Caregiver Roundup: The End of Nursing Homes, Choosing to Die, Alzheimer’s Decisions, Quality of Sleep, Kitchen Dangers

Recent Articles that have Caught our Attention:

The End of American Nursing Homes: What’s Going to Replace Them?

Rather than long corridors, a multitude of residents and roommates, central nursing stations and shared bathrooms, the Green House model looks and feels like a real home. There are just 10-12 people in each Green House, with all residents getting their own bedroom and bathroom. Bedrooms open out onto an open country kitchen, a dining room where everyone eats together around a wooden table or the cozy living room with a busy fireplace that looks like it could be in a private home. Certified nursing assistants cook all the food. Freshly baked cookies on the counter are de rigueur.

But most important, residents make all decisions they can — when they want to wake up, take a shower (at any hour) and even what they want to eat….

By Sally Abrahms
AARP BLOG (August 11, 2013)

Choosing to Die After a Struggle With Life

It was a decision that was building for a long time, but by the end of July, a constellation of things had removed whatever ambivalence he previously felt. One was that he had trouble over the summer teaching “The Tempest” to his adult-ed students and was certain that — he realized with a touch of irony — his plans to teach “Don Quixote” in the fall were illusory. Another was that he was having more difficulty expressing his thoughts. So two of the things that had made his life worth living — teaching and long, thoughtful conversations with Peggy and their friends — were slipping away from him.

Brooke set his plan in action by phoning his stepchildren, Mike and Sara, who both live in Seattle, and asking them to come to his home in Salt Lake City. He also summoned two dear friends who were vacationing in Maine, and spoke by Skype to his sister…..

by Robin Marantz Heng
The New York Times (August 21, 2013)

The Five Most Controversial Decisions Alzheimer Caregivers will ever face

Sooner or later, driving becomes a problem for all people with Alzheimer’s. There are usually many warning signs that it is no longer safe for them to be driving. The Alzheimer’s Association lists five primary ones:

  • Forgetting how to locate familiar places
  • Failing to observe traffic signs
  • Making slow or poor decisions in traffic
  • Driving at an inappropriate speed
  • Becoming angry or confused while driving

I would add two obvious items to this list: Causing an accident or running into another car while parking…..

By Mari Marley
The Huffington Post (August 19, 2013)

Caregivers and sleep: a new research study

A new four year study about how the quality of your sleep can effect your health is being sponsored by the University of South Florida College of Nursing and the National Institute of Aging. The study, titled “Improving Dementia Caregiver Sleep and the Effect on Heart Disease Biomarkers” is focused on developing user-friendly treatment that will improve caregivers’ sleep in order to benefit their overall health and attempt to keep patients with Alzheimer’s with their loved ones instead of in nursing homes.

According to Meredith Rowe, who is leading the $1.9 million study, “Caregiving and lack of sleep each separately increase the risk of heart disease. We want to discover whether improving sleep in caregivers lowers that risk.”

Past sleep studies have shown that the overall effects of sleep loss has been linked with a number of health problems including increased risk of high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, depression, heart attack and stroke….

By Hilary Young
The Huffington Post (August 20, 2013)

5 Hidden Dangers Lurking in Your Kitchen

The kitchen may be the center of hearth and home, but not everything that happens there is happy. The kitchen, along with the bathroom, is one of the most accident-prone spots in the house.

Here are five dangers that even safety-conscious cooks may overlook…..

By Paula Spencer Scott

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