Safety First When Coping with Caregiving and Dementia

by Amy Natt, MS, CMC, CSA

Q: I recently hired a caregiver to assist my mother at home. Mom has dementia and has been experiencing increased memory loss in recent months. She has always kept a gun in her home and is adamant on keeping it now. The caregiver does not feel safe being in the home with a firearm. How can I approach this with my mom so it does not become a huge argument?

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Friendship Even More Crucial When Life Brings a Dementia Diagnosis

by Amy Natt, MS, CMC, CSA

 

Q: One of my friends is caring for her husband who has dementia. It is very difficult watching them go through this experience. I can tell that she is really stressed some days, but I am not sure what to do or say that might help. Can you offer some advice on how to best help her?

A: When we see friends and family go through challenging times, it can be difficult to find the right words or know how to best support that person. Now that your friend has taken on the role of caregiver, she is “giving” both physically and emotionally. She may not realize the impact these increased demands can have on her along this journey. Others see the stress; however, the caregiver is often too busy living in the moment to stop and think about it, or too exhausted to do anything about it.

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Make Checking Expiration Dates Part of Your Routine

by Amy Natt, MS, CMC, CSA

Q: I was visiting my aunt last week, and I noticed that several of the things in her refrigerator looked to be out of date. I offered to clean it out for her, but she insisted she would do it later. Should I be worried about her eating something that will make her sick?

A: We are all guilty of leaving things in the cupboard or refrigerator a little longer than we should at times. Even canned and bottled items can expire or spoil. As a person ages, they may also experience diminished ability to taste and smell, making it even harder to detect when something needs to be tossed out. Continue reading “Make Checking Expiration Dates Part of Your Routine” »

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Communication Key to Setting Boundaries in Adult Child-Parent Relationship

by Amy Natt, MS, CMC, CSA

Q: I recently came home from the hospital for the second time, and my daughter has been in town trying to make sure that I make a smooth transition home. She has done lots of cooking and makes sure I am resting. While I truly appreciate all of her efforts, how do I tell her that she is hovering, and it is time for her to return home?

A: The adult child-parent relationship can become a delicate dance as a parent ages and boundaries change. Most adult children are well intended but are not sure how to change established roles and boundaries when they find a parent needing more help. This can result in providing too much support, or in some cases, appearing uninterested for fear of overstepping those established boundaries. They want to protect your independence, while making sure your needs are met. Continue reading “Communication Key to Setting Boundaries in Adult Child-Parent Relationship” »

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Become Your Loved One’s Best Advocate

by Amy Natt, MS, CMC, CSA

Q: My brother lives in a care facility about an hour away. We try to go visit him once a month, and each time we do, he seems to be declining. We always find him in his room, often asleep in his chair. We ask him if he would be more comfortable in his bed, but he says he does not want to bother the staff. Other times he is soiled, because he couldn’t get to the bathroom in time. We keep encouraging him to ask for help, but he seems reluctant. Do you think we should be concerned?

A: Older adults are often reluctant to ask for help for a variety of reasons. This may or may not be a direct reflection of the environment. It is great that your brother has you as an advocate and you are correct to pay attention to any red flags. Continue reading “Become Your Loved One’s Best Advocate” »

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