Empathy for Seniors Feed

Should You Use Pet Names for Elders? Let Them Decide

ElderlyManCaneTwenty-five years ago, my aunt and uncle moved from the Washington, D.C. area to be with my family here on the Great Plains. One of the few complaints that I heard from my aunt about the move was that when she went to their new bank, the tellers called her by her first name. To someone of her generation, a younger person should have been calling her Mrs. Kelly. Yes, she understood their intent and she now lived in a more open, friendlier community than before, but she felt that first names lacked dignity. Additionally, while she was obviously aging, her mind was quick and her memory accurate. All she wanted was a little respect.

Read more on HealthCentral about pet names for elders:

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“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

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Pain: How Is It Perceived by People with Dementia?

Comfort6It’s far too easy for onlookers to view someone with dementia as unable to feel pain. Since the disease eventually renders most people helpless and cognitively inexpressive, they can't articulate what hurts or why they are upset. Caring researchers have now brought new insight to this issue. In an article on altered pain processing in patients with cognitive impairment, Medical News Today states that new research shows how wrong previous ideas about what people with cognitive disorders could feel have been.

Read full article about pain and dementia on HealthCentral: 

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“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


Illnesses and Hospitalization Can Permanently Worsen Dementia

DeathDear Carol: Can illnesses like a bad cold, the flu, a urinary infection or other common ailment make someone with Alzheimer’s worse? My mother had been diagnosed to be in quite an early stage of Alzheimer’s disease but she still got along very well. She then developed a cold which was followed by a UTI and then pneumonia so we had to have her hospitalized. The whole experience was terrible. Mom’s physical issues were eventually taken care of by antibiotics and she seems alright physically, but she’s gotten much more confused and her short-term memory has deteriorated markedly. I’m wondering what caused this big change so quickly. The doctor said that since Alzheimer’s is progressive it’s hard to tell. He’s guiding us toward looking for a memory unit for Mom since she lives alone and I can’t quit my job to take care of her at home as progresses to the middle stages of the disease. This stage now seems much closer than a month ago before she got sick. Is this a common situation? STC

Read more on Inforum about how illness can make dementia worse:

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Global Alzheimer’s Study Now Enrolling


A Speech Pathologist Explains Common Swallowing Issues Part 1: Causes and Coping

Visiting4A few months ago, a gerontologist told us her story about how she coped as a family caregiver when her father developed swallowing problems (dysphagia). Considering the seriousness and frequency of these issues with aging adults, I felt that we needed further information from a specialist. I contacted speech-language pathologist Kathryn Kilpatrick who has spent four decades helping people cope with these issues.

Read more on HealthCentral about swallowing problems that are common among 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


Alzheimer’s Risk Higher for Women: Why?

ComfortingIt’s been known for years that women are more at risk for Alzheimer’s disease than men.  Now there’s even more evidence of gender differences. A new study has found that among those who've been diagnosed with mild cognitive impairment (MCI), women show a much faster rate of memory loss than men.

Read more on HealthCentral about why Alzheimer's is more prevalent in women than in men:

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


Folic Acid May Aid Elders During Heat Waves

Medical_tablets_03_hd_pictures_168380The type of heat exhaustion or mild dehydration that a middle aged caregiver may feel during a heat wave is uncomfortable, but the same occurrence could be deadly for an elder. Because of the seriousness of overheating, some older people take a prescription drug that helps increase blood flow to the skin which in turn helps them cool off. Recently, Penn State researchers published information suggesting that folic acid, also known as vitamin B9, may be an inexpensive alternative for prescription drugs for the elderly during heat waves. Folic acid also increases skin blood flow and has been shown to reduce cardiovascular events, as well.

Read more on HealthCentral about how folic acid may help your elder during heat waves:

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 


Elders and Heat Waves: a Dangerous Combination

FanHeatOne of the many clues that my mother-in-law was ready to move across the avenue from her condominium to a wonderful nursing home was her response one hot summer to an intense heat wave we had here in the Dakotas (yes it gets hot on the prairie). She would have every window shut tight and her fan and air conditioner turned off. No circulation. No cool air. Nothing but dead heat.I'd get the Ac and fan turned on - not too cool, but some air moving - before I left her from my daily visit. Sure enough, when I'd get back the next day her condo was like a hot tomb. Suffocating.

Read more on HealthCentral about elders and heat waves:

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


Respecting Elders’ Dignity May Require Accepting Risk

GardeningLadyIt’s difficult to watch our parents age. As their hair grays, wrinkles form and age spots multiply, we adult children can find ourselves feeling protective. We want to keep them healthy. We want to know that they are safely at home when there’s the slightest risk of bad weather. We don’t want them taking risks that could result in an injury. That’s love, after all, and parents appreciate being loved. It’s a mistake, however, to make yourself director of your parents’ lives simply because they are piling on years.

Read more on HealthCentral about respecting the dignity of elders:

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


Hospice Care about Re-Focusing Priorities, Not Giving Up

Hands9Our culture is steeped in language that makes accepting the terminal diagnosis of ourselves or a loved one more difficult to accept than it needs to be. Doctors say, “I’m sorry, there’s nothing more we can do. You might want to look into hospice care.” Patients tell their doctors that they want “aggressive treatment,” until there is nothing else that can be done, then they will go on hospice care. The crux of these conversations is that medicine will do everything possible and then when you give up you will go on hospice care.

Read more on HealthCentral about understanding hospice care:

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

 


5 Examples of How Forgiveness Can Improve a Caregiver's Life

ForgivenessForgiveness, or the lack thereof, 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 on HealthCentral about how forgiveness can improve your own life:

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