ElderCarelink Blog

Critical conversations and family dynamics

by Kathryn Kilpatrick, M.A. CCC/SLP
July 25th, 2011 at 9:16 am

It is helpful when families are on the same wave length regarding their concerns about a loved one. One person may view mom and dad’s actions as normal, while those same actions may raise red flags for others. The more subtle and inconsistent the changes, the longer it can take to recognize the implications of those changes. When family members view and interpret elder behavior differently, conversations about dealing with the elder’s aging and health issues may get postponed or even avoided altogether because it stirs things up too much.

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Heart-to-heart: connecting with others

by Kathryn Kilpatrick, M.A. CCC/SLP
July 11th, 2011 at 9:23 am

A grandmother recently shared how much she appreciated all that her grandson was doing so she could remain in her home. But, what she appreciated most were their “heart to heart” talks. They were both realistic about how long she might be able to live alone in her home. She had raised him when he was a teenager and their special bond allowed for the sharing of feelings on both sides.

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Getting out of denial

by Judy Kirkwood
July 6th, 2011 at 1:00 pm

As seasoned caregivers, my sister and I were not surprised to hear a friend’s comment regarding her aging mother, even though it was ridiculously unrealistic. “Since she doesn’t want to go into assisted living, and I’m not going to take care of her, she is just going to have to learn to live on her own.”

As if her mom could continue to live alone.

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Be prepared to address key concerns

by Kathryn Kilpatrick, M.A. CCC/SLP
July 6th, 2011 at 9:00 am

When an older adult’s abilities gradually change, it may not be obvious that we should be concerned. After all, it is common for individuals as they age to experience changes in vision, some hearing loss, memory lapses and possible mobility issues. However, it usually takes a hospitalization, a move or even the loss of a loved one to shift a person’s perspective on what is occurring.
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Approaching conversations about advance care directives

by Kathryn Kilpatrick, M.A. CCC/SLP
June 30th, 2011 at 5:38 pm

It is not unusual for a health care professional to come across a situation where a patient may have a durable power attorney for both health care and financial matters, but not an advance care directive. In other situations, those documents may be in place, but have not been updated which can complicate situations in the event of a medical crisis.

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