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How to cope with difficult eating issues in elders: some tips

Whether from physical problems or lack of appetite, eating often loses its appeal to frail elders. Regardless of the reason their loved one has for not eating well, caregivers can be stressed by the situation. We know the value of nutrition. We know the feeling of hunger. We want to help them stay nourished. Read more →

Tough decisions: when it's time for hospice and palliative care

My main concern was how to tell Mom. Hospice means approaching death to most people. And, of course, that's what they do. They help people die naturally, but without pain. However, to tell my mother that Dad was going on hospice would be hard. I even asked the social worker if we could "skip that part!" I can't believe I asked that, but I wanted to spare my mother the emotional pain of knowing that dad was dying. I meant well, but I think I was trying to spare myself more emotional pain, as well. Read more →

Alzheimer's disease: The first 48 hours after diagnosis

You first suspected something was wrong when your mother took too long to run some errands. You thought she just wanted some time to herself, but she was gone more than an hour longer than planned, and when she did return, she snapped at you for asking if everything went okay. Something seems different about her, but you shove the thought away. Then your dad takes you aside and tells you he’s worried. Your mom left the water running in the sink the other day and just walked away. When he commented on it and turned it off, she yelled at him. She said she had to leave it running so it wouldn’t freeze. It was 80 degrees outside. Read more →

Is it Alzheimer’s, a different type of dementia or something else entirely?

Is it Alzheimer’s disease? As people age, the rapid mental recall of youth often fades. Yet most aging adults have wisdom and life experience to share and are cognitively sound. With increased awareness of Alzheimer’s disease, however, has come an increased fear that every mental glitch we experience as we age is a sign of AD. So, what is Alzheimer’s and what could these disturbing symptoms be if they are not AD? Read more →

Daughter doesn’t trust mom with Dad’s care

Dear Carol: My mother and I don’t get along. She is manipulative and often nasty to me, so I’ve had to distance myself from the chaos. I keep intending to walk away completely, but I can't do that because I want to help take care of my dad, or at least spend time with him. He has Alzheimer’s and doesn’t even know who I am, but I don’t entirely trust my mother with him. I’m not sure he’s being cared for properly. If I ask questions about his care, or just day to day issues, she thinks I’m criticizing her and emotions escalate. If I try and turn away, I get the martyr routine. I remind myself that it’s not about us, it’s about my dad, but its hard. Any advice? - Monica Read more →

Advances in keeping our elders safe in nursing homes

The obvious point of safety in nursing homes has always been that there are trained professionals on the spot in case of a fall, mediation reaction or other health issue. However, with advances in technology, nursing homes have advanced in safety measures over and above what they once provided. Read more →

Memory loss, confusion, increased diabetes risk possible side effects of popular cholesterol drug

The FDA recently announced increased safety warnings for those taking cholesterol lowering drugs, saying that they can cause memory loss, confusion and an increased risk of Type 2 diabetes. Diabetes increases the risk for Alzheimer’s disease. The new warnings are based on results from the latest clinical trials, plus adverse effects reported by patients, physicians and the drug companies. Read more →