sandwich generation

[pinit]Post image for Tips for Managing Caregiver Stress

Many caregivers fall into the trap of believing they have to do everything by themselves. This can be a recipe for diaster.  If you don’t take care of yourself, you won’t be able to care-give for someone else. Juggling a Job and Caregiving Duties Two-thirds of caregivers work outside of the home. Juggling work responsibilities […]

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[pinit]Post image for Sandwich Generation? Lee Woodruff Says Panini Generation Is More Accurate

Rethinking The Sandwich Generation For decades we were dubbed “The Sandwich Generation,” adult children, mainly baby boomers, stuffed between their aging parents and their own offspring or grandchildren. Sandwiched myself for many years, I recall feeling life was a continual tug of war that never ended.  I couldn’t help thinking I was always letting someone […]

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[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 […]

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[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 […]

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[pinit]Post image for New Test Can Predict Alzheimer’s Disease

Last night I had trouble getting to sleep.  Tossing and turning, I attempted to clear my thoughts, but my brain had other ideas.  My mind was on an instant replay loop: A new study reveals researchers have developed a blood test that will predict if a healthy person — someone with no symptoms — is […]

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[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 […]

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[pinit]Post image for Moving Mummy, Again.  And, Again

So much has happened since my last update about my mother.  If you are a frequent reader of my blog, you know my mom, whom we affectionately call Mummy, has Alzheimer’s disease. You may also remember that late last summer my sister and I moved Mummy to an assisted living facility in our small hometown […]

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[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 […]

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[pinit]Post image for Alzheimer’s By the Numbers

The clock is ticking.  According to the latest Alzheimer’s Association statistics, someone in the United States develops Alzheimer’s disease every 68 seconds. Currently, more than 5.2 million Americans are living Alzheimer’s disease and it is our nation’s sixth leading cause of death.  One in three seniors die from Alzheimer’s or another type of dementia.  Since […]

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When I think of sandwich, I usually conjure up an image of a corned beef on rye or a tuna salad on whole wheat.  When you add generation to it, then I envision the baby boomers (of which I am one) eating sandwiches made of Wonder Bread. Of course, Sandwich Generation has taken on a […]

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The Mummy Update

by Nancy Wurtzel on June 27, 2013

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My mother has reached a cognitive plateau that is not uncommon in people with Alzheimer’s disease or other dementias.  Friends often ask me how she is and I answer, “basically status quo.”  She doesn’t seem any worse, and, of course, there is no chance of improvement. While life moves ahead, Mummy, as we call her, […]

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[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 […]

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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 […]

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This morning I read an article in USA Today about the legacy of Margaret Thatcher, who died last week at age 87.  Written by Michael Wolff, the excellent opinion piece is not about the prime minister’s long-term political and economic contributions, but rather about the last dozen or so years of her life when she […]

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It’s worse than we thought.  Without a cure or an effective way of slowing the progression of Alzheimer’s disease, our nation will face staggering consequences, according to a widely-circulated study published recently by the Rush Institute for Healthy Aging. The study tracked 10,802 seniors, aged 65 or older, from 1993 to 2011.  Every three years […]

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The Mummy Update

by Nancy Wurtzel on March 12, 2013

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Friends and followers have been asking me for the latest news about my 92-year-old mother, whom we affectionately call Mummy. Mummy has shown signs of dementia for about five years and is in beginnings of severe Alzheimer’s disease. After moving into assisted living last fall, Mummy’s symptoms worsened significantly and she continues in a downward […]

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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.  […]

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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, […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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Dementia Sucks.  This is my new mantra. I say those two words out loud when I’m alone.  On a really bad day, I might even scream them in the car.  Online, I discuss dementia with people I’ve never met and I write about it endlessly.  I talk to my sister by phone and we sometimes […]

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The feedback on my recent post about dementia, What Makes Me Angry? Dementia., was truly heartwarming.  Quite a few of my friends called and emailed, while others posted on my Facebook page or retweeted the story to their followers.  Thanks to LinkedIn and a few other social media sites, hundreds of new readers visited Dating […]

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[pinit]Post image for What Makes Me Angry? Dementia.

I first noticed signs of my mother’s dementia symptoms during a trip home to Minnesota about four years ago.  I remember feeling panicked.  You see, my dad had Alzheimer’s disease and needed full-time care for years.  That long, awful journey took a terrible toll on him as well as my mom, who was his primary […]

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My Mom called me this morning.  However, this is what we refer to in the Midwest as a mixed blessing.  It was encouraging because Mummy has a very difficult time using the phone for outgoing calls and it often takes her several attempts to reach the person she wants to speak with.  On the other […]

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I am here, no longer there.  The long drive from California to Minnesota seems like it happened months ago.  For the past five days, I’ve been unpacking the boxes which were shipped ahead and everything I had squeezed into my Camry Hybrid — and I do mean squeezed. When my college friend, Camille, met me […]

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Since I’m making the long trip home again — this time by car — I thought it would be appropriate for me to share a post from a trip I made to visit my Mom last spring.  This was first published March 10, 2011. Think of me as I wind my way through Utah and […]

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Elderly Often Experience Financial Challenges Last week I wrote about making the trip home to Minnesota to see my 90-year-old mother.  The week-long visit was a mixture of experiences and emotions.  Mostly it was good, but sometimes it just wasn’t. The night I arrived home, I noticed that Mummy — as we affectionately call her […]

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When my Dad first started showing signs of Alzheimer’s it was his short-term memory that was primarily affected.  Unable to capture, process and remember information, he’d just keep asking the same question over and over and over — like a stuck record that just couldn’t move forward.  We knew it wasn’t his fault, but it was […]

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Bla Bla Dementia

by Nancy Wurtzel on November 4, 2010

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When I think about dementia, I get overwhelmed and pessimistic.  My internal dialogue goes something like: It’s out of my control.  Bla bla bla. There is nothing I can do to help my Mom.  Bla bla. Or prevent my own slow fall into the mad abyss that is dementia.  Bla Bla Bla. Dementia brings out […]

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Dementia is a subject that no one likes to talk about.  Yet we have to deal with this problem that affects millions of Americans and their families — and will only worsen as the Baby Boom generation ages.  Alzheimer’s is finally getting the national attention it needs.  Time Magazine cover story about Alzheimer’s and it […]

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With aging parents you can’t ever get too comfortable.  Just when you think everything is under control, it all turns to crap.  And I mean that in the most uplifting way. After the mini-crisis with my Mom just days ago, I called her this morning to find that she had just returned from the emergency […]

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Long Distance

by Nancy Wurtzel on October 21, 2010

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Dealing with a loved one who has memory loss is never easy.  Add 2,500 miles and you have a recipe for disaster. Yesterday was not a good day.  I called my mom in Minnesota just to check in and found that she was pretty much out of it.  Mummy, as we affectionately call her, told […]

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