Tips to Reduce Loneliness in Elders around the Holidays

Christmas17It's human to feel that holidays should be happy times, with generations of traditions coming to the forefront. After all, we say we celebrate holidays. Doesn't that mean happiness? The reality, however, is that many people can feel isolated and lonely during this sometimes forced "season of goodwill."  
Elders can have an especially hard time with the holiday season. While aging and maturity can bring the wisdom of years for many people, there are inevitable losses that come to even the most healthy individuals. Many of these losses are emotional and social in nature. Spouses become ill or die. Other aging relatives and friends become seriously ill or die. Neighborhoods change, often leaving even those well enough to remain in their own homes feeling friendless and isolated. The holidays can bring this isolation and a feeling of loneliness to a head.

Read the full article on Agingcare about what you can do to reduce loneliness in elders during the holidays:

Support a caregiver or jump-start discussion in support groups with real stories - for bulk orders of Minding Our Elders e-mail Carol   Terrific Christmas gift!


10 Tips to Beat the Holiday Blues When You're a Caregiver

Christmas-bauble-10056928When store employees wish us "Merry Christmas!" we smile back and return the greeting. When acquaintances wave and shout "Happy Holidays!" across a parking lot we wave back with good wishes. When we take part in our work holiday celebrations we put on our happy face. Yet many of us don't feel merry or happy during this time of celebration. Caregivers, especially, may be even less likely than others to be looking forward to all of the hoopla associated with the expected happy holidays. Some of us dread even thinking about it. How do we beat this feeling of holiday blues so that we can get through the next few weeks?

Read the full article on Agingcare about caregivers beating the holiday blues:

Support a caregiver or jump-start discussion in support groups with real stories - for bulk orders of Minding Our Elders e-mail Carol   Terrific Christmas gift!


Depression in Elders: Symptoms, Triggers and What to Do

Depressedwoman1Depression in the elderly is not unusual and can be brought on by any number of factors, ranging from physical issues or cognitive issues to life events. Spouses, adult children, and friends can take steps to help. These steps include:

View complete slideshow about depression triggers in our elders:

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Celebrating Christmas While Dealing With Dementia: How?

Christmas2Once dementia is part of the family, it will be part of the holidays. The person with dementia will have good days and bad days and will change as the disease progresses. One thing we can count on, though, is that a loved one with dementia will need special consideration. How does a caregiver realistically cope with the holidays?

View full slideshow about some tips about Christmas with dementia:

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Minding our Elders: Home from the memory unit for Christmas … will it work?

ChildVistingDEAR CAROL: My parents have been married for over 50 years. Mom has moderate to advanced dementia and moved to a memory care unit three months ago. Dad was her primary caregiver until he couldn’t handle her needs anymore so this is very hard on him. We’ll have the family Christmas gathering at my home and Dad thinks he should bring Mom here for dinner. As a family, we’re divided about what is best for Mom. If she came here she could enjoy our family traditions but would it just set back her adjustment to her new surroundings? What’s the best approach? – Nicole

Read full column on Inforum about bringing loved ones home from a memory unit for the holiday:

Support a caregiver or jump-start discussion in support groups with real stories - for bulk orders of Minding Our Elders e-mail Carol   Terrific Christmas gift!


How Important Is a Dementia Diagnosis In Those Who Are Very Old?

FatherDaughterDear Carol: Is a dementia diagnosis always needed? I can understand younger people needing to know what kind of dementia is present, but my dad, who is 89, has declined cognitively over the last five years. His doctor has him on some dementia drugs that are supposed to help. They don’t seem to do much but they don’t seem to be hurting either, so we decided that it’s worth whatever benefit he can get. The doctor says that dad is really doing okay for his age, and we both hate to put him through a lot of tests just because his memory is poor. He’s in assisted living and when he worsens he can go to their memory care. The facility is good and I see him several times a week. He seems content. Should I be doing more? KP

Read complete column on Inforum about how the very old may need less vigorous intervention:

Purchase Minding Our Elders: Caregivers Share Their Personal Stories – paperback or ebook

An amazing book of stories that will touch your heart and encourage you, especially if you are a caregiver. Carol  Bradley Bursack also has an excellent website devoted to the elderly and their caregivers. - Carol Heilman         *Great Christmas gift!


6 Tips to Have More Fun While Caregiving

GrandfatherGrandsonMany dementia caregivers feel as though they are treading water just to avoid sinking under the often exhausting pressures associated with dementia care. But consciously changing your attitude can, with practice, significantly change how your days, and those of your loved one, unfold. Here are some tips to get started.
 

Support a caregiver or jump-start discussion in support groups with real stories - for bulk orders of Minding Our Elders e-mail Carol   Terrific Christmas gift!


The Stages of Alzheimer's and the Caregiver's Role

Brain16While 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, as well as to plan for the future. Some divide AD into seven stages, some five stages, but currently three stages is the format most often used. The Alzheimer’s Association uses three stages, so that is what we will use for our foundation here.

View slideshow on HealthCentral about the stages of AD and how the caregiver needs to learn to respond:

Purchase Minding Our Elders: Caregivers Share Their Personal Stories – paperback or ebook

Minding Our Elders lets you know that you are not alone, that you are not going to be perfect, but you can get the job done, You do the best you can, and that is good enough. We can't be Carol, but we can learn from her going before us. What a friend to have. What a gift she gave us. – CM Jones


6 Tips to Help You Have More Fun While Caregiving

MotherSon3Many dementia caregivers feel as though they are treading water just to avoid sinking under the often exhausting pressures associated with dementia care. But consciously changing your attitude can, with practice, significantly change how your days, and those of your loved one, unfold. Here are some tips to get started.

View full slideshow on HealthCentral about having more fun with caregiving:

Support a caregiver or jump-start discussion in support groups with real stories - for bulk orders of Minding Our Elders e-mail Carol   Terrific Christmas gift!


What to Say, and What Not To Say, to People Who Are Grieving

Hands15It's difficult to know exactly what to say to someone suffering from grief since words or actions that comfort one person can feel like a slap in the face to another. Yet most of us want to offer comfort when a person whom we care about is grieving the imminent death of a loved one, or after such a death has occurred. Following are tips that may help you find the right words, or at least some passable words, as well as advice from caregivers and spouses who’ve been through tough times.

View full slideshow on HealthCentral about communicating with grieving friends and family:

Support a caregiver or jump-start discussion in support groups with real stories - for bulk orders of Minding Our Elders e-mail Carol   Terrific Christmas gift!