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Carol Bradley Bursack


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Articles

Minding our Elders: Are dad’s memory problems due to Alzheimer’s?

DEAR CAROL: My dad is 78 and his memory seems to be failing. I’m not sure if this is natural aging or if something is wrong.

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Minding Our Elders: Mom needs more care than Dad can provide PressPass

DEAR CAROL: My mother has had multiple health problems for years, and Dad has cared for her. They have a close marriage so this arrangement has worked well, but now Dad is having heart problems and his arthritis is becoming severe.

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Minding Our Elders: Caregiving daughter faces depression after mom’s death

DEAR CAROL: I was my mother’s full-time caregiver since her massive stroke six years ago. Though many people felt she didn’t have a full life, I know that because of my caring for her she lived as well as possible. We did things together inside our home and out in the community.

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Minding our Elders: Dad tries to ignore incontinence issue PressPass

DEAR CAROL: My dad is 76. He was diagnosed with aggressive prostate cancer five years ago, so he had surgery. The surgery saved his life, but it’s done a job on his ego. The biggest issue is occasional but unpredictable incontinence.

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Minding our Elders: Is dad’s Alzheimer’s worse or is he over-medicated?

DEAR CAROL: My dad has been in a nursing home for two years because of Alzheimer’s disease and, until lately, we’d been happy with his care.

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Minding Our Elders: Is dad’s problem grief or dementia?

DEAR CAROL: My dad’s 73 and has been quite well physically, but he’s slipping mentally. This mental decline began after my mom died a year ago, but he’s never pulled out of it.

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Minding our Elders: Reach out when both of you are grieving over loss PressPass

Dear Carol: My dad died at age 84 after a long fight with cancer. The wonderful hospice care he received near the end was a great comfort to us at that time, but beyond that his absence now is just crushing.

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Minding Our Elders: Grandma’s swearing upsets family

DEAR CAROL: My grandma and I have always been close and I love her very much. She’s got Alzheimer’s disease, now, and she’s started swearing which isn’t like her at all. She uses words that embarrass me when my friends are around. I know it’s not her fault, but I really am upset by it. My parents are bothered by it, too, but they say we just have to live with it. I’m fourteen and mature, but this is really bothering me. – Angie

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Minding Our Elders: Mom needs stronger pain relief

DEAR CAROL: My mom is 87 and lives in a nursing home. She has mid-stage Alzheimer’s, advanced arthritis and is nearly blind. Mom hates to get out of bed because of pain and eats very little. Her memory is poor and she doesn’t want to take part in activities.

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Minding Our Elders: Mom’s losing interest in life

DEAR CAROL: My mother is only 78, but she has early to mid-stage Alzheimer’s. I can’t get her interested in doing anything. She worked all of her adult life in sales and has indicated from time to time that she misses the people since she retired. For hobbies, she used to love to read and do needle work but she doesn’t do either now.

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Columns

Bursack: Appetite, nutrition for elders a concern PressPass

Dear Carol: Is it safe, or even helpful, to add powdered supplements to my grandfather’s food to help him gain weight?

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Bursack: Mom thinks daughter is stealing PressPass

Dear Carol: My 88-year-old mother still lives independently, but has recently developed some paranoia. It’s mostly centered on me, as I’m the family member who is with her the most. She misplaces objects and then accuses me of stealing what she can’t find.

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Bursack: Caregiver’s vacation offers good medicine PressPass

Dear Carol: I’ve been the primary caregiver for my dad for years. He’s now in assisted living and is doing well, though he still depends on me to do many things for him, including setting up his medications.

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Bursack: Ombudsman can advise on options for mother PressPass

Dear Carol: My mother’s been in an assisted-living facility for five years. She still likes living there, though she is having more health problems lately, so it’s been a struggle for me to get her to her clinic appointments and keep up with the medical care she needs.

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Bursack: Notes can help when flu halts daily visits PressPass

Dear Carol: Last year, during a flu outbreak, the nursing home where my mom lives wouldn’t allow visitors for over a week.

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Bursack: Elder care assistance at your fingertips PressPass

Dear Readers: Recently, I renewed my acquaintance with one of the most helpful websites around.

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Bursack: Father has mixed disorders

Dear Carol: My father has Alzheimer’s disease, an adrenal gland problem and now, major depression.

Bursack: Helping caregivers after long absences PressPass

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 Sister

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Bursack: Mom may be clinically depressed PressPass

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.

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Bursack: Caregivers see holiday challenges

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.

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