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Family Caregivers the Heart of Alzheimer’s Care

Caregiving8...These statistics should make it glaringly obvious that family caregivers are indispensable to our nation as well as the rest of the world. Without this so called free care, global health systems would be in far worse trouble than they currently are. I am one of that army of caregivers. Over the span of two decades I provided primary care for a total of seven elders, four of whom had dementia of different types. Therefore, I know intimately the toll that years of caregiving for someone with dementia can take.

Read the words on HealthCentral of three other family caregivers as they give us a peek into their lives as care providers for someone who lives with 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 


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

FarmAccording 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.

Read more on HealthCentral about choosing between staying in the home or moving to a care facility:

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


People with Dementia Are Often Undertreated for Pain

PhysicalTherapyWhen people lose their ability to articulate what is causing them pain, this pain is often overlooked by doctors. A recent Slovenian study presented at the Congress of the European Academy of Neurology (EAN) in Copenhagen and conducted by Dr. Martin Rakusa investigated this problem. It involved 452 patients with an average age of 65 who had been treated for diabetes over a period of many years.

Read more on HealthCentral about how pain is often undertreated when people have 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


Interview with Dr. Barry Jacobs, Psy. D: How to Identify and Minimize Caregiver Burden

StressedMan“Some people do not realize the extent of their stress and burnout, so they do not realize that they need to take action or look into things that can help them,” says Barry J. Jacobs, Psy.D., a licensed psychologist in the state of Pennsylvania. “This puts those caregivers at greater risk for fatigue and depression and, ultimately, for being unable to continue their caregiving duties.” Dr. Jacobs is the author of “The Emotional Survival Guide for Caregivers: Looking After Yourself and Your Family While Helping an Aging Parent.” He also coauthored “Meditations for Caregivers: Practical, Emotional and Spiritual Support for You and Your Family” with his wife, Julia L. Mayer, Psy.D.

Read full article on Agingcare about caregiver burnout and stress:

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

 


Women Caregivers Report More Health Issues than Men

SpousesNot surprisingly, the researchers say that caring for an ailing spouse is extremely difficult emotionally and physically for either gender. However, the researchers discovered that three years after the death of their spouse, surviving wives reportedly fared worse than surviving husbands...Another important issue that researchers face is that men and women tend to report caregiving differently.

Read more on HealthCentral about how women's health can suffer during caregiving and after:

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


Unearned Guilt Often Intrinsic Part of Parent Care

Stress

Dear Carol: My mother has had diabetes for years and now her health has been complicated by dementia. I cared for her in my home for three years but apparently couldn’t do anything right. That wasn’t new, since her personality is such that even when she was fairly healthy, nothing anyone did was ever right. She’s now in a nursing home. The staff is excellent and I visit her nearly every day but she’s still complaining. This makes me feel even guiltier than I felt when she was at home complaining. It’s as if moving her to the nursing home makes me a bad person. I know that I did what had to be done, but going forward is hard. How do I start? ELB

Read more on Inforum about unearned guilt:

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


Caregivers May Need Assistance to Provide Elders with Social Options

AssistedLiving

Dear Carol: My parents-in-law live with my husband and me. My husband is on the road for his work much of the time so I’m the main caregiver. I work part-time from home. Considering my job, along with the time spent helping both parents with dressing and meals and going with them to their many medical appointments, I don’t have time to get them out for social activities very often. I know that social activities are important to their emotional health so I feel guilty, but I’m only one person and I don’t see what I can change. How badly am I shortchanging them?  BRK

Read full column about social activities on Inforum:

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


6 Potentially Reversible Conditions that Can Mimic Dementia

ComfortingWhen dementia symptoms appear, it’s natural to become frightened and jump to the conclusion that the person affected has an incurable form of dementia. Rather than looking at the symptoms with panic, it’s far better to try to remain calm and have a specialist make the determination. Yes, many forms of dementia are incurable, but there are conditions that can present symptoms that seem like dementia but are reversible.

View slideshow on HealthCentral about reversible conditions that can mimic 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


Celebrate July 4th: Picnic With an Elder in Senior Living

Picnic3Would you prefer a hot dog or hamburger? Ketchup, mustard, relish? Chips, salad, dessert?  All were available during the annual barbecue picnic at the nursing home where my parents, my uncle and my mother-in-law lived at different times. While people also enjoyed the monthly birthday dinners and holiday festivities hosted by the nursing home, the summer barbecue was one of the most anticipated events of the year. The care home's backyard included a vegetable garden, which allowed the residents who liked working the soil to tend and harvest the plants, eventually sharing their healthful bounty with everyone.

Read more on Agingcare about celebrating the 4th with your loved one - picnic style:

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


When Does Senior Forgetfulness Need Evaluation?

  OldercoupleDear Carol: My husband and I are both in our late seventies. There have been a few times when my husband has left the stove top burner on and sometimes he leaves water running after he leaves a room. Maybe it’s more because of distraction than forgetfulness, since I know that I’ve done similar things, but how do we tell? He seems to remember names and other details as well as anyone our age. When I mention my worries to my husband he gets defensive and reminds me of small things that I’ve forgotten. I’ve read the list of possible Alzheimer’s issues online, but that didn’t help much. How do older people decide if they need to be checked out for dementia?  Linda 

Read more on Inforum about older couple wondering about memory problems:

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