Spirituality Feed

Medications Should be Carefully Controlled as Alzheimer’s Advances

Medical_drugs_tablets_222894While Alzheimer’s specific drugs may help slow symptoms for some people, they also may increase the risk of hip fractures, fainting, urinary problems and other health issues. Most researchers now think that a time comes when many medications for the elderly are no longer beneficial and may be harmful. According to an article in JAMA Internal Medicine, researchers at the University of Massachusetts Medical School in Worcester looked at 5,406 nursing home residents who had late-stage Alzheimer’s or dementia with more than half of them being older than 85. The scientists found that 2,911 of the patients – nearly 54 percent - were taking at least one medication of questionable benefit. 

Continue reading on HealthCentral about when it's time to start pulling back on Alzheimer's medications:

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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

Global Alzheimer’s Study Now Enrolling


Where Is the Line Between Caregiver Stress and Burnout?

CaregiverStressEvery person who becomes a caregiver will have unique personality traits, yet we nearly always share certain feelings and experiences as we travel a road similar to one another. That’s one reason that caregivers often turn to other caregivers for support. It’s a version of the adage that we need to walk in another’s shoes in order to truly understand what they feel.  One of those shared experiences is a certain amount of stress. Some personalities cope with the ever changing, nearly always challenging, business of caring for another adult with health issues better than others. 

Read more on Healthcentral about the line between caregiver stress and burnout:

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


Telling Your Loved One That It's Time for Hospice

Comfort3Our culture has historically been devoted to cure illness at all costs, and death is often looked at as "failure," no matter the age or condition of the person being treated. Many other cultures readily accept death as part of the life cycle. I believe we, as a culture, are making progress in this direction, but death still tends to be a word people avoid. If it's up to you to inform a loved one that he or she would be more comfortable under hospice care – or that a person they love will be on hospice care – there are steps you can take to get you through this difficult transition.

Read more on Agingcare about breaking the news that it's time for hospice:

Global Alzheimer’s Study Now Enrolling

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


When Life Falls Apart Try Gratitude

Reflections5I’ve lived a number of decades and had my share of pain, yet I don’t know that any pain cuts more deeply than knowing that someone I love is hurting. Unfortunately, as a family caregiver who over time helped provide care for multiple elders, that kind of soul searing pain is something I know well. Yet, I do my level best to find things to be grateful for even during those tough times. Why? Because, in the end, recognizing all that I have to be grateful for helps me cope. 

Read more on HealthCentral on finding gratitude in despair:

Global Alzheimer’s Study Now Enrolling

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


Coping with an Alzheimer's Diagnosis: What Are the Steps?

Fog7You’re 76 and are having memory problems beyond the occasional slip. Last month, you drove in circles for an hour because you forgot how to get home from the same grocery store where you’ve shopped for three decades. You’re finding the sequences of ordinary tasks difficult to understand. Finally, you give in to your husband’s nagging. You see a neurologist. The diagnosis is Alzheimer’s disease (AD).

You’re 57 and still rising in your career. At least you were rising up until the last six months when you were told that you are upsetting clients because you’ve become short tempered. You’re brushing off appointments because you don’t feel like going, yet you don’t bother to cancel. You are having problems keeping up with new technical changes. Finally, your long-time boss tells you that he thinks you need to see a doctor. Your personality is changing and your abilities are slipping. You see a neurologist. The diagnosis is younger onset Alzheimer’s disease (YOAD).

Continue reading on KindlyCare about coping with a dementia diagnosis:

Global Alzheimer’s Study Now Enrolling

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


Caregivers: Keeping Your Sanity During the Holidays

Snowflakes-background-10046398...That scenario sounds like a walk in the park to some modern caregivers, especially those known as the sandwich generation  because they are raising children while caring for their parents. At this time of the year, nearly every parent has one, if not several, school holiday programs to attend, plus church or other religious programs they want their children to participate in. Many have a full-time job, which often requires attendance at office functions outside of work hours, not to mention festivities during work time that pretty much require a big smile and a batch of home-made cookies. Is this your story?

Read the complete article on Agingcare about stay sane during the holidays:

Support a caregiving friend at Christmas with a gift of Minding Our Elders

“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


Home is All About Heart: When Your Loved One Wants to Go Home

DementiaMan... More likely, at least in the case of Alzheimer's disease, the home this elder misses is a childhood home. It's the home where he or she felt the comfort of a mother's arms; the safety of a father's protection. Again, this home is a state of mind rather than a building. Even if we could take our loved one to the actual house of his or her childhood, it's not likely that this structure would bring comfort. A sense of comfort comes from being with other human beings who love us and will do what they can to care for us.

Read more on Agingcare about what home symbolizes:

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


Could Life Experience Offset Cognitive Decline Due to Aging?

Exercise5Could life experience make up for some of the effects of age on the brain? According to researchers from the School of Business Administration at the University of California, Riverside, it can and does. The research group measured a person's decision making ability over their entire lifespan. Using two difference types of intelligence - fluid and crystallized – they found that experience and acquired knowledge from a lifetime of decision-making often offset the declining ability to learn new information.

Read more on HealthCentral about types of memory that remain good as we age:

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Thanksgiving: Can We Find Gratitude in Caregiving?

Fallblurred2Caring for our aging loved ones can be exhausting, frustrating, demanding and time consuming. Since November marks National Alzheimer's Awareness Month, we’re honoring Alzheimer’s caregivers, but November is also National Caregiver’s Month. Thanksgiving, as another November holiday, reminds me to think of ways that caregiving, tough as it can be, also offers caregivers a time to note the special blessings we’ve received when we are open to recognizing the gifts. After all, caring for one another is, in my view, one of the answers to “why are we here.

Read more on HealthCentral about gratitude and caregiving:

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Acceptance of Reality Precedes Gratitude

ChurchDear Carol: My wife has had a stroke that’s left her mostly paralyzed on one side. She can’t speak well and she cries a lot. We’re in our 70s and have spent our lives as active church people. In fact, we’ve done our share of visiting hospitals and nursing homes representing the church. We’ve told people that what they are facing is their reality and that we will pray for them.

Read more on Inforum about acceptance of reality and gratitude:

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