When to use “urgent care”?

May 27, 2024 — Where do you go? Your relative has distressing symptoms. The primary care doctor’s office is closed, or they don’t have an opening anytime soon. The Emergency Room is open 24/7 but will involve long waits and a lot of stress. An urgent care center is a great middle ground. It’s generally convenient—open evening hours—and is... Read More

Ride hailing for older adults

May 20, 2024 — Transportation problems create unhealthy social isolation for many older adults. Rides from family and friends are the first thought, but they aren’t always available, limiting your loved one’s opportunities. And older adults often feel uncomfortable being beholden to others for their transportation—and, ironically—for their “independence.” Ride services offer an alternative in many parts of the... Read More

What is “vascular dementia”?

May 13, 2024 — About 10% to 20% of cognitive impairments are a result of vascular dementia, also called “stroke dementia.” Vascular dementia arises when the blood supply to the brain is interrupted by a blood clot or from bleeding in the brain (for instance, after hitting one’s head during a fall). Vascular dementia can come on suddenly, from... Read More

Talking with Dad about his hearing loss

May 6, 2024 — Hearing loss affects 50% of people over age eighty-five, most commonly men. Poor hearing diminishes quality of life. It may bring on frustration in daily interactions with others. It can even be at the root of withdrawal from social activities, depression, anxiety, paranoia, and memory issues. Even so, many elders deny they have problems with... Read More

Home visits are in!

April 29, 2024 — If the person you care for needs therapy or other medical services but has trouble getting out, house calls are a great solution. Historically, Medicare has had strict rules for home-based services and how “homebound” a patient must be for the services to be covered. It also limits the number of visits per week or... Read More

Adaptive clothing

April 22, 2024 — If you have dressed a relative with dementia or assisted a family member with Parkinson’s, you know there are challenges involved. Dressing requires physical coordination, fine-motor skills, flexible joints, and range of motion. Not being able to dress oneself is both frustrating and embarrassing. Fortunately, clothes designers have developed garments with important adaptations. Adaptive clothing... Read More

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