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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

Medications Older Adults Should Avoid

Posted by on Apr 21, 2017 in Aging Parents, Caregiver | Comments Off on Medications Older Adults Should Avoid

Medications Older Adults Should Avoid

In a world of poly-pharmacy, there are some medication land mines that older adults should avoid. Some of these medications are well known like benzodiazepines (Valium). But some are a surprise to many of us involved in the healthcare of older adults (Tylenol PM). This is an important article to share with all caregivers…

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Aging Boomers Playing the Cohabitation Card

Posted by on Apr 20, 2017 in Boomers | Comments Off on Aging Boomers Playing the Cohabitation Card

Aging Boomers Playing the Cohabitation Card

“The rising number of cohabiters ages 50 and older coincides with rising divorce rates among this group. With the higher divorce rates and a growing share of people who have never been married in this age group, more individuals are unmarried and available for partnering or re-partnering. In 2016, 61% of adults ages 50 and older were married, compared with 64% in 1990.

Most cohabiters ages 50 and older have previously been married, including a majority who are divorced (55%). Just over a tenth of cohabiters ages 50 and older (13%) are widowed – a share that rises to 27% among cohabiters 65 and older. Still, about one-fourth of cohabiters (27%) ages 50 and older have never been married.”

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What do you do when aging in place isn’t working out for aging parents?

Posted by on Apr 12, 2017 in Aging Parents, Caregiver | Comments Off on What do you do when aging in place isn’t working out for aging parents?

What do you do when aging in place isn’t working out for aging parents?

I was recently asked this question by a professional in the senior living industry. Here is what I said:

While the need for control is a consumptive task for aging parents in the final phase of life, it doesn’t necessarily operate in their best interest. Poor control choices about any aspect of aging leads to poor outcomes. Choosing where to live is a prime example.

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Why Would An Aging Parent Say That?

Posted by on Apr 4, 2017 in Aging Parents, Caregiver | Comments Off on Why Would An Aging Parent Say That?

Why Would An Aging Parent Say That?

A reoccurring theme in caregiver support groups is disparaging and derogatory comments made by aging parents to their adult children who are struggling to do the right thing. Voicing anger and bitterness about how their life has turned out, these personal attacks deeply wound the very person who is struggling to protect and care for them. “Why would they say that?” these caregivers ask over and over again. Indeed, why would they?

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Death Is Not The Biggest Problem

Posted by on Mar 26, 2017 in Aging Parents, Boomers, Caregiver | Comments Off on Death Is Not The Biggest Problem

Death Is Not The Biggest Problem

In her article Silicon Valley Would Rather Cure Death Than Make Life Worth Living Emily Dreyfuss takes Silicon Valley to task over their collective crusade to “cure death.” Not that curing death is a bad thing, but as Dreyfuss points out, it’s not the biggest thing that haunts our society. She asks:

What would it mean to design against despair or isolation or loneliness?

Indeed. Longevity in the hollow of despair and isolation seems a bitter gift. Our society is awash with large cohorts who feel untethered from any nurturing connections. This is especially true among its oldest members. While apps and games can’t restore this cultural breech, the brain power of Silicon Valley is capable of providing technological onramps for anchoring those in need of human contact.

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End of Life Medical Quicksand

Posted by on Mar 22, 2017 in Advisors, Aging Parents, Caregiver, Siblings | Comments Off on End of Life Medical Quicksand

End of Life Medical Quicksand

We all know someone with a family member who has fallen into end of life medical quicksand and suffered an excruciating outcome. In his article ” I Know You Love Me–Now Let Me Die,” Dr. Louis Dr. Profeta, an ER physician, reminds us that there was a time when we treated dying family members with a communal dignity that was not focused exclusively on “death prevention” at all costs. Instead, it offered a sacred transition space to honor the expanse and contributions of a person’s life while we kept them safe and close to us until the end…

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Spousal Care

Posted by on Mar 14, 2017 in Advisors, Aging Parents, Caregiver | Comments Off on Spousal Care

Spousal Care

Solo caregiving takes a toll on both parties. What starts out as an act of compassion and loyalty can deteriorate into a role the exceeds the best efforts of one person.

Reframing the situation from a new vantage point helps aging parents see how far out of control things have become, a reconsideration of the challenges as well as what could make things better…

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The Delirium Epidemic in Hospitalized Older Adults

Posted by on Mar 3, 2017 in Aging Parents, Boomers, Caregiver | Comments Off on The Delirium Epidemic in Hospitalized Older Adults

The Delirium Epidemic in Hospitalized Older Adults

Hospital-induced delirium, the sudden disruption of consciousness and cognition marked by vivid hallucinations and an inability to focus, affects 7 million Americans annually. Once triggered, it can persist for months. The good news is the 40% of delirium cases are preventable. The bad news is that the nature of modern hospital care with large doses of anti-anxiety drugs and narcotics combined with a busy, noisy brightly lit environment where sleep is constantly disrupted amid frequent staff change can trigger an episode.

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Wisdom Cards

Posted by on Feb 23, 2017 in Aging Parents, Boomers, Caregiver | Comments Off on Wisdom Cards

Wisdom Cards

Aging Parents Dance Cards are a deck of the 20 cards designed for anyone involved in the care of an older adult. Each card is an aphorism I created on a topic, issue, or situation common to the caregiving experience. They are my wisdom cards.

Cards on unknown or unappreciated “rules” about home, families, siblings, and driving help decode the underlying agenda of older adults and its profound impact on their perspective, behavior and priorities.

Cards on magical thinking, secrets, and dilemmas make a compelling argument for resetting expectations in line with reality.

Cards on reframing control, open questions and facilitating last stories provide prompts and strategies for establishing and sustaining rapport.

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Why Do We Teach CPR, But Not Caregiving?

Posted by on Feb 19, 2017 in Advisors, Aging Parents, Boomers, Caregiver | Comments Off on Why Do We Teach CPR, But Not Caregiving?

Why Do We Teach CPR, But Not Caregiving?

Indeed, why don’t we? This article by Dr. Richard Lindsey discusses how he enlisted help from Virginia’s college and university students to invent an app or product to improve the health of caregivers…This is the kind of intergenerational creativity we need to help ease the burden for everyone…

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