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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 →


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 →


...In the case of caregiver Marianne Sciucco, author of Blue Hydrangeas, an Alzheimer’s Love Story, the legal documents for her parents were signed in time — barely. Here Marianne tells us about the blessing of thinking ahead. “We met with my parents’ lawyer and drafted a power of attorney (POA) for Mom and my stepfather in the nick of time. Just a year later, following a dementia diagnosis, I was forced to put his into action. Read more →


Many people have heard of hospice care but they mistakenly think that it’s just a way to help cancer patients be more comfortable at the end of their lives. Fewer people have heard of palliative care, and they may have no idea what it is. The truth is that hospice and palliative care are related but used for different reasons at different times, and everyone should be well-versed in what they offer. Here, we’ll clarify some points of confusion. Read more →


Most of us who have cared for someone living with dementia have tried our best to determine how best to provide that care. We research. We try putting ourselves in their place. We do our best to be patient because we understand that they can’t help their having the disease. Still, we are human and we make mistakes. While we shouldn’t wallow in guilt when we do make mistakes as a care partner, there are situations that we should try extra hard to avoid. Here are nine of them. Read more →


The people we love and care for often reach a point where we can no longer be sole care providers and we need to look at options. This is painful because up to this point we’ve likely been partners in their care but haven’t had to make forceful decisions. Now, things have changed. Because so many people have a negative view of nursing homes, the idea of going to a care facility terrifies many older people and being the person to make this decision can be agony. Read more →


Older adults, even those who are healthy, have been enthusiastic about many of the services now offered that can make aging at home easier. For people with health issues or those who can no longer drive, these services may make the difference between aging at home and moving to a care facility. With some couples, one person may be the primary caregiver for the other, but often the caregiver has chronic health issues as well. With the help of these services, older adults can stay independent longer. Read more →


Q.What is the difference between Alzheimer’s and dementia?  A. Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is one type of dementia among many, though it is considered to be the most common type. Others include vascular dementia, frontotemporal dementia, dementia with Lewy bodies, Parkinson’s dementia and normal pressure hydrocephalus. People can actually have more than one type of dementia. 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 →


Family caregiving is more of an art than a science. Most people who take on the challenge of family caregiving do the best that they can under their unique circumstances, yet, they often receive criticism, sadly even from other caregivers. How can family caregivers who are already doing so much for their loved one(s) weather criticism from outsiders about how they provide care? Read more →