Family caregiving is more of an art than a science. Most people who take on the challenge of family caregiving do the best that they can under their unique circumstances, yet, they often receive criticism, sadly even from other caregivers. How can family caregivers who are already doing so much for their loved one(s) weather criticism from outsiders about how they provide care?
Myths about brain health are as rampant as they are for any feared disease. Neuropsychologist Dr. Michelle Braun is a memory expert who actively fights against these myths. In the process, she helps people learn how to reduce their risk for developing Alzheimer’s disease. Dr. Braun has worked for 10 years as a clinical neuropsychologist in departments of neurology, neurosurgery, and psychiatry in hospitals and academia. In 2008, she received the Practitioner of the Year Award from the Alzheimer’s Association in southeastern Wisconsin.
The stories in this fine book showed us how others have gone through similar things with their families and that is somehow reassuring. There are some helpful suggestions but mostly there is the recognition that others went through the same thing. All we can do is our best. That is greatly reassuring during these difficult emotional times. If you are a caregiver, this is a must read. - Delores Edwards
Increasingly, stress is considered a risk factor for dementia, particularly Alzheimer’s. Stress is also a risk factor for stroke and heart attack as well as a trigger for many diseases from arthritis to psoriasis. Obviously, limiting stress in our lives is a good idea. But how? Simply living what we call modern life seems to make stress the norm.
Zap perfectionism: Get rid of perfectionism. I know that I can be more stressed than I need to be simply because I think I have to do everything right now and do it perfectly. Likely you are similar. Perfectionism can lead us in an even more stressful cycle as we fail to meet own standards.
A doctoral thesis by Sara K. Bengtsson, Department of Clinical Sciences, UmeÃ¥ University, Sweden, examines the reason why chronic stress can increase one’s risk for Alzheimer’s disease. Don't panic - it's not a done deal. However, learning to manage stress is important.
Nearly everyone involved in caring for aging loved ones is experiencing grief. Often, however, we're not aware of this grief. We have a parent who used to be strong and capable begin to ask for a little assistance. No big deal, right? We're happy to help. But underneath, often unnoticed, there's a knot in our hearts. We're grieving the loss – the loss of function that made our parent need to ask for help. Weren't they the ones who helped us? Weren't they the ones in charge? Generally, these changes are subtle, the grief sneaky.
We can’t truly understand what others go through unless we have been in their shoes. Fortunately for caregivers, the inventive Virtual Dementia Tour Program comes as close as anything can to helping caregivers - whether medical people, social workers or family members - understand what their patients or loved ones with Alzheimer’s and other types of dementia are experiencing.
P.K. Beville, founder and CEO of Second Wind Dreams, has now received the U.S. Patent for his Virtual Dementia Tour program which has already been experienced by 500,000 people in 14 countries. Second Wind Dreams was formed in 1997. The name is derived from a novel of the same name, written by Beville who is a geriatric specialist.
Most of us don't regret our years of caregiving and likely wouldn't do much differently if we could change it, but there are consequences. A study by Ohio State University in conjunction with the National Institute on Aging has shown that adult children caring for their parents, as well as parents caring for chronically ill children, may have their lifespan shortened by four to eight years.
As 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.
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:
Death. For some, it signals the beginning of a more perfect life. For others, it is the end. Ultimately, for everyone, death is part of the life cycle and no amount of medical intervention will change that. Filmmaker Cathy Zheutlin became fascinated by the way that different cultures and religions view the death experience, and in the process, she has made a remarkable film titled Living While Dying, which features people who are going through that process and their varying emotions.
Recently, I wrote about how playing in an orchestra has helped people living with dementia renew their confidence in themselves. Another twist on music has now come in a recent report from the British Psychological Society’s Division of Clinical Psychology in London. The researchers describe how both the people in their study who had dementia, as well as their caregivers, benefitted from group singing.This exercise seemed to have much the same effect on the people with dementia as the orchestra experiment. While music is valuable on its own, and reminiscing while singing old songs is helpful, it seemed that one of the important takeaways from the most recent experiment was that the couples were doing something together as equals. This, in turn, helped the person with dementia feel more confident.