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To My Caregiver: What I Want to Tell You

Posted by Haley Kotwicki on October 31, 2018 at 10:45 AM

Every day at 5 a.m., I hear you wake up across the hall, unraveling yourself from the bed covers. You walk quietly to the kitchen as not to disturb me, so I can continue to sleep. You brew the coffee for us, count out my pills for the morning and set everything on my breakfast tray. As you enter my room, you call my name sweetly, “Mom?” I open my eyes to see a fatigued but smiling woman. You help me sit up in bed, guide my hand so I can drink and place my medications on my tongue. You help me bathe and dress. You lift me into my wheelchair and comb my hair, parted the way you know I like. Then, you hustle to get yourself ready for the day: work deadlines, PTA meetings, etc.
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Topics: Caregiving

Hospice Care Is Health Care

Posted by Helen Beamer on October 31, 2018 at 10:15 AM

When someone mentions the word “hospice,” people often cringe or change the subject, fearing that hospice care somehow means giving up on life. Others view hospice with a lack of respect, as if it isn’t real medical care. I know this firsthand. I used to be employed in hospice as a volunteer coordinator. 
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Topics: Hospice and Palliative Care, Home Care Planning

The Holidays and a Loved One With Dementia

Posted by Deborah Bier, PhD on October 31, 2018 at 10:00 AM

When someone in the family has dementia, two important facts need to be respected, particularly around the winter holidays:

We want to spend the time we can with our loved ones. Yet, people, noise and activity can easily overwhelm those with dementia.

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Topics: Alzheimer's and Dementia, Holidays

Providing Care for Military Caregivers

Posted by Anne Hein on October 31, 2018 at 9:30 AM

In the U.S., millions of injured, ill and disabled veterans depend on friends and family for care. In fact, according to the RAND Corporation, there are 5.5 million unpaid military caregivers in the United States.

Of that group, nearly 20 percent are caring for someone who served after 9/11. This new era of caregivers is facing unique challenges.

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Topics: Home Care Planning, Caregiving, Holidays

Minimizing Frightening Hallucinations and Delusions for People With Dementia

Posted by ComForCare on October 16, 2018 at 8:00 AM

People with dementia frequently make mistakes in judgment and understanding. They begin to have communication problems as use of language becomes more difficult. People with dementia also have high levels of confusion about the world we live in. Combine all these factors, and situations are ripe for misinterpretation. Besides hallucinations and delusions, there can be alternate interpretations for the situations below:

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12 Tips on What to Do Before, During and After Doctor Appointments

Posted by Haley Kotwicki on October 9, 2018 at 8:00 AM

There are momentous occasions in a person’s life: getting a driver’s license, having a child, graduating school, or, often overlooked, becoming the caregiver of a parent or another older loved one.

Caregiving can take many forms. Family caregivers often accompany their parent to their doctor appointments and possibly even sit in the exam room with them. While there’s no studying involved for this exam, it’s important to be prepared, especially when you are advocating care for someone else. Below are 12 suggestions on what to do before, during and after a visit with the doctor.

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Hiring an In-Home Caregiver – What Options Are Available?

Posted by Anne Hein on October 8, 2018 at 10:50 AM

Most seniors want to age in place. According to AARP, 90 percent of those 65 and over want to stay in their home for as long as possible and 80 percent think their current residence is where they will always be.

However, to stay at home, older adults often require assistance with everyday activities from bathing and going to the bathroom, to running errands and preparing meals. Family and friends can often chip in, but sometimes they are not available, they live far away or it is more than they can juggle. That’s where home care comes in. 

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Topics: Home Care Planning, Caregiving, Aging

Brain Functions Preserved the Longest With Dementia

Posted by ComForCare on September 12, 2018 at 8:00 AM

People with dementia have many abilities and functions preserved for a long time – even through the end of life. When we take time to understand what people with dementia can still do, we are taking the first steps in creating better days for them.

Here are two examples of how focusing on what is still possible can make a difference (all identifying information has been changed for privacy reasons).

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Topics: Alzheimer's and Dementia, Aging, Home Care Planning

Need Help Coordinating Health Care? Turn to a Case Manager

Posted by Anne Hein on September 10, 2018 at 10:00 AM

Case managers play a critical role in the health care system, but many do not know they exist. Case managers help individuals and their families understand a person’s illness or injury and then work with them and other health care professionals to develop a treatment plan.

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Topics: Aging, Home Care Planning, Healthy Living

Preventing Falls – In-Home Safety Checks and Assessments

Posted by Anne Hein on September 5, 2018 at 11:30 AM

You noticed a bruise on your grandma’s arm. “It was just a little fall,” she says. Maybe she is right, it was a minor incident. But what about the next time?

Falls can be serious, sometimes fatal, for older adults. According to the National Council on Aging, every 11 seconds, an older adult is treated in the emergency room for a fall, and every 19 minutes, an older adult dies from a fall.

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Topics: Safety, Caregiving, Fall Prevention

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