Tips for Caregivers Feed

General End-Of-Life Discussions Can Keep Conversations Natural

GetImageDear Carol: My mother, who is 81, has been happily involved in her life at a good assisted living facility near our home. She’s been hospitalized several times because of heart issues but this hasn’t affected her feeling of independence. Mom takes her medications and has been doing well.  I took her in for a mammogram because of a breast lump which ended up being non-cancerous but the scare opened my eyes to the need to talk more with her about her final wishes. Her mind is still good. She assigned me Power Of Attorney years ago for both finances and health care, but we haven’t discussed in depth what she would want done now if one of her health problems worsens. I’m afraid that if I bring up the issue she’ll think that I’m expecting her to die any day! How do I begin? Mel

Read more on Inforum about discussing end-of-life wishes:

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Faith Helps Some Caregivers Relieve Stress According to Study

Prayer3As a longtime family caregiver who provided, and continues to provide, differing levels of care for loved ones with illnesses, I can attest to the fact that caregiving can be unimaginably stressful. For dementia caregivers, the stress is even more extreme.   Only lately have we seen the results of studies that have followed family caregivers. One of the most scientific, in that it uses hard physical evidence, was published last spring. The study, by Ohio State University in conjunction with the National Institute on Aging, showed that caregivers may have their life span shortened by four to eight years. 

Read more on HealthCentral about how faith can help some 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


Folic Acid May Aid Elders During Heat Waves

Medical_tablets_01_hd_pictures_168382The 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.

Read more on HealthCentral about how folic acid may help elders in the heat:

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


Memory Loss: Lack of Awareness Points to Dementia

CaregiverStress2Middle aged and worried about your memory slips? You probably don’t have dementia. The majority of the memory slips that concern this age group, and even those significantly older, are due to stress and other factors rather than impending dementia. However, researchers have now found that people who are suffering from memory loss but are unaware of their problem are most likely developing the disease.   

Read more on HealthCentral about memory slips vs. 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


Validation: When Bending the Truth Is Medicine

Alzheimers_elder_caregiver6...Some history Prior to the mid1980s, accepted psychiatric theory was that people with dementia had to be re-oriented. In other words, the people needed to be brought back into the real world – meaning the real world as we who do not have dementia see it. They were wrong.

Read more about the "medicine" of validation on HealthCentral:

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 


Medications Should be Carefully Controlled as Alzheimer’s Advances

Medications5While Alzheimer’s specific drugs may help slow symptoms for some people, they also may increase the risk of hip fractures, fainting, urinary problems and other health issues. Most researchers now think that a time comes when many medications for the elderly are no longer beneficial and may be harmful.

Read more on HealthCentral about how even Alzheimer's medications may run their course:

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


Restless Leg Syndrome: What It Is and How To Cope

Doctor...RLS can affect caregivers and/or their care receivers, both of whom can be short on sleep. Knowing that we had a need for a sympathetic medical ear, I asked Keith W. Roach, MD, Associate Professor of Clinical Medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College, for the facts. I have been a fan of Dr. Roach’s work for a long time because he has what I consider to be a balanced approach to medical care and he projects an attitude of relatability and sympathy. Dr. Roach answered my questions by phone.

Read the full interview with Dr. Roach on Agingcare:

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


Burning Calories May Increase Gray Matter

ExerciseWe are made to move. Increasing the amount of physical exercise in our lives can help us maintain a healthy weight, prevent heart disease, and simply make us feel better. Exercise has also repeatedly been shown to help maintain a healthy brain. Most recently, according to the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease, a study led by Cyrus Raji, MD, PhD, at UCLA, added significantly more value to existing information about exercise and Alzheimer’s. One reason may be...

Read more on HealthCentral about exercise as as way to prevent Alzheimer's:

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


When Is It Time to Accept Hospice Care as Treatment Option?

GrandmaGranddaugherDear Carol: My dad is 79 and has suffered from aggressive prostate cancer for several years. What could be done has been done, so far, but the cancer has now spread to his liver and bones. We want Dad to have chemotherapy but his doctor says that he’s not a candidate for this treatment. Dad says he doesn’t want to go through it anyway. I think that they are just giving up. Shouldn’t the doctor be encouraging Dad to fight the disease? I thought that doctors were supposed to do everything to save lives. I think if the doctor insisted, Dad would agree. What can we do so that Dad gets all of the treatment possible? FMC

Read more on Inforum about when the time for hospice may be here:

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


Adult Grandchildren As Primary Caregivers Not Uncommon

GrandparentDaughterWhatever the reason that caregiving begins, I hear from a number of young adults who are trying to care for one or more grandparents. Most of them love their grandparent dearly, but they often come up against obstacles that are quite overwhelming for people so young. One young woman recently wrote about the problem of getting health information about her grandfather, because the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) laws won't allow her to do so without the proper paperwork, and her grandfather doesn't see the need to have this youngster involved in his clinical care. The problem is that the grandfather doesn't understand that no other family member is available to help him. 

Read more on Agingcare about grandchildren who are primary caregivers:

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