Spouse Feed

When One Parent Dies Will the Other Need a Caregiver?

SpousesLong-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 more on Agingcare about what can happen to the surviving spouse of a long-term marriage:

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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

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Compassion Fatigue: The Stage When Caregivers Pass Burnout

Emotions...Those times have come dangerously close to burnout, but I have always moved through them with a focus on faith and self-care. Since my darkest days, however, I’ve learned that there is another stage that exists beyond burnout—one that can be extremely scary. This stage is called compassion fatigue.

Read more on Agingcare about compassion fatigue and your risks:

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 If Your Valentine Has Dementia?

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Has your spouse’s dementia made him forget that there is such a day as Valentine’s Day? Worse yet, has your spouse forgotten who you are? Under these circumstances, the second being far more devastating than the first, why would you want to go through the motions of celebrating Valentine’s Day?

Read more on HealthCentral about celebrating Valentine's Day when your spouse has dementia:

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 Tips for Maintaining Ear Health As We Age

EarHealthHearing problems don’t just happen to the very old. Boomers, as well as their parents, need to pay attention to ear health. Working with your health care provider to prevent hearing loss is important to lower the risk of problems down the road. Considering the importance of ear maintenance, I felt we should seek some medical advice about what we should and should not do to have a better chance of maintaining our hearing.

Read more on Agingcare about ear health for boomers and elders:

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

 

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Are You a Caregiver? Coping with Holiday Stress

  SnowyPatchesWhile many of us have spent years as family caregivers, some caregivers are new to this challenge. So new, in fact, that they have yet to realize that they are caregivers. So new that they haven’t had time to even consider the stress that they are under – stress that will likely increase, rather than decrease, if they don’t begin to develop some self-care strategies early on.

Read more on HealthCentral about caregiving and holiday stress: 

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


Finding the Words: Help Your Loved One with the Frustration of Aphasia

Fallblurred2The only experience I’ve had with the speech and language problem called aphasia was after my uncle had a series of strokes. This was a man who had lived for reading and word games. The worst part of watching him struggle to find words was that he knew the words he found were wrong. He was not only frustrated, but humiliated too. Aphasia is not uncommon, and, as caregivers, we must learn to assist our loved ones with the disorder however we can.

Read more on Agingcare about aphasia and how to help your loved one cope:

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


Family Caregivers Still Not Valued By Many

AloneBeachsmallerIf what we do isn't highly paid or well understood, many people often brush it off as unimportant. Thus, one of the most important jobs in our society today – that of being a family caregiver – is all too often undervalued by people who don't understand. We may not be able to control other's viewpoints, but we do have some control over whether we accept this view of what we do and remain confident in our own decisions.

Read more on Agingcare about how family caregivers are often undervalued:

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


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. 

Read more on Inforum about seniors taking care of their own aging parents:

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


The Rally Before Death In Preparation for the Final Journey

ColorSky...One story that stands out in my memory was told to me while interviewing people for “Minding Our Elders: Caregivers Share Their Personal Stories.” The woman’s whole family had gathered by her father’s bedside. It had been days for some, hours for others, but they had all arrived. Their father had been withdrawing into himself, and they knew that his time to leave would soon come. Then, he rallied. He was able to sit up and even talk a bit. There was a spark in his eye. He told his family to go and get something to eat. During the time it took the family to grab some fast food at a nearby restaurant, the father died.

Read the full article about the rally before death on Agingcare:

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


12 Tips for Spousal Caregivers

Spouses2While family members who provide care for loved ones share many issues, there’s a different emotional dynamic between caregiver and care receiver when the care partners are spouses than when they are an adult child caring for a parent. Here, we offer some tips for spouses. 

View slide show on HealthCentral about spousal 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

Find local resources for walk-in tubs: