Reflections Feed

Can Caregivers Have a Bucket List?

ART..Caregivers and their loved ones are on the serious end of this spectrum. Yet, they, too, may develop a vision for how they would like to spend the time that they have left together. Deciding what caregivers and care receivers would like to accomplish together while the ill person can still enjoy life is tricky and highly unique to each pair involved.

Read more on Agingcare about how caregivers go about a bucket list:

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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


Hearing Aids and Eye Glasses Can Present Challenge in Dementia Care

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Dear Carol: My mom  had a stroke and recently has been diagnosed with vascular dementia with possible Alzheimer’s disease. Dad is her primary caregiver although I go to their home daily to help out. My immediate question is how do we cope with the fact that Mom continually takes out her hearing aids and pulls off her glasses?  She seems to hear reasonably well without her aids and she can see well enough without her glasses to watch TV and walk around. She no longer can process what she reads so that isn’t an issue. Dad and I both wonder if she’s not better off being left alone with her preference but maybe that’s bad for her. What’s the best approach? K.F.

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The Rally Before Death In Preparation for the Final Journey

ColorSky...One story that stands out in my memory was told to me while interviewing people for “Minding Our Elders: Caregivers Share Their Personal Stories.” The woman’s whole family had gathered by her father’s bedside. It had been days for some, hours for others, but they had all arrived. Their father had been withdrawing into himself, and they knew that his time to leave would soon come. Then, he rallied. He was able to sit up and even talk a bit. There was a spark in his eye. He told his family to go and get something to eat. During the time it took the family to grab some fast food at a nearby restaurant, the father died.

Read the full article about the rally before death on Agingcare:

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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


How a Family Mediator Can Restore Family Peace

TreesLostEven siblings who grew up together with fondness for each other often have different ideas about what the right care for aging parents incorporates. When siblings have clashing personalities, or family issues have driven them apart, finding middle ground on anything can be extra challenging.   However, the reality is that for many families the time eventually comes when adult children must make decisions for their parents’ living arrangement, medical care and even end of life treatment. We have more options for care than we did a couple of decades ago, 

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Reminiscing Powerful “Drug” for people with Dementia

SpousesI love stories. When I was a teenager, I’d encourage my grandparents to relate stories of their young years struggling to survive on the wind-swept prairie. When I grew older, I was fascinated by the stories my parents and in-laws told of their early years of growing up during the Great Depression. Little did I know at the time that peoples’ stories would become the springboard for my life’s work. Now there is mounting evidence that encouraging our elders to reminisce about their past is therapeutic as well as enjoyable. 

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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


Memory Slips Not Always Dementia Related Whether In Elders or Others

FoxDear Carol: My mother is 62. There’s never been any dementia in my family that I know of. Yet I worry. Mom sometimes loses her train of thought when she’s talking, she’s slower in recall than I remember and she sometimes makes silly mistakes like when she was talking to me and grabbed the water pitcher from the refrigerator when she meant to get milk. I have a friend whose mom has Alzheimer’s so that probably makes me more afraid than I should be. Am I overboard? Katy

Read more on Inforum about having an excessive fear of 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


Defining Our Role as Caregivers: No Two People Are Alike

Family2Throughout several decades, I've been a care provider for many. Most of my care receivers were elderly, including one neighbor, an aunt and uncle, two in-laws and two parents. Each one needed varying amounts of care. I'm currently providing assistance for another. This relationship is vastly different from the others, yet there are also many similarities. Through it all, I've had a hard time accepting the caregiver label.

Read more on Agingcare about defining our role as a caregiver:

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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


Faith and Alzheimer’s: How Do We Cope?

ChurchHow can faith help both caregivers and people with dementia get through something that makes no sense even to those who believe in a loving God – or maybe especially to those who believe in a loving God?   Many people have asked me this question. My own spiritual beliefs have been vital to my caregiving life, but I wanted to give people more depth than I could provide on my own. 

Read more on HealthCentral about faith and Alzheimer's disease:

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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 


Post-surgical Risk for Delirium Increases with Age

Doctor_physician_surgery_219981As people age, surgery becomes a greater risk to their overall health than it is for younger people. Older people often have less robust immune systems so they are more at risk for general infections and they are more at risk for pneumonia. However, one of the most frightening risks for older people is post-surgical delirium.

Read more on HealthCentral about post-surgical delirium and inflammation:

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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


Old movies, Old Music: Not Just Nostalgia

Open-mind-10021499Old movies via DVDs, as well as CDs of big band music or other favorites of our elders’ generation have long been used as a diversionary tactic. Now, Artists for Alzheimer’s (ARTZ) is spotlighting a new way that movies can be used to enhance the lives of people with Alzheimer's disease. ARTZ is a nonprofit based in Woburn, Mass. that creates cultural opportunities for people with dementia and their caregivers. 

Continue reading on HealthCentral about the value of old movies and old music:

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