Becoming a Caregiver: Tips and Considerations

One day, you wake up and discover that you are no longer the person you had been the day before. Yesterday, you were a mother, father, spouse, an advertising executive, program developer, builder, social worker. Today, you are a caregiver—

Tips to Help an Aging—and Resistant—Parent or Loved One

In my last few posts, I described some successful family care scenarios. There was a problem (e.g., aging parent, medical issue), and everyone cooperated, made a plan and proceeded to manage things relatively smoothly. But as we all know, that does not always happen—and for many reasons.

Caregiving: Learn from the Pros

In my last post, I wrote about Helen. Her story was an example of care done well. Helen had a good relationship with her children, her son and daughter got along well, and each cared deeply about their mother. They evaluated her needs, discussed ideas with Helen, made a plan to care with her and shared the responsibility of providing the specific care and supporting Helen needs.

Family Care Giving: A Success Story

Helen’s story provides an example of how a family can come together in a complimentary way to care for an aging parent. Helen is aging well. She is 88, about to be 89, and in good health. She lives independently at home and is financially secure due to her frugal ways and her modest lifestyle. She still drives, although these days she only goes out during the day to places that are familiar to her.

New Year’s Resolution: Provide Care While Preserving Self-Efficacy

It’s New Year’s Eve, and introspection and goal setting are underway. Perhaps due to a year in which my husband overcame a blood infection caused by a specific bacterium, I’ve been thinking a lot about those who receive care.

Trimming away the excess

This week, as I was in the midst of holiday craziness, I took a break and read a short piece by Scott Stoner on Advent. In this reading, he talks about the derivation of the word prepare. It comes from the Latin word pre, meaning before, and pare, meaning to trim away the excess—or as we might say, pare down. The word struck a chord with me. I decided to review “my list,” or all the things I had planned for the holidays, and rank each one according to its relative importance—to me and my values. What I discovered surprised me: The majority of my overwhelming list fell into the “not so important” category.

Patient Advocacy: Why We Need It

Per my recent posts, my husband Don was recently diagnosed with a liver abscess and blood infection caused by a specific bacterium. During his first two days in the hospital, he had a high fever and was on heavy duty antibiotics. He was also experiencing a lot of pain and receiving pain medication. In other words, he was a very sick man—and because of his illness and the medications, he spent much time dozing on and off.

Recognizing Caregivers—Those Who Care for Our Loved Ones, and Ourselves

As I discussed in my last blog post, my husband Don was recently diagnosed with a liver abscess and blood infection. The day after we returned from the hospital was a Sunday, and I went to church. After services, a woman approached me and asked if I wanted my name, along with Don’s who was already there, added to the prayer list. My first reaction was to say, “No, I’m fine.”

Managing a Health Crisis—and Lack of Reliable Information

Recently, my husband Don suffered a major health crisis. The diagnosis was a liver abscess and blood infection caused by a specific bacterium. Indeed, the experience has been very difficult emotionally. With that—and with most any health scare, there comes a level of fear, which I believe is rooted in lack of consistent and reliable information.

Culture Change in Nursing Homes: What is it—and Why You Should Care

No one ‘wants’ to go to a nursing. However, when a nursing home is the only option, there are good reasons why you should choose one that has adopted what’s called culture change. Culture change is a newer approach to elder care that incorporates a more homelike vs. institutional physical space, resident-directed vs. staff-determined care […]