Monthly Archives: June 2010

Elderly Parents: 5 Warning Signs They May Need Help

Aging parents sometimes don’t recognize or admit they need care. But going without it can have dangerous consequences, such as falls, malnutrition and undiagnosed dementia. It may take a loved one’s watchful eye to see the subtle but tell-tale changes. The Houston Northwest Medical Center lists these warning signs as examples:

  1. Unintentional weight loss.
  2. Home safety issues, such as burned pots (did they forget about them?) or burned-out light bulbs (can they not change them?).
  3. Personal hygiene …Read more ›
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Bankers Helping With Elder-Care Decisions

Banks and trust companies have gotten into the elder-care business, reports The Wall Street Journal. They’re advising clients on all sorts of things. According to the article:

Private banks and trust companies say that they increasingly are helping older clients—or parents of younger clients—sort out medical bills, hire in-home care or even manage the sale of a home. Sometimes the bank charges an additional fee for such services; in other cases, they are included in …Read more ›

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Hospice: A Nurse Shares First-Person Experiences

We’ve blogged in the past about hospice. It’s sometimes the appropriate move for parents who are ill, but many don’t know what to expect from it. Now, Kelly Neale, a registered nurse, is blogging about her experiences with hospice, providing insight into the process. Neale’s sister is dying and will pass on soon. She says:

I spend my days giving treatment to prolong life. Now I must learn to let go, allow others to be …Read more ›

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Rights You Need to Know Before Entering a Nursing Home

Moving into a nursing home? Expect—and ensure—some level of control over your care schedule, suggests elder law attorney Jill Burzynski. Not exerting that control could lead to unforeseen consequences, she writes at

By law, nursing homes must make reasonable adjustments to honor the preferences of the residents. The time and place to request these adjustments is in the care plan meeting for the resident. … A nursing home must have an initial care plan …Read more ›

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Aging Parents: When to Talk About Sensitive Issues

When talking to your aging parents about finances or senior care, timing is key, says elder-care expert Joy Loverde. “A well-timed conversation enhances the likelihood of being heard and reaching consensus,” she writes at the blog EldercareABC.

In a two-part article, Loverde offers tips such as, consider a face-to-face chat instead of a phone one. “Reading facial expressions and body language plays an important part in knowing when to change communication tactics or to back …Read more ›

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AARP on Reverse Mortgages: “Think Carefully”

“The number of people taking out a reverse mortgage is skyrocketing,” says AARP. But it’s not the best idea for everyone. “Think carefully about using your equity because when it’s gone, it’s gone,” warns Bronwyn Belling, manager of AARP’s Reverse Mortgage Education Project.

If you or your aging parent is considering a reverse mortgage to help pay for senior care, AARP’s articles and recordings on the topic might help in …Read more ›

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Should You Hire a Home-Care Agency or Individual?

Lisa Fuller’s mother-in-law needs home care. Fortunately for her, Fuller happens to be an elder-care advisor. Phew. This’ll be a snap, right?

Fuller doesn’t seem so sure. For one thing, her mother-in-law lives in New York. Fuller lives in Maine. “Being a long distance caregiver is challenging,” she writes at her blog. “Situations change and can be easily overlooked when you are not physically there to see the impact.” If you’re in similar straits and …Read more ›

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Independent Living: An Architect’s Tips on What to Look For

Architect and designer Wolf Saar has a pet peeve: combination microwave/kitchen hoods.

Saar, you see, is into universal design—making homes that are accessible for people of various ages and abilities. And many senior facilities just aren’t up to snuff, he says. In a recent post, he reveals a few considerations you may not have thought of when evaluating independent living facilities:

As an architect with a passion for designing spaces for elders, I make it a …Read more ›

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Who Knows Best? When Arguing With Aging Parents Backfires

Nagging your aging parents can backfire, senior-care advisor Frank M. Samson writes in the Sonoma Valley Sun. It may make them put up even stronger walls.

The primary fear of older adults is losing their independence. Often, adult children trigger that fear when they tell their aging parents what to do. Aging parents then become less willing to share information about their health, or struggle to continue to live independently. The result is typically some …Read more ›

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How Some Seniors Are Finding Fulfillment in Nursing Homes

While there are many sad and sometimes horrible stories involving nursing homes, there are also uplifting ones. Perhaps the contrast illustrates the importance of choosing a facility carefully.

Here are a few positive nursing home stories from around the country, spotlighting fun or fulfilling activities, to give you an idea of what your aging parents can expect from an active facility—or what they can do themselves:

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