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Spring: Time to Refresh Our Caregiving Routines

Springflowers5It's a human tendency to get stuck in a rut as we carry out life's demands, and caregiving is no exception. With spring nearly upon us, it's a good time to take a fresh look at our caregiving lives to see if there are areas that need improvement or at least a fresh approach. Making pro and con lists of what is working and what is not working is an effective method of examining anything from budgets to weight loss. It can be just as effective for caregiving. Below I've provided a template for a hypothetical caregiver we'll call Ann. If you're up for a little self-reflection, Ann's list could help you jumpstart your own self-improvement project.

Read more on Agingcare about springcleaning our caregiving routines: 

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


April is Parkinson's Awareness Month: How Informed Are You?

WalkerAideThere are many neurological diseases that can affect people as they age. Alzheimer’s, of course, is one of the most feared because it is so well known. However, while not as common, Parkinson's disease is also prevalent. This neurological disorder affects an estimated 2 percent of people older than 65. Like Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s is progressive and it involves changes in the brain that can become debilitating.

Read more on HealthCentral about Parkinson's, including possible 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


Alzheimer’s Rate Declining as Heart Related Disease Better Managed

HeartHealthWe are, for good reason, repeatedly reminded of the horrifying statistics related to the development of Alzheimer’s disease. The number of people over the age of 65 is exploding and most dementia symptoms develop as a person ages. This is fact. In no way does this article intend to distract from the need to cure all types of dementia. However, there is one thing to celebrate. Alzheimer’s rates seem to be declining. 

Read more on HealthCentral about how, even though the fight needs to keep gaining momentum, the rate of AD is declining:

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


Looking for Guidance on Alzheimer's Group Leadership? Here's Your Guide

LeadersguideNote: I've been alerted to what looks to be an exceptionally helpful tool for Alzheimer's caregivers and those who help these caregivers. The "Leader's Guide for Season's of Caregiving" is a product of UsAgainstAlzhiemer's Clergy Network. For full disclosure, I must say that I am honored to be a co-moderator for UsAgainstAlzheimer's. It is volunteer position. I'm passing on this information because I truly believe that the book has the potential to help many readers. Follow through if you feel that the "Leader's Guide" could help you. - Carol

The Leader's Guide for Seasons of Caring, provides structure and guidance for a 10-week support group based on the Seasons of Caring: Meditations for Alzheimer’s and Dementia Caregivers. It touches on universal themes, such as personal stories, guilt, self-care and loss with an interfaith approach.

The "Leader's Guide" includes simple, yet powerful guidance for structuring and leading a support group in a variety of community and faith settings. The guide was written by Dr. Richard Morgan, a distinguished founder of UsAgainstAlzheimer's Clergy Network, which supported publication of this volume.  This is an important resource for families who are facing Alzheimer's, and those working to support them. 

For more information on the Leader's Guide for Season's of Caring: 

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


Agitation, Aggression in Alzheimer’s Challenge Caregivers

WatercliffCaregivers to people with Alzheimer’s disease and other types of dementia often have the unsettling, frustrating challenge of trying to quiet an agitated and possibly aggressive elder who is unable to communicate the source of his or her distress. We know that the behavior is an expression of discomfort either of body or mind, yet we are left trying to comfort our loved ones with few clues as to the root problem. Even experienced clinicians are often baffled. 

Read more on HealthCentral about the challenges of agitation and aggression for 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


Providing Individual Attention Important for Alzheimer’s Eating Study Shows

FoodIt’s natural for caregivers to worry if their loved one is getting sufficient nourishment. People with dementia are often a challenge because they forget to eat, or they may have problems remembering how to transfer food from the plate to their mouths. Some people have trouble chewing and swallowing, especially during later stages of dementia. Since depression is another issue that is common for people with dementia, a Taiwanese addressed these issues together. The study, published in the Journal of Advanced Nursing, found that dementia patients who received individualized instructions on good eating habits had fewer symptoms of depression.

Read more on HealthCentral about how individual attention can help people with Alzheimer's eat better:

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

 

Migraines: Causes and Treatments for this Potentially Disabling Condition

Abstract-of-blue-ice-10023106Misunderstandings about migraines have led many people to say that they are having one when they may actually be experiencing a stress headache or a sinus headache. These misconceptions can leave potentially serious health issues unaddressed, so understanding migraines is important for those who may mislabel their own intense head pain as well as for those who truly suffer from these attacks.

Read more on Agingcare about migraines and the challenges people who have them may face:

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


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:

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9 Tips to Manage Stress for Better Health

StressIncreasingly, stress is considered a risk factor for dementia, particularly Alzheimer’s. Stress is also a risk factor for stroke and heart attack as well as a trigger for many diseases from arthritis to psoriasis. Obviously, limiting stress in our lives is a good idea. But how? Simply living what we call modern life seems to make stress the norm.

View slide show on HealthCentral about managing stress:

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


Fitness and Aging Well: A Vital Correlation

Exercise2How vital is fitness to aging? Very.. A recent study of participants in the 2015 National Senior Games, also known as the Senior Olympics, revealed that the typical participant had a fitness age of more than 20 years younger than his or her chronological age. According to the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, fitness age is determined by a measure of cardiovascular endurance and is a better predictor of longevity than chronological age.

Read more on HealthCentral about fitness age vs.chronological  age: 

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