Family / Caregiver Issues

Resources to address the challenges facing the family caregiver while providing strategies to assist them.

Record The Story Of Your Life. Start Here.

Family / Caregiver Issues, Resources for ALFs
Free online site allows you to record your life events and your end-of-life plans for your loved ones.

Free online site allows you to record your life events and your end-of-life plans for your loved ones.

Have you ever thought about how you want to be remembered upon your passing? What memories, photos and video you’d most like your loved ones to recollect? Letters, thoughts, messages you’d like to leave behind? Maybe even write your own biography for your family and friends to read? You can do all that and have it stored in an online site for free.

BeRemembered is a free online social networking service, where you can record how you want to be remembered by your family, friends and loved ones, even after you leave this life. You can record stories of your life, add pictures and video, describe how you want your end-of-life funeral event to be, even store private messages that are delivered to loved ones after you leave this life. It’s a great project for hospices and assisted living facilities, places of worship and other senior centers to help seniors (or people of any age) get started on telling their story and leave a loving legacy for their families.

The site is designed to be a vehicle for you to gradually collect, organize and archive your finest memories and thoughts. Also reflect on, and plan, your end-of-life celebration. Membership is free.

There’s a section on the site, My Bucket List, where you can set goals and track them. Maybe it’s taking a dream vacation or trying an adventure like skydiving. There’s Timeline, where you can capture your life’s events by uploading the stories, images and video that define the way you’ve lived your life. Say your last goodbyes here too in the section titled My Plan. This is where you plan for what comes after your life ends.

First step is to choose a guardian who will co-manage your account and the accounts of others you select to share all this with.

Check out these frequently asked questions.


Geriatricians Can Help Aging Patients Navigate Multiple Ailments

Family / Caregiver Issues

Kaiser Health News: Geriatricians Can Help Aging Patients Navigate Multiple Ailments 
Judith Graham writes: “For months, Teresa Christensen’s 87-year-old mother, Genevieve, complained of pain from a nasty sore on her right foot. She stopped going to church. She couldn’t sleep at night. Eventually, she stopped walking except when absolutely necessary. Her primary care doctor prescribed three antibiotics, one after another. None worked. “Doctor, can’t we do some further tests?” Teresa Christensen remembered asking. “I felt that he was looking through my mother instead of looking at her.” (Graham, 2/23)

Read entire article.


Depression Is Not A Normal Part Of Growing Older

Family / Caregiver Issues, Resources for Family Caregiver

senior-depressionDepression is a true and treatable medical condition, not a normal part of aging. However older adults are at an increased risk for experiencing depression. If you are concerned about a loved one, offer to go with him or her to see a health care provider to be diagnosed and treated, reports the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Depression is not just having “the blues” or the emotions we feel when grieving the loss of a loved one. It is a true medical condition that is treatable, like diabetes or hypertension.

How Do I Know If It’s Depression?

Someone who is depressed has feelings of sadness or anxiety that last for weeks at a time. He or she may also experience:

  • Feelings of hopelessness and/or pessimism
  • Feelings of guilt, worthlessness and/or helplessness
  • Irritability, restlessness
  • Loss of interest in activities or hobbies once pleasurable
  • Fatigue and decreased energy
  • Difficulty concentrating, remembering details and making decisions
  • Insomnia, early–morning wakefulness, or excessive sleeping
  • Overeating or appetite loss
  • Thoughts of suicide, suicide attempts
  • Persistent aches or pains, headaches, cramps, or digestive problems that do not get better, even with treatment

 

Depression is often a lifelong condition in which periods of wellness alternate with recurrence of illness, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness. Left untreated, depression can lead to serious impairment in daily functioning and even suicide, which is the 10th-leading cause of death in the United States.

How is Depression Different for Older Adults?

  • Older adults are at increased risk. We know that about 80 percent of older adults have at least one chronic health condition, and 50 percent have two or more, reports the CDC. Depression is more common in people who also have other illnesses (such as heart disease or cancer) or whose function becomes limited.
  • Older adults are often misdiagnosed and undertreated. Healthcare providers may mistake an older adult’s symptoms of depression as just a natural reaction to illness or the life changes that may occur as we age, and therefore not see the depression as something to be treated. Older adults themselves often share this belief and do not seek help because they don’t understand that they could feel better with appropriate treatment.

 

How Do I Find Help?

Most older adults see an improvement in their symptoms when treated with antidepression drugs, psychotherapy, or a combination of both. If you are concerned about a loved one being depressed, offer to go with him or her to see a health care provider to be diagnosed and treated.

 

If you or someone you care about is in crisis, please seek help immediately.

  • Call 911
  • Visit a nearby emergency department or your health care provider’s office
  • Call the toll-free, 24-hour hotline of the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255); TTY: 1-800-799-4TTY (4889) to talk to a trained counselor.

 

For a list of other web resources, go here.


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