DEAR CAROL: My mom has mild Alzheimer’s disease and really shouldn’t live alone anymore. I’ve been helping her look at assisted living facilities and we’ve narrowed our choices to two.RELATED CONTENT
Dear Carol: My sister Jean has wanted our mom to see a doctor about memory issues for months but Mom says she’s fine. Jean lives out of town, so she set aside a day to come into town and take Mom to lunch and get Mom’s hair cut. Then, Jean sprung a doctor appointment on Mom and, not surprisingly, Mom refused to go. She and Jean had a fight. I took Mom’s side, which probably didn’t help matters.RELATED CONTENT
Dear Readers: Like most of us, I grew up hearing that it’s the little things that count. I’m becoming increasingly aware of the truth in the old adage. As I look back this Mother’s Day on my mom’s last year of life, I remember how important the smallest things became to her as time went by.RELATED CONTENT
DEAR CAROL: I feel guilty because I don’t want be a caregiver for my elderly mother. I’m an only child, and since my father died she’s come to rely on me more than she needs to.RELATED CONTENT
DEAR CAROL: I’m worried about my mom. She’s 89-years old and has very little appetite. At one time she was quite heavy and ate as much as my dad, but now she says just looking at food fills her up.RELATED CONTENT
DEAR CAROL: My sister, Ann, teaches nursery school several hundred miles away from our home town where I still live. Our mom has dementia and is in a nursing home here. I’m happy to visit Mom often and take care of her needs. Ann handles Mom’s finances, so she is also contributing to mom’s care. We get along well in general, but her occasional visits create tension.RELATED CONTENT
DEAR CAROL: I’m confused about my husband’s Alzheimer’s diagnosis. He was first diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease three years ago, but now we are told he is showing Parkinson’s symptoms. The doctor talks to all of us like we should know everything about dementia and Parkinson’s, and our questions just seem to annoy him.RELATED CONTENT
DEAR READERS: While traditional health care saves lives and cures many illnesses, prescription drugs and many surgeries also have risks and limitations. Because of this knowledge, or simply out of the need to take a more active role in their healthcare and that of their elders, many people are using the Internet and other resources to research historic, alternative methods of preventing or controlling illness and pain.RELATED CONTENT
DEAR CAROL: After my mother-in-law had a stroke, she developed mild dementia. My husband and I were able to take care of her needs until recently, but because of her deteriorating health she has been admitted to a facility near our home.RELATED CONTENT
DEAR CAROL: I love my mother and have tried to be a good caregiver to her during her battle with cancer, which is in remission, and now with her lung and joint problems. She’s just 78-years-old and seems to be letting life go on without any enjoyment.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
Dear Carol: We are having problems making a family decision. My father-in-law passed away and my mother-in-law has Alzheimer’s disease.RELATED CONTENT
Dear Readers: Education is essential for caregivers and the public. After a recent column about people staring at our loved ones who have dementia when they behave oddly in public, I received a very helpful e-mail from Linda Wurtz, who is with AARP:RELATED CONTENT
Dear Carol: My mother is in her late 70s, and I accompany her to her doctor appointments. She is having subtle memory problems.
Dear Carol: My dad has mid-stage Alzheimer’s. We like to take him out so he has some variety in his life, but he gets angry, paranoid and stubborn, even though we go to familiar places.
Dear Readers: I was sent a review copy of Gail Sheehy’s new book, “Passages in Caregiving: Turning Chaos into Confidence.” I find it to be a well-researched guide to nearly every challenge family caregivers face.
Dear Readers: I recently had a conversation with a friend who had just lost her elderly mother after years of caregiving.RELATED CONTENT