Sunday, September 28, 2008

I Should Be Posting

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Just when I should be posting, events in my life seem to take over. My father-in-law had a stroke several weeks ago. Just when I should be posting about it, relatives arrived, I started a new job (that didn't last), and I took a planned trip to care for the grandkids once I knew my father-in-law was stable.

Under the circumstances, posting took a back seat as is the case so many times when "life happens". Responsibilities have a way of overwhelming us. I'm a prime example of putting my health last. I'll be working on relaxation (exercise), stress relief (exercise) and just plain exercise in the weeks to come. At least it's a good excuse when I should be posting!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

God's Time

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I just came home from visiting my 87 year old father-in-law at a local nursing home. He had a stroke and has been sent to the facility for rehabilitative services. His left side has been affected and he must have therapy on his speech as well as the use of his left arm and leg.

He's only been there a couple days so there is no improvement to note. One thing he knows for sure is that he does NOT like the food! It's not that the food is foul tasting. No, it's just that he is to have everything pureed and liquids must be "thickened" before he can drink it. Ever heard of thickened water or coffee the consistancy of partially set jello? He tends to aspirate his food and it gets into the lungs causing pneumonia. In spite of the seriousness of the damage he suffered, his mind is still good. He is slower with most answers but still has a quick comeback every so often. Time can do amazing things. We'll just have to see if it's in God's plan to give him more time.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Prevent Medicare Fraud

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Keeping up with Medicare changes can be a tedious but necessary chore when you have elderly parents to watch out for. Currently, Medicare is cracking down on issues for which seniors are treated in the hospital. Billings from healthcare providers and treatment centers should always be scrutinized for errors and discrepancies. We all need to do our part to prevent Medicare fraud and keep costs down.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Free Family Caregiver Teleclass

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November is National Family Caregivers Month. I know I'm a bit premature, but they are sponsoring a FREE Family Caregiver Teleclass in two parts to teach family caregivers better communication with healthcare professionals. This in turn, will help the caregiver to become better healthcare advocates.

To participate by phone you will call a toll free number, and by internet, a corresponding powerpoint presentation will be available. Classes are one hour and held November 6th and November 13th. For registration information for the FREE Communicating Effectively TeleClass, send an e-mail that includes your name, phone number, and e-mail address to: or call 800/896-3650.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Weather Update

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As we watch the weather updates, it looks like we'll soon be hunkered down for another storm in about a week. It's hard on us but harder still on our parents. Health problems prohibit much of the actual getting ready by the in-laws. I take care of preparations for my mother, and hopefully, we won't need to move everyone in together for long. The only time that happens is if the power goes out.

Keep track of the storm with us at And keep us in your prayers.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Signs of Dementia

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The early signs of dementia are subtle and vague, and may not be immediately obvious. They say signs of dementia are often mistakenly viewed as part of the normal aging process. Lack of health screening programs may mean early signs of dementia are missed, or attributed to other aspects of learning disability, and opportunities for potentially useful health and social care interventions are lost.

Memory loss is a very broad term that can mean any deficit in memory function. Memory loss is a common health complaint particularly in the elderly. The most vulnerable parts of the brain are those used for memory and for planning, organising and judgement, social skills and balance. At first, memory loss and trouble thinking clearly may bother the person who has dementia. Dementia affects a person's memory and concentration, and this in turn affects their judgement. Other symptoms include personality change, memory disturbance, slurred speech, impaired judgement and psychiatric problems.

Dementia causes many problems for the person who has it and for that person's family. If your family member has some of the signs of dementia, try to get him or her to go see a doctor. Physicians may begin a dementia workup or exam when the patient's family brings concerns about symptoms or behavioral signs to their attention. Keep in mind, examination of a will and terms of a living will are in order at this time. Also see to the execution of a power of attorney.