DEAR CAROL: My husband and I are traveling this Christmas and want to take a side trip to visit my aging aunt who is in a nursing home.RELATED CONTENT
DEAR CAROL: My husband and I are traveling this Christmas and want to take a side trip to visit my aging aunt who is in a nursing home. My aunt has Alzheimer’s disease, which we don’t have experience with. Besides that, we are both uncomfortable in a hospital setting and haven’t had experience with nursing homes. What should we consider? – JenRELATED CONTENT
Dear Carol: My dad has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. He’s considered Stage 2, according to the doctor, which is apparently quite early. Yet, I see many challenges now and of course many more in the future. How do we approach this?RELATED CONTENT
DEAR CAROL: My mom died six months ago and I’m still having a hard time accepting her death. I keep thinking about what I could or should have done better when she was still with me. I don’t communicate my grief to my family members because they think I should be over it by now. They seem to be getting on with their lives just fine, but I’m not.RELATED CONTENT
DEAR CAROL: My mother is in the middle stage of Alzheimer’s. Dad is her primary caregiver, and it’s wearing him out. He can’t sleep because she doesn’t sleep. He’s worried about her wandering even though the house is secure. My siblings and I try to help, but we are all out of town and have jobs and families. Dad refuses to consider putting Mom in assisted living, yet he can’t continue life as he’s living it, either. We’re all worried sick that he’ll have a stroke or something while he’s trying to provide all of Mom’s care. How do we convince him to do things differently?RELATED CONTENT
DEAR CAROL: My grandfather has Alzheimer’s disease, so my mom shows me your column a lot. I love Gramps and would never want to hurt him, but sometimes he says and does things that are funny, even though he can’t help it.RELATED CONTENT
How do you gently begin to supervise a parent’s health? Our mother is widowed now and 74 years old. She took care of our dad who had dementia and she seemed to do okay for awhile after he died. But now she frequently forgets her medications doubles them up, which she has admitted, and she frequently mixes up names and places.RELATED CONTENT
Mom’s adjusting well to her new environment, but she still wants to go home periodically. We are having a problem deciding on how to tell her that it’s time to sell her home of over 50 years. We’ve always been upfront and honest with Mom, so we feel we must tell her the truth. Eventually, she’ll need the money from the home sale to pay for her care. Any advice on how to address this would be appreciated. – SandyRELATED CONTENT
Dear Carol: My mother’s dementia is taking a toll on both of us. There are times when she doesn’t understand what is happening around her, so she gets angry, calls me names and even accuses me of stealing. Other times, she seems very clear, but those times are almost worse for me because she says things like “Just give me something to end this.” Five minutes later, she’s back to being mad at me or anyone else near her. I don’t know which extreme is harder to cope with. Isn’t there a way to find some middle ground with this disease? – JanRELATED CONTENT
DEAR READERS: Several years ago, I used this space to highlight lactose intolerance, an issue many older adults face. Due to some recent questions, I felt it was time, once again, to share some anecdotes regarding this sometimes hidden problem.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
Dear Carol: After two weeks in assisted living, my dad is angry and uncooperative because he feels trapped and not in control. We followed his decision to move both our mother and himself north where family is nearby and visits every couple of days.RELATED CONTENT
Dear Carol: My dad suffers hearing loss so severe that even though he wears hearing aids, people often have to write down what they are trying to tell him.RELATED CONTENT
Dear Carol: Is it ever appropriate to try to talk about “end-of-life issues” with the severely demented?RELATED CONTENT
Dear Carol: I am an only child and live 600 miles from my elderly parents. They need some assistance, and I worry about them. I’m married, have a job and young children. My parents don’t want to move. How do I care for them and still keep my job and family life going? – CeeCeeRELATED CONTENT