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Ask an Expert: Repeating

Dear FCA:

My husband Ted had a series of mini-strokes. He can carry on a conversation some times. But other times I've noticed that Ted gets "stuck" on a subject and tends to repeat the same thing over and over again. He could ask when dinner is 25 times or more. It's so frustrating. I don't know what to do to get through to him. If I get angry, it just seems to make him upset too. Can you offer me any advice?

Caregiving and sibling relationships: challenges and opportunities

Your mother has been diagnosed with dementia and it is clear that she can no longer live alone. You feel that an assisted living facility is the best care option, but your brother disagrees. Every conversation you have with him seems to lead to confrontation and hurt feelings….

Caregiver Depression: A Silent Health Crisis

One of today’s all-too silent health crises is caregiver depression. A conservative estimate reports that 20% of family caregivers suffer from depression, twice the rate of the general population. Of clients of California’s Caregiver Resource Centers, nearly 60% show clinical signs of depression. And former caregivers may not escape the tentacles of this condition after caregiving ends. A recent study found that 41% of former caregivers of a spouse with Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia experienced mild to severe depression up to three years after their spouse had died.

Hands-On Skills for Caregivers

When you’re a caregiver, finding time to take care of your own physical needs is difficult enough, but taking care of the physical needs of someone else is even more challenging. Assisting someone else to dress, bathe, sit, or stand when they are upset, agitated, or combative—often the case when caring for someone with a brain disorder such as Alzheimer’s disease—requires special strategies. The following five techniques can make taking care of a loved one’s physical needs easier.

Sexuality and Dementia

Coping with Changes in Your Intimate Relationship 

How has your relationship with your partner changed as a result of disease? Physicians seem reluctant to address this question with caregivers dealing with a long-term chronic illness.

"No one asked me about my marriage or sexuality. Yet it plays a large part in our well being. No one asked me, 'what's the quality of your life?' … I'm a sexual individual. I'm 76 years old and I'm still alive," said Jerry, who cared for his wife with dementia.

A Guide to Taking Care of Yourself

"The care you give to yourself is the care you give to your loved one," said a caregiver. Absolutely the easiest thing for someone to say and the hardest thing to accept is the advice to take care of yourself as a caregiver. It is often hard to see beyond the care tasks that await you each morning.

Disputing Early Discharges from the Hospital

A stay in the hospital for a loved one is often a cause for concern - and even more so if your relative is to be discharged when he or she still seems ill or weak. Medicare beneficiaries can be reassured that they have the right to dispute a perceived early dis-charge from a hospital or acute care setting. A Medicare beneficiary, whether through direct Medicare or an HMO, is guaranteed the right to file an immediate appeal if the family feels the patient is not yet ready to return home or be moved to a lower level of care.

Una Visita al médico

Alguna vez le ha ocurrido que salió de la oficina del médico sin respuestas a sus preguntas, o con el sentimiento de que el médico no le escuchó? Hoy en día los médicos tienen muchos pacientes y poco tiempo, y si el paciente no demanda que su médico se tome el tiempo necesario para responder a todas sus preguntas, muchas veces no lo hará. Idealmente una visita al médico debería involucrar comunicación entre el paciente y el médico, y un reparto de información educativa sobre la salud.

Unas Habilidades Practicas para Asistir a los Cuidadores Familiares

Si usted es un cuidador familiar, ya sabrá que casi no hay horas en el día para cuidar de sí mismo, y mucho menos para dedicar el tiempo necesario a las necesidades personales de su ser querido. El asistir a otra otra persona a vestirse, bañarse, sentarse, o ponerse de pie cuando esa persona está agitada, de mal humor o combativa - lo cual es frecuentemente el caso en personas que tienen la enfermedad de Alzheimer u otro tipo de demencia - requiere estrategias especiales. Las siguientes cinco técnicas pueden facilitar el cuidado físico de un familiar.

Caregiving During a National Emergency

At times of emergency, such as the events of September 11 or Hurricane Katrina, there are so many things to process, one has trouble prioritizing and putting things in perspective. If you are caring for a loved one with dementia, you probably found your attention distracted and your emotions conflicted. Sometimes it was hard to concentrate on the daily things in life, sometimes it was reassuring to do mundane tasks. Often people feel out of control and insecure at times of crisis. Perhaps the suggestions below will help when times are unsettled —for any reason.

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