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Transportation options for elders can ease driving transition

Most of us with aging relatives will eventually face the “how do we stop them from driving” problem. Driving a car equals independence to many people. One reason for that is our lack of convenient public transportation in much of our country. Very large American cities such as New York, plus most of Europe’s large cities, generally have good public transportation, so people who don’t drive aren’t stranded. Read more →

Families need to communicate in order to plan for aging loved ones

Many fortunate adult children watched their parents care for their aging grandparents. Making decisions about elder care was a natural part of family life, with the elders leading the way if they could. Some people didn't witness this generational concern. Whether families were separated by geographical distance, dysfunctional behaviors or early death, they've missed seeing generational communication about caring for aging family members. Read more →

Federal government healthcare consumer website offers good information

A federal website, managed by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, is aimed at helping to educate health care consumers. Healthcare.gov can help seniors or their caregivers "explore public and private coverage options, learn about care quality, and understand how the new Affordable Care Act laws will affect you and your family." Read more →

With or without dementia, he'll always be your dad

I hear from many struggling caregivers who want to just "get through" Father's Day. Their dad doesn't know what's going on when they do a celebration. He's either unable to respond or else he's aggressive or moody because of Alzheimer's. How do we handle days like Father's Day; days that should be full of love and closeness? Read more →

Elder care across cultures

While nursing homes are commonplace in America, other cultures see them as degrading to elders, and putting a relative away is considered betrayal. Years back, when I was a preteen, I remember one of many instances where I was angry with my dad, for some reason or another. In the heat of the moment, I declared, “Be nice to me, ‘cause I’ll be choosing your nursing home!” My dad replied, “You’re not putting your mom or me in a nursing home. You’ll have to take care of us when we’re old.” Read more →

Resetting the past can help smooth current caregiving experience

Whether we are adult children caregivers, spousal caregivers or a caregiver for some other person with whom we have a history, there are bound to be some issues from the past that would popularly be called “baggage.” Baggage is often thought of negatively, but it’s not always so. It simply means that we have complications that have evolved from the relationship over time, and these mindsets still affect our lives. Read more →

Long-distance sibling has Power Of Attorney

Dear Carol: My brother, my only sibling, lives across the country. He has Power Of Attorney for our mother. This causes problems for me, as I’m the primary caregiver for Mom. Mom seems to think that since I am with her, my brother would feel excluded without what she considers this “token gesture.” She can’t understand that having POA is not just a “token.” When Mom had her legal papers drawn up, she didn’t foresee the complexity of my having to cope with the medical and financial tasks that come our way, without the right legal documents. Read more →

5 questions for first-time caregivers

Caregiving isn't for wimps. If you've never been the primary caregiver of a vulnerable person, particularly an elder, there are several questions you should ask yourself before diving in. There are many ways to be helpful without becoming the primary, hands-on caregiver, which is a task not everyone is cut out for. Read more →