Sunday - October 2, 2022
Categories of Caregiving

May is “Older American\’s Month”

May 13th, 2008

Yup . . . it\’s true! May is “Older American\’s Month”. To give you an idea of how powerful we are as a group – we don\’t just get a day . . . we get a whole month! Impressive! What are you doing to celebrate our month? I was recently told that, as a Baby Boomer, I\’m considered an “older American”. Which is kind of funny because when I think of an “older American”, I think of my mother\’s generation, not mine! Especially because I don\’t really feel “old”. I feel mature and grown up and wise – but not old. In fact, I still see myself... Read More

Basic Eldercare Realities

April 14th, 2008

If you\’ve been reading my past columns, you know that I always say that for the best results, talk early and often with your aging loved so you can resolve your eldercare issues by choice, not crisis. The earlier you start talking, the easier it is to get plans in place. The better the planning, the easier it will be for them and you in the long term. Before you begin to have your conversations with your aging loved one, however, there are some very important basic realities to keep in mind. Remembering these basic realities will help you have conversations that produce more than stress... Read More

Organizing Yourself for the “Eldercare Stage”

March 11th, 2008

It\’s virtually impossible to accurately predict the extent or length of the commitment to eldercare but for many caregivers, it\’s a lot longer than they ever imagined. In fact, in last month\’s column, I mentioned an interview with Roberta Satow for my Expert Interview Series (http://agewiseliving.com/shop-expert_interviews.htm), in which she talks about caregiving as “a stage of life”. She explains that, unlike our parents who provided care for their parents for an average of 1-5 years, our own parents are living a lot longer now. So that means we could be facing... Read More


February 15th, 2008

I was in a card store and a woman standing next to me was buying a huge stack of Valentine\’s Day cards. I watched for a while as she picked a bunch of cards for friends, as well as cards for her husband, her mother, her father, her mother-in-law, her father-in-law, her children, her grandchildren, and her grandchildren\’s teachers – and those were just the ones she picked after I started watching!! I said to her “I hope you\’re going to get lots of cards, too” and she said “Nah, I\’m too old for that!” I thought “how sad – too... Read More


January 15th, 2008

December is a magical time!!! Starting around Thanksgiving, cities and towns across the country transform themselves into a winter wonderland. Lights, trees, holiday decoration; parties and family gatherings; holiday greetings to friends and relatives. Some days, cards and letters outnumber the bills and every snowflake adds to the delight. It\’s a magical time of year! Then comes January and, as if with a flick of a switch, the parties stop, the mail is once again just bills, the lights are turned off, and we go back to life as usual. I\’ve personally lobbied to everyone I can think... Read More


December 10th, 2007

Finding the perfect gift is challenging under any circumstances but buying for an aging loved one can be particularly difficult. Obviously you want to get them something they want but it really no longer makes sense for you to get them yet another doll for their doll collection or yet another tie because, hopefully at this point, they\’re getting rid of stuff. So what do you do? Think in terms of what they really want but that they may not know they want. FOR EXAMPLE: Put old family movies onto DVDs for them – and give a copy to everyone else in the family, too. Just keep in mind that... Read More


November 15th, 2007

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. All Americans can celebrate it, we can all get together as a family, give thanks for the many blessings in our lives, and eat!-all without the stress of finding the “perfect” gift or fear of political correctness! Unfortunately, however, knowing that this might be the last Thanksgiving with an aging loved one can produce enormous pressure to make the holiday especially significant. In fact, when faced with the inevitable, many family members try to make up for 40, 50, or 60+ years of a less than close relationship in 1 day and set goals such as: ~... Read More


October 9th, 2007

It\’s Thursday and I\’m taking today and tomorrow off to give myself a long weekend mini-vacation.I need the time off. In fact, I\’m desperate for it! I\’ve earned it, I deserve it, I need it! Yet I\’m wracked with guilt. Not because I\’m not working. No, the main reason I\’m wracked with guilt is because going away means I won\’t be visiting my mother this weekend. My mother has very advanced dementia and lives in a nursing home and I visit just about every weekend. In addition, I attend quarterly care meetings with the staff and periodic family... Read More


September 10th, 2007

Summer is over and it\’s back-to-school time for your kids. If you\’re like most parents, you spent a lot of August preparing for the new school year. You bought school supplies, clothes, planned after school activities, and made after school childcare arrangements. And I\’ll bet you also made plans in case of an emergency and back-up emergency plans a mile long! Obviously you have these back-up plans so that, when there\’s a need, everyone knows what to do, no time is wasted, and no one has to panic. But what about your aging loved ones? If you\’re a family member... Read More


August 7th, 2007

A few days ago I had lunch with a friend and I was telling her about my visit the day before with my mother who has very advanced dementia and now lives in a nursing home. I was telling her how even though my mother no longer remembers who I am and that although I visit about every week or two (even though a round-trip visit takes at least a half a day) I still feel absurdly guilty that it\’s not more often. To that my friend said, “I don\’t know why you bother visiting so often anyway and I certainly don\’t know why you feel guilty – she doesn\’t even remember... Read More