Medication Feed

Dear Candid Caregiver: My mom passed two years ago and my dad hasn’t done well since. Recently he had a stroke. My sister, who lives 1,000 miles away, came out for mom’s funeral, and she also visited for a few days after dad’s stroke, but she has a job and a family and couldn’t stay long. Now, dad’s been diagnosed with vascular dementia. Realistically, I’m the sole caregiver. I have two teenaged children, a husband who is, so far, supportive, and a job.  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 →


One of the most painful times for some families comes when their loved one can no longer thrive with in-home care and is in need of the skilled care that a nursing home can provide. Difficult as this time can be, emotion must be put aside so that necessary research can be conducted to find the best care facility possible. Read more →


Unlike me, many caregivers care for an elder or a spouse who lives in the same home. If you are fortunate, your care receivers may be cognitively able to understand that this is a bad day for you and you may not be as helpful as you’d like. If this is the case, tell them that you are sick, or that you have a migraine, or whatever your issue is. Read more →


When it comes to Alzheimer’s Disease (AD), the sad reality is that there is no cure. But a significant number of people have an increased risk due to genetics, and everyone has an increased risk as they age. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, of the more than five million Americans with Alzheimer’s, approximately 200,000 individuals develop the disease before age 65 (younger-onset Alzheimer’s disease or YOAD). Additionally, barring a cure or some type of prevention, someone in the United States will develop the disease every 33 seconds. Read more →


Eight out of 10 older adults take at least one medication and many take three or more daily. Older adults comprise 13 percent of the population but account for 34 percent of all prescription medicine use and 30 percent of all over-the-counter medicine use. Also, older adults often use multiple medicines (averaging 14 prescriptions each), increasing the risk of drug interactions, mix-ups, and the potential for harmful side effects. Source: National Council on Patient Information and Education Read more →


Dear Carol: I read your column about a woman whose friend was getting lost when driving and she wondered about confronting her friend about possible dementia. I beg everyone that if people suspect that their older friends or family members are slipping mentally they pull their keys before something bad happens. I say this as the victim of a very old woman who should never have been driving. I was riding my bicycle in the bike lane when she hit me and dragged me half a block. She was driving a huge, old vehicle and didn’t even know I was there. I will forever live with the physical pain and limitations that remain even after repeated surgeries for the injuries I sustained. Old drivers need to be pulled off the road. – SM Read more →


Many people have heard of hospice care but they mistakenly think that it’s just a way to help cancer patients be more comfortable at the end of their lives. Fewer people have heard of palliative care, and they may have no idea what it is. The truth is that hospice and palliative care are related but used for different reasons at different times, and everyone should be well-versed in what they offer. Here, we’ll clarify some points of confusion. Read more →


Eldercare Lessons from the Land of the Incas:  Eldercare in America is expensive, with Alzheimer’s topping the charts. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, more than half of Alzheimer’s caregivers are cutting back on everyday necessities in order to cover the cost of Alzheimer’s care. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) website carried an article published in the Health Tidbits section of the Journal of the National Medical Association that says: “Patients in most nursing homes are not receiving proper care due to a shortage of workers.” This is not to say that many U.S. nursing homes aren’t superb, but it is true that care is extremely expensive and in far too many cases, less than optimum in quality. Read more →


I’ve lived with chronic migraines since I was 15, due to a P.E. class injury. I know what it is to quickly excuse myself to run to the bathroom and vomit, then return and try to look as though nothing is wrong. I know what it is to reek of different rubs — some herbal, some commercial — in order to function. I know what it is to tell my mother that I was fine even though she could see that my eyes were barely focusing. Even then, most of the time, I did carry on. Read more →