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Restructuring Life After Caregiving Ends

CaregiverGroupDear Carol: I helped my mom take care of dad for years after he’d had a stroke. Dad died last year and Mom was diagnosed with cancer shortly after his death. Apparently, she had cancer symptoms for some time but was so focused on dad that she didn’t follow up on her own health. Mom died last month under the care of a wonderful hospice organization, but now I am lost. I’m divorced and never had children. Caregiving was my life for over ten years. I have enough money not to have to work so I just sit and watch TV, not even registering what I'm watching. I once thought I’d travel but now I have no desire to do so. I understand that I need to build a new life for myself but I don’t even know where to start. How do people “recover” from caregiving once it’s over? MB

Read more on Inforum about how to help yourself find a new normal after caregiving ends:

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


Alzheimer’s Symptoms: Navigational Skills May Deteriorate Long Before Memory

Walker2Typically, when we think of the early signs of Alzheimer’s disease we think of memory problems. Words go missing, names escape one's grasp, daily tasks are forgotten. Now, researchers at Washington University in St. Louis have shown that making mental maps of where we have been and where we are going is a process the brain may lose before memory problems begin to show. People with these early symptoms can no longer navigate even a familiar area as they once did.

Read full article on HealthCentral about how navigational skills need to be considered when assessing brain health:

Safety for your Elders - Peace of Mind for You:  Simple Smart Phone with Large Screen, Jitterbug flip phone, Urgent Response Device   For help CALL:  1-866-222-0703

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


Group Activities Reduce Depression among Older Population

SeniorGroupActivitiesWhen our elders are suffering from physical pain, mental stress, loneliness or the effects of ageism in our society, the result can be depression. Research done at Sweden’s Umeå University and reported on by Medical News Today finds that when group activities were introduced into the elders' environments depressive symptoms were often improved and the need for medication reduced or eliminated. Two separate programs were used for the research. One was a group high-intensity functional exercise program and the other was a non-exercise group activity. They were conducted with people in an elder care facility, all of whom had dementia.

Read full article on HealthCentral about how group activities can help elders stay mentally healthy:

Safety for your Elders - Peace of Mind for You:  Simple Smart Phone with Large Screen, Jitterbug flip phone, Urgent Response Device   For help CALL:  1-866-222-0703

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


Keep Blood Pressure Under Control to Lower Risk for Vascular Dementia

BloodPressureWhat is new about these findings is that while high blood pressure is a known risk factor for stroke and cardiovascular disease, some studies conflicted over the risk for vascular dementia. Some even indicated that low blood pressure was associated with an increased risk of dementia. The number of medical records used for this study -- again, records for more than four million people -- should put those ideas to rest.

Read full article on HealthCentral about how controlling blood pressure can reduce your risk of developing vascular 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

Photo credit (above )Think Stock


Failing New Year's Resolutions 101

3d-desktop-calendar-10034886Whether or not it’s a conscious thought, many of us look at a new year as a time to make changes in our lives. We become energized for a few days. However, most of us are quickly caught up in routine. Whether or not we like the routine, it’s familiar, and the status quo often provides the path of least resistance. Therefore, even if we’re stuck in a life that’s not satisfying, we stay with the familiar. Change seems too hard. This is a glaring truth that most caregivers recognize.

Read full story on HealthCentral about New Years resolutions and why we should not worry about "succeeding" with them:

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 


Recognizing Elder’s Life Legacy Strategy to Cope with Loved One’s Decline

TimeDear Carol: The New Year is arriving and I’m trying desperately to make my annual list of things that I’m happy about and the things that I want to improve on. This year I’m struggling. My once healthy mom had a sudden, massive stroke in October and is now in a nursing home. She’s always been vibrant, both physically and mentally, as well as a kind, loving mother and grandmother. Her volunteer work is a local legend. Now, she’s barely able to speak beyond a mumble.  She can’t eat without help. Her mind is muddled and the doctor says that she is unlikely to improve. When I look at her I feel my memories of her, as she was, disappear and I feel sorry for myself.  I feel guilty about my self-pity because I know that this should all be about her, but I can’t help it. All I can see is the horrible present Mom’s past fades away. How do I get anything positive out of this New Year knowing that Mom’s future is so bleak? KW

Read more on Inforum about the importance of recognizing an elder's life legacy:

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

 


New Year’s Resolutions: How About Caring for the Caregiver?

CoffeeCupHow long has it been since you asked for help – hired or volunteer – so that you can be your own person for just a bit of time? Too, long, I suspect. This is a new year, which makes it a good time psychologically for an attitude adjustment on your part. Changing your attitude toward your caregiving responsibilities doesn't mean that you don't love the person you are caring for as much as ever. Changing your attitude may even be evidence, once you think about it, of the depth of your love.

Read more on Agingcare about adjusting your attitude to make more room for self-care:

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

 


Ties That Bind: Many Long-Married Couples Die Close Together

CoupleComfortWhile death rarely brings pleasant feelings, from time to time we'll see a story about death go viral on the Internet because it touches people's hearts. Long-married spouses that die within hours or days of one another often fall into that category because they seem to remind us that, ideally, marriage is for eternity.

Read more on Agingcare about why long-married couples often die close together:

Support caregivers by giving them copies  of Minding Our Elders: Caregivers Share Their Personal Stories:


Many People Are Not Cut Out To Be a Caregiver and That's Okay

CryingWoman...Similarly, some people may have the insight to recognize that they wouldn't be able to provide quality day in and day out hands-on care for a beloved parent. They may have spent decades building careers that they love, encouraged by the parents who now need care, or they may be people to whom patience is not natural and a repetitive daily grind would become numbing. Are these bad people? No. Selfish people? Again, no. Or at least most of them are not. They simply don't have the personality makeup for the repetitive, nurturing task of long-term hands-on caregiving for vulnerable adults.

Read full article on Agingcare about how not everyone is cut out to be a caregiver - and that's okay!

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

Safety for your Elders - Peace of Mind for You:  Simple Smart Phone with Large Screen, Jitterbug flip phone, Urgent Response Device   For help CALL:  1-866-222-0703


Are You a Caregiver? Coping with Holiday Stress

Caregiving8While many of us have spent years as family caregivers, some caregivers are new to this challenge. So new, in fact, that they have yet to realize that they are caregivers. So new that they haven’t had time to even consider the stress that they are under – stress that will likely increase, rather than decrease if they don’t begin to develop some self-care strategies early on.  According to AARP and other resources, more than 42 million Americans are faced with the challenge of providing care to their older family members and/or friends. Caregiving can take a tremendous toll on the caregiver’s personal health and overall wellbeing, and yet, according to the organization, many caregivers don’t think of themselves as caregivers and can be reluctant to ask for help.

Read full article on HealthCentral about coming to grips with caregiving as a lifestyle while you cope with holiday stress:

Christmas Gift for your Elders - Peace of Mind for You:  Simple Smart Phone with Large Screen, Jitterbug flip phone, Urgent Response Device   For help CALL:  1-866-222-0703

Support caregivers this CHRISTMAS by giving them copies  of Minding Our Elders: Caregivers Share Their Personal Stories. ORDER EARLY before supplies run out.