Category Archives: Caregiving

Is it time to downsize your dog?

A big dog can cause a fall, so the next one will be smaller

By Jane Gross for Next Avenue

Jane Gross and Henry, her standard poodle.

Credit: Courtesy of Jane Gross – Jane and her dog, Henry, a 10-year-old standard poodle.

Henry is a 10-year-old standard poodle, weighs 50 pounds, stands 2-feet-3-inches tall and has liver cancer. I am a 67-year-old woman, 5-feet-tall and tipping the scales at 85 pounds — with brittle bones, bad eyes and bursitis in my shoulder.

This READ MORE

5 commonly overlooked or misdiagnosed conditions in older adults

Certain diseases are often mistaken for others. Know the differences.

By Frieda Wiley, PharmD for Next Avenue

Sometimes it's not just your age that's ailing you.

Credit: ThinkStock Learn the signs and symptoms of five commonly misdiagnosed or overlooked conditions in people age 50 and older.

It’s no mystery that time and medical conditions may accelerate changes in our bodies as we age. Eventually, some of those changes might make it more difficult to distinguish between certain conditions and the READ MORE

Why I call my Dad even if it’s not Father’s Day

My phone calls to him used to be obligatory, but loss has a way of changing things

By Jill Smolowe for Next Avenue

Jill Smolowe with her father

Caption: Jill Smolowe with her father

When I was a college undergraduate, I used to call my parents every Thursday night. The calls were mandatory, the price of college tuition, so to speak. Invariably, my mother would answer, then yell, “Dick! Pick up! It’s Jill.”

Nothing of substance READ MORE

7 signs your aging parents need extra help

They may be afraid to tell you they are having trouble

By Joanna Nesbit for Next Avenue

Elders who want to remain in their home may not admit they need help for fear of being encouraged into an assisted living situation. But letting things go too far can precipitate a crisis situation.

Credit: Thinkstock Elders who want to remain in their home may not admit they need help for fear of being encouraged into an assisted living situation. But letting things go too far can precipitate a crisis situation.

While their 84-year-old father recovered at a rehabilitation facility after landing in the hospital with symptoms of a mini-stroke, the Jones (not their real name) siblings took the opportunity to do some cleaning at his house.

Opening the fridge, they READ MORE

Health care community residents practice gratitude through journaling

Research has shown that recognizing the good may improve well-being

By Tina L. Kies for Next Avenue

Journaling-web

Credit: Adobe Stock

Her pale blue eyes sparkle when she smiles. Peacefully observing all that surrounds her, she is a history book waiting to be opened. An experience outlines every wrinkle, silently alluding to the secrets, loss, love and happiness that she has experienced READ MORE

Prepare for surgery with exercise and diet

‘Prehabilitation’ is slowly being recognized as valuable for success after a procedure

By Judith Graham for Next Avenue

Preparing-For-Surgery-web

Credit: Getty Images

A dozen years ago, at the age of 50, Lillie Shockney decided to have breast reconstruction surgery after two bouts of cancer and two mastectomies. The procedure called for removing a flap of skin and fat from her abdomen, used to rebuild her breasts.

Shockney READ MORE

10 ways to keep your old dog healthy and happy

Some of these potential solutions are easy and inexpensive

By Deb Hipp for Next Avenue

Keep-Dog-Healthy-web

Credit: Adobe Stock

When my dog Toby was 11, I checked out a book on anti-aging for dogs from the library. I left to run a few errands and returned later to a grisly scene.

I found the mangled book on the floor, cover gnawed off, two chapters torn apart and puncture wounds READ MORE

The quiet blessing of grief that never ends

This writer finds beauty in the pain she feels over the loss of her sister

By Jill Smolowe for Next Avenue

Credit: Getty Images

Credit: Getty Images

In the almost seven years since I laid my husband to rest, followed barely a year later by the loss of my sister and mother, I’ve developed an appreciation for just how unpredictable and, well, amazing grief can be.

I’m not talking about the period READ MORE

Celebrating social workers

Licensed social worker and Activity Director, Lori Peters, left, pictured with Director of Social Services, Joyce Kisner.

Licensed social worker and Activity Director, Lori Peters, left, pictured with Director of Social Services, Joyce Kisner.

When people ask Joyce Kisner what a social worker does, she can’t help thinking, “What don’t I do?”

As director of social services for Arkansas City Presbyterian Manor, Joyce is involved in important tasks from care plans to helping residents READ MORE