Listen To My Latest Podcast Episode::

Preventing Financial Elder Abuse & Exploitation with Dr. Peter Lichtenberg

Listen To My Latest Podcast Episode: Preventing Financial Elder Abuse & Exploitation with Dr. Peter Lichtenberg

Lower Caregiver Stress with Proven Resilience Strategies - with William Haley, PhD

 

 

 

We have a narrative in society that says that caregivers have more depression and stress, spend their caregiving years suffering, only to lead to premature death. Our guest today shares a more balanced and factual narrative about caregivers.

Yes, many caregivers do indeed have increased rates of stress and depression. Research shows, however, that caregivers are remarkably resilient and actually DO NOT have a reduced lifespan as a result of caregiving.

Our guest today, Dr. William Haley, Professor of Aging Studies, reveals how caregiving actually affects caregivers and shares several resilience strategies you can use (starting today) to bolster your resilience and lower your stress. Listen until the end for all the great tips and strategies.

 

Here's a peak inside my interview with Dr. William Haley:

  • [04:02] Dr. Haley shares his story: Where he's from and what inspired him to study aging and caregiving.
  • [8:23]  Learn about a stress and coping...
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Managing Caregiver Guilt and Shame about Moving Aging Parent to Assisted Living

 

 

 


Have you helped your loved one move to a senior living or assisted living community only to find that in the midst of experiencing relief that your loved one is being cared for and is safe, you also have intense feelings of guilt and shame? 

You're not alone. Many caregivers struggle with guilt and shame after moving older loved ones into a senior living community. Perhaps you feel that you've let your older loved one down, like you're not being a dutiful spouse, daughter, or son. This can lead to emotional distress and discontent. 

To help you navigate the emotionally turbulent waters of caregiver guilt and shame, I've prepared 5 strategies for helping you to move through guilt and shame when helping your older loved one adjust to senior living. 

 

 

5  strategies for moving through guilt and shame when helping your older loved one adjust to senior living

 

1....

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How to Start a Senior Living Discussion with Aging Parents

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There may come a time when you're faced with the conversation of talking with your aging parents about moving into a senior living or assisted living community. Many people dread this conversation.

 

Even simply starting the conversation can bring up all sorts of worry and feelings of guilt and shame.

 

If you're facing this situation, it can help to prepare. In today's episode, I share:

 

  • 6 Strategies for setting yourself up for success with the senior living discussion
  • Examples of how to start the conversation
  • Tips for managing escalation of emotions during this talk
  • How to go about finding senior housing or assisted living communities
  • The importance of taking care of yourself through it all.

 

 

6 Strategies for setting yourself up for success with the senior living discussion

 

1. Don't wait until there is a crisis

Starting these conversations long before your loved one has a medical,...

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Older Adults and Resilience During the COVID-19 Pandemic: 5 Proven Strategies

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When we think of older adults during COVID, images of older adults living in long-term care communities sheltering in place with hands pressed against windows trying to connect with loved ones circle in our heads.

2020 was a year of incredible hardship and pain for many people and especially for many older adults and their families. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) tells us that since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, older adults have the greatest risk of requiring hospitalization or dying if they’re diagnosed with COVID-19. This has been one of the most heartbreaking fall outs of the pandemic. 
 

(Images retrieved on 1/5/21 from: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/need-extra-precautions/older-adults.html)


We also know that many older families living with dementia or other significant illness during COVID-19 have been hit especially hard with closures of adult...

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HIV, Mental Health, and Older Adults: Must Know Statistics

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In honor of world AIDS day on 12/1, I am devoting today’s episode to HIV and Aging. And, yes. HIV is an important topic when it comes to aging. An estimated 1.2 million people in the United States had HIV at the end of 2018. 

 

More than half of the adults living in the US with HIV are 50 years old and older.

 

With the use of antiretroviral medications, people who were diagnosed with HIV decades ago have been able to live well into older adulthood.

 

1 out of 6 people who are newly diagnosed with HIV are 50 and older

 

 

 

CDC also tells us some important factors that particularly affect older adults when it comes to HIV:

  • Older adults and their providers are less likely to discuss sexual or drug use behaviors. Health care providers may not ask patients aged 50 and older about these issues or test them for HIV. Also, older people may not consider themselves to be at risk for HIV, may...
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Caregiving During COVID-19: 5 Self-Care Strategies for Caregivers

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November is National Caregiver Month, but I really think this entire year should be dedicated to caregivers for all that they have been through during COVID.

 

In today’s episode, I share statistics about the toll of caregiving during COVID and 5 self-care strategies for caregivers during COVID. 


Family caregivers during COVID are more stressed and overwhelmed than ever before and here are some reasons why:

  • Approximately 61% of caregivers are employed while caregiving. Of these caregivers, 60% work 40 or more hours a week and another 15% work 30-39 hours per week. 
  • Caregiving resources during COVID have been limited. Many resources that caregivers rely on like senior centers and adult day programs have been (and remain closed) for several months.
  • Caregivers may not be comfortable with home health aides coming into the home for fear of exposure to COVID, so have cancelled home health aide...
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Support Veterans thru Loving Conversations. Expert Tips From a Former VA Psychologist

 

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You may be surprised to hear that about half of today’s Veterans are 65 and older.

If you're caring for an aging Veteran, you may have many questions but not know where to start. Once you do get started, you might not know HOW TO ACTUALLY HAVE a conversation with your loved one about their military service.
 
Maybe you're afraid of saying the wrong thing, pushing too hard, or maybe you're afraid that starting this conversation will open pandora's box of memories.
 
I have been working with older Veterans and their families for more than 10 years, so I thought it would be helpful to share these expert tips on talking with aging parents about their military service with you!

 

 

Chances are, if you're caring for an aging parent (65 or older) who served in the military, their service was influenced by WW-II, the Korean War, or the Vietnam War.

 

Offering the opportunity for your aging...

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Why is Early Diagnosis of Dementia Important?

blog dementia memory loss Jul 27, 2020

Witnessing memory problems in your older loved one can be really scary. You might not know what's causing the memory loss and fear the worst case scenario. You may think, if it is dementia, there’s nothing I can do about it, right? WRONG!

 

On the other hand, you might notice signs of memory loss in your loved one and brush it off thinking “everyone experiences significant memory loss as they age, right?” WRONG!

 

I've seen many individuals and families put off getting an evaluation to identify what’s causing memory loss for the reasons above and so many other reasons as well. But putting off an evaluation to determine what is causing memory loss can be more harmful than helpful. 

In this article, I set the record straight about the benefits to early detection of dementia disorders. There's actually a lot that we can do to make your life and your loved one’s life with dementia easier- early detection is key. 

Here are 7 benefits of...

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My 94 Year Old Mom Has Depression. Where Do We Go From Here?

I recently received a letter from a listener of my podcast: "Dear Dr. Koepp, My mom has recently become depressed. She's 94 and lives alone. My family and I aren't sure what we should be doing (if anything). Where should we go from here?"

 

I have tremendous respect for this listener for reaching out to learn more about depression in older adulthood.

 

Let me start by saying that depression is NOT a normal part of aging, but depression IS the most prevalent mental health condition among older adults. Unfortunately, depression in late life often goes undetected and untreated largely due to the false belief that with age comes depression.

This is why it is so important to learn about depression and have tools and resources to help older adults to get treated for depression if and when they need it.

 

What are the rates of depression in older adults?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), only 1% to 5% of people 65 and older living in the...

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COVID-19 & Ageism: Two Harmful Agents Affecting Older Adults

ageism blog covid-19 Jun 26, 2020

Coronavirus: Isolate the Elderly was the sign on the freeway that I would see twice a day as I drove to and from work at a busy medical center in a Geropsychiatry Outpatient Clinic to provide teletherapy to older adults and their families during COVID. I cringed every time I drove past this sign.

 

Since COVID started, I have received several emails from people who care about older adults expressing concern for them. Like, a college professor who reached out to me to express concern that her father, who is a physician, made the decision to leave retirement to return to work in a medical clinic during COVID. She shared with me that she was appalled and went so far as to call his medical practice and complain.

 

There have been countless ageist expressions since the coronavirus started. And the problem with ageism, even well-meaning ageism, is that it has the effect of harming older adults rather than helping them. 

 

I’ll start with the sign on the freeway:...

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