Older Elders and the End of Life

If you are an adult child with ninetysomething parents, you are probably familiar with the drill. Like me you may receive phone calls from an elderly parent a couple of times each week, usually asking a question, describing a problem, or just expressing anxiety. Or you may hear from caregivers about a problem — a … Continue reading

More on Fraudulent Phone Calls and Scams

I do not think a week goes by when one of my elderly parents doesn’t mention a strange phone call. They are always disconcerting and often scary, and older adult are prime targets. An excellent article, Die, Robocalls, Die: A How-to Guide to Stop Spammers and Extract Revenge, appeared this week in the Washington Post. The … Continue reading

Is Forgetting Really Forgetting?

Last summer I went off to part one of my scheduled yearly Medicare Wellness Visit the same morning I had an unscheduled visit to the dentist for an unexpected root canal. At the Primary Care Practice where I go, my physician divides the visit into two parts. The first part was with a physician’s assistant … Continue reading

Older Elders, Adult Children & THE CAR

At what point do you encourage or insist that parents in their late 80s and early 90s stop driving? Every adult child speaks quietly and with angst about this aging parent car conundrum. Almost no one is satisfied with the end result. It seems to be a painful, no-win dilemma in just about every family. More … Continue reading

Antibiotics and Elders

This article about antibiotics and older adults appeared in the March 15, 2019 New York Times. While these medications cure bacterial infections, many antibiotics cause side effects that can be especially pronounced for older seniors, so they should be prescribed carefully and avoided when possible. The article, written by Paula Spann, interviews geriatric physicians, lists some … Continue reading

Being Retired and Supporting Elderly Parents

At least once a week my day belongs to my mom and dad. We leave our house early and drive the 100 miles to their home. We visit and always have lunch together in their community dining room or at a local restaurant. Sometimes all of us attend a special event in their retirement community. … Continue reading

My Parents’ Move to Assisted Living

When my elderly parents, both in their 90s, moved into an assisted living community, the decision process and the move itself were arduous. In their nineties and married for nearly 70 years, they needed more support, although they did not see it that way. It was common for me to discover medicines not taken, mail … Continue reading

I Knew I Was Right to Dispose of Those Powerful Pain Killers

Recently memories about whether or not to use pain medications came flooding back after reading a New York Times article Alternatives to Opioids for Pain Relief. The article described research that compares the effectiveness of opioid and non-opioid medicines. It made me remember just how easily power pain medications have been prescribed. Physicians observed and … Continue reading

Prepare Elderly Parents for Their New Medicare Cards

If you are an individual who focuses on personal data security, one of the most surprising things you discover when it’s time to offer support to aging parents is that  Social Security numbers appear right on the front of the Medicare card. Americans are told not to carry their Social Security cards around, but once they … Continue reading