ALZ isn’t just a disease for the elderly

Rebecca Doig's Alzheimer's reached the point of needing constant care when she was only 31. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mbtLUChdUlc Amy Norton was diagnosed at only 43. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lb5Z4LBl7II At the age of just 39, Laura Borrell is one of the...

One question that changes everything

The other day I was in an ER far from home. The woman in charge of triage was refusing to move forward with triage because we didn't have insurance they'd accept. The fact that we had insurance and had even gotten pre-approval to go to the ER wasn't enough -- she...

Why do we accept this behavior?

This isn't going to be a popular opinion. I'm not here to get you angry. If you don't want to read about carees who are emotionally abusive, skip this post. Why is it somehow acceptable for people who need caregivers to be emotionally abusive? Some care recipients...

My Life: Colleen R

What's your life really like? Really, day to day, nothing to write home about. I am blessed that my husband requires only a small amount of care during the day and my job is close by. So I can run home at lunch and feed/toilet him if necessary. Then back to work,...

Lessons in caregiving

Evelyn Corsini and her family allowed photographer Francine Orr to document the final months of her life, to observe caregiving. Orr's interest was journalistic but also personal: As the caregiver for her father, she had been living the story herself for more than a...

When does the glad start?

How many times i risked leaving mom alone ...she was still capable of walking and her dementia was still not that bad... To get an hour away at the local coffee house located in Silicon Valley's Mountain View. I remember being in coffee houses trying to strike up a...

My Life: Jerry S

What keeps me going, and it is the hardest task I have ever had, is knowing that true love is rare. Deb and I met in 1984 when she was 28 and I was 33. We married a few months later. We had both had prior marriages and were blending families of 2 kids each. We knew it...

My life: Catherine F

What's your life really like? So many caregivers are out there feeling like no one understands what they're going through...but we suspect quite a few of you are going through similar things. February 3rd marked a year since my husband passed away. Life has been very...

Facing the unknown, with hope

My son was born two years ago. Nothing pains me more than knowing he will never know my mom for the person she was my entire life. That someday she may not know who he is at all, when one of her biggest dreams was for a grandchild, is a terrifying and unsettling...

My life: Carol M

What is it really like to be me... As a 66 year old looking after my 90 year old dad...it is not nice to be me right now, sadly. The year my hubby retired we had such excitement to start our travels and new journey. We got one trip in and came back to the news that...

My life: Theresa L

What's caregiving really like for me? Well it changes from day to day and hour to hour sometimes. I've been married 56 years to Rick on March 16th. He has many health issues... stoke, open heart surgeries, infections, etc. He is homebound right now. Sometimes I feel...

Looking back at 95 years of eldercare

Things have changed a lot in the US during my grandmother's lifetime. My grandmother retired before I was born. Usually the people I remember as having been "old" during my childhood turn out to have been slightly older than I am now. Not so with my last remaining...

The Caregiver Badge of Honor

As I continue to process what it means to be a caregiver and meet countless others who share similar experiences, I can’t help but see a badge of honor adorned on their chest. No, it is not a medal bestowed to us by other mortals, but a badge bestowed from a higher...

All caregivers deserve support

I've been watching our Facebook page get taken over by a bunch of school yard bullies over the past few months. It's a pretty confusing thing to see for a support group. Living in Florida, I've gotten an up close and personal view of Trump lighting people up. It's...

Healing the divide

Every day, hundreds of Israeli volunteers drive ill Palestinians from the West Bank and the Gaza Strip to hospitals in Israel. Shaul Adar joins them on the road and learns why they see their neighbourly help as a step on the journey to peaceful coexistence. At 6.30am,...

Be careful what you ask for

John was a highly successful civil engineer and a loving husband. He was by nature a real go-getter. And so when his wife was told that she would need complicated heart surgery for a dysfunctional heart valve, he went into full throttle. They arranged to have her...

Selling the family home in a down market

Here's a tough situation quite a few caregivers find themselves in: being responsible for selling a home that's not in great shape. What do you do when no one seems interested in buying and you can't afford to keep it? Q My sister and I inherited the house we grew up...

Identify the Sources of Caregiver Stress

Being a family caregiver is stressful. Unless action is taken, stress will continue to build. Family members, even the loved one you’re caring for, may not understand your stress.  Some family members may think you’re exaggerating. What’s all the fuss about? “I’m not...

My husband is dying and I don’t know myself

I spend a lot of time thinking about hospice care these days. As my husband's health declined it was as if we could hear the clock ticking more loudly. All the plans we'd made for growing old, the life we'd imagined, was not going to happen. If our lives were a movie,...

Ten-Year Anniversary is a Life Marker

“The 10th anniversary of Helen’s death is coming up,” I told my husband. “I think we should do something significant—write a large check to the food bank or the public library.” John nodded his head in agreement. Helen died from the injuries she received in a car...

Clearing out the clutter

When a loved one dies, we often go into cleaning mode. There is an urge to bring order to a world that has been turned upside down. I began cleaning out my mother's condo the same day that she died. I was desperate to stay busy, to wear my body out with exhaustion as...

How should you grieve?

The pain and sorrow of bereavement is supposed to get easier to bear as time passes. But what if it doesn’t? Psychiatrists call it 'complicated grief' – and it can be treated. Andrea Volpe reports. After Stephanie Muldberg’s 13-year-old son Eric died of Ewing’s...

I can’t be ON all the time

Being a 24/7 caregiver means there's someone who needs you 24/7. But I'm learning to accept that it's just not possible. Believe me, I tried. For the first few months I was unstoppable! Any time Joe needed me, I was there in an instant. It didn't matter what I was...

Breaking a promise

So many of us have promised our parents that we'd never put them in a home. And then, one day, we do. Putting a loved one in residential care is an incredibly difficult decision for anyone. It's even harder when doing so breaks a promise we've made. Here's what our...

The bath time struggle

It's a pretty common problem: the person you're caring for is refusing to bathe. Here's advice from other caregivers on how to keep everyone clean, safe, and happy. What's normal to them We have to remember that more than likely "back in the day" your father did not...

Yelling

The other day I stopped by my dad's place and caught the home health aide yelling at him. At first I was livid. How could she treat him that way? She's here to keep him safe and take care of him and she was clearly failing at that. Yelling at someone with dementia is...

Does the US take good care of the elderly?

It's a really exciting time to be in the US. The fact that the current healthcare system is being dismantled means that we have the opportunity to fix the most vexing problems. I didn't grow up in a military family, but I married into one. That means I'm dealing with...

Cause and Effect

depression is weird. especially for someone like me, the always happy, always positive, bullshit person that I am. to be depressed is mind altering. it takes up space. it controls a part that isn't easily handed over. a constant battle between who you are, and who you...

Wearing a hat from hell

I have never written a blog. Don’t quite know what a blog is. The one blog I have read was part of a novel. As far as I can tell blogs are rants. Mental diarrhea spilled on a page for strangers. So, fellow caregivers wearing a hat from hell, do you talk of ending it...

Dark thoughts

I don't want to stop being a caregiver, but I think I've reached that point where I need respite. I dreamt I murdered my mother last night. It's true that I've been feeling really exhausted lately. More than just physically tired, really exhausted in the depths of my...

Dear President Trump

Plenty of us are happy to see Obamacare go. It was too expensive, too confusing, and forced us to find new doctors. You have a new chance to build something great. To save lives and help Americans secure their futures. Far too many people go bankrupt for their health....

What’s left behind

The caregiving for my Uncle fell upon my mother. He did not want the family to provide hands-on care, so he made sure to have a live-in home health aide. The logistical and legal aspects of care and his estate were still significant. After his passing, I went with my...