Entries categorized "Minding Our Elders Column" Feed

Dear Mom's Helper: Dementia of any kind makes nearly every aspect of self-care and caregiving by others much harder to manage. Your mother's fortunate to have you in her corner.Some of these devices that collect urine can be helpful, as seems to be the case with your dad, but yes, there is the upkeep that is necessary for health and safety. Since your dad wants to be... Read more →


Over time, it’s become apparent that some type of compromise must be found. Isolated older adults, many of whom have some type of dementia such as Alzheimer’s disease, are deteriorating in alarming ways. Read more →


...Gray hair, wrinkles and skin spots aren’t terminal issues. They are battle scars worth noting and respecting. When you offer help to your elders, focus on what they can do rather what they can't, even if that involves some risk. Offer help when needed, but do so with respect. Read more →


Dear HK: Denial of the symptoms of cognitive decline is common, but it helps no one. I’m sorry that you are in the middle of this. You’re right that your mother-in-law should see her doctor, but I’d suggest... Read more →


...When you were a teen, you often took care of your grandma, who was ravaged by Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA), while also keeping track of your toddler sister. When you were the joint owner of a four-plex, you did your best to help your tenant/neighbor who struggled with RA. Later, Read more →


Guilt has a purpose in life. If we are mean, we should feel guilty. If we owe someone an apology, we should be big enough to do so. But guilt is a complicated emotion. We take on the expectations of our culture, our religion, our family. And then we take on the expectations of our toughest critic – ourselves. Read more →


Dear KD: I understand your worry. This situation could reflect a genuine error or even miscommunication about your rights and your expectations. In my opinion, you aren’t out of line as long as you’ve been open about these expectations, and that they have written permission for you to be your mom’s health contact. Read more →


Burnout is a pervasive problem for family caregivers, especially those who have no time to get away from the ongoing emotional and physical demands of caring for an ailing family member. Your situation is a classic example: One adult child who is still living in the parents’ community... Read more →


“My 81-year-old father still thinks he can do handyman jobs around the house, including climbing ladders, using power tools, etc. How do I convince him that this is dangerous and he must stop?” Read more →


Dear LY: You are normal to want some thanks or at leastsome pleasantness in return for what you are trying to do. However, providingthis feedback may be beyond your aunt’s current capacity, so you’ll have tochoose whether or not you are able to continue on with delivering this type ofcare. Before you decide, consider a few things. Read more →