Caregiving Issues Articles
When a Colorado senior loved one lives far away from you, the challenges of making sure they are well cared for rise significantly. For many adult children, the solution is to employ in-home caregivers to assist with personal care, housekeeping, medication reminders and more. But being able to oversee what the caregiver is doing and what they might not be doing can be real struggle when you live far away.
If an older adult you love has recently made a move to a Colorado assisted living community, you may be a little unsure of your role in their transition. Coming to visit too often may prevent them from exploring their new home and meeting their neighbors. On the other hand, if you don’t visit at all, they may feel lonely and abandoned. For children who live further away, figuring out how the transition is really going can be even more challenging.
I am the primary caregiver for my 89-year-old mother who lives near me in Ft. Collins, Colorado. Over the past year her health has taken a significant decline. Last week when I had her to the doctor, he suggested it was time to consider hospice care.
My brother and sister both live out of state but will be here for Thanksgiving. Even though I’ve tried to talk with them throughout the year about Mom’s health, they are in denial. She talks with them by phone every week, but she always tells them she is doing “fine.” They haven’t seen her in person since last Christmas so I know they are in for a shock.
Do you have any advice for starting the conversation about hospice with them?
My father lives near me in Greeley, Colorado. I’m fortunate to be able to visit with him a few times a week. We lost my mother to a long battle with Alzheimer’s disease a few months ago, and since then I’ve noticed my father’s health seems to be declining. He was her primary caregiver for over six years while Alzheimer’s slowly caused her to lose her physical and cognitive abilities.
I knew he would miss her terribly and he certainly does. I thought that after he caught up on his rest he would have time to get reacquainted with his friends and to pick back up on some of the hobbies he had to let go of in order to care for Mom. But he seems to be constantly battling a cold or an illness of one kind or another. He was never sick this much when my mother was still alive. And I just can’t seem to get him to leave the house. I’ve heard people say that when one spouse passes away the other sometimes dies of a broken heart. I’m starting to think this might really be true. I’m not sure what to do to help my Dad.
I am the primary caregiver for an older aunt who lives in Fort Collins, Colorado. Her health is pretty good considering she is 88 years old. She has arthritis and that makes her move a little slower, but she still maintains her own condo and does all of her own grocery shopping and cooking.
My biggest concern is her hearing. She doesn’t think it’s a problem, but it really is. I can’t convince her to let me take her to get her hearing checked. My kids and I were at her house a few days ago for dinner and she set off the smoke detector while cooking. She never even heard the alarm! What worries me most is that she is a lifelong smoker who refuses to quit. I’m so afraid she will cause a fire with her smoking and then not be able to hear the alarm!
Many of the seniors we work with in Colorado live with Alzheimer’s disease. For families and caregivers, it is an emotionally and physically demanding illness to try to manage alone. That is why we try to share information on newer research and clinical trials on a regular basis on this blog. While progress is slow at best, there are many scientists dedicated to continuing the fight.
My 85-year-old father says he isn’t going to have his flu shot this year. He was diagnosed with dementia a few years ago and is becoming increasingly difficult. Last year he waited until flu season was almost over before he would agree to get his vaccine. Now he thinks because he had it so late last year, he doesn’t need it again this year. I am his primary caregiver and I get the flu shot every year so I don’t risk giving him the virus if I were to catch it. I’m trying to decide if I should just give up trying to convince him he needs it this year or if I should continue to work on him?
Eve in Loveland, Colorado
Caregiving is an emotionally and physically demanding role. Even the most dedicated Colorado caregivers may find themselves getting short-tempered and tearful from the stress it causes. It isn’t uncommon for caregivers to develop high blood pressure, headaches, and frequent colds because they are juggling caregiving with all of their other daily responsibilities.
My 77- year old mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease almost two years ago. My brother and I have tried everything to avoid moving her in to an assisted living community. We hired private aides to stay with her in her home, but she wandered away from one and was gone several hours before we found her. After that I tried moving her in with my family, but the same thing happened. We just can’t keep up with her! She seems to go for days without sleeping.
The holiday season often means travel. It might be to spend time with far away loved ones or to take a vacation while the kids are out of school. When you are the primary caregiver for a senior loved one, it can make traveling a bit more complicated. Families often find a respite care stay in an assisted living community to be the ideal solution.
When most of us think of problem drug users, seniors are probably the last group of people that come to mind. It is why the statistics that show an upward trend of drug misuse caught many off guard. Pinpointing exact numbers is difficult, but experts believe between 12 and 15% of seniors who seek medical attention are misusing a prescription medication. It equates to about one million older adults misusing or abusing drugs. Many researchers believe that by 2020 that number will be closer to 2.7 million seniors.
Caregiving Tips gives insight to common issues that caregivers are faced with. Each article offers advice and tips to handle the many challenges of caregiving.
The articles in our Memory & Dementia section focus on the challenges of caring for a family member/loved one with Alzheimer's Disease or other forms of dementia and memory loss.
Each article offers advice and tips to handle the challenges of dealing with an aging parent or loved one who may be nearing their end of life.
Did You Know? provides helpful articles related to a variety of topics and news/events that concern both the aging parent and their loved ones or caregiver.