Health Feed

Restless Leg Syndrome: What It Is and How To Cope

Doctor...RLS can affect caregivers and/or their care receivers, both of whom can be short on sleep. Knowing that we had a need for a sympathetic medical ear, I asked Keith W. Roach, MD, Associate Professor of Clinical Medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College, for the facts. I have been a fan of Dr. Roach’s work for a long time because he has what I consider to be a balanced approach to medical care and he projects an attitude of relatability and sympathy. Dr. Roach answered my questions by phone.

Read the full interview with Dr. Roach on Agingcare:

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


When Is It Time to Accept Hospice Care as Treatment Option?

GrandmaGranddaugherDear Carol: My dad is 79 and has suffered from aggressive prostate cancer for several years. What could be done has been done, so far, but the cancer has now spread to his liver and bones. We want Dad to have chemotherapy but his doctor says that he’s not a candidate for this treatment. Dad says he doesn’t want to go through it anyway. I think that they are just giving up. Shouldn’t the doctor be encouraging Dad to fight the disease? I thought that doctors were supposed to do everything to save lives. I think if the doctor insisted, Dad would agree. What can we do so that Dad gets all of the treatment possible? FMC

Read more on Inforum about when the time for hospice may be here:

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


Summer Heat Can Be Deadly for Elders

GranddaughterWhether we are taking an elderly person to a family reunion or a backyard picnic this summer, we need to be aware that summer heat can become deadly as people age. From less efficient cooling systems to more illnesses and medications, elders have many issues that can make them vulnerable to extreme temperatures.   Don’t let the heat stop you from taking your elder out for some fun, but prevent problems by finding a shady place for your loved one to sit and check frequently to see if he or she is comfortable. 

Read more on HealthCentral about precautions for seniors during hot summer months:

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


Humor Shared With Other Caregivers Can Be Therapeutic

Humor1As I visited with a friend and her mother who had mid-stage Alzheimer's, her mother abruptly stood, held out her hand, and said to me, "You can go now." Since I'd been forewarned that this may happen and I'd been around people with dementia for years, I wasn't offended. My friend and I both managed not to laugh. I simply agreed with her mom and said that, indeed, it was time for me to be off, as there was much to do. I thanked her for the lovely visit and left.

Read full article on Agingcare about how sharing humor with other caregivers can help keep us healthier (sane?):

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


Alzheimer’s: Frequent Moves May Speed Decline

Comfort5Moving a person who has developed Alzheimer’s is generally necessary at least once during the period of decline, and often several times. Since different types of care can be needed at different stages, frequently the only way to provide that care is to move the person from his or her own home to either a memory unit or to live with the family, perhaps supplementing family care with hired in-home caregivers. This is real life and caregivers need to overcome that unearned guilt that they so often live with every time they these decisions.

Read more on HealthCentral about how frequent moves affect people with 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


Hindsight for Caregivers: What Would You Do Differently?

MomDaughter3As a seasoned caregiver of multiple elders, I can choose to torture myself with my perceived failures at being a perfect caregiver, or I can choose to forgive myself for being imperfect, and recognize that I did the best I could at the time. You have the same choice. 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 on Agingcare about hindsight in caregiving:

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


Alzheimer's Apathy Preventable with Stimulation

GuitarLack of enjoyable, stimulating activity can lead to apathy for anyone but particularly those with Alzheimer’s disease. According to a 2013 report by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), apathy is one of the most common neurobehavioral symptoms in dementia. Strong, focused stimulation can help people with Alzheimer's disease overcome apathy.    People with mild dementia will decline more quickly into severe dementia if they also suffer from apathy, therefore engaging, stimulating activities are especially vital to this group.

Read more on HealthCentral about apathy with Alzheimer's:

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


Delirium Leading to Dementia One Surgery Risk

BirchtreesAs people age, surgery becomes a greater risk to their overall health than the same surgery would be for younger people. Older people often have less robust immune systems so they are more at risk for general infections and they are more at risk for pneumonia. However, one of the most frightening risks for older people is post-surgical delirium. 

Read more on HealthCentral about hospitalization and delirium: 

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


Winding Down Senior Driving without Removing Senior Independence

Drive-10013075Dear Carol: My dad is an 81-year-old widower who is in good general health. I’m fine with how he’s doing on his own except for his driving. His eyes are fine for most things, but he has poor night vision and of course his reflexes aren’t what they could be. Even though he’s been sensible about where he drives, he’s had a few close calls when I’ve been in the car with him, and he’s gotten some unexplainable scrapes on his car. I’ve tried talking with him but when approached him I’ve been angry and I know that’s not helpful. He’s sensible about most things but he’s dug in his heels about this.  How do people approach this issue? Gene

Read more on Inforum about driving cessation: 

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


Moving Beyond Diagnosis toward Living with the Dementia

Caregiver6For most anyone who has been diagnosed with dementia, or has loved someone with a type of dementia, the formal diagnosis was a moment frozen in time. A moment where the thought of possibly having a brain destroying disease became a confirmed reality. That pivotal moment is life changing, however people can move beyond that moment in time and learn to live with dementia.

Read more on HealthCentral about living with 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

Global Alzheimer’s Study Now Enrolling