Welcome ...

All too many times overwhelmed caregivers are physically and emotionally depleted and need to take time to rest and care for themselves. Believing in a holistic approach to caregiver stress and a strong commitment to helping our members find the right solutions, we created this blog to help you connect with others who, like you, may be facing the same eldercare issues and challenges. Feel free to comment, ask questions, and submit articles. Please forward the blog link to your family and friends. They'll be glad you did.

Warm regards,

Patricia Grace
founder & CEO
Aging with Grace

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Alzheimer's disease can rob you of your memories & you money

Gina Kolata, New York Time contributor, chronicles two affluent professionals - an attorney and a physician, both of whom lost their money and financial security due to the ravages of Alzheimer's disease.

This is a must read article for any family that suspects their older loved one may have one of the many forms of dementia.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Smoking in Your 50s, 60s Increases Risk of Dementia .

by Shirley S. Wang, Wall Street Journal

Need another reason not to smoke? Heavy smoking in middle age more than doubles the risk of dementia later in life, according to a study published Monday.

The study counters previous evidence suggesting that smoking might actually have a protective effect against Alzheimer's disease.

Researchers followed 21,000 patients in the Kaiser Permanente health system for more than 20 years and found those who smoked more than two packs of cigarettes a day in middle age had a 157% greater risk of developing Alzheimer's compared with nonsmokers. And they had a 172% greater risk of vascular dementia, the second-most common form and one that is associated with stroke and other conditions affecting blood supply to the brain.

Read full article...

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Hospitals designing senior ERs to cater to needs of the elderly

Melissa Burden The Detroit News

When 85-year-old Aloysius "Al" Boroniec fell twice in a matter of weeks, he found treatment for his injuries in a different kind of emergency room — one that caters specifically to the needs of seniors.

The six-bed senior emergency room at St. Mary Mercy Livonia Hospital includes everything from padded mattresses and non-glare flooring to a consultation with a senior ER social worker.

"It's just been a wonderful experience," said Boroniec of Livonia. "This is very efficient. In a reasonable time the doctor was with you and took care of you.

"Before you leave, they explain everything to you, what to do to take care of yourself, when to come back."

Saint Joseph Mercy Health System, which will have eight senior emergency rooms open in southeast Michigan by year's end, is not the only health system adapting to meet the needs of a growing elderly population. That population is expected to jump from about 567,000 in 2000 to nearly 1.2 million by 2035, according to the Southeast Michigan Council of Governments.


What to do now to feel better at 100

by Jane E. Brody
Columnist, Your Personal Health - New York Times

Many changes take place in physical abilities as we age. Try as I may, I simply can’t swim as fast at 69 as I did at 39, 49 or even 59. Nor am I as steady on my feet. I can only assume my strength has waned as well — I’m finding bottles and jars harder to open and heavy packages harder to lift and carry.

But in August, I hiked in the Grand Canyon, prompting my 10-year-old grandson Stefan to ask, “Grandma, how many 69-year-olds do you think could do this?”

The answer, of course, is “a lot.” And the reason is that we work at it. For my part, I exercise daily, walking three miles or biking 10, then swimming three-quarters of a mile. In spring and summer, heavy-duty gardening strengthens my entire body.

Read full article...

Saturday, October 23, 2010

'I Actually Took 9 Hours To Read The Healthcare Bill...'

By Martha B. Boone, MD
The following is a letter written by Dr. Martha Boone to her patients. Very enlightening...

Dear Wonderful Patients,

This is about the healthcare reform bill.

90% of my patients ask me what I think. 10% prefer to get their information from the media. If you want to know what has actually happened to me, my family, and some of my patients, please...read on.
If you prefer to form your opinions without the input of your doctor, feel free to delete this now.

There is MUCH “theory” out there about what the healthcare bill will and won’t do for Americans.
I actually took the nine hours required to read it. I am VERY, VERY, worried about its content and what it will potentially do to American healthcare.

Let’s talk about what has actually come to pass, so far- Read full article...

Friday, October 22, 2010

Stretched to the limit – money for college tuition or a parent’s elder care

As people live longer and start families later, thousands of them are caring for children and elderly parents simultaneously. The competing demands from children and parents for time and resources are emotionally and financially draining. This situation has become all too familiar for many of the 77 million baby boomers and their younger Generation Boomer counterparts who find themselves "sandwiched" between caring for aging parents while still raising their own kids, to say nothing of working full time and saving for their own retirement.

Financial issues are at the heart of the elder care system, and adult children often find themselves faced with concerns about their parents' finances along with how they will fund their children’s college education. Aside from purchasing a home, paying for college for one’s children is probably the greatest single expense that parents encounter. Everyone dreams of getting a scholarship, academic or athletic, to help defray the cost of a college education, however the reality is that very few students actually secure a scholarship and if your child is one of the fortunate ones, the scholarship may only cover a small portion of the total cost.

A new employee benefit is gaining in popularity – College Tuition Rewards Program. This program allows you to accumulate for children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews at over 260 colleges throughout the country. This program is not a scholarship where you are competing against other prospective students and your child may not be selected. It is guaranteed money towards the cost of tuition at any of the participating colleges. This program is not a 529 plan or other similar college savings program rather it is a plan which affords you the opportunity to save for some of life’s other expenses and as an added bonus accumulate tuition rewards which can significantly reduce the cost of tuition at one of the participating colleges. This program can also be utilized by grandparents to accumulate tuition rewards for their grandchildren. It can be a way for grandparents to give their grandchildren a gift at no cost to them.

For more information on how the program works and what colleges participate, please click on the following link www.collegerewardsprogram.com or cheryl@benadvantage.com.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


Are you one of the 54 million Americans who care for a family member? One of the 20 percent to 50 percent of employees who tend to a loved one before going to work, then return to care again after a long hard day on the job?  Feeling torn between both “jobs,” and trying to perform well at each, causes so much stress that working caregivers are often plagued with more mistakes, conflicts, and stress-related illnesses. These simple tips will help ease that stress: continue reading

Friday, October 15, 2010

Older Americans doing the most online research for products and services

Who has the time and money to make the most information purchasing decisions after doing their research online? Baby Boomers, according to a new survey by Pew Research Center’s Internet and American Life Project, have the highest percentage of respondents that are researching products and services online. The survey shows that 81% of the 50-64 age demographic surveyed are doing research for products and services online versus 80% for the 30-49 demographic. Only 68% of respondents over 65 were doing research according to the survey. Whether they’re searching for senior housing, airline tickets or cars, this group’s internet research savvy is going to grow over time and their dissatisfaction will drive their search further for the truth. The truth is out there and like Mulder and Scully, they will find it.

Pew Research Center’s Internet and American Life Project Online Product Research Survey

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Seniors look to traditional remedies to ward off flu

Garlic. Yogurt. Steamed pears. Not all seniors believe it's just the flu shot that prevents the flu. Many believe in various foods and treatments to stave off the seasonal bug, according to a new study.

Seniors who skipped the vaccine reported a wide range of indigenous practices to help prevent illness. Canadians said eating garlic helped fend of the flu, while the Greeks ate cheese, yogurt and honey as a cure. Seniors in Turkey, Brazil, Nigeria, China and the U.K. reported drinking (or sometimes bathing in) herbal teas and hot lemon to preserve health. Steamed pears were the treatment of choice for South Koreans. Indonesian seniors practiced “Kerokan,” defined as “chafing someone with a coin as a medical treatment.”

Seniors are at heightened risk from the effects of the flu, and should get annual vaccines, researchers conclude. It is important to regularly remind seniors about flu shots, and to create a culture in which flu shots for seniors are the norm, according to the researchers. The study appears in the Oct. edition of the Journal of Advanced Nursing.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

New Alzheimer's guidelines aim for early diagnosis

Experts on Alzheimer's disease are proposing new criteria for diagnosing the dementia which would pick it up at an earlier stage and should get more patients onto treatment or into trials of new drugs.

An international expert group said the new guidelines would revise the definition of Alzheimer's to take into account recent scientific developments - including the use of so-called biomarkers, or biological signals, which can show if a person is at risk of the disease before they have any symptoms.

This pre-clinical stage, which can be about 10 years before dementia sets in, is widely seen as the best time to intervene in Alzheimer's. Recent studies have shown that brain scans, spinal fluid analyses and other tests can help predict who will develop Alzheimer's and they are becoming crucial to researchers and drug firms trying to develop new treatments.

"It's very important for us to move from the old way of seeing Alzheimer's disease to a new one that incorporates the importance of biomarkers," said Bruno Dubois from France's Salpetriere Hospital.

"There is no longer a reason to wait until patients have developed full-blown dementia," said Dubois, who leads the International Working Group for New Research Criteria for the Diagnosis of Alzheimer's Disease.

Read full article...

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Social Security covers all the seasons of life

The cool winds and changing leaves are tell-tale signs: another autumn has arrived. Sometimes it’s hard to believe how quickly the seasons change and the years pass by. Whatever season of life you happen to be in, it may be a good time to reflect on the protection you have through Social Security.

Each stage of life — from the spring of youth to the summer of middle age to the autumn of retirement — comes with its own set of financial concerns. And in each situation, Social Security is there to help.

Of the more than 53 million Americans receiving Social Security benefits, nearly one-third are not retired workers or their dependents. They’re disabled workers and their families, or the survivors of a deceased worker. These non-retirement Social Security benefits can be especially important to young workers because about one-in-eight young people will die before retirement, and about one-in-four will become disabled.

While the death of a husband, wife, or parent is emotionally devastating, it often can be financially devastating as well. Social Security provides a monthly survivors benefit payment to help the qualified family members of a deceased worker.
Social Security disability protection is equally valuable. Few workers have an employer-provided, long-term disability policy. With Social Security, however, the average worker has the equivalent of a disability insurance policy that pays monthly benefits to workers and their families, based on the workers’ lifetime earnings. So you can rest a little easier knowing that Social Security provides some measure of security, if life does not turn out as planned.

On the other hand, if you do work and retire as planned, Social Security serves as the foundation for a secure retirement. Social Security is the largest source of income for most elderly Americans today, but Social Security was never intended to be your only source of income when you retire. You also will need other savings, investments, pensions or retirement accounts to make sure you have enough money to live comfortably when you retire.

The Social Security Statement that you receive in the mail each year provides an estimate of your retirement, survivors, and disability insurance benefits. If you’d like to try out some different scenarios and see how various retirement ages and future earnings may change your retirement picture, visit our online Retirement Estimator at www.socialsecurity.gov/estimator. It provides an instant, personalized estimate of your future benefits.

And perhaps the best news of all is that it’s easier than ever to apply for retirement benefits. You can do it right from the comfort and convenience of your home or office by visiting www.socialsecurity.gov/applytoretire. It can take as little as 15 minutes.

Whether you’re young or old, Social Security is there through every season. You can find out more at www.socialsecurity.gov

Friday, October 01, 2010

New "kid" on the block...

by Patricia Grace
National Senior Care Examiner, Examiner.com

For many older Americans that lean right politically, their dream has come true. The Association of Mature American Citizens – AMAC – a nonpartisan organization now provides a conservative alternative to AARP.

Read full article...

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