Loneliness Is Bad for Your Brain

Feeling lonely is dangerous for your brain health, according to a new study presented at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference this week. Lonely older adults are not only more likely to experience declines in mobility and physical limitations; they are also more likely to have memory problems and are at higher risk for dementia, says Nancy Donovan, geriatric psychiatrist with Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. Enter the $50K Picture Your Retirement Sweepstakes. See Official Rules. » Donovan and her colleagues …

Family Caregiving Worth $470 Billion a Year, AARP Finds

The economic value of the nation’s family caregivers’ unpaid work is an estimated $470 billion a year — an amount about equal to the annual sales of Wal-Mart, the world’s largest company. That’s the top finding from the AARP Public Policy Institute’s new report, “Valuing the Invaluable: 2015 Update.” The survey found that an estimated 40 million U.S. caregivers devote about 37 billion hours to assisting adult relatives or close friends. Get the support you need to care — AARP Caregiving Resource Center » …

A Caregiver’s Guide to Staying Sane

“How do you stay sane?” That’s the question a reporter asked me recently at the National Press Foundation after a talk I gave about being a family caregiver. As blunt as it sounds, it was a very good question. And I’ve been thinking about it ever since. I have been caregiving for nearly 35 years, the past six at a very intensive level. During that time I’ve worked full time; traveled a great deal; written two books; maintained a long-distance …

Report: Millennials Now Almost 25% of Family Caregivers

A wider swath of Americans, from millennials to those ages 75-plus, are taking on the role of family caregiver for a loved one. But the burdens remain the same — long hours, no pay, heavy stress — and most are juggling caregiving with paid jobs, according to a new study from the National Alliance for Caregiving and AARP. What’s more, 1 in 4 have difficulty finding affordable services to help relieve some of those burdens, and a majority — 84 …

Tough Job? You May Reap Brain-Health Rewards Later

Ever feel like you’ve worked so hard that your brain needs a break at the end of the day? Or that you’ve negotiated your way through so many political minefields that you feel you should get a peace prize? Although it may seem as if your workplace is frying your brain, it turns out the mental demands of work help protect your memory and thinking skills later in life, at least according to one new study published in the journal …

‘Caring for Mom and Dad’ — a Documentary Hits Home

Watching the new PBS documentary Caring for Mom and Dad was like looking in a mirror. The gut-wrenching heartaches, stress, fatigue, fears — but most of all, the love — these families experience reflect my own caregiving journey. The film (check local listings or watch online at pbs.org/caringformomanddad) is narrated by actress Meryl Streep and highlights several adult children’s experiences as they work and care for parents who are dealing with strokes, dementia and other health challenges as they age. It …