Posts Categorized: Family relations

Talking with children about serious illness

Children are like sponges. They soak up whatever is around them. If Grandpa is sick, or Grandma has dementia, they’ll pick up on your emotional responses. If no one has explained the situation, they’ll make up their own ideas about what’s going on. As a result, they may feel unnecessarily scared and alone. Instead of…

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Caring for your marriage, also

With Valentine’s Day on the horizon, it’s a good time to consider strategies to prevent your partner from getting overlooked because of your caregiving. Caring for an aging relative definitely affects your ability to nurture your significant other. A poll at caregiving.com revealed that 81% of family caregivers say caregiving tested their marriage in ways…

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When Dad resists a walker

For many older adults, use of a walker carries great stigma. It’s a symbol of disability and often of isolation. In actual fact, a walker can be the key to staying actively engaged with favorite activities. The benefits of a walker It can bear up to 50% of a person’s weight. (A cane holds only…

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How Parkinson’s affects communication

If the person you care for has Parkinson’s, you may be surprised to discover the many ways the disease hampers communication. Voice problems alone affect 60%-80% of people with this condition. Low volume and slurred speech may make it hard at times for you to grasp what your loved one is saying. He or she…

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Bad news

If a person you care for receives a serious diagnosis, it can feel like a gut punch—for everyone in the family. There is no way to sugarcoat such a reality. There are ways, however, to make the emotional journey less traumatic. Grief AND joy Even if your loved one has only months or weeks to…

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Communicating with aphasia

If your loved one suddenly developed difficulty with speaking, he or she probably has aphasia, typically from a stroke or traumatic brain injury. Slow or garbled speech can be frustrating for everyone. Recovery is enhanced by following the advice of speech and occupational therapists. Your support is invaluable in terms of bolstering self-worth and confidence….

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Getting out of the mental spin cycle

Do you find yourself in a repetitive cycle of reliving an exchange over and over? Reflecting on experiences gone badly is one way we learn. We think about what happened and look for insights that might promote a positive outcome in a similar situation next time. But sometimes reflection can be unhealthy. If you find…

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Setting limits: saying “no” nicely

Many of us were raised to believe that the only polite or kind answer is “yes.” But as Dr. Christine Carter, a UC Berkeley researcher, notes, “If you find yourself saying ‘yes’ when you mean ‘no,’ it’s a recipe for overwhelm and exhaustion.” Not to mention resentment, burnout, and ill health! Ironically, research shows that…

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“I don’t need help” – Part 1

It’s a common refrain and the bane of many family members: Your loved one is having trouble, yet he or she refuses outside help. This can put your relative at risk. But if the worst happens and things go south, it also ends up making more work for you. Doubly frustrating when you know it…

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Mother’s Day without Mom

Mother’s Day was the brainchild of Anna Jarvis of West Virginia. In 1908, Anna held a memorial service to honor her mother’s deep commitment to love and compassion. Her mother epitomized kindness by caring for wounded soldiers. Far from a commercialized event, Anna envisioned Mother’s Day as a day to show profound appreciation through letters…

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