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A Daughter's Touching Letter To Her Mom With Alzheimer's

Lisa Hirsch | Posted 11.16.2015 | Fifty
Lisa Hirsch

Mom, as I sit down to write my letter I wonder how I can possibly start to share all my feelings with you. So much has changed since you developed Alzheimer's 11 years ago. As I gather my thoughts I realize that you will not be able to comprehend most of what I say.

How I Got My Beloved Romanian Soul Mate With Alzheimer's to Stop Driving

Marie Marley | Posted 11.14.2015 | Fifty
Marie Marley

Without even realizing it - in my denial, I still didn't acknowledge that Ed has Alzheimer's - I'd solved this first serious dementia-related problem.

I Yelled At My Dying Husband, And I'm Still Mired In Shame

Debbie Weiss | Posted 11.12.2015 | Fifty
Debbie Weiss

Two and a half years after my husband George died of cancer, I am still mired in shame and regret because I was such a poor caregiver to him. Images of me angry, yelling at him, continue to haunt me.

Focus on the Roses in Alzheimer's Care

Marie Marley | Posted 11.07.2015 | Fifty
Marie Marley

To a great extent, our attitudes about long-term care facilities and people with dementia influence how we view them. We must look at the roses and let the thorns pass into the background.

Will Your Aging Parents Engage With You About Their Life?

Christopher Burgess | Posted 11.05.2015 | Fifty
Christopher Burgess

All aging parents should have the "four talks" with their elder children (boomers). No child wants to be the initiator of these discussion, so we elders can take the bull by the horns and get it started.

The One Question I Wish I Could Ask My Mom

Lisa Hirsch | Posted 11.04.2015 | Fifty
Lisa Hirsch

I yearn to hear my parents tell me all about their lives. Without realizing it, I took for granted that my parents would always be around to tell me about their dreams, their desires and their lives. Mom can no longer tell me much about anything since she now has Alzheimer's.

3 Things to Never Say to an Alzheimer's Caregiver

Marie Marley | Posted 10.31.2015 | Fifty
Marie Marley

You may think it's a shame the person has developed Alzheimer's and that's fair. It is a shame. However, it could well be possible that the loved one - the caregiver - does not think it's a shame

A Dozen Things You Should Never Say To A Caregiver

The Huffington Post | Ann Brenoff | Posted 10.28.2015 | Fifty

  About one in three Americans is providing care to someone who is ill, disabled or elderly, according to a 2015 survey from AARP and the Nation...

5 Things to Never Say to a Person Who Has Alzheimer's

Marie Marley | Posted 10.15.2015 | Fifty
Marie Marley

When relating to a person with Alzheimer's there are many guidelines to follow. I'm going to discuss five of the most basic ones here: 1) Don't tell them they are wrong about something, 2) Don't argue with them, 3) Don't ask if they remember something, 4) Don't remind them that their spouse, parent or other loved one is dead, and 5) Don't bring up topics that may upset them.

Nursing Home Placement: Damned if You Do, Damned if You Don't

Marie Marley | Posted 10.08.2015 | Fifty
Marie Marley

I'm talking here about the dreaded "N" word -- nursing home. I'm talking about placing your loved one with Alzheimer's in a care facility. Virtually no one wants to do it and few if any people want to go. This will be one of the most difficult, heart-wrenching decisions you, as an Alzheimer's caregiver, will ever have to make.

5 Compassion Practices for Dementia Caregivers

Marguerite Manteau-Rao | Posted 09.30.2015 | Healthy Living
Marguerite Manteau-Rao

There is no substitute for actual experiencing, or as close to it as we can get. Only then can we feel from the heart, the extent of what our loved one may be going through. This is much more powerful than just reading about it. With its built-in readiness, caring from the heart is a lot lighter on us and more likely to sustain us in the long run.

Has Your Doctor's Success Required More Competitiveness Than Compassion?

Matthew A. Weed PhD | Posted 09.22.2015 | Science
Matthew A. Weed PhD

Our physician training system currently increases suffering for patients like me and the millions of community caregivers who help us. It raises healthcare costs and adds significantly to physician burn-out because we neither select for empathy nor prepare future doctors to understand how patients work, live, and die.

Help Others for a Living? Here Are 5 Ways to Care for Yourself So You Can Care for Others

Nancie Vito | Posted 08.24.2015 | Healthy Living
Nancie Vito

Remember, the more care you take of yourself, the better care you can take of others. It's not selfish and it isn't taking anything away from others. On the contrary; it allows you to give the best care you possibly can, without suffering for it.

People Living With Alzheimer's Can Still Enjoy Life

Marie Marley | Posted 08.22.2015 | Fifty
Marie Marley

It seems that Alzheimer's is a devastating illness and that those who have it can never again enjoy life. But in the books of several experts on the disease, however, a somewhat different picture emerges.

Denial May Deprive Alzheimer's Caregivers of Joy

Marie Marley | Posted 08.14.2015 | Fifty
Marie Marley

Alexandru was a close relative of Ed -- my beloved Romanian soulmate of 30 years. Alexandru was visiting Ed from out of town. One evening they had a long talk about a wide range of topics -- most of which concerned Alexandru's professional issues. The next day Ed had no memory of the visit, let alone what they had discussed.

Simple Pleasures Can Bring Joy to a Person With Alzheimer's

Marie Marley | Posted 08.05.2015 | Fifty
Marie Marley

Sometimes it takes so little to bring joy to a person with Alzheimer's. The following story is a case in point. One day I arrived at the Alois Alzheimer Center to visit Ed, my beloved Romanian soul mate. As soon as I got out of the car, I realized I'd forgotten to bring any "props" for the visit. I was going to have to be creative.

Baby Boomers Face Problems Caring For Elderly Parents

Buck Wargo | Posted 07.17.2015 | Fifty
Buck Wargo

With our parents aging and life expectancies lengthening, a growing number of Baby Boomers are going to have to care for and support their parents.

Need Help Caring for a Loved One? Here Are Tips for Finding a Professional Caregiver

Martha T.S. Laham | Posted 07.13.2015 | Fifty
Martha T.S. Laham

Baby Boomers wear many hats: they're parents, workers, activists, enthusiasts, community organizers, and so forth. These are roles that Boomers have chosen. But there's a new role that they may not have banked on: that of a caregiver to an aging parent.

Embracing Grief When a Loved One Has Alzheimer's

Marie Marley | Posted 07.09.2015 | Fifty
Marie Marley

One day when I was visiting Ed, my beloved Romanian life partner of 30 years, in the memory care facility where he lived, they were having a festive sing-along. I sat down beside him to keep him company.

Losing My Mother Again and Again: My Story With Alzheimer's Disease

Heather Nevitt Van Lin | Posted 06.30.2015 | Healthy Living
Heather Nevitt Van Lin

My mom was diagnosed with younger-onset Alzheimer's disease when she was 57. It started small. When we spoke on the phone, I noticed she became dis...

When a Loved One Has Alzheimer's -- Realization vs. Acceptance

Marie Marley | Posted 06.29.2015 | Fifty
Marie Marley

When a loved one has Alzheimer's it's critically important to overcome denial and realize that they have it. And it's even more important to accept the diagnosis and all it means. These are to two entirely different things.

Reflections of an Alzheimer's Spouse: Affection and Love

Allan S. Vann | Posted 06.17.2015 | Healthy Living
Allan S. Vann

Even though we are no longer best friends, we still love each other and I will show Clare affection for as long as she lives. And I know that Clare will show me affection for as long as she is able to do so.

What if It's Alzheimer's?

Marie Marley | Posted 06.12.2015 | Fifty
Marie Marley

Alzheimer's is, above all, an insidious illness. It begins with very mild symptoms -- things we all do from time to time, such as forgetting to turn off the stove, temporarily forgetting an acquaintance's name, or misplacing the car keys. But for the person with dementia, these events will become more frequent, and with time, more serious symptoms will appear.

Reflections of an Alzheimer's Spouse... Acceptance

Allan S. Vann | Posted 06.11.2015 | Healthy Living
Allan S. Vann

I must learn how to get on with my life without having Clare by my side. I must accept that Clare and I are no longer a "we." Those "we" days are gone. I know that.

Alzheimer's and Making Peace With God

Marie Marley | Posted 06.07.2015 | Fifty
Marie Marley

Facing the Herculean challenges of caregiving requires all the strength you can muster, including spiritual strength. It has been our experience that caregivers who develop what we would call "spiritual intentionality" are better able to face these challenges and retain their joy and hope than those who seek to go it alone, fueled by denial, anger and resentment.