caring for aging parents

Heat in Triple Digits? Keep Caregiver Cool

Posted on 06/28/2012 by |Aging, Home & Family Expert | Comments

CaregivingAs I write this post, the thermometer on our back porch here in Phoenix hits a sizzling 110 degrees. But it’s a dry heat, you say?! Indeed. Nevertheless, I just fried my toes walking to the mailbox and I think the cactus in my yard is about to pull up roots and head for a dunk in the pool! I shudder to think what it’s like in humid areas of the country as temps rise. No doubt about it: it’s oppressive. …

Caregiver Respite: 5 Ways to Make It Last

Posted on 05/1/2012 by |Aging, Home & Family Expert | Comments

CaregivingThe magic number for the trip was “5.” Five days of the sound of ocean. Five days of reading magazines. Five days of eating scrumptious seafood in lovely beachside restaurants. Five days of chatting non-stop with my dear friend of 45 years, Laurette. It took me five days of this nirvana to finally wake up in the morning without a panicky feeling, “What didn’t I do before I left? What do I need to get done today? What have I …

A Caregiver’s Hospital Survival Kit: 20 Must-Have Items

Posted on 04/17/2012 by |Aging, Home & Family Expert | Comments

CaregivingIn the past year, I’ve spent close to 40 overnights in the hospital with my parents, plus roughly 10 emergency room visits with them. I dislike going to hospitals … a lot. I think I’ve developed some sort of post-traumatic stress disorder around hospital visits. I find that I am great in the moment and deal with crises easily, but afterwards I am exhausted and when the time comes to venture off to the hospital again I tense up, feel a sense of …

A Caregiver ‘Can Do’ Attitude

Posted on 04/10/2012 by |Aging, Home & Family Expert | Comments

CaregivingDressed in his pajamas and clean white T-shirt, he walks into the room, intensely focused and looking around for something. I’m lying on the sofa-bed in his study/guest room, reading a book before going to sleep. I’m not sure if he sees me, his vision so compromised by Glaucoma, or if he is just so focused on the object he is in search of that he doesn’t zero in on me. “What are you looking for, Daddy?” I ask. A …

4 Tough Decisions I’ve Made as a Caregiver

Posted on 03/27/2012 by |Aging, Home & Family Expert | Comments

CaregivingAs a caregiver, I make a hundred decisions on my parents’ behalf every week. Whenever possible, I make decisions with my parents – but many times I am forced to make decisions for them. Some are easier than others. Sometimes I take it in stride…other days the stress piles up and an implosion is inevitable. Some decisions are made quickly in the spur of the moment – like deciding whether to take time to stop and take a walk with Dad and Jackson, …

Family Conversations About Driving – A Few Tips

Posted on 03/20/2012 by |Aging, Home & Family Expert | Comments

CaregivingI recently appeared on CBS This Morning and NBC Nightly News to discuss having conversations with older loved ones about driving. I received many comments and questions about this hot topic. So many of us are dealing with this issue with our parents. In response to these questions and in follow up to my post about my conversations with my Dad about his driving, here are a few tips about how to talk with your older loved ones about this …