Getting up after a fall! No one ever intends to fall. I hear it from my clients all the time: “I’m careful” or “I’m not going to fall” even though I think what they are really saying is that they are worried about falling. That level of awareness doesn’t necessarily translate into taking specific measures to avoid a fall or learning what they can do to prevent a fall. And so falls happen. Each time the response is “It was an accident, I won’t fall again.” Continue reading
End-of-Life Decisions .. this is a hard subject at times. Have you had the conversation with your parents yet about how they envision their life as they get closer to the end of it? Most of us haven’t. But it is time that we do.
It is important for us to think about how we want our life to be at the end, because the medical professionals around us during that time certainly aren’t going to guess what we want. And given the tendency to overdiagnose, overtreat, and overmedicate, you may get subjected to more interventions than you ever anticipated. The time to be considering what you or your parents might want and not want, and what you want your life to look like, is before you are in the midst of a crisis and needing to make quick decisions. Continue reading
Growing old should not mean that you lose control of your daily life and all the decisions that go along with it. Yet too often that is exactly what happens. If you are a caregiver, have you heard yourself saying “you NEED to use your walker, you might fall”, “you need to drink that water”, “let me carry that for you, you might drop it”, “don’t do that, you might fall”?
Even though the person has lived with and managed their risks all their adult life, suddenly everyone else is telling them what they can and can’t do. And based on what? Safety? For what end, hanging around waiting to die?
There is a wonderful concept called “The Dignity of Risk”, which acknowledges that life experiences come with risk and that we must respect a person’s self-determination and autonomy and allow them to make their own choices about which experiences are worth a risk. Continue reading
A recent Harvard School of Public Health study published in The American Journal of Public Health suggests that “strong social ties, through friends, family and community groups can preserve our brain health as we age and that social isolation may be an important risk factor for cognitive decline in the elderly.” The study also indicated that those elderly engaged in many social contacts had the slowest rate of memory decline. Continue reading
At least 42 percent of U.S. workers have been caregivers for aging loved ones in the last five years. In fact, most family caregivers work full or part time while caring for their parent, spouse, aunt, uncle or other loved one.
The majority (68 percent) of family caregivers report making work accommodations because of caregiving duties including: arriving late/leaving early or taking time off, cutting back on work hours, changing jobs or stopping work entirely. Continue reading