« September 2018 | Main | November 2018 »

Dear Carol: My parents are so isolated in their home because their neighborhood is so changed that they want to move to assisted living. Apparently, they’ve heard good things about these facilities from friends but most of these friends are better off financially than my parents. I’ve tried to convince them to come north to be near me, but that’s not going to happen, and I have a job that I’m firmly planted in up north so I can’t move there. I’ll fly down to help them decide about a facility, and again to move, but I’d like assistance in sorting the choices. Can I trust the senior “placement” companies that I see advertised?– PR Read more →


The people we love and care for often reach a point where we can no longer be sole care providers and we need to look at options. This is painful because up to this point we’ve likely been partners in their care but haven’t had to make forceful decisions. Now, things have changed. Because so many people have a negative view of nursing homes, the idea of going to a care facility terrifies many older people and being the person to make this decision can be agony. Read more →


Bathing issues can be one of the most frustrating parts of dementia care, but a caregiver can lower stress with flexibility and insight. Here are some expert caregiver tips to consider when planning out bathing times for your loved one. Read more →


Diagnosed with Alzheimer’s at age 53, Hazel has been living with the disease for more than 18 years. Her early years were grim even as she fought to do everything she could to improve her health. She used a wheelchair much of time. Then, while attending a bridal show, she stopped to rest at the table of professional dancer Chris Ingram. Ingram asked her if she’d like to learn how to dance. Hazel’s response was what one would expect. “How can I dance when I can’t even walk?”  Ingram just told her to stop by the World Champion Productions Dance Studio and see. Read more →


Older adults, even those who are healthy, have been enthusiastic about many of the services now offered that can make aging at home easier. For people with health issues or those who can no longer drive, these services may make the difference between aging at home and moving to a care facility. With some couples, one person may be the primary caregiver for the other, but often the caregiver has chronic health issues as well. With the help of these services, older adults can stay independent longer. Read more →


There are countless positive aspects to long-term caregiving, but those who’ve done it know that there are also negative effects, many lifelong. While some effects have been well studied during this last decade, there are changes that occur within most caregiver’s lives that are hard to measure. Some are nearly universal to caregivers, some perhaps more unique to the individual. Below is a short list from my personal experience when it comes to negative effects of caregiving. You, the reader, may have additions and subtractions if you were to make your own list. Read more →


Middle-aged and worried about your memory slips? You probably don’t have dementia. The majority of the memory slips that concern this age group, and even those significantly older, are due to stress and other factors rather than impending dementia. However, researchers have now found that people who are suffering from memory loss but are unaware of their problem are most likely developing the disease. Read more →


This is the third in an ongoing series of informative Medicare posts courtesy of MedicareFAQ. Did you know that Plan F will go away for new enrollees in 2020 - and premiums skyrocket for those can stay on it? I didn't. I'd suggest reading this article closely before deciding which type of Medicare is right for your parents, your spouse, or you. You will then be able to make an educated decision. - Carol Read more →


Cognitively impaired individuals or individuals with dementia evidently articulate their complaints less frequently. We, therefore, have to do more than just ask them about possible pain; we have to actively examine them to determine whether they are experiencing pain." Read more →


Dear Carol: My husband and I are retired and were enjoying our quiet life when my fiercely independent 89-year-old mother started showing signs of dementia. We felt that it was best for her to move in with us and she reluctantly agreed. Mother’s been in our home for seven months and, while my husband is a saint, I’m not. She’s driving me crazy. She tries to cook and I spend hours cleaning up from burned food and dumped wastebaskets. She tries to do her own personal care in the bathroom and dumps things in the toilet and then flushes so we’ve needed a plumber twice, so far. She has dropped and broken my makeup bottles leaving huge messes. She wants to eat in the living room and spills and rubs the mess into the couch. I’ve tried to talk to her but she says that she’s used to her own life. I know this isn’t her fault and that I’m supposed to be patient, but I’m not a natural caregiver. This makes me feel guilty but there you have it. Am I that unusual or do we live in a world of saints? – BD Read more →