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Mealtime with Dad: Caring for Someone with Swallowing Problems Part 2

Alzheimers_elder_caregiver6In Part 1 of Mealtime with Dad: Caring for Someone with Swallowing Problems, Koko Kawasaki helped us understand her very personal caregiving story. Koko is a former graphic designer, earned her MA in Gerontology because of her experience as a caregiver whose father suffered from multiple health issues including dysphagia.  Here in Part 2, Koko relates to us her tips on helping someone with dysphagia eat, as well as how her caregiving experience with her father ended.

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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


Mealtime with Dad: Caring for Someone with Swallowing Problems Part 1

WomanBedDifficulty swallowing, which is clinically known as dysphagia, is a condition that often accompanies many kinds of dementia as well as other health issues associated with aging. Dysphagia is responsible for many pneumonia deaths due to a person aspirating food into his or her lungs. Koko Kawasaki, a former graphic designer, was inspired to earn her MA in Gerontology by her experiences as a caregiver whose father suffered from multiple health issues including dysphagia.

Read more on HealthCentral about swallowing problems:

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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


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

WetdryAccording 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.

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Some Seniors Caring for Ailing Spouse As Well As Aged Parent

BeachDear Carol:  My husband and I are both 71 years old and have been married 48 years.  I’ve got a few health problems, including high blood pressure, however my husband has had heart by-pass surgery and is diabetic as well. His health is a big worry. My mother, now 95, has lived with us for nine years. She’s physically healthy except for severe arthritis, but she has dementia that is rapidly worsening. Her needs are increasing but so are my husband’s. He’s been a saint all of these years with Mom and he still insists he doesn’t want to “push her out,” as he puts it. However, I want to take care of my husband and I can only do so much. 

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Folic Acid May Aid Elders During Heat Waves

FanHeatsmallerThe type of heat exhaustion or mild dehydration that a middle aged caregiver may feel during a heat wave is uncomfortable, but the same occurrence could be deadly for an elder. Because of the seriousness of overheating, some older people take a prescription drug that helps increase blood flow to the skin which in turn helps them cool off. 

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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


How To Get People With Dementia To Take Medication

Medical_tablets_03_hd_pictures_168380As Alzheimer’s spreads throughout the brain, logic departs. The ability to understand one’s world disappears, understandably being replaced by fear and suspicion. These emotions are often blamed by caregivers when the person that they love refuses to take needed medications. 

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Hearing Aids Prevent Falls, Help Balance for Many Elders

SnowyPatchesAccording to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), falls are the leading cause of both fatal and nonfatal injuries for people over 65. Falls can cause moderate to severe injuries, such as hip fractures and head traumas, and can increase the risk of early death.

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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


Can Caregivers Have a Bucket List?

ART..Caregivers and their loved ones are on the serious end of this spectrum. Yet, they, too, may develop a vision for how they would like to spend the time that they have left together. Deciding what caregivers and care receivers would like to accomplish together while the ill person can still enjoy life is tricky and highly unique to each pair involved.

Read more on Agingcare about how caregivers go about a bucket list:

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


Hearing Aids and Eye Glasses Can Present Challenge in Dementia Care

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Dear Carol: My mom  had a stroke and recently has been diagnosed with vascular dementia with possible Alzheimer’s disease. Dad is her primary caregiver although I go to their home daily to help out. My immediate question is how do we cope with the fact that Mom continually takes out her hearing aids and pulls off her glasses?  She seems to hear reasonably well without her aids and she can see well enough without her glasses to watch TV and walk around. She no longer can process what she reads so that isn’t an issue. Dad and I both wonder if she’s not better off being left alone with her preference but maybe that’s bad for her. What’s the best approach? K.F.

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Brain Health Important to Majority of Americans

Break_eat_picnic_218633A recent AARP survey discovered that 93% of Americans find maintaining brain health to be very important, however very few know the best ways to make this happen. When asked how to maintain brain health, results showed that many of the methods that are scientifically proven to improve or maintain brain health ranked as low priority areas for most respondents. 

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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