Empathy for Caregivers Feed

Keep Holiday Expectations Realistic and Make Adjustments Where You Can

Family5Dear Carol: Last year Christmas was a mess and I’m determined to make this year better. Dad had a stroke two years ago and uses a wheelchair and mom has rheumatoid arthritis and uses a walker, so they both need a place with easy access. That would be my house. Both of my brothers, their wives, and their children join us. Along with our kids, the total of children is five. They are good kids but noisy which bothers my dad. Also, my brothers have opposing political views so I’m praying they don’t get into politics. To make things even more complicated, Mom is super judgmental and finds something to complain about in everything said by anyone even though they didn’t say anything that should offend her. I love my family and this isn’t about the work of hosting a holiday dinner. My siblings bring side dishes so I don’t have to do everything. It’s the personalities all together for eight hours and two meals that I dread. How do I handle this potential mess better than before? MW

Read the full article on Inforum about making a family celebration run more smoothly:

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.


Suggested Caregiver Responses to "I Want to Go Home"

OldercoupleOne of the most heartbreaking things caregivers of people with Alzheimer’s hear is “I want to go home.” The request is often repeated many times a day, even though the person is, to our way of thinking, home. Anyone who has tried saying, “But you are home!” will know that logic doesn’t work. What can a caregiver do?

View full slideshow on HealthCentral about "I want to go home"

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.


Does Your Elder Hide Dementia Symptoms from the Doctor?

Doctor6Convincing some elders to see their doctors for any reason can be difficult. Convincing them to give honest answers to the doctor’s questions can be even more challenging. This is especially true when the elder gets into uncomfortable territory. Areas where they feel they will be judged. The issues that are probably most often covered up are alcohol or drug abuse, but not far behind would be cognitive problems.

Read more on HealthCentral about elders hiding dementia symptoms from doctor:

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:


How Can You Help? Tips for Visiting a Dementia Caregiver

Friends2People get worried about visiting caregivers. They are concerned about intruding or what to say or do in certain situations. But it is great when someone makes the effort and most caregivers find the contact and support of others invaluable. Here are seven tips to allay your concerns about visiting caregivers to people with Alzheimer’s or another type of dementia.

View slideshow on HealthCentral about visiting a dementia caregiver:

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.


Driving and Memory Loss: Tips to Help Elders Give Up Driving

Driving2For many of us, a car is a sign of independence. But this emotional connection to our automobiles is part of what makes convincing a person that he or she is no longer capable of driving such a volatile battle. The longer adult children or others wait to discuss driving issues with a loved one, the harder it can be. Occasionally, people in the earlier stages of cognitive or physical decline will recognize the signs of that decline when they have a close call while driving and scare themselves into giving up their right to drive. More frequently, if the person has developed Alzheimer’s or another type of dementia, and the disease has advanced to a point where judgment is affected, a prolonged battle often erupts.

View Slideshow on HealthCentral about driving and memory loss:

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.


You Are Not Alone: Caregivers Share Their Experiences and Insights

CaregiverGroupLong-term caregiving can be isolating and lonely which is why peer support is so vital to a caregiver’s mental, emotional and physical health. More than a decade ago I searched for other caregivers with whom I could share my journey and discovered that connecting was difficult. This experience led me to write Minding Our Elders: Caregivers Share their Personal Stories. Thankfully, during this past decade, because of technology along with other awareness efforts, caregiver support has exploded with resources and professional help. Still, caregivers long to connect personally with each other and share, on an intimate level, what they’ve learned. The stories below are examples of that sharing spirit. Caregiving will change your life both positively and negatively, but these caregivers make it clear that you don’t have to go through it alone.

Read caregiver's personal stories on HealthCentral:

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.


Visiting Plans for Loved One with Alzheimer's Must be Adjustable

Comfort8Dear Carol: Mom has had dementia for several years. I moved her to my house for about six months but she was extremely unhappy living there. I then moved her back to her home and hired help. That was worse. She wouldn’t get out of bed, she fought the caregivers and she wouldn’t eat. Finally, I gave up and moved her into the memory unit of a nearby assisted living center. Now, she’s up and around every day. She eats well and she is reasonably happy. The problem is that when I visit her she begs me to take her home. The staff has told me that she is doing well and this is just a normal reaction for someone with AD. They said, very kindly, that it may be better if I don’t visit quite so often. I feel guilty if I don’t visit daily but I can see their point. I read your column every week and you advocate visiting our parents often. Is it bad if I cut back and visit just once or twice a week? PR

Read more about how to adjust visiting our loved ones to their needs:

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.


Caffeine May Prevent Alzheimer’s by Halting Tau Protein Growth

CoffeeAloneIn modern U.S. culture, coffee has literally been raised to an art form, with baristas topping complicated coffee-based drinks with drawings that will disappear with the first sip of the brew. Few coffee drinkers, whether they buy their coffee at these high-end shops or perk it at home in a humble pot, are drinking coffee for its health benefits. For the most part, they drink it because they like the taste, because it’s a comforting habit or for its invigorating kick.

Read full article on HealthCentral about how caffeine goes about protecting the brain:

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.

Related articles

Coping with Criticism from the Loved One You Care For
Proper Dementia Diagnosis May Require Referral to Specialist
Leaky Blood-Brain Barrier One More Step in Understanding Development of Alzheimer's

AARP and National Association of Area Agencies on Aging Campaign to Fight Elder Loneliness

LonelyWomanNews via PBS:  "The first-of-its-kind campaign, organized by the AARP Foundation and the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging, aims to help seniors assess their social connectedness and suggest practical ways they can forge bonds with other people...Addressing stigma will be a priority. ..'Who wants to admit that, ‘I’m isolated and I’m lonely?' said Dallas Jamison, a spokeswoman for the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging.'It’s a source of shame and embarrassment.'”

Read full article  on how loneliness contributes to disease: 

Read related article on how loneliness contributes to heart attack and dementia: 

50% off Black Friday: 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.


Thanksgiving: Discovering Gratitude in Caregiving

CaringCaring for our aging loved ones can be exhausting, frustrating, demanding and time consuming. Since November marks National Alzheimer's Awareness Month  we’re honoring Alzheimer’s caregivers, but November is also National Caregiver’s Month. Thanksgiving, as another November holiday, reminds me to think of ways that caregiving, tough as it can be, also offers caregivers a time to note the special blessings we’ve received when we are open to recognizing the gifts. After all, caring for one another is, in my view, one of the answers to “why are we here.”

Read more on HealthCentral about finding gratitude in Caregiving: 

50% off Black Friday: 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 a caregiver this Christmas with Minding Our Elders: Caregivers Share Their Personal Stories - for bulk orders of Minding Our Elders e-mail Carol