Filed under Fear or Anxiety

Just Die Already???

Check out today’s post, No Need for Death Threats! over at Changing Aging, Dr. Bill Thomas’ blog. He snapped this picture of this magazine cover at the airport in Philadelphia. I am beginning to believe that the next 30 years will be generationally tough, not only for our parents but also for us, the adult children … Continue reading

Caregiving: Feelings and Emotions

Caregiving is complex, confusing, and mostly uncontrollable. When we provide caregiving support, we discover that despite our most valiant organizational efforts we never quite make sense of the situation. Caregivers are never really in control, no matter how well we believe we are doing the caregiving, and we must be comfortable with the situation. During … Continue reading

Google Search Suggestions Support Suicide Prevention

Google Gets It … According to the New York Times, when a person searches with terms that could indicate suicidal thoughts, Google results will automatically include suggestions about suicide prevention, including a hotline telephone number. This policy, thought it cannot respond to every potential end-of-life search term, may make the difference in helping a person … Continue reading

Geriatrician Crisis in the U.S.

Found this interesting article about the need for geriatrician. Here’s the intro. “Think about it… If the number of students doubled and the number of teachers didn’t, that would be a problem, right? Well, a parallel to this scenario is actually taking place in the health care world: our elderly population will double by 2030 … Continue reading

Aging Parents and Dementia: JAMA Study Redux

Wow! I discovered the JAMA article about dementia, hospitalization and the elderly and mentioned it here on the blog several days ago, on March 4, 2010 — before the Vital Signs blog at the NY Times discussed it on March 8th. How exciting to once-in-a-while be ahead of the Times (which by the way I … Continue reading

Hospital Stays, Seniors, and the Possibility of Dementia

…or Disorientation We have taken parents to the hospital and discovered that the hospitalization process seems to facilitate disorientation. We have also observed incidental dementia. In essence, a frightened aging parents is sick, frightened, and disoriented and loses touch with reality. One of our parents, who was already experiencing some dementia but was living securely … Continue reading

Aging Brains: The “Senior Moment” Comment

As aging children most of us are used to hearing friends and colleagues make the “senior moment” comment. Just about any time a person has difficulty remembering something he or she will comment, “…oops, I’m having a senior moment.” I began noticing this in my late 40’s and now, ten years later, it happens more … Continue reading

Snow Worries and Aging Parents

As a teacher it used to be that I thought about time off from school when snow was predicted. Now I have parent “SnowWorries,” and I rarely get around to anticipating snow days. During a big snow storm, and we’ve had a bunch this winter, my anxiety level is higher than usual. Not crazy high, … Continue reading

Overcompensating After a Parent Dies

We are now in the second week after the death of my husband’s mother. The two of us are taking it easy and accomplishing the most important tasks. Also, we are breathing a bit easier because Mother is no longer in such extreme discomfort. The last few weeks were tough for her. However, I’ve noticed … Continue reading

Dementia: More Unlearning

Over the past several days a number of dramatic changes have occurred in Mother’s condition. Three days ago she could suck on a straw, the preferred way of taking in a fair amount of liquids and especially protein milk shakes. And then two days ago she could no longer use a straw. Last week she … Continue reading

Dementia: Losing the Ability to Move?

Mother can no longer move on her own, though she can still shuffle when we hold on to her. If she tries too get up on her own early in the morning or when we are momentarily glancing away, she falls. Her shuffles continue to grow tinier, and her balance is non-existent. It looks like … Continue reading

Dementia: Life in Reverse

Mother’s dementia is progressing. I’ve mentioned in other posts, that she needs a caregiver all of the time, except when she is sleeping (she sleeps soundly). She is almost always confused, asking many times a day, “What should I do?” I find myself searching the web for confirmation of what I see each day. Today … Continue reading

Stages of Dementia – Part I

When you read about dementia you learn that the disease presents itself in stages. The literature seems to describe six stages, seven if you think of stage one as the “normal” range in which most of us function. I am reconstructing these stages, attempting to understand the progression of the disease in our family. In … Continue reading

Dementia is a Terminal Illness

As I understand it, dementia describes a set of symptoms — I mentioned some of these in my last post.  Different types of dementia seem to have a slightly different configuration of symptoms and some can be diagnosed while others, like Alzheimer’s can be tentatively diagnosed, but only truly documented after a person dies (by … Continue reading

How Dementia Creeps into a Life

You don’t recognize dementia for a long time. In fact, why would anyone want to recognize this disease in a much loved parent? In retrospect, the dementia first came into our family several years ago. A stroke made the symptoms worse. We noticed clothes not being hung up, keys being lost, a concern about valuables … Continue reading

Phone Calls that Take Advantage

More than once a week my telephone rings and when I pick up an urgent recorded voice tells me that time is running out to make important and needed changes on my credit card (push #1 for assistance) or my car warranty.   At other times I hear about the best deal for my mortgage (if … Continue reading