Reflections Feed

Faith Helps Some Caregivers Relieve Stress According to Study

Prayer3As a longtime family caregiver who provided, and continues to provide, differing levels of care for loved ones with illnesses, I can attest to the fact that caregiving can be unimaginably stressful. For dementia caregivers, the stress is even more extreme.   Only lately have we seen the results of studies that have followed family caregivers. One of the most scientific, in that it uses hard physical evidence, was published last spring. The study, by Ohio State University in conjunction with the National Institute on Aging, showed that caregivers may have their life span shortened by four to eight years. 

Read more on HealthCentral about how faith can help some caregivers:

Purchase Minding Our Elders: Caregivers Share Their PersonStories – 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

Global Alzheimer’s Study Now Enrolling


Folic Acid May Aid Elders During Heat Waves

Medical_tablets_01_hd_pictures_168382The type of heat exhaustion or mild dehydration that a middle aged caregiver may feel during a heat wave is uncomfortable, but the same occurrence could be deadly for an elder. Because of the seriousness of overheating, some older people take a prescription drug that helps increase blood flow to the skin which in turn helps them cool off.

Read more on HealthCentral about how folic acid may help elders in the heat:

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

Global Alzheimer’s Study Now Enrolling


Validation: When Bending the Truth Is Medicine

Alzheimers_elder_caregiver6...Some history Prior to the mid1980s, accepted psychiatric theory was that people with dementia had to be re-oriented. In other words, the people needed to be brought back into the real world – meaning the real world as we who do not have dementia see it. They were wrong.

Read more about the "medicine" of validation 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

Global Alzheimer’s Study Now Enrolling 


Medications Should be Carefully Controlled as Alzheimer’s Advances

Medications5While Alzheimer’s specific drugs may help slow symptoms for some people, they also may increase the risk of hip fractures, fainting, urinary problems and other health issues. Most researchers now think that a time comes when many medications for the elderly are no longer beneficial and may be harmful.

Read more on HealthCentral about how even Alzheimer's medications may run their course:

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

Global Alzheimer’s Study Now Enrolling


Adult Grandchildren As Primary Caregivers Not Uncommon

GrandparentDaughterWhatever the reason that caregiving begins, I hear from a number of young adults who are trying to care for one or more grandparents. Most of them love their grandparent dearly, but they often come up against obstacles that are quite overwhelming for people so young. One young woman recently wrote about the problem of getting health information about her grandfather, because the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) laws won't allow her to do so without the proper paperwork, and her grandfather doesn't see the need to have this youngster involved in his clinical care. The problem is that the grandfather doesn't understand that no other family member is available to help him. 

Read more on Agingcare about grandchildren who are primary caregivers:

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

Global Alzheimer’s Study Now Enrolling


Pursing Creative Arts Could Help Delay Alzheimer's

ArtBrushesCompleting crosswords, making a habit of Sudoku and playing challenging brain games on the Internet have long been suggested as methods of maintaining our cognitive health. These are all fine pursuits, but recent research by Mayo Clinic has shown that creative arts such as painting, drawing and sculpting may protect the mind against cognitive decline even better than the commonly used forms of brain exercise.

Read more on HealthCentral about the therapeutic effects of the creative arts:

 

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

Global Alzheimer’s Study Now Enrolling


Summer Heat Can Be Deadly for Elders

GranddaughterWhether we are taking an elderly person to a family reunion or a backyard picnic this summer, we need to be aware that summer heat can become deadly as people age. From less efficient cooling systems to more illnesses and medications, elders have many issues that can make them vulnerable to extreme temperatures.   Don’t let the heat stop you from taking your elder out for some fun, but prevent problems by finding a shady place for your loved one to sit and check frequently to see if he or she is comfortable. 

Read more on HealthCentral about precautions for seniors during hot summer months:

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

Global Alzheimer’s Study Now Enrolling


Humor Shared With Other Caregivers Can Be Therapeutic

Humor1As I visited with a friend and her mother who had mid-stage Alzheimer's, her mother abruptly stood, held out her hand, and said to me, "You can go now." Since I'd been forewarned that this may happen and I'd been around people with dementia for years, I wasn't offended. My friend and I both managed not to laugh. I simply agreed with her mom and said that, indeed, it was time for me to be off, as there was much to do. I thanked her for the lovely visit and left.

Read full article on Agingcare about how sharing humor with other caregivers can help keep us healthier (sane?):

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

Global Alzheimer’s Study Now Enrolling


Alzheimer’s: Frequent Moves May Speed Decline

Comfort5Moving a person who has developed Alzheimer’s is generally necessary at least once during the period of decline, and often several times. Since different types of care can be needed at different stages, frequently the only way to provide that care is to move the person from his or her own home to either a memory unit or to live with the family, perhaps supplementing family care with hired in-home caregivers. This is real life and caregivers need to overcome that unearned guilt that they so often live with every time they these decisions.

Read more on HealthCentral about how frequent moves affect people with dementia:

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

Global Alzheimer’s Study Now Enrolling


Hindsight for Caregivers: What Would You Do Differently?

MomDaughter3As a seasoned caregiver of multiple elders, I can choose to torture myself with my perceived failures at being a perfect caregiver, or I can choose to forgive myself for being imperfect, and recognize that I did the best I could at the time. You have the same choice. Much like an adult who realizes that he or she has a "wounded child" living inside – a child who suffers from unearned self-blame or low self-esteem because of life events – many adult caregivers carry the guilt from their "infant" caregiving years to their grave. They spend precious time thinking about how they should have understood someone's needs better, could have been more patient, would have done any number of things better, if only they knew then what they know now.

Read more on Agingcare about hindsight in caregiving:

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

Global Alzheimer’s Study Now Enrolling