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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:

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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


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


Care or Cure: Where Should Alzheimer's Funding Go?

Researcher2When you hear the next plea for increased Alzheimer’s funding – and you’ll hear a lot of it during the upcoming Alzheimer’s Awareness months, both global and national – your first thought will likely be that the money should go into to find a cure. However, people who already have the disease, as well as those who care for them, may disagree. A recent survey showed that these people feel that  more financial resources should be dedicated to helping them live life with some quality.

Read more on HealthCentral about the different types of help needed in fighting Alzheimer's:

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


Where Is the Line Between Caregiver Stress and Burnout?

Stress3Every 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 difference 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


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