Assisted Living, Adult Day Services, Nursing Home Feed

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 →

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 →

While family members providing care for loved ones share many issues, there’s a different emotional dynamic for spousal caregivers than adult children caring for a parent. Betsy E. Wurzel, spousal caregiver for her husband Matt Sloan, can attest to this. Matt was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s disease (EOAD), at age 56. Read more →

After decades of caregiving, I’ve experienced some negative effects. However, I've also experienced positive effects that continue to give me pleasure and enhance my life. I saved the positive aspects of caregiving for the second article because, having recently written about the ill effects on our health caused by negative thinking, it seemed more authentic to me as a writer. Also, as a person, when possible I like to concentrate on the positive. Below are a few of the many things that I feel I have gained, and still am gaining, from long-term caregiving. Read more →

Whether you’re caring for someone with dementia or visiting them from time to time you’ll want to do your best to make them feel good.   No one will ever hit the right note every time but knowledge helps. With that in mind, here are a few pitfalls that you can avoid in order to help make your time with a friend or loved one who has dementia less stressful. Read more →

Dear Carol: My mom, 83, is in a memory unit because she has advanced Lewy body dementia (LBD). While a nurse was bathing mom she noticed a breast lump. My logical mind tells me that considering Mom’s cognitive state, as well as her age, this lump is best ignored since she has no pain. I’ve talked with her neurologist and he said that I could consult an oncologist but that he’d suggest not telling Mom since she may be stressed by the news when there’s a good possibility that this isn’t even cancer. This doctor and her care nurses all feel that Mom couldn't tolerate testing let alone surgery and treatment. I agree, yet I can’t let go of the fact that I’m keeping something from her. Should I tell her and explain the options even though her ability to make sound decisions based on fact is basically non-existent. Maybe a word from you will help me feel better. – HF Read more →

After my dad's brain surgery left him with dementia, the doctors put him on the anti-psychotic drug Haldol. He was in the hospital and we were still being told that nothing went wrong from the surgery and he would be just fine. The fact that he had a voice in his head and was not at all the same as before was never admitted, however the psychiatrist did see fit to put him on this drug. At first, I couldn't figure out why Dad was insisting that the young male nurse with whom he'd bonded so well before surgery was now, in Dad's mind, trying to kill him in the shower.  Read more →

Alzheimer’s is a global issue that is on track to bankrupt worldwide health systems if a cure is not found. Therefore, funding for research is paramount, not just for those who have the disease but for future generations, as well. However, large numbers of the people who have Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia at this time are trying to make the point that it is equally important to put imagination, research and funding into how to care for those who already have this incurable disease. Read more →

Dear Carol: My mom’s lived with me for three years. I’m single and have a demanding job but I’ve made time for her medical appointments and to keep up with her needs. I love her and want to do my best, but I now find myself getting short-tempered with her, which I hate. The doctor suspects that she has vascular dementia which accounts for her forgetfulness. I've become afraid that she is not safe alone while I’m gone. I’m upset with myself over my own short-tempered behavior, but for many reasons, including concerns about my job, I no longer think that this is the best arrangement. Still, I don’t want her to go to a nursing home. Any suggestions? – VE Read more →

As a family caregiver of multiple elders, I needed a facility where more than one of my elders could live while I cared for others in various locations. My family was fortunate to find an excellent nursing home just a few blocks from my home. During the 15 years that my loved ones (different people at different times) lived in this facility, I learned a great deal about what makes a good nursing home tick. I interviewed a licensed nursing home administrator for her tips on selecting a nursing home not long ago, but as a family member, I’d like to add a few more ideas. Read more →