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Minding Our EldersŪ
Caregiver and Elder Support by Author, Columnist, Consultant, Speaker Carol Bradley Bursack

Longer Lifespans Can Mean That Seniors Are Often Caregivers for Parents
by Carol Bradley Bursack
18 Mar 2018 at 2:01am

Dear Carol: My husband and I are in our 70s and both have some health problems. We've been taking care of my 94-year-old mother in our home for several years. Mom needs help eating, and she also needs to be transferred to a wheelchair, to the toilet, and to bed. We do have equipment for transfers, but it?s still wearing. We have a part-time caregiver come in for a few hours but can?t afford fulltime and my siblings are worse than no help. They lay on the guilt when we talk about moving mom to a nursing home because, in their view, nursing homes are no good. My husband and I can?t go anywhere and have begun to feel trapped. Mom says she wants to stay with us. She?s developed Alzheimer?s symptoms these last few years and her doctor says a memory unit is best for her, but I feel that I?m fighting the family as well as mom and I hate the guilt. Either way, we seem to lose. ? MW

Read full column on Inforum about how longer lives are affecting adult children:

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Photo Credit: Chrstian Newman: Unsplash

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Beyond Burnout: When Caregivers Go Over the Line Into Compassion Fatigue
by Carol Bradley Bursack
17 Mar 2018 at 2:01am

Most caregivers experience times when the fatigue and frustration of providing care for a loved one can border on burnout. Even though I?ve handled caring for multiple elders and their unique needs reasonably well, there have been moments when I?ve wondered how much longer I could keep it up. Those times have come dangerously close to burnout, but I have always gotten through them with a focus on faith, respite, and self-care. After my caregiving days ended, however, I learned that there is another stage that is more severe than burnout?one that can be extremely scary. Many caregivers have told me over the years that they felt they had progressed beyond burnout, and it is important to understand that there is a term for this feeling: compassion fatigue.

Read the full article on Agingcare about the danger or caregiver burnout turning into compassion fatigue.

Support a caregiver or jump-start discussion in support groups with real stories - for bulk orders of Minding Our Elders e-mail Carol  

Photo Credit: Rod Long: Unsplash

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Alzheimer's Stages and the Caregiver's Role
by Carol Bradley Bursack
16 Mar 2018 at 2:10am
Alzheimer?s disease progresses differently for each person, scientists and clinicians have attempted to stage the disease as a way that helps people living with Alzheimer?s and their families understand what is happening, as well as to plan for the future. Some divide AD into seven stages, some five stages, but currently, three stages is the format most often used. The Alzheimer's Association uses three stages, so that is what we will use for our foundation here.

View full slideshow on HealthCentral about the stages of Alzheimer's and the caregiver's role:

Support a caregiver or jump-start discussion in support groups with real stories - for bulk orders of Minding Our Elders e-mail Carol  

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