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Tag Archives: uncooperative caree

Mom’s Secret Decoder Ring


It’s the only answer. Mom has to have a secret decoder ring somewhere. When I was younger, you could order a real working secret decoder ring on the back of comics and MAD Magazine .25 cents. No, you could not get the secrets codes to the United States weapons arsenal. Lately, Mom has been, for lack of a better way of putting it, keeping health related information from everyone. Think about it this way. She made ... Read More »

Beginning the Transition to More Help


A colleague recently asked me to lunch. “I want to pick your brain about my parents,” she said. I knew some of her parents’ history–they lived in a rural area on the East Coast. My friend lived in Chicago; her siblings, on the West Coast. I also knew her parents had been resisting help. I knew we were going to talk about how to get her parents to accept more help. And, we did. Her ... Read More »

Is It Right If It Could Be Wrong?


On Tuesday morning, Anna Stookey joined me for our monthly chat on Your Caregiving Journey. On this show, we discussed this question: How do I make a decision that could be right for me but perhaps wrong for my caree? You can listen to our show via the player, below. (Note: You’ll hear that I wasn’t feeling well during our show–I’m better today–and we lost Anna at the end of the show because her phone ... Read More »

To Everything Turn, Turn, Turn: The Darker Side of My Caregiving Journey


To everything there is a season. Twists and turns. Times when the bond between me and my loved one (my caree/wife) is deep and other times when it is constricted and vapid. Such has been the recent case. However, it’s been a pattern for a long time, exacerbated dramatically when I had no choice but to have her placed in a nursing home. She was extremely angry at me. I think she still is deep down. Besides having ... Read More »

How Do You Motivate Your Caree?


Last night on Your Caregiving Journey, our panel of family caregivers joined me to discuss this question: Can you set goals for your caree? You can listen to the insights from Richard, Jane and ejourneys shared during our show via our player below. Our discussion moved from wondering if it’s possible to set to goals, to communicating about goals, to motivating your caree. We spoke about setting goals for appropriate behavior and to improve health. ... Read More »

Tell Us: How Do Keep Your Caree Occupied?


Yesterday, during Table Talk on Your Caregiving Journey, Kristin spoke about her inability to do what she enjoys. She has books to read, words to write, websites to visit… And, yet she can’t. The stress of worrying about Mary and whether Mary is safe becomes her day’s only action. It’s all she can do—think about making sure Mary is okay. The dread of what could happen (Mary wanders off, makes a mess of her ostomy ... Read More »

Table Talk: Kristin


Kristin, who cares for a family friend (Mary) and was our very first CareGifters recipient, joined me this morning for Table Talk on Your Caregiving Journey. You can listen to our show via the player, below. You’ll love listening to Kristin, who shares how she became Mary’s family caregiver. Mary, most likely the victim of a traumatic childhood, had abused her children; as adults, her children could not care for Mary. Kristin stepped up to ... Read More »

When Your Caree Is Just Mean, What Do You Do?


Over the past two days, two visitors have asked for our help. Here’s what they said: 1. “What if your recipient does not have Alzheimers?? What if Grama is just spoiled and mean and spiteful to you and other family members. How do we handle this? She is 92. Sharp as a tack..Has all her marbles. She has been spoiled all her life. Was spoiled by our grandfather. Never worked a day in her life. ... Read More »

In Caregiving, Finding Happiness in the Details


This morning, Dr. Elizabeth Lombardo, our happiness expert, joined us to help us understand how we manage our moments of happiness when we may live with (or close to) unhappiness. In other words, how do you manage your caree’s unhappiness? Or, another family caregiver’s unhappiness? (You can listen to our show via the player at the bottom of the post). Elizabeth shared great reminders with us: 1. Keep choice. Allow your caree choices (when appropriate) ... Read More »

Suggestions to Help a Caree’s Hospital Confusion


You know this because you’ve probably lived this: Hospitals can be a harsh environment for your caree. A lucid caree can become confused and disoriented hospital patient. A caree with Alzheimer’s can become combative and aggressive during a hospitalization. This week, The New York Times toook an interesting look at the prevalence of hallucinations among hospitalized elderly patients. Pam Belluck, the article’s author, writes: “The cause of delirium is unclear, but there are many apparent ... Read More »

Tell Us: When Do You Wish for a Pink Slip?


You plow through the days, doing your best to stay positive, strong, smiling. But, some days, well, you just find yourself wishing for a pink slip. If only you could just walk away from your caregiving role, you think, life would be so much better. And, worse, the wish to walk weighs heavily on your heart. You feel like the worst person in the world. But, every family caregiver, at least once, has hoped to ... Read More »

Balancing the Happiness Scale


Results of a new study say that your care recipient prefers you as the caregiver over a trained professional. Your care recipient is happiest when a family member provides care. But, you already know that. You know that because of the resistance you receive when you try to bring in professional help. This study was interesting to me because of the perspective it took. The study asked the question of care recipients: Are you happier ... Read More »

Ask Denise: How Do I Deal with the Endless Demands?


On Thursday, I gave an eldercare presentation to a group of employees at a large corporation based here in Chicago. At the end of the presentation, an attendee asked: “What do I do about my mom? She insists on going to the doctor. A few years ago, she was seeing 24 doctors who all prescribed medications. I stopped that. She now lives in a retirement community so I know she has access to transportation, help ... Read More »

Ask Denise: How Does She Get Her Dad to the Doctor?


Dear Denise, I came across your website looking for some help for my mother-in-law’s niece, Alice. Alice’s mother, 79, died on May 30, 2009. Now Alice must care for her 85-year-old father. He is very difficult and stubborn and physically hard to handle. He won’t go to the doctor because he says Alice wants the doctor to poison him. He cusses and is verbally abusive too. Her sisters won’t help. What can she do to ... Read More »

An Extra Pair of Hands May Mean Easier Days


You count to 10. You pray. You say any and all affirmations those 14 books you’ve bought tell you will work. But, nothing’s working. You and your care recipient are at odds. And, the odd-makers seem to be betting against you. Caregiving is getting the best of you. It might be time to look for more help and help from a home health agency may be just the ticket. We’ve come up with reasons to ... Read More »

Rather Than Fight, Be Flexible


When I first started writing about caregiving, I had worked with family caregivers in home health care settings (linking family caregivers to respite services) and in nursing homes (helping them admit their care recipient to the facility). But, I had never provided direct hands-on care. When the opportunity to work as a private-duty caregiver for Evie, 88-years-old and failing from a series of small strokes, presented itself, I jumped at the chance. I decided if ... Read More »

We Need a Schedule!


Dear Denise, I believe divine guidance led me to your website. I plan to register for the course. My frustration is that I cannot get my mother on a schedule in order to take her medications. She wants to sleep until noon and then be awake all night. She is suffering from post herpetic neuralgia since march and has COPD. Basically she is healthy except for these things, no B/P problems, diabetes, etc. I work and ... Read More »

My Mom Is Difficult


Hello Denise, I am a single mom, and sole caregiver for my 74-year-old mom.  I also cared for my father for 5 years till his death with Lung Cancer.  Since his death my moms health has steadily decreased.  My dads death while was expected just came VERY quick. He passed 2 months after my divorce and 30 days after our move.  Anyways trying to get things level or kinda again and tried to put my ... Read More »

Finding Your Voice, Defining Your Role


Karen has cared for her mother-in-law for almost two years. She does it for her husband–and in spite of her mother-in-law, Alice. Alice made it clear from the start that Karen was not the girl she would have chosen for her only son, Tony. She made it clear throughout their 30-year marriage, at holidays, special occasions and during their weekly visits. Karen did her best to withstand the criticism and intense dislike, but she would ... Read More »

My Caree Won’t Cooperate


You’ve finally decided the time has come: You need help in your caregiving role; you’d like to hire a home health aide to help with your caree’s personal care. With your job, your kids, your spouse and your other commitments, you’ve discovered it’s just impossible to do it all yourself. Amazingly, it’s a relief to come to this decision. Until you think about breaking the news to your caree. You know the news won’t be ... Read More »