Family Caregiver Articles - AgingCare.com

Family Caregiver Articles

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Both family caregivers and seniors may benefit from a little-known form of psychotherapy that targets the symptoms of prolonged grief and PTSD that can occur after a parent or spouse passes away.

Mum has been steadily declining and is struggling with how to enjoy life despite her growing limitations. Depression and dementia go hand in hand, it seems.

While many family caregivers might consider writing about their experiences to be a chore, there is something especially therapeutic about putting things down on paper and punching words out on a keyboard.

I was excited for our trip, but as our departure date got closer, I became increasingly worried about spending the time away. Based on the success of our experience, I came up with five tips for dementia caregivers who are planning a holiday.

Like many other dementia patients, my mother repeatedly asks a handful of complex and emotionally charged questions. This is how I try to set her mind at ease.

Last Saturday, I brought headphones and an iPod loaded with old music to the rest home for Mum. The results were astounding.

Both Mum’s memory and physical stamina seem to evade her these days. As a dementia caregiver, it’s my job to find something to help both her mood and mobility.

For now, Mum can still enjoy the comics section of the newspaper, but her granddaughter found a new way to appeal to her sense of humor. Surprisingly, a mix of classic art and snarky internet trends brought these two generations together through laughter.

Memory problems can get you into some sticky situations. As a caregiver, I’ve discovered a simple solution to make outings more successful.

Mum hasn’t been herself lately, and it’s been weighing heavily on my mind. Perhaps something is wrong with her medication regimen, or it could be what I dread most: her Alzheimer’s disease is progressing.

We may eventually have to consider transitioning our loved ones to independent or assisted living, nursing care, or even memory care. Of course, many of us have visited these places, but do we truly know what living there is like?

Although Mum didn’t remember the details of our picture-perfect day together, she was very happy. With dementia, the memories may not stick anymore, but the feelings and emotions attached to them still linger.

I see Mum fading in and out of reality, sometimes recognizing the severity of her illness and other times not even realizing something is wrong. All I can do is go through the motions with her.

Christmas has come and gone, but in Mum’s mind the planning has just begun. When her anxiety returns and her questions become repetitive, white lies are what alleviate her worries.

As Mum’s memory fades, the realities of her everyday life seem to go as well. It’s like acting in a strange play with half of the cues missing.

For the last ten years, Mum and I have been navigating a different kind of relationship. Things turn into a kind of dance with dementia, and sometimes it’s awfully hard.

I could tell Mum was nervous, but with her new bathing suit and some gentle encouragement, her confidence grew. Surprisingly, a day at the pool left her feeling marvelous.

Younger generations are surprisingly insightful when it comes to handling their elders’ dementia-related behaviors. See what techniques this teenager uses while visiting his grandmother, who has Alzheimer’s disease.

There is always a great deal of work for family and friends to see to after a loved one passes away. Telling another family member the news is always difficult, but dementia can make the task even more challenging.

Music has the incredible ability to transport us back in time, reduce stress, help us escape the present and make us more mindful of our emotions. For individuals living with dementia, though, music has an even more powerful effect.
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