Alternative treatments Feed

It’s easy to feel grateful when life is going well, and certainly, it’s desirable to acknowledge life at its best with appropriate gratitude. What’s not easy is finding gratitude when life hard. Is it even realistic to try? Yes. Discovering gratitude during difficult times can be a giant step toward peace.  Read more →


For many, it’s not as much the fear of the elders’ reactions to our words as it is an effort to preserve our own denial. If we don’t voice the fact that our parents are aging and may eventually need assistance, and then, yes, die — it won’t happen. This is a version of covering our eyes when we were small and saying “you can’t see me.” Read more →


...But most people wait until they're well into middle age before taking care of this important legal work. For those who die young, or are disabled because of an unexpected event such as a car accident or ill-fated dive into an unfamiliar lake, it’s too late. Their families may have to fight in the courts and in hospital wards in order to carry through with the decisions that they believe this young person would have wanted them to make. Read more →


Home care can be helpful in supporting individuals of all ages to safely live at home for as long as possible and/or to recover from an unexpected health crisis. Additionally, home care can be a welcome source of support when family members can no longer provide care alone. These care providers are available for anything from simple household chores and companionship to complex care. But what exactly is meant by the terms “home care” and “in-home care," and what will your insurance cover? Read more →


Aging can bring unique joys, but for many it also brings the loss of physical and, for some, cognitive abilities that they feel once defined them. These losses can usually be absorbed if the elders stay connected to the greater community in some way and/or they enjoy engrossing hobbies. But many become isolated, either because they don’t feel like making the effort to stay connected or they lack the opportunity. Those who do become socially isolated will often succumb to disease or early death. Read more →


How vital is fitness to aging well? Very. A recent study of participants in the 2015 National Senior Games, also known as the Senior Olympics, revealed that the typical participant had a fitness age of more than 20 years younger than his or her chronological age. According to the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, fitness age is determined by a measure of cardiovascular endurance and is a better predictor of longevity than chronological age. I asked Robert Drapkin, MD FACP, to help us understand ... Read more →


 I"ve written about how playing in an orchestra has helped people living with dementia renew their confidence in themselves.  Another twist on music has now come in a recent report from the British Psychological Society's Division of Clinical Psychology in London. The researchers describe how both the people in their study who had dementia, as well as their caregivers, benefitted from group singing. This exercise seemed to have much the same effect on the people with dementia as the orchestra experiment. Read more →


The idea that some people can stay positive after receiving a dementia diagnosis seems surprising to many, yet when faced with adversity we have only two choices — make the best of what is in front of us, or live with negativity. No one is suggesting that living with a positive outlook after being given a diagnosis for any serious disease is easy, but negative thinking is risky for your overall health, while positive thinking has health benefits. Read more →


Dear Carol: My sister is the primary caregiver for our dad who is in a nursing home because of Alzheimer’s disease. She lives in his community and I live over 100 miles away. I try to visit every other weekend to give my sister a much-deserved break and often we’ll meet at the nursing home. I do understand her stress. She has a husband, a job, middle-school-aged kids with all that goes with raising kids, plus the primary responsibility of our dad. The problem is that her stress shows in her body language when she's helping Dad. I know that I'm not always as soothing and gentle as I should be either, so I’m not being super critical about her. Still, I’m not sure that she’s aware that she needs to try to do better in this area. Dad sometimes looks confused even when she’s trying to soothe him, and I’m wondering if her motions tell him that she’s angry. Should I bring this up? Read more →


Emergency-room doctor Kevin Hasselhorst had an epiphany while he tried valiantly to save an elderly man who’d been through one too many traumas. His book, “Wishes To Die For: A Caregiver’s Guide to Advance Care Directives” was the first step toward a new advocacy. Dr. Hasselhorst continues to work toward helping people understand the importance of healthcare directives and the ability to make their own decisions about end-of-life care. Read more →