DEAR CAROL: My mom has mid-stage Alzheimer’s. She lives with me and, for now, seems safe enough at home while I’m at work. What concerns me is that she’s started talking about wanting to “go home.”RELATED CONTENT
DEAR CAROL: My mom has several medications to help with various health problems. Lately, her speech has been slurred and she seems to be drooling quite a bit. The symptoms appear to be the most pronounced shortly after she’s taken her medications, but she has some symptoms intermittently all day. She also complains of a headache nearly every day, so we are having her eyes checked next week just to be sure, although her glasses are quite new. Can medications cause these problems?RELATED CONTENT
I’ve suggested that since Mom gets excellent care at the nursing home, my sister should visit less often so she can have more time for herself, but she gets defensive. I visit Mom as often as I can. How can I convince Mary that if she is more rested, she and Mom are both better off?RELATED CONTENT
DEAR CAROL: My 79-year-old mother is on medication for aggression due to her dementia, but she still has periodic violent outbursts where she kicks and hits me. Her psychiatrist has tried several drugs in small doses to avoid side effects, but most of them leave her sleepy and have had little positive effect.RELATED CONTENT
Mom really should have help bathing and someone should monitor her medications. Even dressing is getting to be a chore because of severe arthritis. The problem is that the facility wants to charge more to provide these services. I thought this kind of care is what assisted living is about. – GregRELATED CONTENT
A year ago, my mother had a heart attack. She came out of it fairly well, but still can’t do much around the house. Then, last month my dad had a stroke. I’m an only child and feel overwhelmed with all of this.RELATED CONTENT
With the flu outbreak, the nursing home where my mother lives has isolated residents and is not allowing visitors. Marie says Mom is very upset. Mom understands when Marie tells her on the phone why she can’t visit, but then Mom quickly forgets and calls wondering why my Marie’s not there. What can we do to make Mom feel better?RELATED CONTENT
DEAR CAROL: My mom is 89-years-old, lives in assisted living and has dementia. She also has substantial hearing loss which isn’t helped very much by her hearing aids. Her dementia prevents her from understanding closed caption TV, so that spoils TV as entertainment for her. Basically, she’s bored and miserable.
DEAR CAROL: My mom lives alone and seems to be suffering some form of dementia, though her doctor hasn’t pinned it down to one kind. Right now, the problem is how to manage her medications and vitamins. She’s supposed to be taking three medications daily, plus a vitamin.RELATED CONTENT
DEAR CAROL: Reading your column has helped me care for my 83-year-old mom who has Alzheimer’s disease. Now, I’m writing with my own question. Mom fell while in the memory unit of a very good assisted living center.RELATED CONTENT
Dear Carol: Last year, during a flu outbreak, the nursing home where my mom lives wouldn’t allow visitors for over a week.RELATED CONTENT
Dear Readers: Recently, I renewed my acquaintance with one of the most helpful websites around.RELATED CONTENT
Dear Carol: My father has Alzheimer’s disease, an adrenal gland problem and now, major depression.
Dear Carol: My sister has been the primary caregiver for our dad for nearly five years. I’ve lived out of state, and I haven’t been emotionally or physically available. I’m now retired and moving back to our hometown. I know I’ve been selfish about this and want to make up for my lack of help. How do I approach my sister about helping out? – Missing SisterRELATED CONTENT
Dear Carol: My mom is 86 and widowed. While I live over 800 miles away, I talk to her several times a week. Since my Dad’s death five years ago, Mom’s slowly sunk into isolation, loneliness and self-medication with alcohol.RELATED CONTENT
Dear Readers: As caregivers, we want to provide a memorable Christmas for our loved ones. To do that, we often feel we must keep all of our family traditions. The problem is that as our elders age, many of us find that holiday traditions become painfully challenging, if not impossible. I know. I’ve been there.RELATED CONTENT
Dear Carol: My father has Alzheimer’s disease, and I really don’t know what more I can do for him. He’s paranoid and hard for me to handle. One minute he loves me, but the next minute he hates me. Half the time, he doesn’t even know who I am.RELATED CONTENT
Dear Readers: This is a busy month for celebrating caregivers. It’s National Alzheimer’s Awareness Month, National Hospice/Palliative Care Month and National Caregivers Month.
Dear Readers: Part one of this two-part series addressed my personal experience of signing up for Medicare Parts A and B as one of the “working aged.”RELATED CONTENT
Editor’s note: This is the first of a two-part series on Medicare. Dear Readers: Questions about signing up for Medicare coverage – for oneself or a parent – come to me regularly.RELATED CONTENT