Caregiver's Corner

Transitioning to Long-Term Care: How to Make the Right Choice


You have delayed as long as possible. Not only have taken time away from work, but you have also taken turns with family members to provide care to keep your loved one safe. There is not enough time or enough skill, and possibly the stress is breaking down relationships. It started out as a thought but now it is a reality. It is time to consider assisted living. but how do you know what to pick to best suit your loved one’s needs?

Solutions for Living with COPD


(By Dick “Hempie” Dallett) I was diagnosed with COPD five years ago. Along the way, I have developed ways to cope with this disease that have increased my longevity and the daily quality of my life. I’d like to share them with others, with you.

Tips for Keeping Your Aging Parents Safe


Keeping our aging parents safe often means making changes to their lives as well as ours. Most seniors strive to remain independent as they get older, but they eventually need more assistance, especially around the house. Presented below by the Caregiver Resource Network, here are some steps you can take to help your senior loved ones as they age.

Caregiver's Corner: Putting the Red Light on Driving: How to have a conversation about driving with your loved one


I think we all remember how it first felt at 16 to get behind the wheel after getting your license. Driving a car represents independence and accessible escapism. But age and declining health often abruptly slam the brakes on that freedom.

Caregiver's Corner: Diagnosed with a Serious Illness: Now What?! Tips on living well with serious illness


Modern medicine has changed our life expectancy from 70 in 1960 to just under 79 in 2019 (now under 78 due to COVID-19) [1]. Compare this to an average of 47 in 1890! With increasing age comes increased opportunity, but it also means we are living longer with chronic conditions that would have meant our end in earlier years.

Caregiver's Corner: Be Not Alone in the Dementia Journey


My wish for every person living with dementia or caring for someone with dementia is not to be alone in the journey. 

Caregiver's Corner: Long Term Care Options


Long-term care may be an option for individuals when they begin to need more help on a daily basis due to a disability or chronic illness. Long-term care can include a variety of services, such as personal care, medication management, meals, and homemaking.

Understanding Options to Maintain Independence


Understanding Options to Maintain Independence


Caregiver's Corner: Words to Live By


We are all trying to navigate the journey through life. On this journey, it is easy to get stuck in a rut, or worse yet, fall down a hole with not a readily visible way out.

Caregiver's Corner: The Importance of a Caregiver Plan


September marks six years that I have worked at the Area Agency on Aging of Western Michigan (AAAWM). It has been six years of journeying alongside older adults and their caregivers. When reflecting on this time many things stand. Two that stand out are the resilience of older adults and their caregivers' dedication, and an overall sense of urgency to share with all persons the need for a caregiver plan.

Caregiver's Corner: Stay Hydrated- Eight Glasses of Water a Day Keeps Dehydration Away


As the summer season approaches, everyone will be spending time outdoors soaking up the sunshine. Especially during the current COVID-19 pandemic, more activities will continue to be outdoors too. While this is great, as west Michigan is beautiful during the summer, it is essential to stay hydrated to avoid dehydration.

Is Gardening Your Foe or Your Therapy?


The focus of April is National Garden Month. As a kid, I always hated to weed. I disliked seeing that chore listed on the list, especially on hot summer days. However, something changed for me in my adult life and the task of weeding no longer fills me with disgust. When I look back at what changed, I discovered some of the benefits of gardening.

Caregiver's Corner: The Face of COVID


Early on in the COVID 19 Pandemic, it was identified that many of the social determinants of health factors including poverty, physical environment, and race/ethnicity have a considerable effect on COVID-19 outcomes.

Caregiver's Corner: Caring Hearts


In February hearts are everywhere. Heart-shaped candy boxes, window stickers, cards, and any and everything else you could possibly think of. Valentine’s Day makes us think about love and all of the hearts except for the most important one, the heart inside of our chest. The heart in our chest is the heart that should be top of mind not just in February, but all year long.

Caregiver's Corner: Be Kind to Your Mind


Do you find yourself feeling anxious, sad, or hopeless because of the COVID-19 pandemic? If so, you are not alone.

Caregiver's Corner: Ways to Prepare for a Different Kind of Holiday


Although we have had months to prepare and we should be ready for a holiday season during a pandemic, we are not ready. How do you prepare for something you have never done before?

Caregiver's Corner: Taking the Step to Talk About Long Term Care Options


The topic of long term care is not something that most people want to talk about but is something that inevitably, either planned or unplanned, will come up.

Caregiver's Corner: Taking the Fear Out of Maintaining Independence and Aging in Place


Studies have found that many older adults fear their loss of independence more than they fear death. Needing assistance does not mean losing independence. There is no quick fix or road map that works for everyone to navigate these fears and the inevitable need for assistance. However, there are a variety of resources and support options available to help meet the needs of individuals in home and provide relief caregivers who may feel overwhelmed and strained while helping their loved ones.

Caregiver's Corner: Organizing Safety


We have heard the words “safe at home” a lot this year. However, for some home is not a place that is safe for them, and now more than ever there is a need to make home a place that promotes both mental and physical health and wellbeing. One way to help make home a safer place is by getting organized. Many do not know this, but scientists have found that clutter in your home or being overly disorganized can have negative impacts on your safety, mental and physical wellbeing, and even on your relationships and caregivers.

Caregiver's Corner: Guardianship and Conservatorship


Caregiver's Corner: Auto–No Fault: Changes Are Coming!


Everyone knows that if you have a car you have to insure it with at least “PLPD”, and that car insurance is not cheap. But do you know what you are paying for; do you know what “No-Fault” insurance is?

Caregiver's Corner: Seeing 20/20


What is 60 days? In the matter of a lifetime or even just a year 60 days seems small and goes quickly. However, this year, just 60 days ago our lives were seemingly normal. Due to COVID 19 and the coronavirus, the same cannot be said about today or even what is to come in the next 60 days. At this time, when I write this article there is not a set date as to when things will get back to normal, or even what normal will be like.

Caregiver's Corner: What Every Dementia Caregiver Must Know


With over five million people in the US with Alzheimer’s/ dementia today and this number expected to grow exponentially every year, it is of vital importance to empower the family and professional caregivers with support and dementia care skills. Providing care that yields positive outcomes for both the person living with Alzheimer’s/dementia and the caregiver is very important and challenging. To help, I provide a few things every Alzheimer’s/dementia caregiver must know.

Caregiver's Corner: The Skinny On Why Hobbies Are Critical To Senior Health


Whether you are living at home, or in an assisted living facility, learning a new hobby is a low-cost, high return activity. Many hobbies require few materials and are easy to administer. The benefits to your health, however, are invaluable.

Caregiver's Corner: What Is A Stroke?


What is a stroke? And how can you reduce your risk of a stroke by implementing healthy lifestyle changes.

Caregiver's Corner: Transitioning to Long-Term Care


Long-term care is not always a favorite topic for people to discuss; however, it is a topic that does arise in people’s lives, sometimes planned and sometimes unexpectedly. Long-term care may be an option for individuals when they begin to need more help on a daily basis due to a disability or chronic illness. Long-term care can include a variety of services, such as personal care, medication management, meals, homemaking, and around-the-clock supervision. The type of services and the amount of care that are offered may vary from person to person, based on each individual’s unique needs. Before pursuing “long-term care,” it is important for individuals to have an understanding of the different kinds of care offered so they can be prepared in planning for the next situation ahead of them.

Caregiver's Corner: Understanding Options to Maintain Independence


One of the greatest fears people have as they age is the loss of independence. In fact, many people assume that eventually their independence will be lost and they will end up in long term care. Unfortunately, as a result, many people do not seek help until they are in a crisis. This does not have to happen. Needing assistance does not mean losing independence. There are a number of resources and services available to help older adults age in place.

Enhancing the Lives of Seniors and Caregivers Through Technology


Caregiving and Dementia


Quality of Life is a term often used to describe a life that is worth living. How do you give your loved one the best possible life living with dementia?

Elder Law: 101


Estate planning is not something that most people want to think about, and we often excuse ourselves from it based on time or expense. Basic estate planning is something every adult should have in place.

Sleep, As We Get Older


It seems that as people get older not only do they need as much sleep as they did when they were younger, but they also may need somewhat more.

Unlock the mysteries of Alzheimer’s disease: Tap into the key things caregivers must know


Not all memory-related issues are due to Alzheimer’s disease. Alzheimer’s disease is, however, the most common cause of dementia and accounts for about 70 percent of all dementia.

Long-term Care Options


Long-term care may be an option for individuals when they begin to need more help on a daily basis due to a disability or chronic illness. Before pursuing “long-term care,” it is important for individuals to have an understanding of the different kinds of care offered so they can be prepared in planning for next situation ahead of them.

Understanding Options to Maintain Independence


Many people might think about getting older and what the future might hold for them, and there are different perspectives on how to view this topic. One common theme is that individuals would like to remain as independent as possible...

Personal Health Advocacy: How to tell your health care team what matters most to you!


A key part of every health care encounter is letting your health care team know what matters most to you. For most of us, our best advocate will be ourselves or someone who knows us very well.

New Year's Resolutions to Build Your Resiliency


As the New Year approaches, consider making a resolution to increase your ability to handle life’s challenges more effectively. Enhancing these skills will help you feel more self-confident and be more competent when life is hard.

Caregiver's Corner: 8 Mindfulness Tips during the Holidays


The holiday season can be a stressful time—whether you are dealing with family or mingling at work holiday parties. Try these mindfulness strategies to reduce stress and bring a calm and attentive approach to your holiday this year.

Caregiver's Corner: Living Self-Care


Does a guilty or shameful feeling ever bubble up inside you at the words ‘self-care?’ I often ask my clients about their relationship with self-care. What usually follows is a glassed-over look as the quiet word ‘nothing’ whispers from their lips. Guilt and shame are stuck all over ‘self-care.’ I am here to tell you that it doesn’t have to be so. You do not have to feel guilty or shameful any longer.

Caregiver's Corner: Long Term Care Options


Exploring different long-term care options available in our community