Family Caregiver Blog

Long-distance caregiving

Long-distance caregivingDistance makes caregiving more challenging, from knowing what's needed, to getting tasks accomplished. Here are some tips: Stay in touch. This is a win–win. You stay current on issues, and your relative gets the emotional boost. Use the phone, email, and/or Web-based video calls. Connect at different times of day to see what's up. Is...

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The yearly “Wellness Visit”

Catching things early is big with Medicare. Every year, all Medicare enrollees are eligible for a free "Wellness Visit" with their primary care doctor. This is NOT an annual physical, so don't use that term when making the appointment. Beyond basic vitals—height, weight, blood pressure, and pulse—there is no physical examination. If a physical exam...

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Are you the primary caregiver?

In most families, there is one person who takes on the lion's share of caring for an aging loved one. Perhaps it's the oldest daughter. Or the emotionally closest child. Or maybe it's the geographically closest relative. And when there are no siblings, it's usually the only child. Being primary can be quite a job....

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Dry eye syndrome

Our eyes show us the world. If something goes wrong with them, it can affect our total well-being. Dry eye syndrome makes eyes feel gritty, burning, itchy, and sensitive—discomforts that are hard to ignore! It typically manifests with age and affects as many as 30% of older adults. What to do if your loved one...

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Cold weather safety tips for indoors

Cold weather safety tips for indoorsThe dangers of cold weather are obvious outdoors. But there are dangers indoors, too, most often because the house thermostat is set too low. People can die from being too cold. Older adults are especially at risk. Signs of low body temperature (hypothermia). Shivering is the body's first response to cold. Later symptoms include stiff...

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Healing torn relations

Take any roomful of people and likely two-thirds of them have relatives who aren't talking to each other. Families are messy. Hurts abound. Some people wait until a serious diagnosis to reconcile. They often regret the years of separation they can never retrieve. Others try forgiveness earlier in the process. There's no right or wrong....

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Dementia and small children

The grandparent–grandchild relationship can be precious, like no other. But even young children notice if Grandma or Grandpa isn't acting the way they used to, or the same way others do. And they will have questions. "Why does he keep calling me by Dad's name?" "She just asked that question five minutes ago!" Respond to...

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Is your home safe for older guests?

Is your home safe for older guests?If you expect older visitors this season, check your home for hazards. Older adults often have impaired balance and vision. This makes them prone to falling, especially in new surroundings. And fragile skin and bones can mean double trouble if someone does take a spill. Here are some tips: Home entry Early darkness and wet...

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Not taking meds as directed?

Taking the right medicines at the right time is extremely important to health management. But 75%­­–96% of older adults admit that they frequently make mistakes with their medication. Is your loved one among them? There are many reasons why a person might not take their medicines as directed. "Forgetting" is one of the most common....

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Gifts for those with memory loss

Gifts for those with memory lossDeciding what holiday gifts to give a person with memory loss can be challenging. Following are some tips to share with family members. The gift of time A special date to share cookies and send holiday cards to others Attending seasonal music events Caroling together A person with early-stage memory loss is often still striving...

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