Spouse Feed

Family Caregivers the Heart of Alzheimer’s Care

Caregiving8...These statistics should make it glaringly obvious that family caregivers are indispensable to our nation as well as the rest of the world. Without this so called free care, global health systems would be in far worse trouble than they currently are. I am one of that army of caregivers. Over the span of two decades I provided primary care for a total of seven elders, four of whom had dementia of different types. Therefore, I know intimately the toll that years of caregiving for someone with dementia can take.

Read the words on HealthCentral of three other family caregivers as they give us a peek into their lives as care providers for someone who lives with 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 


Aging in Place or Assisted Living: It’s About Choices

FarmAccording to an AARP survey, the vast majority of boomers have stated that they want to stay in their current homes rather than move to another setting for their later years. This attitude has been the springboard for many aging in place advocates as well as businesses like contractors and high tech companies. It’s not hard to understand why 60-year-olds would say that they want to remain in their home for life rather than move to assisted living or a nursing home. These are generally people who are relatively healthy and feel that they can hire help for whatever they need down the road.

Read more on HealthCentral about choosing between staying in the home or moving to a care facility:

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

Global Alzheimer’s Study Now Enrolling


Is It Alzheimer's, Another Type of Dementia, or a Different Health Problem?

Brain6Is it Alzheimer's disease? As people age, the rapid mental recall of youth often fades. Yet most aging adults have wisdom and life experience to share and are cognitively sound. With increased awareness of Alzheimer’s disease, however, has come an increased fear that every mental glitch we experience as we age is a sign of AD. So, what is Alzheimer's disease and what could these disturbing symptoms be if they are not AD?

Read more on HealthCentral about how the symptoms may indicate Alzheimer's - or not:

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


Younger Onset Alzheimer’s Disease (YOAD) Symptoms Surprisingly Different

AnxietyWhen we think of Alzheimer’s symptoms we think of memory loss, yet this is not necessarily the case with younger onset Alzheimer's. Younger onset Alzheimer’s may present symptoms such as poor judgement and skewed thinking patterns before memory loss becomes evident. Researchers at University College London (UCL) studied 7,815 people who have been diagnosed with Alzheimer's. The point of the study was to determine if symptoms differed according to age of onset.

Read more on HealthCentral about how YOAD may differ from older onset:

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


Death of Life-Long Spouse Often Leaves Survivor Vulnerable to Loneliness, Health Problems

DepressionDear Carol: My parents had been married nearly 60 years when my mother abruptly died from a heart attack. Dad held up well during the first weeks. He’d say that he was glad that she didn’t have to suffer a long time like so many people do. But after a couple of months, Dad started to develop strange habits like humming tunelessly to himself and mumbling gibberish. He also seems to have lost his appetite and has had several falls. I notice more memory lapses than before, as well. I know that spouses of long marriages have a tough time adjusting to their loved one’s death, but this is not at all what I expected. Could these happenings be from something else or does this stem from my mother’s death? RCD

Read more about elderly losses on Inforum:

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


Alzheimer's Sleep Issues Challenge Exhausted Caregivers

StressedManExhausted caregivers often say that one of the hardest things for them is that they can’t get quality sleep. Even caregivers who have loved ones outside of their homes can have problems since they are still on call day and night for frequent emergencies. However, it’s the Alzheimer’s caregivers who have the hardest time since Alzheimer’s disease can cause severe sleep disruption. Experts still aren’t sure about all of the reasons for the poor sleeping patterns of people with Alzheimer’s disease. Doctors feel that there may be some change in the brain, perhaps the same as with other aging people but more intense, that cause this distressing situation.

Read more on HealthCentral about exhausted caregivers:

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


Elders and Heat Waves: a Dangerous Combination

FanHeatOne of the many clues that my mother-in-law was ready to move across the avenue from her condominium to a wonderful nursing home was her response one hot summer to an intense heat wave we had here in the Dakotas (yes it gets hot on the prairie). She would have every window shut tight and her fan and air conditioner turned off. No circulation. No cool air. Nothing but dead heat.I'd get the Ac and fan turned on - not too cool, but some air moving - before I left her from my daily visit. Sure enough, when I'd get back the next day her condo was like a hot tomb. Suffocating.

Read more on HealthCentral about elders and heat waves:

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


Respecting Elders’ Dignity May Require Accepting Risk

GardeningLadyIt’s difficult to watch our parents age. As their hair grays, wrinkles form and age spots multiply, we adult children can find ourselves feeling protective. We want to keep them healthy. We want to know that they are safely at home when there’s the slightest risk of bad weather. We don’t want them taking risks that could result in an injury. That’s love, after all, and parents appreciate being loved. It’s a mistake, however, to make yourself director of your parents’ lives simply because they are piling on years.

Read more on HealthCentral about respecting the dignity of elders:

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


Dad Crushed When Mom Finds New Love in Care Home

DementiaManDear Carol: My mother developed Alzheimer’s about six years ago.  Dad was her primary caregiver until his health began to deteriorate. At that time, the family talked Dad into placing Mom into a good, local memory unit where she’s lived for two years.  She no longer knows any of her children, or even her husband, but now she’s got a boyfriend in the nursing home. They hold hands and are together as much as possible. Dad knows that Mom’s behavior is caused by the disease, but when he visits Mom and sees them holding hands it breaks his heart. The man’s wife isn’t bothered by the relationship since her husband, who also has Alzheimer’s, is happy. She says to let it go because this relationship doesn’t mean anything. I agree with her, but watching Dad suffer is almost too much. How can we help him? CTB

Read more on Inforum about person with Alzheimer's finding new love:

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


Till Death Do They Part: Why Long-Married Couples Often Die Close Together

CommunicatingMy first exposure to this phenomenon happened when my parents were in a nursing home. I visited daily and knew the staff and many of the residents. One elderly man on their floor had later stage Alzheimer's disease. His wife of many decades visited him at least once a day until she was diagnosed and treated for breast cancer. Even during the worst of her treatment, she visited as often as she could. Then, she died.

Read more on Agingcare about long-married couples and why they may die close together:

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