Caregiving Feed

Bed sores, pressure sores, or pressure ulcers are all words used to describe a condition that people often think of as a small problem for a caregiver to handle if they think of it at all. However, this condition is anything but small. Complications from pressure sores can cause death. The Candid Caregiver asked Sharon Roth Maguire, M.S., R.N., a board-certified gerontological nurse practitioner, and the chief clinical quality officer at BrightStar Care®, to help us understand more about this potentially serious condition. Roth Maguire has an extensive healthcare background including more than 15 years of experience working with seniors. Read more →


Frustrated caregivers often wonder why their loved one who is living with Alzheimer’s sometimes reacts with anger as the caregivers attempt to help. Understanding why a spouse, parent or grandparent behaves this way can help the caregiver limit these stressful, frustrating times. To do that, the caregivers must understand life from the point of view of their loved one’s impaired mind. Read more →


Dear Carol: My dad is in a good assisted living facility. He’s 96, and other than congestive heart failure, he’s in fair health for his age and has a good attitude for the most part. He was having physical therapy for hip and knee problems but now refuses it. I feel that at his age he can do what he wants so I haven’t pushed it. He uses a wheelchair to get around for the most part, but he can transfer himself. The nurse at the ALF said that he’d probably qualify for hospice care, though a doctor would have to make the determination. She did say that it’s a good idea for us to check into hospice because they can offer a lot of assistance that the assisted living facility can’t provide. Read more →


An article in the Daily Mail speaks to this issue in a delightful manner, stressing that people have differing views about addressing our elders at any time but particularly when they are in need of care. One view is that pet names such as Sweetie are demeaning. This attitude comes from a woman whose family wasn’t used to terms of endearment. The opposing view is from a woman completely comfortable with these terms and finds that they encourage bonding. My own view? It depends. Read more →


Often, we don’t even notice that we’ve slipped into a routine of combined stress and numbness until a friend or family member takes a moment to ask what is new in our lives. If our first thought is that nothing much has changed since we are just caregivers doing what we do, then it’s time to take a look at how we can refresh our attitude toward our lives, and in the process, perhaps refresh the life of the person for whom we are responsible. Read more →


According to the National Cancer Society, the majority of bladder cancers occur in the older population, with the average age... Read more →


Dear Candid Caregiver: My mom passed two years ago and my dad hasn’t done well since. Recently he had a stroke. My sister, who lives 1,000 miles away, came out for mom’s funeral, and she also visited for a few days after dad’s stroke, but she has a job and a family and couldn’t stay long. Now, dad’s been diagnosed with vascular dementia. Realistically, I’m the sole caregiver. I have two teenaged children, a husband who is, so far, supportive, and a job.  Read more →


Dear Carol: My husband has been diagnosed with a slow-growing type of leukemia that is well controlled by medication. He takes several medications for other health problems, too, but he’s doing well physically considering the issues. He’s never been easy to get along with because he knows everything and can have an acid tongue, especially toward me. I have stood up for myself when I’ve needed to, and he used to calm down, and sometimes apologize. Now, though, he’s getting far worse. Our grown kids don’t want to be around him, and old friends are staying away. He rants at everyone. Is this normal crankiness? TG Read more →


Dr. Barry J. Jacobs is a clinical psychologist and family therapist in Pennsylvania, who specializes in helping family caregivers. When he was in high school, Dr. Jacobs’ family struggled with his father’s illness and ultimate death from brain cancer. This experience spurred him to become a psychologist specializing in helping family caregivers...years later his mom developed dementia.  Read more →


Dear Candid Caregiver: My parents are both in their late 70s and doing quite well but I see that the need for making decisions about their futures, or at least gathering information, is closing in. We live in the same community, so my husband and I have been helping with some minor things around their home, but they are very independent and hire out the most difficult jobs. However, with time, I know that more help from us will be necessary. When do I consider myself their caregiver? How do I begin? What do I need to know? – Potential Newbie Read more →