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Teenager and mother stressed over caregiver roles

Dear Carol: My 88-year-old father lives with me. I’m divorced and have a teenage son at home. My son has some responsibilities regarding my dad, his grandfather, who had dementia, and this is causing problems between us. I feel so torn between the two. Any advice? Teen’s Mom Dear Teen’s Mom: Making choices between the needs of our children Read more →

New York Times blog post spotlights hands-on care program

When my dad needed to move into a local nursing home because brain surgery backfired, leaving him with severe dementia, I learned a great deal about different types of “restraints,” and what was and was not legal for the home to use. This nursing home was excellent, and was in no way looking to retrain anyone because of behavioral problems that caused extra work for the staff Read more →

Frontotemporal dementia quite rare; could possibly be treated with a malaria drug according to study

Accepting that a loved one has any type of dementia can be difficult. When someone we care about develops frontotemporal dementia, also known as Pick’s disease, the shock can be particularly hard to absorb, because one of the defining characteristics of frontotemporal dementia is personality change. Spouses of many years will often feel that their husband or wife has totally changed, and they are at a loss to explain the “stranger” their spouse has become. Read more →

Elders Need to Tell Life Stories to Gain Perspective and Sense of Legacy

Sometimes it seems as though an older person - and I'm not just talking about people with memory impairment, but most older folks - want to tell the same stories over and over. As caregivers, we can wonder if there is undiagnosed memory impairment with our elders. If they have been diagnosed with memory impairment, we often just sigh and mentally plug our ears while they ramble. Read more →

Be Aware of Your Words When a Loved One's Death Is Near

Researchers say that the ability to hear is the last sense to surrender as a person's body goes through the death process. That statement assumes, of course, that the person has previously suffered no profound hearing loss. Most of this research has been done on people who are in a coma. Read more →

‘Over 90 and Loving It’ glorious look at aging well

Much of what we read in the news is about how to care for our aging elders, many of whom are living their last years sadly diminished. However, there are remarkable exceptions. Our culture tends to ignore the fact that many people do age well and remain productive citizens until the end. A PBS documentary Read more →

Changes in intensive care practices could help lower delirium risk for elders

Throughout the years I’ve spent writing and answering questions on elder care, I’ve gotten many questions from readers about the condition of an elder after hospitalization. The notes tell sad stories about an elderly person going into the hospital for surgery only to return home with dementia Read more →

Micro-bleeds in the brain may be linked to Alzheimer’s disease, according to study

Lately, I’ve been reading about doctors finding “mixed dementias,” as they attempt the tricky diagnosis of people with dementia symptoms. This makes sense to me. Several people have told me about an aging parent who has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, only to find out later that the diagnosis should have been vascular dementia with some additional symptoms that could point to possible Alzheimer’s disease. Read more →

Caregiver's Lives Can Change Dramatically During Parent Care: Finding a Balance

Whether caregiving has renewed your spirit and made you feel blessed to help your aging parents, or turned your life upside down and made you often feel like running away, most caregivers feel that their lives have dramatically changed since they became a caregiver. Read more →