Seniors Feed

Some Seniors Caring for Ailing Spouse As Well As Aged Parent

BeachDear Carol:  My husband and I are both 71 years old and have been married 48 years.  I’ve got a few health problems, including high blood pressure, however my husband has had heart by-pass surgery and is diabetic as well. His health is a big worry. My mother, now 95, has lived with us for nine years. She’s physically healthy except for severe arthritis, but she has dementia that is rapidly worsening. Her needs are increasing but so are my husband’s. He’s been a saint all of these years with Mom and he still insists he doesn’t want to “push her out,” as he puts it. However, I want to take care of my husband and I can only do so much. 

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Folic Acid May Aid Elders During Heat Waves

FanHeatsmallerThe 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 heat and the elderly:

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


Common Drugs with Disturbing Mental Side Effects

Fog2Many of us have become aware that prescription medications such as Ativan, Xanax and Klonopin may have serious side effects including memory issues. These drugs, which are generally prescribed for anxiety, can possibly increase the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease since they are in a class known as anticholinergic drugs. They work by blocking a neurotransmitter called acetylcholine in the nervous system. 

Read more on HealthCentral about common drugs and their side effects:

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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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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


Aging Eyes Play Role In Many Diseases According To Study

BridgeToCloudMany of us become aware of vision changes in our early to mid-40s, when we find, as my mother used to say, that “the print in the newspaper keeps getting smaller.” What’s happening, of course, is presbyopia. As the eye ages, the lens of the eye gradually loses its ability to focus on close objects, thus the prevalence of reading glasses in our mid-years. 

Read more on HealthCentral about aging eyes and disease:

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Factors To Consider In Best Cell Phone Plans for Seniors

Farm...First, we must ask ourselves who this person is. Are we talking about an aging adult with failing health, who may also be technology averse, or a person who is active mentally and physically—one who has likely evolved with technology? Are we considering someone whose sole financial support comes from Social Security, or a person who has a solid retirement, travels frequently and wants to video conference with scattered family members?

Read more on Agingcare about the best cell phone plans for Seniors:

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White House Conference on Aging Part 1: Finding Local Services

WhiteHouseConverenceThe White House Conference on Aging (WHCOA), held July 13, 2015, brought together 200 experts and advocates from around the country. These professionals and volunteers from many related fields were challenged to examine the problems and opportunities we, as a country with an enormous number of caregivers and aging boomers, face.

Read more on HealthCentral about the launch of a great new government website:

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Sleep Deprivation May Contribute to Alzheimer’s Risk

NightskyI am acquainted with many people who have trouble sleeping because of physical pain, mental and emotional stress, sleep apnea and other issues. Many of these health problems can be improved with proper medical care. However, among many of my friends and most of my readers, one of the most significant issues interfering with quality sleep is that they are family caregivers. 

Continue reading on HealthCentral about sleep deprivation and Alzheimer's risk:

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Balance Elders' Sense of Purpose and Dignity with Their Safety

WaterfallJoe was in his 80s and lived in his own home. He was my first care receiver. Joe was totally deaf, so to communicate with each other, he spoke and I wrote on a large legal pad. One day, when I hurried into his house through the back door at my usual visiting time, I sensed something odd. Generally, Joe would be sitting at his kitchen table waiting for me. This time, there was no sign of him. I ran down the basement steps, since he'd fallen down there before. No Joe.

Read more on Agingcare about balancing our elders' needs with their safety:

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Summer Heat Can Be Deadly for Seniors

FanHeatsmallerWhether 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. 

Continue reading on HealthCentral about summer heat and our elders:

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