Articles Posted in Resources for Seniors and Caregivers

AdobeStock_44262084-300x200How do you feel when you’ve had a poor night’s sleep?

I imagine it’s the same for us all. Everything is affected – our mood, our energy, our decision-making. Our entire day!

So it’s no surprise that science has discovered that disrupted sleep does considerable damage to the brain, which suffers from unbalanced thinking and an inability to regulate emotional responses.

iStock_000023479361SmallEveryone yearns for time to relax and refresh during the summer months – especially sun-starved New Englanders. But if you’re a family caregiver, a ‘carefree’ vacation may be hard to come by.

–      If you leave town, who will take your place?

–      If you bring your loved one with you, will your vacation venue be equipped for their special needs?

There’s a lot to think about. But with good planning, you can take a breather from caregiving and give yourself a well-deserved break.

Here are some helpful suggestions: Continue reading

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Dementia, whether caused by Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s or some other disease, creates a very particular and emotionally fraught set of challenges for both patients and caregivers. When you’re navigating your way through this heartbreaking landscape of gradual memory loss, impaired reasoning, and personality changes, you need all the support you can get. You may be surprised to learn about one valuable resource that is too often overlooked – hospice.

Our previous post Hospice and Dementia: Not What You Might Assume, explored some specific ways hospice can help. This piece will talk about its benefits and when you should reach out to hospice.

Hospice is often misunderstood

Angels-300x214By Carol Frances, Czepiga Daly Pope & Perri

Hospice care is misunderstood. I want to spread the news to all caregivers of loved ones with dementia, that this support system (provided, in my opinion, by angels) may not be what you assume.

When my mom fell at the dementia unit of a California assisted living facility, her physician ordered hospice care. I was confused why she did this as although my mom was certainly declining – she needed help being fed, which is not uncommon for people with advancing dementia – she wasn’t near dying and could still talk and walk.

AdobeStock_33109325-300x200This is the final installment of our 3-part series on becoming your parent’s healthcare advocate. In the first part, Being a Healthcare Advocate: How to Get Started, we learned how to lay the groundwork for a smooth transition. In part two, Being a Healthcare Advocate: 9 Important Tips, we tackled how to manage documentation and record keeping. In this final piece, we address best practices for working effectively with healthcare professionals.

The first time you attend a doctor’s appointment as your parent’s healthcare advocate, you might feel a little awkward. That’s natural. You’re kind of like a third wheel, stepping into what was previously a very private and intimate conversation.

To prepare for this, it’s helpful to establish preferences and expectations with your parent up front. Does your parent want to take the lead and just have you present as an extra set of eyes and ears, or will you be taking a more active role in communicating with the doctor. Talk with your parent in advance so you are both on the same page with your game plan.

Helpful-tips-300x199This is the second installment in our three-part series on becoming your parent’s healthcare advocate. In the first part, Being Your Parent’s Healthcare Advocate: How to Get Started, we learned how to lay the groundwork for a smooth transition. In part two, we tackle how to manage documentation and record keeping. In part 3, we explore how to Best Engage with Healthcare Professionals.

As you embark on your journey as a healthcare advocate for a loved one, you’ll want to make sure you’ve got as much information at your fingertips as possible.

Emergency can strike at any time, and you want to be prepared; but even simple routine care can require a high level of organization and knowledge. It’s best if you give yourself time (by starting early) to pull all the information together. Don’t wait until something happens.

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This is the first in a 3-part series about the process and practice of becoming your parent’s healthcare advocate. In this part one, we talk about how to lay the groundwork for a smooth transition. 

As Bette Davis once said, “Getting old is not for sissies.”

It’s also not something that anyone should have to do alone, especially when it comes to navigating the exhaustingly complex and sometimes downright intimidating territory of personal healthcare.

AdobeStock_67245954-300x200By Carol Frances

It was a mystery. Every evening around 5 o’clock, my mom would change. She’d become resistant, paranoid and sometimes belligerent. She would even hallucinate – claiming to have watched me from the window as I marched in a parade!

A few hours later, and certainly the next day, she would be back to her happy, easy-going self.

AdobeStock_142240831-300x200Multiple generations living under one roof may seem like a concept from a time gone by or a practice from another part of the world, but it is actually a growing trend here in the states.

Before WWII, approximately 25% of Americans shared their homes with three or more generations. After the war, the percentage of multigenerational households began to decline and bottomed out at a meager 12% in 1980.

Today, however, the numbers of families choosing to combine households across two or more generations is on the rise. Continue reading

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