Adult Day Care Benefits Caregivers, Study Shows

If Mom or Dad has dementia, using adult day services (ADS) just twice a week can reap surprising psychological and physical benefits for family caregivers. Yes, caregivers. According to a new Pennsylvania State University study, ADS can reduce caregivers’ emotional distress and may even protect against illness. It turns out that a hormone in the body produced by the adrenal gland, DHEA-S, gets depleted when you’re under chronic stress – and caregiving is unquestionably stressful.  The study suggests that ADS probably gives …

New Study Looks at Caregiving and Twins

Does caregiving cause stress? Most research shows that it does – in spades.  But a small study on a limited sample suggests how family caregivers handle distress is influenced more by their genes and family history than by the difficulty of the caregiving role. Those are the findings of Peter Vitaliano, a professor of psychiatry and psychology at the University of Washington, and his colleagues after studying more than a thousand female twins, some of whom were caregivers. According to Vitaliano, how your parents …

Meditation Rivals Medication for Depression

Want a free, easy tip for reducing anxiety, depression and pain without medications? Try meditation. New research finds that meditation may be equally as effective as antidepressants in helping to reduce anxiety, depression and pain, according to a review of studies published Monday in JAMA Internal Medicine. Researchers reviewed 47 randomized clinical trials with 3,515 participants and found that mindfulness meditation improved symptoms of depression by 10 to 20 percent and symptoms of anxiety by 5 to 10 percent. “This is …

The Maverick Doctor Who Helped to Invent Family Medicine

In the late 1950s, a young physician named Gene Farley was working as a small-town doctor in rural New York state when he came to the realization that what he had learned in medical school was all wrong. >> Sign up for the AARP Leisure Newsletter Farley, who died on Nov. 8 at age 86 in Wisconsin, explained in a 1992 oral history interview that his change in thinking came about as he was treating two teenage boys from different families …

Advance Planning for Eldercare Saves Money, A New Study Shows

When it comes to planning for long-term care, the early bird does get the worm, according to a new  study: The report shows that families who anticipate their needs can save close to $11,000 a year in out of pocket expenses by planning in advance instead of waiting until a crisis. >> Sign up for the AARP Money Matters newsletter What’s more, 38 percent of family caregivers and 35 percent of care recipients in the study, commissioned by the insurance company Genworth …

Standing with Caregivers

The following is a guest post by Peter Rosenberger – Caregiver and AARP Tennessee Volunteer Today’s 65 million caregivers often find themselves pulling their hair out as they find their lifestyle dramatically altered by the constant challenges involved in caring for a chronically ill, disabled, or elderly loved one. In my experience, I have discovered that the greatest issue caregivers struggle with is not insurance but rather assurance:  They’re frightened, burned-out, and daily wondering if they will survive caring for …