Posts Categorized: Caregiving

Empathy: Can you have too much?

Our brains are predisposed to feel the emotions of others. This capacity, called “empathy,” fuels our most altruistic acts as humans. And it fosters sweeter and deeper relationships. But it is possible to be overly empathetic. If the doorway to your heart is always open to feeling another’s emotions—pain, sadness, anger, fear—you are on a…

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Wheelchairs and your car

Transportation can be challenging when the person you care for uses a wheelchair. There are two ways to ease the situation. A transport wheelchair If your loved one does not need a wheelchair all the time, consider a special “transport wheelchair.” Transport chairs are easy to lift, fold, and store. They are ideal for running…

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Write your cares away—carefully

For centuries, journaling has been a tool for self-discovery. With reflective writing, your words do not have to be carefully arranged. It’s your private world and your private thoughts. You can ramble. Mention the unthinkable. Explore ideas with no worry about the consequences. Writing as personal therapy Journaling can help us turn a jumbled set…

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Walking your way out of the hospital

“The bed is not your friend.” This is the overall message concerning the benefits of walking when hospitalized. In one study, patients who walked frequently were able to go home an average of 36 hours earlier than those who did not walk very much. After staying in bed for just two days, an older adult…

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What does “prognosis” mean?

It’s natural to wonder how bad a serious condition is. Will treatment be effective? The prediction of recovery, in medical terms, is called a “prognosis.” Many conditions are difficult to predict. Cancers, on the other hand, run a fairly expectable course. A cancer prognosis, for instance, depends on the cancer. What type of cancer is it?…

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Who will care for Fido?

Pets often become members of the family. They provide companionship and love, especially for an ailing elder. Your relative may be worried about a pet’s future when he or she is no longer able to provide care. Consider what you can do to make arrangements ahead of time to ease that worry. Formal arrangements Formal…

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Signs of stroke or “TIA”

A stroke is a disabling, and potentially deadly condition. A blood clot gets lodged in the brain, denying blood and oxygen to those cells. In a very short period of time, that part of the brain can be damaged permanently. Depending on the location of the clot, a stroke can impair functions such as speech,…

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Drug misuse

Surprising but true: Adults over age 65 are candidates for drug overuse and abuse. Drug abuse is not common among elders. And it is often unintentional. But the misuse of prescription drugs poses exceptional dangers. Older adults are prescribed more drugs than any other age group. Roughly 80 percent of those over age 65 have…

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The role of humor in caregiving

“Laughter is the shortest distance between two people.” So quipped comedian Victor Borge. And indeed, studies bear him out. Laughter, especially when it’s a shared joke, creates a bond between people that generates a feeling of intimacy. Humor reduces tension and lowers stress. It also helps people to think more creatively and come up with…

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If your loved one becomes seriously ill while traveling

Taking Mom to visit family this holiday? You may rest more easily knowing there are options for getting home if she gets sick or injured on the trip. Air Ambulance If your family member becomes critically ill, hire an air ambulance. An air ambulance is a chartered plane or other aircraft outfitted with life-support equipment….

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