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Parkinson’s Disease: Recognizing Your Loved One’s Symptoms and Receiving a Diagnosis

According to the Parkinson’s Foundation, more than 10 million people worldwide are living with Parkinson’s Disease, and around 60,000 Americans are diagnosed with the disease each year. Although it is the second most common degenerative neurological disorder after Alzheimer’s, many people are unfamiliar with the signs and symptoms, or confuse them for parts of the natural aging process. If we are caring for an older loved one, it’s important to recognize and understand Parkinson’s so we know when to begin seeking a diagnosis and how to better manage a loved one’s symptoms and care.

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By Julie Hayes | 12/15/2020

Social Isolation and the Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic may have changed some normal family traditions this year. Not being with family and friends over the holidays may exacerbate feelings of social isolation and depression among older adults. Tamar Cooper, LISW-S, LICDC-CS, Associate Director of Behavioral Health Services, Benjamin Rose Institute on Aging, and Kerstin Yoder, MSSA LISWS, Social Worker/Mental Health Day Treatment Group Facilitator, Benjamin Rose Institute on Aging, share some tips for helping a loved one cope when you can’t be together, and learn how to help yourself let go of feelings of guilt you may be experiencing at this time.

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By Tamar Cooper and Kerstin Yoder | 12/03/2020

Caregiving, the Holidays and COVID

The COVID pandemic roller coaster has been operating since March, forcing us onto the ride and refusing to let us off. We have made adjustments: we restrict our outings into the community, wear masks when we do go out, maintain 6 feet distance and wash our hands until they turn red. We have been forced to accept that the pandemic is as much about loss as it is about health. And while we got used to a little taste of “normalcy” during the warmer months, just as the holiday season approaches, we are again asked to limit our travel and minimize contact with others. Now, rather than anticipating gatherings with friends and family, we must instead ask ourselves: “Should I?”, “Can I?” and “How can I possibly face another loss?”

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By Lauri Scharf | 11/16/2020

Tips to Prepare Your Older Loved One for Winter During the Pandemic

After getting by for most of the year under the shadow of the COVID-19 pandemic, many of us have been able to adapt to this new normal. However, the coming winter will reintroduce challenges not seen to the same extent since the early months of the pandemic, such as the return of cold and flu season and limited opportunities to interact in safer outdoor environments. The holiday season is also approaching, forcing all of us to consider how our usual celebrations and traditions will have to adapt to the times.

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By Julie Hayes | 11/16/2020

Having Difficult but Crucial Conversations with Loved Ones with Cognitive Impairment

When conversations have a specific purpose beyond just small talk, the message we convey becomes even more important. All the people involved in the conversation will have a stake in its outcome. Will the message be received as intended? Will the messenger provide thoughtful and welcome insight? Who will come away not feeling like a winner? These are the crucial conversations we face as caregivers that may be necessary, but difficult to begin.

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By Lauri Scharf | 11/16/2020