Archive for January, 2008

Dementia and Family Issues

Tuesday, January 29th, 2008

By Joce Callegari of Creative Group Consulting

How much more difficult caring for someone with dementia can be if not for family issues? So, what happened that has made it so hard to be a caregiver and deal with the family relationships?

To begin with, I think that you have to look at when you were young, what kind of caregiving did your parents do for their parents, sisters or friends? When I grew up, our family had the “elders” living with a daughter or son until they were physically too ill to have home care.

Every family seems to have one person that becomes the “one” designated caregiver. Hopefully, that person wants to be there. But in some cases today, when the family dysfunction is everywhere, when the parents were divorced and the families fractured, “when the music stopped” – whoever was closest ends up with the task of Caregiving.

I am a caregiver for my husband whose three adult children promised to help, if and when he needed it when we married 15 years ago. For 10 years, they came and stayed, eating our food, driving our cars and enjoying our hospitality when we lived in Scottsdale, AZ. But when the going got tough, the kids reverted to their old ways and the family issues that always existed reared their “ugly” heads.

I have to say I was surprised. I thought I had some “credits” in the bank for help later after many years of hosting free winter “holidays” but I never knew that they never helped care for their mother before she died. Because my husband emigrated from the UK to Canada, they never saw him doing caregiving up close and personal in their lifetime.

I had to “shut-off the bank” and put the “no vacancy sign” out as my husband needed more care and the dementia started to get serious, and I didn’t have enough capacity to be a “hostess”. Then, they slowly disappeared. One son came one week when we moved and three years later – he still tells us that is “how he helped.” A friend told me when her brother comes to watch her Mum when she goes grocery shopping for an hour or two a week, he feels he is doing “his part”.

The periods without contact got longer for us and now that we could really use help, my husband gets a call he doesn’t understand on Christmas, his birthday and maybe Father’s Day. Lately, they don’t want to hear the details of his dementia from me – it is easier. That way, they can pretend that it is my choice not to put him in a care home and my problem.

In some cases, other caregivers have told me the family issues are about greed; there is a little money coming in from pensions and social security and if “Mum lives with you, she doesn’t eat much. So, where is all the money going?”

Sometimes, it is about decisions on care; siblings want you to consult them but from personal experience, decisions become a “dance” between you and the doctors to guess what to do to slow down the dementia. With any caregiving, the learning curve causes you have to have one point of contact for dealing with decisions on care. Hopefully, you have or are a family caregiver that listens to everyone’s ideas and comes up with the best solution.

In some cases, there were family dynamics that you may not be aware of that have come into play and it has nothing to do with dementia – it is simply a lack of character or selfishness. Let’s face it, many caregivers (like me) are “baby-boomers”, hitting their own mid-life crisis and it is still “all about us.”

You can drive yourself crazy with trying to “make the family help” so my advice is to be the example to your children. If we are fortunate enough to live a long life, they will use our model to care for us.

I am satisfied with being free with from the toxic relationships they had with me and their dad. While I don’t understand how they can let the time pass without seeing and talking to their dad while he is here, I don’t have to understand. It is not my issue. I am still enjoying some quality time him.

For more information on dementia and caregiving look for Hippygirl52 at Eons www.eons.com/groups/group/Caregiver

Alzheimer’s Patients: How to transition them into a facility

Friday, January 18th, 2008

Recent research has found that there are ways to have an individual with Alzheimer’s moved into a facility that helps maintain their cognitive abilities at their current level. Gradually transitioning the afflicted person by starting them in an adult day care center and then, once they are fully acclimated to that new surrounding, moving them into the facility seems to make the move much smoother. When a person is moved directly from their home into a facility there is a rapid cognitive decline compared to the gradual transition.

For a more detailed description, go to:
http://ezinearticles.com/?Transitioning-A-Person-With-Alzheimers—How-To-Prepare-Them-To-Move-Into-A-Facility&id=929549

Why do boomers vote differently than their parents?

Friday, January 11th, 2008

 

Unlike their parents before them, boomers vote less along party lines and more based on the issues. Why does this happen and how can the candidates take advantage of this?

In the households of many boomers, their parents were typically democrats or republicans and usually voted strictly along party lines. Their children were obviously influenced by this; however, these same children have broken away from that type of behavior. A few reasons could be:

  • Boomers have heard so many lies from politicians that they no longer believe or trust a politician just because he or she represents the party they support. Instead, boomers tend to find a candidate they can believe in who also represents what their interests are.
  • Political parties tend to be dominated by the left or right, which does not necessarily represent the majority of boomers. Instead, boomers are again looking for a candidate that represents the way they look at things.
  • Boomer vote with more self-interest in mind than their parents did. They tend to view entitlements and obligations on their terms. For example, they do not believe they owe the country certain obligations such as military service and paying more taxes. The candidates that address the issues that affect boomers directly are more likely to capture their vote.

Obviously, the war is a major issue. Other issues will be the economy, alternative fuel development, health care and immigration.

To read more about this subject, go to http://ezinearticles.com/?id=917340

Reversing Alzheimers: Scientific Journal Shows New Possibilites

Thursday, January 10th, 2008

Reversing the affects of Alzheimer’s is one of the greatest challenges modern medicine has been trying to overcome. A new article in Science Daily describes the use of anti-TNF therapeutics as a new potential treatment option. By injecting these drugs into a patient, remarkable improvements have been seen in just a few minutes. While it is not a complete reversal or cure, it may lead us down the path to creating new medicines that will provide even greater results. For more details, go to http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/01/080109091102.htm

Boomers need to re-think retirement planning

Wednesday, January 2nd, 2008

Boomers may need to think differently when it comes to planning for their retirment. Extending life expectancy seems like a good thing, however, one of the problems is that long lived seniors may outlive their savings. A recent study has found that family members caring for an aging parent or spouse spend approximately 10 percent of their household income on this care. According to the National Alliance on Caregiving, things such as groceries and household goods, drugs and medical co-payments, and transportation are the most commonly purchased.

This means that boomers now need to think about paying for their parents in addition to themselves when they retire. To see the article in full, go to http://ezinearticles.com/?New-Considerations-When-Planning-For-Retirement&id=863386

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