Do You Struggle With Anxiety As A Caregiver?
Caregivers will experience anxiety. It simply goes with the territory. How to cope with that anxiety is the true challenge because if we don’t cope well we, too, may become ill. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) recognizes this in the article Physical and Mental Health Effects of Family Caregiving, which concludes that “caregiving is a major public health issue.” Knowing how caregiving can affect your long-term health should help you understand that your anxiety isn’t something to take lightly. Read the full article on HealthCentral about how caregivers with common anxiety can learn to co...
Source: Minding Our Elders - May 24, 2019 Category: Geriatrics Authors: Carol Bradley Bursack Source Type: blogs

Author Inspired To Help Other Caregivers In Need By Establishing Foundation
When people think about caregiving spouses, they often think of older adults. We only have to look at a young mother diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (MS), a young husband diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), or in this case, a woman who’s healthy husband had a sudden, massive stroke, to know differently. Care partners come in all ages. Kathi Koll, author of “Kick-Ass Kinda Girl: A Memoir of Life, Love, and Caregiving” knows the drill. Read the full article on HealthCentral about Kathi Koll and her foundation that helps caregivers: Carol Bradley Bursack is the Candid Caregiver Me...
Source: Minding Our Elders - May 23, 2019 Category: Geriatrics Authors: Carol Bradley Bursack Source Type: blogs

How to respond when someone with Alzheimer ’s repeats 'I Want To Go Home'
Dear Candid Caregiver: 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... Read the full article on HealthCentral about handing the sadly common plea of, "I ...
Source: Minding Our Elders - May 22, 2019 Category: Geriatrics Authors: Carol Bradley Bursack Source Type: blogs

The Spectrum of Alzheimer's: An Interview With Gayatri Devi, M.D.
...Developing dementia doesn’t take away your individuality or humanity any more than developing cancer or diabetes. Therefore, rather than concentrate only on drugs, we need to help caregivers – and yes professionals – better understand how to help people living with dementia cope with the negative aspects of their illness so that they can live the best life that they can. Read more about the spectrum of Alzheimer's disease (and hope) on HealthCentral: Carol Bradley Bursack is the Candid Caregiver MedicareFAQ – Medicare Resource Center Support a caregiver or jump-start discussion in support groups ...
Source: Minding Our Elders - May 21, 2019 Category: Geriatrics Authors: Carol Bradley Bursack Source Type: blogs

Services to Help Older Adults Stay Independent Longer
Older adults, even those who are healthy, have been enthusiastic about many of the services now offered that can make aging at home easier. For people with health issues or those who can no longer drive, these services may make the difference between aging at home and moving to a care facility. With some couples, one person may be the primary caregiver for the other, but often the caregiver has chronic health issues as well. With the help of these services, older adults can stay independent longer. View the slideshow on HealthCentral to learn about the many services available to help older adults stay in their ho...
Source: Minding Our Elders - May 20, 2019 Category: Geriatrics Authors: Carol Bradley Bursack Source Type: blogs

Caregiver Unsure How Much Sibling Help She Wants
Photo credit Niklas Hamann Dear Carol: My parents are nearly 90. I have three sisters who are scattered around the country and I'm much younger than they are so we aren't particularly close. I stayed in the community where I grew up so I’m with my parents nearly every day. That’s fine with me since I’m close to them, but that also leads to confusion about how to deal with my sisters who aren’t as close. I think that if I spoke up they would offer help in some way, but I don’t want them trying to direct what I do so I don't ask and they don’t offer. I expect our parents’ n...
Source: Minding Our Elders - May 19, 2019 Category: Geriatrics Authors: Carol Bradley Bursack Source Type: blogs

What To Avoid 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. Read more on HealthCentral for tips on what to avoid when you are caring for someone with dementia: Carol Bradley Bursack is the Cand...
Source: Minding Our Elders - May 18, 2019 Category: Geriatrics Authors: Carol Bradley Bursack Source Type: blogs

What Questions Do I 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 the slideshow on HealthCentral to find tips about what questions you should ask when looking for an in-home care agency: Carol Bradley Bursack is the Candid Caregiver Medicar...
Source: Minding Our Elders - May 17, 2019 Category: Geriatrics Authors: Carol Bradley Bursack Source Type: blogs

The Benefits of Validation Include Preserving Self-Esteem
Trying to argue with someone who has a brain that is not capable of logic or accurate memory is not only futile, it’s unintentionally cruel. Thus, the practice of validation. Validation is the practice of joining the other person's world. Validation is generally the most compassionate and effective form of communicating with – and providing care for – a person who has dementia. Read the full article on HealthCentral about how validating a person who lives with dementia is not only kind, it's the right thing to do: Carol Bradley Bursack is the Candid Caregiver MedicareFAQ – Medicare Resource Center S...
Source: Minding Our Elders - May 16, 2019 Category: Geriatrics Authors: Carol Bradley Bursack Source Type: blogs

What To Avoid When Visiting Someone Who Lives with Dementia
Whether you’re caring for someone with dementia or visiting them from time to time you’ll want to do your best to make them feel good.   No one will ever hit the right note every time but knowledge helps. With that in mind, here are a few pitfalls that you can avoid in order to help make your time with a friend or loved one who has dementia less stressful. View this full slideshow on HealthCentral for tips of what to avoid when visiting someone who lives with dementia: Carol Bradley Bursack is the Candid Caregiver MedicareFAQ – Medicare Resource Center Support a caregiver or jump-start discussio...
Source: Minding Our Elders - May 15, 2019 Category: Geriatrics Authors: Carol Bradley Bursack Source Type: blogs

Say It After Me: Alzheimer's Is Only One Type of Dementia
One of the most commonly asked questions about cognitive issues is “Is it Alzheimer’s or dementia?” The short answer is, Alzheimer’s is one type of dementia. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, “Dementia is a general term for loss of memory and other mental abilities severe enough to interfere with daily life. It is caused by physical changes in the brain.” View the full slideshow on HealthCentral.com for a review about Alzheimer's and other types of dementia: Carol Bradley Bursack is the Candid Caregiver MedicareFAQ – Medicare Resource Center Support a c...
Source: Minding Our Elders - May 14, 2019 Category: Geriatrics Authors: Carol Bradley Bursack Source Type: blogs

How To Take Advantage Of An Older Adults Medicare Supplement Enrollment Period
This article is part of an ongoing series of informative Medicare guest posts written by MedicareFAQ. - Carol Caregiving comes with a long list of responsibilities, whether it's caring for your aging parents or another elder, so determining how to maximize your efforts and time can be difficult at first.  One way to make it easier is to learn early on how to take advantage of a beneficiary's Medicare Supplement Enrollment Period. Doing so as soon as possible will save you time by making the Medigap application process even more simple.  You want to stay informed and have a clear understanding of health insur...
Source: Minding Our Elders - May 13, 2019 Category: Geriatrics Authors: Carol Bradley Bursack Source Type: blogs

Caregiving: Celebrate Mother's Day With Forgiveness
Photo credit Dylan  Noite Nearly any of us who are mothers have wanted to be a perfect example of motherhood. Yet, the reality is, since we are human, most of us perceive some failures in our own mothering. We do the best that we can and often overcome tough issues of our own. Yet we are rarely the saints who are often portrayed in literature and advertisements, especially during this special time when we celebrate mothers. We need to understand, love and forgive ourselves for our perceived imperfections as mothers.  Read more about now forgiving can enhance our own Mother's Day: MedicareFAQ – Medicare...
Source: Minding Our Elders - May 12, 2019 Category: Geriatrics Authors: Carol Bradley Bursack Source Type: blogs

Marking Mom ’s Mother’s Day Even When She Can’t Understand Or Remember
Photo credit Priscilla DuPreez Dear Carol: My mom is just 62 but she began showing symptoms of Alzheimer’s four years ago. She lives in a good nursing home and I visit nearly every day. What’s bothering me is Mother’s Day. I know that the nursing home will do a nice job of making the ladies’ tables look festive and celebrating in general. I’ll bring Mom flowers and a gift that I will help her unwrap, but it tears me apart that she doesn’t understand what it’s about and she won’t remember that I was there. I’m writing because a friend of mine is trying to convince me tha...
Source: Minding Our Elders - May 11, 2019 Category: Geriatrics Authors: Carol Bradley Bursack Source Type: blogs

After the Diagnosis: Living with a Positive Outlook Despite Dementia
The idea that some people can stay positive after receiving a dementia diagnosis seems surprising to many, yet when faced with adversity we have only two choices — make the best of what is in front of us, or live with negativity. No one is suggesting that living with a positive outlook after being given a diagnosis for any serious disease is easy, but negative thinking is risky for your overall health, while positive thinking has health benefits... Read the full article about how many people live with the idea that they will remain positive even after their dementia diagnosis: Carol Bradley Bursack is the C...
Source: Minding Our Elders - May 10, 2019 Category: Geriatrics Authors: Carol Bradley Bursack Source Type: blogs

Helping People Living with Dementia Maintain Self-Worth Through Validation
...I believe that all caregivers who practice any form of validation when caring for a person living with dementia aim for the same result. They want to help the person maintain their sense of self, and they want to lower the anxiety and stress that stems from the person living with dementia losing the ability to readily understand the world around them. Many professionals and caregivers would strip down the above definition to the fact that caregivers and clinicians should never argue with someone living with dementia.  Read the full article on HealthCentral about validation and how doing so can help people living wi...
Source: Minding Our Elders - May 9, 2019 Category: Geriatrics Authors: Carol Bradley Bursack Source Type: blogs

When Parents With Dementia Don't Realize They Need Help
Your once jolly dad now thinks that you’re stealing from him. Your once frugal mom is charging odd things that she finds on the Internet. You know that these types of personality changes can be signs of dementia, yet when you offer to help you are vehemently rebuffed. How do you convince your cognitively fragile parents to allow help? How hard do you push? There’s no easy answer but there are steps to consider. View the slideshow on HealthCentral for more on how to help parents who don't want help: Carol Bradley Bursack is the Candid Caregiver MedicareFAQ – Medicare Resource Center Support a car...
Source: Minding Our Elders - May 8, 2019 Category: Geriatrics Authors: Carol Bradley Bursack Source Type: blogs

Moving to Assisted Living? Helping an Elder Leave Behind Their Pet
Dear Candid Caregiver:...I’ve checked around, and while some local ALFs will let people bring their cats, none locally will allow them to keep a dog because dogs need to be let outside, among other excuses. I’d take Tippy, except my landlord won’t allow dogs either. We’ve found a local couple who said that they would take Tippy, but how do I handle this with Grandma? It’s hard enough for her to give up her home. Now it’s Tippy, too. — Dog Lover Read the full letter to The Candid Caregiver about leaving a pet behind when an elder moves to assisted living: Carol Bradley Bursack is th...
Source: Minding Our Elders - May 7, 2019 Category: Geriatrics Authors: Carol Bradley Bursack Source Type: blogs

Those Precious Moments of Clarity: When a Person Living With Dementia Surprises Us
Dear Candid Caregiver: My grandma has had mixed dementia, probably a combination of Alzheimer’s and vascular, for many years. She’s generally sweet and compliant, just wanting to stay comfortable in a world that she seems to have created for herself. The whole family tries to encourage her to tell stories, which she will sometimes do if she’s feeling up to it, but mostly she listens to the old-time music that we play for her or she naps. Grandma hasn’t recognized anyone in the family for a couple of years, but last week my mom and I had a shock. Read the full article on HealthCentral ...
Source: Minding Our Elders - May 7, 2019 Category: Geriatrics Authors: Carol Bradley Bursack Source Type: blogs

Parent Talk: Where Do They Want to Live Their Last Years?
...For many, it’s not as much the fear of the elders’ reactions to our words as it is an effort to preserve our own denial. If we don’t voice the fact that our parents are aging and may eventually need assistance, and then, yes, die — it won’t happen. This is a version of covering our eyes when we were small and saying “you can’t see me.” Read the full article on HealthCentral about family conversations and our parents' futures: MedicareFAQ – Medicare Resource Center Support a caregiver or jump-start discussion in support groups with real stories - for bulk orders ...
Source: Minding Our Elders - May 6, 2019 Category: Geriatrics Authors: Carol Bradley Bursack Source Type: blogs

On-Site Parent Care Management Great Help with Long-Distance Care
Dear Carol: My parents are in their 80s and beginning to have occasional problems with managing their medical appointments and medications. Since I live and work nearly 1000 miles away I can’t be with them enough to handle this. Thankfully, my parents have been realistic and proactive when it comes to legal work and bill paying. Still, the physical distance between us is a worry. They have a decent income and some savings so I’m considering hiring a care agency, but I feel disadvantaged by the distance since I can’t closely supervise the care.  Read the full question and answer on Inforum about one p...
Source: Minding Our Elders - May 5, 2019 Category: Geriatrics Authors: Carol Bradley Bursack Source Type: blogs

Convincing an Incontinent Elder to Wear Protection for Their Own Dignity
Photo credit Wenni Zhou  ...Wouldn't they feel more humiliated smelling of urine or feces, you ask? Logically, yes. However, I hear frequently from readers that their parents will not wear protection, or will only wear it when they go out of the house. Their home, their clothing - everything around them stinks. The adult children nag, rant and push their elder to wear protection. What's the big deal? No one will know. But the parent resists or refuses. Read the full article on HealthCentral about how to help convince your older adult that incontinent protection is for their dignity: Carol Bradley Bursack is the Candid...
Source: Minding Our Elders - May 4, 2019 Category: Geriatrics Authors: Carol Bradley Bursack Source Type: blogs

How to Overcome the Guilt After Placing Someone In a Care Facility
Photo credit Sander Weeteling ...Many homes have now moved forward into person-centered care, and reluctant caregivers often find their elders thrive, once they have adjusted. Still, it's hard. For many caregivers, placing an elder in a home spells failure on the part of the caregiver. Even when carers know they've done all they can, a subconscious nagging voice often tells them they are giving up on their parents or spouse. I'm here to tell you that you are not giving up. You are just getting help. Read the full article on HealthCentral about tips on how to overcome the guilt that caregivers can feel after placing someone...
Source: Minding Our Elders - May 3, 2019 Category: Geriatrics Authors: Carol Bradley Bursack Source Type: blogs

Has This Form Of Dementia Turned Your Spouse Into a Stranger?
Photo credit Claudia Soraya Although Alzheimer's disease is likely the most common and well-known dementia, the reality is that there are many other types of dementia. One lesser known but increasingly recognized dementia is frontotemporal. FTD generally presents itself as a baffling change in a loved one's personality. A recent New York Times story titled  The Vanishing Mind: When Illness Makes a Spouse a Stranger illustrates the stunning effect that FTD can have on a long-term marriage. Read the full article on HealthCentral about how FTD can turn your spouse into someone you don't even know: Carol Bradley Bursack ...
Source: Minding Our Elders - May 2, 2019 Category: Geriatrics Authors: Carol Bradley Bursack Source Type: blogs

Alzheimer's Progression and the Evolution of the Caregiver's Role
...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. Read the full article on HealthCentral to learn more about the evolution of the caregiver's role as Alzheimer's disease progresses:            &nb...
Source: Minding Our Elders - May 1, 2019 Category: Geriatrics Authors: Carol Bradley Bursack Source Type: blogs

LBD: Lewybody 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: ... Read the full article about Lewy Body dementia on HealthCentral for insight from caregivers: Carol...
Source: Minding Our Elders - April 30, 2019 Category: Geriatrics Authors: Carol Bradley Bursack Source Type: blogs

Caregiving Pain: Your Older Adult Living With Dementia Thinks That You Are Stealing
The first time it happens many caregivers find themselves choking back tears. They try a logical approach although they’ve long realized that logic is not effective when communicating with a person living with dementia. But to be accused of stealing your dad’s hearing aid? Your mom’s sweater? This is the parent for whom you gave up so much in order to provide care. Now they think you are stealing from them. How do you handle this all-too-common problem? Read the full article on HealthCentral about this common source of grief - Your loved on thinks that you are stealing: Carol Bradley Bursack is the Candid...
Source: Minding Our Elders - April 29, 2019 Category: Geriatrics Authors: Carol Bradley Bursack Source Type: blogs

Childhood Abuse Can Alter an Adult's Ability to Provide Parent Care
Photo credit Caleb George Dear Carol: My mom abused me during my childhood and I left home right after high school. I'm now nearly 40 and Mom, who is in her 60s, has developed Parkinson’s disease. She's beginning to need daily help and has asked me to move back home to take care of her. I don’t know if I can do this. I’m not married, don’t have children, and I can work from anywhere, so there’s no real reason not to move in and help her.  I’m still resentful, though, and I know that I’m vulnerable to her emotional manipulations. Is this something that I am morally beholde...
Source: Minding Our Elders - April 28, 2019 Category: Geriatrics Authors: Carol Bradley Bursack Source Type: blogs

Going Public with a Dementia Diagnosis Difficult Decision
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 others. Read th...
Source: Minding Our Elders - April 27, 2019 Category: Geriatrics Authors: Carol Bradley Bursack Source Type: blogs

Communicating with Someone Living with Dementia: Some Ideas
Photo credit Mathias Konrath Since communication is vital to quality of life, we who care for those with Alzheimer's or other diseases that make understanding language difficult need to learn unique methods of coping with the challenge. It's not easy. When your wife thinks you are her brother, when your dad thinks his best friend is robbing him, when your 75-year-old mom insists that her baby is in danger - it will be your challenge to try to find words or actions that will calm your loved one and redirect his or her thinking. Read the full article on HealthCentral for communication tips when you want to help someone livin...
Source: Minding Our Elders - April 26, 2019 Category: Geriatrics Authors: Carol Bradley Bursack Source Type: blogs

When People Can't Articulate Pain Body Language is a Crucial Clue
Photo credit Jeremy Wong A number of years back, my dad, who had developed dementia after a surgery to correct problems from a World War II brain injury, was seized by sudden, horrendous pain. While Dad had to cope with considerable pain from arthritis and some back issues, this was different. I knew his pain was acute and extreme by his body language and vocalizations, even though he couldn't articulate exactly what was wrong. Dad generally had the ability to communicate, though his dementia often skewed the information he was trying to share... Read the full article on HealthCentral about how body language can be key to ...
Source: Minding Our Elders - April 25, 2019 Category: Geriatrics Authors: Carol Bradley Bursack Source Type: blogs

Dealing With Embarrassment When Someone Living with Dementia Shows Public Disinhibiton
Dear Candid Caregiver: My dad enjoys going to the park and watching kids play. Since I try hard to give him the best life he can have considering that he has Alzheimer’s disease, I find this a positive experience. The problem is that there are times when Dad is glaringly inappropriate and I don’t know how to handle these moments. As an example, last week, he saw a child in the park dipping his toes in a pond. Dad began lecturing the child about not “falling in.” Of course, the child was confused and the mother seemed upset. I explained dad’s situation to the mom and she was kind, but I was emb...
Source: Minding Our Elders - April 24, 2019 Category: Geriatrics Authors: Carol Bradley Bursack Source Type: blogs

Caregiver Humor Provides Armor Against Unbearable Sorrow
Some situations, of course, leave no room for laughter. But some tough times can offer moments of levity if we choose to recognize them. My sister, Beth, and I experienced what, to some people, might be a rather macabre situation during the three days our mother was going through the death process. If we hadn't maintained our senses of humor, I'm not sure how we would have handled those sad, seemingly endless days. Read the full article on HealthCentral about how vital laughter is to caregivers: Carol Bradley Bursack is the Candid Caregiver MedicareFAQ – Medicare Resource Center Support a caregiver or jump-start disc...
Source: Minding Our Elders - April 23, 2019 Category: Geriatrics Authors: Carol Bradley Bursack Source Type: blogs

Dementia Caregivers Carry Soul Deep Grief
Photo credit Claudia When a beloved elder dies, we may have varying reactions, frequently changing moment by moment. Naturally, there's grief and the realization that we've seen the last of our loved one's physical presence. Often, however, if the death follows a long illness or significant pain, we can also feel a sense of relief that their suffering is over and we can get on with healing. It's often the in-between time - the caregiving years - that are the most difficult to label. Read the full article on HealthCentral about how the soul deep grief of dementia caregiving defies labels: Carol Bradley Bursack is the Candid...
Source: Minding Our Elders - April 22, 2019 Category: Geriatrics Authors: Carol Bradley Bursack Source Type: blogs

Mom Lives With Daughter but That Needs To Change
Photo credit Claudia Soraya Dear Carol: My mother developed vascular dementia, personality issues, and speech problems after a stroke three years ago. She lives with me, and because of her difficult personality, my daughter no longer wants to bring my grandchildren here to visit. I retired early to care for Mom but now I feel trapped. Nothing I do for her is right. I’ve suggested that she might have a better life if she moved to assisted living and, surprisingly, she isn’t resistant though I know she’ll complain about them, too, if she moves. My sisters live out of the area so they are limi...
Source: Minding Our Elders - April 21, 2019 Category: Geriatrics Authors: Carol Bradley Bursack Source Type: blogs

Helping Spousal Caregivers Through Hard Times: Some Tips
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 this sideshow on HealthCentral for tips on helping spousal caregivers through hard times: Carol Bradley Bursack is the Candid Caregiver MedicareFAQ – Medicare Resource Center Support a caregiver or jump-start discussion in support groups with real stories - for bulk ...
Source: Minding Our Elders - April 20, 2019 Category: Geriatrics Authors: Carol Bradley Bursack Source Type: blogs

The Stages of Alzheimer's and the Caregiver's Evolving Role
While 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 the slideshow on HealthCentral about how the caregiver's role can evolve as the stages of Alzheimer's advance: Carol Bra...
Source: Minding Our Elders - April 19, 2019 Category: Geriatrics Authors: Carol Bradley Bursack Source Type: blogs

Juggling The Needs Of Multiple Elders Reality for Many Caregivers
...No rest for the caregiver. I climbed back in the car and fought my way through the streets to Mom. It wasn’t another false alarm. Mom really had fallen, and as usually happens after a fall, I couldn’t get her up off the floor by myself. I had to call the EMTs — again. Thankfully, this time she wasn’t seriously hurt. Hours later, once I’d settled Mom in her bed, I forced my way back through the still unplowed streets toward home, hoping for a couple of hours of sleep before morning, when I had to take my uncle to his neurology appointment for a post-stroke checkup. Read the full article on H...
Source: Minding Our Elders - April 18, 2019 Category: Geriatrics Authors: Carol Bradley Bursack Source Type: blogs

What Questions Do You 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 the slideshow on HealthCentral to get an understanding of what questions to ask if you are looking at an in-home care agency? Carol Bradley Bursack is the Candid Caregiver Me...
Source: Minding Our Elders - April 17, 2019 Category: Geriatrics Authors: Carol Bradley Bursack Source Type: blogs

What To Consider Before Placing a Loved One in a Nursing Home
The people we love and care for often reach a point where we can no longer be sole care providers and we need to look at options. This is painful because up to this point we’ve likely been partners in their care but haven’t had to make forceful decisions. Now, things have changed. Because so many people have a negative view of nursing homes, the idea of going to a care facility terrifies many older people and being the person to make this decision can be agony. View the slideshow on HealthCentral for tips about what to consider before placing a loved one in a nursing home: Carol Bradley Bursack is the Cand...
Source: Minding Our Elders - April 16, 2019 Category: Geriatrics Authors: Carol Bradley Bursack Source Type: blogs

Veteran Caregiver for Multiple Elders Discusses Ups and Downs
It's been nearly a decade since I began sharing my personal caregiving stories with the public, first via the book "Minding Our Elders: Caregivers Share Their Personal Stories" and later through a newspaper column, on my own blog and then contributing to major websites such as HealthCentral.com. When I first started sharing my stories and looking for others who had similar tales to tell, people tended to be reticent about speaking up. Now, sharing caregiver "in the trenches" stories has become a major part of caregiver self-care and even survival. Read the full article on HealthCentral for insights on w...
Source: Minding Our Elders - April 15, 2019 Category: Geriatrics Authors: Carol Bradley Bursack Source Type: blogs

We Can Support Our Grieving Parent but We Can ’t Erase Their Pain
Photo credit Mosoianu Bogdan  Dear Carol: My dad, who had been Mom’s caregiver for years, died suddenly from a stroke. I can’t say that I’m surprised because he was under enormous stress trying to cope with first Mom’s illness from cancer treatments, and more recently her early stage Alzheimer’s diagnosis. Needless to say, we’re all heartbroken over Dad’s sudden death as well as up in the air about how to handle Mom. She seems to be in total denial, though some of her repeated questions may be due to occasional short-term memory loss. How do we help her with this shock an...
Source: Minding Our Elders - April 14, 2019 Category: Geriatrics Authors: Carol Bradley Bursack Source Type: blogs

The Top 5 Questions To Ask  Your Medicare Insurance Agent
This article is part of an ongoing series of informative Medicare guest posts written by MedicareFAQ. - Carol Knowing the top 5 questions to ask your Medicare insurance agent helps you gain more control in the conversation. This also gives you more confidence in your ability to trust a stranger on the phone.  Having a questionnaire ready before your meeting can also help you understand what to expect from the conversation as well as what to look for in an agent.  If you are new to Medicare, having policies change or drop coverage and seeing constant changes can be overwhelming. Trusting the person helping yo...
Source: Minding Our Elders - April 13, 2019 Category: Geriatrics Authors: Carol Bradley Bursack Source Type: blogs

The Stigma Of Dementia Persists
Photo credit Daisy O'Brian People stare. Most are not unkind, they are just curious. But when someone "different" from the norm becomes part of their environment, they often gawk without thinking about or understanding how this affects others. Anyone who has cared for a disabled child or has a visible disability of their own knows this. However, people who care for an elder with dementia may have more difficulty coping with the stares of the public because the person they are caring for was once their dignified father or charismatic mother. The pain of seeing others stare, not knowing how this person was robbed o...
Source: Minding Our Elders - April 12, 2019 Category: Geriatrics Authors: Carol Bradley Bursack Source Type: blogs

What's in a Name? When Dementia Erases Your Identity From Their Memory
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 on-set 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... Read the article on HealthCentral to learn about how other caregivers deal with the pain of a parent or spouse not remembering their name: Carol Bradley Bursack is the Candid Caregiver M...
Source: Minding Our Elders - April 11, 2019 Category: Geriatrics Authors: Carol Bradley Bursack Source Type: blogs

Caregiving: It Can Take a Toll on Your Marriage
Dear Candid Caregiver: My husband and I have been married for 25 years and have raised two children. Just as we were thinking that we’d be able to travel because the kids are old enough to be on their own, my in-laws started having one health problem after another. I know that this isn’t my husband’s fault, and I also understand that if it were my parents I’d be scrambling with trying to help them out. However, I do think that my husband should pressure his siblings to do more. Yes, his siblings live out of town and we live in the same community, but his siblings... Read the whole article on He...
Source: Minding Our Elders - April 10, 2019 Category: Geriatrics Authors: Carol Bradley Bursack Source Type: blogs

The Toll That Caregiving Can Take a Toll on Your Marriage Is Real
Dear Candid Caregiver: My husband and I have been married 2 for5 years and have raised two children. Just as we were thinking that we’d be able to travel because the kids are old enough to be on their own, my in-laws started having one health problem after another. I know that this isn’t my husband’s fault, and I also understand that if it were my parents I’d be scrambling with trying to help them out. However, I do think that my husband should pressure his siblings to do more... Read the full article on HealthCentral to learn more about the toll that caregiving can take on your marriage and ga...
Source: Minding Our Elders - April 9, 2019 Category: Geriatrics Authors: Carol Bradley Bursack Source Type: blogs

The 10 Most Important Things People 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 to learn more about what people living with dementia wish their c...
Source: Minding Our Elders - April 8, 2019 Category: Geriatrics Authors: Carol Bradley Bursack Source Type: blogs

Transitioning Care from Home to Memory Care Takes Thoughtful Organization
Photo credit Damir Bosnjak Dear Carol: My 93-year-old mother lives alone with significant help from my youngest sister and me but her worsening cognitive ability is dictating changes. We found an assisted living facility (ALF) with memory care near our brother’s home, which is one county over, yet it’s still near enough for us all to visit often. What we need to know is how to transition Mom’s care both for her practical services as well as her emotional health. Mom is on board with the move since she will be near her oldest child, but she often forgets what’s she’s been told so we expect...
Source: Minding Our Elders - April 7, 2019 Category: Geriatrics Authors: Carol Bradley Bursack Source Type: blogs

Caregivers Share Their Experiences and Insights To Help Other Caregivers
Long-term caregiving can be isolating and lonely, which is why peer support is so vital to a caregiver’s mental, emotional, and physical health. More than a decade ago, I searched for other caregivers with whom I could share my journey and discovered that connecting was difficult. This experience led me to write “Minding Our Elders: Caregivers Share Their Personal Stories." Thankfully, during this past decade, because of technology along with other awareness efforts, caregiver support has exploded with resources and professional help.  Read the full article on HealthCentral about how caregivers h...
Source: Minding Our Elders - April 6, 2019 Category: Geriatrics Authors: Carol Bradley Bursack Source Type: blogs