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November 2016
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January 2017

Nobody invites dementia of any type into their lives but once dementia is a part of the family it will be part of the holidays. The person with dementia will have good days and bad days and will change as the disease progresses. One thing we can count on, though, is that a loved one with dementia will need special consideration. How does a caregiver cope with the holidays and remain sane? Read more →


Dear Carol: My husband and I had long planned on moving south as soon as we both retired, which happened for the both of us during the last two years. Now we’re not so sure. My husband has been diagnosed with mild cognitive impairment (MCI). While he doesn’t have Alzheimer’s, his chances of developing it are greatly increased. We’re aware that moving people with Alzheimer’s can speed the progression of the disease. At this point, we are both uncertain since there is little sign of anything wrong with my husband other than a few memory glitches, yet were both afraid of triggering something worse. We have family in Arizona which is one reason we want to make the move. Still, we’d be leaving longtime friends and some family where we are now, too. What is the general thinking in this type of situation? RB Read more →


How can faith help both caregivers and people with dementia get through something that makes no sense even to those who believe in a loving God – or maybe especially to those who believe in a loving God? Many people have asked me this question. My own spiritual beliefs have been vital to my caregiving life, but I wanted to give people more depth than I could provide on my own. Read more →


Daniel C. Potts, M.D. is a neurologist, author, educator and champion of those with Alzheimer’s disease as well as their caregivers. Dr. Potts communicates this dedication by being accessible to those of us who represent family caregivers, so I took advantage of his willingness to help by asking him some common questions that many family caregivers face. Read more →


Researchers in the United Kingdom have found that elderly people are more likely to be moved into a care home after spending time with their families over the Christmas holiday than at any other time. The reason? Families who live at a distance tend to spend a longer time with their elders during the holidays. After a few days together, adult children notice issues with their parents’ physical or mental health that may not have been obvious during shorter visits or from telephone conversations. Some of these changes are thought to be due to chronic loneliness which can sometimes be alleviated through more in-home personal care. In other cases, the opportunity to socialize in a care home may be better fit. Read more →


As I watched my 90-year old grandparents grieve the loss of many friends. I had to wonder how much fun it is to be the last one standing. My parents faced much the same situation. Mom, who once loved getting Christmas cards, found that not only did the number of cards she received dwindle, the ones that she did get often contained sad news of death or disease. As she and many other older folks have said, "aging isn't for sissies." Read more →


According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), falls are the leading cause of both fatal and nonfatal injuries for people over 65. Falls can cause moderate to severe injuries, such as hip fractures and head traumas, and can increase the risk of early death. Fortunately, falls are a public health problem that is largely preventable. The CDC suggests these steps as a start: Read more →


Anyone who suffers from fecal incontinence (FI) is bound to find the condition frustrating and embarrassing. For those who are caring for a loved one with FI, it can be difficult to know how to handle and help with the symptoms. While most people are reluctant to discuss this condition with their family and their doctor, addressing it head on can yield a great deal of valuable information and hope for a healthier and happier life. Read more →


Dear Carol: Last year Christmas was a mess and I’m determined to make this year better. Dad had a stroke two years ago and uses a wheelchair and mom has rheumatoid arthritis and uses a walker, so they both need a place with easy access. That would be my house. Both of my brothers, their wives, and their children join us. Along with our kids, the total of children is five. They are good kids but noisy which bothers my dad. Also, my brothers have opposing political views so I’m praying they don’t get into politics. To make things even more complicated, Mom is super judgmental and finds something to complain about in everything said by anyone even though they didn’t say anything that should offend her. I love my family and this isn’t about the work of hosting a holiday dinner. My siblings bring side dishes so I don’t have to do everything. It’s the personalities all together for eight hours and two meals that I dread. How do I handle this potential mess better than before? MW Read more →


One of the most heartbreaking things caregivers of people with Alzheimer’s hear is “I want to go home.” The request is often repeated many times a day, even though the person is, to our way of thinking, home. Anyone who has tried saying, “But you are home!” will know that logic doesn’t work. What can a caregiver do? Read more →