Are generic drugs inferior?

If your relative is taking brand-name prescription drugs, a switch to generic could provide significant savings. Why are brand-name drugs so expensive? It takes a lot of money and time to develop a new drug. In particular, it must be tested to show it works and is safe for humans. Patent laws give an innovator... Read More

Keep calm and stay in balance

This is a time of great uncertainty. It’s natural to feel a wide range of emotions, including fear, anxiety, confusion, or loneliness. It is also a time to take extra care to address your feelings and keep them from paralyzing or overwhelming you. Get the facts. Our emotional responses come from the part of our... Read More

Does Dad “saw logs” all night?

If your loved one snores, this may be a sign of “sleep apnea.” All snoring jokes aside, sleep apnea is a serious condition that deprives the brain of oxygen. A person with sleep apnea goes without oxygen for at least 10 seconds, five to 30 (or more) times an hour. It happens because the soft... Read More

Caring for a loved one with COVID-19?

What we know so far is that COVID-19 is spread much like the regular flu—through coughs and sneezes that put droplets in the air and on surfaces. It may be 2–14 days after exposure before a person has symptoms. That means people can spread the virus without knowing it. And many have symptoms that seem... Read More

Dad can’t brush his teeth

Is dementia making oral care difficult? Unfortunately, this isn’t a task to let go. Poor mouth care leads to cavities and gum disease, and then to toothaches, sore gums, and a disinterest in food. It can also contribute to a deadly infection, “aspiration pneumonia.” Even if the person you care for is no longer eating,... Read More

The myth of self-reliance

As a society, we value independence. The self-sufficient super-achiever. When it comes to family caregiving, however, this mind-set can backfire, resulting in stress and burnout for you, not to mention greater risk for your relative. (Imagine if something happened to you and no one else has really been part of the team, sharing the tasks!)... Read More

Early signs of heart failure

Too often, older adults assume that fatigue and trouble breathing are just a natural part of aging or being out of shape. They aren’t. In fact, these can be early signs of heart failure. Heart failure means the heart is having difficulty pumping effectively. As a result, fluids build up, especially in the lungs and... Read More

Caring for your marriage, also

With Valentine’s Day on the horizon, it’s a good time to consider strategies to prevent your partner from getting overlooked because of your caregiving. Caring for an aging relative definitely affects your ability to nurture your significant other. A poll at revealed that 81% of family caregivers say caregiving tested their marriage in ways... Read More

When is your loved one “too isolated”?

When caregiving draws us closer to a family member’s routines, we’re sometimes surprised by what we find. Perhaps you’ve noticed that Dad only leaves the house once or twice a week. Social isolation has been shown to be a risk factor for many conditions. Depression. Heart disease. Obesity. Dementia. Should you be concerned? Not necessarily.... Read More

Immediately after a death

Upon a loved one’s last breath, you may find yourself a little disoriented. Respect that otherworldliness. Families often just sit in silence for a while. Or share chuckles and sweet memories, tears and hugs. There is no need to rush to call the funeral director. A body can safely remain at home—or in a facility’s... Read More