Death Feed

No Need to Feel Guilty About Wishing a Loved One Could Let Go

DeathDear Carol: My mom is 94 years old and frail. She has a weak heart and bad lungs, yet she hangs on. I’m a 73-year-old widow. I took care of Mom at home for over five years, but two years ago I placed her in a nursing home. I felt terrible guilt about doing that because I’d promised her that I wouldn’t, but my own health was deteriorating and I couldn’t physically transfer her anymore. There was no other choice. Apparently, we both had outdated ideas about nursing homes or we would have done this sooner since we are both pleased. But Mom is now bedridden and can barely murmur a few words. There is no quality in her life that I can see and I find myself wishing that she could just let go. Then I feel ashamed. She’s very religious and isn’t afraid of death, and neither am I, but I'm still confused about my feelings. Guilt and shame nag at me even though I know that her current situation is miserable. How do I deal with this feeling of disloyalty about wanting her life to end? SL

Read full column on Inforum about the guilt from wishing an ill loved one would die:

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


Hospice Care about Re-Focusing Priorities, Not Giving Up

Hands12Our culture is steeped in language that makes accepting the terminal diagnosis of ourselves or a loved one more difficult to accept than it needs to be. Doctors say, “I’m sorry, there’s nothing more we can do. You might want to look into hospice care.” Patients tell their doctors that they want “aggressive treatment,” until there is nothing else that can be done, then they will go on hospice care.The crux of these conversations is that medicine will do everything possible and then when you give up you will go on hospice care.

Read full article on HealthCentral about how hospice care is "doing something."

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


Alzheimer’s Documentary Sparks Controversy Over What Some See as Negativity

OlderCouple3According to the Alzheimer’s Association, more than 5 million people in the U.S. live with Alzheimer’s disease (AD), and the price tag for the disease in 2016 was over $236 billion. Therefore, it isn’t surprising that the disease is often featured on news broadcasts and as a topic of documentaries. PBS has been particularly attentive to the issues of AD. In 2012, PBS aired a moving documentary about Lee Gorewitz, who became the focus of You’re Looking at Me Like I Live Here and I Don’t. This documentary takes the viewer into Gorewitz’ life as a resident in a memory unit. In 2014, they aired The Genius of Marian, a story about Pam White and her family as they came to grips with her early onset Alzheimer’s disease (EOAD). Both programs sparked emotion in viewers with much praise and little controversy.

Photo credit: Think Stock

Read full article on HealthCentral about the controversy over "Every Minute Counts"

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


Restructuring Life After Caregiving Ends

CaregiverGroupDear Carol: I helped my mom take care of dad for years after he’d had a stroke. Dad died last year and Mom was diagnosed with cancer shortly after his death. Apparently, she had cancer symptoms for some time but was so focused on dad that she didn’t follow up on her own health. Mom died last month under the care of a wonderful hospice organization, but now I am lost. I’m divorced and never had children. Caregiving was my life for over ten years. I have enough money not to have to work so I just sit and watch TV, not even registering what I'm watching. I once thought I’d travel but now I have no desire to do so. I understand that I need to build a new life for myself but I don’t even know where to start. How do people “recover” from caregiving once it’s over? MB

Read more on Inforum about how to help yourself find a new normal after caregiving ends:

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


C. Diff: Elders Can Be Especially Vulnerable to Potential Deadly Infection

InfectionPatients are supposed to leave the hospital healthier than when they arrived and long-term care is intended to enhance residents’ quality of life through increased care and supervision, but these care settings can also pose some risks. One of the biggest threats lurking in these facilities is Clostridium difficile. This type of bacteria, often referred to as C. difficile or C. diff, can spread easily in these environments and turn into a very serious infection for older individuals and those whose health is already compromised.

Read full article on Agingcare about C. Diff infection in hospitals and nursing homes:

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


Failing New Year's Resolutions 101

3d-desktop-calendar-10034886Whether or not it’s a conscious thought, many of us look at a new year as a time to make changes in our lives. We become energized for a few days. However, most of us are quickly caught up in routine. Whether or not we like the routine, it’s familiar, and the status quo often provides the path of least resistance. Therefore, even if we’re stuck in a life that’s not satisfying, we stay with the familiar. Change seems too hard. This is a glaring truth that most caregivers recognize.

Read full story on HealthCentral about New Years resolutions and why we should not worry about "succeeding" with them:

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 


Ties That Bind: Many Long-Married Couples Die Close Together

CoupleComfortWhile death rarely brings pleasant feelings, from time to time we'll see a story about death go viral on the Internet because it touches people's hearts. Long-married spouses that die within hours or days of one another often fall into that category because they seem to remind us that, ideally, marriage is for eternity.

Read more on Agingcare about why long-married couples often die close together:

Support caregivers by giving them copies  of Minding Our Elders: Caregivers Share Their Personal Stories:


Acceptance of Change Important in Alzheimer’s Caregiving

CloudsMy dad went into surgery with a smile and hope. He came out with severe dementia. Something unexplainable at the time had happened and Dad became a statistic – one of those “poor outcomes” we hear about. My head knew this tragedy was permanent, but my heart wanted my “real” dad back. The kind, loving, intelligent man whose love for me was steadfast. I wanted him back. Unfortunately, my family and I had to learn to accept the fact that Dad would never be the same.

Read full article on HealthCentral about how accepting change can help us survive nearly anything:

Safety for your Elders - Peace of Mind for You:  Simple Smart Phone with Large Screen, Jitterbug flip phone, Urgent Response Device   For help CALL:  1-866-222-0703

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


How You Can Help Reduce Elders' Loneliness During Holidays

FatherDaugher6Elders can have an especially hard time with the holiday season. While aging and maturity can bring the wisdom of years for many people, there are inevitable losses that come to even the most healthy individuals. Many of these losses are emotional and social in nature. Spouses become ill or die. Other aging relatives and friends become seriously ill, or die. Neighborhoods change, often leaving even those well enough to remain in their own homes feeling friendless and isolated. The holidays can bring this isolation and a feeling of loneliness to a head.

Read full article on Agingcare about how you can help reduce elders' loneliness:

Christmas Gift for your Elders - Peace of Mind for You:  Simple Smart Phone with Large Screen, Jitterbug flip phone, Urgent Response Device   For help CALL:  1-866-222-0703

Support caregivers this CHRISTMAS by giving them copies  of Minding Our Elders: Caregivers Share Their Personal Stories. ORDER EARLY before supplies run out.


Caregiver Anxiety Can Bleed Over to Care Receiver

Stress_man_hand_238162If a caregiver is anxious because of job stress, he or she likely takes that anxiety home in some form and transfers some of it to the person they are caring for. This is not intentional, but even body language can transfer anxiety. The person being cared for picks up on the anxiety of the caregiver. His or her anxiety may stem from not knowing what is causing the person caring for them to be stressed, so they blame themselves. Or they may just absorb the feeling of generalized anxiety that radiates from the caregiver.

Read full article on Agingcare about how caregiver anxiety can bleed be contagious:

Christmas Gift for your Elders - Peace of Mind for You:  Simple Smart Phone with Large Screen, Jitterbug flip phone, Urgent Response Device   For help CALL:  1-866-222-0703

Support caregivers this CHRISTMAS by giving them copies  of Minding Our Elders: Caregivers Share Their Personal Stories. ORDER EARLY before supplies run out.