Family Feed

I’m 78-years-old and I have lived with my son and his wife for two years. I’m feeling hemmed in and I think that they may feel the same way. They are kind, but my daughter-in-law seems stressed when we’re together too much even though in the past we have always gotten along well. The house doesn't allow much privacy which may be why we get on each other's nerves. I also miss being around people my own age. This arrangement seemed like a good idea, but I’m afraid we all think it’s a mistake. I’d gladly move to assisted living but I’ve been paying rent to the kids, which helps with their bills. For this reason, I’m reluctant to tell them that I’d like to move while we’re all still getting along rather than wait until our relationship turns so sour that it's impossible to fix. How do I approach them considering the financial arrangement? – TE Read more →


Many of us start our caregiving career by assisting an elder in his or her home, or we have a spouse who declines and we become the default caregiver in our own home. This care expands to a point where we need some type of respite, often in the form of in-home care agency help. Read more →


"Evoking memories can be as casual as asking a parent to tell a story, or as formal as a professionally produced video" cautions the extent of the project depends on the patient. Memories can be stirred by old movies with a favorite Hollywood star. Music almost always jogs the memory. … two female patients who hadn’t spoken in months until they heard the song ‘You Are My Sunshine.’ They were subsequently able to sing every lyric perfectly." Read more →


According to the Alzheimer's Association, the brain changes caused by Parkinson’s disease begin in a region that plays a key role in movement. As the brain changes gradually spread, they often begin to affect mental functions as well as physical functions. These changes can include memory and the ability to pay attention, the ability to make sound judgments and the ability to plan the steps needed to complete a task. Read more →


Smartphones and tablets have become an integral part of modern life, but who would have thought that caregivers and their loved ones living with dementia would be some of the people most excited about the possibilities? While non–digital books, guides, articles, and support are still necessary, apps have added another way for caregivers and their loved ones live their best lives. Read more →


Dear Carol: I have several friends who are caring for their parents in various ways. They talk about their parents like the parents have become the family children and it upsets me. My parents are living in their home and doing well. We’ve been planning for the future with the necessary legal documents and I know that they’d like to stay in their home as long as possible but if a move is necessary, they will do it. I’m horrified at the thought that I may slide into treating my parents as children when they do need help. Is this a default attitude for adult child caregivers? – SB Read more →


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 →


The issue of elders who were once reasonably clean adults refusing to take showers and wear fresh clothes is one that is far more common than most people think. To remedy this often-malodorous situation, it is crucial to first understand why a loved one is not bathing and/or changing their clothes regularly. There are many possible culprits and often several of them combine to form the perfect unhygienic storm. Getting to the root of their avoidance is the best way to devise a successful strategy for cleaning up their act. Read more →


...When you tell your siblings that your parents are more than you can now handle, that Dad's  Alzheimer's is causing him to wander and he is not safe at home, they tune you out. When you tell them that Mom's incontinence is at a point that you can't physically keep up with it, they respond by sulking, or even implying that you are bailing out on your responsibility. You took the elders' care on. You need to deal with the increasing problems. But don't even think of putting them in a home. They'd hate that! Read more →