Thursday October 23rd, 2014

Honoring the veterans in your life

On Veterans Day we traditionally honor those who have served. Your relative may be a veteran. Or he or she may have been close to veterans who are now gone. This year, consider paying tribute by renting the movie "Honor Flight." Watch the movie together. It's about a town that decided to honor its aging WWII vets. The town paid for them all to visit the WWII memorial in Washington, DC. It is a powerful and touching movie. It may give you insights about your loved one's past.
Thursday October 16th, 2014

Unwanted odors

Some elders worry that they have an offensive odor (or their house does) and they don't know it. As it turns out, starting at about age 40, a natural fragrant compound is found in the sweat and skin that increases over time. It's not a bad smell, per se. Just one that is uniquely identifiable as pertaining to older adults. Older adults do lose the sense of thirst, so they are often dehydrated. This leads to stronger odors of the mouth, of the urine, of the skin.
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Thursday October 2nd, 2014

Myths and facts about pain medicine

Many patients and families have inaccurate notions about prescription drugs that relieve pain. "Palliative care"—the medical discipline of making comfort a priority, especially at the end of life—is a relatively new field. As a consequence, people often make medication decisions on the basis of an incomplete understanding of the issues. The following are some of the most common myths about the use of opioids for pain relief:
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Thursday September 25th, 2014

What about your special needs sibling?

Is your aging parent still caring for your disabled brother or sister at home? Perhaps this care arrangement has worked fine for decades. But with your parent’s aging, it's not too soon to start talking about your sibling's future. Preparing now eliminates the potential for crisis and unnecessary stress. The basics of care. The “future” can come very suddenly. If your parent has a health emergency, it will likely put you in charge. Assemble a binder to organize your sibling’s information:
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Thursday September 18th, 2014

Use your mind to combat stress

Ever feel there is just too much on your plate? It’s common to assume that feeling better is right around the corner, just as soon as you get everything done. But when the “to do” list is infinite and your personal motor is always “on,” you are more likely to achieve breakdown sooner than completion.  
Thursday August 28th, 2014

Hiring help yourself

Hiring someone to help with caregiving can be a great relief. If you do it without an agency, however, it makes you an employer. Are you ready for the responsibilities? Verify knowledge, experience, and work habits. Your vulnerable loved one will be dependent on this employee. Ask for verification of training or classes taken. Talk to prior employers. Do not accept written references in lieu of a conversation.