Empathy for Caregivers Feed

The Sneaky Grief that Accompanies Gradual Loss

CryingWomanNearly 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? Generally, these changes are subtle, the grief sneaky. 

Read the full article on Agingcare about the grief we feel as we watch our loved one struggle 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

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: 

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Caregivers May Have to Work Hard to Recover Positive Memories

OldermanTHinkStock Dear Carol: My husband and I were teenage sweethearts and married right out of college. While we experienced bumps along the road, I’d say our marriage of over 40 years was exceptional – or was until my husband developed Lewy body dementia. The dramatic personality change that this disease caused was devastating for us both. The worst part for him was that, at least in the beginning, he would realize that he had become verbally abusive and hated himself for it. For me, it was because this wonderful man that I married began to scream that me he never loved me and that I should go away. My husband died a year ago, and I’m still having trouble remembering the good times before LBD. I’m seeing a counselor and though I still struggle that is helping. I just wanted to write to let other people know that they aren’t alone if they are burdened with this same issue. – Gin

Read full column on Inforum about how difficult it can be to claw back through years of pain to recover positive memories:

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


Rebuilding Your Life After Caregiving Ends

BarrenWhen my mother died in a local nursing home, my "career" of visiting this exceptional facility nearly every day for close to 15 years ended. Mom's death prompted a nurse to whom I'd become quite close, to say to me, "We'll still be seeing you up here. You won't be able to quit." She was wrong on that one. However, my case may be a little different from many others, as I'd spent nearly two decades caring for multiple elders. 

Read full article on Agingcare about life after caregiving ends:

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


Care or Cure: Where Should Alzheimer's Funding Go?

Researcher2When you hear the next plea for increased Alzheimer’s funding – and you’ll hear a lot of it during the upcoming Alzheimer’s Awareness months, both global and national – your first thought will likely be that the money should go into to find a cure. However, people who already have the disease, as well as those who care for them, may disagree. A recent survey showed that these people feel that more financial resources should be dedicated to helping them live life with some quality. Funding research is fine, but that will only help people years in the future. They need help now.

Read the full article on HealthCentral about the choices that must be made when coping with the reality of 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

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

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Be Kind but Firm about Mother's Place in Family's Life

Caregiverstress4Dear Carol: My mom had a small stroke six months ago. She’s always had a controlling, manipulative personality that everyone gives into. After her stroke, she announced that she was moving in with us during rehab because she didn’t want to hire strangers to help her at home, so I let her. Now, she’s fully recovered. The doctor says that there is no cognitive damage, but she’s settled in. We need our home back. She’s always criticizing the kids and my husband is so stressed that he’s ready to walk out. We’ve kept Mom’s apartment and she could go back there now or she could move to assisted living if she chooses. She needs to get back with her friends and her previously active life for all of our sakes. I know that I need to stand up to her but I never have and now it seems impossible. What do I do? – Mary Sue

Read full article on Inforum about how to convince Mom to move back home:

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

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


Delaying Alzheimer's Symptoms: Life-long Learning Helps a Significant Number of People

Books2Nearly all of us know that if we don’t use our muscles as we age, we’ll lose muscle mass. The same theory seems to hold true when it comes to keeping our minds sharp. Computer games, word games, crossword puzzles, Sudoku and other challenging mental pursuits have been advised as methods of keeping the mind healthy as we age. Now, a recent study has shown that by pursuing life-long learning, even people who are genetically at risk for Alzheimer’s disease may be able to stave off symptoms for years.

Read the full article on HealthCentral about how life-long learning can help many people delay Alzheimer's symptoms:

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

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Did You Promise Your Parents You'd Never Put Them In a Nursing Home?

Nursinghome4... So, with some guilt, we start looking at other options. For some people, this means having your parents move in with you. If there is enough room that everyone has privacy and the personalities blend, this can work. However, before making such a move, make sure your head is as engaged as your heart. While you are considering this option, you also may want to read "Living With Elderly Parents: Do You Regret the Decision?"

Read the full article on Agingcare about the sacred promise and how life can change:

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

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

CathyZheutlinCreditEdisJurcys2Death. 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 and view powerful short video on HealthCentral about living while dying:

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 

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


Feeding Tube Can Be Considered Extreme When Caring for Someone with Advanced Disease

DianeWolffBookJacketcreditCraigWorshamDear Carol: My dad has had Parkinson’s disease for over 10 years. He has trouble speaking clearly, he chokes on food, and he’ll clamp his mouth shut when we try to give him his medicine. We’ve tried to trick him by putting a pill in his food, but he will spit it out. Dad’s doctor says that this is where he is in his disease and we need to accept that. He says that, eventually, people tend to get tired of the struggle. Dad's only 72. Should we have him put on a feeding tube? – G F

Read the full column on Inforum about swallowing problems and feeding tubes:

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


Caregiver Tells of Harrowing Experience in Handling Parents' Finances

MotherDaugherFinances can be a difficult topic to discuss in some settings, and talking with aging parents qualifies as one of those. But it’s essential that families discuss finances and how they will be handled when — not if, but when — one of them becomes incapacitated physically or mentally. Wise people appoint a trusted person as power of attorney (POA) before there is a health crisis.

Read full article on HealthCentral about the importance of getting your parent's or spouse's finances in order well ahead of later stages of Alzheimer's or other issues:

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

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