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Family Caregiver Blog

Give Me a Break! Respite Care

By Sally Abrahms

Let me dispel the notion that respite care—giving a family caregiver a breather by letting someone else ((a professional, family member or friend) temporarily take care of your loved one—is a luxury.
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Without Further Ado, The Creative Arts

By Sally Abrahms

I am sitting in an Art Deco movie theatre outside of Boston watching Humphrey Bogart hand Ingrid Bergman her travel papers. As Bogie utters, “Here’s looking at you, kid!” the audience yells the famous line at the screen. I have absolutely no idea who among them has dementia and who are their family caregivers.
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Caregiving Books To Care About

By Sally Abrahms

If you’re a family caregiver, finding time to read caregiving books might be in the same category as lounging around in you p.j.s sampling sinful bonbons. In other words, it’s probably not happening.
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Alzheimer’s Caregiver Resources You Don’t Want to Forget

By Sally Abrahms

When something seems amiss—not just forgetting someone’s name (who doesn’t?), but where they’re driving or repeating the same question over and over—there is this feeling of incredulity. Could it be Alzheimer’s? It’s not really happening.
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8 Ways to Nail Tough Conversations

By Sally Abrahms

At lunch, I was telling one of my close friends about something bothering me deeply about a family member. (No specifics divulged!) She told me I should have an honest conversation ( or Tough Conversations ) and tell him/her how I was feeling. I said it would be too hard.
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Working Out Caregiving With Your Employer

By Sally Abrahms

Here’s a familiar scenario: You’re a family caregiver and an employee. Your spouse, your parent or an in-law gets sick and you’re needed to help. You have no idea how long you’ll be out, or how your schedule will be disrupted.
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Great Strategies for Caregiver Spouses

By Sally Abrahms

Two years ago, my best friend became a caregiver to her husband as he went through ten surgeries for melanoma and a hip replacement—all in twelve months. Today he is well but she is not. This September, she was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer and they have switched roles: he is now one of the many caregiver spouses.
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Caregiving When You Don’t Feel the Love

By Sally Abrahms

There are some people who love to take care of their parents. They feel close to them, valued and needed. But, if you were to poll many people (or be privy to their therapy sessions), they would say how hard caregiving is emotionally, physically, and sometimes financially, and how they feel divided between their owns needs and their parent’s. They might tell you they don’t want to do it. And, some would say they can’t do it anymore, if ever.
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Home for the Holidays: What to Look for When Visiting Your Parents

By Sally Abrahms

The holidays are for more than talking turkey. While it’s a chance to spend precious time visiting your parents, for long distance caregivers, it’s also an opportunity to see how Mom and Dad are coping on their own.
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How To Be an Organized (And Sane) Family Caregiver

By Sally Abrahms

The last thing a family caregiver (or anyone else) needs is a lecture, but how about some gentle advice? Want to be in control and ready for the parent unknown? It’s time to get organized!
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How to Talk to Aging
Parents About Anything
(Hint: It’s about respect)

By Sally Abrahms

Let’s turn the tables. Instead of you caring for your parent or in-law, imagine that they are caring for you. How would you feel? Exactly.

Being able to drive keeps you independent and in charge. But, what if your parent told you it wasn’t safe anymore and you had to depend on them or others if you want to go out? What if they had to be in the room with you when you went to the doctor’s?
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Not Just for Mom: New Senior Centers

By Sally Abrahms

The next time you take your father or mother-in-law to your local senior center, you may want to hang out there, too—seriously. There are still traditional senior centers where mostly lunch, blood screenings and bingo are served up.

But increasingly, you will find offerings that aren’t exactly on that standard menu. How about motorcycle clubs (truly!), resume writing, sushi making, belly dancing, speed dating, meditation, sexuality talks, wine tastings, foreign language lessons, playwriting, Zumba, and wellness coaches? The Iowa City/Johnson County Senior Center in Iowa City, Iowa, even has its own TV studio!
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How’s Your Support System?
Who Will Care for You, Be there for You?
4 Ways to Boost Your Support System

By Sally Abrahms

I have a friend in her 60s who has four best female friends from elementary school. One is single, one is remarried, another is in a same sex marriage, and she and the fourth have long, first marriages. The women live in different states, all on the East Coast, and see one another several times a year, often vacationing together with their partners.
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