Diagnosis Feed

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

CathyZLivingDyingDeath. 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 on HealthCentral about this remarkable film on living life to the fullest while dying:

Support a caregiver or jump-start discussion in support groups with real stories - for bulk orders of Minding Our Elders e-mail Carol    *Makes a great Christmas gift!


How Important Is a Dementia Diagnosis In Those Who Are Very Old?

FatherDaughterDear Carol: Is a dementia diagnosis always needed? I can understand younger people needing to know what kind of dementia is present, but my dad, who is 89, has declined cognitively over the last five years. His doctor has him on some dementia drugs that are supposed to help. They don’t seem to do much but they don’t seem to be hurting either, so we decided that it’s worth whatever benefit he can get. The doctor says that dad is really doing okay for his age, and we both hate to put him through a lot of tests just because his memory is poor. He’s in assisted living and when he worsens he can go to their memory care. The facility is good and I see him several times a week. He seems content. Should I be doing more? KP

Read complete column on Inforum about how the very old may need less vigorous intervention:

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

An amazing book of stories that will touch your heart and encourage you, especially if you are a caregiver. Carol  Bradley Bursack also has an excellent website devoted to the elderly and their caregivers. - Carol Heilman         *Great Christmas gift!


Mismanaged Prescription Drugs May Create Dementia-Like Symptoms

Medication8Dear Carol: My mom was drugged into dementia. She started out having a thyroid problem, but she kept developing more illnesses and receiving more prescriptions. The prescriptions ranged from her thyroid medication, which was necessary, to anti-depressants, anti-anxiety pills, and counting until she was eventually put in a psych ward. There, she was prescribed Alzheimer’s medications and then moved to the memory unit of an assisted living facility where she was medicated with antipsychotics. To shorten the story, I have Power Of Attorney so I moved from one coast to the other in order to be with my mother and fight to get her well. I read your work religiously and know that you tell people to watch their elders’ medications. Please keep doing that. My mom is now living with me and takes just three necessary drugs. She’s again going to her art class, seeing friends, and enjoying life. NM

Read full column on Inforum about why we need to be careful with prescriptions drugs, especially with older people:

Support a caregiver or jump-start discussion in support groups with real stories - for bulk orders of Minding Our Elders e-mail Carol   Terrific Christmas gift!

 


How Dancing Changed the Trajectory of One Woman’s Alzheimer’s Disease

HazelUnlikelyDancerBy some measures, Alzheimer’s disease has become the most feared diagnosis one can hear ― even more so than cancer. Additionally, most people think of Alzheimer’s as an “old people’s” disease. Taking these two thoughts together, Hazel Minnick has defied assumptions. She has shown that one can live with Alzheimer’s disease even when it tries to steal meaning and memories in middle age. Diagnosed with Alzheimer’s at age 53, Hazel has been living with the disease for more than 18 years. Her early years were grim even as she fought to do everything she could to improve her health. She used a wheelchair much of time.

Read Hazel's fascinating story about living with early onset Alzheimer's disease on HealthCentral:

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

An amazing book of stories that will touch your heart and encourage you, especially if you are a caregiver. Carol  Bradley Bursack also has an excellent website devoted to the elderly and their caregivers. - Carol Heilman  *Great Christmas gift!


6 Potentially Reversible Conditions That Can Mimic Dementia

WorriedOlderManWhen dementia symptoms appear it’s natural to fear that the person affected has an incurable form of dementia. Rather than reacting with panic, however, it’s far better to try to remain calm and have a specialist make the determination. Many forms of dementia are incurable, of course, but other conditions can present symptoms that resemble those of dementia but are in fact reversible.

View complete slideshow on HealthCentral about reversible conditions that can imitate Alzheimer's:

Support a caregiver or jump-start discussion in support groups with real stories - for bulk orders of Minding Our Elders e-mail Carol     Terrific Christmas Gift!  

“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


Capgras Syndrome: Coping with a Loved One's Delusions

Grief1Capgras is a type of delusional misidentification syndrome (DMS) that may present due to any number of neurological diseases or psychiatric disorders. Although the exact prevalence of this disorder is unknown, a 1999 study estimates that it is present in between two and 30 percent of individuals with Alzheimer’s disease. This disorder can seriously complicate a dementia patient’s quality of life and their caregivers’ efforts, so it is crucial to spread awareness of this little-known condition.

Read more on Agingcare about how delusions can be a part of Alzheimer's:

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


12 Tips to Help Spousal Care Partners

Oldercouple6While family members who provide care for loved ones share many issues, there’s a different emotional dynamic between caregiver and care receiver when the care partners are spouses than when they are an adult child caring for a parent. Here, we offer some tips for spouses.

Personal space: Giving one another personal space is important to many marriages. This doesn’t change when one spouse has health issues that must be addressed by the well spouse.

View full slideshow on HealthCentral about maintaining a healthy relationship with spousal care partners.

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:

caregiver smile summit

Support a caregiver or jump start discussion in support groups with real stories - for bulk orders of Minding Our Elders e-mail Carol


Caring for Aging Parents Who Didn't Care for You

Family10 ...Now her parents are getting frail. Nancy had been through a lot of therapy so she could learn to cope with her childhood issues. She's come to terms with the fact that her father did what he thought he was supposed to do. She rightly felt, as a child, that he should recognize and stop the abuse her mother was doling out. Through therapy, she has learned to forgive her father for his lack of involvement and the fact that he didn't stop the abuse.

She's learned that he likely didn't know about a lot of it. She's also learned that he probably was in denial about what he did suspect because he really didn't know what to do. He was wrong, but she's managed to forgive him for what he didn't know, and for what he didn't do about what he did know. Part of this is that her father recognizes where he failed. As he ages – and he's the one who is showing the need for care at this point – she feels she is capable of caring for him, in some "hands-on" capacity.

Read full article on Agingcare about how people who were abused as children must struggle to decide what they can do for their parents: 

Support a caregiver or jump start discussion in support groups with real stories - for bulk orders of Minding Our Elders e-mail Carol 

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: 

<caregiver smile summit 


What Long-term Caregiving May Be Doing to Your Health

Comfort28Most of us don't regret our years of caregiving and likely wouldn't do much differently if we could change it, but there are consequences. A study by Ohio State University in conjunction with the National Institute on Aging has shown that adult children caring for their parents, as well as parents caring for chronically ill children, may have their lifespan shortened by four to eight years.

Read the full article on HealthCentral about how, without intervention, long-term caregiving can shorten your life:

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

Over 50 experts can guide your caregiving journey when you won this virtual summit. click the image to learn more:

caregiver smile summit


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:

Support a caregiver or jump start discussion in support groups with real stories - for bulk orders of Minding Our Elders e-mail Carol

caregiver smile summit