Grandparents Feed

National Healthcare Decisions Day Reminder to Stop Procrastinating

Journal1If you are one of the millions of adult children who worry about your aging parents, National Healthcare Decisions Day, which is April 16th,  could be a very important day for your family. National Healthcare Decisions Day is set aside to spread awareness about the need for everyone to appoint a healthcare representative.

According to Pew Research on end-of-life treatment, the growth in the number of people who say that they have a health directive went up 17 points between 1990 and 2005 - from 12% in 1990 to 29% now. Likely, today the number is much higher. However there are still far too many people without a healthcare directive.  

Read more on HealthCentral about how you can begin the process:

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


Helping Kids Cope with Alzheimer's in Grandparents

WomenOldYoung...Most people with dementia will decline slowly, giving loved ones time to adjust. However, no time frame makes accepting dementia easy.Whether the grandparents live with the family, in their own home or in a nursing home, the grandchildren are bound to be affected by the changes they see. Children often feel guilty for bad things happening in the family, even when there is no logic to their thinking. They will notice your pain and may also feel guilty for that, as well.

Read more on Agingcare about helping kids understand more about 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


When Addressing Elders begin with Respectful Formality

FriendlyOlderWomanTwenty-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 full article on HealthCentral about dignity in names:

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


Option of Hospice Care Helps Many Let Go

BridgeToCloudPeople who read my work on a regular basis know that I am grateful to hospice for the care of both of my parents. Without the skilled, compassionate care of the hospice staff, both of my parents would have suffered far more than they did. As it was, they’d both had long, slow declines. Pain had become the focus of their lives even though they received excellent care in the nursing home. First Dad, and eventually Mom, qualified for hospice care because they were considered terminally ill with less than six months to live. I filled out the paperwork for each of them and, yes, doing so was painful for me. But not having hospice there to take care of their end-of-life needs was unthinkable. 

Read more on HealthCentral about the option of hospice care and how it affects people:

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


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

Hands6Forgiveness, or the lack there of, 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 and some reasons why you should.

Read more on HealthCentral about the benefits of forgiveness:

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


Informing Person with Dementia of the Death of Loved One Judgement Call

Sunset3Dear Carol: My grandmother died suddenly leaving my grandfather, who has middle stage Alzheimer’s, more confused than ever. I’ve been arguing with my parents about how to handle his repeated questions about where my grandmother is. Both of my parents feel that they need to keep telling him that she died because that’s the truth. I know they mean well, but it seems as if his pain is fresh each time and I think I've read where you shouldn't tell people with dementia about a death. I’d hate to lie to my grandfather but I don’t know what to do. Is there some rule to go by? Amanda

Read more on Inforum about telling whether or not to repeat information about a death to someone with 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

Global Alzheimer’s Study Now Enrolling


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:

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


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