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Take My Father...Please!

How To Survive
Caring For Aging Parents

by Jacqueline Marcell
Eldercare / Alzheimer's Speaker, Author, Radio Host, Caregiver Advocate

How Do I Handle My Elderly Loved One Who:

Is experiencing increasing levels of memory loss?
Wants all my time and attention?
Is a danger on the road but refuses to give up driving?
Refuses to allow any caregiving help in the home?
Can no longer take proper care of their finances?
Needs to see a psychiatrist, but refuses to go?

Is experiencing increasing levels of memory loss?

Call the Alzheimer's Association (800-272-3900) and ask for a referral to a geriatric dementia specialist and ask where the closest dementia diagnostic center is. They will have the most up-to-date elder care, memory loss, dementia and Alzheimer's disease information. Your loved one's doctor may not be trained to uncover the earliest signs of dementia, so don't waste time - it is of great importance to get an early diagnosis, as there are four medications which, in most people, can slow the progression of the disease, which slows the need for full time care.

Inquire about the medications: Aricept, Exelon, Razadyne and Namenda. Once your loved one has progressed further, these medications will still help, but they will not take the person back to when they were relatively independent in the early stage.

Make sure the doctor rules out reversible dementias such as a B-12, folate and thyroid deficiency. Understand that depression alone can cause dementia-like symptoms. The right doctor is really the first big key and… More tips on page 282 of Elder Rage.


Wants all my time and attention?

For the loved ones who don't have dementia (or very mild dementia), and are very challenging to deal with, set reasonable but strict limits of when you can and can't be available. If you eventually give in, they will continue to push harder and harder, knowing that you will eventually cave in.

Always use an answering machine to screen your calls and never pick up and respond if your parent is being nasty. When they ask for your help in a more reasonable way, respond positively to reinforce the good behavior-telling them how proud of them you are and how much you appreciate the way they have approached you this time. Assure them of your continued support.

Getting your loved one involved in daily activities will be the best thing for both of you. Call your local Area Agency on Aging, Department of Aging, or the Eldercare Locator (800-677-1116) to find the Senior Centers and Adult Day Care Centers nearby. More on page 278 of Elder Rage.

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"I thought I knew Jacqueline until I read her book. Wow, what a story! If you're caring for an elder, you won't believe how much this book
will help you."

-Regis Philbin
<em>Elder Rage</em> Book Cover
<em>Elder Rage</em> Book Cover
Elder Rage
Elder Care Expert Jacqueline Marcell
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Jacqueline Marcell