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November 2016
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January 2017

....Similarly, some people may have the insight to recognize that they wouldn't be able to provide quality day in and day out hands-on care for a beloved parent. They may have spent decades building careers that they love, encouraged by the parents who now need care, or they may be people to whom patience is not natural and a repetitive daily grind would become numbing. Are these bad people? No. Selfish people? Again, no. Or at least most of them are not. They simply don't have the personality makeup for the repetitive, nurturing task of long-term hands-on caregiving for vulnerable adults. Read more →


...We can plan ourselves silly, but the unexpected will always occur. The only remedy for this is to not take ourselves or our plans too seriously. Life throws curve balls, but many of them aren’t that huge if we don’t exaggerate their importance. Is it really that important if the order for the fruit try got lost and you end up just grabbing a fresh pineapple? Will the world end if intended recipient of the errant package opens a box that contains a bag of cookies and an IOU for the gift that will arrive late? Read more →


Elderly people often eat more food when they are on a program of frequent, smaller meals than the standard three larger meals a day. Available snacks can also help people with Alzheimer’s who tend to wander. An informal experiment at the Parker Jewish Institute in New Hyde Park, N.Y. found that if they provided people with dementia who became anxious and agitated at night with a snack, they would often calm down and return to bed. Read more →


Dear Carol: My dad is 85 and lives quite happily on his own. He has arthritis pain and has fallen at least twice, though he doesn’t tell me unless I notice a bruise or limp. He has always been healthy but stubborn and he likes his nighttime drinks. I don’t want to take away his drinks or anything else that he enjoys, but I worry. He has a doctor and grudgingly goes yearly for his checkup but Dad’s wily and the doctor is busy so his cholesterol prescription gets renewed and that’s about it. Read more →


While many of us have spent years as family caregivers, some caregivers are new to this challenge. So new, in fact, that they have yet to realize that they are caregivers. So new that they haven’t had time to even consider the stress that they are under – stress that will likely increase, rather than decrease if they don’t begin to develop some self-care strategies early on. Read more →


End-of-life discussions may not seem to fit with the commonly cheerful image of the holiday season. After all, who likes to talk about potential death? Yet, too many people die in a manner they would not choose. When we consider that the true reason for this spiritual season is to celebrate our faith, what could be more fitting than incorporating the message that we want the best for our loved ones for their entire life - and that their life will include the death process? Read more →


Elders can have an especially hard time with the holiday season. While aging and maturity can bring the wisdom of years for many people, there are inevitable losses that come to even the most healthy individuals. Many of these losses are emotional and social in nature. Spouses become ill or die. Other aging relatives and friends become seriously ill, or die Read more →


Throughout the last several decades, caffeine has been alternately touted as hero or villain. For a time, caffeine was blamed for birth defects in children, and healthy eating, in general, meant eliminating food or beverages containing caffeine. Still, one of the most explosive new trends we’ve seen over the last dozen years has been designer coffee shops and kiosks, which show that people will not always follow where health gurus lead. Now the coffee drinkers may be vindicated. Read more →


If a caregiver is anxious because of job stress, he or she likely takes that anxiety home in some form, and transfers some of it to the person they are caring for. This is not intentional, but even body language can transfer anxiety. The person being cared for picks up on the anxiety of the caregiver. His or her anxiety may stem from not knowing what is causing the person caring for them to be stressed, so they blame themselves. Or they may just absorb the feeling of generalized anxiety that radiates from the caregiver. Read more →