Author Archives: Ray Burow

An Aging Population Creates Caregiver Fatigue

Caregivers of a certain age may remember the late comedienne Lucille Ball’s “Vitameatavegamin“ sketch. The famous, very funny redhead asks: “Are you tired, rundown, listless? Do you poop out at parties?” For most caregivers, the answer is a resounding “yes,” perhaps especially for those who care for loved ones…

The ‘Longest Day’ Sheds Light on Alzheimer’s Disease

The Alzheimer’s Association has chosen the summer solstice, June 21, to shed light on Alzheimer’s disease and to raise awareness about the mind-altering, life-changing condition through a fundraising event called The Longest Day. The second purpose is to raise funds for research to benefit the 53 million people…

Caring for the Opposite Sex: Dealing with Intimacy Challenges

In the United States, 2.1 million men age 65 and older have Alzheimer’s disease. With Father’s Day approaching, we recognize that these numbers represent many dads, though fewer men than women have the disease. Caregiving isn’t gender-specific. Among Americans age 71 and older, 16 percent of women and 11…

Mourning Is a Natural Process for Caregivers

We tend to categorize loss. The loss of a child is the pinnacle of grief. That’s understandable. The loss of a parent is also devastating. However, it wasn’t until my mother received her dementia diagnosis that I genuinely understood that loss doesn’t always involve finality. Dementia isn’t final, but…

More than a Million Children Provide Familial Care in the US

The most recent statistics surrounding family caregiving in the United States are staggering. A 2005 National Alliance for Caregiving report estimates that 65.7 million Americans are familial caregivers. Of that number, more than 16 million care for people with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. Shockingly, some of those caregivers are…

Caregivers Can Help Preserve Alzheimer’s Patients’ Dignity

Dignity diminished Alzheimer’s disease has a way of robbing a person’s dignity. Given enough time, it strips away what is basic to our loved one’s personality, including the very characteristics associated with dignity. It replaces their normal reserve, appearance, language, and seriousness of manner with odd behavior that is…