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Should You Employ a Private Caregiver? What Are The Pitfalls?

Many people have studied in-home care, knowing that their parent's needs are quickly approaching the point where help may be needed. They've read about it. They've asked the right questions. However, one especially troubling thing they keep hearing is that the agencies don't send the same people all of the time, Read more →

The National Family Caregiver Support Program Offers Help for Stressed Caregivers

I don't need to tell you how gratifying it is for me to hear I've helped spread the word about one way caregivers can get some relief and support. This program wasn't available for me over the two decades when I cared for a total of seven elders. Quite frankly, like many of you, I'm not sure I would have taken the time to see if such a thing existed, if it had. I was too busy to bother with the research. However, it is worth your time to make this one phone call. It's highly unlikely you'll regret you did. Read more →

Mix Emotions Can Run Rampant after Loved One’s Death

Dad's dementia was a shock to the family. He came out of a fairly routine brain surgery in a severely demented state. His ability to differentiate between reality and what was going on in his own head varied, but it seldom was good. He had picked up a permanent voice in his head we came to call Herman. His anxiety was difficult to manage; his frustration gut-wrenching. Dad lived in this state for ten years. Our family grieved his loss even as he lived Read more →

What Happened to My Life? How caregiving sneaks up on adult children

At the time, I was helping my mother each day with her shower and other morning routines, getting my sons to school, going back to my mother's and taking her to the nursing home to visit, running over to my mother-in-law's apartment to make her lunch and visit with her, going back to the nursing home to visit my dad and uncle and take my mother back home, then going to get the kids at school. Read more →

Hospice Care As Seen by a Grateful Daughter

The head nurse pushed the doctor in charge to approve hospice care, but he refused. Because Dad was in a nursing home and on medications, he slept quite a bit. Some days he slept too much. It was fitful sleep, but the records kept by the nursing home said he slept. After checking the records, he said if Dad slept that much he couldn't be in pain. This doctor swept through the nursing home once a month (a nurse practitioner was there once a week). He read the records. That was that. Read more →

Person-Centered Care: Dealing with Culture Clash in Nursing Homes

If you think about what Grandpa George's life was like as he grew up during the Great Depression, you may be able to understand him a little better. The dust bowl of the 1930s still clogs his brain--memories of being crammed into a bed with his siblings to stay warm and the fright of seeing people begging on the street continue to linger. Read more →

Caregivers Need Support: Get Help along the Way

Many, if not most, caregivers struggle with isolation. If there was a dramatic event that threw you into caregiving, you may have had a lot of support right away, but then people must get back to their own lives and often the caregiver feels abandoned. Read more →

Help Mom Understand That Getting Help with Dad’s Care Is Okay

How do I convince her she needs help? Sara Dear Sara: This isn’t uncommon with older couples. They vowed to care for one another until “death do us part.” That’s commendable, but the vows don’t mean that a well but aging spouse can’t get help caring for a sick spouse. Indeed, it’s often better for both of them. Read more →