What is “healthy selfishness”?

July 31, 2023 — As a rule, family caregivers are generous. They tend to be empathetic and to want to help. But it is possible to be too generous, with a tendency to sacrifice one’s own needs for the benefit of others. Sound familiar? This is called “pathologic altruism.” People who feel compelled to give despite risks to themselves... Read More

Dementia: Packing for a trip

July 24, 2023 — A trip. Sounds like fun! And, it’s more challenging when you travel with a companion who has dementia. But with forethought and planning, you can avoid or readily address common problems. Things to do a few weeks ahead Get an ID bracelet for you and your loved one. In the confusion of crowds, it’s easy... Read More

Bringing the hospital home

July 17, 2023 — Suppose you bring your frail loved one or a relative with dementia to the ER because of trouble breathing. The doctors determine it is pneumonia caused by bits of food being swallowed into the lungs. Rather than stay in the hospital, they suggest your relative use the Hospital at Home (HAH) program. With HAH, your... Read More

Senior bullying and exclusion

July 10, 2023 — About 20% of seniors living in communal settings experience bullying in one form or another. Cliques and power hierarchies seem to be a human tendency. If your loved one is the focus of bullying, you might notice withdrawal from others or depressed mood. Or you might hear them say that a particular person is “mean”... Read More

Meaningful end of life conversations

July 3, 2023 — Hollywood would have us believe that profound deathbed conversations occur just before the last breath is drawn. Not so! The last few weeks of a person’s life are often marked by extreme fatigue, long hours of sleep, and sometimes distracting levels of pain. Conversations require too much energy. If someone you care about has been... Read More