adult daughter talking to mother Dear Andi:

My aging mother needs more help than I can provide for her here at home. In my conversations with various continuing care retirement communities, I think that skilled nursing would probably be the best option. What do I need to do? Any advice would be helpful.

Sincerely,

Dora

heartbeat imageStroke is the fourth leading cause of death in the U.S. and one of the leading causes of long-term disability. Nearly 800,000 people suffer a stroke every year.

What is a stroke?

A stroke occurs when blood flow to any area of brain is stopped, causing brain cells to be deprived of oxygen and begin to die. When brain cells die, the abilities controlled by that area of the brain, such as memory or muscle control, are lost.

senior at festival  Summer in Central Ohio is a great time to visit local festivals. However, a festival that requires a lot of walking or doesn’t offer shade may make it difficult for your senior parents to enjoy themselves.

But everyone is different. Your parents may be able to walk for hours but can’t stay in the sun for long. Or they may need a wheelchair for long distances because they tire easy.

We’ve looked at some of the area’s highlighted festivals and events this summer and rated them for accessibility, walking distance, access to shade, and access to water.

adult daughter speaking with elder parentsDear Jane,

Since my father’s recent passing, my mother is no longer able to live alone. She was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease about a year ago. Although she takes medication for high blood pressure and cholesterol, she’s otherwise in good health.

This winter, she did catch the flu that was going around Central Ohio and had to be admitted to the hospital for a few days, but she’s feeling much better now.

She’s temporarily living with my husband and I, but we both work, and it’s not safe to leave her alone during the day.

Does she have any choices other than a nursing home?

Sincerely,

Laura

adult child hugging motherA person who has dementia may have difficulty finding the right words; they may repeat certain sounds, words, and phrases, seem confused, and be unable to adequately express themselves. This frustrating condition causes people to feel helpless, anxious, irritable, and depressed – a very difficult state to witness, especially when it attacks a person who is very important to you. Many family members of dementia patients feel as if their loved ones have become mere shadows of their former selves. Fortunately, between the confusion, there are good days and bad, and remarkable moments when the loved ones they remember shine through. 

mac senior allergies ohioSummer is quickly approaching. Does your parent experience sneezing, stuffiness, runny nose, and itchiness in the nose, roof of the mouth, throat, eyes, or ears during this time of the year? It is important to control allergic reactions as much as we are able, to avoid unnecessary suffering, stress, and prevent health problems that may result from the presence of prolonged symptoms.

mac mom becoming meanDear Kimberly:

My mother has always been so kind and considerate of everyone’s feelings. She was someone that everyone loved being around until the past year or so. She’s become very difficult and, as much as I hate to admit it, sometimes, she is downright mean. There is just no reasoning with her when she is upset.

I’m confused by her behavior and what might be triggering this change. Do you have any suggestions on what we can do?

Friends and family members are noticing the change and starting to avoid her. It breaks my heart to see that happening.

Sincerely,

Alice

mac pain management back surgeryDear Angela:

I am scheduled to have back surgery in a few weeks. One big concern I have is pain management. I’ve had so many friends and family members who’ve had back surgery and have told me how painful it is afterward.

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Is rehab right for you?

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My goal before surgery is to explore natural ways to manage pain and to learn more about pain medications.

Do you have any guidance you can share? I’m hoping to have a smoother recovery than what I’ve witnessed people I know suffer through.

Sincerely,

Steve

senior woman with nurseDear Dawn:

My husband has been in the hospital since he had some fairly major surgery last week. He is due to be discharged home tomorrow. I know it will be a real struggle to convince him to follow his doctor’s orders and take it easy while his wounds heal. Just keeping him still in the hospital has been a real challenge!

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Here are some tips to help your loved one transition home!

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We live in a rural community outside Columbus and I’m concerned that as soon as I head back to work next week, he will be outside working on some of his projects instead of recuperating.

I could use some suggestions on explaining what the consequences of not following his doctor’s orders might be. Do you have any you advice?

Regards,

Vickie