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Extreme heat puts elders at risk for illness or death

This heat wave is affecting nearly the whole country. I expect soon to read articles about our large metro areas sending volunteers to check on elders who live in small apartments without air condition. My mother-in-law was always a worry in the heat as she couldn’t understand why she had to leave her AC on, though she’d sit in her hot condominium under stifling conditions Read more →

Alzheimer’s or not, Glen Campbell has what it takes

According to an article reporting on Glen Campbell's first performance since the announcement of his Alzheimer's disease, Campbell is still - well, Glen Campbell. The article states that, "Campbell's first performance since announcing he has Alzheimer's, the degenerative brain disease that's slowly robbing him of his memories and abilities, was largely a triumph. His family and road crew were worried he might be rusty after a long layoff since his last performance." 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 →

Readers support caregiver’s decision to place mom in a nursing home

Dear Carol: How do I live with the guilt of putting my mother in a nursing home? How do I stop crying? I am an only child and not from this community. I can’t care for my mom alone, but I feel like I did the worst thing for her. I didn’t know what else to do. - Suzanne Read more →

Diabetes education (DSMT) is a Medicare-paid benefit – don’t miss out

Diabetes is a sneaky disease, in that most of the time early symptoms go unnoticed. As with many diseases, prevention, when possible, is best. If we can’t prevent a disease, then early detection and treatment may offset many of the ailments that could accumulate as an undetected disease progresses. Read more →

Study shows vitamin E could limit or prevent stroke damage

As is the case with so many vitamins, minerals, and prescription drugs, vitamin E supplementation has gone through times where it’s been heralded as a miracle later to be berated as a risk. A new study has once again brought vitamin E to the forefront as a possible preventative step for people at risk for strokes. Read more →

Reduce stigma of dementia by sharing diagnosis

When my dad had brain surgery meant to drain fluid that was damming up behind scar tissue in his brain, the medical reasoning was that this surgery would prevent dementia. Dad had suffered a closed head injury during World War II, but had recovered fairly well from the trauma. However, age brought on new challenges. This surgery was supposed to be the answer. For unknown reasons, the surgery backfired. Dad came out of surgery with severe dementia. Read more →

Siblings Can Be Ostriches When It Comes to Recognizing Caregiver Problems

Even with updates and warnings, a distance sibling doesn’t always get the full picture. Added to that is the disturbing reality that often an elder will perk up when the distance adult child shows up for a visit, making the caregiver look like he or she is exaggerating the illness of the parent. That’s only natural. The parent is thrilled to see the long-lost child. Everyone is excited and the adrenaline is pumping. Read more →

How do we cope with the plea "I want to go home"?

Your heart will continue to break. But understanding that the home the person wants likely no longer exists can help the caregiver's "guilt factor" a great deal. Even if you were to pack him up and take him to his last home, he would likely not be satisfied because it's not really the home he means. He doesn't want the home he left three months ago, he wants to go to the home from 60 years ago. Read more →

Am I losing it? Caregivers can question their own capabilities

Please don’t suggest to me that I get an evaluation because I messed up the checkbook – again. I never could keep a checkbook straight, so there’s nothing new here. However, if you are an accountant and the numbers no longer make sense when you try to balance your checkbook, then it’s time to consider a checkup. Read more →