Caregiving Feed

Be Kind but Firm about Mother's Place in Family's Life

Caregiverstress4Dear Carol: My mom had a small stroke six months ago. She’s always had a controlling, manipulative personality that everyone gives into. After her stroke, she announced that she was moving in with us during rehab because she didn’t want to hire strangers to help her at home, so I let her. Now, she’s fully recovered. The doctor says that there is no cognitive damage, but she’s settled in. We need our home back. She’s always criticizing the kids and my husband is so stressed that he’s ready to walk out. We’ve kept Mom’s apartment and she could go back there now or she could move to assisted living if she chooses. She needs to get back with her friends and her previously active life for all of our sakes. I know that I need to stand up to her but I never have and now it seems impossible. What do I do? – Mary Sue

Read full article on Inforum about how to convince Mom to move back home:

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Delaying Alzheimer's Symptoms: Life-long Learning Helps a Significant Number of People

Books2Nearly all of us know that if we don’t use our muscles as we age, we’ll lose muscle mass. The same theory seems to hold true when it comes to keeping our minds sharp. Computer games, word games, crossword puzzles, Sudoku and other challenging mental pursuits have been advised as methods of keeping the mind healthy as we age. Now, a recent study has shown that by pursuing life-long learning, even people who are genetically at risk for Alzheimer’s disease may be able to stave off symptoms for years.

Read the full article on HealthCentral about how life-long learning can help many people delay Alzheimer's symptoms:

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Reasons to Overcome Denial and Seek Potential Dementia Diagnosis

CoupleComfortOne reason for this intense fear of Alzheimer’s is obvious. While many types of cancer can be cured, most types of dementia cannot. However, another reason is that the idea of being betrayed by our brains to the point that we are essentially lost in the disease is abhorrent to most of us. This fear, unfortunately, tends to make many people less than willing to see a physician for dementia testing even when they are showing signs that point to the illness. People don’t want to hear that they have dementia. Refusing to be examined assures that they won’t hear those words even though the reality is that living in denial can be counterproductive. Many conditions can cause dementia-like symptoms and if they are caught early, damage can often be reversed.

Read the full article on HealthCentral about reasons to get an early diagnosis:

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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:

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Dementia: When Your Loved One Unfairly Accuses You of Stealing or Abuse

CaregiverStress2When a person succumbs to any form of dementia, it is hard on family and friends. It is difficult to see the diminished capacity of a loved one and the unbearable frustration it brings. However, one of the worst things we have to cope with is the fact that this person has a flawed memory, and this flawed memory can cause them to tell others terrible things about us, simply because their brain isn't working correctly. No matter how far-fetched their stories and accusations may be, to them, what they are saying is true.

Read the full article on Agingcare about how people living with some types of dementia can accuse caregivers of stealing or abusing when it isn't true:

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Living While Dying: A Short Film Featuring Role Models for Dying Well

CathyZheutlinCreditEdisJurcys2Death. For some, it signals the beginning of a more perfect life. For others, it is the end. Ultimately, for everyone, death is part of the life cycle and no amount of medical intervention will change that. Filmmaker Cathy Zheutlin became fascinated by the way that different cultures and religions view the death experience, and in the process, she has made a remarkable film titled Living While Dying, which features people who are going through that process and their varying emotions.

Read full article and view powerful short video on HealthCentral about living while dying:

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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Feeding Tube Can Be Considered Extreme When Caring for Someone with Advanced Disease

DianeWolffBookJacketcreditCraigWorshamDear Carol: My dad has had Parkinson’s disease for over 10 years. He has trouble speaking clearly, he chokes on food, and he’ll clamp his mouth shut when we try to give him his medicine. We’ve tried to trick him by putting a pill in his food, but he will spit it out. Dad’s doctor says that this is where he is in his disease and we need to accept that. He says that, eventually, people tend to get tired of the struggle. Dad's only 72. Should we have him put on a feeding tube? – G F

Read the full column on Inforum about swallowing problems and feeding tubes:

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Caregiver Tells of Harrowing Experience in Handling Parents' Finances

MotherDaugherFinances can be a difficult topic to discuss in some settings, and talking with aging parents qualifies as one of those. But it’s essential that families discuss finances and how they will be handled when — not if, but when — one of them becomes incapacitated physically or mentally. Wise people appoint a trusted person as power of attorney (POA) before there is a health crisis.

Read full article on HealthCentral about the importance of getting your parent's or spouse's finances in order well ahead of later stages of Alzheimer's or other issues:

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Dementia Death: Conflicting Emotions Are Normal for Caregivers After a Loved One Dies

Funeral“Carol!” The hospice nurse’s voice was quiet but urgent. I instinctively knew what was happening. She had been shifting Dad’s position so that he wouldn’t develop bed sores, but as she was laying him back on the bed, something changed in his respiration. This was it. His body was preparing for him to take his last breath. I slid back in my spot beside Dad and took him in my arms. His head drifted to my shoulder and that last, gentle breath slipped by unnoticed by me. What I felt was the positive force of Dad’s spirit leaving his body. And then — joy! Did I just write joy? Yes, I did.

Read the full article on HealthCentral about how conflicting emotions can affect us after our loved one dies:

Purchase Minding Our Elders: Caregivers Share Their Personal Stories – paperback or ebook

The stories in this fine book showed us how others have gone through similar things with their families and that is somehow reassuring. There are some helpful suggestions but mostly there is the recognition that others went through the same thing. All we can do is our best. That is greatly reassuring during these difficult emotional times. If you are a caregiver, this is a must read. - Delores Edwards

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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Reminiscing Can Be a Powerful Drug for People Living with Dementia

FatherSonthnkstockMany people around the country are now recording or even videotaping their elders as they tell stories about their past. This works for some. However, you need to know your loved ones. Not everyone wants to be on stage, so to speak, and preparing to record, even discretely, could take the spontaneity and fun out of the experience for some. Others may love it.

My family would have been put off by a formal approach with a tape recorder. For them, the stories were a natural part of some one-on-one time when I could ask a question that may stimulate a memory. They also often talked about the past with each other, and if I was nearby I’d soak it in. I do admit to wishing I’d been taking notes because I know I’ve lost details. Yet I’m heartened by the new research that shows that the telling of the stories may have helped their cognition as much as their moods.

Read full article on HealthCentral about how to help your loved one by listening:

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