Family Feed

Think about the personality of your ailing elders and consider excursions or entertainment that they may enjoy. A short outing of some type can leave a lasting memory, or it can simply mean that there were some enjoyable moments, but either way, you’ve done something positive for them. Remember to take into account the fact that heat can be dangerous to elders, so prepare for outside activities by educating yourself about how to keep elders safe in the heat.  Read more →


Dear Carol: Because of repeated strokes my mother couldn't live alone so I moved her in with me. As years went by I struggled to transfer her from her wheelchair to her bed or commode so I tried in-home help. That didn’t work so I had to place her in a nursing home. The facility was excellent and I was deeply involved yet I still feel guilty for not being able to keep Mom in my home until her death. Intellectually, I know that I wasn’t capable of providing what she needed, but when I read about abuse and neglect of elders in nursing homes I feel like I’m being directly criticized. Do people ever get over the guilt from nursing home placement? – HE Read more →


Many caregivers ask how to respond to siblings who, after being directly and distinctly asked for help, either skirt responsibility with excuses or react nastily to the request. The proper response will depend entirely on the sibling and the nature of the family relationship. Let’s look at a few examples and contemplate responses. Read more →


...Realty check: Wrong. Most caregivers will, at least occasionally, have these feelings. You are not alone and you are not a bad person. You are a human being who’d like some control over your own life. You didn’t ask to be put in a situation where you have little chance to work on fulfilling even the simplest of your own dreams. Yet, the situation presented itself and you stepped up to the plate. Read more →


Historically, aging has been a difficult topic for women and when it is talked about all, most likely it is in a negative light. Seldom do we read about all that women gain as we pile on the decades. Anne Simpson, 81, is changing that by discussing the complete picture. In “Do You Feel as Old as You Are? Conversations With My Granddaughter,” Simpson answers 40 questions asked to her by her 21-year-old granddaughter, Alison Leslie. The book explores ideas about aging and how women have related to one another across generations. Read more →


A special day for your mom is coming up and she’s deep in the land of dementia. You struggle internally about whether you should even go through the motions of celebrating since she won’t understand what you are doing. Will making a big deal of the day just confuse her more? Is it even worth going through this routine when knowing that she doesn’t understand what you’re celebrating nearly breaks your heart? Read more →


Dear Carol: My dad is 86 and quite healthy other than his eyes. Recently, he developed the wet form of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and needs to get regular injections in his eyes to slow the leaking of the blood vessels. Dad tolerates the treatment well, so I’ve been taking him to the clinic for this but my sister is having a fit. Read more →


Ideally, family members see one another often enough that they can become comfortable discussing issues that come up naturally as parents grow older. When this is the case, adult children are likely to hear when close friends of their parents have moved to assisted living, or have become ill. They may even hear stories where their parents’ friends didn’t assign powers of attorney for healthcare and their finances so that when one or both became very ill, their children are left trying to care for their parents with their hands legally tied. Read more →


People living with dementia are anxious to teach the public that while a dementia diagnosis is not what anyone wants to receive, it’s not as if they are "healthy" the day before the diagnosis and in late-stage dementia the day after. Many people live for years with manageable dementia, and any number of them would call their lives satisfying. Read more →


Immediately, you recognize that your nasty response is way out of proportion to your friend's comment. She's been there for you, even though when caregiving starts, friends often scatter.The person you are really angry at is your sister who repeatedly criticizes your caregiving ability. The problem is that words, once uttered, can't be withdrawn. Read more →