Tools on the Horizon for Dementia Caregivers

It’s not just loss of cognition that haunts those with dementia. Accompanying it are disruptive behavioral symptoms that can include depression, agitation, aggression, psychosis, disinhibition, sleep disturbances and apathy. The fall-out is often placing the loved one in a nursing home, not to mention extraordinary stress for family caregivers. It’s no secret that these symptoms are often managed with psychotropic medication like antipsychotics. For one thing, there can be side effects with these drugs, including death. More importantly, there are …

8 Fabulous Resources for Family Caregivers

I write on topics that I think will interest and help family caregivers, but I can’t cover every issue. Really! So this week, I’m giving you valuable (in my book) resources as well as (in everyone’s book) go-to groups, organizations and websites that have great info, forums, learning opportunities (a webinar, a podcast, an article, an upcoming conference, studies) and advice from experts and in-the-trenches-caregivers. All in one place – here! First, I want to give a shout out to …

Power to the People via Family Caregiving Coalitions

When I learned about the concept of family caregiving coalitions, what sprung to mind was the Carole King song “You’ve Got a Friend.” I say that in a good way! The famous lyrics are: “When you’re down and troubled and you need some love and care . . .” America’s 65.7 million family caregivers may be an army, but if you’re one of those troops, you can feel alone in the trenches. There’s the ever-changing situation, unpredictability, loss, exhaustion and, …

A Deep Connection: the Internet, Family Caregivers and Recipients

High-speed Internet can be key to living independently (also known as “aging in place“). You can go online or get smartphone apps that help you monitor chronic diseases, work from home to care for a loved one or prevent or delay functional decline with game systems that help you stay physically active. And, don’t forget the ability to be socially connected through email, online forums and message boards. And yet, a recent report issued by the AARP Public Policy Institute shows that …

Quick Tax Tips for Family Caregivers

April 15 is galloping into view. Give me a break! That’s what we all want when it comes to taxes. And this may be your year. Some of the rules regarding tax breaks for family caregivers have changed slightly since last year. I thought I’d do an update. Software tax programs like TurboTax, TaxAct and H&R Block at Home are easy to use and do many of these calculations for you. It’s still good to know if you qualify. You might …

4 Effective Ways to Ask for Help – and Get It

Why is it so hard for family caregivers to ask friends and family for help? They may be in the throes of a crisis or bone-weary, but there’s something about that independent, I-can-do-it-myself American way that gets in our way. Caregivers, it’s OK – and wise – to let go. I can’t say it enough: You don’t, and shouldn’t, do all the caregiving. I recently heard California bioethicist Viki Kind, a former family caregiver and author of the Caregiver’s Path …