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Geriatric Care Managers: A Valuable Resource for Families Caring for An Aging Relative

As a geriatric care manager, I receive inquiries from family members who are caring for a relative, and “don’t know quite why I am calling but I was told you could help me”. Or sometimes I receive calls from family members who admit to needing help but ask “What exactly do you do?”
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Who's Paying the Bills Now?

What do you do when a parent or loved one who has handled the family finances for years is suddenly not capable to continue?
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What to Do When Your Loved One Needs Long Distance Care

The email from my father’s wife in Connecticut was short and direct. “I need help.” My father’s moderate dementia, confusion, and poor ambulation had gotten to the point that he could no longer stay alone. He was at risk of falling, was unable to prepare food for himself, and at times became disoriented.
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Art Nourishes and Renews

Consider this: making art can be as important to your health as regular exercise, a balanced diet, sleep, or meditation. Creatively expressing yourself through art affords a wonderful tool to relieve stress, discharge negative emotions, and recharge vital energy. Caretakers, many times drained by long-term care commitments, can benefit through engaging in the arts.
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Essential Oils for Health and Well Being

One of the biggest challenges I see in care giving is trying to make someone comfortable who may be in pain, not only physical pain but emotional issues as well. I have always seen my role in the healing process as a nurturer and a listener. Sometimes I more actively participate by using essential oils to heal, soothe, uplift moods and alleviate pain.
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A Photograph is Worth 1000 Words

Janet, age 78, had told me a little bit about her life the first month I was with her. She was a nurse married to a college zoology professor. She gave up her career to raise her two girls. What really interested me was her artistic nature. When we cleaned out her closets she had drawings and paintings she had completed over the years. When she pulled out floor plans she had drawn I was fascinated with the detail and accuracy of her work. After she took out her pictures I really felt connected to her. Her home was based on those actual floor plans! It was a split level with an atrium inside the home, very modern for the 60's; unique even by today's standards.
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Build Your Immunity

The thing that most people probably fear the most about the coming winter season is catching a cold or flu. But now you can have some instant prevention – your very own fingertips will balance your energy, which will in turn aid your immune, endocrine and adrenal systems to become strong. Strengthening those systems will give your body a firmer foundation and help it function in a state of wellness and fight illness.
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The Power of Touch

I was asked to do an overnight shift for John, an 89 year old with Alzheimers Disease. John was a pioneer in the film industry. They had a lovely, spacious home in the foothills of Northern California near their daughter, Lillian. The pictures on the wall showed me a vibrant, savvy businessman who was well respected in Hollywood. I saw glimpses of his stature even now. His closeness and devotion to his wife even in his present condition was impressive. He constantly wanted her by his side, declaring his love. His wife, Eleanor, an elegant woman, had a great deal of trouble getting him to sleep through the night as he was scared to be alone without her there with him constantly. I could see just how tired and exhausted she was as his days and nights were confused.
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One Caregiver's Challenges

Being caregiver to your mother-in-law would be difficult enough if the elder woman's only affliction was bipolar disorder. Kammay C. believes her life might be somewhat less stressful if her husband's mother, Biji O., wasn't also schizophrenic. Add in Alzheimer's disease and a cultural divide between Chinese and American medicine. Altogether it makes Biji, 81, an exceptional and complicated case, with a triple diagnosis of mental illness and dementia that has taken its toll on her family.
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