Listen To My Latest Podcast Episode:

Cancer Caregiver Support: Caregiving & Bereavement Support with Ronni Levine, LMFT

Listen To My Latest Podcast Episode: Cancer Caregiver Support: Caregiving & Bereavement Support with Ronni Levine, LMFT

Cancer Caregiver Support & Bereavement Groups with Ronni Levine, LMFT

 

Cancer affects individuals, families, and communities. According to the National Cancer Institute, in 2020, an estimated 1,806,590 new cases of cancer were diagnosed in the United States and approximately 39.5% of men and women will be diagnosed with cancer at some point during their lifetimes.  

 

The American Cancer Society conducted an 8 year study published in 2013 and found that on average cancer caregivers spent about 8 hours per day providing care. They also stated that caregivers need a strong support system, explaining that having a system of support helps to weather the storms common with cancer, like a loved one’s recurrence of cancer or death from cancer. 

 

In this Psychology of Aging podcast episode, Ronni Levine, LMFT, facilitator of cancer caregiving support groups and cancer bereavement groups for the Cancer Foundation for New Mexico, discusses the benefits of cancer caregiver support and shares tips for...

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Older Adults Caring for Adult Children with Autism with Lois Shingler

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Over 75% of adults with developmental disabilities live at home with family. There is a growing population of aging caregivers of adults with developmental disabilities, in part due to increased lifespan and extensive waiting lists for residential services (The Arc Autism Now).  

 

In honor of World Autism Day, today's podcast episode focuses on older adults who are caring for adult children with autism or other Intellectual or Developmental Disabilities (IDDs).

 

In this interview, Lois Shingler, an attorney and co-founder of Peter and Paul’s Place shares her experience of being 70 years old while caring for Paul, her 45 year old son with Autism. She also provides several tips for other aging parents caring for their adult children with IDDs. Here's a peek inside the episode: 

  • [10:45] Lois describes her experience of entering older adulthood while caring for Paul, her 45...
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Caregiver Support: How To Care For and Help A Caregiver?

 

 5 ways to care for and help a caregiver

If you have an aging parent who is a primary caregiver it can be hard to know what to say and do. Caregivers, especially spouses, may be hesitant to ask for help or a break. They may think that this is part of the vow that they made, thru sickness and health. These 5 tips will give you some ideas of how to be helpful. 

 

1. Be there for the caregiver

Simply being present and showing up for your caregiving parent can provide them with comfort and security in knowing that they're not alone. Caregiving can be challenging and rewarding.Hold space for both experiences. Some ways to be there and be present include:

  • Calling and checking in with your caregiving parent regularly
  • Acknowledging the importance of the care they're providing and the value that caregiving has.
  • Validating how hard caregiving can be emotionally and physically.
  • Identifying the meaning caregiving is bringing to you and...
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When Aging Parents Need Help: Family Caregiving Roles & Impacts

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When older adults begin to experience physical or mental health changes, like with dementia disorders, it can be difficult to know the steps to take to be helpful.

It can be particularly difficult for family caregivers to know how to balance independence with concerns for safety.

And, to top it off, you may worry that insisting that your loved one see a doctor may rupture your relationship with them, push them away, or undermine their rights and dignity.

In situations like these, it's essential that we have experts to guide us, people like, Dr. Sara Qualls, Clinical Geropsychologist and Kraemer Family Professor of Aging Studies at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs (UCCS).

 

, Dr. Qualls discusses:

  • Common role transitions in older families
  • Tips for balancing safety and autonomy
  • Strategies for having tough conversations with aging loved ones while preserving dignity and respect
  • Steps to...
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The 6 Stages of Caregiving Along the Caregiver's Journey

Understanding the stages of caregiving will help you to identify where you’re at in your own caregiver’s journey and the common struggles and goals in each stage.

Knowing that you’re not alone and having tools to manage challenges that may arise helps will help you along the caregiver's journey and reduce stress and feelings of guilt and overwhelm.

 

6 Stages of Family Caregiving 

There is no timeline for these stages along the caregiver’s journey. Some families receive a diagnosis of a terminal medical condition and move through these stages at lightning speed, and other families and illnesses (e.g., dementia disorders) can experience a drawing out of these stages.  

 

The following 6 stages of family caregiving are inspired by Denise Brown's 6 Stages of Caregiving and based upon  Caregiver Family Therapy by Dr. Sara Qualls and my near 20 years of providing family therapy to older families and as lead of a family couples...

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Elderly Parent Calling Multiple Times a Day? 5 Expert Tips

 

 

Dear Dr. Koepp, 

My 85 year old dad is calling me multiple times a day. It’s interrupting my time at work. Sometimes he needs something. Sometimes, he just wants to check in. He has someone assisting him, but he’s always calling me. Can you address how to handle an elderly parent who is calling me all day long. 

Thank you, 

Theresa 

 

Here are five strategies to try If your older loved one or your aging parent is calling you multiple times a day

 

1. Take the time to understand what's driving this behavior.

It's important to understand what may be prompting this behavior. Is there a new medical illness that's been diagnosed? Is there a worsening of an already established medical condition? Is there a progression of dementia disorder, or fear and anxiety around an existing condition? Are they going through any big changes or anticipating big changes? Like the loss of a loved one or of their home? Have they...

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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 model...
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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. Be...

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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 at what...

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Older Adult Refusing To Go To the Doctor? Try These 5 Expert Tips

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You care about your older loved one so much and for some reason, they're just not listening to you and your pleas for them to go to the doctor. You try and you try, but nothing you say is convincing your older loved one that whatever is going on in their body is worth checking out.
 

In today's episode of the Psychology of Aging Podcast, I share 5 expert strategies for helping your older loved one to go to the doctor when they're refusing.

Here's a peak inside the episode:

  • [03:05] If your older loved one is refusing to go to the doctor and you're really worried,  you may find yourself being demanding or pushy. If so, consider changing how you approach your older loved one.
  • [04:32] Taking the time to see where your older loved one is coming from may help to reveal some important health care issues. 
  • [07:27] The third strategy might actually be a win:win and expand your older loved one's care network.
  • ...
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