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Independent, Capable Elder Should Be Celebrated Rather than Restrained

DrivingRelaxDear Carol: My mother is 84-years old, exceptionally healthy and stubbornly independent.  She hires people to do outdoor work for her small home and does the rest herself. She’s still driving. Mom hasn’t had any accidents and she doesn’t drive at night or in busy areas. She has assigned me Power Of Attorney, but she shows no signs of poor thinking so I haven’t needed the documents yet. Mom really is remarkable and she wants to stay in her own home but my brother and I worry about her.  How do I get her to accept more help or to move to a place where she’ll at least have people available in an emergency? I live about a half hour away. Stuart

Read more on Inforum about spunky elder who wants to remain independent:

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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

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Dementia Boot Camp: Training to Be a Caregiver, Part 2

Brain7An aide pushed a wheelchair toward me, mentioning “the one in the black pants.” I was wearing black jeans.

“This one’s hospice?” she asked the woman who brought me in.

“Yeah,” she said. “I’ll put her in this chair,” the woman said. “No one who uses this chair lives long, anyway.”

Read Part 2 of Dementia Boot Camp on HealthCentral:

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


Dementia Boot Camp: Training to Be a Caregiver, Part 1

Minding Our EldersPlease wipe this mess off of my face. Please!

Don’t go so fast, I can’t swallow! I’m not ready for a drink yet.

Is this bite going to be hot or cold? Sweet or bitter? Pureed meat or pudding?  

Please wipe my face!

Let me start at the beginning: Read Part 1 of Dementia Bootcamp on HealthCentral :

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 Children Should Accept Reality of Dad’s End-of-life Wishes

CommunicatingDear Carol: My husband is seriously ill with lung disease. He also has crippling arthritis and neuropathy. His children from a previous marriage have been grown adults during our 15 years together and we used to get along fine. They don’t live in our community and don’t visit often, but now that my husband is so ill they feel that they must control his care. All three want aggressive care for their dad even though my husband decided years back that when he got to this stage he wanted comfort care. The kids consider palliative care giving up and blame me for their dad not wanting to “keep fighting.” I’m tired of being the recipient of their anger over their dad’s health. Virginia

Read more on Inforum about grown children in denial:

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


Capgras Syndrome: An Exceptionally Disturbing Type of Delusion with Dementia

CryingWoman...Capgras is a type of delusional misidentification syndrome (DMS) that may present due to any number of neurological diseases or psychiatric disorders. Although the exact prevalence of this disorder is unknown, a 1999 study estimates that it is present in between two and thirty percent of individuals with Alzheimer’s disease.

Read more on Agingcare about Capgras syndrome and these unusual delusions:

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


Negative Thinking: Could Your Life Have Been Happier?

... Brain9Hospice has found that many people wish at the end of life that they had allowed themselves to be happier. Happy doesn’t necessarily mean we are happy with every circumstance. It simply means accepting where we are in life and making the best of it. 

Read more on HealthCentral about the effects of negative thinking on our health:

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


Hospice Care about Re-Focusing Priorities, Not Giving Up

HandsComfortOur culture is steeped in language that makes accepting the terminal diagnosis of ourselves or a loved one more difficult to accept than it needs to be. Doctors say, “I’m sorry, there’s nothing more we can do. You might want to look into hospice care.” Patients tell their doctors that they want “aggressive treatment,” until there is nothing else that can be done, then they will go on hospice care.   The crux of these conversations is that medicine will do everything possible and then when you give up you will go on hospice care. 

Read more on HealthCentral about hospice care as a positive move: 

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


Convincing A Parent to Move to Assisted Living

AssistedLiving...Deep inside their gut, they harbor the outdated image of an "old folk's home." They consider a move from the family home one more step away from independence and one step closer toward death. They think a move to assisted living signifies to the world that they now have the proverbial "one foot on a banana peel and one foot in the grave." 

Read full article on Agingcare about convincing a parent to move to assisted living:

 

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


How Caregivers Go About Rebuilding Their Lives After Caregiving Ends

Road...Many of us start our caregiving career by assisting an elder in his or her home, or we have a spouse who declines and we become the default caregiver in our own home. This care expands to a point where we need some type of respite, often in the form of in-home care agency help. Eventually, the move to assisted living or even a nursing home may become necessary for everyone's health and wellbeing. Whatever happens, we remain caregivers. Many of us continue to see our care receiver daily. Most of us continue to be involved as advocates and support throughout the time of need. When our loving attention and care is no longer needed, we can, indeed, feel lost.

Read more on Agingcare about rebuilding life after the death of your loved one:

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


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