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When One Parent Dies the Other Often Needs a Caregiver
Long-term marriages generally evolve into a support system so efficient that even adult children hardly notice changes in their parents. If Dad's hearing is poor, Mom becomes his ears. If Mom's arthritis is bad, Dad becomes her muscle. If one of them has memory loss, the other fills in the gaps so smoothly that it's barely noticeable to onlookers. Then, either Mom or Dad dies. The person remaining suddenly is more frail and needy than anyone would have expected. The surviving spouse is suffering the loss of their life partner, a shock from which they may never completely recover. Also, the person who filled in the gap...
Source: Minding Our Elders - November 18, 2017 Category: Geriatrics Authors: Carol Bradley Bursack Source Type: blogs

Communicating with Elders Who Cannot Speak
Many elders who have suffered strokes or have dementia are not capable verbal communication. If they are confined to a nursing home, often people are reluctant to visit, as the visitor doesn't know what to say or do. People stay away out of fear. Here are some tips to communicate with those who can't speak. There are ways to communicate with an elder who can't speak. If you are visiting someone who you don't know intimately, it's good to ask family members or those who care for the person what that person likes. Read full article on Eldercarelink about communicating with loved ones who cannot speak: Support a caregiver or...
Source: Minding Our Elders - November 17, 2017 Category: Geriatrics Authors: Carol Bradley Bursack Source Type: blogs

How Dancing Changed the Trajectory of One Woman ’s Alzheimer’s Disease
By some measures, Alzheimer’s disease has become the most feared diagnosis one can hear ― even more so than cancer. Additionally, most people think of Alzheimer’s as an “old people’s” disease. Taking these two thoughts together, Hazel Minnick has defied assumptions. She has shown that one can live with Alzheimer’s disease even when it tries to steal meaning and memories in middle age. Diagnosed with Alzheimer’s at age 53, Hazel has been living with the disease for more than 18 years. Her early years were grim even as she fought to do everything she could to improve...
Source: Minding Our Elders - November 16, 2017 Category: Geriatrics Authors: Carol Bradley Bursack Source Type: blogs

In Honor of National Caregiver Appreciation Month: An eBook Sale Just for You
As The Author of Minding Our Elders: Caregivers Share Their Personal Stories, I'm honored to be chosen to be part AlzAuthors. This post is courtesy of AlzAuthors. Read through for some incredible deals on ebooks written by authors who've been where you are. MOE is among the books on sale. All are $2.99 or less. November is National Caregiver Appreciation Month, a time to recognize the long hours, sacrifice, and love all caregivers bring to the task of caring for a loved one with dementia or any long-term illness. In honor of their efforts, AlzAuthors is hosting an eBook sale and giveaway! This is a terrific way f...
Source: Minding Our Elders - November 15, 2017 Category: Geriatrics Authors: Carol Bradley Bursack Source Type: blogs

6 Potentially Reversible Conditions That Can Mimic Dementia
When dementia symptoms appear it’s natural to fear that the person affected has an incurable form of dementia. Rather than reacting with panic, however, it’s far better to try to remain calm and have a specialist make the determination. Many forms of dementia are incurable, of course, but other conditions can present symptoms that resemble those of dementia but are in fact reversible. View complete slideshow on HealthCentral about reversible conditions that can imitate Alzheimer's: Support a caregiver or jump-start discussion in support groups with real stories - for bulk orders of Minding Our Elders ...
Source: Minding Our Elders - November 15, 2017 Category: Geriatrics Authors: Carol Bradley Bursack Source Type: blogs

5 Ways for Caregivers to Weather Criticism from Outside Sources
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? View slideshow on HealthCentral about how caregivers can weather outside criticism: Support a caregiver or jump-start discussion in support groups with real stories - for bulk orders of Minding Our Elders e-mail Carol   Terrific Chris...
Source: Minding Our Elders - November 14, 2017 Category: Geriatrics Authors: Carol Bradley Bursack Source Type: blogs

Resolving Sibling Relationship Issues While Caring for Parents
Issues between brothers and sisters often seem to come to a head when a parent begins requiring care. While siblings who have always had a healthy relationship generally find ways to work through their disagreements, many who never truly got along can find themselves frustrated, hurt and even completely estranged from one another in the end. In either scenario, objective, professional advice can be helpful for those families who are experiencing conflict at a time when everyone should be cooperating. Read full article on Agingcare about how sibling issues can hamper parent care: Purchase Minding Our Elders: Careg...
Source: Minding Our Elders - November 13, 2017 Category: Geriatrics Authors: Carol Bradley Bursack Source Type: blogs

Touchy Sibling Communication About Alzheimer ’s May Benefit from Professional Input
Dear Carol: My mom is in the middle stage of Alzheimer’s so she needs gentle reminders to accomplish things, as well as compassion when her view of reality is off track. I’ve learned a lot from the Alzheimer’s Association, as well as from reading your work and that of others, about how we should interact with people like Mom. She lives in a nursing home and the staff is excellent with her, so I learn from them, too. When my siblings visit, they boss mom around and contradict her all the time, yet they won’t listen to me when I try to explain how to interact with her. It’s depressing for m...
Source: Minding Our Elders - November 12, 2017 Category: Geriatrics Authors: Carol Bradley Bursack Source Type: blogs

A Day to Honor All Veterans Past and Present
On this day I think of all veterans who've served our country, but, of course, I feel the closest to my loved ones: My dad (U.S. Army); my two uncles (one in the U.S. Army Air Corps which became the U.S. Airforce, one in the U.S. Army - he survived being a WWII POW); my brother (U.S. Army); my nephew (U.S. Army); and my partner and love (U.S. Navy). While these veterans' political views cover a wide spectrum, they are all patriots who served with honor and pride. Thank you to all veterans, and extra love to my personal heroes on this day - your day.  Photo credit: Michelle Malkin       &...
Source: Minding Our Elders - November 11, 2017 Category: Geriatrics Authors: Carol Bradley Bursack Source Type: blogs

Questions to Ask an In-Home Care Agency
Choosing an individual or a company to come into our home, or that of a vulnerable loved one, to provide assistance with anything from cleaning to personal services is never easy. We are giving an unknown person access to not only our property but to the safety of our loved one who may need care while we are not able to supervise. Choosing the right person or company should be done methodically, and education can help you ask the right questions. View full slideshow on HealthCentral about tips on choosing an in-home care agency: “I hold onto your book as a life preserver and am reading it slowly on purpose...I don't ...
Source: Minding Our Elders - November 10, 2017 Category: Geriatrics Authors: Carol Bradley Bursack Source Type: blogs

Lewy Body Dementia: Caregivers Share Their Personal Experiences
...As with most types of dementia, family members are the primary caregivers by default, at least at the beginning of the disease. They are usually the people who notice that something is not right with their spouse or parent. Again, like Alzheimer’s and most other types of dementia, care needs escalate with time. This ongoing care can be physically arduous and emotionally demanding. Jeanne Gibbs, whose husband had LBD, illustrates her husband’s state of mind with the scenario below, which she handled like a pro: Sometimes (but certainly not always!) the cause confusion in dementia can be determined and de...
Source: Minding Our Elders - November 9, 2017 Category: Geriatrics Authors: Carol Bradley Bursack Source Type: blogs

Tips to Reduce Loneliness in Elders around the Holidays
It'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 ...
Source: Minding Our Elders - November 8, 2017 Category: Geriatrics Authors: Carol Bradley Bursack Source Type: blogs

Age Doesn't Have to Destroy Your Memory: Tips from a Memory Expert
Myths about brain health are as rampant as they are for any feared disease. Neuropsychologist Dr. Michelle Braun is a memory expert who actively fights against these myths. In the process, she helps people learn how to reduce their risk for developing Alzheimer’s disease. Dr. Braun has worked for 10 years as a clinical neuropsychologist in departments of neurology, neurosurgery, and psychiatry in hospitals and academia. In 2008, she received the Practitioner of the Year Award from the Alzheimer’s Association in southeastern Wisconsin. Read full article on HealthCentral about how people can take s...
Source: Minding Our Elders - November 8, 2017 Category: Geriatrics Authors: Carol Bradley Bursack Source Type: blogs

Capgras Syndrome: Coping with a Loved One's Delusions
Capgras is a type of delusional misidentification syndrome (DMS) that may present due to any number of neurological diseases or psychiatric disorders. Although the exact prevalence of this disorder is unknown, a 1999 study estimates that it is present in between two and 30 percent of individuals with Alzheimer’s disease. This disorder can seriously complicate a dementia patient’s quality of life and their caregivers’ efforts, so it is crucial to spread awareness of this little-known condition. Read more on Agingcare about how delusions can be a part of Alzheimer's: Purchase Minding Our Elders: Caregivers ...
Source: Minding Our Elders - November 7, 2017 Category: Geriatrics Authors: Carol Bradley Bursack Source Type: blogs

9 Tips to Manage Stress to Maintain Better Health
Increasingly, stress is considered a risk factor for dementia, particularly Alzheimer’s. Stress is also a risk factor for stroke and heart attack as well as a trigger for many diseases from arthritis to psoriasis. Obviously, limiting stress in our lives is a good idea. But how? Simply living what we call modern life seems to make stress the norm.  Zap perfectionism: Get rid of perfectionism. I know that I can be more stressed than I need to be simply because I think I have to do everything right now and do it perfectly. Likely you are similar. Perfectionism can lead us in an even more stressful cycle as we ...
Source: Minding Our Elders - November 6, 2017 Category: Geriatrics Authors: Carol Bradley Bursack Source Type: blogs

Hoarding Parents Can Leave Adult Children with Formidable Task
Dear 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 brot...
Source: Minding Our Elders - November 5, 2017 Category: Geriatrics Authors: Carol Bradley Bursack Source Type: blogs

You Are Not Giving Up When You Choose Hospice Care
Our 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 St...
Source: Minding Our Elders - November 4, 2017 Category: Geriatrics Authors: Carol Bradley Bursack Source Type: blogs

12 Tips to Help Spousal Care Partners
While 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. Support a caregiver or jump start discussion in support gro...
Source: Minding Our Elders - November 3, 2017 Category: Geriatrics Authors: Carol Bradley Bursack Source Type: blogs

National Caregiver's Month: Accepting the Label of Caregiver Can be a Process
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 st...
Source: Minding Our Elders - November 2, 2017 Category: Geriatrics Authors: Carol Bradley Bursack Source Type: blogs

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.                    Related StoriesChanging Caregivers Can Be Traumatic for ElderVirtual Dementia Sensitivity Training Program Receives PatentMemory Box Valuable Tool for People with Alzheimer's  (Source: Minding Our Elders)
Source: Minding Our Elders - November 1, 2017 Category: Geriatrics Authors: Carol Bradley Bursack Source Type: blogs

Memory Box Valuable Tool for People with Alzheimer's
People 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 vie...
Source: Minding Our Elders - October 31, 2017 Category: Geriatrics Authors: Carol Bradley Bursack Source Type: blogs

Alzheimer's Apathy Preventable with Stimulation
Lack 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 ov...
Source: Minding Our Elders - October 30, 2017 Category: Geriatrics Authors: Carol Bradley Bursack Source Type: blogs

Changing Caregivers Can Be Traumatic for Elder
Dear 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 changin...
Source: Minding Our Elders - October 29, 2017 Category: Geriatrics Authors: Carol Bradley Bursack Source Type: blogs

Evidence Confirms Chronic Stress Increases Alzheimer's Risk
 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 car...
Source: Minding Our Elders - October 28, 2017 Category: Geriatrics Authors: Carol Bradley Bursack Source Type: blogs

More Evidence Shows Chronic Stress Increases Alzheimer's Risk
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.   Read full article on HealthCentral about how stress can increase risk (not cause) Alzheimers: 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: Related articles The Stages of Alzh...
Source: Minding Our Elders - October 28, 2017 Category: Geriatrics Authors: Carol Bradley Bursack Source Type: blogs

Be Prepared and End-Of-Life Conversations Needn't Be Horrible
Sex 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 m...
Source: Minding Our Elders - October 27, 2017 Category: Geriatrics Authors: Carol Bradley Bursack Source Type: blogs

Where Is the Line Between Caregiver Stress and Burnout?
Every person who becomes a caregiver will have unique personality traits, yet we nearly always share certain feelings and experiences as we travel a road similar to one another. That’s one reason that caregivers often turn to other caregivers for support. It’s a version of the adage that we need to walk in another’s shoes in order to truly understand what they feel. One of those shared experiences is a certain amount of stress. Some personalities cope with the ever-changing, nearly always challenging, business of caring for another adult with health issues better than others. A positive attitude and a fle...
Source: Minding Our Elders - October 26, 2017 Category: Geriatrics Authors: Carol Bradley Bursack Source Type: blogs

Virtual Dementia Sensitivity Training Program Receives Patent
We can’t truly understand what others go through unless we have been in their shoes. Fortunately for caregivers, the inventive Virtual Dementia Tour Program comes as close as anything can to helping caregivers - whether medical people, social workers or family members - understand what their patients or loved ones with Alzheimer’s and other types of dementia are experiencing. Read full article on HealthCentral about how virtual dementia training or a dementia boot camp can help you be a better caregiver: Support a caregiver or jump start discussion in support groups with real stories - for bulk orders of M...
Source: Minding Our Elders - October 26, 2017 Category: Geriatrics Authors: Carol Bradley Bursack Source Type: blogs

If Someone Is Going To Be In Hospice At Home, Will Hospice Give The Oral Morphine To Anyone To Administer?
Originally asked by HealthCentral Community Member Z…T. If Someone Is Going To Be In Hospice At Home, Will Hospice Give The Oral Morphine To Anyone To Administer? Does Hospice Ask A Person Who Volunteers To Be A Caregiver If He Has A Criminal/drug Past? If hospice is supposed to be an advocate for the patient first, shouldn’t hospice vet the caregiver before giving him/her morphine to give to the patient? If hospice has no responsibility in making sure the volunteer caregiver is someone who won’t abuse the position, how can an elderly, frail patient be protected? I guess I need to know - if hospice doesn...
Source: Minding Our Elders - October 25, 2017 Category: Geriatrics Authors: Carol Bradley Bursack Source Type: blogs

Elderly Mother Vehemently Denies Memory Loss: Refuses Referral For Memory Test
Originally asked by HealthCentral Community Member EastCoastAir I  am the eldest of four children. I am our nearly 85-year-old mother’s healthcare surrogate and have for decades, paid all her living expenses. In the last few years, her memory has steadily declined. Her personality has changed and she has been physically assaultive and verbally abusive to people in public as well as to all of us. She is intelligent and able to “present well” in front of her physician when she sees him for ten minutes. However, at her senior center, she has had to be subdued by the police, taken in an ambulance for &ld...
Source: Minding Our Elders - October 24, 2017 Category: Geriatrics Authors: Carol Bradley Bursack Source Type: blogs

Elderly Mother Vehemently Denies Memory Loss : Refuses Referral For Memory Test
Originally asked by HealthCentral Community Member EastCoastAir I  am the eldest of four children. I am our nearly 85-year-old mother’s healthcare surrogate and have for decades, paid all her living expenses. In the last few years, her memory has steadily declined. Her personality has changed and she has been physically assaultive and verbally abusive to people in public as well as to all of us. She is intelligent and able to “present well” in front of her physician when she sees him for ten minutes. However, at her senior center, she has had to be subdued by the police, taken in an ambulance for &ld...
Source: Minding Our Elders - October 24, 2017 Category: Geriatrics Authors: Carol Bradley Bursack Source Type: blogs

The Sneaky Grief that Accompanies Gradual Loss
Nearly everyone involved in caring for aging loved ones is experiencing grief. Often, however, we're not aware of this grief. We have a parent who used to be strong and capable begin to ask for a little assistance. No big deal, right? We're happy to help. But underneath, often unnoticed, there's a knot in our hearts. We're grieving the loss – the loss of function that made our parent need to ask for help. Weren't they the ones who helped us? Weren't they the ones in charge? Generally, these changes are subtle, the grief sneaky.  Read the full article on Agingcare about the grief we feel as we watch our love...
Source: Minding Our Elders - October 23, 2017 Category: Geriatrics Authors: Carol Bradley Bursack Source Type: blogs

Caregivers May Have to Work Hard to Recover Positive Memories
 Dear Carol: My husband and I were teenage sweethearts and married right out of college. While we experienced bumps along the road, I’d say our marriage of over 40 years was exceptional – or was until my husband developed Lewy body dementia. The dramatic personality change that this disease caused was devastating for us both. The worst part for him was that, at least in the beginning, he would realize that he had become verbally abusive and hated himself for it. For me, it was because this wonderful man that I married began to scream that me he never loved me and that I should go away. My husband died...
Source: Minding Our Elders - October 22, 2017 Category: Geriatrics Authors: Carol Bradley Bursack Source Type: blogs

When to Go Public with an Alzheimer's Diagnosis Is a Hard Call
Sadly, even after years of work to educate the public about any illness that affects the brain, a stigma remains. No matter that most, if not all, mental illnesses have a biological basis. No matter that people aren’t any more responsible for a brain illness than they are for other illnesses. The fact remains that whether the disease affects the brain occurs at a younger age in the form of depression or bipolar disease or an older age in the form of Alzheimer’s disease or another dementia, people with brain illnesses are often reluctant to acknowledge their illness for fear of being treated differently than oth...
Source: Minding Our Elders - October 21, 2017 Category: Geriatrics Authors: Carol Bradley Bursack Source Type: blogs

Outside Activities Essential to Caregiver Mental Health
Can caregivers get so drawn into the world of the care receiver that their mental health is at risk? I received a private email from a reader that made me think more deeply about this possibility. The reader said she’d been caring for her mother in her mother’s home for three years. The mother has middle stage Alzheimer’s and can be quite "creative" about reality. The caregiver told me that she does what experts often suggest and tries to join her mother in her mother’s dementia world.  She loves her mother and doesn’t mind that she spends most of her time caring for h...
Source: Minding Our Elders - October 20, 2017 Category: Geriatrics Authors: Carol Bradley Bursack Source Type: blogs

Life Experience May Offset Cognitive Decline Due to Aging
Could life experience make up for some of the effects of age on the brain? According to researchers from the School of Business Administration at the University of California, Riverside, it can and does. The research group measured a person’s decision-making ability over their entire lifespan. Using two different types of intelligence - fluid and crystallized - they found that experience and acquired knowledge from a lifetime of decision-making often offset the declining ability to learn new information. Fluid intelligence is the ability to learn and process new information. Crystallized intelligence is experience an...
Source: Minding Our Elders - October 19, 2017 Category: Geriatrics Authors: Carol Bradley Bursack Source Type: blogs

Virtual Dementia Sensitivity Training Makes Tremendous Difference to Both Care Partners
We can’t truly understand what others go through unless we have been in their shoes. Fortunately for caregivers, the inventive Virtual Dementia Tour Program comes as close as anything can to helping caregivers - whether medical people, social workers or family members - understand what their patients or loved ones with Alzheimer’s and other types of dementia are experiencing. P.K. Beville, founder and CEO of  Second Wind Dreams, has now received the U.S. Patent for his Virtual Dementia Tour program which has already been experienced by 500,000 people in 14 countries. Second Wind Dreams was formed in 1997. ...
Source: Minding Our Elders - October 18, 2017 Category: Geriatrics Authors: Carol Bradley Bursack Source Type: blogs

The Differences Between Palliative Care and Hospice Can be Confusing
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. View slideshow on HealthCentral about the differences between palliative care and hospice:  Purchase Minding Our Elders: Caregivers Share Their Personal Stories &nd...
Source: Minding Our Elders - October 17, 2017 Category: Geriatrics Authors: Carol Bradley Bursack Source Type: blogs

Caring for Aging Parents Who Didn't Care for You
 ...Now her parents are getting frail. Nancy had been through a lot of therapy so she could learn to cope with her childhood issues. She's come to terms with the fact that her father did what he thought he was supposed to do. She rightly felt, as a child, that he should recognize and stop the abuse her mother was doling out. Through therapy, she has learned to forgive her father for his lack of involvement and the fact that he didn't stop the abuse. She's learned that he likely didn't know about a lot of it. She's also learned that he probably was in denial about what he did suspect because he really didn't know ...
Source: Minding Our Elders - October 16, 2017 Category: Geriatrics Authors: Carol Bradley Bursack Source Type: blogs

Trauma After a Fall Can Create a Dangerous Domino Effect for Elders
Dear Carol: Four months ago, my mother fell and broke her hip. She was admitted to the hospital for surgery and then sent to a nursing home rehab. The care seems good but Mom has completely changed. Before the fall, she was mentally sharp for someone nearly 80. Her only issue was an occasional memory gap. Then, right after the emergency surgery, she began showing signs dementia. She’s only worsened in rehab. The facility doctor says that she has Alzheimer’s, but how could that happen so fast? I thought that Alzheimer’s took time to develop. How could she go from having almost no sign of Alzheimer&rsq...
Source: Minding Our Elders - October 15, 2017 Category: Geriatrics Authors: Carol Bradley Bursack Source Type: blogs

Rebuilding Your Life After Caregiving Ends
When my mother died in a local nursing home, my "career" of visiting this exceptional facility nearly every day for close to 15 years ended. Mom's death prompted a nurse to whom I'd become quite close, to say to me, "We'll still be seeing you up here. You won't be able to quit." She was wrong on that one. However, my case may be a little different from many others, as I'd spent nearly two decades caring for multiple elders.  Read full article on Agingcare about life after caregiving ends: Support a caregiver or jump start discussion in support groups with real stories - for bulk orde...
Source: Minding Our Elders - October 14, 2017 Category: Geriatrics Authors: Carol Bradley Bursack Source Type: blogs

What Long-term Caregiving May Be Doing to Your Health
Most of us don't regret our years of caregiving and likely wouldn't do much differently if we could change it, but there are consequences. A study by Ohio State University in conjunction with the National Institute on Aging has shown that adult children caring for their parents, as well as parents caring for chronically ill children, may have their lifespan shortened by four to eight years. Read the full article on HealthCentral about how, without intervention, long-term caregiving can shorten your life: Purchase Minding Our Elders: Caregivers Share Their Personal Stories – paperback or ebook “I ...
Source: Minding Our Elders - October 13, 2017 Category: Geriatrics Authors: Carol Bradley Bursack Source Type: blogs

Long-term Caregiving May Shorten Life Up To Eight Years
A study by Ohio State University in conjunction with the National Institute on Aging has shown that adult children caring for their parents, as well as parents caring for chronically ill children, may have their life span shortened by four to eight years. For this study, Ohio State University’s Ronald Glaser, head of OSU’s Institute for Behavioral Medicine Research, and Jan Kiecolt-Glaser, a professor of psychology and psychiatry at OSU, teamed with Nan-ping Weng and his research group from the National Institute on Aging. Read the full article on HealthCentral about how, without interv...
Source: Minding Our Elders - October 13, 2017 Category: Geriatrics Authors: Carol Bradley Bursack Source Type: blogs

Managing Chronic Disease and Chronic Pain as You Age
As they age, millions of Americans develop health conditions, including chronic pain. For an expert’s view on prevention and treatment, HealthCentral interviewed Kenneth Thorpe, Ph.D., via email. Dr Thorpe is the Robert W. Woodruff Professor of Health Policy at the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University. He is also the chairman of the Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease, an organization that has made several public-policy recommendations to address chronic disease, encouraging ways to improve patient access to care and invest in medical innovation. Read on to become part of the conversation. Read full a...
Source: Minding Our Elders - October 12, 2017 Category: Geriatrics Authors: Carol Bradley Bursack Source Type: blogs

Aging in Place or Assisted Living: It's About Choices
According to an AARP survey, the vast majority of boomers have stated that they want to stay in their current homes rather than move to another setting for their later years. This attitude has been the springboard for many aging in place advocates as well as businesses like contractors and high tech companies. It’s not hard to understand why 60-year-olds would say that they want to remain in their home for life rather than move to assisted living or a nursing home. These are generally people who are relatively healthy and feel that they can hire help for whatever they need down the road. Read the full article on...
Source: Minding Our Elders - October 11, 2017 Category: Geriatrics Authors: Carol Bradley Bursack Source Type: blogs

Care or Cure: Where Should Alzheimer's Funding Go?
When you hear the next plea for increased Alzheimer’s funding – and you’ll hear a lot of it during the upcoming Alzheimer’s Awareness months, both global and national – your first thought will likely be that the money should go into to find a cure. However, people who already have the disease, as well as those who care for them, may disagree. A recent survey showed that these people feel that more financial resources should be dedicated to helping them live life with some quality. Funding research is fine, but that will only help people years in the future. They need help now. Read the full ar...
Source: Minding Our Elders - October 10, 2017 Category: Geriatrics Authors: Carol Bradley Bursack Source Type: blogs

Ageism: How Negative Portrayals of Aging Affects All Senior Health
How are older people portrayed in movies and on TV? Are they consistently cranky and the target of jokes or are they realistic in their variations and strengths? Are stereotypical portrayals harmful to their health? Possibly so. New research from the University of Southern California Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism, in partnership with Humana, Inc. sheds light on both the expected conclusion that older people, if represented at all in film and on television, are often typecast negatively, but also on the unexpected fact that these portrayals seem to affect the overall health of our agin...
Source: Minding Our Elders - October 10, 2017 Category: Geriatrics Authors: Carol Bradley Bursack Source Type: blogs

Dementia Service Dogs an Idea That Should be Growing
Most of us are aware of service dogs, especially guide dogs for people with sight impairment, because we see them around our communities. These dogs are not pets. They are working animals and are allowed wherever the person they serve goes. Increasingly, other service dogs are being trained to help people with impaired hearing, people who have grand mal seizures and people with Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome. With more than five million people in the U.S. alone coping with the effects of Alzheimer’s, any attempt to help people with dementia have a better quality of life is welcome.  So why not have tra...
Source: Minding Our Elders - October 9, 2017 Category: Geriatrics Authors: Carol Bradley Bursack Source Type: blogs

Be Kind but Firm about Mother's Place in Family's Life
Dear Carol: My mom had a small stroke six months ago. She’s always had a controlling, manipulative personality that everyone gives into. After her stroke, she announced that she was moving in with us during rehab because she didn’t want to hire strangers to help her at home, so I let her. Now, she’s fully recovered. The doctor says that there is no cognitive damage, but she’s settled in. We need our home back. She’s always criticizing the kids and my husband is so stressed that he’s ready to walk out. We’ve kept Mom’s apartment and she could go back there now or she could mov...
Source: Minding Our Elders - October 8, 2017 Category: Geriatrics Authors: Carol Bradley Bursack Source Type: blogs

Delaying Alzheimer's Symptoms: Life-long Learning Helps a Significant Number of People
Nearly all of us know that if we don’t use our muscles as we age, we’ll lose muscle mass. The same theory seems to hold true when it comes to keeping our minds sharp. Computer games, word games, crossword puzzles, Sudoku and other challenging mental pursuits have been advised as methods of keeping the mind healthy as we age. Now, a recent study has shown that by pursuing life-long learning, even people who are genetically at risk for Alzheimer’s disease may be able to stave off symptoms for years. Read the full article on HealthCentral about how life-long learning can help many people delay Alzheimer's sy...
Source: Minding Our Elders - October 7, 2017 Category: Geriatrics Authors: Carol Bradley Bursack Source Type: blogs