Caregiving with Advanced Illness

Incontinence (Dementia)

Tips for caregivers of those with dementia experiencing incontinence:

  • Talk to the physician to see if medication, enlarged prostate or a urinary tract infection might be causing the problem, especially if there is a sudden onset of incontinence.

Dressing and Grooming (Dementia)

 

Dressing and Grooming (Dementia)

 

  • Simplify clothing choices by putting out an outfit for the care receiver to wear, or give an option of two outfits. Do not ask open-ended questions like, "What do you want to wear?"—this kind of question can overwhelm someone with dementia.

Dental Care (Dementia)

 

Dental Care (Dementia)

  • Dental hygiene is important for overall health. Poor dental hygiene may lead to heart disease, gingivitis, stroke, osteoporosis and respiratory disease. In addition to causing bad breath, it can also affect one's ability to eat, chew and talk. Certain medications can cause "dry mouth." Dry mouth makes it more difficult to eat and swallow, produce saliva, and causes tongue irritation.

AoA Announces Availability of Approximately $2.25 Million for Lifespan Respite Care Programs

AoA Announces Availability of Approximately $2.25 Million for Lifespan Respite Care Programs

The deadline to apply is June 7, 2010

Here But Not Here—Finding Hope When a Loved One Has Memory Loss

(Aired on: November 14, 2007)

Practical Skills Training for Family Caregivers

An overview of the day-to-day, hands-on strategies and skills caregivers need to maintain a frail older or chronically ill individual at home.

This publication is available as a downloadable PDF document. To view and print this file you will need Adobe Acrobat Reader. It is available as a free download by clicking here.

Grandma doesn't remember me

How does having a family member with dementia affect children? The answer: It depends on the age of the child, the severity of the memory loss and the child’s relationship to the person with dementia. The better you understand how the disease affects your loved one, and how you handle your own process of loss and adapting to change, the better you can help your child.

Grief and Loss Along the Way

Someone once said that aging is a narcissistic wound, meaning that the changes and losses that come with aging—our own or someone’s we love—affect us deeply in ways that are sometimes hard to deal with. This doesn’t mean that there are not positive parts to aging, but when we experience these losses, we sometimes need to stop and reflect on them. Many losses are subtle or ambiguous.

Caregivers' Guide to Medications and Aging

Medications: A Double-Edged Sword

“Any symptom in an elderly patient should be considered a drug side effect until proved otherwise.”
Brown University Long-term Care Quality Letter, 1995.

Dementia and Pain Management: A Personal Story

My father was screaming in the nursing home. The staff had tried changing any number of his medications, but nothing stopped his agitation until the physician ordered Vicodin, a strong painkiller. I called the physician and asked him to assess what might be causing my father’s pain. The physician suggested it might be arthritis. In a calm voice, I suggested that perhaps the pain was from something more serious—would he please do an evaluation? He told me that this would be hard to do since my father has dementia and can’t tell him what hurts.

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