Joy

  • There are so many people who don’t even realize that they are caregivers. It’s not just those who quit their jobs to care for a loved one full-time, but those who alter their schedule to take their relative to weekly dialysis treatments, or those who take leave to help someone recover from surgery.

    If more people recognized that they are…[Read more]

  • Joy changed their profile picture 1 week, 6 days ago

  • Joy‘s profile was updated 1 week, 6 days ago

  • This summer has already been a scorcher, and sadly, deadly for the most vulnerable populations, including our elders.

    Arizona’s record-breaking heat wave has already claimed lives, and the rise in heat-related […]

  • The first session at the Aging in America conference that I attended last week was titled, “Is family caregiving the next public health crisis?”

    I’m sure all of you can guess what the answer was: a resounding […]

  • 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 […]

  • Hi Annie. Communication challenges can be difficult for loved ones to accept when it comes to dementia. My mother struggled with it when it came to taking care of my father. You are absolutely right in saying that correcting a person with Alzheimer’s or other dementias is not usually helpful. Changing the topic, redirecting when a loved one…[Read more]

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    A new year means a new emphasis on resolutions, life goals, and marking things off that bucket list. As caregivers, we may find ourselves abandoning our own dreams to help an ill relative tackle their own […]

  • A visit to the dentist is sometimes met with dread, but our mouths tell us more about our health than we may realize. I gained insight into the importance of oral health in my years as a caregiver for my […]

  • The most common response I received from well-meaning people was, “Why don’t you move your Mom in with you?” There were many reasons why that would not have been feasible but I certainly did not want to dive into those details with virtual strangers. Even if it is offered up as helpful advice, it can make the caregiver feel guilty. Offer advice to…[Read more]

  • The most common response I received from well-meaning people was “Why don’t you move your Mom in with you?” There were many reasons why that would not have been feasible but I certainly did not want to dive into those details with virtual strangers. Even if it is offered up as helpful advice, it can make the caregiver feel guilty. Offer advice to…[Read more]

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    Making modifications to the home can help your loved ones age in place, a goal of an increasing amount of families. There are plenty of resources online that offer checklists and other pieces of advice that […]

    • My mom, who’s retired and in perfect health, recently bought a house where her bedroom is at the top of a steep flight of stairs and doesn’t have a bathroom on the same level. It’s in a lovely neighborhood, but the neighborhood is surrounded by two highways and a lake, which seems like it’ll be increasingly treacherous to navigate as she gets older. It gives me much angst, although she thinks I’m being silly.

      Meanwhile, my grandmother resisted making any universal design modifications until she was too ill to make decisions on her own. She refused to add a shower to the downstairs bathroom — to the point where she had an outdoor shower set up in the backyard and had the kids use that! Her determination to die at home and her refusal to rearrange the downstairs to make it accessible was a horrible combination and now we’re all suffering for it.

      If you’re looking for a new home, most condos include at least basic universal design principles. My condo came with all the light switches and outlets at the right height for a wheelchair and other little details like that. I’m not a fan of the sliding doors, but they are great for creating flexible spaces and navigating with mobility aides. The bathroom would only require minor modifications and there are fully handicap accessible facilities in the building. Plus, it lacks all the maintenance of a house and a yard. Of course, few people are eager to move in the midst of a crisis, so any changes should be made far in advance of when you’d expect age to become an issue.

  • Joy Johnston replied to the topic Cut out in the forum Everything Caregiving 1 year ago

    First of all, my condolences on your recent loss. The fact that you are dealing with two devastating issues at the same time would be tough for anyone to handle.

    I can certainly see why you want to be there for your friend, and yes, you are very astute in that you may be feeling an extra need to help because of the gaping, raw hole in your life…[Read more]

  • This sounds like a tough situation. It does seem like your sister is using control as a means to deal with the situation at hand. That is fairly common, but as you said, you and your siblings of course have a right to spend time with your mother.

    I am no expert, but if there was a neutral third-party who could have a family meeting, where…[Read more]

  • No matter what the outcome of the 2016 presidential election is, caregiver advocates will continue to push for greater support and recognition. A recent report called family caregiving a “critical issue of public […]

  • It is very true Tessa that caregiving can be a lonely, isolating experience. An online community may not replace that in-person connection for everyone, but it’s a good start. I understand what you mean about the mixed emotions in taking care of someone nearing the end of life. I experienced relief, guilt, fear of the unknown future … Looking…[Read more]

  • The last thing you may feel like doing when you are actively caregiving is engaging that creative spark. Heck, if you were creative before caregiving, you may believe that your creative fire has been extinguished […]

  • Cori Carl and Profile picture of JoyJoy are now friends 1 year, 1 month ago

  • As I share my experiences of being a caregiver for my parents, I find myself constantly questioning how many personal details I should be revealing about my parents’ medical conditions. While common decency frowns […]

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