Montana’s CARE Act goes into effect.

Montanans who provide unpaid care for family members or friends will have more tools to do that work thanks to a new state law. State lawmakers overwhelmingly approved House Bill 163, the Montana Caregiver Act, during this year’s legislative session. It went into effect Oct. 1. “It acknowledges that we have a strong army of friends and family that help people when they’re in need,” said Claudia Clifford, advocacy director for AARP Montana. The new law states all hospital patients must have the opportunity to select a family caregiver. If a patient with a designated caregiver is released, the hospital will be required to meet with that person. They’ll provide information about what kind of care the patient will need at home. In some cases, they’ll even […]

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Clear connection between caregiver and care recipient well-being.

Elders whose caregivers are exhausted, sad, or in poor health are more likely to visit emergency rooms, according to a study published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society. The study also found a link between caregiver health and Medicare expenditures. Emergency room providers have long asserted that exhausted caregivers may be more inclined to take loved ones with health issues or disabilities to emergency rooms when they need a break—a trend sometimes called “pop drop.” Yet, little research has studied the trend. The new study supports the notion that caregiver stress may be a factor in the need for emergency medical care. How Caregiver Stress Drives Emergency Room Visits The study analyzed data on 3,101 couples who lived at home. In each couple, one spouse served as a caregiver to a spouse older than […]

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Burdens of spousal caregiving alleviated by appreciation, study finds

The fact that spouses often become caregivers for their ailing partners is quite common in American life — and few roles are more stressful. Yet helping behaviors, which are at the core of caregiving, typically relieve stress, according to Michael Poulin, an associate professor in the University at Buffalo Department of Psychology. When discussing spousal care, the draining demands of caregiving and the uplifting effects of helping stand in apparent contrast to one another. But recent research shows that the time caregivers spend actively helping a loved one can improve the caregiver’s sense of well-being — and now, Poulin, an expert in empathy, human generosity and stress, is part of a research team that has published a study exploring why that’s the case. Their research […]

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4-Step Response to Senior Isolation and Loneliness

We are social beings and require relationships with others in order to live healthy, satisfying lives. As we age, opportunities for interaction change. Loneliness can become a problem. Its presence, however, calls our attention to unmet needs that may be leading us toward dangerous isolation. Scholars are developing nuanced methods to measure loneliness. Ideally, a well-defined problem leads to more effective solutions for it. Step I) What Do We Know About Loneliness? Current research reveals a few key consensus insights: Loneliness becomes a problem that warrants attention when it persists and feeds on itself Loneliness is different from depression, though it can co-exist with it Loneliness normally waxes and wanes over time and responds to situational changes Loneliness is not determined by amount of time […]

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Hoarding Therapy Program

Too Many Treasures® HOARDING PROGRAM When your “treasures” become too much… We can help! The Area Agency on Aging is offering a 14-week Too Many Treasures® Hoarding Therapy Group designed to affirm, educate, and gently guide individuals who self-identify with hoarding behaviors. Therapy groups introduce participants to new information and techniques that help change current behaviors and thoughts regarding excessive acquiring and clutter issues. Participants must: Be 60 years of age and older Participate in group interaction and home assignments designed to help change current thoughts and behaviors related to their “treasures” Attend at least 12 of the 14 sessions Groups are located in Central Phoenix and Glendale and scheduled to begin in September. Registration Required, Space is Limited! For more information, call: (602) 241-5577 Online registration

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5 Ways Seniors Can Avoid the Summer Heat in Phoenix

The human body is a magnificent mechanism!  Not only does it have an innate ability to fight off disease and dangerous bacteria, but also has the capacity to trigger physical symptoms in situations that could cause potential harm before they occur.  One such indicator transpires when we are overheated, such as dizziness, sweating, and swelling.  Unbeknown to most is that as we age into our 80’s and 90’s, some of our physical indicators because inept, such as inefficiencies in our sweat glands, which could be potentially fatal for an elderly individual in situations of extreme heat. For seniors residing in one of Phoenix’s many senior living communities, such as an assisted living facility or specialized Alzheimer’s Care Unit, there are staff members constantly watching and […]

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Calling Kinship Caregivers

In Arizona, more than 100,000 children are being raised by their grandparents or other relatives. Nationwide, that number is more than 5 million. Many parents are unable to take care of their children due to substance abuse, incarceration, mental illness, child abuse or death. Grandparents raising their grandchildren must deal with school systems, health coverage, legal issues, financial concerns, and complex family situations. This leaves many of these “second-time around” parents feeling overwhelmed. By providing support to grandparents and other relative caregivers, Duet help keep children out of foster care. View Frequently Asked Questions View a free guide on raising your grandchildren How Duet can Help Support groups Workshops Group activities for families Respite assistance Legal guidance Information and referral Grandparent Support Groups Grandparents who […]

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Caregiving is Tougher than Tough Ad Campaign

WASHINGTON — The face of the United States is changing with shifting demographics and majorities. And those changes aren’t solely along racial, ethnic or religious lines. Today, men make up about 40 percent of America’s 40 million caregivers — a role traditionally viewed as predominantly female. In 2015, Jonathan Hayden, 40, of Washington, D.C., became the caregiver for his father, who was diagnosed with mild cognitive impairment that would eventually develop into a form of memory loss called Lewy body dementia. “I tend to think that he’s had signs of it for a long time. He’s never been much for remembering things,” he told CBN News. Hayden represents a changing demographic among people caring for relatives. Today, men account for between 40 to 45 percent […]

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Caregiving Resources

Sometimes Caregiving Means Letting Go

My mother’s journey came to an abrupt end yesterday but mine is ongoing. I was on my way to work when the call from the social worker came in informing that Mom was in the active stages of dying. My first question was, “right now?” and she answered in the affirmative. Suddenly, my plans were altered. I found the nearest exit and began to make phone calls to family, friends and coworkers. My boss asked if she could meet me there, and I said, “Yes”, and gave her the address. Normally, I would not have done that but the need was so great that I put aside my own ego and let her into my private world of pain and grief. It was such a blessing […]

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It is a somber reminder that we all need someone in our corner who remembers us and can let the world know who we really are.

It’s Carolyn not Caroline, actually…….

As an adult child that is caring for an aging parent,  there is a certain sadness that goes with the territory. I know my mother as a vibrant woman who looked after me and my siblings while working full time and going to graduate school to get her Master’s degree in early education. Now, the woman I call Mom lies in a bed unable to care for even her most basic needs. I stand by her bed when the attendant comes in to care for her, and I hear, “Hellooo, Caroline. How are you today?” There is no response from her, but I am crestfallen. I remind them that her name is actually Carolyn and that she was a school teacher in days past. She had […]

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