As a family caregiver, you obviously encounter an array of feelings throughout the day: shared laughter over a joke with your senior loved one; worry due to a health concern; and certainly, from time to time, irritation. We want only the best for those we love, and if a senior loved one is resistant to doing an activity we realize is beneficial, it could be tough to identify the most appropriate response.
The key is to try to offer motivation and support, while remaining cautious not to ever cross the line into bullying your senior loved one. These caregiving tips are good to remember:
There’s no one-size-fits-all. An approach that has worked on a single occasion may perhaps be entirely ineffective in another. In … Read More »
Think of a typical day in the life of a senior loved one. Hopefully it provides several positive and enriching experiences: enjoying breakfast, engaging in a fun hobby or interest, visiting with a friend or family member, watching a favorite TV show. Nevertheless, there’s a difference between positivity and purpose and meaning for seniors; and the need for a life rich with significance and purpose is starting to become more evident, particularly in the life of aging parents.
Viktor Frankl , world-renowned psychiatrist and survivor of the Holocaust, shares poignantly, “What matters is not the meaning in life in general, but rather the specific meaning of a person’s life at a given moment.”
For people whose identity has been focused on a career and raising … Read More »
Of all the impacts of Alzheimer’s disease, one of the most alarming is the individual’s tendency for wandering and the potential dangers that may develop if the senior becomes confused or lost. Wandering in dementia can occur any time the older adult is:
Scared, confused, or overwhelmed
Trying to find someone or something
Trying to maintain a familiar past routine (such as going to work or shopping)
Tending to a simple need (such as searching for a drink of water or going to the bathroom)
The aim is twofold; to help keep your loved one secure, and also to be certain that his/her needs are satisfied to attempt to stop the want to wander to begin with. Consider the following safety measures if your … Read More »
Have you ever woken up and said, “It’s definitely going to be one of those days!” Maybe your alarm didn’t go off, the hot water heater decided to stop working, and the dog chewed up one of your favorite shoes overnight. Now consider if each day were “one of those days!” For someone living with pain or chronic illness (and that is the majority of the older adult population), routine struggles and challenges may be a given.
However, there are several steps that the elderly can take to discover and maintain a life of joy, even in the face of chronic illness. For instance:
Follow passions. Discovering purpose and meaning in every day is essential – and achievable. Many older adults … Read More »
The initial signs might be so subtle that many people wouldn’t even recognize that anything is amiss. Mom is outgoing, pleasant, and conversational while visiting loved ones and while running errands. But those closest to her have begun to detect concerns: being forgetful about the soup cooking on the stove, leading to a scorched pan. Putting her keys into the cookie jar. Failing to pay bills. What should you do when you begin to notice these kinds of warning signs of aging care needs?
As an adult child of a loved one in the early stages of compromised safety or the ability to make competent choices, it is normally incredibly difficult to transition to a higher degree of involvement and assistance – nonetheless … Read More »
The latest Alzheimer’s statistics are sobering. The disease is now the 6th leading cause of death, rising above both breast cancer and prostate cancer combined. And though deaths from many other chronic conditions, like cardiovascular disease, are decreasing, those from Alzheimer’s have increased upwards of 100%. The toll the illness takes on family caregivers is likewise shocking, with more than 16 million Americans delivering over 18 billion hours of care for a senior loved one with Alzheimer’s disease.
Though we’ve yet to find an end to Alzheimer’s disease, there are two top medications for Alzheimer’s that can help minimize some of the more predominant symptoms. If your senior loved one has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, there are a couple of options the doctor may … Read More »
Our natural instinct when we are picking up on the early warning signs of Alzheimer’s or another type of cognitive decline in ourselves or someone we love is to look the other way, denying that there is a problem. However, the Alzheimer’s Association advises that it’s vitally important to face the issue head-on as quickly as possible, since early diagnosis and intervention allow for the most effective treatment plan to be put into place.
They say a picture is worth a thousand words, and when it comes to comprehending the thoughts and feelings of someone with dementia, no truer words have been spoken. Artistic expression is vital for all of us, but the benefits of art in dementia are especially remarkable, including enhanced socialization and physical health, a calmer, more peaceful demeanor, and even improvements in both apathy and self-worth.
Diabetes is a complex condition, and managing it effectively can be challenging regardless of age. And although it seems intuitive to know the importance of managing blood glucose levels, there’s actually so much more to it than that, especially when caring for diabetes in seniors.
Conversations with a senior battling with all the challenges of Alzheimer’s, especially in the middle and later stages, is often discouraging – both for you and also for the person with Alzheimer’s. Brain changes impede the ability to listen, process, and respond appropriately to conversations, and it is up to us to employ innovative approaches to communicating to more effectively connect with an individual with dementia.
It’s quite a bit easier than it might appear, however. We already communicate nonverbally in many ways:
Posture and body movement
Consider these communication tips for dementia to include increased nonverbal communication into your interactions with a senior loved one:
Offer reassurance through gentle touch. If a senior loved one is comfortable with touch, hold and pat the … Read More »