Home Care Addresses Social Isolation Worries

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

Embarrassing Things People With Dementia Say

Many people with dementia lose their social filters and no longer understand what is or is not appropriate to say in public.  They do not say embarrassing things intentionally, but have indeed lost the lens they used to live with.  You may have encountered situations like these:

Person with Dementia: (upon hearing someone speaking a different language) “Speak English!” Or use a racial slur to describe them.

I have seen and heard many elders using racial references that were, to say the least, disrespectful. It doesn’t necessarily mean the people are racist, though some are.  Many of our elders grew up in much less diverse communities than we have today.  They have simply lost whatever inhibitions they may have had. So when they see someone of another ethnicity, they blurt out labels that they heard as youths, embarrassing everyone involved. Continue reading

Casey Kasem’s Caregiving Fiasco – Prepare with End of Life Planning

The bizarre family feud over who should take care of Casey Kasem and make decisions about his care was played out publicly and legally for several years until his death this month. His 3 children from a first marriage and his second wife fought vehemently in both the media and the courts over who should be able to make decisions, who was able to visit him, who was ultimately responsible for his care. His wife went as far as secretly moving him out of California and not letting the rest of his family know where he was.

Most families, even if they disagree about care for a parent, won’t go to such extremes as Kasem’s family. But family conflict is common and we can use Casey Kasem as a reminder that it’s worth taking the time to talk to the people around you about what’s important for you at the end of your life, or even in your later years. Continue reading

Getting Parents to Accept Help in the Home

Oh, the joy of independence!  The desire to hold on to their independence is truly one of the many reasons seniors are staying in their homes longer (or what today is called,  “aging in place”).  Here, in Boulder County, (Boulder, Longmont, Louisville, Lafayette)  there are many senior services and non-profit agencies available to help our seniors stay happily and safely in their homes. Private pay help along with these resources can really help unless your parents say, “We don’t need / want the help”, or “I can’t / won’t pay for it”.

Some parents, truly, simply, do not have the money for care that would help them live in their homes independently. However, there are those who have the money, but want to leave as much money as possible to their children when they pass.  There are others who are stubbornly in denial that they need help at all. There are even some who would rather only have their children take care of them, which can sometimes, quickly become burdensome, given the complexity and fast pace of their children’s lives. Continue reading