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Rebuilding Your Life After Caregiving Ends

BarrenWhen my mother died in a local nursing home, my "career" of visiting this exceptional facility nearly every day for close to 15 years ended. Mom's death prompted a nurse to whom I'd become quite close, to say to me, "We'll still be seeing you up here. You won't be able to quit." She was wrong on that one. However, my case may be a little different from many others, as I'd spent nearly two decades caring for multiple elders. 

Read full article on Agingcare about life after caregiving ends:

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

 

I'm honored to be among over 50 presenters in this summit who want to help make your caregiving journey easier. Click the image to learn more:

caregiver smile summit


Managing Chronic Disease and Chronic Pain as You Age

PhysicalTherapy4As they age, millions of Americans develop health conditions, including chronic pain. For an expert’s view on prevention and treatment, HealthCentral interviewed Kenneth Thorpe, Ph.D., via email. Dr Thorpe is the Robert W. Woodruff Professor of Health Policy at the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University. He is also the chairman of the Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease, an organization that has made several public-policy recommendations to address chronic disease, encouraging ways to improve patient access to care and invest in medical innovation. Read on to become part of the conversation.

Read full article on HealthCentral about how to manage chronic pain and chronic disease as you age:

Purchase Minding Our Elders: Caregivers Share Their Personal Stories – paperback or ebook

An amazing book of stories that will touch your heart and encourage you, especially if you are a caregiver. Carol  Bradley Bursack also has an excellent website devoted to the elderly and their caregivers. - Carol Heilman

I'm honored to be among over 50 presenters in this summit who want to help make your caregiving journey easier. Click the image to learn more: 

caregiver smile summit


Care or Cure: Where Should Alzheimer's Funding Go?

Researcher2When you hear the next plea for increased Alzheimer’s funding – and you’ll hear a lot of it during the upcoming Alzheimer’s Awareness months, both global and national – your first thought will likely be that the money should go into to find a cure. However, people who already have the disease, as well as those who care for them, may disagree. A recent survey showed that these people feel that more financial resources should be dedicated to helping them live life with some quality. Funding research is fine, but that will only help people years in the future. They need help now.

Read the full article on HealthCentral about the choices that must be made when coping with the reality of 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

Over 50 experts can guide your caregiving journey when you won this virtual summit. click the image to learn more:

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Alzheimer's Only One Type of Dementia but What Are the Others?

AlcoholOne of the most commonly asked questions about cognitive issues is “Is it Alzheimer’s or dementia?” The short answer is, Alzheimer’s is one type of dementia. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, “Dementia is a general term for loss of memory and other mental abilities severe enough to interfere with daily life. It is caused by physical changes in the brain.”

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.

View full slideshow on HealthCentral about the different types of dementia:

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

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Reasons to Overcome Denial and Seek Potential Dementia Diagnosis

CoupleComfortOne reason for this intense fear of Alzheimer’s is obvious. While many types of cancer can be cured, most types of dementia cannot. However, another reason is that the idea of being betrayed by our brains to the point that we are essentially lost in the disease is abhorrent to most of us. This fear, unfortunately, tends to make many people less than willing to see a physician for dementia testing even when they are showing signs that point to the illness. People don’t want to hear that they have dementia. Refusing to be examined assures that they won’t hear those words even though the reality is that living in denial can be counterproductive. Many conditions can cause dementia-like symptoms and if they are caught early, damage can often be reversed.

Read the full article on HealthCentral about reasons to get an early diagnosis:

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

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Did You Promise Your Parents You'd Never Put Them In a Nursing Home?

Nursinghome4... So, with some guilt, we start looking at other options. For some people, this means having your parents move in with you. If there is enough room that everyone has privacy and the personalities blend, this can work. However, before making such a move, make sure your head is as engaged as your heart. While you are considering this option, you also may want to read "Living With Elderly Parents: Do You Regret the Decision?"

Read the full article on Agingcare about the sacred promise and how life can change:

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

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Dementia: When Your Loved One Unfairly Accuses You of Stealing or Abuse

CaregiverStress2When a person succumbs to any form of dementia, it is hard on family and friends. It is difficult to see the diminished capacity of a loved one and the unbearable frustration it brings. However, one of the worst things we have to cope with is the fact that this person has a flawed memory, and this flawed memory can cause them to tell others terrible things about us, simply because their brain isn't working correctly. No matter how far-fetched their stories and accusations may be, to them, what they are saying is true.

Read the full article on Agingcare about how people living with some types of dementia can accuse caregivers of stealing or abusing when it isn't true:

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

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Feeding Tube Can Be Considered Extreme When Caring for Someone with Advanced Disease

DianeWolffBookJacketcreditCraigWorshamDear Carol: My dad has had Parkinson’s disease for over 10 years. He has trouble speaking clearly, he chokes on food, and he’ll clamp his mouth shut when we try to give him his medicine. We’ve tried to trick him by putting a pill in his food, but he will spit it out. Dad’s doctor says that this is where he is in his disease and we need to accept that. He says that, eventually, people tend to get tired of the struggle. Dad's only 72. Should we have him put on a feeding tube? – G F

Read the full column on Inforum about swallowing problems and feeding tubes:

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

I'm honored to be among over 50 presenters in this summit who want to help make your caregiving journey easier. Click the image to learn more:

caregiver smile summit


Reminiscing Can Be a Powerful Drug for People Living with Dementia

FatherSonthnkstockMany people around the country are now recording or even videotaping their elders as they tell stories about their past. This works for some. However, you need to know your loved ones. Not everyone wants to be on stage, so to speak, and preparing to record, even discretely, could take the spontaneity and fun out of the experience for some. Others may love it.

My family would have been put off by a formal approach with a tape recorder. For them, the stories were a natural part of some one-on-one time when I could ask a question that may stimulate a memory. They also often talked about the past with each other, and if I was nearby I’d soak it in. I do admit to wishing I’d been taking notes because I know I’ve lost details. Yet I’m heartened by the new research that shows that the telling of the stories may have helped their cognition as much as their moods.

Read full article on HealthCentral about how to help your loved one by listening:

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

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Depression in Elders: Symptoms, Triggers and What to Do

Olderwoman2Depression in the elderly is not unusual and can be brought on by any number of factors, ranging from physical issues or cognitive issues to life events. Spouses, adult children, and friends can take steps to help. These steps include being cognizant of the fact that the person would reverse the depression if he or she could, assisting the person in seeking professional help, and continuing with your own education about depression and how to approach treatment for a loved one. Before getting the proper treatment, here’s how to recognize the signs and symptoms of depression:

View full slideshow on HealthCentral about depression in elders: 

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

caregiver smile summit