Thursday, October 23rd, 2014

The Other Side of Caregiving: What It’s Like to Receive Care

receiving careI am a huge fan of Garrison Keillor’s radio show, Prairie Home Companion.  I am particularly fond of his take on adversity. He says, “Nothing bad ever happens to a writer. It’s all material.” 

I tried to bear that in mind after my husband had major back surgery earlier this summer. I have to admit that caring for him tried my patience and tested my endurance.  (It also provided me with some great material for my daily blog!) 

When we are caring for someone who needs help with showering, using the toilet and dressing, we reach an entirely new level of intimacy. Some of the tasks we do for those who can’t care for themselves aren’t very pleasant, and no one could blame us if we felt turned off by the sights and smells of the messes we have to...Click to Read More

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014

Building Caregiver Resilience Webinar

Webinar - Building Caregiver ResilienceAre you struggling to manage the challenges of caring for a loved one? Feeling overwhelmed or exhausted by juggling family, work, home and caregiving responsibilities? Are you a Health or senior care professional witnessing your patients’ families struggling and wonder how to help them? When facing challenges, resilience provides the capacity to handle tough decisions, to persevere and prevail. When tapping resilience, the daunting becomes do-able; difficult experiences turn into learning experiences.

Both family caregivers and the professionals who support them are invited to join this free, interactive webinar on Wednesday, October 29th @ 4pm ET.

This workshop includes 6 parts that will teach you empowering and sustaining resilience-building strategies:

  • Defining resilience and why it is important for family caregivers
  • How lack of resilience impacts health...Click to Read More
  • Tuesday, October 21st, 2014

    Caring for Seniors with Brain Injury After a Fall

    Senior with brain injury after fallFew types of injuries and illnesses have a comparable impact on a family as that of a brain injury. Those suffering from a traumatic brain injury (TBI) will require part-time or full-time care, and may never be quite the same person they once were before the injury occurred. In many cases, they are likely to develop different behavior, perceive the world in new ways, or lose much of their independence. That’s why it’s important to understand what you can expect when caring for loved one who has suffered from a TBI, and know how to care for their unique needs. 

    A Team Effort

    Being a caregiver for someone with a TBI is almost always too much for one person to handle on their own, especially if full-time care is needed. In the days following...Click to Read More

    Tuesday, October 14th, 2014

    Seniors and Depression: Tips for Caregivers

    Conversation With A TherapistEveryone can get the blues from time to time, but real depression needs to be monitored and treated. The truth is, seniors can fall into depression for many reasons: losing a loved one, dealing with an illness, medications, or just the aging process in general. With that in mind, here are some tips for caregivers to assist with elderly depression care. 

    The unfortunate reality is that about 20% of seniors over the age of fifty-five have some sort of mental health issue. Many of these individuals deal with depression. It has been shown that mental health issues are often a factor in suicide.

    It is not surprising that women and especially men in this age group do not want to discuss or admit to being depressed, but according to the CDC’s report on the State of Mental...Click to Read More

    Thursday, October 9th, 2014

    The Importance of Diagnosing Mental Disorders in the Elderly

    in hospitalWatching an older loved one suffer from a mental disorder can be heartbreaking. It's not uncommon to feel a sense of helplessness, but as family members, you can help prevent the negative effects of anxiety and other mental disorders in the elderly by encouraging them to seek a medical diagnosis. By understanding the signs and symptoms of mental disorders, you can help your elderly loved with mental health issues live a better life. 

    When mental disorders go undiagnosed in the elderly, they can have a negative impact on other health issues. For example, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), when a senior has untreated depression as well as heart disease, the depression can negatively affect the outcome of the disease. This can include a senior patient not following doctor's orders. 

    ...Click to Read More

    Wednesday, October 8th, 2014

    Seniors & Stage 4 Breast Cancer: What to Expect

    Breast  Cancer SurvivorAny diagnosis of breast cancer can be overwhelming, but a diagnosis of Stage 4 breast cancer can be heartbreaking. However, with advances in modern medical technology and treatments, many women and men, are living with chronic breast cancer for longer periods of time. 

    What is Stage 4 Breast Cancer

    A diagnosis of Stage 4 breast cancer means that either the cancer has returned or the cancer has spread beyond the breast to other areas of the body and vital organs. These typically include the liver, lungs, bones, or brain. At this point, the cancer is no longer curable, but it can be treated.

    Please keep in mind that while breast cancer is seen as a disease of women, men can develop breast cancer, as well. Unfortunately, as one ages, the chances of developing the disease...Click to Read More

    Tuesday, October 7th, 2014

    Early Warning Signs of Breast Cancer in Seniors

    Woman Showing Pink Ribbon To Support Breast Cancer CauseLike most cancers, the sooner you discover and begin treatment of breast cancer the better. In fact, during stage 1, there is about a 100% survival rate of five years. This is why it is important for seniors to always be on the look out for warning signs and risk factors of breast cancer. 

    There are several risk factors and warning signs for breast cancer in seniors that you should monitor carefully. These risk factors can contribute to the chance of a senior developing breast cancer. Although there are risk factors play a role in the disease’s development, according to the American Cancer Society, it’s important to get tested for breast cancer or have regular mammograms since many women, and men, that develop breast cancer have no risk factors.

    Click to Read More

    Tuesday, September 30th, 2014

    Building Caregiver Resilience: Nutritional Strategies for Caregivers

    Husband And Wife Preparing Meal, Mealtime Together

    • Roger is so worn-out by caring for his wife who has dementia that hot dogs or canned soup are about all he can put on the table for dinner.
    • Sandy stops by to make dinner for her disabled parents after work each night, but usually skips dinner when she gets home.   
    • Lois is so stressed by her husband’s stroke that her weight has shot up and she can’t seem to control her diabetes with diet like she used to do.

    How about you?  Are the chronic stresses of caregiving leading you to skip meals, eat more junk food, and lose or gain weight?  When a caregiver focuses on a loved one’s needs, there seems to be less and less time for healthy self-care.  Neglecting health-promoting behaviors is unhealthy, and can lead to physical and emotional problems.  Fortunately,...Click to Read More

    Thursday, September 25th, 2014

    Coping with Colon Cancer in Older Loved Ones

    mature man with family dinner tableAccording to the Colon Cancer Alliance, colorectal cancer is the second most fatal form of cancer in the U.S. One out of every 20 Americans runs the risk of developing colon cancer and nearly 90% of all new diagnoses of colon cancer occur in people over the age of 50.  Each year this disease, one that harms the lower intestinal tract and rectum, claims roughly 50,000 lives.

    Understanding Colon Cancer

    Fortunately, treatment is successful in almost all cases where early detection occurs. It is a sad reality, but most doctors agree that the main reason patients abstain from seeking medical help is out of fear of the colonoscopy screening itself, which is widely believed by the public to be extremely uncomfortable. While the test required to detect colon cancer is minimally invasive,...Click to Read More

    Thursday, September 18th, 2014

    Prostate Cancer: From the Perspective of Older Men and Caregiver

    Dramatic close up portrait of depressed old manIf you're a man past the age of sixty, it’s almost inevitable that you will need to deal with prostate issues. These can range from an enlarged prostate to prostate cancer, but one does not necessarily lead to the other. With that in mind, it is important for senior men and caregivers to know the difference and understand the stages, treatments, and emotional impact of prostate cancer. 

    An enlarged prostate, also known as BPH, is caused by an overgrowth of tissue within the prostate. This tissue is cancer free, but can cause difficulty with urination. Treatment for an aging adult with BPH ranges from medication to surgery, depending on how long the symptoms continue before treatment begins. Like most illnesses, early detection and treatment is the best option.

    Click to Read More