Simple Hearing Device Makes Big Difference for Dad

When Dad was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, I knew he would need all of his senses to help interpret the world around him and balance his changing cognitive abilities. But he has hearing impairment and limited vision (glaucoma plus visual-processing problems associated with Alzheimer’s). Even though there is only so much I can do about the visual issues, I assumed hearing aids would solve his auditory problems. I was wrong. The good news is that we eventually discovered a surprisingly simple …

The Greatest Gifts of All

The way Alzheimer’s disease has ravaged my dad’s capabilities is especially hard to bear during holidays. I wish he could more fully participate in and enjoy our family traditions. So often it seems that he just doesn’t understand, and the meaning is lost for him. Recently, though, he gave me my most unexpected and treasured Christmas gifts … and taught me invaluable lessons at the same time. Dad always used to lead us in Advent services during the weeks leading up to Christmas. …

Parent and Child Face-Off: Stubborn or Independent?

Located in upstate New York, Oneonta gets dumped with 75 inches of snow annually. After most snowfalls, longtime resident Lois shoveled her sidewalk — even into her 80s — although she didn’t need to go anywhere and her family begged her to stop. When Lois’ granddaughter, Allison R. Heid, was researching topics for her human development and family studies dissertation, she recalled her grandmother’s behavior and that of other older adults who insist on acting a certain way and, as …

New Campaign Highlights Holiday Joy, Stress for Caregivers

November is National Family Caregivers Month, and AARP has teamed up with the Ad Council in a campaign that includes the results of a new caregiving poll as well as a series of powerful public service ads highlighting the changing roles of family caregivers. The ads also point caregivers to help from the AARP Caregiving Resource Center, which unveils two new tools this month: an opportunity to tell your own caregiving story and a searchable nationwide directory of senior-care providers …

Military Caregivers Need More Support, Study Shows

The family members who provide care for the nation’s  wounded veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars need more support than they’re getting, says a study of military caregivers released today by the RAND Corporation. The largest-ever survey of more than 1,000 military caregivers found that 25 percent are soldiers’ parents, many of whom are growing older themselves and who will not always be up to the task. “These post 9/11 caregivers are providing invaluable support to the veterans they’re caring for,” says Rajeev Ramchand, a behavioral …

The Caregiving Worries of Parents with Special Needs Kids

Most of us think about taking care of our aging parents or spouse, not our kids. But there are more than 11 million Americans currently providing care for a family member between the ages of 18 and 49. Many worry deeply about their loved one’s future should something unexpectedly happen to them or their spouse. “I worry night and day,” a friend told me. “What happens to my daughter when I’m no longer here?” Her daughter, now 27, has had neurological, …