The Birth of a Caregiver Part 1

Rena McDaniel-The Diary of an Alzheimer's Caregiver

Mom's Great Escape

Rena McDaniel-The Diary of an Alzheimer's Caregiver Grandma on the far left, other relatives, my Grandpa on the far right and mom just over his left shoulder in black. ...more

Driving with dementia; Should you take away a loved one's keys?

When my grandfather started developing Alzheimer's, we knew when it was time to take away the keys. He hit a parked car as he was driving by, taking off the side mirror.For other people, it's not so obvious. And as you can probably guess, trying to take away someone's ability to drive is often taken as a form of repression; you're taking away their freedom in their eyes. Although few seniors probably feel they're perfect drivers (and many will willingly give up driving at night or in busy areas they don't know well), many still want the OPTION....more

I Called Dad but Dementia Answered

As has been the case a lot lately, the day just got away from me.  The plan is to visit with dad tomorrow.  But, it’s more on my mind that I didn’t see him yesterday or today.  It’s getting late.  My best guess is he’s likely already had his shower and is tucked in bed for the night.  I feel like I need to hear his voice.  The phone is right there by his bed on the nightstand.  His second roommate in five mont...more
220cortstreet Thank you for the comment.  Yes, I do know what you mean. Being grateful for what ...more

Did My Friend Just Tell Me She Has Cancer?

The other day I was going along happily checking my Facebook in between commercials when I read something that pissed me off. I mean flaming mad. One of my sorority sisters from my college days just asked (via status update) for some positive energy. She needed it, because she has cancer. And nothing makes me more angry than someone I care about getting cancer....more

Grandmas who care for grandkids one day each week stay sharp

If you watch your grandkids one day a week, there's good news. If you watch them five days a week, the news is not so good.New research from the Women's Healthy Aging Project study found that women who spent one day a week caring for their grandchildren performed the best on 2 of 3 tests of mental sharpness (ie. working memory and  processing speed). Those who took care of their grandkids for 5 or more days in a week did "significantly worse" on the tests....more

Joining Forces and The Elizabeth Dole Foundation to Focus on Military Caregivers in 2014

Yesterday I learned some sobering statistics about military caregivers from Joining Forces. 5.5 million Americans are caring for ill or wounded service members and veterans. Of those 5.5 million, 1.1 million of those spouses, parents, and friends are providing care to a US veteran who served since 9/11....more

Down Syndrome and Alzheimer's

I ran across this article about the connection between white matter and cognitive health. But what really fascinated me was the part about how people with Down syndrome are at "extremely high risk" for developing Alzheimer's after 40.The researchers did a study using 3 groups:1. people with Down syndrome but no dementia2. people with Down syndrome and dementia3. a healthy control groupThey used MRIs to study the brains of all three gouprs and found that:...more

Recognizing the Signs of a Heart Attack

Our family and friends recently descended on our parents’ house like a pack of swarming bees. Within a week, mom and dad were host to eleven adults, five dogs and one very spoiled grandson.  Between visits from Santa (who had to use a door vs. the roof), the cutthroat games of Scrabble and the amazing smells coming non-stop from the kitchen, we were fortunate to notice that something wasn’t right with dad....more

New blood test predicts Alzheimer's and dementia with 90% accuracy

It's finally here. A novel blood test developed at Georgetown University Medical Center can predict with 90% accuracy if a healthy person will develop Alzheimer's or dementia within three years.Although there is currently no cure for Alzheimer's, most scientists agree that the sooner it can be detected, the better the chances of treating it before symptoms progress....more