ElderCarelink Blog

Elders, Alzheimer’s and the holidays

by Carol Bursack
December 21st, 2011 at 10:19 am

Most caregivers want to give their loved ones the very best holiday possible. We tell ourselves that whether or not the care receiver can actively participate in the festivities, they should be included in the fun. I’ve seen wonderful events in private homes, assisted livings center and nursing homes, where delighted elders help caregivers decorate trees, wrap gifts, bake and do many other traditional tasks in preparation for celebrations.

However, if the person has Alzheimer’s or another type of dementia, what you intended to be a joyful celebration can in reality be a frustrating and confusion to the elder.

Read more »

5 movies that offer lessons about aging, caregiving

by Dorian Martin
December 20th, 2011 at 12:11 pm

When I was caring for my mom, who suffered from both chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and Alzheimer’s disease, I found that I didn’t have a lot of energy for meeting new people or trying new things. Instead, my energy was focused on helping Mom and maintaining my own sanity.

What I did do, though, was watch a lot of movies. At first, my Netflix queue was full of foreign movies, which allowed me to mentally escape to other places and times. But eventually, I started screening films about aging and caregiving; surprisingly, many of these films provided some timely lessons.

Read more »

New ways to slow Alzheimer’s progression?

by Carol Bursack
December 16th, 2011 at 10:52 am

There are, as yet, no medications that can prevent or cure Alzheimer’s disease. Some people do quite well with current drugs that may help slow cognitive decline, but others do not respond well, or they have negative side effects. However, there’s some good news. Science Daily recently covered a study that found mental and spiritual exercises could significantly slow cognitive decline in people with Alzheimer’s disease, without any negative side effects.

Read more »

5 ways to become a successful caregiver

by Dorian Martin
December 13th, 2011 at 11:18 am

How long will the caregiving process last? What’s the next caregiving situation that will arise? Those two questions–the Gordian Knots of caregiving–are at the heart of a radio discussion between New York Times writer Jane Gross and On Being’s host Krista Tippett.

Gross, who writes the New York Times’ New Old Age blog and recently published a book entitled A Bittersweet Season: Caring for Our Aging Parents–and Ourselves, believes the ramifications from these two questions throw a monkey wrench into the lives of many new caregivers. That’s because caregiving often requires people to change long-held beliefs of how their lives operate.

Read more »

B12, Alzheimer’s, and the symptoms of aging

by Carol Bursack
December 8th, 2011 at 1:01 pm

Decades ago, my grandmother received monthly vitamin B12 shots from the home health nurse. It was common knowledge, even then, that as people age they don’t absorb vitamin B12 well. Low B12 levels can cause pernicious anemia, which was my grandmother’s problem. However, low B12 levels can cause many other illnesses, as well.

Read more »