Caregiving Feed

Mealtime with Dad: Caring for Someone with Swallowing Problems Part 1

WomanBedDifficulty swallowing, which is clinically known as dysphagia, is a condition that often accompanies many kinds of dementia as well as other health issues associated with aging. Dysphagia is responsible for many pneumonia deaths due to a person aspirating food into his or her lungs. Koko Kawasaki, a former graphic designer, was inspired to earn her MA in Gerontology by her experiences as a caregiver whose father suffered from multiple health issues including dysphagia.

Read more on HealthCentral about swallowing problems:

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“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


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

WetdryAccording to an AARP survey, the vast majority of boomers have stated that they want to stay in their current homes rather than move to another setting for their later years. This attitude has been the springboard for many aging in place advocates as well as businesses like contractors and high tech companies. It’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.

Read more on HealthCentral about aging in place and other choices:

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Folic Acid May Aid Elders During Heat Waves

FanHeatsmallerThe type of heat exhaustion or mild dehydration that a middle aged caregiver may feel during a heat wave is uncomfortable, but the same occurrence could be deadly for an elder. Because of the seriousness of overheating, some older people take a prescription drug that helps increase blood flow to the skin which in turn helps them cool off. 

Read more on HealthCentral about heat and the elderly:

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“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


How To Get People With Dementia To Take Medication

Medical_tablets_03_hd_pictures_168380As Alzheimer’s spreads throughout the brain, logic departs. The ability to understand one’s world disappears, understandably being replaced by fear and suspicion. These emotions are often blamed by caregivers when the person that they love refuses to take needed medications. 

Read more on HealthCentral about getting our elderly loved ones to take medication:

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Hearing Aids Prevent Falls, Help Balance for Many Elders

SnowyPatchesAccording to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), falls are the leading cause of both fatal and nonfatal injuries for people over 65. Falls can cause moderate to severe injuries, such as hip fractures and head traumas, and can increase the risk of early death.

Read more on HealthCentral about how hearing aids can prevent falls:

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“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


Can Caregivers Have a Bucket List?

ART..Caregivers and their loved ones are on the serious end of this spectrum. Yet, they, too, may develop a vision for how they would like to spend the time that they have left together. Deciding what caregivers and care receivers would like to accomplish together while the ill person can still enjoy life is tricky and highly unique to each pair involved.

Read more on Agingcare about how caregivers go about a bucket list:

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


Hearing Aids and Eye Glasses Can Present Challenge in Dementia Care

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Dear Carol: My mom  had a stroke and recently has been diagnosed with vascular dementia with possible Alzheimer’s disease. Dad is her primary caregiver although I go to their home daily to help out. My immediate question is how do we cope with the fact that Mom continually takes out her hearing aids and pulls off her glasses?  She seems to hear reasonably well without her aids and she can see well enough without her glasses to watch TV and walk around. She no longer can process what she reads so that isn’t an issue. Dad and I both wonder if she’s not better off being left alone with her preference but maybe that’s bad for her. What’s the best approach? K.F.

Read more on Inforum about glasses, hearing aids and dementia:

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Common Drugs with Disturbing Mental Side Effects

Fog2Many of us have become aware that prescription medications such as Ativan, Xanax and Klonopin may have serious side effects including memory issues. These drugs, which are generally prescribed for anxiety, can possibly increase the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease since they are in a class known as anticholinergic drugs. They work by blocking a neurotransmitter called acetylcholine in the nervous system. 

Read more on HealthCentral about common drugs and their side effects:

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Care or Cure: Where Should Alzheimer’s Funding Go?

ResearcherWhen you hear the next plea for increased Alzheimer’s funding – and you’ll hear a lot of it during the upcoming Alzheimer’s Awareness months, both global and national – your first thought will likely be that the money should go into to find a cure. However, people who already have the disease, as well as those who care for them, may disagree. A recent survey showed that these people feel that more financial resources should be dedicated to helping them live life with some quality. 

Read more on HealthCentral about how Alzheimer's funding should be spent:

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


The Rally Before Death In Preparation for the Final Journey

ColorSky...One story that stands out in my memory was told to me while interviewing people for “Minding Our Elders: Caregivers Share Their Personal Stories.” The woman’s whole family had gathered by her father’s bedside. It had been days for some, hours for others, but they had all arrived. Their father had been withdrawing into himself, and they knew that his time to leave would soon come. Then, he rallied. He was able to sit up and even talk a bit. There was a spark in his eye. He told his family to go and get something to eat. During the time it took the family to grab some fast food at a nearby restaurant, the father died.

Read the full article about the rally before death 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