Modern medicine has given the average person an increased lifespan but not necessarily an increased health span. Most of us want both. We’d like to live longer than the norm of even a couple of decades ago, but we want to do so with good health, and that is particularly true for our brain when it comes to brain health. HealthCentral’s interest was piqued by a new book that is focused on keeping our brains healthy, Brain Rules for Aging Well, written by Dr. John J. Medina, Read more →

My husband and I are in our 70s and both have some health problems. We've been taking care of my 94-year-old mother in our home for several years. Mom needs help eating, and she also needs to be transferred to a wheelchair, to the toilet, and to bed. We do have equipment for transfers, but it’s still wearing. We have a part-time caregiver come in for a few hours but can’t afford fulltime and my siblings are worse than no help. They lay on the guilt when we talk about moving mom to a nursing home because, in their view, nursing homes are no good. My husband and I can’t go anywhere and have begun to feel trapped. Mom says she wants to stay with us. She’s developed Alzheimer’s symptoms these last few years and her doctor says a memory unit is best for her, but I feel that I’m fighting the family as well as mom and I hate the guilt. Either way, we seem to lose. – MW Read more →

Most caregivers experience times when the fatigue and frustration of providing care for a loved one can border on burnout. Even though I’ve handled caring for multiple elders and their unique needs reasonably well, there have been moments when I’ve wondered how much longer I could keep it up. Read more →

Alzheimer’s disease progresses differently for each person, scientists and clinicians have attempted to stage the disease as a way that helps people living with Alzheimer’s and their families understand what is happening, as well as to plan for the future. Some divide AD into seven stages, some five stages, but currently, three stages is the format most often used. The Alzheimer's Association uses three stages, so that is what we will use for our foundation here. Read more →

Validation is a term often used to describe different approaches to helping improve the quality of life of people living with Alzheimer’s disease and other types of dementia. Webster defines the word as “recognition or affirmation that a person or their feelings or opinions are valid or worthwhile.”  Read more →

Have you been accused of stealing from a loved one? The first time it happens many caregivers find themselves choking back tears. They try a logical approach although they’ve long realized that logic is not effective when communicating with a person living with dementia. But to be accused of stealing your dad’s hearing aid? Your mom’s sweater? This is the parent for whom you gave up so much in order to provide care. Now they think you are stealing from them. How do you handle this all-too-common problem? Read more →

...Naturally, these decisions aren't only made because of economics. Most of us have at least a little of the "we take care of our own" mentality. Our parents took care of us, and likely their own parents. Now it's our turn to take care of them. Also, many people are distrustful of hired caregivers, either because of horror stories spread through decades or because they've had a friend who has had a bad experience. Read more →

According to an AARP survey, the vast majority of boomers have stated that they want to stay in their current homes rather than move to another setting for their later years. This attitude has been the springboard for many aging in place advocates as well as businesses like contractors and high tech companies. Read more →

Dear Carol: My husband and I cared for my mom in our home for several years before she passed away two months ago. The first two weeks I was nearly paralyzed with grief. After that, like someone flipped a switch, I went into a wild cleaning and tossing out spree. I just had to do something. Now, I’ve sunk into a low that’s hard to explain. I don’t want to get out of bed, shower, or even talk to anyone. I’ve been taking antidepressants for years, and have done well on them. I don’t think that my depression is making my depression worse since I know what that feels like, but I will see my doctor next month. Do you hear of these things with others?– ER Read more →