Since mild hearing loss is considered part of normal aging it's rarely treated until the loss is at a later stage. However, now that hearing loss is known to affect our risk of developing dementia, this casual approach needs to be reconsidered.
To help us understand ADLs, I asked Carmel Froemke for some clarification. Carmel has spent 25 years providing direct care and program management for individuals with disabilities, specializing in mental health rehabilitation. She’s now very close to obtaining her credentials as a Geriatric Care Manager. Below, Carmel answers our questions regarding activities of daily living:
While you could ask for time off at your office job, who would care for your parents? Even if you could arrange care, how would you be able to go without being mired in guilt and mentally stuck back home?Thanks to the caregiver "fit-it" mentality, you probably won't be able to totally avoid some concern about what is happening at home. But it may be possible that you can, with planning, take advantage of a break and come home refreshed.
Dear 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.
The 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.
Many 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.
Throughout 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.
Many 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.
...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?
The 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.