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Preventing Financial Elder Abuse & Exploitation with Dr. Peter Lichtenberg

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

How to Support Elderly Parents Moving to Assisted Living

 

Helping aging parents move into a senior living or assisted living environment can be overwhelming, and emotions can easily escalate. Here are 12 tips for managing those emotions during difficult conversations with elderly parents. 

 

 

1. Expect that this will be emotional. 

Expect that this is going to be emotional. Know that it is reasonable that this is emotional and that there will be some fallout. Everyone is entitled to their feelings about this transition. Starting this discussion with the understanding that this will indeed be an emotional conversation will help you get through it.

 

2. Prepare for "the Talk."

Before you have this conversation, take the time to prepare. Here’s how:

  • Do a Dress Rehearsal

It can help to talk this conversation through with someone you trust before you bring it up with your loved one (like a dress rehearsal).

This has a couple of benefits:

  1. It will help you to clarify exactly what you...
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Tips for Better Communication in Dementia Care: 3 Caregiving Traps to Avoid with Dr. Natali Edmonds

 

 

 

When you care for a loved one with dementia, chances are you have years of experience with this person and are used to communicating with them in a particular way. Dementia changes the way a person thinks, processes information, and understands the information you're sharing, so the way that you communicate with your loved one also needs to change in partnership with the changes in the brain. 

 

Learning how to communicate with a person with dementia takes practice. It's like learning a new language. Thankfully there are experts in dementia communication, like Dr. Natali Edmonds,  who can help us develop skills in learning effective dementia communication strategies. 

 

In today's interview, Dr. Natali Edmonds, Geropsychologist and founder of Dementia Careblazers, talks about 3 caregiving communication traps to avoid and shares a very important message to dementia caregivers. 

 

The tips in this...

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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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Dementia Communication Tips with Alzheimer's Poetry Project's Gary Glazner

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In my work with people caring for loved ones with dementia, I often hear comments like: "they've become a stranger to me" or "I don't even recognize them anymore".

Dementia is a devastating illness that often robs families of the opportunity to connect and experience joy.  Because of this, it's essential that we find a way to share connecting moments, enjoy one another, and see a little piece of the person eclipsed by the shadow of this devastating illness.

And, I have just the person to help us with this!

In this week's episode, I interview Gary Glazner, the founder and Executive Director of the Alzheimer’s Poetry Project. In this interview, Gary generously shares with us strategies facilitating communication and connection with our loved ones with dementia and even shares about his own experience bringing poetry to his mom at the end of her life.

 

 

 Here’s a sneak peek...

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How to Talk About End of Life Wishes - with Patty Webster, The Conversation Project

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Have you had an end of life conversation with a loved one? What feelings came up for when you read this? Fear? Sadness? Longing? Remorse?

 

Naturally, when we experience these feelings, we often want to run from them, rather than toward them. 

 

But, did you know that when we actually pursue end of life conversations with our loved ones, it actually does more good than harm. 

 

Research shows that end-of-life conversations lead to improved mental health and better-quality of life for both patients and caregivers. Here's how:

  • The person dying reports relief and less distress after talking with their loved ones about end of life wishes
  • When there is a meaningful conversation about end-of-life choices, survivors report feeling less guilt and less depression and having an easier process of grieving. 

 

Now that you know end of life conversations can be helpful, in this podcast episode, I...

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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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When Caregivers Have Chronic Medical Illness of Their Own with Dr. Kandi Schmidt

 

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As a society, we have so many unrealistic expectations for caregivers. As much as you hate to admit it, you may have even caught yourself thinking I can't believe that she moved her father into a nursing home, or I would never have made THAT decision.

 

We have so many judgments about the way caregivers "should" go about providing care. This, in turn, makes caregivers less likely to ask for help and more likely to shoulder the demands of caregiving all on their own.  This leaves caregivers feeling invisible and as if their needs are less important than everyone else's. Can you relate?

 

What if the caregiver has chronic and life threatening illnesses of their own? How does this change the caregiving dynamic?

 

To help answer this question, I invited my dear friend, Dr. Kandi Schmidt on the podcast to share her wisdom about this complex situation of caring for an older loved one when you...

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5 Facts You Should Know About Dementia Caregiving

caregiving dementia podcast Aug 18, 2020

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I hear from caregivers pretty regularly that"nobody really understands how hard caring for a loved one with dementia is!"

So, I decided to share some facts about dementia caregivers in the hopes that it will provide some understanding and support for the dementia caregiver's journey!

 

 

If you're caring for somebody with dementia, I see you and I value what you're doing. Please, please, please take care of yourself because we know that depression and anxiety and stress and strain will not only affect your, your sense of self and well-being, it will affect your health.

 

 At the end of this episode (and at the bottom of this page), I share some resources for self-care. So, read (or listen) until the end!

 

Here's a peak inside the episode:

  • [01:35] Fact #1: 48% of all caregivers (of any condition) provide care for a loved one with dementia.
  • [02:13] Fact #2: The majority of people living with dementia live...
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7 Benefits of Early Diagnosis of Dementia

 

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Witnessing memory problems in your loved one can be really scary. You may wonder what's causing the memory problems and you might find yourself fearing the worst.
 
Over the past 17 years working with older adults and their families, I've seen many individuals and families put off getting an evaluation when there are memory concerns for three common reasons:
 
  1. You might see memory problems and think, "well, my loved one is aging, it's normal to have memory problems." (Hear me when I say that there are some minor changes that happen in the brain with age, but significant memory loss and dementia are NOT normal aspects of aging.)
  2. There is a lot of uncertainty, fear, and grief that happens when we're diagnosed with a serious, chronic, and terminal illness, which dementia is. As a result, you may want to avoid that pain by NOT pursuing an evaluation for a dementia diagnosis.
  3. I often hear people...
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Know the 10 Memory Loss Warning Signs

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It's normal for an older adult to forget where they put their keys, look all over their glasses then realize they're wearing them or have trouble remembering someone's name. But there comes a time when memory loss can be really scary and concerning.

 

In today's episode of the Psychology of Aging Podcast, I share 10 Memory Loss Warning Signs to let you know that you might want to start the conversation with your loved one about memory loss and make an appointment with their doctor for further evaluation. 

 

Let me start by saying that there are common changes in the brain that come with age and growing older. And then there are changes with the brain that are not common and are more concerning.


I'll discuss the difference between normal changes in the brain that happen with age versus when to be concerned about memory loss. I'll also review the 10 memory loss warning signs to be looking out for with the older adults...

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COVID-19 Wellness Guide for Older Adults

You'll get tips for staying mentally and physically well during the Coronavirus Pandemic.