Blog

Coping with the Holiday Blues

Caring for a seriously ill family member can lend a tinge of blue to the holidays. It may be sadness that cherished family rituals are no longer possible. Or you may be worried that this year will be the last for a sick or ailing loved one. Perhaps the thought of visiting relatives is simply... Read More

Diet and Parkinson’s

Dietary habits make a big difference in quality of life for people with Parkinson’s. Eating-related symptoms often crop up. For example, difficulties with swallowing. Also, problems with constipation as a result of slow muscle response. And problematic food–drug interactions. On the plus side, some foods can reduce the free radicals common in Parkinson’s. Here are... Read More

Too much gratitude?

The benefits of gratitude are well understood. Studies show, for example, that approaching life from a grateful stance yields a stronger immune system, lower blood pressure, and better sleep. Plus, people who report more gratitude also report greater feelings of joy, aliveness, and optimism. Those who tend toward gratitude experience less loneliness and isolation and... Read More

Talking about brain health

Are you concerned a loved one may have dementia? If so, be careful how you bring it up. It’s a scary subject! Before jumping to conclusions, gather some information. Ask family members and close friends what they have observed. Have others noticed changes?  Think of the issue as one of “brain health.” Brains change as... Read More

Preventing flare-ups of COPD

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) thickens airways, making it harder to breathe in and get enough oxygen. Damage to the lungs also makes it harder to exhale and get rid of waste gas (carbon dioxide). COPD is characterized by flare-ups that rather suddenly make breathing much more difficult. Often the patient needs to go to... Read More

Red flags for COPD

November is COPD Awareness month. COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) is a lung condition that gets steadily worse over time. It is often characterized by “flares,” or “exacerbations,” periods when breathing suddenly becomes more difficult. It can be very frightening and often results in a dash to the emergency room. It’s important to know the... Read More

Emotions following a stroke

A stroke usually results in damage to the brain. Some of the effects will be permanent. Others, temporary. Through exercises and practice, your relative may regain many if not all of his or her physical abilities. The emotional toll. What takes most patients and families by surprise are the emotional changes that can come with... Read More

What is a physical therapist?

Trusting the body’s ability to heal itself and get stronger: This is the basis of physical therapy. Physical therapists use exercises and hands-on care to reduce physical pain and limitations. Their motto? “Physical therapy brings motion to life.” Their goal is to help people stay active. And mobile! In some situations, physical therapy can be... Read More

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