Columns

The Death of Denial

I was helping Mom in the bathroom when suddenly she slumped over, unable to hold herself upright. Her hospice nurse was scheduled to come later that day but had previously offered to come sooner if needed, so I immediately contacted her.

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…

Panic at the Disco

Caring for a loved one as they battle dual terminal illnesses can be overwhelming, an experience filled with sadness, so I was thrilled when my aunt said that she was coming to town to visit for the weekend. I imagined the two sisters bonding over old memories…

Good Health Is Crucial to Caregiving

A recent study conducted by Johns Hopkins University indicates that caregivers aren’t nearly as susceptible to poor health as once believed, as providing care has no more significance on a caregiver’s immune system than any other job. For years, caregivers have seen studies that reached the opposite conclusion, that…

When to Take the Driver’s Seat with Dementia Caregiving

Caring for someone with dementia as they lose independence is challenging, especially when the loved one is your parent. Parents are accustomed to guiding their children throughout their lives. When the roles are reversed, it is often difficult for both the patient and the caregiver. Knowing when to assist…

After Her Big Decision, Mom Just Lets the Good Times Roll

When my mom was diagnosed with terminal uterine cancer, she was displeased to say the least. Being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease just after witnessing her mother pass away from the terrifying disease in 2014 did not exactly bring out the sunshine, either. But she suddenly saw…