A Loving Ode
to Sneaky Wisdom
As we travel the nation talking with our fellow family caregivers,
our hope is to help bring the best answers, support and advice to light.
We talk about such things as the importance of being able to communicate
with our loved ones for whom we care. This is extremely important as we
all work so very hard to ensure they eat well, stop driving (if
necessary), and even take their medicines as directed.
This effort takes diligence, fortitude and, most of all, quite a bit of
sneakiness. You heard me. In this case, you have my full
permission to extend your usual decent and truthful personality to
include a bit of, as we say in the old country, blarney and maybe even a
little white lie or two. All in the service of the greater good.
In some cases, this is the only way you will be able to do all you can
do to keep your loved one safe and secure
By Kristine Dwyer,
Calvin’s day begins before 5 A.M. He knows
another exhausting day lies ahead. He allows himself only enough time to
have a cup of coffee and read the paper before lying back down by his
wife’s side until 6 A.M. when the daily routine begins again; toileting,
showering, dressing, wheelchair transfers, meal preparation, laundry,
housekeeping, correspondence, paperwork, yard work, personal care. Soon
it's time for a doctor appointment; more wheelchair transfers, a trip to
the pharmacy, grocery shopping, and then, finally, a return home to
continue the care routine
I Miss Taking Care
of My Dad
By Arthur Cohen
I miss taking care of my Dad. He was
in pretty bad shape for quite a while toward the end and
required lots of care. It was at this time of his life that
he said one of the most memorable and flattering things he
ever said to me. With all of the anguish and frustration and
physical pain he endured, he told me that he feels safe when
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Helping Family Members
to Deal with a Fall Risk
By Steven Allred, MS,PT,
and Jennifer Ellis, MS,PT
“I’ve fallen and I can’t get up!” How many times
have we heard comics deliver that line from a now-famous 1980s TV
The truth is that a dangerous fall is no laughing
matter. It’s a real worry — for those who suffer from balance
dysfunction and for the family caregiver.
Just the fear of a parent, spouse or other loved
one falling is enough to give a caregiver chills. And the
statistics bear that out. The National Institutes of Health says
that falls are the leading cause of fatal and non-fatal injuries in
people 65 and older. And The New England Journal of Medicine
reports that if you’re elderly and are injured by a fall, there’s a good
chance you’ll end up in a skilled nursing facility, such as a nursing
Caregivers should keep a file on a computer for the
person they care for so they can update, print out,
email or fax information whenever needed. This is
especially vital when there is a health emergency.
List all medications including:
name of medication, strength (mg.), dosage and how
many times a day, before, with or after meals); name
of physician and their contact info (phone and fax);
reason for medication (memory, kidneys,
Keep copy of this list on
refrigerator so anyone can access it in case of
Keep separate lists:
related incidents (falls, surgery,
hospitalizations, memory issues, etc.), doctor
appointments and visits.
If dealing with a senior who
resides at home, have a "lock box" to ensure that
emergency personnel can enter rapidly if no one is
around with a key.
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.