Spouse Feed

Recovery from Double Grief May Require Professional Care

CryingWomanDear Carol: My mom passed away a month ago from a major stroke. Since her death, I seem to either be in a fog or collapsing into tears. My sister, Carolyn, had been caring for mom until two years ago, but then Carolyn had a sudden heart attack and died. She was only 43. Mom then came to live with us. Mom had COPD and heart disease. My husband has always been a rock of support and love and my two kids have handled Mom's death well. They are trying to help me even though they, too, are grieving their aunt and their grandma.  I’m the one who is a mess. I miss my mom more than I ever thought possible. My grief seems to be more consuming than that of other caregivers who’ve lost a parent. I’m not sure what to do with my overwhelming feelings.  I’m not even sure what I’m asking for except that I need guidance. SC

Read full column on Inforum about buried grief and fresh grief:

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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


Valentines Day, Anniversaries Can Be Painful for Caregivers

Heart...Many of you know exactly what I'm talking about. This year, you will help your parents give each other Valentines cards. Or, you will comfort your widowed mother or father on this day that celebrates love. It's all around us. We can't deny it. So, we cope the best we can.

Read full article on HealthCentral about celebrating Valentine's Day 

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

as a caregiver:

“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 Speech Pathologist Explains Common Swallowing Issues Part 2: Tips for Food Preparation

Caregiving6...Families may be instructed to puree all foods, but they could be unsure exactly what that means. Additionally, a plate with a pile of pureed meat, vegetables and other foods may not be very appealing to anyone, so arrangement of the food is important. The following suggestions should help, but may need to be modified if a patient has restrictions in their diet due to other medical conditions or has to have their liquids thickened. 

Read more on HealthCentral from an expert on swallowing issues: Tips for food preparation

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


Surprising Changes that May Indicate Dementia

Caregiverstress3When the average person thinks of dementia, generally Alzheimer’s disease comes to mind. At the same time, the person will likely think of memory loss. Both of these conclusions are understandable since Alzheimer’s is the most common form of dementia and memory issues are often, though not always, the first symptom of that disease. Surprising then, to many people, is the fact that there may be earlier indicators of potential Alzheimer’s disease or other types of dementia than frequent memory lapses.

Read full article on HealthCentral about changes other than memory that could indicated 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


Short Valentine's Stories Needed for Dementia Spouses' Valentine's Day (or Anniversary) Celebrations

LoveI've been through many Valentine's Day celebrations with my parents where I tried my best to help them carry on their past traditions. It was grueling for me and only somewhat satisfactory for them, but I felt that it must be done. I'm now collecting a few stories for publication in an article that I'm writing on Valentine's Day celebrations. For this, I'd like to hear from spouses who try to carry on the Valentines Day (or anniversary or any day celebrating their love) traditions. I'd also like to hear from someone who feels that it's best to skip marking that day and when or why they made that understandable decision. 

Please send stories via the www.mindingourelders.com "contact" box, or message me on Facebook or Twitter (@mindingourelder). I'm looking for little vignettes of around 100 words. I want to credit you so please give the name as you'd like to be credited. The state or province where you live would also be nice.

Whenever possible, I like to share your stories with a huge readership. This will be an article for HealthCentral.com so your stories will help a lot of people.

Thanks to all of my dedicated readers, caregivers, seniors, spouses and loved ones.

Blessings,

Carol

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


Respect Your Elders' Need for Independence

BicycleRiskDignity and identity are often tied to independence. As aging issues eat away at our loved ones' ability to follow through on tasks that they always loved, the feeling that life is worth living can fade as well. Our task as a caregiver is to encourage activities that contribute to our loved ones' feelings of self-worth while watching for safety concerns. If, as a caregiver, you are in doubt, it's generally best to err on the side of encouraging more independence rather than less.

Read more on Agingcare about honoring your elders' need to be independent:

Safety for your Elders - Peace of Mind for You:  Simple Smart Phone with Large Screen, Jitterbug flip phone, Urgent Response Device   For help CALL:  1-866-222-0703

Support caregivers this Christmas by giving them copies  of Minding Our Elders: Caregivers Share Their Personal Stories:


Caregiver Anxiety Can Bleed Over to Care Receiver

Stress_man_hand_238162If a caregiver is anxious because of job stress, he or she likely takes that anxiety home in some form and transfers some of it to the person they are caring for. This is not intentional, but even body language can transfer anxiety. The person being cared for picks up on the anxiety of the caregiver. His or her anxiety may stem from not knowing what is causing the person caring for them to be stressed, so they blame themselves. Or they may just absorb the feeling of generalized anxiety that radiates from the caregiver.

Read full article on Agingcare about how caregiver anxiety can bleed be contagious:

Christmas Gift for your Elders - Peace of Mind for You:  Simple Smart Phone with Large Screen, Jitterbug flip phone, Urgent Response Device   For help CALL:  1-866-222-0703

Support caregivers this CHRISTMAS by giving them copies  of Minding Our Elders: Caregivers Share Their Personal Stories. ORDER EARLY before supplies run out.


The Loneliness that Often Comes with Aging Can be Managed

Depression2As I watched my 90-year old grandparents grieve the loss of many friends. I had to wonder how much fun it is to be the last one standing. My parents faced much the same situation. Mom, who once loved getting Christmas cards, found that not only did the number of cards she received dwindle, the ones that she did get often contained sad news of death or disease. As she and many other older folks have said, "aging isn't for sissies."

Read more on Agingcare about how to help manage loneliness in your elderly loved ones:

Christmas Gift for your Elders - Peace of Mind for You:  Simple Smart Phone with Large Screen, Jitterbug flip phone, Urgent Response Device   For help CALL:  1-866-222-0703

Support caregivers this CHRISTMAS by giving them copies  of Minding Our Elders: Caregivers Share Their Personal Stories. ORDER EARLY before supplies run out.


Defining Our Role as Family Caregiver Can be a Process

Caregiverstress3Defining the point in time when a caring child or a loving spouse crosses the threshold into being a caregiver isn't easy. That point is different for everyone. Some people will deny the caregiving label entirely because they feel that they are simply doing what a good adult child or spouse is supposed to do. Others will grab onto their new title as soon as they are asked to help unscrew a bottle cap because Mom's arthritic hands make opening certain containers difficult. The point is, how important is defining your role as a caregiver to you, and when is the time to do so?

Read more on Agingcare about the difficulties of defining our role as caregiver: 

Christmas Gift for your Elders -  Peace of Mind for You:  Simple Smart Phone with Large Screen, Jitterbug flip phone, Urgent Response Device    For Help CALL:  1-866-222-0703

Support caregivers this Christmas by giving them copies  of Minding Our Elders: Caregivers Share Their Personal Stories:


Tips to Beat the Holiday Blues

Christmas-bauble-10056928When store employees wish us "Merry Christmas!" we smile back and return the greeting. When acquaintances wave and shout "Happy Holidays!" across a parking lot we wave back with good wishes. When we take part in our work holiday celebrations we put on our happy face. Yet many of us don't feel merry or happy during this time of celebration. Caregivers, especially, may be even less likely than others to be looking forward to all of the hoopla associated with the expected happy holidays. Some of us dread even thinking about it. How do we beat this feeling of holiday blues so that we can get through the next few weeks?

Read full article on Agingcare about beating the holiday blues:

Christmas Gift for your Elders -  Peace of Mind for You:  Simple Smart Phone with Large Screen, Jitterbug flip phone, Urgent Response Device    For Help CALL:  1-866-222-0703

Support caregivers this CHRISTMAS by giving them copies  of Minding Our Elders: Caregivers Share Their Personal Stories. ORDER EARLY before supplies run out.