Family Caregiver Blog

Preparing for your siblings’ visit

Your siblings, their partners, maybe their kids—everyone’s coming to see Mom and/or Dad. That's happy news! Should this be business? Would you rather it were pleasure? How about a little of both? With some forethought and planning, you can make their visit meaningful on many levels. Think about what you want. Then be sure to...

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Choosing a hospital? Look to the stars

How well does your local hospital perform in terms of patient care and safety? Now it's easy to find out. One to Five Stars. Medicare gathers hospital data regularly. It posts the information on its Hospital Compare website. To make comparisons simple, Medicare created a star rating system. Hospital Compare combines information about as many as...

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Technology for coordinating care

Do you at times feel like the conductor of an unruly orchestra? That's not uncommon when caring for a loved one. You are coordinating multiple doctors. Tracking multiple prescriptions. Communicating with multiple family members. Scheduling paid help. It’s a lot to orchestrate! You are serving as a care coordinator. Here are some online tools that...

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Sing a song for COPD!

Recent research indicates music therapy can help people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). This condition damages air sacs and passageways in the lungs. People with COPD have trouble breathing. They often take quick, gaspy breaths trying to get enough air. The constant breathlessness causes anxiety, as well as trouble sleeping and deep fatigue. And...

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A new perspective on stress

Stress has gained a dirty name during the past decades. It's something we talk about needing to get rid of, as if it were wholly bad. Recent research, however, is showing that stress isn't always a threat to our well-being. In fact, it provides many opportunities for growth. The very things that bring greatest meaning...

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It is flu season

Watch for symptoms of the flu. They include fever, body aches, chills, sore throat, headache, runny nose, cough, and fatigue. Why the flu shot is important. Influenza (flu) is a highly contagious illness caused by viruses. People over age 65 are most at risk of having severe complications. Older adults represent up to 90% of...

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Managing your relative’s money

Confusion about finances is common among older adults. Balancing the checkbook and paying bills can just get to be too much. Assisting with money matters is something a long-distance son or daughter can do to help. Geography poses many challenges for those who live far away. But managing finances is a fairly simple task, near or...

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What is a bedsore?

If you are caring for a frail elder or someone who is largely immobile (in bed or a wheelchair), be on the lookout for bedsores. Bedsores usually appear on bony parts of the body when a person is unable to turn, lift, or shift him- or herself. First, the skin just seems to be red....

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How to report symptoms to the doctor

All healing begins with an accurate diagnosis, yet errors are common. So common that most of us are likely to experience at least one diagnostic error in our lifetime. The Institute of Medicine reports that diagnostic errors play a role in 10% of all deaths. How we describe symptoms to the doctor can go a...

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The importance of touch

It is said that touch is our "first language." As babies, it is through touch that we learn connection, trust, and well-being. Not just for children. Touch is integral to these feelings throughout our lifespan. But older adults have roughly 75% fewer touch receptors than 20-year-olds. In a twist of fate, when we literally need...

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