Caregiving Feed

Alzheimer's: Leaky Blood-Brain Barrier One More Step in Understanding Development of Disease

Brain12The blood-brain barrier (BBB) is a collection of cells and cellular components that line the walls of blood vessels in the brain. This barrier is an important part of brain health because it separates the brain from circulating blood. A study led by Walter H. Backes, Ph.D., a professor in medical physics at Maastricht University Medical Center in the Netherlands, has found that the blood-brain barrier was leakier in a group of people with Alzheimer’s disease than in those without the disease. This new information could add to the accumulation of evidence that early detection of Alzheimer’s is the key to defeating it. In fact, most of the drugs now going through trails need to be taken in the pre-symptom stage of the disease in order to be effective. The goal is to one day be able to start interventions early enough to stop or reverse damage from the disease before symptoms start.

Read full article on HealthCentral about the new information on BBB that could help end Alzheimer's:

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Adult Child Doesn’t Need to Remain Target of Parent’s Misplaced Anger

StressedCaregiverDear Carol: My mother has always refused to take any medication even though she’s needed a prescription to control her blood pressure for years. Predictably, at 74, she had a massive stroke and now she will require around-the-clock care for the rest of her life. There is no sign of dementia. Mom’s in a nursing home and getting great care but she is extremely angry and she focuses that anger at me. I can’t provide the care that she needs at home, but I still feel guilty about placing her in a facility and she knows how to manipulate that guilt. I visit daily. I know that I’m doing all that I can, yet her anger gets to me and then I start resenting her. How do I change this? Donna

Read full column on Inforum about how to calm parent while caring for yourself:

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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


5 Tips to Ease Discussions with Seniors about Housing Options

CaregiverOlderWomanAs you watch your parents or other beloved elders age, sometimes worry becomes inevitable. Should they have housing upgrades? Can they continue to live independently? Your intention isn’t to take over their lives, but you may genuinely want to start the conversation about possible future changes. How do you do this without causing a backlash?

Ongoing discussions keep it natural: If you and your parents have frequent, casual conversations about options as they age, you’ll have an easier time with the transition than if you leave the topic until there’s a crisis. When you begin the talks, generalize. Mention a wonderful new assisted living that your friend’s mother just moved into. Mention some exciting new upgrades to in-home bathrooms that are actually good for everyone’s safety.  Then, turn the conversation elsewhere.

View full slideshow on HealthCentral about seniors and housing options: 

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Encourage Seniors to Stave Off Loneliness by Staying Active

Pool...That's just the problem. He helps out too much. Ann's dad had owned his own business and had employees. He was very successful. Ann's mom used to complain that after he retired, he wanted to run the house, but it didn't seem too serious. Then, when Ann's mom got sick, her dad's energy went into caregiving. He was a wonderful caregiver all the way through. At first, the move kept everyone busy, and the arrangement was new. But now, all of the "advice" is getting old. Ann's trying to be patient but doesn't know what to do with her dad.

Read full article on Agingcare about ways to keep elders busy:

A Virtual Conference to Help You Thrive As a Caregiver – Check this out!

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The Stigma of Dementia: Learning to Cope

Caregiving8People stare. Most are not unkind, they are just curious. But when someone "different" from the norm becomes part of their environment, they often gawk without thinking about or understanding how this affects others. Anyone who has cared for a disabled child or has a visible disability of their own knows this. However, people who care for an adult who lives with dementia may have more difficulty coping with the stares of the public because the person they are caring for was once their dignified father, a charismatic mother or our spouse. The pain of seeing others stare, not knowing how this person was robbed of his or her cognitive abilities, has the potential to bring out the defensive little brat that lies within each of us.

Read full article on Agingcare about coping with the stigma of dementia:

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Folic Acid May Aid Elders During Heat Waves

FanHeatThe 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. Recently, Penn State researchers published information suggesting that folic acid, also known as vitamin B9, may be an inexpensive alternative for prescription drugs for the elderly during heat waves. Folic acid also increases skin blood flow and has been shown to reduce cardiovascular events, as well.

Read full article on HealthCentral about how folic acid may help your elder stay safe in extreme heat:

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Faith Helps Many Caregivers Relieve Stress According to Study

Prayer3Caregiving can mean that nothing seems to change as we go about our daily routines, endlessly keeping tabs on all that must be done for our vulnerable loved ones, yet knowing that the next moment a life threatening, or at least quality of life threatening, incident can occur at any minute. This combination of unchanging daily routine all the while staying in a fight or flight mode because of a possible crisis situation can be exhausting. The only way I have ever coped with these issues is through my faith—I am never alone. My deeply held sense of spirituality has given me relief from the endless routines of caregiving as well as life-changing crises. Somehow, my core belief has helped me as a caregiver.

Read full article on HealthCentral about how faith can help caregivers relieve stress:

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Thinking About Donating Your Body to Science? Here's the Scoop

Researcher3Many people sign a form to have body tissue or organs donated to others after their death. They often have this information recorded on their driver’s license to expedite procedures necessary in case of an accident. But far fewer choose to donate their whole body for scientific research — despite the fact that this type of donation is vital to help train new doctors, as well as to develop cures for diseases.

Read the full article on HealthCentral about donating one's body to research:

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Alzheimer's Apathy Preventable with Stimulation

Fatherson4smallLack 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 full article on HealthCentral about how stimulating activity can help offset common apathy in those living with Alzheimer's:

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Pride and Fear May Explain Elder's Refusal to Use Physical Aids

WalkerAideDear Carol: My mom loves to shop, attend church, see local theater, and go to park events. We’ve done these things together for years. What’s changed is that Mom had a stroke last year. She recovered well, but she is unsteady on her feet when conditions aren’t perfect. She’s supposed to use a walker for balance, at least when she goes out of the house, but she refuses. I’m always nervous that she will fall, so I want her to hold onto me, but she hates that. I’ve begged and I’ve nagged, but I don’t get anywhere. How can I convince my stubborn mother to cooperate? – MC

Read full column on Inforum about seemingly stubborn elders and their walkers:

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