Mental Health Feed

5 Ways for Caregivers to Weather Criticism from Outside Sources

Journaling1Family 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?

View slideshow on HealthCentral about how caregivers can weather outside criticism:

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


Tips to Reduce Loneliness in Elders around the Holidays

Christmas17It's human to feel that holidays should be happy times, with generations of traditions coming to the forefront. After all, we say we celebrate holidays. Doesn't that mean happiness? The reality, however, is that many people can feel isolated and lonely during this sometimes forced "season of goodwill."  
Elders can have an especially hard time with the holiday season. While aging and maturity can bring the wisdom of years for many people, there are inevitable losses that come to even the most healthy individuals. Many of these losses are emotional and social in nature. Spouses become ill or die. Other aging relatives and friends become seriously ill or die. Neighborhoods change, often leaving even those well enough to remain in their own homes feeling friendless and isolated. The holidays can bring this isolation and a feeling of loneliness to a head.

Read the full article on Agingcare about what you can do to reduce loneliness in elders during the holidays:

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


You Are Not Giving Up When You Choose Hospice Care

Hands9Our culture is steeped in language that makes accepting the terminal diagnosis of ourselves or a loved one more difficult to accept than it needs to be. Doctors say, “I’m sorry, there’s nothing more we can do. You might want to look into hospice care.” Patients tell their doctors that they want “aggressive treatment,” until there is nothing else that can be done, then they will go on hospice care.

Read the full article on HealthCentral about how hospice care can help caregivers and their elders re-focus on what is important:

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

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


Elderly Mother Vehemently Denies Memory Loss: Refuses Referral For Memory Test

Depression2thinkstkOriginally asked by HealthCentral Community Member EastCoastAir

I  am the eldest of four children. I am our nearly 85-year-old mother’s healthcare surrogate and have for decades, paid all her living expenses. In the last few years, her memory has steadily declined. Her personality has changed and she has been physically assaultive and verbally abusive to people in public as well as to all of us. She is intelligent and able to “present well” in front of her physician when she sees him for ten minutes. However, at her senior center, she has had to be subdued by the police, taken in an ambulance for “heart” problems that are due to hysterical screaming and behavior.

Read the remainder of this dramatic question and my answer on HealthCentral:

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 


When to Go Public with an Alzheimer's Diagnosis Is a Hard Call

CaringSadly, even after years of work to educate the public about any illness that affects the brain, a stigma remains. No matter that most, if not all, mental illnesses have a biological basis. No matter that people aren’t any more responsible for a brain illness than they are for other illnesses. The fact remains that whether the disease affects the brain occurs at a younger age in the form of depression or bipolar disease or an older age in the form of Alzheimer’s disease or another dementia, people with brain illnesses are often reluctant to acknowledge their illness for fear of being treated differently than others.

Read the full article on HealthCentral about when and how to go public with an Alzheimer's diagnosis:

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


Outside Activities Essential to Caregiver Mental Health

Friends3Can caregivers get so drawn into the world of the care receiver that their mental health is at risk? I received a private email from a reader that made me think more deeply about this possibility. The reader said she’d been caring for her mother in her mother’s home for three years. The mother has middle stage Alzheimer’s and can be quite "creative" about reality. The caregiver told me that she does what experts often suggest and tries to join her mother in her mother’s dementia world.  She loves her mother and doesn’t mind that she spends most of her time caring for her, but is afraid that she is becoming so drawn into her caregiving that she may be losing touch with the non-caregiving world.

Read more on HealthCentral about how caregivers can benefit from outside activities:

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

 


Life Experience May Offset Cognitive Decline Due to Aging

Brain5Could life experience make up for some of the effects of age on the brain? According to researchers from the School of Business Administration at the University of California, Riverside, it can and does. The research group measured a person’s decision-making ability over their entire lifespan. Using two different types of intelligence - fluid and crystallized - they found that experience and acquired knowledge from a lifetime of decision-making often offset the declining ability to learn new information. Fluid intelligence is the ability to learn and process new information. Crystallized intelligence is experience and accumulated knowledge. According to the researchers, previous studies have suggested that fluid intelligence declines as a person ages, but the studies didn’t address whether or not decision-making abilities also decline.

Read the full article on HealthCentral about how the brain works (and in some ways, improves) as we age:

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


Ageism: How Negative Portrayals of Aging Affects All Senior Health

AgingwomanHow are older people portrayed in movies and on TV? Are they consistently cranky and the target of jokes or are they realistic in their variations and strengths? Are stereotypical portrayals harmful to their health? Possibly so. New research from the University of Southern California Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism, in partnership with Humana, Inc. sheds light on both the expected conclusion that older people, if represented at all in film and on television, are often typecast negatively, but also on the unexpected fact that these portrayals seem to affect the overall health of our aging populations.

Read full article on HealthCentral about how images on TV and the screen have a negative effect on seniors' health:

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


Be Kind but Firm about Mother's Place in Family's Life

Caregiverstress4Dear Carol: My mom had a small stroke six months ago. She’s always had a controlling, manipulative personality that everyone gives into. After her stroke, she announced that she was moving in with us during rehab because she didn’t want to hire strangers to help her at home, so I let her. Now, she’s fully recovered. The doctor says that there is no cognitive damage, but she’s settled in. We need our home back. She’s always criticizing the kids and my husband is so stressed that he’s ready to walk out. We’ve kept Mom’s apartment and she could go back there now or she could move to assisted living if she chooses. She needs to get back with her friends and her previously active life for all of our sakes. I know that I need to stand up to her but I never have and now it seems impossible. What do I do? – Mary Sue

Read full article on Inforum about how to convince Mom to move back home:

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

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


Pilot Program Brings Mental Health Care to Some Elders at Home

. CaregiverWoman1..Some of that caregiver burden stems from battling to get the caregiver’s loved one bathed, dressed, and transported to medical appointments. To have the option of a house call from a medical professional is only a dream for most caregivers and their care receivers, but this small miracle is actually occurring for some fortunate people through a pilot program called Insights.

Read the full article on HealthCentral about how Insights can grow to help more people in their homes:

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