Entries categorized "Grief and Death" Feed

Without any solid plans or reprioritizing, things that were once at the forefront of your life, like your job, your friends and even your relationship with your significant other, can wind up on the back burner. Read more →


Dear Carol: A while back you wrote about a widower with mild cognitive impairment who wanted to move to assisted living after his wife died. Our situation is similar, but this is my 83-year-old mom and her memory is fine. She’s an extremely social person. Read more →


My struggle with this dilemma began when my father started receiving hospice care. At this point in my caregiving journey, Mom and Dad shared a room in a nursing home. Read more →


Now you are thrust into the valley of despair, an unknown yet fertile place of psychic deconstruction. It is here where your shadow lives, Read more →


His head drifted to my shoulder and that last, gentle breath slipped by unnoticed by me. What I felt was the positive force of Dad’s spirit leaving his body. And then — joy! Did I just write joy? Yes, I did. Read more →


While Alzheimer’s disease will progress differently for each person, scientists and clinicians have attempted to stage the disease as a way that helps people living with Alzheimer’s and their families understand what is happening, Read more →


Dear Carol: My mother, who has advanced dementia, went into a nursing home six months ago. She’s received excellent care but is now declining quickly so that she no longer swallows any type of food. Her doctor has determined that she is ready for hospice and that makes sense to me. Hospice took her off of medications that didn’t seem to be helping and then prescribed some occasional Ativan for agitation and low-dose morphine for pain. Her response has been satisfying to watch since she’s more alert and far more peaceful than she has been. Here’s the problem. I’ve gone to a support group for several years and there are a couple of people in the group that completely anti-drug for Alzheimer’s so they are adamantly against the use of both Ativan and morphine for my mom. I don’t get it. Mom is dying. She was jerking around in pain and crying and now she’s responsive and comfortable. How do I get through to them that when people are dying everything changes? – HY Read more →


...One of those shared experiences is a certain amount of stress. Some personalities cope with the ever-changing, nearly always challenging business of caring for another adult with health issues better than others. A positive attitude and a flexible approach can go a long way as we feel our way along the sometimes uncertain path a caregiver must follow. But even the most laid back person is going to feel stressed by the responsibilities of caregiving from time to time. That's normal and to be expected. With some care, people generally bounce back. What caregivers need to watch for is burnout. Read more →


Often, we don’t even notice that we’ve slipped into a routine of combined stress and numbness until a friend or family member takes a moment to ask what is new in our lives. If our first thought is that nothing much has changed since we are just caregivers doing what we do, then it’s time to take a look at how we can refresh our attitude toward our lives, and in the process, perhaps refresh the life of the person for whom we are responsible. Read more →