Health Feed

Attitude adjustments can be powerful. Everyone has problems. Some become bitter because of one setback, while others will face life with a smile even after facing certifiable tragedy. What’s the difference between these two personalities? It’s how they look at life. It’s attitude. A positive, resilient attitude leads to less stress. Read more →


Dear Carol: I’m not yet 30 and struggling with family caregiving. I work an entry level job that barely pays my rent and student loan payment. I love my mom and grandma, but I hadn’t expected this responsibility so soon. Mom was taking care of Grandma who’s had dementia for years but then Mom had a stroke. I’m an only child so there are no siblings to help. My dad’s not involved with us. Grandma’s in a nursing home. According to the doctors, Mom’s condition isn’t expected to improve a whole lot from where she is now which means she will continue to need a wheelchair. Read more →


Bed sores, pressure sores, or pressure ulcers are all words used to describe a condition that people often think of as a small problem for a caregiver to handle if they think of it at all. However, this condition is anything but small. Complications from pressure sores can cause death. The Candid Caregiver asked Sharon Roth Maguire, M.S., R.N., a board-certified gerontological nurse practitioner, and the chief clinical quality officer at BrightStar Care®, to help us understand more about this potentially serious condition. Roth Maguire has an extensive healthcare background including more than 15 years of experience working with seniors. Read more →


Some types of dementia are reversible: The National Institutes of Health says that some types of dementia can be stopped or reversed with treatment. Normal pressure hydrocephalus, caused by excess cerebrospinal fluid, can be helped by surgical intervention. Some drugs, vitamin deficiencies, alcohol abuse, depression, and brain tumors can cause dementia-like symptoms. Most of these causes respond to treatment. Read more →


Dear Carol: My dad is in a good assisted living facility. He’s 96, and other than congestive heart failure, he’s in fair health for his age and has a good attitude for the most part. He was having physical therapy for hip and knee problems but now refuses it. I feel that at his age he can do what he wants so I haven’t pushed it. He uses a wheelchair to get around for the most part, but he can transfer himself. The nurse at the ALF said that he’d probably qualify for hospice care, though a doctor would have to make the determination. She did say that it’s a good idea for us to check into hospice because they can offer a lot of assistance that the assisted living facility can’t provide. Read more →


An article in the Daily Mail speaks to this issue in a delightful manner, stressing that people have differing views about addressing our elders at any time but particularly when they are in need of care. One view is that pet names such as Sweetie are demeaning. This attitude comes from a woman whose family wasn’t used to terms of endearment. The opposing view is from a woman completely comfortable with these terms and finds that they encourage bonding. My own view? It depends. Read more →


Often, we don’t even notice that we’ve slipped into a routine of combined stress and numbness until a friend or family member takes a moment to ask what is new in our lives. If our first thought is that nothing much has changed since we are just caregivers doing what we do, then it’s time to take a look at how we can refresh our attitude toward our lives, and in the process, perhaps refresh the life of the person for whom we are responsible. Read more →


The people we love and care for often reach a point where we can no longer be sole care providers and we need to look at options. This is painful, because up to this point we’ve likely been partners in their care but haven’t had to make forceful decisions. Now, things have changed. Because so many people have a negative view of nursing homes, the idea of going to a care facility terrifies many older people and being the person to make this decision can be agony. Read more →


According to the National Cancer Society, the majority of bladder cancers occur in the older population, with the average age... Read more →


Dear Carol: My husband has been diagnosed with a slow-growing type of leukemia that is well controlled by medication. He takes several medications for other health problems, too, but he’s doing well physically considering the issues. He’s never been easy to get along with because he knows everything and can have an acid tongue, especially toward me. I have stood up for myself when I’ve needed to, and he used to calm down, and sometimes apologize. Now, though, he’s getting far worse. Our grown kids don’t want to be around him, and old friends are staying away. He rants at everyone. Is this normal crankiness? TG Read more →