Grief and Death Feed

It’s difficult to know exactly what to say to someone suffering from grief since words or actions that comfort one person can feel like a slap in the face to another. Yet most of us want to offer comfort when a person whom we care about is grieving the imminent death of a loved one, or after such a death has occurred. Following are tips that may help you find the right words, or at least some passable words, as well as advice from caregivers and spouses who’ve been through tough times. Read more →


Dr. Gross’ newest book, “The Only Way Out is Through: A Ten-Step Journey from Grief to Wholeness,” is for everyone who experiences the often searing grief that accompanies the death of a loved one. Since Alzheimer’s is a terminal disease, as is the human condition, most HealthCentral readers are eventually put in a position where they must mourn the loss of their parent or spouse. Dr. Gross communicated with HealthCentral via email to provide our readers with guidance on how to go about getting through that grief. The interview has been lightly edited for length and flow. Read more →


...Realty check: Wrong. Most caregivers will, at least occasionally, have these feelings. You are not alone and you are not a bad person. You are a human being who’d like some control over your own life. You didn’t ask to be put in a situation where you have little chance to work on fulfilling even the simplest of your own dreams. Yet, the situation presented itself and you stepped up to the plate. Read more →


Most of us find, as we travel our unique journeys, that certain phrases or concepts take on the status of truth in our worldview. Our personal truths may not be identical to those of others, but we know what is true for us. Below, I've shared, as food for thought, a few of my own truths that have developed during my personal caregiving journey. Read more →


Nearly every person's childhood leaves them with mixed memories. Even siblings raised together by the same parents can have wildly different views on how their shared childhood played out. For most of us, there are times when we think, "Hmm, Mom was right about that." Other times, we know for certain she was wrong. The same goes for Dad, of course, but we'll focus on Mom in this particular article. Read more →


The issue of elders who were once reasonably clean adults refusing to take showers and wear fresh clothes is one that is far more common than most people think. To remedy this often-malodorous situation, it is crucial to first understand why a loved one is not bathing and/or changing their clothes regularly. There are many possible culprits and often several of them combine to form the perfect unhygienic storm. Getting to the root of their avoidance is the best way to devise a successful strategy for cleaning up their act. Read more →


...When you tell your siblings that your parents are more than you can now handle, that Dad's  Alzheimer's is causing him to wander and he is not safe at home, they tune you out. When you tell them that Mom's incontinence is at a point that you can't physically keep up with it, they respond by sulking, or even implying that you are bailing out on your responsibility. You took the elders' care on. You need to deal with the increasing problems. But don't even think of putting them in a home. They'd hate that! Read more →


Nearly everyone involved in caring for aging loved ones is experiencing grief. Often, however, we're not aware of this grief. We have a parent who used to be strong and capable begin to ask for a little assistance. No big deal, right? We're happy to help. But underneath, often unnoticed, there's a knot in our hearts. We're grieving the loss – the loss of function that made our parent need to ask for help. Weren't they the ones who helped us? Weren't they the ones in charge? Read more →


A friend recently faced the task of letting her mother, who has mid-level dementia, know that the mother’s elderly brother had died. This death was not unexpected, but when a person has dementia and short-term memory loss is a problem, the news would likely be unexpected by the mother. Read more →


An ongoing concern for many older adults, as well as their adult children, is whether they really need to pay for the services of an attorney when planning for their finances and health care in old age. This is a valid question, and people of modest means often feel that they can’t afford an attorney. However, the reality is that many elder care problems faced by families can be avoided by consulting an attorney before their loved one needs any form of care. Read more →