What is a hospitalist?

What is a hospitalist?

Patients in the hospital are rarely treated by their primary care physician. Instead, doctors who focus on the care of hospitalized patients have been found to be more effective and more available to answer questions during a hospital stay.

Sadness isn’t all bad

Sadness isn't all bad

Sadness moves us. It nurtures compassion. It can help us feel connected with others. It can also prompt us to reevaluate our lives and make changes. Sadness is not the same as depression. It’s important to know the difference.

When to use “urgent care”?

When to use "urgent care"?

You might want to consider an urgent care center for non-life-threatening conditions. The wait is shorter and the stress is less than in the Emergency Room. On the other hand, the ER is more appropriate for serious conditions. How to know which to choose?

Ride hailing for older adults

If the person you care for does not use a smartphone, with innovative new services, they can still enjoy the convenience of Lyft or Uber, no app—or hitchhiking!—required.

What is “vascular dementia”?

What is "vascular dementia"?

May is Action on Stroke Month. In that light, we look at “vascular dementia,” cognitive problems brought on suddenly by a stroke and/or gradually by “ministrokes” or “TIAs.”

Home visits are in!

Home visits are in!

Do you wish for the good old days when doctors made house calls? Many practitioners, including doctors, psychotherapists, physical therapists, occupational therapists, and speech pathologists, are now offering home visits (mobile outpatient services) that do not require your loved one be officially homebound.

Adaptive clothing

Adaptive clothing

People with conditions that limit movement, such as arthritis and Parkinson’s, often have difficulty dressing themselves. Dementia also makes dressing a challenge. Adaptive clothing enables your relative to do more for themselves, relieving you of a frustrating task and preserving their dignity and self-esteem.

What is “inflammaging”?

What is "inflammaging"?

When our immune system overreacts, it’s like a house on fire. This is more common as we age. Our immune system continues to tell our bodies we are being attacked, even when we aren’t, or aren’t any longer. Such “inflammaging”—the tendency in our later years to stay in an internally inflamed state—may be a common link between conditions such as cancer, diabetes, dementia, and heart disease.

Before you suggest assisted living

Before you suggest assisted living

While you may feel a move is urgent, the person you care for may not be ready. Don’t push! Instead, do some homework on your own so you are able to act quickly when they decide the time is right.

Choosing a support group

Choosing a support group

Between in-person and online support groups, there are many options to choose from. Make a list of your top priorities and then try out a few to see which one fits best.

Serving as a special needs trustee

If you have a disabled relative, perhaps a sibling, you may be asked to serve as the trustee for their “special needs trust.” While this is quite an honor, it’s an immense responsibility. Be sure you have the knowledge and support you will need.

Chronic kidney disease

Chronic kidney disease

March is National Kidney Month. Fully 15% of Americans have chronic kidney disease. Many are unaware of it. The condition lasts for decades, and symptoms do not appear until it is in the later stages, when irreversible damage has already been done. Should your loved one get checked?

Insomnia in older adults

Insomnia in older adults

If your loved one is having sleep problems, have them keep a sleep log for one or two weeks and then bring it to the doctor. Untreated sleep problems contribute to depression and memory loss.

What is “assisted living”?

These facilities are best suited to older adults who are relatively healthy. They serve as a more affordable alternative to a nursing home for those who need help only with meals, housekeeping, bathing and dressing, and getting around.

Dealing with disgust

Disgust is a natural response to something distasteful. But it can be distressing when it arises in the course of your caregiving duties. You may not be able to get rid of it completely, but there are things you can do to reduce the intensity.

Maybe it’s not Alzheimer’s

If you’re worried about dementia, it may be that memory or thinking problems are being caused by conditions that can be treated and reversed. Remove the anxiety by getting a full medical evaluation.

Tech support for your relative(s)

If your older relatives did not learn Internet skills during their work lives, you may be getting calls to provide tech support. It can be frustrating, inconvenient, and perhaps not even the best for your relationship. There are alternatives.

Burn and fire safety

Burn and fire safety

February 4–10 is National Burn Awareness Week, a good reminder to review precautions that can protect your loved one from harm.

Early-onset dementia: Money issues

Early-onset dementia: Money issues

If your partner has received a dementia diagnosis and is still working, consider these resources to help address the impact it will have on your family finances.

Making the most of regret

If you feel guilty and have regrets as a family caregiver, you are not alone. It could be because you are overstressed. Still, regret can be a useful signal that it’s time to do some thoughtful reflection and decide on future actions.

Acting as a “human guide”

Acting as a "human guide"

Learn tips to safely and effectively assist your visually impaired loved one, especially if they are in unfamiliar territory.

Skin care and aging

The skin is the body’s largest organ and its essential “armor.” To maintain good health, skin needs extra attention as we age. The skin has three layers. Working together, they act as the body’s shield by preventing bacteria and viruses from getting into the body and keeping body fluids from evaporating out; insulation by preserving…

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Positive connections with staff

Help the daily caregivers develop a fondness for your relative and view them as more than “the hip replacement in 210.” Showing a genuine interest in the life and daily experience of the aides will go a long way toward building a congenial sense of teamwork.

Choosing a “senior tablet”

While many older adults do just fine with a regular consumer-grade tablet, others do better with a “senior tablet,” which has safety precautions and a simplified interface. Learn what to look for if you are considering one for your relative.

Dementia: Navigating the airport

Providing comfort and calm is the watchword for the day of travel with a person who has dementia. Take advantage of the help that is available from airport personnel.

Why Mom doesn’t take her pills

Why Mom doesn't take her pills

Failure to follow medical advice is one of the primary reasons older adults end up in the hospital. What can you do to help your loved one adhere to the doctor’s orders?

How nutrition affects breathing

How nutrition affects breathing

If your loved one has COPD, it’s important to understand which foods are most helpful and which should be limited. You might be surprised by the difference nutrition can make!