Seniors Feed

The Ins and Outs of Long-Term Care: An Expert's View

InsuranceCardInsurance of all types can be a minefield for America’s aging population. People over 50 are paying more for health insurance and could see enormous increases in those costs depending on what happens with the health insurance system in the U.S. Over the decades there has been an increasing push for people to take out long-term care insurance (LTCi), as well. HealthCentral asked Chris Orestis, Executive Vice President of GWG Life, for some insight on how people should move forward with their health-related insurance.

Read full article about long-term care insurance, health insurance, and other issues on HealthCentral:

Purchase Minding Our Elders: Caregivers Share Their Personal Stories – paperback or ebook

The stories in this fine book showed us how others have gone through similar things with their families and that is somehow reassuring. There are some helpful suggestions but mostly there is the recognition that others went through the same thing. All we can do is our best. That is greatly reassuring during these difficult emotional times. If you are a caregiver, this is a must-read. - Delores Edwards     *Great Christmas gift!


When One Parent Dies the Other Often Needs a Caregiver

Depression9Long-term marriages generally evolve into a support system so efficient that even adult children hardly notice changes in their parents. If Dad's hearing is poor, Mom becomes his ears. If Mom's arthritis is bad, Dad becomes her muscle. If one of them has memory loss, the other fills in the gaps so smoothly that it's barely noticeable to onlookers. Then, either Mom or Dad dies. The person remaining suddenly is more frail and needy than anyone would have expected. The surviving spouse is suffering the loss of their life partner, a shock from which they may never completely recover. Also, the person who filled in the gaps is gone, and those gaps can suddenly look like chasms.

Read full column on Agingcare about helping the survivor get back to life:

Support a caregiver or jump-start discussion in support groups with real stories - for bulk orders of Minding Our Elders e-mail Carol   Terrific Christmas gift!


Communicating with Elders Who Cannot Speak

OlderCouple3Many elders who have suffered strokes or have dementia are not capable verbal communication. If they are confined to a nursing home, often people are reluctant to visit, as the visitor doesn't know what to say or do. People stay away out of fear. Here are some tips to communicate with those who can't speak.

There are ways to communicate with an elder who can't speak. If you are visiting someone who you don't know intimately, it's good to ask family members or those who care for the person what that person likes.

Read full article on Eldercarelink about communicating with loved ones who cannot speak:

Support a caregiver or jump-start discussion in support groups with real stories - for bulk orders of Minding Our Elders e-mail Carol   Terrific Christmas gift!


6 Potentially Reversible Conditions That Can Mimic Dementia

WorriedOlderManWhen dementia symptoms appear it’s natural to fear that the person affected has an incurable form of dementia. Rather than reacting with panic, however, it’s far better to try to remain calm and have a specialist make the determination. Many forms of dementia are incurable, of course, but other conditions can present symptoms that resemble those of dementia but are in fact reversible.

View complete slideshow on HealthCentral about reversible conditions that can imitate Alzheimer's:

Support a caregiver or jump-start discussion in support groups with real stories - for bulk orders of Minding Our Elders e-mail Carol     Terrific Christmas Gift!  

“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


A Day to Honor All Veterans Past and Present

VeteransDayMichelleMalkinCreditOn this day I think of all veterans who've served our country, but of course I feel the closest to my loved ones: My dad (U.S. Army); my two uncles (one in the U.S. Army Air Corps which became the U.S. Air Force, one in the U.S. Army - he survived being a WWII POW); my brother (U.S. Army); my nephew (U.S. Army); and my partner and love (U.S. Navy). While these veterans' political views cover a wide spectrum, they are all patriots who served with honor and pride. Thank you to all veterans, and extra love to my personal heroes on this day - your day. 

Photo credit: Michelle Malkin

 


Lewy Body Dementia: Caregivers Share Their Personal Experiences

FatherDaughter9...As with most types of dementia, family members are the primary caregivers by default, at least at the beginning of the disease. They are usually the people who notice that something is not right with their spouse or parent. Again, like Alzheimer’s and most other types of dementia, care needs escalate with time. This ongoing care can be physically arduous and emotionally demanding.

Jeanne Gibbs, whose husband had LBD, illustrates her husband’s state of mind with the scenario below, which she handled like a pro:

Sometimes (but certainly not always!) the cause confusion in dementia can be determined and dealt with.

I worked at home to support us. One day my husband, Coy, was waiting for a rain-delayed baseball playoff game, and he came into my office. Coy: Do we have umbrellas for both of us? Me: Umm… for what purpose?

Read full article on HealthCentral about caregivers and their partners who live with LBD:

Purchase Minding Our Elders: Caregivers Share Their Personal Stories – paperback or ebook

Minding Our Elders lets you know that you are not alone, that you are not going to be perfect, but you can get the job done, You do the best you can, and that is good enough. We can't be Carol, but we can learn from her going before us. What a friend to have. What a gift she gave us. – CM Jones


Tips to Reduce Loneliness in Elders around the Holidays

Christmas17It's human to feel that holidays should be happy times, with generations of traditions coming to the forefront. After all, we say we celebrate holidays. Doesn't that mean happiness? The reality, however, is that many people can feel isolated and lonely during this sometimes forced "season of goodwill."  
Elders can have an especially hard time with the holiday season. While aging and maturity can bring the wisdom of years for many people, there are inevitable losses that come to even the most healthy individuals. Many of these losses are emotional and social in nature. Spouses become ill or die. Other aging relatives and friends become seriously ill or die. Neighborhoods change, often leaving even those well enough to remain in their own homes feeling friendless and isolated. The holidays can bring this isolation and a feeling of loneliness to a head.

Read the full article on Agingcare about what you can do to reduce loneliness in elders during the holidays:

Support a caregiver or jump-start discussion in support groups with real stories - for bulk orders of Minding Our Elders e-mail Carol   Terrific Christmas gift!


9 Tips to Manage Stress to Maintain Better Health

MindsetIncreasingly, stress is considered a risk factor for dementia, particularly Alzheimer’s. Stress is also a risk factor for stroke and heart attack as well as a trigger for many diseases from arthritis to psoriasis. Obviously, limiting stress in our lives is a good idea. But how? Simply living what we call modern life seems to make stress the norm. 

Zap perfectionism: Get rid of perfectionism. I know that I can be more stressed than I need to be simply because I think I have to do everything right now and do it perfectly. Likely you are similar. Perfectionism can lead us in an even more stressful cycle as we fail to meet own standards.

View full slideshow on HealthCentral for tips on stress management:

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


Be Prepared and End-Of-Life Conversations Needn't Be Horrible

Family3Sex and death. It's odd that those two topics should bring so much anxiety to parents and children. But, there you have it. One – sex – is about the beginning of life. The other – death – is about the end. Both are a part of the lifecycle, but if anything, sex is easier for many to discuss than death. I've found in my experience that it isn't always the elders who shy away from end-of-life talks. Some do, of course, but many would like to discuss the arrangements they've made for finances, as well as their opinions about what measures they would want to be taken if they needed someone to make their decisions if they can't, however the adult children often find excuses to put off that particular "talk."

Read the full article on Agingcare about how end-of-life conversations need not be terrible experiences:

Support a caregiver or jump-start discussion in support groups with real stories - for bulk orders of Minding Our Elders e-mail Carol   Terrific Christmas gift!


If Someone Is Going To Be In Hospice At Home, Will Hospice Give The Oral Morphine To Anyone To Administer?

DeathOriginally asked by HealthCentral Community Member Z…T.

If Someone Is Going To Be In Hospice At Home, Will Hospice Give The Oral Morphine To Anyone To Administer? Does Hospice Ask A Person Who Volunteers To Be A Caregiver If He Has A Criminal/drug Past?

If hospice is supposed to be an advocate for the patient first, shouldn’t hospice vet the caregiver before giving him/her morphine to give to the patient? If hospice has no responsibility in making sure the volunteer caregiver is someone who won’t abuse the position, how can an elderly, frail patient be protected? I guess I need to know - if hospice doesn’t vet the “friend” caregiver, then who protects the patient? Who makes sure the patient is safe? Thank you.

Read full question and my answer on HealthCentral:

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

I'm honored to be among over 50 presenters in this summit who want to help make your caregiving journey easier. Click the image to learn more:

caregiver smile summit