Tag: #caregivers

Can a Quality Work Environment Yield Better Care?

I think my grandparents’ nursing home staff must have had my number on speed-dial: “Mr. Meade set off the alarm on the door today–again.” “Mrs. Meade keeps eating food off of Mr. Meade’s tray.” “Mr. Meade pulled Mrs. Meade’s P.E.G. tube out.” “Mr. and Mrs. Meade are asking for a ‘street car’ so they can…
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“Conversation” Talks—But What Does it Say?

“Privy to our deepest thoughts, that kitchen table was a silent listener as Grandma and I had talked late into the night while indulging together in some form of chocolate.” Excerpt from Goodnight, Sweet: A Caregiver’s Long Goodbye, Chapter 7 “Going Home” Grandma and I, we talked. A lot. Sitting at her kitchen table, on…
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The Caregiver Learning Curve

Why do we instantly expect ourselves to know everything when we first begin to provide care for a loved one? We don’t make such assumptions about other endeavors; for instance, doctors, teachers, lawyers, financial planners—as well as many other professionals—receive years of education before they’re even allowed to practice solo. Occupations ranging from pilots to…
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The Handwritten Release

Writing letters is almost a lost art these days. Even the event of putting pen to paper has somewhat diminished from the universal activity it once was. But before we let it go completely, let’s consider how putting pen and paper together to express our thoughts may actually benefit the writer—even if the person it’s…
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The Memory Care Triangle

In general, our society tends to frown on adultery, although it does seem to turn up a lot—in both fiction and in real life: Jane Eyre’s Mr. Rochester is only too happy involving himself in relationships with any woman other than his legal wife; Frank Burns and Margaret Houlihan participate in what was undoubtedly one…
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Power of Attorney: What Is It and Why Do You Need It?

 Your loved one has just been diagnosed with dementia, and because the condition is so advanced the doctor has no choice but to declare them “incompetent”—meaning they are no longer able to manage their own affairs due to their medical condition. At this point, someone else is going to have to step in to do…
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Living Will vs. Last Will: What’s the Difference?

The estate planning documents—vitally important but often ignored—can be a bewildering subject to tackle. As a caregiver, I saw firsthand how important it was that plans had been established before my grandparents were both diagnosed with dementia; and the more time I spent caring for them, the more I came to understand how bad it…
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The Gospel Truth: Jesus’ Ministry to Caregivers

Happy 2022! It’s a brand-new year, and the mental “reset” this affords all of us cannot be overstated. During the Holiday break, my family and I have been enjoying Angel Studios’ crowd-funded hit The Chosen. Watching the very ordinary—yet simultaneously extraordinary—way Jesus interacts with all kinds of people has been deeply moving as well as…
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End of Life: Deciding to Stop Treatment

I recently had the opportunity to talk with a conference attendee regarding care for her husband who was in the late stage of Alzheimer’s. She told me that she had a wonderful daily helper whose assistance both she and her husband deeply appreciated.   “But my helper doesn’t agree with us about his ‘end-of-life’ plan,”…
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Sundowning: Basic Strategies for the Caregiver

In January 2021, my in-laws were packing to move so they could be closer to us in Texas. They’d lived in their house since 2003, and now they were downsizing into an apartment in an independent living community. Chris, Faith and I had gone to Memphis to help with the packing. We knew my father-in-law…
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