Early Signs of COPD in Seniors That May Surprise You

Hospital nurse helps a senior woman breath through an oxygen mas
For many seniors with COPD, the early signs will go unnoticed or be blamed on other ailments or lifestyle decisions such as smoking or being out of shape. Because of this, it’s not unusual for seniors to ignore the signs and simply live with the symptoms, at least at first. That is why it is important for the loved ones of an older adult to watch for these signs and take action. Coughing People cough for a number of reasons. Coughing is the normal reaction of the lungs to remove... Click to Read More

The Gift of Saying Goodbye to a Loved One

Old And Young Hands
In mid-December of 2001, my mother suffered a small stroke.  After being discharged from the hospital, she was sent to a skilled nursing facility for observation and short-term rehab. In addition to this new problem in her brain, her doctor said that due to her congestive heart failure, her heart was only functioning at 20% of capacity.  When I asked a cardiologist friend what that meant, he said, “It means she’s not going to live long.” She’d been in the nursing home less than 24 hours when she called.... Click to Read More

5 Tips for Senior Driving Safety

Senior couple in sports car
Most people take driving for granted, but as they get older, driving can become more dangerous and a topic for discussion. Keeping older adult drivers on the road longer should be a goal as long as they can drive safely. With the following tips, you can help keep your elderly loved one driving longer and enjoying life while staying safe, all at the same time. Get Your Vision Checked Depending on your loved one's age, they should have their vision checked yearly and go no more than two years without... Click to Read More

Older Adults & AIDS: What Family Caregivers Need to Know

man hands forming a heart with his hands and a red ribbon for th
The past three decades have dramatically improved what it means for a person to be HIV-positive. Once viewed as a death sentence, today there are millions of people continuing to live long and rich lives in spite of their infection. With the latest medical breakthroughs, more people than ever before in history are surviving a HIV diagnosis well into their golden years. But it's not all good news. Approximately one-third of those suffering from HIV and AIDS are at least 50 years old. To make matters more complicated, the... Click to Read More

Give Me a Brake: Driver Safety Programs for Seniors

Out For A Drive
Safe driving habits are important for everyone; from first-time teenagers to more seasoned individuals behind the wheel, you can never be too careful on the road. However, senior drivers often have difficulties practicing defensive driving techniques. In fact, according to AAA, drivers approaching age 80 have approximately the same number of per-mile collisions that result in injury as do drivers younger than 25. For many of these people, the rules of the road have changed markedly since when they first had the pleasure of cruising, and this can obviously... Click to Read More

Are You at Risk for Developing Emphysema?

Most respiratory illnesses and diseases can be life threatening if not treated quickly and accordingly. Adequate airflow is needed to promote proper blood circulation, and the main problem with many lung afflictions is the excess stress this puts on the heart. Many people fail to realize the connection between the two, and are ignorant to the fact that the body’s vital systems all work in conjunction with one another. To put the circumstances into perspective, consider what happens when you hold your breath; instantly, the cutoff of oxygen to... Click to Read More

Building Caregiver Resilience: Health Strategies

Elderly Care
Following his wife’s stroke, John’s arthritis has flared-up because of helping her move and doing all the housework. The usual medications haven’t been effective and pain has been keeping John up at night. A few drinks are his only real source of relief. Her daughter was horrified when she discovered that Ruth hasn’t seen her doctor in several years. Considering her recent fainting spell and family history of heart problems, Ruth knows her daughter’s right to be worried. But as a dementia caregiver, it seems... Click to Read More

Hospice Services: Understanding the Stages of Hospice Care

Elder care nurse playing jigsaw puzzle with senior woman in nurs
Hospice care was once associated with people that were at the end stages of cancer. This is no longer the case. Today, hospice care may be an option for any person with six months or less to live, regardless of their condition or age. In fact, many hospice patients are dealing with the ravages of Alzheimer’s Disease or other forms of dementia. What is most important for the family and their loved one is to understand the stages of hospice care available. It’s important to understand that hospice care... Click to Read More

A Caregiver’s Thanksgiving

Multi Generation Family Celebrating Thanksgiving
In the past, I’ve always strived to host Norman Rockwell-type Thanksgiving feasts. Every year I envisioned our children, grandchildren and other family members gathering congenially around our table, enjoying a delicious meal and intelligent conversation while expressing gratitude for our many blessings. To be perfectly honest, it’s rarely worked out that way. Someone has always shown up late or sick. Inevitably, someone who offered to bring a dish walks through the door at the last minute carrying the ingredients in a grocery sack. And just as... Click to Read More

Hospice & Palliative Care: At What Cost?

attending to senior woman in hospice
When it comes time to consider hospice and palliative care, one of the options to weigh must be the cost. The cost of end of life care can be expensive, so it is important to have some information upfront. A Difficult Time; A Difficult Decision Many hospice costs can be paid by Medicare, but there remains plenty of costs left over for the patient or the family to contend with. For this reason, many patients wait until the very end before entering hospice. To qualify to have hospice care paid... Click to Read More