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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

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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Higher Levels of Depression in Married Caregivers

Posted by on Feb 18, 2017 in Aging Parents, Alzheimer's Disease, Caregiver | Comments Off on Higher Levels of Depression in Married Caregivers

Higher Levels of Depression in Married Caregivers

“We also found that caregivers who are married and caring for a family member with a diagnosis other than cancer, such as Alzheimer’s disease, had higher levels of depression,” says Debra Parker-Oliver, professor of family and community medicine at the University of Missouri School of Medicine.

This excellent article from the University of Missouri documents that the 34 million caregivers of terminally ill loved ones are unacknowledged, anxious, depressed and sadly not being offered treatment that would help them cope with the inordinate stress they must endure.

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Home Unfurnishing Your Parent’s Stuff

Posted by on Feb 15, 2017 in Aging Parents, Caregiver, Siblings | Comments Off on Home Unfurnishing Your Parent’s Stuff

Home Unfurnishing Your Parent’s Stuff

This is an excellent article by Richard Eisenberg that offers eight strategies for systematically paring down the stuff of aging parents that apparently nobody wants. It’s a necessary but ultimately awkward ritual of sorting with an eye towards aggressively casting aside articles that have both deep personal meaning but essentially zero value to the current generation.

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Sibling Rules

Posted by on Feb 11, 2017 in Aging Parents, Caregiver, Siblings | Comments Off on Sibling Rules

Sibling Rules

It’s a fact of family life: roles are cut in stone. Stop trying to change a sibling who for the most part resents you for having the audacity to think you need to fix him or her.

Accurately assess what a sibling will and will not do for an aging parent. If their contribution is zero, then zero is is and move on.

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Augmented Eternity: Ready or Not

Posted by on Jan 29, 2017 in Advisors, Aging Parents, Boomers | Comments Off on Augmented Eternity: Ready or Not

Augmented Eternity: Ready or Not

Technology is rewriting yet another chapter in the book on death. In addition to forestalling physical death with machines that can breath for us when are efforts fail, pump blood when our hearts gives out or need repair, or float our brains in a medically induced coma to buy time to neurologically regroup, it is now making it possible to for all of us to have a digital afterlife that goes beyond a retrospective memorial of who we were.

We are talking about chatbots created from our personal data including emails, texts, and tweets that is then fed into artificial neural networks that have the ability to model brains and process new information. The end product is that we become a digital version of our physically departed selves.

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A New Set Design for Nursing Homes

Posted by on Jan 22, 2017 in Advisors, Aging Parents, Alzheimer's Disease, Boomers, Caregiver, Siblings | Comments Off on A New Set Design for Nursing Homes

A New Set Design for Nursing Homes

This is a fascinating innovation in the physical design of a nursing home. Forget the clinical model of mini-hospitals and consider bringing the outside inside with a neighborhood look and feel. How comforting to have a front porch with your accommodations, a softening of the harsh decor of skilled nursing spaces. While you can’t unwind the need for a higher level of care, you can choose to have physical aspects of that care honor your need for community and familiar surrounding…

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More Dancing, Less Wrestling

Posted by on Jan 13, 2017 in Advisors, Aging Parents, Caregiver, Siblings | Comments Off on More Dancing, Less Wrestling

More Dancing, Less Wrestling

Aging Parents Dance Cards is a 20-card set created for adult children of aging parents. Each 4″X 6″ card contains bite size insights and strategies for the unique challenges of caregiving for an older parent. They are designed to rebalance thinking and responses to the frustration, confusion and guilt that so quickly arises in communication between generations.

Aging Parents Dance Cards are an ideal marketing handout for professionals working with adult children of aging parents. They signal to potential or existing clients that you get it about the challenges of aging parents and, as important, you are providing them with a unique resource that has the potential to immediately improve communication between generations.

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Online College Course: Communication Skills with Seniors

Posted by on Dec 26, 2016 in Advisors, Aging Parents, Caregiver | Comments Off on Online College Course: Communication Skills with Seniors

Online College Course: Communication Skills with Seniors

I have joined the faculty of Saint Joseph’s College of Maine to offer a new online course entitled Communication Skills with Seniors (Sl 320). Here is the course overview:

The purpose of this course is to assist you in developing compassionate and effective communication skills with persons 65 years and older. To do this, it asks you to look beyond society’s stereotypic view of seniors as simply diminished versions of their former selves and see them as more complex and capable than was previous thought.

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Geriatric Depression Scale

Posted by on Dec 15, 2016 in Aging Parents, Caregiver | Comments Off on Geriatric Depression Scale

Geriatric Depression Scale

Despite how older adults are depicted in the popular media, depression is not a natural part of aging. As important, with proper recognition and treatment depression can be reversible. That’s the good news. The bad news is that left left untreated, it becomes an accelerant for poor outcomes.

Untreated depression in older adults triggers a whole array of health problems. These include the onset of cognitive dysfunction, social isolation, delayed recovery from illness and surgery, and an increased risk of suicide. It is a profound risk factor for poor quality of life.

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The Ceremony of the Shoes

Posted by on Dec 13, 2016 in Aging Parents, Caregiver, Poetry | Comments Off on The Ceremony of the Shoes

The Ceremony of the Shoes

Embedded in the living towards the end lies a narrative about love under fatal duress. It is a space that refines courage and fosters an unexpected elegance. Frannie Lindsay’s poem below is about how this elegance, born of love and devotion, plays itself out in the daily ceremony of the shoes…

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