ElderCarelink Blog

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.

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Successful aging: from a parent’s perspective – Part 1

by Kathryn Kilpatrick, M.A. CCC/SLP
October 11th, 2011 at 11:57 am

Although much can be said for the frustrations of the adult children when trying to initiate conversations about the safety and quality of life concerns with their parents, there is a new trend emerging. I’ve discovered–more frequently–after my presentations on successful aging, older adults ask what to do when it is important to talk about their wishes, their concerns and planning for the future and they get the brush off from their family members.

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Why elderly friendships fade away

by Judy Kirkwood
October 6th, 2011 at 9:18 am

Mom was lucky to have several friends who lived as long as she did. So, it was frustrating that my mother didn’t make an effort to see or talk to them when she seemed to be capable of doing so. Even before her stroke, we would suggest mom make a date to meet an old friend from church, or a woman whom we had called “Aunt” whom mom met way back when Dad was in the service.

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The process of dying: when to say “enough”

by Judy Kirkwood
September 23rd, 2011 at 2:05 pm

When my dad was hanging on for years, a friend in the eldercare profession would often ask why we were prolonging his life and, by implication, his misery. He was legally blind, although because of his dementia he didn’t know it so he never complained about it. He forgot he couldn’t read or walk without assistance.

My mother managed dad’s diabetes so well that my ex-husband, a physician, used to refer to dad as “the oldest living male diabetic.” He was amazingly stable, even if he was having a number of mini-crises related to blood sugar. He had Alzheimer’s disease and sometimes didn’t recognize us and–on rare occasions–became so confused he was combative. But most of the time he was a gentleman, even if in his mind we were strangers. Read more »

Young meets old: children and aging family members

by Judy Kirkwood
August 22nd, 2011 at 10:24 am

My mother was not aware of her last visit from her great granddaughters. She had already slipped into a long sleep. But I was aware. It was interesting how the 12-year-old asked so many good questions about my mother’s physical and spiritual being, and was concerned about how I was feeling.

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