New rules for the protection of nursing home residents have been implemented as part of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Many of these rules provide answers to concerns that have troubled families with loved ones living in skilled nursing facilities (SNFs), generally called nursing homes. I emailed Medicare expert Ginalisa Monterroso for an update on these rules and what they mean for nursing home residents and their families. Read more →


The aging process brings with it any number of indignities.  One of those is incontinence. People without the problem may look at incontinence as an inconvenience and not a serious ailment, and for mild problems that may be true. However, incontinence can develop into a major issue when it contributes to depression and even isolation.  Read more →


According to the Alzheimer’s Association, in 2015 nearly 16 million family and other unpaid caregivers for people with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias provided an estimated 18.1 billion hours of unpaid care, a contribution to the nation valued at $221.3 billion. This is with caregiving being valued at only $12.25 per hour. Similar statistics are posted by the International Alliance of Carer Organizations, which tracks caregiving in countries around the world. Read more →


...Since I’m a dementia caregiver with my own history, I quite naturally wanted to understand the thoughts of other dementia caregivers on this issue, so I asked several of them for input. As one would expect, responses to my question varied, though not one of those who responded mentioned Valentine’s Day itself as being a trigger for showing love. Here is a sampling of caregiver responses: Read more →


You may go home from the nursing home where your spouse lives and cry from the loneliness that resides in your heart. Or, if your spouse is still home, you may continue throughout the day in the vein of celebration even though, realistically, you are celebrating alone. Still, think of the alternative. Read more →


When our elders are suffering from physical pain, mental stress, loneliness or the effects of ageism in our society, the result can be depression. Research done at Sweden’s Umeå University and reported on by Medical News Today finds that when group activities were introduced into the elders’ environments, depressive symptoms were often improved and the need for medication reduced or eliminated. Read more →


Dear Carol: My friend is struggling to convince her father, who lives across the country, that he needs help caring for his 86-year-old wife who’s disabled from a stroke. Her dad is somewhat younger than her mom, but he has his own health problems. She knows that he’s overwhelmed with caregiving but he won't hire anyone to help. My friend asked for my opinion and I’m stumped. She says that her dad has always been stubborn and she doesn’t know what to do about his situation because she is too far away to be hands-on. – JY Read more →


Increasingly, studies are showing that hearing loss is not simply an inconvenient part of the aging process. Hearing loss can have serious effects on the aging brain health. As with many health issues, early intervention may be able to prevent damage as well as ease frustration. Read more →


Specialized care is needed at different stages of dementia. Frequently, the only way to provide that kind of care is to move the person to either a memory unit or a family home, while supplementing care provided by family members with paid in-home caregivers. Read more →


...Insulin resistance, which is a hallmark of type 2 diabetes, was shown in tests to influence verbal fluency in women more than men. Verbal fluency is one of many skills tested when looking for symptoms of cognitive issues that often lead to Alzheimer’s disease. According to the study’s authors, it is common to test verbal fluency when evaluating different executive functions and semantic memory, as well. Read more →