Entries categorized "Minding Our Elders Column" Feed

Dear KT: It’s understandable that you’re worried about your parents. Covid-19 is an especially serious threat for older adults. As you’ve suggested, the usual discussions about moving older adults to a new environment are coming to a halt since assisted living facilities... Read more →


During the last few years of my caregiving, while my mother-in-law and my parents were still alive, my son was still having major health issues, and I was working full time, I read about the term “sandwich generation.” Read more →


“We’d love it if you’d write a handwritten letter today to support what we do. Please note that we do not accept emailed or typed letters.” They go on to say that at this point, “Right now, our biggest need as an organization Read more →


Dear LH: Your mother is fortunate to have you to watch over her care. Like you, I think that any older adult is likely to feel abandoned if the family moves them to a new living environment and then just leaves without visiting for two weeks. Additionally, people like your mom need an advocate and that advocate must be an obvious, though friendly, presence from the beginning. Read more →


Dear Readers: We had some nightmarish situations before the Covid-19 pandemic, but this has created scenarios in our caregiving life we’d never considered. Physical distance from those we want to help. Isolation when they – and we – need each other more than ever. Fear of death as we’ve never known it. However, if we are to survive, we must continue to have hope. Read more →


Dear TY: Since there are numerous reasons why older adults may experience changes in how they walk (what doctors call our gait), you're right to be concerned. Shuffling can be one of these changes, but so can a drop foot gait, an off-kilter gait or simply a significantly slower than normal gait. Read more →


...My family was fortunate in that we knew the facility staff and could trust that they would do the right thing. I can only imagine your terror if your parents are newly placed in a facility where they haven’t yet been able to settle in, or perhaps worse if they are in a facility Read more →


But did someone actually steal Victoria's sweater, or is dementia stealing her mind? Victoria, the lady ranting about her sweater, was sitting in her wheelchair. I had offered to take her down to the nursing home's main dining room on my way to sit with my mother-in-law. I was familiar with Victoria, a resident at my mother-in-law's facility. Read more →


Care decisions are hard enough as it is, but how do you know when you’re enabling an elderly loved one to slide by the easy way as opposed to helping them out with something they truly need? The truth is, it’s rarely an easy call, and the answer may differ on any given day. Read more →


Hard choices are the hallmark of the sandwich generation. My kids were not involved in sports, but they still had plenty of school functions, musical performances, awards ceremonies and parent-teacher conferences. Read more →