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How a family mediator can help you over the rocky road of caregiving

Even siblings who grew up together with fondness for each other often have different ideas about what the right care for aging parents incorporates. When siblings have clashing personalities, or family issues have driven them apart, finding middle ground on anything can be extra challenging. Read more →

Alzheimer’s disease doesn’t just affect the aged

Receiving an Alzheimer’s diagnosis at the age of 75 can be a crushing blow. Imagine, then, what it would be like to receive such a diagnosis when you are 35, 40 or 45-years-old? You’re at your prime in many ways because you’ve got experience in your work, yet are nowhere near retirement. You have children, maybe yet in grade school. You’ve got a mortgage, car payments and plans to travel when your kids are older. You’re on a roll – until you realize that you are forgetting things. Important things. Eventually, you see a doctor and the diagnosis is early on-set Alzheimer’s disease. Read more →

Elders covering for each other can hide dementia symptoms

Long married couples are often said to “finish each others sentences.” They work as a unit, and friends and family members are used to this interaction. This ability to work as a team is a wonderful thing until one of the team isn’t functioning well and the other is in denial. When couples cover up for each other, precious time can be lost. So, adult children need to be on the lookout for signs that things aren’t going well. Read more →

How significant is “gapping out” a face or an event?

Nearly anyone over the age of 50 has experienced some frustrating moments of memory lapse that younger society calls “gapping out,” and older society calls “senior moments.” These memory lapses, or slowed recall, can send some people into a panic, particularly if they have a relative with Alzheimer’s disease. Read more →

Training frontline caregivers essential to care and can be cost effective

My reason for bringing these posts back to your attention is this: recently a very good article about long-term care facilities investing in frontline staff training was published. This article makes a great point in that while long-term care has traditionally relied on drugs and other methods to “control” patients, trained front line staff, who are usually Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs), can make a huge difference in the behaviors of people with dementia. Read more →

Dealing with dementia and the loss of a spouse

Dear Carol: My grandparents had been married for 63 years. Two years ago, my grandmother’s general health started to decline and she has recently been diagnosed with moderate dementia. My grandfather seemed in excellent health considering his age, but a few weeks ago he died of a sudden heart attack. He had been my grandmother’s primary caregiver and her whole world had always revolved around him. She now feels that Grandpa abandoned her, maybe for another woman. Read more →

Eating disorders can affect middle aged women; could caregivers be at risk?

Middle aged women who have become caregivers report many health issues because they feel that their lives are spinning out of control. Depression and weight loss, or weight gain, are common symptoms reported. Could the recurrence of a previous eating disorder, or the development of a new one, be far behind? Read more →

PBS documentary shows Alzheimer’s from a unique perspective

When Scott Kirschenbaum, who has long been an activist for elders, met Lee Gorewitz, something compelling happened. Kirschenbaum felt drawn to the still dynamic resident of Traditions Unit, a care facility for people with Alzheimer’s disease. Their meeting, combined with Kirschenbaum’s need to show the world what the life of one person who has Alzheimer’s is like, resulted in the PBS documentary “You’re Looking at Me Like I Live Here and I Don’t.” Read more →