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

Medications Older Adults Should Avoid

Posted by on Apr 21, 2017 in Caregiver, Caregiver Lessons, Caregiver Support, Miscellaneous

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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Death Is Not The Biggest Problem

Posted by on Mar 26, 2017 in Aging Alone, Caregiver, Caregiver Fatigue, Caregiver Lessons, Declining Health & Frailty, Dementia, End of Life Dilemmas, Miscellaneous

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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Why Do We Teach CPR, But Not Caregiving?

Posted by on Feb 19, 2017 in Boomers, Caregiver, Caregiver Fatigue, Caregiver Lessons, Caregiver Support, Miscellaneous

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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Home Unfurnishing Your Parent’s Stuff

Posted by on Feb 15, 2017 in After They’re Gone, Boomer Dilemmas, Caregiver, Caregiver Lessons, Caregiver Support, Miscellaneous, Siblings

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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Augmented Eternity: Ready or Not

Posted by on Jan 29, 2017 in After They’re Gone, End of Life Dilemmas, Miscellaneous

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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Elderspeak: Annoying and Toxic

Posted by on Jul 6, 2016 in Caregiver, Caregiver Lessons, Caregiver Support, Miscellaneous

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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