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Observations and commentary on aging, caregiving, and the complex journey through the second half of life.

Second-Half of Life Blog

The Rise Of Dilemmas

Posted by on Aug 16, 2016 in Aging Parents, Caregiver | Comments Off on The Rise Of Dilemmas

The Rise Of Dilemmas

The landscape of old age is populated with dilemmas, which represent a new and confusing layer of complexity. Here’s why. Dilemmas are not complicated problems. They are rightfully in a class by themselves. Caregivers need to understand and appreciate this crucial distinction that impacts all aspects of their partnership with an aging parent.

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Complimentary Mind Map Book

Posted by on Aug 11, 2016 in Advisors, Aging Parents, Alzheimer's Disease, Caregiver | Comments Off on Complimentary Mind Map Book

Complimentary Mind Map Book

Complimentary copies of Caregiver Mind Maps can be downloaded here.

They are a collection of ten mind maps created for anyone working on the front lines of caregiving for older adults. Their simplicity and efficiency prove ideal for the caregiver world of competing obligations, increasing complexity, and inconvenient timing.

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What We Live For…

Posted by on Aug 7, 2016 in Aging Parents, Alzheimer's Disease, Caregiver | Comments Off on What We Live For…

What We Live For…

There are many ways to dance with an aging parent who has dementia. Toni Luciani invited his 91 year old mother to join him using photography and the canvas of her aging to create art. The photographic results in the article link below boldly affirms that creativity is ageless if simply given the opportunity to be discovered…

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Failing In Place

Posted by on Jul 23, 2016 in Aging Parents, Alzheimer's Disease, Caregiver, Siblings | Comments Off on Failing In Place

Failing In Place

New arrivals to our caregiver support group confirm what’s being reported in the medical literature. Dementia in the land of aging parents has reached a tipping point and now become the overwhelming concern of 80-90% of our attendees.

The vast majority of these caregivers are daughters of families fraught with denial, escalating conflict and sibling sabotage. Struggling to honor an aging parent’s wish to remain in their own home, these women find themselves caught up in a drama that is unraveling on all fronts, an experience they describe as “failing in place.”

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Amazon Review

Posted by on Jul 14, 2016 in Advisors, Aging Parents, Boomers, Caregiver | Comments Off on Amazon Review

Amazon Review

I work in an assisted living community, and this is one of the best books I’ve seen for adult children struggling to engage with their aging parents in discussing the difficult life transitions they’re facing, from needing more help in the home, giving up driving, or having to move into senior housing or assisted living, among other issues.

I give many copies away and recommend it frequently. One of my clients, after reading the book, told me that it helped her understand her parents’ perspective and what they were going through much better, and gave her strategies for helping the whole family cope with what was going on in their lives. It’s difficult for parents to stop being parents, and for adult children to have to become the decision makers and assume control.

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Caregiver Vulnerability and Shame

Posted by on Jul 10, 2016 in Aging Parents, Caregiver | Comments Off on Caregiver Vulnerability and Shame

It’s a messy game being a caregiver of aging parents where things can fall apart at the worse possible time. This inspiring TED Talk by Brené Brown reminds us that the shame of unrealistic expectations can unwind our most determined efforts to do the right thing. It also reminds us why, when we’re open to it, caregiver support groups can literally save our lives…

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Elderspeak: Annoying and Toxic

Posted by on Jul 6, 2016 in Aging Parents, Caregiver | Comments Off on Elderspeak: Annoying and Toxic

Elderspeak: Annoying and Toxic

Elderspeak was first coined in the 1980s by social scientists to describe what sounded like baby talk directed at older adults.

It is defined as a communication style based on stereotypes that older adults are less competent, so younger communication partners simplify their communication, attempt to clarify communication, and alter the emotional tone of messages when communicating with older adults.

Elderspeak’s style of speech includes:

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Aging Parents: The Falls Quiz

Posted by on Jul 3, 2016 in Aging Parents, Boomers, Caregiver | Comments Off on Aging Parents: The Falls Quiz

Aging Parents: The Falls Quiz

Everyone knows falls in older adults is bad news. They are the leading cause of fatal and non-fatal injuries in this age group. Every 22 minutes an older adult dies from a fall. That’s 66 deaths a day.

It’s not a case of where we don’t how this happens. We do. We have extensive data about the risks, screening, and evidenced-based management of fall prevention. But it takes an informed, steady collective response to implement what we know to prevent disaster. This quiz is designed to find out what we all know about the fall epidemic in older adults as a first in mapping out a collective response. I’ve included the answers to make it easy…

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Problems Versus Dilemmas Of Aging Parents

Posted by on Jun 29, 2016 in Aging Parents, Caregiver | Comments Off on Problems Versus Dilemmas Of Aging Parents

Although demanding and stressful, the problems of aging can be contained or eliminated. Lost prescriptions can be refilled. Unsafe staircases can be modified. Transportation for an unscheduled medical testing can be arranged. Solving problems means eliminating uncertainty and most caregivers are well versed in how to do this.

In sharp contrast, the dilemmas of aging defy containment or elimination. They demand sustained engagements with uncertainty, a challenge most caregivers are ill equipped to handle. Consider the following example:

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The Context of Caregivers of Aging Parents

Posted by on Jun 27, 2016 in Aging Parents, Boomers, Caregiver | Comments Off on The Context of Caregivers of Aging Parents

The Context of Caregivers of Aging Parents

I was asked to write an article about the context of caregivers of aging parents. What’s the scope and depth of their role? What are the issues they have to navigate every day?

I found it was easier to create an infographic that portrayed the profound complexity of the task. It proved useful with family members who seem to minimize what it takes to fulfill this demanding role or couldn’t understand why reinforcements are necessary.

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