Empathy for Caregivers Feed

Dear Carol: My husband and I cared for my mom in our home for several years before she passed away two months ago. The first two weeks I was nearly paralyzed with grief. After that, like someone flipped a switch, I went into a wild cleaning and tossing out spree. I just had to do something. Now, I’ve sunk into a low that’s hard to explain. I don’t want to get out of bed, shower, or even talk to anyone. I’ve been taking antidepressants for years, and have done well on them. I don’t think that my depression is making my depression worse since I know what that feels like, but I will see my doctor next month. Do you hear of these things with others?– ER Read more →

The issues that are probably most often covered up are alcohol or drug abuse, but not far behind would be cognitive problems. It’s been known for some time that dementia has overtaken cancer as the most feared disease. It’s also well known that there’s no cure for dementia at this time. Additionally, even people with healthy brains who make an occasional wrong decision have a tendency to cover up. Read more →

Dad's dementia taught me what it was to both grieve immediately the loss of the man as he was before surgery, yet feel gratitude for having him alive. Gratitude aside, learning how to care for my now very changed father challenged me. Somehow, I had to muddle through what is often referred to as ambiguous loss, while putting on a brave face for Dad. This type of gut-level loss is often defined as a "confusing feeling of interacting with someone who is not fully present mentally or socially." Read more →

Memory loss can be one of the first symptoms a person experiences with Alzheimer’s, and those living with Lewy body dementia may also become easily confused. These varied symptoms can make maintaining relationships more difficult, but friendships are no less important for people with dementia than for the rest of us. Maintaining relationships, however, especially among friends who are not pressured to continue involvement because of a new sense of duty over a person with dementia, can take work. This guide discusses how caregivers can help by educating willing visitors who want to be helpful but simply don’t know how to make a visit tolerable, let alone, meaningful. Read more →

It’s thought that sundowning stems from a combination of factors such as disorientation due to lack of light, fatigue, and disruptions in the body clock. While there’s no cure for sundowning some medications and lifestyle changes can help. Below are some tips that may help you and your loved one cope with this often frustrating end-of-day behavior: Read more →

Video: Molly Wisniewski of Upside To Aging Interviews Carol Bradley Bursack

From Molly Wisniewski of Upside To Aging: This week I sat down with author, writer, blogger, and consultant on aging... Read more →

...Some situations, of course, leave no room for laughter. But some tough times can offer moments of levity if we choose to recognize them. My sister, Beth, and I experienced what to some people may be a rather macabre situation during the three days our mother was going through the death process. If we hadn’t maintained our senses of humor, I’m not sure how we would have handled those sad, seemingly endless days. Read more →

Forgiveness, or the lack there of, can loom large in the life of a caregiver. Forgiving doesn’t mean forgetting. That is rule number one for people to remember when they are working toward crafting better relationships with family members and others whom they care about. Forgiveness can have enormous benefits for the health of the person who does the forgiving. Considering that negative thinking can be disastrous to your own health, you may want to work toward the positive habit of forgiveness. Here are some people that you may need to forgive along with reasons why you should. Read more →

According to the Alzheimer’s Association, in 2015 nearly 16 million family and other unpaid caregivers for people with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias provided an estimated 18.1 billion hours of unpaid care, a contribution to the nation valued at $221.3 billion. This is with caregiving being valued at only $12.25 per hour. Similar statistics are posted by the International Alliance of Carer Organizations, which tracks caregiving in countries around the world. Read more →