Empathy for Caregivers Feed

Faith Helps Some Caregivers Relieve Stress According to Study

Prayer3As a longtime family caregiver who provided, and continues to provide, differing levels of care for loved ones with illnesses, I can attest to the fact that caregiving can be unimaginably stressful. For dementia caregivers, the stress is even more extreme.   Only lately have we seen the results of studies that have followed family caregivers. One of the most scientific, in that it uses hard physical evidence, was published last spring. The study, by Ohio State University in conjunction with the National Institute on Aging, showed that caregivers may have their life span shortened by four to eight years. 

Read more on HealthCentral about how faith can help some caregivers:

Purchase Minding Our Elders: Caregivers Share Their PersonStories – 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

Global Alzheimer’s Study Now Enrolling


Memory Loss: Lack of Awareness Points to Dementia

CaregiverStress2Middle aged and worried about your memory slips? You probably don’t have dementia. The majority of the memory slips that concern this age group, and even those significantly older, are due to stress and other factors rather than impending dementia. However, researchers have now found that people who are suffering from memory loss but are unaware of their problem are most likely developing the disease.   

Read more on HealthCentral about memory slips vs. dementia:

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

Global Alzheimer’s Study Now Enrolling


Medications Should be Carefully Controlled as Alzheimer’s Advances

Medications5While Alzheimer’s specific drugs may help slow symptoms for some people, they also may increase the risk of hip fractures, fainting, urinary problems and other health issues. Most researchers now think that a time comes when many medications for the elderly are no longer beneficial and may be harmful.

Read more on HealthCentral about how even Alzheimer's medications may run their course:

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

Global Alzheimer’s Study Now Enrolling


Humor Shared With Other Caregivers Can Be Therapeutic

Humor1As I visited with a friend and her mother who had mid-stage Alzheimer's, her mother abruptly stood, held out her hand, and said to me, "You can go now." Since I'd been forewarned that this may happen and I'd been around people with dementia for years, I wasn't offended. My friend and I both managed not to laugh. I simply agreed with her mom and said that, indeed, it was time for me to be off, as there was much to do. I thanked her for the lovely visit and left.

Read full article on Agingcare about how sharing humor with other caregivers can help keep us healthier (sane?):

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

Global Alzheimer’s Study Now Enrolling


Alzheimer’s: Frequent Moves May Speed Decline

Comfort5Moving a person who has developed Alzheimer’s is generally necessary at least once during the period of decline, and often several times. Since different types of care can be needed at different stages, frequently the only way to provide that care is to move the person from his or her own home to either a memory unit or to live with the family, perhaps supplementing family care with hired in-home caregivers. This is real life and caregivers need to overcome that unearned guilt that they so often live with every time they these decisions.

Read more on HealthCentral about how frequent moves affect people with dementia:

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

Global Alzheimer’s Study Now Enrolling


Hindsight for Caregivers: What Would You Do Differently?

MomDaughter3As a seasoned caregiver of multiple elders, I can choose to torture myself with my perceived failures at being a perfect caregiver, or I can choose to forgive myself for being imperfect, and recognize that I did the best I could at the time. You have the same choice. Much like an adult who realizes that he or she has a "wounded child" living inside – a child who suffers from unearned self-blame or low self-esteem because of life events – many adult caregivers carry the guilt from their "infant" caregiving years to their grave. They spend precious time thinking about how they should have understood someone's needs better, could have been more patient, would have done any number of things better, if only they knew then what they know now.

Read more on Agingcare about hindsight in caregiving:

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

Global Alzheimer’s Study Now Enrolling


Parent Care Can Risk Spousal Neglect, Endanger Marriages

Caregiverstress3Dear Carol: My husband and I used to have a good marriage. When my mother-in-law began to have some memory issues, we decided that she should move in with us. During the three years she’s been with us, my husband has become increasingly obsessive over his mother’s happiness to the point that I feel like I don’t count anymore. When he is home he spends every evening with his mother or she is with us. We never have alone time.

Read more on Inforum about the effect that caregiving can have on a marriage:

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

Global Alzheimer’s Study Now Enrolling 


Validation Can Help Create Happy Moments during Dementia Struggles

FacialExpressionsCan people find happiness – even joy – while living with dementia? That depends, of course, on one’s definition of happiness and joy. But I do believe that there can be satisfying moments for people with dementia and their caregivers. 

Read more on HealthCentral about happiness through validation:

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

Global Alzheimer’s Study Now Enrolling


Delirium Leading to Dementia One Surgery Risk

BirchtreesAs people age, surgery becomes a greater risk to their overall health than the same surgery would be for younger people. Older people often have less robust immune systems so they are more at risk for general infections and they are more at risk for pneumonia. However, one of the most frightening risks for older people is post-surgical delirium. 

Read more on HealthCentral about hospitalization and delirium: 

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

Global Alzheimer’s Study Now Enrolling


Advanced Dementia: When Is It Time for Hospice Care?

Comfort...Unlike these other serious illnesses, Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and dementia are extremely difficult to categorize into neat stages of progression that are typically used to determine whether hospice care is appropriate. Life expectancy is difficult, if not impossible, to pinpoint for a patient affected by AD and related conditions like vascular dementia, Lewy Body dementia, and frontotemporal dementia.

Read more on Agingcare about when to call upon hospice for someone who has Alzheimer's or another dementia:

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

Global Alzheimer’s Study Now Enrolling