Family Caregiver Blog

Mealtime and dementia

The effects of dementia include changes to the way foods taste and smell. A person with Alzheimer’s or other memory disorder may become unable to recognize foods or to know if he or she is hungry or full. Even the seemingly simple mechanics of fork and spoon or chewing and swallowing often become too complicated….

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After a heart attack

A heart attack is a frightening, life-changing event that affects the entire family. Emotional reactions. The most common reaction is fear or worry about the possibility of another heart attack. Although those who have had a heart attack are at higher risk for having another, only 18% of heart attack patients actually go back to…

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Caregiving and your partner

Emotional stress, physical fatigue, reduced leisure time, financial draws, and loss of privacy are just a few of the domestic pressures noted in a Caregiving.com survey. But some couples in the survey also reported feeling a benefit: Caregiving prompted a new kind of teamwork that actually strengthened their relationship. Here are some tips: Strive for…

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Probiotics: The “good” bacteria

Did you know you are an ecosystem? We humans are naturally full of bacteria. In fact, trillions of them! Mostly they are “good” bacteria that live in our intestines. They help us digest our food. With more than 500 species, they also crowd out the “bad” bacteria that cause infections. These good bacteria are called…

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When the attorney shuts you out

Many family caregivers are surprised to be told to stay in the waiting room when they bring a loved one to an attorney to create a will or trust. This can feel doubly surprising if you are the one paying for the visit! Much as you wish to help your relative, the attorney is actually…

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Helping resolutions stick

As a family caregiver, you may have made some resolutions for the New Year. And like many people, you may have lost your momentum. All those good intentions… – Call or visit once a week – Fuss less over details – Make time to exercise – Practice gratitude Stop beating yourself up for “lack of willpower.”…

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Medical equipment at home

Many people need specialized equipment in order to handle a serious injury or chronic condition. Examples include walkers, wheelchairs, blood sugar monitors, infusion pumps, CPAPs for sleep apnea, and hospital beds. If the equipment will be needed for a long time, it may qualify as “durable medical equipment” (DME). And Medicare may pay for it….

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Preventing and treating pneumonia

It’s flu season. That can mean pneumonia season is right around the corner. Pneumonia is an infection of the lungs that often develops after a cold or flu. As a general rule, pneumonia can be treated at home with prescribed medications and rest. But sometimes a case is so severe that it requires a stay…

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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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