Reflections Feed

Short Valentine's Stories Needed for Dementia Spouses' Valentine's Day (or Anniversary) Celebrations

LoveI've been through many Valentine's Day celebrations with my parents where I tried my best to help them carry on their past traditions. It was grueling for me and only somewhat satisfactory for them, but I felt that it must be done. I'm now collecting a few stories for publication in an article that I'm writing on Valentine's Day celebrations. For this, I'd like to hear from spouses who try to carry on the Valentines Day (or anniversary or any day celebrating their love) traditions. I'd also like to hear from someone who feels that it's best to skip marking that day and when or why they made that understandable decision. 

Please send stories via the www.mindingourelders.com "contact" box, or message me on Facebook or Twitter (@mindingourelder). I'm looking for little vignettes of around 100 words. I want to credit you so please give the name as you'd like to be credited. The state or province where you live would also be nice.

Whenever possible, I like to share your stories with a huge readership. This will be an article for HealthCentral.com so your stories will help a lot of people.

Thanks to all of my dedicated readers, caregivers, seniors, spouses and loved ones.

Blessings,

Carol

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“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


Interview with Alzheimer's Association Stresses Economic Devastation Dementia Can Bring to Families

HandsSpouseMore than half of Alzheimer’s caregivers are cutting back on everyday necessities in order to cover the cost of Alzheimer’s care, according to a recent survey by the Alzheimer’s Association. To dig a little deeper into the survey and its implications, I interviewed Beth Kallmyer, Vice President of Constituent Services for the Alzheimer’s Association, and Paul Hornback, who -- along with more than 1,100 other committed advocates -- attended the enormously successful Alzheimer's Association Advocacy Forum in Washington, D.C.

   Read full article on HealthCentral about the economic devastation of dementia for families:

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“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


Alzheimer’s: Frequent Relocations May Speed Decline

Hands10Specialized care is needed at different stages of dementia. Frequently, the only way to provide that kind of care is to move the person to either a memory unit or a family home, while supplementing care provided by family members with paid in-home caregivers. In many cases, it’s simply unrealistic to expect to never have to relocate someone who has dementia. At the same time, frequently moving someone with dementia around can be problematic. While it can be a challenge for anyone, it becomes even more difficult for a person with dementia, according to the Alzheimer’s Association.

Read full article on HealthCentral about the effects of frequent moving when someone has dementia:

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“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


Driving and Memory Loss: Tips to Help Elders Give Up Driving

DrivingFor many of us, a car is a sign of independence. But this emotional connection to our automobiles is part of what makes convincing a person that he or she is no longer capable of driving such a volatile battle. The longer adult children or others wait to discuss driving issues with a loved one, the harder it can be. Occasionally, people in the earlier stages of cognitive or physical decline will recognize the signs of that decline when they have a close call while driving and scare themselves into giving up their right to drive. More frequently, if the person has developed Alzheimer’s or another type of dementia, and the disease has advanced to a point where judgment is affected, a prolonged battle often erupts.

Read complete article on HealthCentral about helping elders give up driving when it becomes necessary:

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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


Alzheimer's: What Is Really in Your Control?

Meditation3When it comes to Alzheimer's Disease (AD), the sad reality is that there is no cure. But a significant number of people have an increased risk due to genetics, and everyone has an increased risk as they age...What do we do, just give up and give in? Or do we look for ways that may give us a better chance to get through our last years without signs and symptoms of this devastating disease? I say let’s fight. Researchers at the University of Edinburgh have determined that winning may be possible. Some people will develop the disease no matter what they do but, according to these researchers’ latest study, there are everyday factors that may influence our risk of developing dementia, specifically Alzheimer’s.

Read full article about what you can do that may help prevent or delay Alzheimer's:

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“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


Contest: National Caregiver Relief Giveaway - Lift Chair Top Prize

ContestWhen Tony Rovere was caring for his mother he felt lost when it came to finding resources for caregivers. Because of his experience, Tony eventually founded Stuff Seniors Need at www.stuffseniorsneed.com.  The site is a terrific place to go if you want to find good cell phone plans for seniors, information about hearing aids or dentures, and information on most other products and services.

Now, Tony is launching the National Caregiver Relief Giveaway to assist caregivers throughout the United States. The top prize is a multi-position lift chair. It is free to enter. You can find out more details at caregiverhappiness.com/home. There are other prizes as well, and it's free to enter. Check out Tony's website and also go to the caregiver happiness site and register for prizes. You'll have found another wonderful resource. 

Just so you know, I don't have any connection to this site or it's products - I'm just a fan.

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


Restructuring Life After Caregiving Ends

CaregiverGroupDear Carol: I helped my mom take care of dad for years after he’d had a stroke. Dad died last year and Mom was diagnosed with cancer shortly after his death. Apparently, she had cancer symptoms for some time but was so focused on dad that she didn’t follow up on her own health. Mom died last month under the care of a wonderful hospice organization, but now I am lost. I’m divorced and never had children. Caregiving was my life for over ten years. I have enough money not to have to work so I just sit and watch TV, not even registering what I'm watching. I once thought I’d travel but now I have no desire to do so. I understand that I need to build a new life for myself but I don’t even know where to start. How do people “recover” from caregiving once it’s over? MB

Read more on Inforum about how to help yourself find a new normal after caregiving ends:

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Unearned Guilt Intrinsic to Most Caregivers

CaregiverComfortIf ever there’s a group of people who suffer deeply from unearned guilt it’s caregivers. Whether you’re the parent of a vulnerable adult, an adult child of aging parents or the spouse of a vulnerable adult, you are bound to have your “if only” times where you are sucked into the quicksand of guilt. The reality is that most things you could have done differently wouldn’t have made a huge difference overall. Even if another approach would have made a difference, you can’t go back. Staying mired in guilt is counterproductive for you as well as your care receiver.

Read more on HealthCentral about caregiving and unearned guilt:

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Failing New Year's Resolutions 101

3d-desktop-calendar-10034886Whether or not it’s a conscious thought, many of us look at a new year as a time to make changes in our lives. We become energized for a few days. However, most of us are quickly caught up in routine. Whether or not we like the routine, it’s familiar, and the status quo often provides the path of least resistance. Therefore, even if we’re stuck in a life that’s not satisfying, we stay with the familiar. Change seems too hard. This is a glaring truth that most caregivers recognize.

Read full story on HealthCentral about New Years resolutions and why we should not worry about "succeeding" with them:

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“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 


Recognizing Elder’s Life Legacy Strategy to Cope with Loved One’s Decline

TimeDear Carol: The New Year is arriving and I’m trying desperately to make my annual list of things that I’m happy about and the things that I want to improve on. This year I’m struggling. My once healthy mom had a sudden, massive stroke in October and is now in a nursing home. She’s always been vibrant, both physically and mentally, as well as a kind, loving mother and grandmother. Her volunteer work is a local legend. Now, she’s barely able to speak beyond a mumble.  She can’t eat without help. Her mind is muddled and the doctor says that she is unlikely to improve. When I look at her I feel my memories of her, as she was, disappear and I feel sorry for myself.  I feel guilty about my self-pity because I know that this should all be about her, but I can’t help it. All I can see is the horrible present Mom’s past fades away. How do I get anything positive out of this New Year knowing that Mom’s future is so bleak? KW

Read more on Inforum about the importance of recognizing an elder's life legacy:

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