In the age of cyber sophistication, scammers and others can wreak havoc with our lives if we even momentarily let down our guard. For older adults who may not be technologically savvy, the threat is even greater. For them, like for someone speaking a second language, red flags might go unnoticed. People living with dementia may be at even more risk because of changes in the brain that can cause confusion. Here are tips for us all, including people living with dementia. Read more →


Caregiving is a continual learning process and no two situations are identical. But, becoming as organized as possible and consistently trying to stay that way can help us relieve stress and use our time more efficiently. It might seem overwhelming to maintain order in such a hectic situation, but a reasonably small amount of effort applied regularly will prove to be far easier than frantically trying to handle everyday mishaps and especially larger emergencies. Read more →


“Elder orphan” is a term used by medical professionals to describe individuals living alone with little to no support system. In a research article published in Current Gerontology and Geriatrics Research, in July 2016, “Elder Orphans Hiding in Plain Sight: A Growing Vulnerable Population,” Maria T. Carney, M.D., and her colleagues**,** sought to help clinicians identify adults with multiple chronic diseases who are aging alone and are geographically distant from family or friends. Identifying these individuals might well increase the availability of services for this population as a whole. Read more →


Would you prefer a hot dog or hamburger? Ketchup, mustard, relish? Chips, salad, dessert? All were available during the annual barbecue picnic at the nursing home where my parents, my uncle and my mother-in-law lived at different times. While people also enjoyed the monthly birthday dinners and holiday festivities hosted by the nursing home, the summer barbecue was one of the most anticipated events of the year. Read more →


Think about the personality of your ailing elders and consider excursions or entertainment that they may enjoy. A short outing of some type can leave a lasting memory, or it can simply mean that there were some enjoyable moments, but either way, you’ve done something positive for them. Remember to take into account the fact that heat can be dangerous to elders, so prepare for outside activities by educating yourself about how to keep elders safe in the heat.  Read more →


Dear Carol: Because of repeated strokes my mother couldn't live alone so I moved her in with me. As years went by I struggled to transfer her from her wheelchair to her bed or commode so I tried in-home help. That didn’t work so I had to place her in a nursing home. The facility was excellent and I was deeply involved yet I still feel guilty for not being able to keep Mom in my home until her death. Intellectually, I know that I wasn’t capable of providing what she needed, but when I read about abuse and neglect of elders in nursing homes I feel like I’m being directly criticized. Do people ever get over the guilt from nursing home placement? – HE Read more →


Many caregivers ask how to respond to siblings who, after being directly and distinctly asked for help, either skirt responsibility with excuses or react nastily to the request. The proper response will depend entirely on the sibling and the nature of the family relationship. Let’s look at a few examples and contemplate responses. Read more →


...Realty check: Wrong. Most caregivers will, at least occasionally, have these feelings. You are not alone and you are not a bad person. You are a human being who’d like some control over your own life. You didn’t ask to be put in a situation where you have little chance to work on fulfilling even the simplest of your own dreams. Yet, the situation presented itself and you stepped up to the plate. Read more →


Historically, aging has been a difficult topic for women and when it is talked about all, most likely it is in a negative light. Seldom do we read about all that women gain as we pile on the decades. Anne Simpson, 81, is changing that by discussing the complete picture. In “Do You Feel as Old as You Are? Conversations With My Granddaughter,” Simpson answers 40 questions asked to her by her 21-year-old granddaughter, Alison Leslie. The book explores ideas about aging and how women have related to one another across generations. Read more →


A special day for your mom is coming up and she’s deep in the land of dementia. You struggle internally about whether you should even go through the motions of celebrating since she won’t understand what you are doing. Will making a big deal of the day just confuse her more? Is it even worth going through this routine when knowing that she doesn’t understand what you’re celebrating nearly breaks your heart? Read more →