caregiver

[pinit]Post image for Alzheimer’s Caregiving Stress, The Checklist

Mary assists her aging mother two evenings a week and almost all day on Saturday.  Her mother, who will soon turn 85, needs help with a growing list of tasks, including shopping for groceries, paying bills, doing laundry going to the pharmacy and preparing meals. During a recent conversation with Mary, I called her a […]

{ 0 comments }

Be Sociable, Share!
[pinit]Post image for What to Buy for Father’s Day When Dad Has Alzheimer’s?

Father’s Day is on June 21.  There’s not much time to pick out the perfect gift for Dad.  Will it be a new tie?  A shirt?  Perhaps a round of golf?  How about a book or a gift card for his favorite restaurant? Maybe even a cool, new tech device? These are all great ideas, […]

{ 1 comment }

Be Sociable, Share!
[pinit]Post image for Capturing the Alzheimer’s Person’s History

My sisters and I made a big mistake when my father began showing the first signs of Alzheimer’s: We didn’t take the time to capture Dad’s recollections about his childhood. When he died in 1999, after living with Alzheimer’s for the better part of a decade, Dad’s six siblings were also dead.  This meant there […]

{ 8 comments }

Be Sociable, Share!
[pinit]Post image for Alzheimer’s Keeps Me Awake at Night

In the dark, I toss and turn, practicing deep-breathing techniques and willing myself to think positive thoughts. Sometimes it works; sometimes it doesn’t. In the quiet of the night, there is an endless loop of questions running through my brain.  Will I get Alzheimer’s?  Could I already have it?  Would I know if I did […]

{ 0 comments }

Be Sociable, Share!
[pinit]Post image for How to Have Those Difficult Conversations When Someone Has Alzheimer’s Disease

Aging Parents and Difficult Conversations If I could change one aspect of my Alzheimer’s caregiving journey, it would be how I handled difficult conversations. Both of my parents had Alzheimer’s disease, first my dad and then a decade later my mother.  As you can imagine  there were plenty of difficult conversations over the years.  These […]

{ 3 comments }

Be Sociable, Share!
[pinit]Post image for Alzheimer’s Frustrates Physicians

Alzheimer’s and other progressive diseases of the brain are devastating. They are also profoundly frustrating for those living with the disease, their family and caregivers.  The healthcare professionals who treat those patients are also frustrated. Recently, I came across a New York Times essay by Dr. Danielle Ofri.  “The Silence of Doctors Around Alzheimer’s” focuses […]

{ 4 comments }

Be Sociable, Share!
[pinit]Post image for We’re Living Longer. Is That Good?

Life Expectancy in the U.S. is Rising Americans are living longer.  Life expectancy in the U.S. has risen to 78.8 years for those born in 2012 or after, according to a story in USA Today and other online sources.   Traditionally, women live longer than men and these latest projections are no exception with women’s […]

{ 8 comments }

Be Sociable, Share!
[pinit]Post image for What I’ve Learned About Alzheimer’s Disease

The more I learn about Alzheimer’s disease, and other diseases of the brain, the more angry I become.  Some days, I feel ready to explode or implode — I can’t say which — but a “plode” would be involved. This post is really nothing more than a rant.  Thanks for indulging me. What I’ve learned […]

{ 18 comments }

Be Sociable, Share!
[pinit]Post image for Aging Relatives and Memory Loss: The Holiday Eye-Opener for Adult Children

During the month of January, the phone lines are always busier than usual at the Alzheimer’s Association. The holidays are over and adult children have returned to their own homes after visiting aging parents and other relatives. During these visits, these middle-aged kids have often experienced an unwelcome eye-opener: Their elderly relatives are showing signs […]

{ 0 comments }

Be Sociable, Share!
[pinit]Post image for Can a Person Ever Be Fully Prepared to Care For Someone with Alzheimer’s?

Earlier this year, I attended a caregivers conference at the University of Minnesota.  The morning keynote speaker was absolutely terrific — an engaging, informed speaker who was also funny and self-deprecating. The speaker’s bio was also impressive.  He was a physician, a teacher, an author as well as a long-time caregiver for his mother who […]

{ 2 comments }

Be Sociable, Share!
[pinit]Post image for Is it Alzheimer’s? When Memory Loss Signs Are Not the Obvious, Classic Symptoms

My mom, who died late last year from Alzheimer’s disease, began to show the first signs of memory loss about a decade ago.  During these very early stage of the disease, I didn’t fully comprehend what was happening. I already had some experience with Alzheimer’s, since my father had the disease during the final six […]

{ 1 comment }

Be Sociable, Share!
[pinit]

A few months ago, I attended a memory loss conference and encountered what I refer to as an “Alpha Alzheimer’s Caregiver.”  I’ll call her Deborah. Deborah is the type of women who who brims with confidence, seems to have all the answers and uses every opportunity to share her own personal experience and opinions.  Deborah […]

{ 8 comments }

Be Sociable, Share!
[pinit]Post image for Still Alice, a Moving Novel and Soon a Movie

There are hundreds and hundreds of books on the topic of the Alzheimer’s disease, the brain and brain health.  But there are few novels that feature the disease as its central plot. One single novel stands out. Still Alice is the best-selling book written by first-time author Lisa Genova, a Harvard-educated neuroscientist.  Published in 2009, […]

{ 48 comments }

Be Sociable, Share!
[pinit]Post image for Caregiver Quandry: What to Buy for Mother’s Day When Mom Has Alzheimer’s Disease?

What to Buy When Mom Has Alzheimer’s? Mother’s Day, always the second Sunday in May in the U.S., falls on May 11th this year.  This means you have a little more than a month to pick out that perfect piece of jewelry or perhaps the ideal perfume.  It’s estimated Americans will spend upwards of $2.6 […]

{ 8 comments }

Be Sociable, Share!
[pinit]Post image for Alzheimer’s Tool Kit for Caregivers. Cool Graphic With Tips and Ideas for Caregivers

If you’re caring for someone with dementia symptoms you’ll already be aware of the complex challenges it presents. People with Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia are affected by a range of symptoms, including memory loss, difficulty communicating, changes in mood, agitation, depression, physical issues and so much more. These symptoms are not just difficult […]

{ 9 comments }

Be Sociable, Share!
[pinit]Post image for Study Reveals Alzheimer’s a “Sleeping Giant.” Now Third Leading Cause of Death in U.S.

Deaths From Alzheimer’s are Undereported A new study about death and Alzheimer’s disease made headlines yesterday.  It revealed what all of us in the Alzheimer’s community already knew: Alzheimer’s disease is a “sleeping giant” and it is dramatically under-reported as the cause of death, especially in older Americans. The study, published in the medical journal […]

{ 15 comments }

Be Sociable, Share!
[pinit]Post image for Planning for Your Own Funeral

Today, when I was looking for a document among my mom’s files, I came across a small piece of note paper. In my mom’s scratchy handwriting, she had written: “When I die, contact the VFW. I’ve been a member for 62 years and have a $1,000 life insurance policy.”  The note is is signed, Mom […]

{ 15 comments }

Be Sociable, Share!
[pinit]Post image for Dying From Alzheimer’s Disease

When my sister and I brought my mom home to my house last week, she was still able to walk with the aid of a walker, say a few words, eat and experience some basic interactions.  Even though we know she is dying from Alzheimer’s, my sister and I were still able to see Mummy, […]

{ 24 comments }

Be Sociable, Share!
[pinit]Post image for Dear God, My Mother Has Alzheimer’s Disease, Please Help Her Die

Dear Readers: This Blog Post Was First Published in 2013 When My Mother Was in the Latter Stages of Alzheimer’s disease.  Mom Died in November 2013. I am not a religious person.  I don’t even believe in a higher power, let alone one true God.  Even so, for the past several years I often find […]

{ 123 comments }

Be Sociable, Share!
[pinit]Post image for Baby Doll Therapy and Alzheimer’s Disease

Those of us who are Alzheimer’s caregivers are used to seeing abilities ebb away.  My mom — whom we call Mummy — was once a highly social person who always had to stay busy.  Cooking and baking were her passions, and so were endless games of cards with family and friends. However, those days are […]

{ 24 comments }

Be Sociable, Share!
[pinit]

My mother is trying to communicate.  I’ve been with her for almost two hours on this bright spring morning, and during my visit she keeps trying to tell me something.  She’s unable to find the words. Often I can guess what she wants to convey, but today I’m coming up empty handed. Mummy, as we […]

{ 25 comments }

Be Sociable, Share!
[pinit]

As the old saying goes: A picture is worth a thousand words.  If that is true, then moving pictures are worth an entire library. Don’t get me wrong, I’m certainly a fan of words and images.  As you can imagine, I spend a good part of my day online, either writing or reading what others […]

{ 5 comments }

Be Sociable, Share!
[pinit]

Alzheimer’s disease is the pits.  Yet, even in the midst of all the pain, frustration and anger, there is sometimes the funny. Oh sure, the humor isn’t the hilarious, laugh-out-loud kind, but it certainly can make you smile or relieve the mundane that is so much of a caregiver’s world. It’s okay to find the […]

{ 12 comments }

Be Sociable, Share!
[pinit]

This post was written by Nancy Wurtzel.  It was first published on the website MariaShriver.com.  Please take a minute to visit the Maria Shriver website and see all of the great information and writing for yourself. When you are caring for someone with memory loss, the days all run together.  Indeed, it may often seem […]

{ 14 comments }

Be Sociable, Share!
[pinit]

This post was originally published last week in The Alzheimer’s Reading Room, which was voted #1 in Alzheimer’s blogs in 2012 by Healthline. If you have not checked out The Alzheimer’s Reading Room, you need to do so today! Helpless.  That’s what I often feel when I’m dealing with my mother who has Alzheimer’s disease.  […]

{ 15 comments }

Be Sociable, Share!
[pinit]

Welcome to the blog carnival featuring some of the blogosphere’s most eloquent writers. We’ll be highlighting the work of 8 women who write about what it feels like to be a primary caregiver to someone who depends on you — whether you’re on vacation, it’s a holiday, it’s an emergency at three in the morning, […]

{ 0 comments }

Be Sociable, Share!
[pinit]

Deep down, we knew it would happen, but we didn’t really have any other choice.  It was just not safe for my mother to continue to live in her senior apartment.  She needed more care, more activities, more everything. My sister and I were exhausted and we’d reached that tipping point, where if you don’t […]

{ 18 comments }

Be Sociable, Share!
[pinit]

More Females Are Caregivers When I conjure an image of a caregiver, I picture a woman.  I know I’m being sexist but I always think female.  Why? First, I don’t personally know many male caregivers.  In fact, I can only think of one or two.  Also, in my family, the women did all the traditional […]

{ 5 comments }

Be Sociable, Share!
[pinit]

Dementia doesn’t discriminate.  It doesn’t give a rats ass who you are, what you have accomplished in life or how much money you have accumulated. You could be a homemaker, a file clerk, a dentist, a teacher or even a former President of the United States.  Dementia could still find you.  In fact, if you […]

{ 10 comments }

Be Sociable, Share!
[pinit]

Is It Alzheimer’s Disease? Looks can be deceiving.  Mary, a slight, sweet woman, moved into my mother’s independent living home about six months ago.  Mummy can’t remember her name and instead calls her “the little young gal.” Mary’s actually 83, so while she is no spring chicken, she might be considered young by many of […]

{ 18 comments }

Be Sociable, Share!
[pinit]purple woman brain

Nobody wants to talk about dementia.  Bring up Alzheimer’s in a social setting and watch the reaction.  People squirm, they become uncomfortable, their gaze wanders, they stop making eye contact and finally they clam up like a librarian at a strip club. Dementia affects almost everyone these days, and you would be hard pressed to find […]

{ 5 comments }

Be Sociable, Share!