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Dear Carol: I am the last surviving child of my nearly 94-year-old mother who insists on living in her own home. She’s in relatively good health for 94. I don’t have a problem with her in her staying in her home except that she expects me to be there for hours every day and at the drop of a hat at night. She won’t accept hired help. I am in my 70s and widowed. A woman friend of mine and I have dreamed of taking a cruise but I can’t go because of my mother. I never talk with her about this because I don’t want to hurt her, but is this what loving our parents is about? I have some health problems of my own, and somedays I feel that she’ll outlive me. Where do we draw the line? MK Read more →

Studies show that many diseases affect ethnic groups differently, with a larger percentage of some groups than others expected to develop these diseases over time. Recently, the first ever study to expand its research with dementia, particularly Alzheimer's, beyond the Black and Caucasian communities has published data that should make us all pay attention. Read more →

Adult children are right to be aware of their parents’ physical and mental changes since there’s no way to stop the aging process. However, as a columnist on caregiving and a forum moderator, I’m seeing something very scary happening far too often. Ageism is overtaking common sense and respect. Read more →

...However, it frequently takes someone who has endured an experience similar to ours in order to make us feel thoroughly understood. This is where real hands on advice differs from advice in the abstract. Read more →

Perhaps if we knew what the future held we may be too emotionally frozen to do what needs doing, so it’s not all bad to be somewhat short sighted as we begin our caregiving journey. Read more →

Now, researchers at Washington University in St. Louis have shown that making mental maps of where we have been and where we are going is a process the brain may lose before memory problems begin to show. Read more →

Dear Carol: My husband has been a recovering alcoholic for years, but after we both retired he started having a drink here and there. It didn’t seem like a problem until he started to show symptoms of dementia. He was eventually diagnosed with mixed Alzheimer’s and vascular dementia. I’m not sure whether he forgets how much he’s had to drink or his alcoholism has caught up with him. He often becomes angry and on a couple of occasions he’s become threatening. He also falls after he’s been drinking, which is scary. I can’t get him to stop drinking or to return to his recovery meetings. I think I could care for him with his dementia at home for some time if he didn’t drink, but I’ve become afraid of him. His doctor tells him not to drink, but that does no good. He drives to the store to get alcohol and once, when the car was being fixed, he took a cab. I feel isolated, frightened and lonely. How do I handle this? DSR Read more →

Sundowning, sometimes called Sundown Syndrome, is the label given to late day anxiety, irritability, disorientation and general agitation in people with Alzheimer’s. Sundowning frustrates home caregivers and professional care staff alike, as they often feel completely unable to comfort the person affected. Read more →