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We are not all careivers

Posted on February 16, 2017 at 6:20 PM Comments comments (5715)
We are all unique individuals with different talents and flaws. Often, our so-called flaws are merely ways in which we differ with ever-changing societal expectations. For example, when people marry, it used to be a given that they would have children if at all possible. Currently, a significant number of couples choose not to have children. Are they selfish? No. They simply know what they want out of their lives, and being parents isn't likely the best choice for them, or their potential children. Similarly, some people may have the insight to recognize that they wouldn't be able to provide quality day in and day out hands-on care for a beloved parent. They may have spent decades building careers that they love, encouraged by the parents who now need care, or they may be people to whom patience is not natural and a repetitive daily grind would become numbing. Are these bad people? No. Selfish people? Again, no. Or at least most of them are not. They simply don't have the personality makeup for the repetitive, nurturing task of long-term hands-on caregiving for vulnerable adults.  Respecting different approaches to caregiving is something we all need to strive to achieve. Most of these people love their parents. They will visit their parents. They most likely will arrange competent care and monitor their parents' wellbeing. They will handle financial issues. In actuality, they are providing care, though they are not 100 percent involved. I explain how this administrative aspect is a valuable part of caregiving in my AgingCare article "When Do You Become a Caregiver?"  People forced to give personal care against their natural instincts may do okay for awhile, and sometimes that's all that is needed. But, caregiving often has a way of stretching out into a long-term commitment, and in these cases there is a significant prospect that day-to-day caregiving would backfire for those adult children and their care receivers. The caregivers would eventually resent their role and could come to resent their parents neediness, as well. Resentment is a powerful thing. It eats at the heart of the person carrying the grudge. It builds until it takes on a life of its own, so that even the most talented actor can't hide their underlying resentment from the care receiver. Resentment reveals itself in body language. It comes out in tone of voice. And yes, in extreme cases, it explodes into abuse. If you are one of these people who has the insight to know that you aren't cut out to be a hands-on caregiver, you are to be commended for your ability to take an honest look at yourself and not flinch from who you are. Nurturing isn't your strong point and you honestly admit that. Perhaps, however, you are being too hard on yourself. As mentioned above, the definition of a caregiver isn't a cut and dried job description, identical for everyone. Some people can handle a few weeks of providing hands-on care, but cannot continue with that role for months or years. (agingcare))

Hospice Care

Posted on January 18, 2017 at 9:15 AM Comments comments (6241)
The day that I call hospice is the day that I give up on my loved one. Probably the most difficult myth to overcome is the common feeling among family caregivers that calling hospice is giving up, to letting your loved one die. But, Erbstoessser believes that nothing could be further from the truth. "In a lot of cases, calling hospice is the best kind of care you can give them at that time," she says, pointing out that the comfort measures administered by hospice care workers can manage pain and other symptoms very well. Hospice care concentrates on helping a person live well everyday. (

When your aging parent won't accept help

Posted on December 27, 2016 at 7:00 AM Comments comments (3683)
Here are nine strategies to help you overcome the objections of a reluctant loved one according to Start Early Ideally, families have relaxed conversations about caregiving long before a health crisis. Look for opportunities to ask questions like, "Mom, where do you see yourself getting older?" or "How would you feel about hiring a housekeeper or driver so you could stay home?" Be Patient Ask open-ended questions and give your loved one time to answer, says Senior Care advisor Mary Stehle, LCSW. "You can say, 'Dad, what's it like to take care of Mom 24 hours a day?'." But be warned: Conversations may be repetitive and tangential, veering off-topic. It may take several talks to discover the reason your mother, a meticulous housekeeper, has fired five aides in a row is simply that they neglected to vacuum under the dining room table. Probe Deeply Ask questions to determine why an elder refuses help -- then you can tailor a solution, says Kane. "Is it about a lack of privacy, fears about the cost of care, losing independence or having a stranger in the house?" says Kane. To build trust, listen with empathy and validate rather than deny your loved one's feelings. (Learn more about starting a conversation about care with your parent) Offer Options If possible, include your parent in interviews or in setting schedules, says Stehle. Let them choose certain days of the week or times of day to have a home health aide come. Emphasize an aide will be a companion for walks, concerts, museum visits and other favorite activities. (Find a senior care aide.) Recruit Outsiders Early "Sometimes it's easier for a parent to talk to a professional rather than a family member," says Cohen. Don't hesitate to ask a social worker, a doctor or nurse, a priest or minister -- even an old poker buddy -- to suggest your parent needs help. Prioritize Problems Make two lists, says Cohen, one for your loved one's problems and another for the steps you've already taken -- and where to get more help. "If you don't categorize your efforts, caregiving becomes this huge weight," says Cohen. Writing it down and numbering by priority can relieve a lot of stress. Use Indirect Approaches If your father has dementia, offering less information may be more effective at times, suggests Stehle. "You could let your parent know the aide is someone very helpful who can take your father on walks, fix him meals, and help him throughout the day. You don't need to explain every aspect of care the aide will provide before the relationship has been formed. This may make your loved one feel less threatened." Take it Slow Weave a new aide in gradually, says Kane. Start with short home visits or meet for coffee, then bring the aide along to the doctor's a few weeks later. "You leave early on some pretext, letting the aide accompany your parent home." Accept Your Limits As long as seniors are not endangering themselves or others, let them make their own choices, says Cohen. "You can't be at your parent's side all the time. Bad things can happen, and you can't prevent them," she says. "You need to accept limits on what you can accomplish and not feel guilty." It may sound unfeeling, but maybe going a day or two without meals is just the reality check an elder needs to welcome a badly needed helping hand. (


Posted on December 22, 2016 at 7:30 AM Comments comments (9186)

Caregiver Burn out

Posted on December 16, 2016 at 7:00 PM Comments comments (736)
Your emotional and psychological health is important and can affect your physical health. Be aware of the signs that point to caregiver "burnout." Watch for: 1)Excessive use of alcohol, medications or sleeping pills 2)Appetite changes, either eating too much or too little 3)Depression, hopelessness, feelings of alienation, lack of energy to do new things 4)Thoughts of death 5)Losing control physically or emotionally 6)Neglecting or treating roughly the person for whom you are caring 7)Trouble falling asleep or staying asleep 8)Difficulty concentrating, missing appointments If you show signs of caregiver burnout, get help. Your healthy body, mind and spirit benefit your loved one as much as they benefit you. Where does your health stand today? Where does it need to be? Start working towards achieving your health goals. Take it one day at a time and make small changes. (American Heart Association).

Your Cholesterol

Posted on December 16, 2016 at 8:45 AM Comments comments (21760)
High cholesterol is one of the major controllable risk factors for coronary heart disease, heart attack and stroke. As your blood cholesterol rises, so does your risk of coronary heart disease. If you have other risk factors such as smoking, high blood pressure or diabetes, this risk increases even further. The greater the level of each risk factor, the more that factor affects your overall risk. Your cholesterol level can be affected by your age, gender, family health history and diet. When too much LDL (bad) cholesterol circulates in the blood, it can slowly build up in the inner walls of the arteries that feed the heart and brain. Together with other substances, cholesterol can form a thick, hard deposit called plaque that can narrow the arteries and make them less flexible. This condition is known as atherosclerosis. If a clot forms and blocks a narrowed artery, a heart attack or stroke can result. (American Heart Association).

Alzheimer's Disease

Posted on November 30, 2016 at 9:05 AM Comments comments (17369)

Alzheimer's Disease


Experts think between 60% to 80% of people with dementia have this disease. More than 5 million Americans have been diagnosed with Alzheimer's. It's what most people think of when they hear "dementia."


If someone you know has Alzheimer's, you'll notice symptoms such as memory loss and trouble planning and doing familiar tasks.


The symptoms are mild at first but get worse over a number of years. Your friend or relative might:

•Be confused about where he is or what day or year it is

•Have problems speaking or writing

•Lose things and be unable to backtrack to find them

•Show poor judgment

•Have mood and personality changes

These are just a list of changes, but please speak with your loved one doctor for more information.

Web MD



Posted on November 19, 2016 at 8:55 AM Comments comments (576)

For those with urinary incontinence (UI), as many Baby Boomers refer to the condition—travel can be even more daunting. Whether you are dealing with occasional accidental leaks, frequent visits to the bathroom, or complete incontinence, it takes significant planning for the unexpected to avoid an embarrassing situation.


These seven tips listed that could save you and your loved one’s time and embarrassment while en route.


1. Map your route: When traveling by car, identify freeway exit guides that list rest areas, and plan regular stops for bathroom breaks. Google Maps can highlight each rest stop on your trip so you know when and where you can go. Leave enough time in your journey to allow you to reach your destination on schedule.

2. Avoid liquids two hours before boarding a flight.

Changes in cabin pressure and tight seat belts can put pressure on your bladder, especially if it's full. Before the plane door closes, alert the flight attendant about your UI. This can be helpful should the plane get stuck on the tarmac.

3. Pass on complementary beverages.

If you can't pass these up, at least avoid diuretics such as soda and coffee. Plain old water is your best choice.

4. Have a "Plan B" bag.

Pack an easily accessible bag with extra supplies, such as a change of clothes, extra incontinence supplies and a plastic bag for soiled clothing. This helps if you have an accident, but can also be a lifesaver if the airline loses your checked baggage.

5. Always reserve an aisle seat, if possible.

If you book with an airline that doesn't assign seats, consider investing in early check-in capabilities, which guarantee you a spot at the front of the line to ensure you get that aisle seat.

6. Talk to your doctor about medication.

Because medications to treat an overactive bladder can take two weeks to take effect, discuss this option with your doctor well in advance of your trip.

7. Learn how to ask, "Where is the restroom?" (curtesy of Aging



Dental Health

Posted on November 10, 2016 at 8:45 AM Comments comments (451)
Did you know that your oral health offers clues about your overall health ??? or that problems in your mouth can affect the rest of your body? Protect yourself by learning more about the connection between your oral health and overall health (Mayo Clinic). Visit United Dental Care in Upper Darby, PA. they offer a wide range of dental services for all ages. Dr. Patel staff is there to answer any questions you may have. Please call 484-462-0171.

Food Focus

Posted on November 7, 2016 at 11:00 AM Comments comments (8099)

Beans Packed with Protein and Fiber

Beans really are magical fruit (Yup, they're fruit).

They're a wonderful source of protein and minerals such as iron, magnesium and zinc. They also are rich in folic acid, calcium and fiber. All of this means they can help protect against heart disease and birth defects while they help lower cholesterol and the risk of certain cancers.

Healthy Eating