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Support Resources for Caregivers

 

If you’re caring for an older adult and you’ve had to change your routine in the last few weeks with senior centers, doctors' offices, and adult day programs closing due to COVID-19, you might find yourself experiencing more caregiver stress and burnout.

 

Last week, I met with a caregiver who was teleworking from home and whose husband with dementia was unexpectedly home at the same time. Before the Coronavirus Pandemic, his home health aide would come to his home 3 days a week and he would attend an adult day program 5 days a week. These resources would help his wife (the caregiver) to continue to work and have a break from caregiving, so that she wouldn't have to give up her whole life in exchange for caregiving. But, since the Coronavirus Pandemic has started, his adult day program has closed, and his home health aide has been sick. As a result, the caregiver is experiencing lots of stress and overwhelm trying to figure out how to work and caregive...

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The COVID-19 Wellness Guide for Older Adults

With social distancing in full effect, older adults are encouraged to maintain their distance from others.  But this can have a major impact on your quality of life.

It's essential that during the COVID-19 pandemic that older adults stay physically safe and mentally well. Research shows that older adults who engage in meaningful and productive activities live longer, experience a better mood, and maintain a sense of purpose in their life.

To promote wellness for older adults, I have created a wellness guide to help older adults stay physically safe and mentally well during the COVID-19 Pandemic.

 

1. Stay connected with friends and family

Social distancing is important in maintaining your physical health and well-being in the time of COVID-19. And this is an important public health recommendation that we all need to follow.

The downside of social distancing, however, is that it increases the risk for loneliness and isolation among older adults.

One of the best ways to...

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5 Surprising Facts about Dementia Caregivers (Ep #038)

 

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. And so please find some ways to take care of yourself. This episode will give you some resources for self-care. So, read (or watch) until the end!

 

Read transcript here

 

1. Nearly half of all caregivers provide care for someone with dementia

Nearly half (48%) of all caregivers provide care for somebody living with dementia. So of all the illnesses that older adults experience, all the...

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How to Help Older Adults with Depression (Ep #036)

 

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 aging parents get treated for depression. In this episode of the Caring for Aging Parents Show, I answer several questions related to older adults and depression, including:

  • What are the rates of depression in older adults?
  • What are the signs of depression in older adults?
  • What to do if your aging parent has depression?
  • How do I find mental health providers for older adults?
  • Is depression in older adults treatable?

   

                       

           

What are...

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Creative Tips for Talking With Your Loved One With Dementia (Ep #033)

 

In my work with people caring for loved ones with dementia, I often hear that it can be hard to connect with a loved one as the illness progresses. 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 of the Caring for Aging Parents Show, I interview Gary Glazner, the founder and Executive Director of the Alzheimer’s Poetry Project. In this interview, Gary generously shares with us four strategies for using poetry to enhance connection with our loved ones with dementia and he even shares about his own experience bringing poetry to his mom at the end of her...

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Life, Love, and Alzheimer's: Interview with Lauren Dykovitz (Ep #032)

 

In this episode of the Caring for Aging Parents Show, I interview Lauren Dykovitz, author of Learning to Weather the Storm: A Story of Life, Love, and Alzheimer's about:

  • Her journey as a caregiver over the past 10 years
  • The challenges of being 25 when her mom was diagnosed with dementia
  • Tips for young caregivers
  • What she’s learned about her mom and herself since her mom has been diagnosed with dementia
  • Ways to find gratitude in the midst of loss.

 

Watch this episode, now!

 

 

Lauren Dykovitz is a blogger and author. She lives with her husband and two black labs. Her mom, Jerie, was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 2010 at age 62. Lauren was only 25 years old at the time. Jerie is still living with late-stage Alzheimer's. Lauren writes about her experience on her blog, Life, Love, and Alzheimer’s. She has also been a contributing writer for several other Alzheimer’s blogs and websites. Lauren self-published her first book, ...

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The Most Inspiring End of Life Story Ever Told. Interview with MJ Grant (Ep #027)

 

In this second interview with MJ Grant, MJ shares the most intimate details of an end of life conversation she had with her dad, Manley "Mannie" Grant.

 

In this interview, MJ also shares about how it was discovered that her dad was deaf and the information that his family received from professionals about how to communicate with him (unfortunately the guidance Manley's family received was not affirming of him).

 

MJ also describes her dad's painful illness journey and her role as a caregiver. She opens up about her grief process, shares how she knows that she is burning out as a caregiver, AND her favorite self-care strategies.
 

My hope is that by watching this video, you will have the courage to lean in to difficult end of life conversations when you are faced with them.

 

Grab a box of Kleenex! This conversation will leave you moved and inspired!

 

Read transcript here!

 

About MJ Grant

MJ is a remarkable woman! She is a CODA, that's a...

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Dementia is NOT a Normal Part of Aging! (Ep #024)

 

You’ve heard people say “she’s doing great! She’s old, but she’s all there!” or “he’s 90 and still so sharp!”

 

These statements about older adults make the assumption that with aging comes serious cognitive problems, like dementia! But, these ideas are actually not supported by science and in fact, are a myth and a direct result of ageism, which includes bias and stereotypes based on age, and affects older adults more than any other group. 

 

In today’s episode, I want to share an important message that DEMENTIA IS NOT A NORMAL PART OF AGING!

 

 [Read transcript here!]

 

There is a big myth out there that with age comes dementia. And while, with age the risk for dementia does in fact increase, it’s important to know that Dementia is NOT a normal part of aging!! 

 

What is dementia?!

Dementia is a general term that we use to describe a certain type of brain condition...

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Why Is Moving Aging Parents In With You So Complicated? (Ep #022)

The idea of moving your aging parents in with you is really complicated.  If you're facing this possibility AND you're in a relationship, this can up the ante of complications.

 

A few weeks ago, I was featured in the Chicago Tribune in an article that had to do with how to go about making the decision to move your aging parents in with you! So, I decided to create a 3-part series on moving aging parents in with you!

 

The transition of moving aging parents in with you is not only practically challenging, it's emotionally REALLY COMPLICATED!! So, I thought it would be helpful to create an episode answering the question, "Why Is Moving Aging Parents in With You So Complicated?"

 

 

[ Read Transcript Here! ]

 

To answer the question, Why Is Moving Aging Parents in With You So Complicated? I have to discuss three complexities that you and your partner will indeed experience as you approach moving aging parents (or in laws) in with you!

 

Complexity...

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Is My Aging Parent Safe To Drive? 10 Driving Warning Signs! (Ep #015)

I’ve been talking a lot about driving and how older adults are by and large good drivers. I've also shared how to keep older adults driving safely for as long as possible.

 

Even with this said, there may come a time that you’re concerned about your parent’s driving. You might catch yourself wondering,

“My parent just made a major driving error.

Is this normal? Or something I should be concerned about?” 

 

In this episode, I share warning signs, or red flags to consider, to let you know that you may want to start the conversation with your parent about changing their driving or stopping driving all together.

 

 

Every day, I get questions from physicians, social workers, nurses, friends, and so many others about older adults and driving. So, I decided to create a series on driving in the hopes that it will help you to navigate a very difficult topic for many families.

 

So here are warning signs...

Or red flags to...

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