What is “inflammaging”?

April 15, 2024 — Chronic inflammation is like the body (your “house”) catching fire. We have all dealt with acute inflammation. It comes with injury, such as a sprained ankle. Or infection, such as staph, bronchitis, etc. Inflammation is a sign that the body’s defenses are rushing in. In the normal course of events, healing occurs and the immune... Read More

Before you suggest assisted living

April 8, 2024 — “On your mark! Get set! Wait!” That is the experience, and in fact the best strategy, when hoping to persuade an older relative to move to assisted living. You may feel sure your mom or dad needs extra help. But they may not agree. This is a common dilemma. For instance, you may have noticed... Read More

Choosing a support group

April 1, 2024 — Are you feeling isolated, alone, frustrated, anxious, or just plain sad as you care for your loved one? Meeting with others who are also facing caregiving challenges can be very helpful. You can share anything, from coping with the emotional demands of your role to handling difficult behaviors. Rather than judgment, you’ll find affirmation in... Read More

Serving as a special needs trustee

March 25, 2024 — A “special needs trust” (SNT) is typically created to provide financial support for a disabled individual. Aging parents of a person with Down syndrome might create an SNT to provide for their child’s needs after they have died. The SNT trustee must manage the endowment to benefit the person with special needs over time. The... Read More

Chronic kidney disease

March 18, 2024 — Chronic kidney disease (CKD) affects one out of seven Americans. It is among the top ten causes of death in the United States. At first, its symptoms are very subtle and it progresses slowly, getting worse over decades. People often don’t know they have CKD. By the time significant symptoms emerge, the kidneys have been... Read More

Insomnia in older adults

March 11, 2024 — Older adults need about seven hours of sleep at night. But they often have difficulty falling asleep and staying asleep. They frequently wake up early and are not able to go back to sleep. This is due in part to normal changes of aging. We just don’t spend as much time in the deep phases... Read More

What is “assisted living”?

March 4, 2024 — There are many options for older adults who can no longer live at home independently. Assisted living facilities (ALFs) are tailored to individuals with health concerns that do not require the 24-hour medical attention provided by a nursing home. ALFs enable residents to be freed from the chore of meal preparation and housework and be... Read More

Dealing with disgust

February 26, 2024 — The emotion of disgust is a natural response. It evolved to protect us from potentially dangerous, scary, or infecting situations. But when it arises in the course of caring for a loved one—you involuntarily gag, for instance—it may cause you both distress. Getting to the other side of the disgust response can lead to deep... Read More

Maybe it’s not Alzheimer’s

February 19, 2024 — “Dementia” is not a diagnosis in and of itself. It describes a collection of symptoms that involve memory and thinking that are enough to interfere with daily life. Alzheimer’s is the most common cause, but there are many other reasons a person might have dementia symptoms. Most of the conditions that cause dementia cannot be... Read More

Tech support for your relative(s)

February 12, 2024 — Technology has done wonders to help us stay connected with family members. But beginning users have to learn new terms and skills. In-person classes are often available through senior centers or the library. And AARP’s AgeTech Collaborative offers online video tutorials and classes through Even if you seek to provide less complicated devices, it’s... Read More