research by Mayo Clinic has shown that creative arts such as painting, drawing and sculpting may protect the mind against cognitive decline even better than the commonly used forms of brain exercise.

Read more on HealthCentral about the therapeutic effects of the creative arts:

 

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


Summer Heat Can Be Deadly for Elders

GranddaughterWhether we are taking an elderly person to a family reunion or a backyard picnic this summer, we need to be aware that summer heat can become deadly as people age. From less efficient cooling systems to more illnesses and medications, elders have many issues that can make them vulnerable to extreme temperatures.   Don’t let the heat stop you from taking your elder out for some fun, but prevent problems by finding a shady place for your loved one to sit and check frequently to see if he or she is comfortable. 

Read more on HealthCentral about precautions for seniors during hot summer months:

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


Humor Shared With Other Caregivers Can Be Therapeutic

Humor1As I visited with a friend and her mother who had mid-stage Alzheimer's, her mother abruptly stood, held out her hand, and said to me, "You can go now." Since I'd been forewarned that this may happen and I'd been around people with dementia for years, I wasn't offended. My friend and I both managed not to laugh. I simply agreed with her mom and said that, indeed, it was time for me to be off, as there was much to do. I thanked her for the lovely visit and left.

Read full article on Agingcare about how sharing humor with other caregivers can help keep us healthier (sane?):

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: Frequent Moves May Speed Decline

Comfort5Moving a person who has developed Alzheimer’s is generally necessary at least once during the period of decline, and often several times. Since different types of care can be needed at different stages, frequently the only way to provide that care is to move the person from his or her own home to either a memory unit or to live with the family, perhaps supplementing family care with hired in-home caregivers. This is real life and caregivers need to overcome that unearned guilt that they so often live with every time they these decisions.

Read more on HealthCentral about how frequent moves affect people with dementia:

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


Hindsight for Caregivers: What Would You Do Differently?

MomDaughter3As a seasoned caregiver of multiple elders, I can choose to torture myself with my perceived failures at being a perfect caregiver, or I can choose to forgive myself for being imperfect, and recognize that I did the best I could at the time. You have the same choice. Much like an adult who realizes that he or she has a "wounded child" living inside – a child who suffers from unearned self-blame or low self-esteem because of life events – many adult caregivers carry the guilt from their "infant" caregiving years to their grave. They spend precious time thinking about how they should have understood someone's needs better, could have been more patient, would have done any number of things better, if only they knew then what they know now.

Read more on Agingcare about hindsight in caregiving:

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


Parent Care Can Risk Spousal Neglect, Endanger Marriages

Caregiverstress3Dear Carol: My husband and I used to have a good marriage. When my mother-in-law began to have some memory issues, we decided that she should move in with us. During the three years she’s been with us, my husband has become increasingly obsessive over his mother’s happiness to the point that I feel like I don’t count anymore. When he is home he spends every evening with his mother or she is with us. We never have alone time.

Read more on Inforum about the effect that caregiving can have on a marriage:

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 


Validation Can Help Create Happy Moments during Dementia Struggles

FacialExpressionsCan people find happiness – even joy – while living with dementia? That depends, of course, on one’s definition of happiness and joy. But I do believe that there can be satisfying moments for people with dementia and their caregivers. 

Read more on HealthCentral about happiness through validation:

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