Posts Categorized: Caregiving

Arthritis and Senior Fitness

May 30 is Senior Health and Fitness Day, and May is National Arthritis Awareness Month. Sounds like a great time to talk about the ways physical activity can help reduce joint stiffness and pain! Did you know osteoarthritis afflicts more than one-third of American adults over age 65? This arthritis comes on slowly with age…

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Safety tips for summer

For youth, summer is pure pleasure. As our bodies age, however, we become less able to maintain the physical “inner cool” that safeguards our health. To avoid heat-related health problems for your older relatives this summer, keep these words in mind: water, air, dress, rest. Signs of too much heat Sweating is our body’s natural…

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Make lemonade. Really?

“When life hands you lemons…” Well, you know the rest. While this adage can feel a bit trite, there is a certain grounded wisdom to it. In fact, researchers at the Mayo Clinic have been studying stress and coping strategies. It turns out there are coping skills that are effective, and others that are not….

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Mother’s Day without Mom

Mother’s Day was the brainchild of Anna Jarvis of West Virginia. In 1908, Anna held a memorial service to honor her mother’s deep commitment to love and compassion. Her mother epitomized kindness by caring for wounded soldiers. Far from a commercialized event, Anna envisioned Mother’s Day as a day to show profound appreciation through letters…

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Phones for every disability

Staying in touch with friends and relatives does a world of good for older adults. This is especially true for those who live alone. The ability to easily reach out is important for well-being. And it can make a life or death difference in emergencies. Limitations of aging, however, can make standard telephones difficult to…

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Advocating for a good night’s sleep

Sleep has been underrated. There is no doubt that miracles occur daily in hospitals. But in the race to vanquish disease, simple things like sleep can get short shrift. Choosing Wisely, a white paper by the American Academy of Nursing, has listed several common hospital practices that unintentionally get in the way of a solid…

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Memory loss and advance care planning

If the person you care for has received a dementia diagnosis, talk with them NOW about their wishes for medical care at the end of life. It’s a critical time to update their advance care directive. For both your sakes, the sooner you start this conversation, the better. Are you hesitant to bring up the…

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Red flags for COPD

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a lung condition that gets steadily worse over time. It frequently involves “flares,” or “exacerbations,” periods when breathing suddenly becomes more difficult. It can be very frightening and often results in a dash to the Emergency Room. It’s important to know the early signs of a flare and to…

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Is breathing difficult?

If the person you care for has a lung condition, there may be times when breathing is a challenge. Start by noticing patterns: is there a time of day, type of activity, or emotional state that triggers the difficulty? Is the person sitting, lying, or standing? Consider these options: Home environment Remove dust and replace…

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When family is paid for care

In many families, care of an elder relative falls predominately to one person. This typically begins with assisting occasionally for a few hours, and it can be a very loving connection. But as the needs increase, so do the hours. While the care may be given willingly, it does eat into the care provider’s personal…

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