Blog

Lessons from theater improv

While there is no denying the hardships of Alzheimer’s and other dementias, a growing number of families are exploring innovative strategies for including lightness and laughter on the journey. One option is to steal a page from the theater arts—specifically, improvisational theater. In conventional comedy improv, actors are presented with the unexpected and must come... Read More

When Dad resists a walker

For many older adults, use of a walker carries great stigma. It’s a symbol of disability and often of isolation. In actual fact, a walker can be the key to staying actively engaged with favorite activities. The benefits of a walker It can bear up to 50% of a person’s weight. (A cane holds only... Read More

When caregiving ends: Activities

Reentry If caring for your loved one was the main focus of your day, after his or her passing, expect a feeling of emptiness to dominate your awareness. In caregiving, you may have given up many personal activities, friendships, and possibly even a career, to accommodate your relative’s needs. This is especially true if he... Read More

Medicare Open Enrollment Tips

Are you happy with your relative’s Medicare plan? If not, fall is the annual “Open Enrollment” period. This is when you can change plans for the coming year. Open Enrollment for 2019 is October 15 to December 7. Even if your loved one likes the current plan, consider any new diagnoses or prescriptions since last... Read More

A doctor’s visit after a fall

A surprising number of conditions, from simple to serious, can cause an older adult to fall. If you observed the fall or arrived soon after, find out if your loved one had a warning or felt dizzy beforehand. Any chance he or she fainted? Was the fall from stumbling on an obstacle? Or more from... Read More

What is MCI (Mild Cognitive Impairment)?

“Senior moments” are a normal part of aging. They happen to everyone. We just don’t process things as quickly as we did in younger years. Some people develop significant memory and thinking problems. These people are eventually unable to live safely on their own. Typically, they have a stroke or develop Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s disease.... Read More

If Mom is afraid of falling again

Many older adults who have fallen believe it is best to “stay safe” and avoid falling again by restricting their activities. Unfortunately, that’s the worst thing they can do! Inactivity is a path to reduced strength and mobility, which increases the risk of a fall and injury. One of the most important things you can... Read More

When caregiving ends: Emotions

Waves of emotions When a person you’ve been caring for dies, you are likely to have many feelings. Sometimes conflicting feelings. You may find that emotions wash over you unexpectedly, arising suddenly like a wave, and then subside. This is a normal part of life after loss. Grief can be described as a combination of... Read More

How Parkinson’s affects communication

If the person you care for has Parkinson’s, you may be surprised to discover the many ways the disease hampers communication. Voice problems alone affect 60%-80% of people with this condition. Low volume and slurred speech may make it hard at times for you to grasp what your loved one is saying. He or she... Read More

Genetic testing for Alzheimer’s

These days, most everyone is wondering if they are likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease. If someone in your immediate family has been diagnosed with the disease, you might feel at especially high risk. There is a test for an Alzheimer’s gene (APOE4). But it’s not 100% certain: Not everyone who has the APOE4 gene will... Read More