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July 2016
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September 2016

It’s difficult to watch our parents age. As their hair grays, wrinkles form and age spots multiply, we adult children can find ourselves feeling protective. We want to keep them healthy. We want to know that they are safely at home when there’s the slightest risk of bad weather. We don’t want them taking risks that could result in an injury. That’s love, after all, and parents appreciate being loved. It’s a mistake, however, to make yourself director of your parents’ lives simply because they are piling on years. Read more →


Our culture is steeped in language that makes accepting the terminal diagnosis of ourselves or a loved one more difficult to accept than it needs to be. Doctors say, “I’m sorry, there’s nothing more we can do. You might want to look into hospice care.” Patients tell their doctors that they want “aggressive treatment,” until there is nothing else that can be done, then they will go on hospice care. Read more →


If the risk of a stroke or heart attack doesn’t scare you into controlling your blood pressure, surely a heightened risk for vascular dementia should. While Alzheimer’s is thought to be the most common form of dementia, vascular dementia follows closely behind in ranking. The two mixed together are also common, so consider yourself at risk for dementia unless you have a healthy vascular system. Read more →


When I think of the financial effects of the disease, I think of a woman I met a couple of years ago when I was speaking to a group of caregivers. For her and her husband’s privacy, I’ll call the couple Linda and Jim. Read more →


Dear Carol: My mother developed Alzheimer’s about six years ago. Dad was her primary caregiver until his health began to deteriorate. At that time, the family talked Dad into placing Mom into a good, local memory unit where she’s lived for two years. She no longer knows any of her children, or even her husband, but now she’s got a boyfriend in the nursing home. They hold hands and are together as much as possible. Dad knows that Mom’s behavior is caused by the disease, but when he visits Mom and sees them holding hands it breaks his heart. The man’s wife isn’t bothered by the relationship since her husband, who also has Alzheimer’s, is happy. She says to let it go because this relationship doesn’t mean anything. I agree with her, but watching Dad suffer is almost too much. How can we help him? CTB Read more →


Forgiveness, or the lack thereof, can loom large in the life of a caregiver. Forgiving doesn’t mean forgetting. That is rule number one for people to remember when they are working toward crafting better relationships with family members and others whom they care about. Forgiveness can have enormous benefits for the health of the person who does the forgiving. Read more →


While Mom hadn't been an active caregiver for much of Dad's illness—that role fell to me—she did consider herself his caregiver in spirit. Through the years of her decline, her pain spread and her weight dropped, but she hung on. Then Dad died. Read more →


However, people who already have the disease, as well as those who care for them, may disagree. A recent survey showed that these people feel that more financial resources should be dedicated to helping them live life with some quality. Read more →