Reflections Feed

Are Frequent Family Visits Disrupting for Elder in a Facility?

NursinghomeDear Carol: I’ve cared for my wife who has dementia for several years but now she’s begun wandering and needs constant supervision. Our kids think that both she and I are both better off if we place her in a nursing home, so we are on two waiting lists. One of the homes that we're considering has a rule that the family isn’t supposed to visit for the first two weeks after the person is admitted, and after that visits should be infrequent. They say that family visits disrupt the routine that they are trying to put into place for the elder and that seeing family members simply confuses them. The other home welcomes visits from the start, saying that while they hope that the family feels comfortable leaving their loved one in their care, they like to have families help with getting the person settled and as comfortable as possible. I hate the idea of leaving my wife in a new place and not being with her to help her settle in, but I want what is best for her. CF

Read full article on Inforum about visiting rules and what is best:

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


How to Be a Friend to a Family Caregiver

FriendsCaregivers often find that many of their superficial friends drift away over time because the caregiver is too busy to have fun. These friends are not bad people. They simply don't know what to do to help the caregiver and they find it easier to share their time with people whose lives are less complicated. Are you this kind of friend?

Read more on Agingcare about how to be a friend to a caregiver:

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 


What to Bring When Moving Into a Nursing Home: A Complete Checklist

MovingMost of us dread the thought of moving a loved one into a skilled nursing facility, and this sentiment doesn’t change for those who are fortunate enough to have a selection of stellar facilities to choose from. We know that we are giving up a certain amount of direct oversight, which can be hard even though we are well aware of our limitations as individual caregivers. We also know deep down that this move is an admission that a loved one has passed a certain point in their health where returning home or resuming even a few aspects of self-care is no longer a possibility. In other words, this transition is a direct dose of reality.

Read the full article on Agingcare for a complete checklist to help with moving to a nursing home:

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


Granddaughter’s Caregiving Neglects Self, Creates Dilemma

GrandfatherGrandaughterDear Carol: I grew up with my grandparents because my parents were killed in a car accident and they both loved me a lot. My grandmother died seven years ago when I was 23. I’d been on my own for a few years, but I moved back in with grandpa after he had a stroke. Things have gone fairly well with me working part time jobs and spending a lot of time with him. Lately, though, his memory has gotten very bad and he’s become stubborn about taking his medication, which he was always good about before. He’s also having more trouble getting around. I’ve finally started a good job with prospects for a future, but I can’t leave grandpa alone for long. My friends, as well as grandpa’s friends, tell me that he needs to go to a nursing home. They think it’s better for both of us but I feel like I should stay and take care of him like he took care of me. If I stay, I can’t take the full time job which I really want. I’m so confused. What do you think I should do? TK

Read full article about young caregiver on Inforum:

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


Is Alzheimer's As Hard on the Caregiver As the Person with the Disease?

DepressedWoamnIt seems shocking to hear people ask whether dementia, particularly Alzheimer’s since it’s the best known, is as hard on the caregiver as it is on the person with the disease. After all, developing dementia of any kind is one of our greatest fears, even overtaking cancer. A caregiver who asks this question must be incredibly heartless and selfish, right? Yet, people who've never been a caregiver for someone with dementia need to think this through. When a loved one develops dementia, both the care receiver and the caregiver have entered an incredibly challenging time of their lives. 

Read full article on HealthCentral about the rigors of dementia 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


5 Positive Effects of Long-term Caregiving

MomDaughterAfter decades of caregiving I’ve experienced some negative effects as noted in 5 Negative Effects of Long-term Caregiving. However, I've also experienced positive effects that continue to give me pleasure and enhance my life. I saved the positive aspects of caregiving for the second article because, having recently written about the ill effects on our health caused by negative thinking,  it seemed more authentic to me as a writer.  Also, as a person, when possible I like to concentrate on the positive. Below are a few of the many things that I feel I have gained, and still am gaining, from long-term caregiving.

Read full article on HealthCentral about the positive effects on the caregiver of long-term 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


Is Forgetfulness A Precursor of Alzheimer’s?

FAtherSon5Millions of aging boomers wonder if their memory lapses are from normal aging, or a sign that they are developing Alzheimer’s. There’s some basis for the worry. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, more than 5 million people in the U.S. are living with it. One in three seniors will die with Alzheimer’s or another type of dementia. While these statistics are scary, you shouldn't let them cloud the reality that many of us will age normally and will not develop AD, or any other type of dementia. Certainly, we will have some memory changes as we age. Improvements in our lifestyle may help mitigate some of those. Other changes we’ll just have to live with. So what is normal memory loss and when should we worry?

Read more on HealthCentral about whether or not your forgetfulness is normal:

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


People with Dementia Are Often Undertreated for Pain

PhysicalTherapyWhen people lose their ability to articulate what is causing them pain, this pain is often overlooked by doctors. A recent Slovenian study presented at the Congress of the European Academy of Neurology (EAN) in Copenhagen and conducted by Dr. Martin Rakusa investigated this problem. It involved 452 patients with an average age of 65 who had been treated for diabetes over a period of many years.

Read more on HealthCentral about how pain is often undertreated when people have 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


Worried Family Wants Aging Dad to Move from Farm to Town

FenceDear Carol: My dad, who is 84, has lived on the same farm and in the same house that his parents owned all of his life. He and Mom rented out the land ten years ago, but kept a few animals and a large garden. After Mom died, Dad sold the animals except for his house dog. He no longer gardens but he finds simple chores to do that keep him occupied. I know that he feels like he has to look after the home but that leaves him alone out in the country, essentially isolated. He’s in good health but the family worries about him. We want him to move to town and live with one of his adult children or rent an apartment but he resists the idea saying that he wants to stay independent. He’s mentally fine so we don’t feel that we can press too hard. We’re also afraid that if he is forced to move he may just give up on life. Either way we feel guilty. TR

Read full article on Inforum about dad who wants to stay on the farm:

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


If You Knew Then What You Know Now: Caregivers and Guilt

Caregiver6Much 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 how caregivers can torture themselves with unearned guilt:

 

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