Hospice Care: Reality vs. Misconception

Hospice and palliative care (a fancy way of saying “comfort care”) are concepts that have been around for hundreds of years. In fact, the term “hospice” can be traced back to medieval times when it referred to a place of shelter and rest for weary or ill travelers.

The modern concept of specialized care for the dying involves a team-oriented approach to thoughtfully seeing to the needs of the terminally ill as they enter the final months, weeks and days of ...

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Growing Old: Paying Attention to the Signs of Illness…and Wellness

As I mentioned a few weeks ago, one of the many major good news/bad news scenarios facing the aging US population today is increased longevity, along with a considerably higher incidence of multiple “co-morbid” (overlapping maladies) conditions.

While geriatric experts differ on the ranking of the most prevalent health issues, all agree that most people who live to be 65 years and older will eventually have to deal with one or several unwanted medical conditions. Due to heredity, environment or both ...

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Caregivers: Do Unto Others

An astounding statistic was recently released by AARP: Some 42 million Americans between the ages of 40-60 are caring for older adults, in many cases, their parents. Of this group of “unprofessional caregivers” roughly 60 percent are spending an average of 10 hours per week providing “hands-on” support.

Here’s the real kicker: The remaining 40% of adult children devote a whopping 40+ hours a week to the complete medical guardianship of their parent(s), with the primary goal of eliminating the possibility ...

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Genealogy: Enjoy the Process of Finding Your Origins

Although we humans as a species may not obsess every day about where we came from, it’s a very real part of our human nature to ponder our origins. Call it curiosity, a delight in personal history, or as one person recently posted, a feeling that “my dearly departed kinfolk keep tuggin’ at me.”

“Genealogy,” the study of family histories, has long been a popular hobby for Americans, especially among seniors. Since our country was founded, an estimated 100 million Americans ...

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Technology: A Brave New World for Seniors

While many seniors today are often chided (gently, we hope) by their families for their aversion to new things, it’s instructive to remember that seniors have in their lifetimes adapted to a wealth of potentially unsettling changes and inventions: seeing people walk on the moon, cable television, food processors, cell phones, and beyond.

And while most would perhaps contend that the technological phenomenon known as the internet is primarily the playground of the young, there are now close to 16 million ...

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Long-Term Care Insurance: Planning Now to Live Longer

Good News/Bad News: All of us are living longer. The average life span of an American male is now about 75 years, while the life expectancy of an American female is approximately 84 years of age. That’s great news for seniors who have dreams of enjoying travel, family, and beloved hobbies during what many have come to call the “golden years.” Yet figures also show that our golden years are likely to involve an illness – or several – that ...

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Early Onset Alzheimer’s and Dementia: An Epidemic?

When legendary Tennessee women’s basketball coach Pat Summit divulged last October that she had been diagnosed with early onset dementia, a familiar face was matched with a condition that many Americans have come to know all too well. Like countless others, I was saddened by the news. But to hear her speak about the road she is about to endure with such a hyper-positive attitude honestly gave me goose-bumps. She’s a winner. No doubt.

Here are some important stats that you ...

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Diabetes Management: No Need for Martyrdom

This story has always stuck with me: A while back, a diabetic client of mine share with me her “secret” to maintaining a health sugar/insulin level without compromising on the food that she so dearly enjoyed or, as she emphatically put it, “My quality of life.” Her story, or more accurately, her adage, went something like this: “A small sliver tastes the same as eating the whole pie.”

While this should bring a smile to most of our faces, her point ...

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Listening: The Key to Preventing Caregiver Breakdown

Caring for a loved one who is sick, day-in and day-out, can be challenging to say the least. This is particularly true when you are caring for someone who is in the advanced stages of a disease and who may also be suffering from severe depression as a result of their illness. How does one balance performing not-so-desirable caregiver tasks and listening to a daily commentary of negative criticism with the goals of being happy and helpful? In short, how ...

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