Spouse Feed

Convincing Incontinent Elder to Wear Protection Can Be a Challenge

Caregiver_cropped_hands_2Our parents changed our diapers when we were babies. As we grew into toddlers we were “potty trained,” and from that time on we were expected to control our bodily functions. Is it any wonder that elders who have been rendered incontinent by a medical problem or disease often deny their incontinence and refuse, even in the face of evidence, to wear protection? They equate incontinence protection with diapers and diapers with babies. They feel humiliated. Wouldn’t they feel more humiliated smelling of urine or feces, you ask? Logically, yes.

Read more on HealthCentral about convincing elder to wear protection:

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


Emotionally Descriptive Words Lose Meaning with Semantic Dementia

CaregiverStressPersonality change is the hallmark of frontotemporal dementia (FTD), but a small percentage of people with FTD experience an additional problem. They lose the ability to understand the meaning conveyed by words that describe emotion. People who love someone with this variant of FTD, which is called semantic dementia have to live with increased heartache knowing that their loved one is now unable to understand emotionally expressive phrases such as "I'm sad" or "I love you."

Read more on Healthcentral about FTD and semantic dementia:

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


Has Dementia Turned Your Spouse into a Stranger?

CaregiverStress2Although Alzheimer’s disease is likely the most common and well-known dementia, the reality is that there are many other types of dementia. One lesser known but increasingly recognized dementia is frontotemporal. FTD generally presents itself as a baffling change in a loved one's personality. 

Read more on HealthCentral about FTD and how it can affect a marriage:

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


Early Detection of Alzheimer’s May Curtail Symptoms

FacialExpressionsSince there is no cure for Alzheimer’s disease at this time, many people with some memory issues use that as an excuse to avoid seeing a diagnostician. They really don’t want to hear what they fear will be a diagnosis of AD. Given the stigma that still accompanies many brain diseases, that’s understandable. However, a new study has shown that early detection and treatment can be beneficial by curtailing symptoms, or at least managing them more efficiently.

Read more on HealthCentral about how early detection of Alzheimer's can be beneficial:

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


Hindsight for Caregivers: Looking Back What Would You Do Differently?

MomDaughter4As a seasoned caregiver of multiple elders, I can choose to torture myself with my perceived failures at being a perfect caregiver, or I can choose to forgive myself for being imperfect, and recognize that I did the best I could at the time. You have the same choice. Much like an adult who realizes that he or she has a "wounded child" living inside – a child who suffers from unearned self-blame or low self-esteem because of life events – many adult caregivers carry the guilt from their "infant" caregiving years to their grave. They spend precious time thinking about how they should have understood someone's needs better, could have been more patient, would have done any number of things better, if only they knew then what they know now.

Read more on Agingcare about how caregivers often look back and what they might have done differently:

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


Parent Care Can Risk Spousal Neglect, Endanger Marriages

Caregiverstress3Dear Carol: My husband and I used to have a good marriage. When my mother-in-law began to have some memory issues, we decided that she should move in with us. During the three years she’s been with us, my husband has become increasingly obsessive over his mother’s happiness to the point that I feel like I don’t count anymore. When he is home he spends every evening with his mother or she is with us. We never have alone time.

Read more on Inforum about the effect that caregiving can have on a marriage:

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 


Advanced Dementia: When Is It Time for Hospice Care?

Comfort...Unlike these other serious illnesses, Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and dementia are extremely difficult to categorize into neat stages of progression that are typically used to determine whether hospice care is appropriate. Life expectancy is difficult, if not impossible, to pinpoint for a patient affected by AD and related conditions like vascular dementia, Lewy Body dementia, and frontotemporal dementia.

Read more on Agingcare about when to call upon hospice for someone who has Alzheimer's or another dementia:

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


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:

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 


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?

Flowrers7

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