Filed under aging parents

Stop Saying These Three Things to Elder Adults!

When they speak to elderly seniors, middle-age children and and other adults tend to say things, often unintentionally, that demonstrate a lack of respect and empathy. Sometimes it happens when a person tries to solve a problem quickly; at others the goal is to move along getting to work or school on time. Not infrequently adult children … Continue reading

Gazing at Aging Through the Reunion Prism

Originally posted on As Our Parents Age:
When I attended my first school reunion with a family member, just a few years after graduating from college, the people attending their 35th, 45th and 50th reunions seemed really old. At a Saturday luncheon table near the back of an old-fashioned field house, we watched and clapped,…

Transgenerational Products: A Common Sense Solution

Transgenerational design is a manufacturing concept for products that are useful for people of all ages and the design also ensures that older individuals will be able to use a product even as they age and their circumstances change. Some years ago when my husband’s mother was recovering from a stroke, she made it clear … Continue reading

Advice-giving, Aging Parents & Adult Children

Advice-giving can trip up the elder parent – adult child relationship and even cause painful divisions between parent and child. My mother will ask me a question and the answer is fairly straightforward, but then I’ll keep on answering, advising, really. At other times, I offer unsolicited advice about one thing or another. Usually my mother … Continue reading

Music, the Brain, Aging, and Memory Diseases

We live with music throughout our lives — it surrounds people no matter what their age. Children, of course, love to sing at almost as soon as they are born, but music, even for those who are not musicians, is a part of the air people breathe. Interestingly, music appears to become even more important as people age and contributes … Continue reading

An Image as a Metaphor for Dementia

Watching a much-loved family member’s gradual memory decline brings with it great sadness. We observe vast amounts of knowledge and personal connection — the inner light of an individual — disconnecting and disappearing. Recently I spent a morning looking at an amazing quilt exhibit at Virginia Mennonite Retirement Community (VMRC). The quilter, Anne Miller, created exquisite patterns, and images, and I … Continue reading

Does the Incidence of Dementia Decrease With Education?

Check out the February 11, 2016 NPR Shots Blog article, Can Dementia Be Prevented? Education May Bolster Brain Against Risk, to learn about a recent study that aimed to find out more about the prevalence of dementia using participants in the Framingham Heart Study during three periods between 1970 and the early 2000s. The Framingham Heart Study began … Continue reading

Jane Gross Lecture on Caregiving and Her Family

Last fall Jane Gross, journalist and author of A Bittersweet Season, spoke about her experiences supporting and caring for her elderly mother. The presentation at Brethren Village, a retirement community in Lancaster, PA, shares observations, experiences, things she wishes she had done, and much more.

Green House Projects Multiply and Grow Even Stronger

Green Houses, the non-medical model homes for fragile elders who need long-term care, have been in the 2015 news. Take some time to read an exciting end-of-year blog post over at The Green House Project. Written by staff member Rachel Sher McLean, the short, yet comprehensive article describes how Green House projects are thriving,, and the piece includes links … Continue reading

The Scams that Scare Grandparents About Their Grandkids

Recently a friend of mine told me about the grandparent scam. She described receiving a call at her home from a person who claimed to have a message from their granddaughter. The caller told my friend was that her  granddaughter was stranded in a foreign country and desperately needed financial help. Another friend of mine, a granddad, received a call  from a hysterical female … Continue reading

Loneliness as a Health Issue?

Check out The Atlantic article, How Loneliness Wears on the Body. Written by Jessica Lahey and Tim Lahey, the piece points out loneliness is almost as big a health risk for elder adults as insecure food sources. The authors describe research published by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) that identifies a strong connection between loneliness … Continue reading

5 Family Caregiving Facts from Pew Research Center

If you provide caregiving support to a family member, take a few minutes to read a short article about Five Facts About Family Caregivers at the Pew Research Center website. The short article offers details from a survey that collected information about participants’ views concerning caring for aging parents, part of a larger Pew project that focused on … Continue reading

Can We PLEASE Stop Using the Word FACILITY?

On a daily basis I hear people use the word facility, and it’s almost always modified by the adjectives such as assisted living, nursing, and care. I’ll stand in the supermarket line and overhear a conversation between two people about moving a frail relative into a nursing facility. I’ll read an article or watch a television program, and … Continue reading