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Why Sleep Is So Important to Mental Health
Sleep and mental health have a strong connection that can turn into a perplexing and complex relationship when sleep deprivation and mental health problems occur simultaneously. It becomes hard to determine where one issue ends and the other begins. When you are facing health problems related to aging that are interfering with your sleep patterns, it’s important to take action to ensure you’re getting quality rest. It’s also crucial for the mental health of caregivers to do the same. Keep Reading
Let Freedom Ring: Patriotic Music Resonates With Older Adults
Through the years of working with people in various care settings, I have always been aware of how most older adults identify as patriotic. It’s a common experience to see them singing along with “God Bless America” and “This Land is Your Land.” And, they almost always place their hands on their hearts and stand out of respect, even those who have limited mobility. I have always been extremely inspired by their allegiance to the flag, but also curious about their motivations behind this behavior. Keep Reading
Taking Charge of Your Health: Mind and Body Connected
Exercise is repeatedly featured in our favorite magazines, blogs and television shows. As an adult, being physically active is one of the best things you can do for your health. However, did you know that it greatly benefits your mental health, also? Being physically active has been shown to reduce anxiety, effects of depression and other mental health concerns. Keep Reading
Cooking Up a Great Relationship
There is nothing more satisfying than a home-cooked meal with friends and family. I have some fond memories of watching my mother prepare the family meal and smelling the delightful aromas that made my mouth water. I could not help sneaking a taste when Mom wasn’t looking. Of course, Mom knew exactly what I was doing, and she started to encourage my tasting behavior. She also started to ask me to help her with meal preparations and as I became more involved, asking questions, tasting and making flavor adjustments, I was learning to cook and having a lot of fun. Keep Reading
Area Agencies on Aging — The In-Home Support Option You Might Not of Heard Of
When most of us think of AAA, we think of car insurance and roadside assistance, but another AAA that you may not be aware of is your local Area Agency on Aging (AAA). Keep Reading
Problem Gambling and Older Adults
When I would visit my grandma at her retirement community, I would watch the parade of little white busses shuttling residents from one day-trip to the next. Keep Reading
Creating a Safe Environment for Aging Loved Ones
According to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, safety is the second tier of the pyramid just above the need for food and water. It is defined as “protection from elements, security, order, law, stability, freedom from fear.” When we think of creating a safe environment for our loved ones with Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia, the focus tends to be on elements of the physical environment that may be dangerous, but we often overlook the psychological aspects of feeling safe. Keep Reading
Hoarding Is Hazardous for Your Older Loved One - Part 2
In a previous post, we discussed the clinical definition and dangers of hoarding disorder (HD). If you are unsure if your loved one has HD, the International OCD Foundation says the key feature of HD is disorganization to the point where the living spaces can no longer be used for everyday activities as they were intended. Keep Reading
How to Not Become Your Parents’ Parent
When someone who has raised you (whether a parent, grandparent, aunt, uncle, etc.) begins to decline mentally and physically, it can be frightening and troubling. The person who guided you through all the unfamiliar stages in life now needs you to guide them; your hero needs a hero. This role reversal is becoming extremely common as seniors are living longer. About 30% of middle-aged adults with at least one parent age 65 or older said a parent needs help handling their affairs or caring for themselves. Many adult children will need to prepare to assume a new role in their parents’ lives. Keep Reading
Surprising Information About Dementia and Memory Loss
The term "memory loss" is commonly used as a shorthand for dementia, especially in regard to Alzheimer's disease where memory loss is a prominent feature. However, did you know that not all types of dementia include significant memory loss? Did you know some types of memory may remain more intact than others? Keep Reading
Hoarding Is Hazardous for Your Older Loved One - Part 1
While my grandma lived at her home, my mother and I would make it a point to stop by at least twice a week to help with the light cleaning, such as dusting and vacuuming. The underlying clutter we mostly left untouched until after my grandma died. What we found was amazing: a jar full of matches from various establishments, some ancient crackers and so on. I know, the situation could have been more challenging – she could have been hoarding. Keep Reading
Health Benefits of Gardening for Older Adults
For some, there is nothing more refreshing than sinking their fingers into warm soil or biting into a sun-ripened tomato fresh off the vine. There is a basic human feeling when planting seeds or bulbs — a sense of accomplishment and a state of deep peace. However, gardening not only feels good, but it is also good for you. In addition to growing nutritious fruits and vegetables, here are some of the other health benefits of gardening. Keep Reading
Worried About an Older Driver? How to Have “The Talk”
“When did a simple trip to the grocery store become so dangerous? Is that a traffic ticket on the floor? Oh no, she is using two feet to drive, and this isn’t a stick shift! Gosh, I haven’t stomped on the imaginary brake pedal this much since Jimmy was 15 years old and learning to drive. I can’t let her drive back home. Maybe she shouldn’t be driving at all.” Have you ever had this experience? Family members often worry about their aging loved one’s ability to continue driving safely and with good reason. Keep Reading
There's an App for That
Some apps in the online stores can waste time, money and memory space on your gadget. This series... Keep Reading
Respite Care – Giving Family Caregivers the Break They Deserve
It’s estimated nearly 44 million Americans are family caregivers, which means they provide unpaid care to a family member, friend or neighbor. That adds up to 37 billion hours of care each year. While caring for a loved one can be a meaningful and rewarding experience, it also can be an emotionally and physically demanding job. Keep Reading
Pets for Seniors: Animals Can Make Older Adults Happier and Healthier
For older adults who live alone or have lost their spouse, pets can be excellent companions. When my grandfather passed away, my grandmother adopted two blue baby parakeets named Heckle and Jeckle. Although they screeched incessantly, they gave her purpose, and she adored them. She would wake up early to feed them their seed, she would sing to them and every few weeks she would drive to the pet store to buy them more perches, bells, etc. She was overjoyed when she thought Heckle was going to lay eggs and rushed to get a nesting box (Heckle never laid the eggs because he was just a very chubby boy.) Keep Reading
Tax Season Is Prime Time for Scammers
Tax season is upon us and so are the con artists. In one of the more popular scams, a caller pretends to be an agent from the IRS, complete with a badge number. Even the phone number has a Washington D.C. area code. The phony IRS agent says you owe money and threatens arrest, court action, deportation or license revocation. They try to scare the person by reading off their address, Social Security number and other personal information. Keep Reading
The Unsung Heroes of Health Care
National Caregivers Day is February 15 — a day to honor professional caregivers, as well as the estimated 40 million Americans who are doing the selfless work of serving as a caregiver for an aging relative or loved one. Keep Reading
Dementia and Challenging Behavior
When people think of “dementia,” it is natural to next think “memory loss.” What we may not be prepared for is how other behaviors can change and even become difficult to manage. In fact, it is these challenging behaviors that families report as more troublesome than memory loss. Keep Reading
Open Your Eyes to AMD and Low Vision
February is not only the month of hearts, but the month of eyes, as well — National Age-Related Macular Degeneration and Low Vision Awareness Month. That’s quite a mouthful (or eyeful), so let’s explore these conditions. Keep Reading

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