« June 2013 | Main | August 2013 »

When we are constantly surrounded with a certain type of person or activity it most likely will influence how we think and behave, but we do need to reacquaint ourselves with the non-caregiving world fairly regularly to maintain some sort of balance. Read more →

However, he grew more and more agitated as he repeated – with increasing volume – fix my magazines! After much stress on both sides, with me pointing to or touching nearly everything on that side of his room, I picked up his razor. “Yes!” he said. “My magazines!” His razor was broken and he wanted me to get it fixed. Can you imagine his stress? It’s heartbreaking. Read more →

Daughter Dreads Nursing Home Visits

Dear Carol: My mom is in a nursing home because of mid-stage dementia and other health issues. I love her dearly and visit often, but I feel guilty because I dread my visits. It’s not that I don’t want to see her, it’s that I don’t know what to do while I’m sitting there with her. Do you have any suggestions to pass the time without so much awkwardness? - Lee Ann Read more →

Caring for More Than One Generation

To the best of my knowledge, there was never a word, at the time, to describe what I was doing. I was just following my instincts and elders were falling like dominoes into my care. Meanwhile, I was running from doctor to doctor to get my son's health problems diagnosed and treated, while fighting with school officials over why this bright kid was missing so much school. Read more →

Taking Care of Parents Who Abused You as a Child

The issue remains that her mother will not admit to having been abusive. Nancy is willing to work on the issue with her mother and a counselor, but her mother totally denies any abuse. Whether this denial is conscious or "selective memory" doesn't matter to Nancy. She was abused as a child and she wants her mother to admit it and work on it. She wants to see the cycle broken. Read more →

Alcohol and Seniors: An Often Overlooked Problem

This time felt different, even before I pushed through his doorway. When I saw him, he was lying on his kitchen floor with his leg at an unnatural angle. I grabbed my ever present clipboard and wrote to him that I was calling 911. Joe and I communicated through my writing and his speaking, since his deafness was profound. He resisted and tried to move, then lay back in agony, and let me call for an ambulance. Read more →

Convincing a Parent to Bathe or Wear Fresh Clothes

A fourth cause is memory. The days go by. They aren't marked with tons of activities as they were when they were young. If there isn't something special about Wednesday, well – it could be Tuesday or Thursday. They simply lose track of time and don't realize how long it's been since they showered. Read more →

Mom Needs Better Pain Management

Dear Carol: My mom is nearly 87, lives in a nursing home, has mid-stage Alzheimer’s, advanced arthritis, and is nearly blind. She hates to get out of bed because of pain and eats very little. Her memory is poor and she doesn’t want to take part in activities. The medication that the doctor gives her for her arthritis doesn’t come close to controlling her pain. Read more →