Grandparents Feed

New Year's Resolutions That Don't Set You Up To Fail

NewYearsResolutionsLike most caregivers, I always wanted to be the "best," yet I knew I fell short. There is no way that I know of to be a perfect caregiver. The needs of any care receiver can change subtly, in a flash. We can miss signals, or just be so tired and stressed we know we can't deliver everything needed, no matter how hard we try. That can bring on a huge case of unearned, caregiver guilt. Most of you have been there.

Read more about resolutions that can help your year - not set you up to fail:

Global Alzheimer’s Study Now Enrolling

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


Celebrating Christmas with Elder More Important than Location

PineWinterDear Carol: This is the first year that my mother has lived in a nursing home and thankfully she loves it. Mom has vascular dementia and has needed a wheelchair since her last stroke. We tried taking her to our home for Thanksgiving this year and the day was a disaster. It was physically exhausting for all of us and she was upset and disoriented the whole time. We’ve decided that for Christmas she needs to stay in her new home.

Read more about how to handle Christmas with nursing home bound 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


Tips To Reduce Elders' Loneliness During Holidays

ChildVistingElders can have an especially hard time with the holiday season. While aging and maturity can bring the wisdom of years for many people, there are inevitable losses that come to even the most healthy individuals. Many of these losses are emotional and social in nature. Spouses become ill or die. Other aging relatives and friends become seriously ill, or die. Neighborhoods change, often leaving even those well enough to remain in their own homes feeling friendless and isolated. The holidays can bring this isolation and a feeling of loneliness to a head.

Read more on Agingcare about reducing loneliness for elders during the holidays:

Support a caregiving friend at Christmas with a gift of Minding Our Elders

“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


Elder Loneliness Can be Managed but Not Cured

FacialExpressionsAs I watched my 90-year old grandparents grieve the loss of many friends, I had to wonder how much fun it is to be the last one standing. My parents faced much the same situation. Mom, who once loved getting Christmas cards, found that not only did the number of cards she received dwindle, the ones that she did get often contained sad news of death or disease. As she and many other older folks have said, "aging isn't for sissies."

Read more on Agingcare about how to help with the problem of elder loneliness:

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


How to Respond to Embarrassing Moments with Dementia

SmilingWomanI recall sitting with my neighbor, Joe, as we waited at the local clinic for some medical tests he required. Joe looked up, saw a man pulling an oxygen tank behind him, and yelled excitedly, “Look! He’s got a golf cart!” Since Joe had loved playing golf and his sight was poor, he saw what he “knew.” A golf cart. The man walking by was embarrassed. I simply smiled at him and talked to Joe about his years playing golf.

Read more on Agingcare about embarrassing moments with people who have dementia:

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 


Family Caregivers Still Not Valued By Many

AloneBeachsmallerIf what we do isn't highly paid or well understood, many people often brush it off as unimportant. Thus, one of the most important jobs in our society today – that of being a family caregiver – is all too often undervalued by people who don't understand. We may not be able to control other's viewpoints, but we do have some control over whether we accept this view of what we do and remain confident in our own decisions.

Read more on Agingcare about how family caregivers are often undervalued:

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


Flu Kills: Protecting Our Elders

DriedPlantsFlu isn't just an inconvenience, especially among the elderly population. For expert information on how caregivers can help their elders stay healthy and if possible avoid the flu, I reached out to Martie Moore, R.N., MAOM, CPHQ, who is Chief Nursing Officer, Medline Industries, Inc. for some answers.  

Read more on HealthCentral about how flu affects the elderly:

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


Grandparents: The Magic Role

GetImage...My own childhood mirrored this now quaint picture of the past, and I've always felt happy about the fact that my children grew up involved with both sets of their grandparents. Yet, even as my kids were growing up with weekly grandparent visits as a regular part of their lives, they were already in the minority. 

Read more on Agingcare about the importance of grandparents:

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


Reminiscing Powerful “Drug” for people with Dementia

SpousesI love stories. When I was a teenager, I’d encourage my grandparents to relate stories of their young years struggling to survive on the wind-swept prairie. When I grew older, I was fascinated by the stories my parents and in-laws told of their early years of growing up during the Great Depression. Little did I know at the time that peoples’ stories would become the springboard for my life’s work. Now there is mounting evidence that encouraging our elders to reminisce about their past is therapeutic as well as enjoyable. 

Read more on HealthCentral about reminiscing as treatment for AD symptoms:

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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


9 Tips for Visiting Elders At Home or In a Facility

VisitingwomanLoneliness can be a plague for the elderly and ill. Yet visiting with someone who doesn’t feel well, and may have limited cognition, can be tricky. Some nervousness or reluctance is natural, but a few considerations can help to make the visit go smoothly.

View slide show on HealthCentral about visiting:

Find local resources for walk-in tubs:

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