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Neighbor Concerned About Possible Elder Abuse

Dear Carol: I have a neighbor who cares for her mother in her home along with two teenagers. She also works part time and her husband travels, so I think she’s under a lot of strain. Her mother has Alzheimer’s disease, so my neighbor has an in-home care agency come in for a few hours a day while she works. My concern is that I hear her mother wailing for long periods of time. Read more →

Coping With a Controlling Elderly Parent

As people age, they feel a loss of control over so many things, their bodies not the least of it. They often suffer chronic pain. They sometimes lose the ability to walk. The humiliation on incontinence is thrust upon them. So, they lash out at the one person they know (or hope) won't leave them – you, the caregiver. Read more →

Aging Parents and Denial: Distance Siblings Often Don't Grasp Changes

Also, 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 long-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 →

Why Does Aging Parent Accuse Caregivers of Stealing?

What I was doing was the same thing I'd done for years. I was taking her out-of-season clothes from her closet and replacing them with season appropriate clothing, including some fresh items. We'd done this little switch-out for years, and it had been fun. That last year, it was sad. Read more →

Coping With Elders' Repeated Stories

However, my heart does go out to the many of you who must listen to the same statement 20 times in an hour, because the parent or other loved one has dementia and has lost short-term memory. This short-term memory loss makes it impossible for the person with dementia to remember what they just said, so they say it again – and again – and again. Read more →

Dad’s Death Always News to Mom

Dear Carol: My mom is in a nursing home because of kidney and lung problems plus mid-stage Alzheimer’s. Dad seemed to be doing well at home but had a sudden heart attack and died. It’s been a difficult, sad time for us all, but the worst part now is that Mom can’t or won’t believe he died. We took her to the funeral and did all we could to comfort her, but it’s like her mind won’t grasp the loss. How do we handle this? It’s horrible for the whole family. – Susan Read more →

Agitation, Aggression in Alzheimer’s Challenge Caregivers

Depression and stress lead the list, but too little rest, constipation, soiled underwear, a sudden change in routine or surroundings, too many people around, or being pushed by others to bathe or to remember things beyond their grasp can all cause this distressed behavior. Loneliness and interactions of medications are also possibilities. Read more →

Preparing for Your Caregiving Journey

Unfortunately, for most caregivers, these questions do not arise until they are feeling overwhelmed and depleted. Being able to say, "No, I can no longer continue to provide care in this way," could possibly save you from emotional and physical burnout, while deepening the level of honesty and openness in your relationships with your parents and family. Read more →