What's in a Name? When Your Parent or Spouse Forgets Who You Are
Dear Candid Caregiver: My heart is breaking! My mom and I have always been close, even shopping together and having lunch quite regularly, so it was devastating when she was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s at age 53. Mom seems to have a particularly aggressive form of the disease, so just three years down the road she’s now judged to be in the late stage of her disease. Two years ago, I quit college to move back home and take care of her, which I was glad to do under the circumstances. Many changes have been challenging, of course, particularly six months ago when it became necessary... Continue reading ...
Source: Minding Our Elders - January 22, 2021 Category: Geriatrics Authors: Carol Bradley Bursack Source Type: blogs

Staying Positive While Caregiving
Dear Candid Caregiver: My dad is in the middle stages of Alzheimer’s disease. Meanwhile, my mom is recovering from cancer surgery, and the prognosis isn’t good. I’m trying my best to be a good caregiver for both of them and stay positive while doing it, but it’s hard. I recognize that we’re fortunate in that my parents are able to hire an agency that supplies a rotation of in-home caregivers. The other side of it is that I have a brother and a sister, both living hundreds of miles away from our parents and me, so they can’t help out much. They try to be sympathetic and apprecia...
Source: Minding Our Elders - January 21, 2021 Category: Geriatrics Authors: Carol Bradley Bursack Source Type: blogs

How to Respond when Someone with Dementia says "I Want to Go Home"
My dad is having around-the-clock home care, which was his choice early on when he was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease. He’s in the later stages now, but he keeps telling his caregivers, including me when I take a shift, that he wants to go home. I read an article that you wrote where you said that asking to go home didn't necessarily mean any particular home, but your comments were directed toward the idea of someone living in a nursing home. Since Dad is in the home where he lived for nearly 40 years, you'd think he'd feel some comfort from that. In fact, that's one reason we've continued to stretch th...
Source: Minding Our Elders - January 20, 2021 Category: Geriatrics Authors: Carol Bradley Bursack Source Type: blogs

Don't Make These Mistakes When Caregiving for Someone Living With Alzheimer's
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: Insisting that you are right: Insisting you are right because, well, you know better. You don’t have dementia. People living wi...
Source: Minding Our Elders - January 19, 2021 Category: Geriatrics Authors: Carol Bradley Bursack Source Type: blogs

Do You Have An Incontinence Story? Egosan Would Like to Hear It!
Photo credit Jamie Brown While conventional wisdom tells us that only babies and old people have to live with incontinence, it's far from the truth. Any number of medical challenges can make incontinence management an issue at any age. Sadly, though, a stigma remains that this is something to be ashamed about. The only way to get rid of that stigma is to make people aware that may younger people and younger/old people live with incontinence and live well. Read more on Egosancares Blog for more insight into how to work toward less shame and stigma around adult incontinence: Purchase Minding Our Elders: Caregivers Share Thei...
Source: Minding Our Elders - January 18, 2021 Category: Geriatrics Authors: Carol Bradley Bursack Source Type: blogs

Why Won ’t the Doctor Do More Tests on Older Parent?
Photo Credit Unsplash Dear Carol: My mom is 78 and she’s thrilled because her doctor told her that since she’s over 75, she’s done with taking colonoscopies and “a bunch of other tests.” I was alarmed, but she said that there’s not a lot of good to be gotten from the tests at her age, and there are risks in having them. Mom is healthy and I want to keep her that way. What if she develops colon cancer? Granted, she has no sign of any problem with her test last year, but the possibility still worries me. Is this policy just to save the health insurance companies money or is this ageis...
Source: Minding Our Elders - January 17, 2021 Category: Geriatrics Authors: Carol Bradley Bursack Source Type: blogs

Even with Many Underlying Causes Stigma Over Incontinence Persists
...Incontinence is no different. Even though large numbers of adults have some form of incontinence, there’s still an unfortunate stigma attached to the condition. This is mostly because we think of a lack of bladder and/or fecal control as a problem that ends after infancy. The thinking goes that once we have been “potty trained,” we’ll be in control of these bodily functions for life. If we slip Continue reading to learn more about why there is such a stigma concerning incontinence: Purchase Minding Our Elders: Caregivers Share Their Personal Stories – paperback or ebook  General careg...
Source: Minding Our Elders - January 16, 2021 Category: Geriatrics Authors: Carol Bradley Bursack Source Type: blogs

Even sith Many Underlying Causes Stigma Over Incontinence Persists
...Incontinence is no different. Even though large numbers of adults have some form of incontinence, there’s still an unfortunate stigma attached to the condition. This is mostly because we think of a lack of bladder and/or fecal control as a problem that ends after infancy. The thinking goes that once we have been “potty trained,” we’ll be in control of these bodily functions for life. If we slip Continue reading to learn more about why there is such a stigma concerning incontinence: Purchase Minding Our Elders: Caregivers Share Their Personal Stories – paperback or ebook  General careg...
Source: Minding Our Elders - January 16, 2021 Category: Geriatrics Authors: Carol Bradley Bursack Source Type: blogs

Incontinence Management Change Up Could Make Dad ’s Trip Possible
Dear Carol: ...Yet he is defiant when we try to explain that he cannot go on trips with friends because his friends cannot be expected to clean and maintain the system. Due to COVID-19, they have all been isolating, so now a car trip is planned that will take them to a cottage they like so that they can fish. How do we help him to understand it is no longer possible, not due to the virus, but because he could become infected without help with cleaning the device?  Continue reading on Egosancares blog for more insight into how people with incontinence and early dementia might still be able to go places with friends: Pu...
Source: Minding Our Elders - January 15, 2021 Category: Geriatrics Authors: Carol Bradley Bursack Source Type: blogs

Egosan's Wonderful Customer Service Reputation Is Well-Earned
Mark Wilson was a decades-long Alzheimer’s caregiver who inspired this article because of his testimonial about the quality of the products as well as the personal support that Egosan provides its customers.  Our communication began with his request to return for credit unused incontinence products after his mother died. After Wilson received a refund... Continue reading on Egosancares blog about Mark's experience with his mother who had Alzheimer's: Purchase Minding Our Elders: Caregivers Share Their Personal Stories – paperback or ebook  General caregiving or incontinence questions? We’re her...
Source: Minding Our Elders - January 14, 2021 Category: Geriatrics Authors: Carol Bradley Bursack Source Type: blogs

Did You Know that Your Bladder Medication May Be Worsening Your Memory?
...In fact, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) says there is evidence that some overactive bladder medications (OBMs) can cause issues that are similar to Alzheimer’s and may, in some cases, even contribute to triggering symptoms. Continue reading on the Egosancares blog for more about how medications should be considered with cognitive decline as well as incontinence: General caregiving or incontinence questions? We’re here to help with ASK CAROL. *She has an additional discount for you. Egosan wants to help you live your life fully: Try Sustainable Egosan premium underwear for discrete, dignified protect...
Source: Minding Our Elders - January 13, 2021 Category: Geriatrics Authors: Carol Bradley Bursack Source Type: blogs

Bladder Incontinence Has Many Causes So Management Can Vary
 ...Other common types of incontinence among adults include urge incontinence when you have a strong impulse to use the toilet but cannot get there in time; overflow incontinence, which involves urine leakage resulting from weak bladder muscle Continue reading on Egosancares blog to learn more about the types of incontinence and how they can be managed:  Purchase Minding Our Elders: Caregivers Share Their Personal Stories – paperback or ebook  General caregiving or incontinence questions? We’re here to help with ASK CAROL. Egosan wants to help you live your life fully: Try Egosan premium underw...
Source: Minding Our Elders - January 12, 2021 Category: Geriatrics Authors: Carol Bradley Bursack Source Type: blogs

What People Living With Dementia Wish Their Caregivers Knew
People living with dementia are the only ones who really understand what it’s like to live with their form of the disease, whether it’s Alzheimer’s or another type such as frontotemporal (FTD) or Lewy body (LBD). Sadly, the ability to communicate becomes compromised by dementia. That being said, care partners can, if we take time to search out the meaning behind their words or actions, continue to improve the care provided. Here are some tips that can help you. View the complete slideshow on HealthCentral for insight into this important topic. People who live with dement...
Source: Minding Our Elders - January 11, 2021 Category: Geriatrics Authors: Carol Bradley Bursack Source Type: blogs

Should We Keep Telling Dad that He Has Alzheimer's?
Photo credit Tessa Rampersad Dear Carol: My dad, 79, was getting confused about normal things around his house, so when COVID began in March, we convinced him to move in with us. We gave him a bedroom/bathroom suite and it worked fine for a time, but his cognition is deteriorating badly. His doctor diagnosed him with Alzheimer’s, and he’s had some medications, but they haven’t helped. I’ve told Dad that with an Alzheimer’s diagnosis, he’ll need help with finances and that we should move his bank accounts online, but he says he doesn’t have Alzheimer’s and he doesn’t nee...
Source: Minding Our Elders - January 10, 2021 Category: Geriatrics Authors: Carol Bradley Bursack Source Type: blogs

What Could Cause An Older Adult's Personality to Change Overnight?
Dear Carol: My dad, 86, lives with me. He has an academic’s personality, so we’ve often talked about different issues that spanned all disciplines. He’s always been gentle and kind and rarely criticized anyone unless that criticism was warranted. Dad's had significant health issues these last few years, which is why, after Mom died, we decided to live together. Suddenly, I can’t do anything right. Uncharacteristically, he's started yelling at people who try to help him. What's going on? – Scared Continue reading on Egosancares blog for more about what can cause an overnight personality ch...
Source: Minding Our Elders - January 9, 2021 Category: Geriatrics Authors: Carol Bradley Bursack Source Type: blogs

Why Would an Older Adult Choose to Smell Rather Than Use Incontinence Products?
Dear Carol:...The problem is she leaks urine. She doesn't leak constantly, but she does smell most of the time even though she showers. I've told her that she should try some pads, but she refuses, saying that she doesn't need them. Why will she agree to use oxygen but then feel insulted about wearing an incontinence product?  Continue reading on Egosancares blog for more information and help when an older adult doesn't want to wear incontinence protection: Egosan wants to help you live your life fully: Try Egosan premium underwear for discrete, dignified protection. For 20% off your first order on Amazon use promo Co...
Source: Minding Our Elders - January 8, 2021 Category: Geriatrics Authors: Carol Bradley Bursack Source Type: blogs

How To Communicate with Your Older Parents Better
We often forget that our parents are adults who have lived long, and in most cases, responsible lives. They may have been poor parents, ordinary parents, or stellar parents, but the fact that we are trying to help them at this stage implies that they most likely did raise us. While occasionally you’ll meet an elder who willingly turns over all decisions to others, most will continue to want their autonomy. They want to make the decisions that rule their lives. So, when they need help, what do you do?  Continue reading on the Egosancares blog to learn more about how you really can communicate better with you...
Source: Minding Our Elders - January 7, 2021 Category: Geriatrics Authors: Carol Bradley Bursack Source Type: blogs

Failing New Year's Resolutions 101
Whether or not it's a conscious thought, many of us look at a new year as a time to make changes in our lives. We become energized for a few days. However, most of us are quickly caught up in routine. Whether or not we like the routine, it's familiar, and the status quo often provides the path of least resistance. Therefore, even if we're stuck in a life that's not satisfying, we stay with the familiar. Change seems too hard. This is a glaring truth that most caregivers recognize.  Continue reading on HealthCentral for more about how we can forgive ourselves if we "fail" our New Year's resolutions:  Car...
Source: Minding Our Elders - January 6, 2021 Category: Geriatrics Authors: Carol Bradley Bursack Source Type: blogs

Are You Confused About the Difference Between Palliative Care and Hospice Care? Here's Help
Dear Carol: My mom has advanced lung disease as well as late-stage Alzheimer’s. We know that there are no cures for her current conditions, but the doctors don’t seem to have any useful answers for me when I ask about how I can make her life better at this stage. She has an inhaler for her lungs, but they don’t seem willing to prescribe medications or advice other than keep her comfortable. Well, how do I go about that? Should she be on hospice? I’ve heard of something called palliative care, but I don’t understand it and no doctor has mentioned it. Can you help me? – Confused in th...
Source: Minding Our Elders - January 5, 2021 Category: Geriatrics Authors: Carol Bradley Bursack Source Type: blogs

When Incontinence Occurs At Age 22: How to Cope
...“It’s hard to talk to people about wearing diapers at a young age,” Matt said. “It happened to me when I was 22. I’m 38 now, and for 16 years I have had to hide it my condition. I’ve been called a freak, and ‘nasty’ because of it. I just want to let other young people know that they aren’t alone.” Continue reading on Egosancares blog to learn more about Matt and how incontinence became a way of life at age 22: Egosan wants to help you live your life fully: Try Egosan premium underwear for discrete, dignified protection. For 20% off your first order on Amazon us...
Source: Minding Our Elders - January 4, 2021 Category: Geriatrics Authors: Carol Bradley Bursack Source Type: blogs

Incontinent at Age 22, Matt Tells His Story to Help Others
What would it be like to suddenly become incontinent at age 22? That’s what happened to Matt. We met on Instagram where he messaged that he wanted to reach out to others about younger people and incontinence. “It’s hard to talk to people about wearing diapers at a young age,” Matt said. “It happened to me when I was 22. I’m 38 now, and for 16 years I have had to hide it my condition. I’ve been called a freak, and ‘nasty’ because of it. I just want to let other young people know that they aren’t alone.” Continue reading on Egosancares blog to learn more ...
Source: Minding Our Elders - January 4, 2021 Category: Geriatrics Authors: Carol Bradley Bursack Source Type: blogs

Update on Elder-Friendly Tech for Staying Connected During COVID
Image credit Notes to Brighten Dear Readers: As we know, COVID-19 infections are particularly threatening for older adults, a fact that has led to distressing choices for families as well as professionals. For that reason, keeping the virus out of care facilities is vital. The problem is that isolating older adults, particularly those living with cognitive challenges such as Alzheimer’s disease, can also lead to decline. This challenge has brought about an intense scramble to develop and market technology that can help families stay connected to their older loved ones. Since we are now in a (welcome) new year, it see...
Source: Minding Our Elders - January 3, 2021 Category: Geriatrics Authors: Carol Bradley Bursack Source Type: blogs

Tips to Help Caregivers Improve Their New Year
In the New Year, because your loved one’s situation hasn’t changed, you might think that nothing can improve your own situation. But if you are open to change, you may find that the symbolism of the New Year does offer opportunities to make your life better. Resolve to improve your life through better self-care. View this slideshow on HealthCentral for more insight into how your New Year of caregiving can be improved: Carol IS the Candid Caregiver Purchase Minding Our Elders: Caregivers Share Their Personal Stories – paperback or ebook  Egosan wants to help you live your life fully: Try Egosan premi...
Source: Minding Our Elders - January 2, 2021 Category: Geriatrics Authors: Carol Bradley Bursack Source Type: blogs

Resolutions: A New Year Calls for Reframing When It Comes To Caregiving
How long has it been since you’ve distanced yourself from caregiving long enough to decide what is good for you? When was the last time you had a guilt-free break from the needs of others? Have you sought out help recently so that you can take some time to recharge and rediscover yourself? If you haven’t been making yourself a priority over the last year, you’re not alone.  Continue reading on Agingcare for more insight into how reframing how we view caregiving can help make this year better: Purchase Minding Our Elders: Caregivers Share Their Personal Stories – paperback or ebook  Egosan...
Source: Minding Our Elders - January 1, 2021 Category: Geriatrics Authors: Carol Bradley Bursack Source Type: blogs

I'm With You: Never Have I Been So Happy to See The End of a Year
Dear Readers: This is short and sweet - well short anyway. I think most of you will join me in being thrilled to see the last of this year. Many of you have survived more than I have since I have been blessed to avoid losing a family member to COVID-19 and even my work -so far  - remained steady. While I live in an area that has routine blizzards, we have not had forest fires or hurricanes, so again I am blessed. We didn't even have a summer tornado here, though some nearby communities did. Still, I have family members and friends who have lived through exceptionally rough times - mostly due to COVID - and for me, wel...
Source: Minding Our Elders - December 31, 2020 Category: Geriatrics Authors: Carol Bradley Bursack Source Type: blogs

Anniversary of Loved One's Death Especially Hard During Holidays
Photo credit Tim Doerfler Dear Carol: This January marks one year since my mother died. My dad adored her, as we all did, but he’s having a harder time adjusting than we kids, which I suppose is to be expected. Mom had cancer but her treatments proved to be ineffective so she eventually went on hospice care. With hospice help, Mom was coherent during the holidays last year. We got through it though, and dad did admirably well, considering the circumstances. I think he kept up a front for Mom’s sake. Once she died, which was mid-month, he fell apart and had only marginally recovered before this year&rs...
Source: Minding Our Elders - December 30, 2020 Category: Geriatrics Authors: Carol Bradley Bursack Source Type: blogs

Can What You Eat Affect Your Incontinence Problem?
Situations such as dementia, heart ailments, and incontinence do not go away whether your loved one is in a care facility or at home with you. In fact now, as countless people have become home caregivers with little or no respite because of COVID-19, reliable caregiving information is even more vital than in the past. With this in mind, Aeroflow’s Healthcare Director of Urology Mica Phillips has agreed to provide answers for us about how diet can affect a person's urinary and fecal continence. Aeroflow Healthcare is a durable medical equipment provider.  Continue reading on Egosancares blog for more informa...
Source: Minding Our Elders - December 29, 2020 Category: Geriatrics Authors: Carol Bradley Bursack Source Type: blogs

6 Ways to Stop Stressing about Disease
Many people are genetically predisposed to developing certain diseases, among them diabetes, cancer, heart disease and Alzheimer’s. It’s natural to worry if you’ve watched family members endure the illnesses. However, the cortisol released in your body by chronic stress, which can be caused by worry, could increase your susceptibility. The fix? Be proactive. Limiting stress may not completely protect you from the disease that you dread, but it can help your overall health and, for some diseases, this could help you avoid a trigger. Where do you start? View this slideshow on HealthCentral to learn about ho...
Source: Minding Our Elders - December 28, 2020 Category: Geriatrics Authors: Carol Bradley Bursack Source Type: blogs

Start or Continue Life Support? Past Conversations Can Guide You
Photo credit Tom Pumford Dear Carol: My mom, age 81, died recently. What happened was that she’d had a stroke and was rushed to the hospital in time to save her. She was in tough shape, but physical therapy helped some, so we celebrated her success.  She told me, though, that she doubted that saving her life was what she’d have wanted, considering the results. She also said that no one can know what will happen, so she accepts this as part of life. After two weeks at home, she had another stroke and was again hospitalized. Doctors stabilized her, but a day later she had yet another stroke. Since by now she...
Source: Minding Our Elders - December 27, 2020 Category: Geriatrics Authors: Carol Bradley Bursack Source Type: blogs

Can Medications Trigger or Worsen Cognitive or Incontinence Problems?
Medications save lives and/or increase the quality of life for many people. Yet, there are few if any medications that have no side effects, many of which may negatively affect the brain or other organs of the body. In fact, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) says there is evidence that some overactive bladder medications (OBMs) can cause issues that are similar to Alzheimer’s and may, in some cases, even contribute to triggering symptoms.  “Our study indicates an association between taking oxybutynin, solifenacin, and tolterodine and the subsequent diagnosis of dementia in DM patients. More...
Source: Minding Our Elders - December 26, 2020 Category: Geriatrics Authors: Carol Bradley Bursack Source Type: blogs

It ’s Christmas Day: Are You Enjoying It?
Many people are celebrating Christmas Day, today, December 25th. Caregivers may find the word celebrating a little over the top but try not to be too dismissive. If you are caring for a parent or spouse who doesn’t recognize you for who you are, that doesn’t mean your efforts are unappreciated. Know that on some level, your love is understood. Celebrate that. If you have rushed around like a wild person trying to make a perfect holiday happen for your family, well, today you are done no matter where you are in the process. Celebrate that. To me – a rather obsessive person when it comes to doing everything...
Source: Minding Our Elders - December 25, 2020 Category: Geriatrics Authors: Carol Bradley Bursack Source Type: blogs

Christmas Is Here: Our Best Is Good Enough
Photo credit Odion Kutseav The decisions caregivers of elderly loved ones must make during the Christmas holidays are fraught with opportunities to make mistakes in judgment. Chief among them is how much to include a loved one who has dementia in the festivities. Will the Christmas tree bring Mom happy memories of past Christmas pleasures or will it remind her of the Christmas tree fire in her home when she was a five-year-old child? Will the gathering of loving relatives bring her a feeling of being loved and cared for or will she suffer from horrible anxiety because of all of these people who have become strangers? ...
Source: Minding Our Elders - December 24, 2020 Category: Geriatrics Authors: Carol Bradley Bursack Source Type: blogs

Christmas Visits Can Reveal Elders' Loneliness
Photo credit Alex Boyd Researchers in the United Kingdom have found that elderly people are more likely to be moved into a care home after spending time with their families over the Christmas holiday than at any other time. The reason? Families who live at a distance tend to spend a longer time with their elders during the holidays. After a few days together, adult children notice issues with their parents' physical or mental health that may not have been obvious during shorter visits or from telephone conversations. Some of these changes are thought to be due to chronic loneliness which can sometimes be alleviated th...
Source: Minding Our Elders - December 23, 2020 Category: Geriatrics Authors: Carol Bradley Bursack Source Type: blogs

Caregiving During the Holidays: Have a Realistic & Positive Approach
There’s an image of holiday perfection that our culture encourages. Starting with Thanksgiving, we are inundated with images of families happily enjoying each other’s company during a holiday meal. Most of us have memories from our childhood that feed this desire for Norman Rockwell-esque celebrations. Even those who didn’t have these picture-perfect experiences growing up often strive to create them with their own families.  However, few of us can measure up to the fantasy—caregivers least of all. The vast majority of advertisements, music, and blockbuster movies sugarcoat the holidays and shi...
Source: Minding Our Elders - December 22, 2020 Category: Geriatrics Authors: Carol Bradley Bursack Source Type: blogs

How You Can Help Minimize Grief for a Someone Who Forgets That Their Spouse Died
Photo credit Jeremy Wong Dementia and the loss of a spouse are sad and challenging enough on their own, but when they coincide, the result can be truly heartbreaking. For many adult children, deciding whether to inform a cognitively impaired parent that their spouse has died is a serious and often recurring struggle. For someone who has not experienced such a dilemma, this would appear to be a no-brainer. However, as with many dementia-related quandaries, the question and answer are far more complex for those facing this reality. There is no one-size-fits-all solution to this painful situation. In all my years of cari...
Source: Minding Our Elders - December 21, 2020 Category: Geriatrics Authors: Carol Bradley Bursack Source Type: blogs

Empty Chairs at Holiday Dinners More Prevalent During COVID
Photo credit Aaron Burden Dear Carol: Like many of us, even though my family is scattered around the country and, because of COVID we are limiting contact, I’m only having our immediate family for Christmas dinner. Not hosting the extended family is hard, but what makes it much worse is that Dad, who loved the holidays, died from COVID last July. Yes, we’ll miss the family that would normally have come, but missing Dad nearly paralyzes me. Part of me wants to set a place for him, but that’s morbid. I understand that you can’t make our pain go away, and I know that we aren’t alone with this dev...
Source: Minding Our Elders - December 20, 2020 Category: Geriatrics Authors: Carol Bradley Bursack Source Type: blogs

Tips to Help Spousal Caregivers Through Hard Times
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. View the full slideshow on HealthCentral to read more from spouses about how they cope when they see their spouse's health decline: Purchase Minding Our Elders: Caregivers Share Their Personal Stories – paperback or ebook  General caregiving or incontinence questions? We&...
Source: Minding Our Elders - December 19, 2020 Category: Geriatrics Authors: Carol Bradley Bursack Source Type: blogs

New to Caregiving: How Do I Keep from Going Under?
Dear Carol: My parents are in their 70s and had been mostly healthy. I don’t have to worry about financial and health legal documents because they are in place. What's hard is that my siblings are scattered so I'm “it” for local caregiving. I think that I’ve been in denial because my parents were independent and healthy for so long, but Dad had a stroke last month, and reality has hit. He’s back home and we’re thrilled about that, but his increased needs are taking a toll on Mom. Both of them are still independent-minded, but Dad is having trouble with mobility as well as incontinen...
Source: Minding Our Elders - December 18, 2020 Category: Geriatrics Authors: Carol Bradley Bursack Source Type: blogs

Coping when Both Parents Have Dementia
Photo credit Sven Mieke "My mom and dad both have dementia. I am all alone taking care of them since. I have no one to help me. I get sad and frustrated with them both. How do I deal with my feelings?" These are powerful words from one Caregiver Forum participant. It is a cry that is all too familiar for many family caregivers and one which will touch the hearts of most readers. Many of us feel alone when we are trying to care for our aging parents and there are no siblings to help, or our siblings won't help. When we have one parent who has this disease, it is hard. When we have two, it is often nearly unbe...
Source: Minding Our Elders - December 17, 2020 Category: Geriatrics Authors: Carol Bradley Bursack Source Type: blogs

The Spectrum of Alzheimer's: An Interview With Gayatri Devi, M.D.
For years, the push to do something about Alzheimer’s disease-focused almost entirely on drug development. Find a cure. Develop a vaccine to prevent the disease. Develop a drug to “manage” people who live with Alzheimer’s and other types of dementia. What many people weren’t noticing, however, was that in tandem with this effort was a quiet revolution doggedly moving forward.  Long championed by Dr. Bill Thomas of Changing Aging among others, the thinking behind this movement has always been to recognize that people living with Alzheimer’s and other dementia were...
Source: Minding Our Elders - December 16, 2020 Category: Geriatrics Authors: Carol Bradley Bursack Source Type: blogs

Is Your Aging Parent on Too Many Meds?
By the time Janet Johnson’s father reached his mid-80s, he was on so many medications their names are now impossible to recall. There were pills for managing his cholesterol, blood pressure, and asthma, says Johnson, an administrative assistant who lives near Minneapolis. Other drugs helped with his sleep problems and treated his type 2 diabetes. There were more, too, but who can remember? One thing was certain though: As the number of prescriptions increased, his health seemed to get worse. Continue reading on HealthCentral for more information about overmedicated older adults and what to do about it: Purchase Mindi...
Source: Minding Our Elders - December 15, 2020 Category: Geriatrics Authors: Carol Bradley Bursack Source Type: blogs

Transitioning Daily Care from Family to Facility
...Quite honestly, we may keep trying to do it alone far longer than we should. Because if we can’t, well what kind of a daughter or son are we? Love makes us keep trying to go it alone. Then guilt becomes our constant companion when we can no longer do so. View complete slideshow on HealthCentral for more insight into the emotional difficulties of transitioning elder care from family only to a facility: Purchase Minding Our Elders: Caregivers Share Their Personal Stories – paperback or ebook  General caregiving or incontinence questions? We’re here to help with ASK CAROL. Egosan wants to help you l...
Source: Minding Our Elders - December 14, 2020 Category: Geriatrics Authors: Carol Bradley Bursack Source Type: blogs

A Good Relationship with Parent Worth More Than Cleaning Differences
Dear Carol: My mother, 76, lives on her own in a condominium and is capable of continuing there for some time. I’m grateful, because the longer she can be independent the happier we’ll both be. My problem? It’s pretty minor considering what most people deal with, but I’m curious if there is something that I can do to help mom.  She and I have different ideas of house cleanliness. I can’t concentrate unless I know that my surroundings are clean and orderly while mom is, in my view, lax. She’s healthy, but she has really bad arthritic pain and this has kept her from doing the basic cl...
Source: Minding Our Elders - December 13, 2020 Category: Geriatrics Authors: Carol Bradley Bursack Source Type: blogs

Could Some Medications Trigger or Worsen Cognitive and/or Incontinence Problems?
Medications save lives and/or increase the quality of life for many people. Yet, there are few if any medications that have no side effects, many of which may negatively affect the brain or other organs of the body. In fact, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) says there is evidence that some overactive bladder medications (OBMs) can cause issues that are similar to Alzheimer’s and may, in some cases, even contribute to triggering symptoms.  “Our study indicates an association between taking oxybutynin, solifenacin, and tolterodine and the subsequent diagnosis of dementia... Continue reading to le...
Source: Minding Our Elders - December 12, 2020 Category: Geriatrics Authors: Carol Bradley Bursack Source Type: blogs

Could Mom's New Medication Be the Cause of Her Increased Falls?
Dear Carol: My mom had a lot of health problems in her life, so her prescription list is long. Yet, sure enough, after her last doctor visit, she got yet one more prescription. Now, just a week after starting this new medication, she’s fallen three times. She frequently fell before, so I don’t want to jump to conclusions, but this seems extreme. Could medications cause this? Is this okay that she has so many medications? – Worried About Mom’s Meds Dear Worried: One of the vital things that we do as caregivers is helping our older adult family members take necessary medications as prescribe...
Source: Minding Our Elders - December 11, 2020 Category: Geriatrics Authors: Carol Bradley Bursack Source Type: blogs

Incontinence Management Change Up Could Make Dad ’s Buddy Trip Possible
Dear Carol: My father is 72 and is in the moderate stages of dementia. Before his dementia diagnosis, he was an active hunter and fisherman. He also has incontinence issues due to prostate cancer, surgery, and treatment. This requires an external urinary attachment system to maintain an active daily life. My mother, as his primary caregiver, works diligently to keep the system and attachments clean and in working order. However, he is at the stage in his dementia journey where he is not able to maintain this attachment on his own. Yet he is defiant when we try to explain that he cannot go on trips with friends because...
Source: Minding Our Elders - December 10, 2020 Category: Geriatrics Authors: Carol Bradley Bursack Source Type: blogs

65-Year-Old Man Embarrassed Over Incontinence Due to Prostate Surgery
Dear Carol:  I’m a 65-year-old man who had prostate surgery for cancer that left me incontinent. While I’m certainly grateful that the surgery stopped my cancer, I’m really embarrassed by my incontinence. I hate even doing things with my buddies because I feel like a baby who hasn’t been toilet trained. How do I learn to be happy about my new post-cancer life? Classic cars are my thing and I want to join the guys at the car club while we restore them, but I just can’t make myself go away from the house. My wife says that I just have to get on with it, but how do I do that? – Cl...
Source: Minding Our Elders - December 9, 2020 Category: Geriatrics Authors: Carol Bradley Bursack Source Type: blogs

Urinary Incontinence Relatively Common with Aging Yet Stigma Persists
Social stigma. It’s a problem for people with nearly any condition that places them outside what is viewed as the norm, whether true or not. Incontinence is no different. Even though large numbers of adults have some form of incontinence, there’s still an unfortunate stigma attached to the condition. This is mostly because we think of a lack of bladder and/or fecal control as a problem that ends after infancy. The thinking goes that once we have been “potty trained,” we’ll be in control of these bodily functions for life. If we slip up, we are shamed. Fast forward a few decades. The reali...
Source: Minding Our Elders - December 8, 2020 Category: Geriatrics Authors: Carol Bradley Bursack Source Type: blogs

Some Risky Behavior Might Be Necessary for Your Elder ’s Mental Health
Dear Carol: My dad, 72, has been adventurous all his life and that spirit doesn’t seem to be dampened by aging or even some health problems. He’s always loved snow skiing though thankfully he settles for just cross-country skiing on our flat trails. He still wants to ride his bike in all seasons except winter, and that scares me to death.  He says this is healthy. Yes, but what if he falls doing these things? How do I convince him that he’s risking life and limb with the way he lives? His brain seems to be working fine so I’m limited in how much I can intervene, but I live in fear that he ...
Source: Minding Our Elders - December 7, 2020 Category: Geriatrics Authors: Carol Bradley Bursack Source Type: blogs

Closeness with Siblings Lost After Parents ’ Deaths
Photo credit BBH Dear Carol: Since we lost both of our parents early in the year, my family is beyond caregiving, but I’d still like your thoughts. Both of my siblings live several hundred miles away from me. Before parent care, we hadn’t been exceptionally connected, but during our parents’ illnesses, we became much closer. Now, that’s all fallen apart. My siblings are professionals who needed to set aside much of their work to help with the last months of our parents’ lives and I’m very grateful for that, but lately, it’s like our closeness has disappeared. I miss their regular u...
Source: Minding Our Elders - December 6, 2020 Category: Geriatrics Authors: Carol Bradley Bursack Source Type: blogs