Tips for Caregivers Feed

Minding our Elders: Accepting Reality Precedes Feeling Gratitude

OlderManDEAR CAROL: My wife has had a stroke that’s left her mostly paralyzed on one side. She can’t speak well and she cries often. We’re in our 70s and have spent our lives as active church people. In fact, we’ve done our share of visiting hospitals and nursing homes representing the church. We’ve told people that what they are facing is their reality and that we will pray for them. We’ve told them to be grateful for what they have. Now, the shoe is on the other foot. I’m having a difficult time feeling grateful for anything at all. Instead, I feel angry, exhausted, frustrated and frightened. How could I have been such a hypocrite all of these years? – Roger

Read full article on Inforum about accepting reality to find your way to gratitude: 

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


Family Conversations: Where Do Your Parents Want to Live Their Last Years?

FamilyconversationTalking with our elderly loved ones about how and where they would choose to live their remaining years can be more than awkward. It can be frightening. For many, it’s not as much the fear of the elders’ reactions to our words as it is an effort to preserve our own denial. If we don’t voice the fact that our parents are aging and may eventually need assistance, and then, yes, die — it won’t happen. This is a version of covering our eyes when we were small and saying “you can’t see me.”

Read full article on HealthCentral about talking with your parents about their wishes:

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


Sleep Expert Tells How to Tame the Insomnia That Can Come with Age

SleepProblemsAccording to the National Sleep Foundation, changes to our sleep patterns are a part of the normal aging process. The foundation states that as people age, they tend to have a harder time falling asleep and more trouble staying asleep than when they were younger. Knowing this, and knowing about the common thinking that adults need less sleep as they age, HealthCentral asked Dr. Martha Cortes some questions via email about aging and sleep.

Read more about aging and sleep issues on HealthCentral:

Purchase Minding Our Elders: Caregivers Share Their Personal Stories – paperback or ebook

An amazing book of stories that will touch your heart and encourage you, especially if you are a caregiver. Carol  Bradley Bursack also has an excellent website devoted to the elderly and their caregivers. - Carol Heilman     *Great Christmas gift!

 


The Ins and Outs of Long-Term Care: An Expert's View

InsuranceCardInsurance of all types can be a minefield for America’s aging population. People over 50 are paying more for health insurance and could see enormous increases in those costs depending on what happens with the health insurance system in the U.S. Over the decades there has been an increasing push for people to take out long-term care insurance (LTCi), as well. HealthCentral asked Chris Orestis, Executive Vice President of GWG Life, for some insight on how people should move forward with their health-related insurance.

Read full article about long-term care insurance, health insurance, and other issues on HealthCentral:

Purchase Minding Our Elders: Caregivers Share Their Personal Stories – paperback or ebook

The stories in this fine book showed us how others have gone through similar things with their families and that is somehow reassuring. There are some helpful suggestions but mostly there is the recognition that others went through the same thing. All we can do is our best. That is greatly reassuring during these difficult emotional times. If you are a caregiver, this is a must-read. - Delores Edwards     *Great Christmas gift!


Gratitude can replace resentment with time, patience, and homework

LoneEagleDear Carol: My mother suffered a series of small strokes that contributed to increasing disability. Since I’m divorced with grown kids, I retired early and had mom move in with me. This worked for nearly five years before a massive stroke made it evident that I needed to move her to a nursing home. Mom lived there for less than six months before she died. Sometimes, I’m overwhelmed by guilt over moving her, even though the care that she received was excellent. I tell myself that if I would have stuck with it six more months Mom could have been with me the whole time. Then I swing to resentment. I’m financially strapped from retiring early and constantly worry about money. It seems few of my feelings are positive or even sensible. I know time should help, but I'm tired of spinning my wheels and want to take some kind of action to get back on track. What can I do? CL

Read the full column on Inforum about getting over guilt through finding gratitude:

Purchase Minding Our Elders: Caregivers Share Their Personal Stories – paperback or ebook

An amazing book of stories that will touch your heart and encourage you, especially if you are a caregiver. Carol  Bradley Bursack also has an excellent website devoted to the elderly and their caregivers. - Carol Heilman     Great Christmas gift!


When One Parent Dies the Other Often Needs a Caregiver

Depression9Long-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 full column on Agingcare about helping the survivor get back to life:

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


Communicating with Elders Who Cannot Speak

OlderCouple3Many elders who have suffered strokes or have dementia are not capable verbal communication. If they are confined to a nursing home, often people are reluctant to visit, as the visitor doesn't know what to say or do. People stay away out of fear. Here are some tips to communicate with those who can't speak.

There are ways to communicate with an elder who can't speak. If you are visiting someone who you don't know intimately, it's good to ask family members or those who care for the person what that person likes.

Read full article on Eldercarelink about communicating with loved ones who cannot speak:

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


How Dancing Changed the Trajectory of One Woman’s Alzheimer’s Disease

HazelUnlikelyDancerBy some measures, Alzheimer’s disease has become the most feared diagnosis one can hear ― even more so than cancer. Additionally, most people think of Alzheimer’s as an “old people’s” disease. Taking these two thoughts together, Hazel Minnick has defied assumptions. She has shown that one can live with Alzheimer’s disease even when it tries to steal meaning and memories in middle age. Diagnosed with Alzheimer’s at age 53, Hazel has been living with the disease for more than 18 years. Her early years were grim even as she fought to do everything she could to improve her health. She used a wheelchair much of time.

Read Hazel's fascinating story about living with early onset Alzheimer's disease on HealthCentral:

Purchase Minding Our Elders: Caregivers Share Their Personal Stories – paperback or ebook

An amazing book of stories that will touch your heart and encourage you, especially if you are a caregiver. Carol  Bradley Bursack also has an excellent website devoted to the elderly and their caregivers. - Carol Heilman  *Great Christmas gift!


6 Potentially Reversible Conditions That Can Mimic Dementia

WorriedOlderManWhen dementia symptoms appear it’s natural to fear that the person affected has an incurable form of dementia. Rather than reacting with panic, however, it’s far better to try to remain calm and have a specialist make the determination. Many forms of dementia are incurable, of course, but other conditions can present symptoms that resemble those of dementia but are in fact reversible.

View complete slideshow on HealthCentral about reversible conditions that can imitate 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     Terrific Christmas Gift!  

“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


In Honor of National Caregiver Appreciation Month: An eBook Sale Just for You

AlzAuthorsSale2As The Author of Minding Our Elders: Caregivers Share Their Personal Stories, I'm honored to be chosen to be part AlzAuthors. This post is courtesy of AlzAuthors. Read through for some incredible deals on ebooks written by authors who've been where you are. MOE is among the books on sale. All are $2.99 or less.

November is National Caregiver Appreciation Month, a time to recognize the long hours, sacrifice, and love all caregivers bring to the task of caring for a loved one with dementia or any long-term illness. In honor of their efforts, AlzAuthors is hosting an eBook sale and giveaway! This is a terrific way for caregivers who are looking for knowledge, guidance, and support to find carefully vetted books to help guide and inspire them every day.

Consider this from the Alzheimer's Association:

In 2016, 15.9 million family and friends provided 18.2 billion hours of unpaid assistance to those with Alzheimer's and other dementias, a contribution to the nation valued at $230.1 billion.

  • Approximately two-thirds of caregivers are women, and 34 percent are age 65 or older.
  • 41 percent of caregivers have a household income of $50,000 or less.
  • Approximately one-quarter of dementia caregivers are "sandwich generation" caregivers — meaning that they care not only for an aging parent but also for children under age 18.

Starting today through November 21st,  you can take advantage of this excellent opportunity to check out some of our books at reduced prices, ranging from free to $2.99. We offer a variety of genres, including fiction, memoir, non-fiction, and children’s literature. Many of our books are also available in paperback and audio, so check them out too.

Our books are written from a deep place of understanding, experience, knowledge, and love. May you find one – or two, or more! – to help guide you on your own dementia journey.

Click on the book covers to visit the book’s Amazon.com page. Please check all prices before purchasing. AlzAuthors is not responsible for ensuring price reductions. Please contact the author with questions. All prices are in U.S. dollars.

Tangles, by Sharleen Scott, $2.99 (reg. $4.99), non-fiction

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While faced with the challenge of his mother’s escalating Alzheimer’s disease, Logan McKinnon discovers secret journals that leave him questioning everything he knows about his family. With no one to ask, Logan must find a man mentioned in the journals to discover a truth he may not want to know.

Set in Washington state--both eastern and western--Tangles is a story of love and forgiveness with a dose of Alzheimer's reality.

 

The Reluctant Caregiver, Missives from the Caregiving Minefield, by Joy Johnston, $0.99 (reg. $4.99), memoir

Untitled design (3)Not everyone is born a natural caregiver.

One moment, digital journalist Joy Johnston is a cynical workaholic with an underwater mortgage. The next moment, she faces the responsibility of caring for her eccentric mother who's battling colon cancer, just six months after her father's death from Alzheimer's. As an only child, she has no choice but to slap on the latex gloves, and get to know more about her mother — and herself — than she ever imagined possible.

The road from reluctance to resilience is bumpy and splattered with bodily fluids, but it also offers unforgettable lessons. Who knew you could learn how to change a colostomy bag on YouTube, or that hospice nurses like telling dirty jokes? Peppered with snarky humor, vivid observations, and poignant honesty, this essay collection will resonate with anyone drafted into a family health crisis.

How to Have Fun With Your Aging Parents by Christina Britton Conroy, FREE, to download please contact author on her website, (reg. $3.99) non-fiction

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One afternoon, music therapist Christina Britton Conroy was taking nursing home residents to activities. She was thrilled when a sweet, disoriented lady joined her group.

“Mary, it’s so good to see you. Do you want to go to the Bible study or BINGO?” she asked.

Mary replied, “I want to go to Lithuania.”

“To all adult children, caretakers, professionals read this book! Conroy’s approach aligns with the newest movement in American psychology called ‘Positive Psychology’—focusing on one’s passions and personal strengths.” —Gerald Solk, Ph.D. , Assist. Prof. Psychology, City University of NY, Staff Psychologist, Gracie Square Hospital

Trading Places: Becoming My Mother's Mother by Sandra Bullock Smith,$ 0.99 (reg. $2.99), memoir

TradingPlacesFinal-FJM_Mid_Res_1000x1500Caring for an elderly parent can be extremely challenging. The role reversal involved is emotionally and intellectually demanding, and many caregivers find themselves unprepared to undertake such a difficult task. In Trading Places: Becoming My Mother’s Mother, author Sandra Bullock Smith shares her personal experiences spending ten years caring for her ailing mother. This heartfelt look at the trials and tribulations of that decade offers powerful insight and encouragement for anyone entering into a similar period of life. Smith’s touching stories share the heartbreaking, and sometimes comical, moments she experienced while providing assistance to her aging parent—and how they mirrored similar events from her own childhood. In a very real sense, the two women traded places. Smith found herself uttering phrases she heard all too often as a child, such as, “Don’t give your food to the dog,” and “You’ve had enough sugar today.” Smith began jotting down the things she said, and thus this charming book was born. Filled with respect, compassion, and love, this uplifting and amusing memoir is for anyone involved in elder care or who may face the role in the future.

Motherhood: Lost and Found by Ann Campanella, $2.99 (reg. $7.99), memoir

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Alzheimer’s disease, infertility and love of horses intersect in this award-winning memoir. At age 33, author and poet Ann Campanella returns to her home state of North Carolina ready to build a horse farm and start a family. Ann’s foundation is shaken when she experiences multiple miscarriages at the same time her mother spirals into Alzheimer’s. Ann’s connection to horses sustains her as she cares for her elderly parents and her window of motherhood begins to close. As her mother’s memory fades, Ann receives a final miracle. The voice in Ann’s memoir has been called constant and abiding, her imagery indelible. Her graceful, exacting language rises above the grief of infertility and the struggle to care for aging parents, connecting the reader ultimately to the heartbeat and resilience of the human experience. This memoir was a finalist in the Next Generation Independent Book Awards, the world’s largest not-for-profit independent book awards.

Weeds in Nana’s Garden by Kathryn Harrison, $1.99 (reg. $6.99), illustrated children’s fiction

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A young girl and her Nana hold a special bond that blooms in the surroundings of Nana’s magical garden. Then one day, the girl finds many weeds in the garden. She soon discovers that her beloved Nana has Alzheimer’s Disease; an illness that affects an adult brain with tangles that get in the way of thoughts, kind of like how weeds get in the way of flowers. As time passes, the weeds grow thicker and her Nana declines, but the girl accepts the difficult changes with love, learning to take-over as the garden’s caregiver. Extending from the experience of caring for her mother, artist Kathryn Harrison has created this poignant children’s story with rich illustrations to candidly explore dementia diseases, while demonstrating the power of love. It is a journey that will cultivate understanding and touch your heart. After the story, a useful Question and Answer section is included. $1 from the purchase of this book will be donated to the Alzheimer Society of Canada. The Alzheimer Society is Canada’s leading health charity for people living with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias.

Alzheimer’s Daughter by Jean Lee,  $0.99 (reg. $2.99), memoir

AlzheimersDaughterCoverWhat would you do if both parents were diagnosed with Alzheimer’s? At the time of their diagnosis, Ed Church struggles to his feet, yelling, “How dare you use the A. word with me,” while Ibby wags her finger at the doctor scolding, “Shame on you.” They protect each other, Ibby by asserting, “We’re not leaving our home,” and Ed reassuring, “We’re just fine.” About his driving Ed defends, “I’m an excellent driver, I’ve never had an accident.” When their daughter, Rosie, finds dings in Ed’s car, he dismisses, “Someone must have bumped into me.” After Rosie moves them to assisted living, convinced they are on a second honeymoon, they break the news, “We’ve decided not to have more children.” In the late stages, they politely shake Rosie’s hand, inquiring, “Now, who are you?” In Alzheimer’s Daughter readers journey with Rosie Church from her first suspicions that something is awry to nearly a decade later as she is honored to hold Ed and Ibby’s hands when they draw their final breaths.

Requiem for the Status Quo by Irene Frances Olson, $2.99 (reg. $4.99), fiction

Requiem for the status quo2Family caregivers are oftentimes ruthlessly challenged by uninvolved family members who are quick to condemn, but reticent to offer assistance. Such is the case for Colleen Strand, a widow who recently found her own footing who takes on the task of caring for her father, Patrick Quinn, recently diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease.

Her older brother, Jonathan, criticizes Colleen at every turn and verbally abuses the father when he has the gall to exhibit symptoms of his disease. In short, Jonathan travels down the road of denial, leaving Colleen to deal with all matters regarding their father’s care.

Connected tenuously to a father who barely remembers her and a brother who has become an enigma, Colleen faces the moving target that is Alzheimer’s disease, determined to clothe her father with the dignity he deserves, while capturing the far too fleeting moments of time with him.

Blue Hydrangeas, an Alzheimer’s love story by Marianne Sciucco, FREE November 15-19, then $0.99 (reg. $2.99), fiction

BlueHydrangeas EBOOK coverWhat if the person who knew you best and loved you most forgot your face, and couldn’t remember your name? A care facility is everyone’s solution for what to do about Sara, but her husband, Jack, can’t bear to live without her. He is committed to saving his marriage, his wife, and their life together from the devastation of Alzheimer’s disease. He and Sara retired years ago to the house of their dreams, and operated it as a Cape Cod bed and breakfast named Blue Hydrangeas. Jack has made an impossible promise: He and Sara will stay together in their beautiful home no matter what the disease brings. However, after nine years of selfless caregiving, complicated by her progressing Alzheimer’s and his own failing heart, he finally admits he can no longer care for her at home. With reluctance, he arranges to admit her to an assisted living facility. But, on the day of admission, Sara is having one of her few good days, and he is unable to follow through. Instead, he takes them on an impulsive journey to confront their past and reclaim their future. In the end, he realizes that staying together at any cost is what truly matters.

Somebody Stole My Iron: A Family Memoir of Dementia by Vicki Tapia, $0.99, (reg. $2.99)

SomebodyStoleMyIronCoverNavigating the waters of dementia can be frightening, unleashing a myriad of emotions for everyone involved. After Vicki Tapia’s mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, followed closely by her father with Parkinson’s disease-related dementia, she struggled to find practical, helpful information to light her way. Somebody Stole My Iron began as a diary to help her cope, but emerged as a road map for others. It offers a glimpse into her family’s life as they rode the waves of dementia, sometimes sailing, other times capsizing. This engaging memoir offers useful information from experts within the field of Alzheimer’s research, personal lessons the author learned along the way, and ideas and tips for managing the day-to-day ups and downs of dementia.

Just A Word by Rose Lamatt, $0.99memoir

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"Today is the first day I've had the desire to write. I've thought about it for months, even years, but this is the first time I feel the need. I want to write of the struggle she's going through with this horrific disease; the everyday living. I want to write how the caregiver loses herself along with the victim. Victim--first time I've used that word. But there is no other word that best describes it. Carol is a victim of time.

I've lost any thought that she'll get better. I've come to the conclusion I'm living alone, even though she's with me in body. She doesn't talk to me in understandable conversation. We play charades to discover what she wants. I've stopped all walks and exercise. My agoraphobia is back or has it just been hiding? I don't want to go to the store because I'm alone, even though she's at my side. I hate life, eating fatty foods, hoping to have a heart attack and die. Then I won't have to face her dying in front of me, inch by inch."

15 Minutes of Fame: One Photo Does Wonders to Bring You Both Back to Solid Ground by Tryn Rose Seley, $0.99 (reg. 2.99), non-fiction

6877b_Amazon_CoverRoll out the red carpet of success for you, the one you care for and any who join your circle of care.

It doesn't matter when or where the story happened; when you're telling it, you will "go there." If your time is spent telling a great story, it's a great way to spend time, anytime.

This book empowers professional or family caregivers of those with Alzheimer's and other dementias. Tryn Rose Seley shares her caregiving strategies that lead her and the ones she cares for back to solid ground every day. You'll find ideas that turn a stressful or regular day into an extraordinary one, sparking creativity and gratitude on this path of caregiving.

Minding Our Elders: Caregivers Share Their Personal Stories by Carol Bradley Bursack, $2.99 (reg. $7.99), non-fiction

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Minding our Elders: Caregivers Share Their Personal Stories is a portable support group, a reminder you aren't alone. Each story about caring for the elderly is self-contained; each person telling his or her story knows your pain in watching a loved one suffer, the joy of giving of oneself, and the emotional and physical exhaustion of the whole experience. It is an intimate and powerful resource for caregivers, filled with true stories about seniors and aging parents.

 

To the Moon and Back by Kathi Macias  $0.99 (reg $4.99), fiction

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Life had changed drastically for Rachel since the accident, but none of the changes had prepared her for what followed. She wasn’t even sure when it started. She knew only that the darkness appeared more often and lasted longer, accompanied by forgetfulness, fear, confusion…even suspicion.

As a result of the accident—which she was certain was entirely her fault—her husband of nearly 45 years was now a semi-invalid, his dependence on her growing by the day. Their only child, a grown daughter named Lilly, lived hours away and was dealing with difficulties of her own, not the least of which was an unwanted divorce. Rachel, however, had no concept of Lilly’s suffering, instead believing her 35-year-old daughter was still a college coed with her entire life ahead of her.

Alzheimer’s had invaded their home and their lives, though no one, including Rachel, seemed ready or able to admit this diagnosis. Can this fractured family find its way to a place of healing, or will the darkness prevail, destroying them all in its unrelenting torment? Unconditional love seems to be their only hope…but how are they to get there?

Published in connection with Hartline Literary Agency, serving the Christian book community. Visit us at http://www.hartlineliterary.com.

Let's Talk Dementia: A Caregiver's Guide by Carol Howell, $0.99 (reg. $3.99), non-fiction

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Carol Howell, a Certified Dementia Specialist and caregiver to her mother, helps to educate the reader on the various forms of dementia. She also provides hands-on tips that make life easier for the caregiver and better for the loved one with dementia. The book is scattered with "smiles" that brighten the day. The author reminds the readers of her motto—"Knowledge brings POWER. Power brings HOPE, and HOPE brings SMILES."

Published in connection with Hartline Literary Agency, serving the Christian book community. Visit us at http://www.hartlineliterary.com.

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