In the late 1970s, my aunt was diagnosed with schizophrenia. She was married, raising her three children and working full-time when she was diagnosed.
I was recently thinking about the first conversation I had with my Mom about how I could pitch in and help her out more. At the time, I wasn’t sure what that meant – and I most certainly didn’t know how to have such an important and serious discussion.
Knowing how to visit someone in a nursing home or assisted living isn’t always easy. Some people make brief, stiff visits. Others just don’t visit because they want to avoid awkward moments.
I had the pleasure of interviewing Lori Bitter, author of The Grandparent Economy, for our Caregiver Smile Summit. We explored the growing phenomenon of the Club Sandwich Generation, typically boomers taking care of older parents while also caring for Millennial kids and often grandchildren.
Having experienced tensions, along with some degree of emotional baggage is, in fact, part of the human experience. Yet, for some mothers, daughters, sons and spouses these rifts run so deep that there is little chance that either party is going to be able to put their differences aside even when care is needed.
Watching live news coverage of Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria filled me with dread. My mind wandered back to Hurricane Katrina. Important changes in disaster preparedness were adopted across the United States for skilled nursing facilities in the aftermath of Katrina.
One aspect of independence that often flies under the radar is the Dignity of Risk. Credited to the disability movement, it’s defined as the idea that self-determination and the right to take reasonable risks are essential for dignity and self-esteem.
At a certain point in the disease process, people living with dementia need to move into memory care. This common assumption just isn’t true – at least, not for everyone. As with most anything in life, financial resources create choices. The second, and perhaps most important, part to consider is willingness.