Health Feed

The idea that some people can stay positive after receiving a dementia diagnosis seems surprising to many, yet when faced with adversity we have only two choices — make the best of what is in front of us, or live with negativity. No one is suggesting that living with a positive outlook after being given a diagnosis for any serious disease is easy, but negative thinking is risky for your overall health, while positive thinking has health benefits. Read more →


Dear Carol: My Dad cared for Mom for seven years until she died from Alzheimer’s. Now, Dad needs a little help. He knows how hard caregiving can be, and with my working full time, he's worried that I’ll burn out or get sick if I take on his care. He has money to pay for some hired help at home which is where he wants to stay. He has a personal alarm and is safety conscious. I live with depression, though I’m treated. Still, I have kids at home so I do have limits in what I can do for Dad. When I read about caregiver burnout I worry about that happening to me. I don’t want to get so that I hate spending time with Dad or taking care of his needs but I know that this is possible if I’m not careful. What can I do so that this doesn’t happen? OP Read more →


The 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. Read more →


Caregiving is a continual learning process and no two situations are identical. But, becoming as organized as possible and consistently trying to stay that way can help us relieve stress and use our time more efficiently. It might seem overwhelming to maintain order in such a hectic situation, but a reasonably small amount of effort applied regularly will prove to be far easier than frantically trying to handle everyday mishaps and especially larger emergencies. Read more →


“Elder orphan” is a term used by medical professionals to describe individuals living alone with little to no support system. In a research article published in Current Gerontology and Geriatrics Research, in July 2016, “Elder Orphans Hiding in Plain Sight: A Growing Vulnerable Population,” Maria T. Carney, M.D., and her colleagues**,** sought to help clinicians identify adults with multiple chronic diseases who are aging alone and are geographically distant from family or friends. Identifying these individuals might well increase the availability of services for this population as a whole. Read more →


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 →


DICE is an acronym for Describe, Investigate, Evaluate, and Create: The DICE program recommends that caregivers - both professional and family - treat each person with dementia as an individual and also be aware that as symptoms change, approaches by caregivers should also change. DICE is a partnership between the physician, the patient, and the caregiver. Read more →


...Don’t let a bias against alternative medicine put you off. While we now have the blessing of the NIH to use rosemary, lemon, lavender, and orange by the inhaled method to help calm Alzheimer’s symptoms, we can also seek advice from trained professionals who may help us make the most of any number of ancient practices for ourselves and our loved ones. 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 →


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 →