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Dementia Death: Conflicting Emotions Are Normal for Caregivers After a Loved One Dies
“Carol!” The hospice nurse’s voice was quiet but urgent. I instinctively knew what was happening. She had been shifting Dad’s position so that he wouldn’t develop bed sores, but as she was laying him back on the bed, something changed in his respiration. This was it. His body was preparing for him to take his last breath.  I slid back in my spot beside Dad and took him in my arms. His head drifted to my shoulder and that last, gentle breath slipped by unnoticed by me. What I felt was the positive force of Dad’s spirit leaving his body. And then — joy! Read the full article on ...
Source: Minding Our Elders - January 23, 2018 Category: Geriatrics Authors: Carol Bradley Bursack Source Type: blogs

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 complete slideshow about differences in the types of dementia: http://www.inforum.com/lifestyle/health/4385854-hospice-care-covered-medicare-other-insurance Minding Our Elders lets you know that you are...
Source: Minding Our Elders - January 22, 2018 Category: Geriatrics Authors: Carol Bradley Bursack Source Type: blogs

Caregiver Health Must Be Weighed Against Elder's Desire To Remain In Home
Dear Carol: I’m struggling with trying to find answers on how I can help my elderly mother. I’m 67, I’m retired and I live an hour away from my 87-year-old mom who has heart failure. Mom still lives alone in her house and this is very important to her. As her condition has worsened, she’s required more help from my sister who lives just 10 minutes away. My sister runs all of mom’s errands, completes all of her chores, and checks in on her several times a day. On top of this, my sister still works full time and won’t be able to retire for a three more years. I visit mom a couple time...
Source: Minding Our Elders - January 21, 2018 Category: Geriatrics Authors: Carol Bradley Bursack Source Type: blogs

Preserving Brain Health: Memory Expert Separates Fact From Fiction
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 about how a memory expert sees us protecting our brains:&nb...
Source: Minding Our Elders - January 20, 2018 Category: Geriatrics Authors: Carol Bradley Bursack Source Type: blogs

An Elder's Loneliness Depends on Personality
Aging can bring unique joys, but for many it also brings the loss of physical and, for some, cognitive abilities that they feel once defined them. These losses can usually be absorbed if the elders stay connected to the greater community in some way and/or they enjoy engrossing hobbies. But many become isolated, either because they don’t feel like making the effort to stay connected or they lack the opportunity. Those who do become socially isolated will often succumb to disease or early death. View full slideshow on how elders vary in their need for activity and company: Purchase Minding Our Elders: Caregivers Share...
Source: Minding Our Elders - January 19, 2018 Category: Geriatrics Authors: Carol Bradley Bursack Source Type: blogs

How do You Break the News That a Loved One is Going on Hospice Care
Our culture has historically been devoted to cure illness at all costs, and death is often looked at as "failure," no matter the age or condition of the person being treated. Many other cultures readily accept death as part of the life cycle. I believe we, as a culture, are making progress in this direction, but death still tends to be a word people avoid. If it's up to you to inform a loved one that he or she would be more comfortable under hospice care – or that a person they love will be on hospice care – there are steps you can take to get you through this difficult transition. Read full article o...
Source: Minding Our Elders - January 18, 2018 Category: Geriatrics Authors: Carol Bradley Bursack Source Type: blogs

How Do You Define 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.   Read the full article ...
Source: Minding Our Elders - January 17, 2018 Category: Geriatrics Authors: Carol Bradley Bursack Source Type: blogs

Could Infection and Inflammation Be At the Root of Alzheimer's?
When it comes to Alzheimer’s disease, a number of researchers think that it’s time to reconsider the idea of infection as a root cause. Scientists are now pointing to studies that reveal the presence of a microbe as a possible trigger for the disease. The theory is that microbes "find their way into the brain via the bloodstream and lie dormant until triggered by aging, immune system decline or by different types of stress…once they are activated, the microbes then damage brain cells - either directly or via inflammation.” Read full article on HealthCentral about new ideas about what may ...
Source: Minding Our Elders - January 16, 2018 Category: Geriatrics Authors: Carol Bradley Bursack Source Type: blogs

Do You Need a Specialist for a Dementia Diagnosis?
For many adult children and spouses, it’s difficult to convince a parent or mate to stay current with the medical appointments needed for checkups and medication renewals. If specialists are required, that generally means more waiting, more testing, and more visits. All of these appointments are time-consuming and frequently frustrating, which all too often leads to delaying the appointments themselves. Then we have issues involving the brain. The stigma of any health problem connected to the brain may have improved over the years, but it has yet to disappear. The attitude that there is something parti...
Source: Minding Our Elders - January 15, 2018 Category: Geriatrics Authors: Carol Bradley Bursack Source Type: blogs

Hospice Care is covered by Medicare and Most Other Insurance
Dear Carol: My dad has aggressive prostate cancer that has spread to his liver and bones. His oncologist isn’t very communicative and when I asked about hospice care he said that’s up to us. He told us that Dad won’t get better but that he can keep treating him if we want. The treatments make Dad miserable. If they won’t help, what’s the point? I feel strongly that Dad needs hospice care and have been trying to talk my mom into it but she’s dragging her feet. How do we go about getting the service? Which one do we choose? Will Mom have to go on Medicaid to get it paid for? This is h...
Source: Minding Our Elders - January 14, 2018 Category: Geriatrics Authors: Carol Bradley Bursack Source Type: blogs

Don't Cause Disease by Stressing about Disease: How To Stop
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 the full slideshow on HealthCentral about how we ...
Source: Minding Our Elders - January 13, 2018 Category: Geriatrics Authors: Carol Bradley Bursack Source Type: blogs

Alzheimer's: As We Age Home is All About Heart
For many of us, the word "home" signifies refuge, safety, caring and warmth –a sanctuary where we belong. It's a place that we know is waiting for us at the end of our daily journey into the sometimes cold and uncaring world.  The actual location of our home may be dynamic rather than static—ever-changing as our personal world changes. Yet the meaning of home remains the same: a place of comfort. Most of us who've cared for people with dementia have heard the sad, repetitive lament, "I want to go home." If the person lives in a nursing home or assisted living facility, relativ...
Source: Minding Our Elders - January 12, 2018 Category: Geriatrics Authors: Carol Bradley Bursack Source Type: blogs

7 Tips for Working with New Nursing Home Staff
Sometimes a person with Alzheimer’s disease has to be placed in a nursing home. At this point, the caregiver’s job switches from day-to-day care to being an advocate. While this is a different role, it is a very important since your interactions with staff will help guide your loved one’s care.  These tips can help build relationships with the staff who now are responsible for the day-to-day care. View complete slideshow on HealthCentral about getting along with nursing home staff: Purchase Minding Our Elders: Caregivers Share Their Personal Stories – paperback or ebook Learned so much reading...
Source: Minding Our Elders - January 11, 2018 Category: Geriatrics Authors: Carol Bradley Bursack Source Type: blogs

The Ins and Outs of Long-Term Care: An Expert's View
"...This is where the debate of incentive vs. mandates comes into play for how you get the young and healthy population to participate in the risk pool. From a political perspective, which side of that debate you are on depends on your fundamental belief of whether healthcare is a right or a choice." Read the full article on HealthCentral about insurance in this complicated age: Support a caregiver or jump-start discussion in support groups with real stories - for bulk orders of Minding Our Elders e-mail Carol                 &n...
Source: Minding Our Elders - January 10, 2018 Category: Geriatrics Authors: Carol Bradley Bursack Source Type: blogs

Alzheimer's: Sedentary People Have the Same Risk as Those Who Carry the Genes
A study has shown that sedentary people face a similar risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease to those who carry a genetic risk for the disease. To me, this information is startling. It should provide enough incentive to get those of us who have a thousand excuses for not exercising, to get in the game. The study’s researchers at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario came to their conclusion after following the health of more than 1,600 Canadians over a period of five years.  Read more on HealthCentral about how important it is to get moving if we want to save our brains: Purchase Minding Our Elder...
Source: Minding Our Elders - January 9, 2018 Category: Geriatrics Authors: Carol Bradley Bursack Source Type: blogs

Medication Management Tips for Seniors
Eight out of 10 older adults take at least one medication and many take three or more daily. Older adults comprise 13 percent of the population but account for 34 percent of all prescription medicine use and 30 percent of all over-the-counter medication use. Also, older adults often use multiple medicines (averaging 14 prescriptions each), increasing the risk of drug interactions, mix-ups, and the potential for harmful side effects. Source: National Council on Patient Information and Education View full slideshow for tips on how to help seniors better manage their medications: Purchase Minding Our Elders: Caregivers S...
Source: Minding Our Elders - January 8, 2018 Category: Geriatrics Authors: Carol Bradley Bursack Source Type: blogs

TV Can Be a Serious Problem When Caring for Someone with Dementia
Dear Carol: My dad came to live with my family after of a series of strokes. The doctors think he has a combination of vascular dementia and Alzheimer’s which seems to make him unable to tell the difference between real life and TV. He gets angry if I put the TV remote where he can’t use it, and I can understand that, but way too often, after I get him set up with something that he’ll like, he starts fooling with the remote and ends up watching a violent movie, or even the news, and he thinks he right in the thick of it. As you can imagine, this causes chaos. How do I control this without taking away...
Source: Minding Our Elders - January 7, 2018 Category: Geriatrics Authors: Carol Bradley Bursack Source Type: blogs

Will Your Wishes Be Known During End-of-Life Care - or Not?
In my view, everyone over the age of 18 ought to have appropriate health care and financial documents that will assign a trusted person to speak for them should they, for whatever reason, be unable to speak for themselves. But most people wait until they’re well into middle age before taking care of this important legal work. For those who die young, or are disabled because of an unexpected event such as a car accident or ill-fated dive into an unfamiliar lake, it’s too late. Read the full article on HealthCentral about what you need to do to make your wishes known - and make certain that they are fol...
Source: Minding Our Elders - January 6, 2018 Category: Geriatrics Authors: Carol Bradley Bursack Source Type: blogs

Is Forgetfulness An Indication of Alzheimer's Disease?
Millions of aging boomers wonder if their memory lapses are from normal aging or a sign that they are developing Alzheimer’s. There’s some basis for the worry. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, more than 5 million people in the U.S. are living with it. One in three seniors will die with Alzheimer’s or another type of dementia. While these statistics are scary, you shouldn’t let them cloud the reality that many of us will age normally and will not develop AD, or any other type of dementia.  Read the full article on HealthCentral about memory and what it means for possible Alzh...
Source: Minding Our Elders - January 5, 2018 Category: Geriatrics Authors: Carol Bradley Bursack Source Type: blogs

Forgive Yourself: 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. Read full article on HealthCentral about how to forgive yourself for already goofing up (in your view): Purchase Minding...
Source: Minding Our Elders - January 4, 2018 Category: Geriatrics Authors: Carol Bradley Bursack Source Type: blogs

Unearned Guilt Often Haunts Caregivers
If ever there’s a group of people who suffer deeply from unearned guilt it’s caregivers. Whether you’re the parent of a vulnerable adult, an adult child of aging parents or the spouse of a vulnerable adult, you are bound to have your “if only” times where you are sucked into the quicksand of guilt. The reality is that most things you could have done differently wouldn’t have made a huge difference overall. Even if another approach would have made a difference, you can’t go back. Staying mired in guilt is counterproductive for you as well as your care receiver. Read full a...
Source: Minding Our Elders - January 3, 2018 Category: Geriatrics Authors: Carol Bradley Bursack Source Type: blogs

Respecting Your Parents' Dignity May Require Accepting Risk
It’s difficult to watch our parents age. As their hair grays, wrinkles form and age spots multiply, we adult children can find ourselves feeling protective. We want to keep them healthy. We want to know that they are safely at home when there’s the slightest risk of bad weather. We don’t want them taking risks that could result in an injury. That’s love, after all, and parents appreciate being loved. It’s a mistake, however, to make yourself director of your parents’ lives simply because they are piling on years. Think about it. Barring dementia – and as much as we hear about ...
Source: Minding Our Elders - January 2, 2018 Category: Geriatrics Authors: Carol Bradley Bursack Source Type: blogs

8 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 full slideshow for tips on improving your new year of caregiving: Purchase Minding Our Elders: Caregivers Share Their Personal Stories – paperback or ebook “I hold onto your book as a life preserver and am reading it slowly on purpose...I don't want it to end.”  Craig Willia...
Source: Minding Our Elders - January 1, 2018 Category: Geriatrics Authors: Carol Bradley Bursack Source Type: blogs

Anniversary of Loved One's Death Especially Hard During Holidays
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 helping, 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’s holidays app...
Source: Minding Our Elders - December 31, 2017 Category: Geriatrics Authors: Carol Bradley Bursack Source Type: blogs

Aging Bodies Often House Strong Minds: Give Them a Chance
Adult children are right to be aware of their parents’ physical and mental changes since there’s no way to stop the aging process. However, as a columnist on caregiving and a forum moderator, I’m seeing something very scary happening far too often. Ageism is overtaking common sense and respect. The fact that someone is over 65, and perhaps has arthritis and controlled high blood pressure, does not make this person cognitively unstable. Dementia doesn’t necessarily step in even after – gasp! – age 70. Read full article on HealthCentral about aging and the differences in people - not ...
Source: Minding Our Elders - December 30, 2017 Category: Geriatrics Authors: Carol Bradley Bursack Source Type: blogs

How Ballroom Dancing Changed the Trajectory of This 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 - December 29, 2017 Category: Geriatrics Authors: Carol Bradley Bursack Source Type: blogs

When a Loved One With Dementia Thinks You're Stealing
Accused of stealing from a loved one? 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? View slideshow on HealthCentral about how to handle being falsely accused of stealing your loved one's belongings:&n...
Source: Minding Our Elders - December 28, 2017 Category: Geriatrics Authors: Carol Bradley Bursack Source Type: blogs

Incontinence Embarrassment Shouldn ’t Block People from Seeking Medical Help
Dear Carol: My mom is smart, stylish, and trim. She was very social but now that’s changed. Occasional, minor urinary incontinence has become a problem and she’s acting like her life is over. I’ve told her that women who’ve had babies often have this issue and that there are products that she can use. Of course, she knows this, but she says that’s not an option. Meanwhile, she is becoming reclusive which is not like her. I’ve told her that her doctor may have some ideas but she says that talking to her doctor about this is humiliating. How do I convince her that this one issue ...
Source: Minding Our Elders - December 27, 2017 Category: Geriatrics Authors: Carol Bradley Bursack Source Type: blogs

85-Year-Old Author Illustrates How Relishing Accumulated Decades Enhances Beauty
Relishing the effects of the aging process is a shocking idea in our society. We are expected to fight every sign of age. Billions of dollars annually are spent to help people, especially women, look more like their young adult children than who they really are. Sadly, older adults are even encouraged to act like young people rather than celebrate who they’ve become throughout decades of learning. A whisper-thin (less than 100-page) volume titled “The Truth Is at My Front Door: Spiritual Direction on Aging Beautifully” pushes back against this negative view of women and aging. Read full article on HealthC...
Source: Minding Our Elders - December 26, 2017 Category: Geriatrics Authors: Carol Bradley Bursack Source Type: blogs

It ’s Christmas Day: Are You Enjoying It?
Dear Readers: I'm re-running some thoughts about Christmas as a caregiver. Some may apply to your circumstances, some may not. That's how life is. We take what works and leave the rest. Holiday blessings to all of my readers. - Carol 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 ar...
Source: Minding Our Elders - December 25, 2017 Category: Geriatrics Authors: Carol Bradley Bursack Source Type: blogs

Life's Changes Require Holiday Celebration Changes As Well
Dear Carol: My mother is in a nursing home following a series of strokes and, thankfully, the facility is relatively close so I can visit daily. I’ve decorated Mom’s room for Christmas and I bring her Christmas treats to share with others. Dad also spends time each day with Mom. My quandary is that I have a husband and teenage children at home. Mom says she doesn’t have the energy to come to our home for Christmas day and, frankly, I don’t know how we’d manage the wheelchair with all of our steps, anyway. Dad will eat with Mom, but I still feel like I’m letting my par...
Source: Minding Our Elders - December 24, 2017 Category: Geriatrics Authors: Carol Bradley Bursack Source Type: blogs

Christmas Is Nearly Here: Your Best Is Good Enough
The decisions caregivers of loved ones living with dementia 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? Read the ...
Source: Minding Our Elders - December 23, 2017 Category: Geriatrics Authors: Carol Bradley Bursack Source Type: blogs

Caregiving: Handling Sibling Criticism During the Holidays
...It’s enough to make a saint swear. Suddenly they are there in the middle of things, acting as if they understand every aspect of your parents’ care, your schedule and how the house should be run. But where were they when you had to find someone to stay with your sick child at the last minute so you could take Dad to the emergency room? Where were they when you desperately needed to take a long weekend off from caregiving? Where were they when your car broke down and Mom needed weekly trips to the doctor for blood testing to ensure her medications were working properly? Read complete article on Agin...
Source: Minding Our Elders - December 22, 2017 Category: Geriatrics Authors: Carol Bradley Bursack Source Type: blogs

Family Conversations: Where Do Your Parents Want to Live Their Last Years?
Talking with our elderly loved ones about how and where they would choose to live their remaining years can be more than awkward. It can be frightening. 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 full article on HealthCentral about having family conversations about your parent...
Source: Minding Our Elders - December 21, 2017 Category: Geriatrics Authors: Carol Bradley Bursack Source Type: blogs

“Hearables” Help Overcome Hearing Problems in Groups
It’s well known that untreated hearing loss has emotional and social consequences, such as isolation and depression, especially among older adults. The not-for-profit Front Porch Center for Innovation and Wellbeing is always looking for new ways to help seniors living in Front Porch’s residential communities. They launched the Hearables for All project to see how wearable hearing devices could help their aging clients, especially those with the all-too-common problem of not being able to hear in group settings because of background noise. Read full article on HealthCentra...
Source: Minding Our Elders - December 20, 2017 Category: Geriatrics Authors: Carol Bradley Bursack Source Type: blogs

3 Triggers for Alcohol Abuse in Older People
Alcohol abuse can occur at any age, but in the past, most doctors looked for the signs in younger people. There’s also a bias in society at large, including some doctors, that people who abuse alcohol will be of a certain type. It can be hard for a doctor to look at a sweet, grandmotherly woman and think that perhaps the "occasional" glass of wine she admits to drinking may actually be a good portion of a bottle on a nightly basis. But things are changing. Now, the NIH Senior Health site is promoting awareness of alcohol abuse among the older population. Most seniors, like the rest of the population, d...
Source: Minding Our Elders - December 19, 2017 Category: Geriatrics Authors: Carol Bradley Bursack Source Type: blogs

Try to Have a Positive but Realistic Holiday Experience
There's an image of holiday perfection that our culture encourages. Starting with Thanksgiving, we are inundated with fantasy images of perfect families happily enjoying each other's company during a holiday meal. Most of us have memories from our childhood that feed this drive toward the Norman Rockwell nostalgia of holidays past. If we lived it, we want to duplicate it. If we didn't, we want to create it.  Few of us can measure up to the fantasy—caregivers least of all. There's so much denial of today's reality in these images resurrected each holiday and thrown at us by every means, from advertisements to blo...
Source: Minding Our Elders - December 18, 2017 Category: Geriatrics Authors: Carol Bradley Bursack Source Type: blogs

Try to Have a Realistic and Positive Holiday Experience
There's an image of holiday perfection that our culture encourages. Starting with Thanksgiving, we are inundated with fantasy images of perfect families happily enjoying each other's company during a holiday meal. Most of us have memories from our childhood that feed this drive toward the Norman Rockwell nostalgia of holidays past. If we lived it, we want to duplicate it. If we didn't, we want to create it.  Few of us can measure up to the fantasy—caregivers least of all. There's so much denial of today's reality in these images resurrected each holiday and thrown at us by every means, from advertisements to blo...
Source: Minding Our Elders - December 18, 2017 Category: Geriatrics Authors: Carol Bradley Bursack Source Type: blogs

Adult Child Shouldn't Try to Replace Parent's Deceased Spouse
Dear Carol: After my mom died last year I stepped in to take care of my 83-year-old dad. I know that I spoiled him at first because of his devastation over losing Mom, but now he’s used to my taking over the “wife” role. I pay his bills, take him shopping, cook his meals, clean, and spend nearly every day, all day, with him. When I’m leaving to go back home to my husband, who is retired and has his own health problems, Dad wants to know when I’ll be back. He knows the answer will be tomorrow, but he asks anyway. Dad's healthy and strong, but he needs some assistance, yet he fights my...
Source: Minding Our Elders - December 17, 2017 Category: Geriatrics Authors: Carol Bradley Bursack Source Type: blogs

10 Steps Toward Gratitude During Difficult Times
It’s easy to feel grateful when life is going well, and certainly it’s desirable to acknowledge life at its best with appropriate gratitude. What’s not easy is finding gratitude when life hard. Is it even realistic to try? Yes. Discovering gratitude during difficult times can be a giant step toward peace. View full slideshow on HealthCentral to help guide you toward gratitude when times are tough: Support a caregiver or jump-start discussion in support groups with real stories - for bulk orders of Minding Our Elders e-mail Carol   Terrific Christmas gift! Related articles 6 Potential...
Source: Minding Our Elders - December 16, 2017 Category: Geriatrics Authors: Carol Bradley Bursack Source Type: blogs

American Advisors Group $1500 Do Something Good Grant
Sponsored In the spirit of giving back to volunteers, caregivers, and senior care staff, American Advisors Group (AAG) is hosting a photo-and-caption contest called “Do Something Good” to show their appreciation for people who lend their time helping out the senior community. To enter, applicants (18 years of age or older) need to submit an original photo of themselves helping out the senior community – whether it’s visiting a senior assisted living facility, setting up a senior appreciation event, or hand-delivering warm meals to homebound elders. They must also submit a statement, in 100 words or ...
Source: Minding Our Elders - December 15, 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 how hospice and palliative care are alike and how they differ: Purchase Minding Our Elders: Caregivers Share Their Personal St...
Source: Minding Our Elders - December 15, 2017 Category: Geriatrics Authors: Carol Bradley Bursack Source Type: blogs

Living While Dying: A Short Film Featuring Role Models for Dying Well
Death. For some, it signals the beginning of a more perfect life. For others, it is the end. Ultimately, for everyone, death is part of the life cycle and no amount of medical intervention will change that. Filmmaker Cathy Zheutlin became fascinated by the way that different cultures and religions view the death experience, and in the process, she has made a remarkable film titled Living While Dying, which features people who are going through that process and their varying emotions. Read full article on HealthCentral about this remarkable film on living life to the fullest while dying: Support a caregiver or jump-sta...
Source: Minding Our Elders - December 14, 2017 Category: Geriatrics Authors: Carol Bradley Bursack Source Type: blogs

Elder Law Attorney Answers Health and Finance Questions
An ongoing concern for many older adults, as well as their adult children, is whether they really need to pay for the services of an attorney when planning for their finances and health care in old age. This is a valid question, and people of modest means often feel that they can’t afford an attorney. However, the reality is that many elder care problems faced by families can be avoided by consulting an attorney before their loved one needs any form of care. Collett P. Small, Esq., is an elder law specialist and chair of the elder law section of the Florida Bar. She is a member of the National Academy for Elder ...
Source: Minding Our Elders - December 13, 2017 Category: Geriatrics Authors: Carol Bradley Bursack Source Type: blogs

Protection for Nursing Home Residents: Will New Rules Remain?
New rules for the protection of nursing home residents have been implemented as part of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Many of these rules provide answers to concerns that have troubled families with loved ones living in skilled nursing facilities (SNFs), generally called nursing homes. I emailed Medicare expert Ginalisa Monterroso for an update on these rules and what they mean for nursing home residents and their families. Read full article on HealthCentral about how nursing home residents could lose newly gained rights: Support a caregiver or jump-start discussion in support groups with real stories - for bulk orde...
Source: Minding Our Elders - December 12, 2017 Category: Geriatrics Authors: Carol Bradley Bursack Source Type: blogs

9 Tips for Visiting Elders at Home or In a Care Facility
Loneliness can be a plague for the elderly and ill. Yet visiting with someone who doesn’t feel well, and may have limited cognition, can be tricky. Some nervousness or reluctance is natural, but a few considerations can help to make things go smoothly. View full slideshow to get some tips about holiday visiting (or other times): Purchase Minding Our Elders: Caregivers Share Their Personal Stories – paperback or ebook Minding Our Elders lets you know that you are not alone, that you are not going to be perfect, but you can get the job done, You do the best you can, and that is good enough. We can't be Carol,&nbs...
Source: Minding Our Elders - December 11, 2017 Category: Geriatrics Authors: Carol Bradley Bursack Source Type: blogs

Short-term Home Stay May Produce Difficult Transition
Dear Carol: My mother has been in rehab since she broke her hip but now she needs to be moved. The professionals, including her doctor, strongly encourage moving her to a nursing home close to me because Mom will continue to need extensive care and her condition is expected to decline. When Mom and I discuss this, she seems sad about the idea and says she wants to go to her own home even though it’s not elder friendly. I’m wondering if we should take her to her own home and get around-the-clock care for a while just to make her happy and say that we gave it a try. At least then she’d have b...
Source: Minding Our Elders - December 10, 2017 Category: Geriatrics Authors: Carol Bradley Bursack Source Type: blogs

Holiday Gift Ideas for Older Adults and People Living With Dementia
As people age, they can become hard to buy gifts for, often because they are in the process of weeding through their belongings and need so little. Also, many have issues with their health ranging from arthritic pain to cognitive disorders which influence what they can use. Still, we want to include them in holiday giving. What to do? Here are some practical, but still enjoyable, ideas. Links will provide more information and pricing. View full slideshow on HealthCentral featuring gifts for seniors and people living with dementia, as well as people who simply have chronic pain issues. Purchase Minding Our Elders: Caregiver...
Source: Minding Our Elders - December 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 - December 8, 2017 Category: Geriatrics Authors: Carol Bradley Bursack Source Type: blogs

10 Tips to Beat the Holiday Blues When You're a Caregiver
When store employees wish us "Merry Christmas!" we smile back and return the greeting. When acquaintances wave and shout "Happy Holidays!" across a parking lot we wave back with good wishes. When we take part in our work holiday celebrations we put on our happy face. Yet many of us don't feel merry or happy during this time of celebration. Caregivers, especially, may be even less likely than others to be looking forward to all of the hoopla associated with the expected happy holidays. Some of us dread even thinking about it. How do we beat this feeling of holiday blues so that we can get through th...
Source: Minding Our Elders - December 7, 2017 Category: Geriatrics Authors: Carol Bradley Bursack Source Type: blogs