Hoarding Parents Can Leave Adult Children with Formidable Task

Moving1Dear Carol: My mother has Parkinson’s disease but still lived alone in the family home until she took a bad fall. Now, she needs around the clock care so we’ve moved her to a nearby nursing home. The care is good, so that part is fine, but her home must be sold which means that I, the only adult child nearby, must clean it out. This is a large home with four bedrooms, all of which have somehow filled up with “stuff.” The basement is packed. The decisions about where to start are overwhelming. Sometimes I just want to dump everything, but this is the home where my parents lived and where my brother and I grew up and there are things of value buried beneath the junk. I know that I need to hire help but I also know that I must make many of the decisions myself. Where do I start? – DG

Read full article on Inforum about tackling the "cleaning out the house" project:

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

 


You Are Not Giving Up When You Choose Hospice Care

Hands9Our culture is steeped in language that makes accepting the terminal diagnosis of ourselves or a loved one more difficult to accept than it needs to be. Doctors say, “I’m sorry, there’s nothing more we can do. You might want to look into hospice care.” Patients tell their doctors that they want “aggressive treatment,” until there is nothing else that can be done, then they will go on hospice care.

Read the full article on HealthCentral about how hospice care can help caregivers and their elders re-focus on what is important:

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

The stories in this fine book showed us how others have gone through similar things with their families and that is somehow reassuring. There are some helpful suggestions but mostly there is the recognition that others went through the same thing. All we can do is our best. That is greatly reassuring during these difficult emotional times. If you are a caregiver, this is a must read. - Delores Edwards


12 Tips to Help Spousal Care Partners

Oldercouple6While family members who provide care for loved ones share many issues, there’s a different emotional dynamic between caregiver and care receiver when the care partners are spouses than when they are an adult child caring for a parent. Here, we offer some tips for spouses.

Personal space: Giving one another personal space is important to many marriages. This doesn’t change when one spouse has health issues that must be addressed by the well spouse.

View full slideshow on HealthCentral about maintaining a healthy relationship with spousal care partners.

I'm honored to be among over 50 presenters in this summit who want to help make your caregiving journey easier. Click the image to learn more:

caregiver smile summit

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


National Caregiver's Month: Accepting the Label of Caregiver Can be a Process

MindingOurElderswebsite50%Over the past several decades, I’ve been a care provider for many people. Most of my care receivers were elderly, including one neighbor, an aunt, an uncle, two in-laws and two parents. Each one needed varying amounts of care across different settings. Through it all, though, I’ve had a hard time accepting the label of caregiver. My experiences growing up in a multi-generational household may be one reason why I struggled with this concept. 

Read the full article on Agingcare about the need to grow into the label of caregiver:

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!


National Caregiver's Month: AARP Life Hacks Make Caregiving Easier

AARP has become a major player in the caregiving information field so, in honor of National Caregiver's Month, I'd like to share some of their Life Hack videos made especially for caregivers. View and enjoy! Then, take a breath and congratulate yourself on the great work that you are doing as a caregiver.  

 




Memory Box Valuable Tool for People with Alzheimer's

MemoryboxPeople with Alzheimer’s lose their short-term memory, progressively fading deeper and deeper into their cognitive past. While I’ve often written about the value of bringing old photos and other memorabilia along for visits to elderly loved ones, I don’t believe I’ve ever before suggested anything as self-contained as a memory box. Home Instead Senior Care, one of many excellent in-home care franchises, uses this idea as one of their tools to help elders enjoy memories of their past, or in the case of those with Alzheimer’s, help them have a more concrete connection to what at they may view as their current reality.

Read full article on HealthCentral about how a memory box can help people living with dementia:

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

Last chance to register!  Click the image to learn more:

caregiver smile summit


Alzheimer's Apathy Preventable with Stimulation

Depression2Lack of enjoyable, stimulating activity can lead to apathy for anyone but particularly those with Alzheimer’s disease. According to a 2013 report by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), apathy is one of the most common neurobehavioral symptoms in dementia. Strong, focused stimulation can help people with Alzheimer’s disease overcome apathy. People with mild dementia will decline more quickly into severe dementia if they also suffer from apathy, therefore engaging, stimulating activities are especially vital to this group.

Read the full article on HealthCentral about how to help be living with dementia overcome apathy:

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

Last day to register for the Caregiver Smile Summit! Keep the entire summit for yourself to watch when you can. Over 50 presenters with excellent information: 

caregiver smile summit


Changing Caregivers Can Be Traumatic for Elder

OutsideHelpDear Carol: My dad has been a widower for years. Because of a stroke history, he needs someone around, at least during the day, so we started in-home care with an agency. Unfortunately, that didn’t work out, but we got lucky and the sister of a neighbor was available for hire. She and dad became a real team. Now, this caregiver is having her own health problems and is moving out of town. Dad insists that he won’t have anyone else. He says that he'd rather be alone which isn’t an option. How do we get him to give another caregiver a chance? – AM

Read full column on Inforum about how changing caregivers can be handled:

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


Evidence Confirms Chronic Stress Increases Alzheimer's Risk

Stress A doctoral thesis by Sara K. Bengtsson, Department of Clinical Sciences, UmeÃ¥ University, Sweden, examines the reason why chronic stress can increase one’s risk for Alzheimer’s disease. Don't panic - it's not a done deal. However, learning to manage stress is important.

 

Read full article on HealthCentral about how stress can increase risk (not cause) Alzheimer's:

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

I'm honored to be among over 50 presenters in this summit who want to help make your caregiving journey easier. Click the image to learn more:

caregiver smile summit


Be Prepared and End-Of-Life Conversations Needn't Be Horrible

Family3Sex and death. It's odd that those two topics should bring so much anxiety to parents and children. But, there you have it. One – sex – is about the beginning of life. The other – death – is about the end. Both are a part of the lifecycle, but if anything, sex is easier for many to discuss than death. I've found in my experience that it isn't always the elders who shy away from end-of-life talks. Some do, of course, but many would like to discuss the arrangements they've made for finances, as well as their opinions about what measures they would want to be taken if they needed someone to make their decisions if they can't, however the adult children often find excuses to put off that particular "talk."

Read the full article on Agingcare about how end-of-life conversations need not be terrible experiences:

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!