Recent Articles that have Caught our Attention:
How to Prevent Elders from Becoming Victims
Jeanne, an elderly aunt on my father’s side, had received a phone call recently from her niece who had gotten arrested during Spring break while away in Spain. She sounded desperate, pleading for bail money and promises that she wouldn’t tell her parents. My aunt, concerned and caring, wired over nearly five hundred dollars on good faith. Except her niece had spent Spring break with her parents in Oregon, had never had been to Spain, and was certainly never arrested.
It’s unfortunate that the elderly are often seen by many as defenseless targets to be exploited rather than people to respect and appreciate…..
by Naomi Broderick, Caregiving Cafe Blog (click to read complete article)
End of Life: Fatal Mercies
FEW of us get anything approaching the degree of control we’d like over our lives. Must we also be denied a reasonable measure over our deaths?
That’s all that Joseph Yourshaw, 93, seemingly wanted: to exit on his own terms, at home, without growing any weaker, without suffering any more. And that’s all that one of his daughters, Barbara Mancini, 57, was trying to help him do, according to the police report that set her criminal prosecution in motion.
She’s charged, under Pennsylvania law, with aiding a suicide, a felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison. Such a sentence would be ludicrous, but so, by all appearances, is the case against her: a waste of public resources, a needless infliction of pain on a family already grieving, and a senseless prioritization of a frequently ignored (and easily ignorable) law over logic, compassion, decency…..
by Frank Bruni, The New York Times
Muffet’s Caregiver Story
I’ve been the primary caregiver for my mother with dementia/Alzheimer’s for the past nine years. She’s 86 and is fading away by inches and by bit and pieces. It is so unbelievably cruel and torturous to watch someone who was an excellent teacher and active lover of life be whittled away by this hideous disease a tiny bit at a time. I’m convinced she contracted it through hormone replacement therapy, which she had for too long and past the age of 75.
I really don’t know how to convey how horrible this is for her and for me. She has suffered more than we can ever know, both physically and mentally. I have given 20 percent of my life to caring for her 24/7.
Predictably, my life has received no attention at all. I have no husband, no family, no career, no retirement, no plans for the future. I’ve had to endure my own personal heartaches in silence, including losing several beloved pets over the years, losing relatives and my own battle with skin cancer. Everything is secondary when you are a caregiver. Your life is forfeited, and because this battle cannot be won, you will ultimately fail. There is simply no way to put a good face on this experience.
After all these years, I can offer only this advice to other caregivers…..
Dementia Patients in Scotland Share their Homes with Robots
Caring for a person with dementia can be a full-time job. Characterized by memory loss, moodiness or communicative difficulties, the condition makes independent living quite difficult.
But now the carers or relatives of people living in remote areas with dementia may one day use a robot to check in on the patients.
The Giraff, which stands just over 5 feet tall, is a motorized robot that can facilitate a two-way video call. It can be controlled remotely with an ordinary computer and allows carers or relatives to interact with the patient from a different location….
When it comes to taking better care of our bodies, our minds and our souls, sometimes we have to revert back to our childhoods. Playing outside, being silly and laughing with friends and acting carefree may actually benefit caregiver health. Following are my 8 tips for caregivers on how to tap into their inner child……
by Sherri Shelling, Huffington Post
Enabling Seniors Driving Madness
My parents are 86 years old and maintain two homes: their primary one in Florida and their “summer home” in North Georgia. Four years ago, they acknowledged that they could not make the 1-1/2 day drive from No. Georgia to Ft. Myers. Therefore, I flew (from Seattle) to Atlanta, GA and rented a car to drive up to No. Georgia. I then drove them to their Florida home. I thought they would stop making that trip every year, because they were admitting they couldn’t handle the driving.
Not the case!
They continue to go up to No. Georgia. Now they fly to North Carolina and my sister enables this madness! My sister meets them at the airport and she drives them to their home in No. Georgia. Dad runs stop signs. Two years ago, Dad drove the family car into a stand of trees, causing several thousand dollars of damage.
Dad freely admits that he should not be driving. Yet, there they are, driving themselves all over North Georgia. When I ask for validation of their driver’s licenses and to speak to my parents’ eye doctors/physicians, they not only stonewall me, but react as if I’ve asked them for a kidney! I’m frustrated and angry with them. Has anyone else had this problem? What did you or are you doing about it ???…….
Siblings Squabble Over Mom, Seven Tips for Getting Along
Aging parents and bickering siblings have spawned an industry of elder mediators. These professionals help families make decisions in the parents’ best interest, trying to replace vitriol with reason and preserve sibling relationships.
For those at wit’s end or hoping to avert a blowout, elder mediation can be a way to involve a trained outsider. Rather than the see-you-in-court route where a judge is The Decider, with mediation, decisions are made by consensus. They’re confidential and non-binding.
The price tag, often shared by siblings or paid for by the parents — typically $150 to $500 an hour for a few hours — is a fraction of what litigation can cost. Community mediation centers may charge a nominal fee. (No guarantee you’ll be locking fingers at the end and singing “Kumbaya,” of course.) Mediators typically talk to all family members individually, including the parents when it’s feasible.
Don’t want an elder mediator? There are strategies that work regardless…..
by Sally Abrams, AARP Blog
Mediterranean Diet Counteracts a Genetic Risk of Stroke
A gene variant strongly associated with development of type 2 diabetes appears to interact with a Mediterranean diet pattern to prevent stroke, report researchers from the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging (USDA HNRCA) at Tufts University and from the CIBER Fisiopatología de la Obesidad y Nutriciόn in Spain.
Their results, published online today in Diabetes Care, are a significant advance for nutrigenomics, the study of the linkages between nutrition and gene function and their impact on human health, particularly chronic disease risk…..
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