Family Caregiver Blog

The “Sandwich Generation”

The "Sandwich Generation"Elderly parents are living longer. Children are often dependent for more years than expected. Add to this the ongoing responsibilities to spouse/partner and jobs, and there is little wiggle room for the millions of family caregivers who find themselves squeezed in the middle as the "Sandwich Generation." When you are pressed on both sides like...

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Swollen legs and feet

Swollen legs and feetMany older adults experience swollen legs and feet. For some, it's because of sitting a lot and leading a sedentary lifestyle. For others, it's the water retention side effect of a medication. And for others, the swelling—called "edema"—is a symptom of a chronic or even serious illness such as heart failure or liver or kidney...

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Does brain training work?

Does brain training work?The brain is another organ to keep fit, and regular workouts are a good thing! Our brains enable many types of thinking: Problem solving, planning, attention, and memory. They manage our emotions and help us understand the emotions of others. Our brains also control movement (balance, speed, and coordination). And it's where we process our...

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Understanding the rhythm of a disease

Understanding the rhythm of a diseaseMuch of the strain of caring for a loved one lies in the loss of a predictable routine, a sense of "normalcy." Understanding the course of your loved one's condition—the rhythm of how it unfolds—can empower you to respond more flexibly to its challenges. Do any of these patterns ring true for your situation? Relapsing...

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Text message scamming: “Smishing”

Text message scamming: "Smishing"Your loved one may be watching for phishing scams on email, but now there are scams carried out by short message service (aka, texting). "Smishing" scams rose 58% in 2021. Nationwide they cost victims over $10 billion. Seniors are a prime target, as three out of five now own smartphones. While convenient, smartphones present new...

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Caregiving with kids

Caregiving with kidsChildren generally like to feel included. But they may not know how to relate to an ill family member with limited abilities. Here are some ideas for home-based activities with elementary-age children. Finger foods are fun to prepare and eat together. Keep it simple: Chunks of cheese with crackers, peanut butter in celery, wash-and-eat fruits...

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Living with cancer as a chronic condition

Living with cancer as a chronic conditionHas your loved one been diagnosed with cancer? The vast majority (67%) of people with cancer live for another five years or more. A cancer is considered "stable" or "controlled" when tumors shrink or at least temporarily stop growing. This is not the same as being cured—no tumors—but it does make cancer more of a...

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When you envy others

When you envy othersDo you ever look at friends and find yourself mad or upset because they have free time? They don't have a relative that needs help? You might even wish they had it harder, had some real challenge in their life. And then you feel guilty. If this sounds familiar, you are not alone. Envy is...

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Primary care providers

Primary care providersA primary care provider (PCP) is charged with monitoring and treating a person's whole body. Specialists abound and indeed are important. But we are more than the sum of our organs. Your relative's PCP helps ensure that specialists are not doing things that counteract each other. If you are looking for a new PCP, there...

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Cooking tips for the visually impaired

Cooking tips for the visually impairedIs low vision making it harder for your loved one to cook? If food preparation has been one of their pleasures, they are probably grieving not only the change in their eyesight, but also the loss of creating and serving delicious meals. Even if cooking has not been a passion, the ability to safely prepare...

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