In a Word:
Two colleagues I truly admire have recently been
commenting in respective articles about something near and dear to my
Lynn Friss Feinberg, senior strategic policy
adviser for the AARP Public Policy Institute, and Howard Gleckman,
author and resident fellow at The Urban Institute, have been writing
about the importance of language when talking or writing about family
caregiving. In part, their comments centered on the absurdity of the
term “Informal Caregiving.” I can think of a slew of words which can be
appropriately modified by adding the word “informal,” but as any
caregiver can attest, caregiving is not on that list.
In fact, what Howard and Lynn have done is to
awaken our good friend, the Caregiver Curmudgeon, of whom little has
been heard in the past few years. One of his pet peeves turns out to be
the careless application of inappropriate language
Know the Signs
By Jennifer B. Buckley
Aside from confusion and memory
loss, common hallmarks associated with Alzheimer’s
disease, paranoia is systematic of the illness as well.
Not only does the condition rear its ugly head in people
living with Alzheimer’s, but also people with other
mental illnesses. Caring for a loved-one who is paranoid
can be a trying task. Do you know the signs of paranoia?
Confessions of a
By Emily Cooper
My mother, an 86-year-old widow, lives alone in a small town in the farming country of
central Kansas. Born and raised in the town, she
returned there with my father after his retirement,
leaving the big city in order to spend their “golden
years” with her sisters, brothers, and childhood
friends back home. Unfortunately, it wasn’t long after
my parents’ return that the siblings became ill and
died; many of the old friends died as well
Contact us and we will provide complimentary magazines
for your conference attendees.
All you pay is shipping
Don't miss this opportunity
sign up today!
Embarrassed About Incontinence? Don’t Be
By Michael Plontz, Staff Writer
One thing that most caregivers have in common is
dealing with incontinence in their loved ones or themselves. There is
still a stigma attached to this ailment, but the only way to combat this
misconception is to learn more about it, bring it out into the open and
Urinary incontinence can occur at any age for any
number of reasons. Women are 50% more likely to be affected than men.
The most common symptoms are bedwetting, leakage after coughing, sneezing
or laughing, and a general uncontrolled leakage of urine
I wish I could help all of you. I recently became a care
coordinator in Minnesota and, from what I'm reading,
almost all of you sound like you could benefit from some
respite. Sometimes the local hospitals have caregiver
respite programs that can send volunteers to give you a
break. Hospital discharge planners are a wealth of
information as well. You don't have to be a patient to
call for assistance with finding resources. You can also
check with your local county family service department
to have someone do an assessment for services. Anyone
can receive the assessment regardless of income. In some
instances, insurance companies provide, as a benefit to
the insurance, a care coordinator such as myself who can
assist members and families in finding the right
resources to fit their needs.
The care coordinator most likely
will be associated with a state medical plan, not
necessarily with private companies, but you could
certainly call to find out. Another route is to contact
church parish nurses. They are underutilized and can be
a huge resource for people. Don't give up. There are
many resources out there that people don't know about,
but you have to get in there and dig for help!
Kristeen in Wyoming:
I wanted to add to Amanda's posting, “Please seek some
assistance.” I work for a non-profit hospice. Even
if I cannot personally help, I do have information that
may help the situation. Senior centers often have
dementia groups, counseling and information. Some
assisted living centers offer respite for caregivers. If
your family member is violent, talk to their doctor
about medications. Find a doctor that specializes in
The best ideas and solutions for taking care of your loved one often come from other caregivers.
Please post your ideas and insights and we will share them with your fellow caregivers.