• I've actually taken this from the medical rehab facility that my mom recently recovered at. Dinner-type (quality/quantity) meals were served at lunchtime and lunch-type meals at dinner. For instance, the mid-day meal could be baked chicken, mashed potatoes w/gravy, mixed vegetables and roll, while the evening meal could be a sandwich and chips.

    I always had a hard time getting mom to eat enough at dinner because she was wearing down (energy, mobility) and usually on the verge of sun-downing. With the switch, she enjoys the heavier noon meal that fuels the rest of her day and is more willing to consume the lighter faire, later in the day. Bonus - we're BOTH less stressed at bedtime!

  • I live with my fiance and his mom, who we both take care of. We split the chores and we make sure we take his mom out to dinner at least once a week.


    We make sure she knows she's important and that family time is important.



    Thank you!


    Reba Golden

  • If your loved one has a tendency to fall out of bed, or even get too close to the edge, go to your local Dollar Store (or similar) and buy one or two swimming pool noodles.  These are lightweight and can be slipped underneath the bedsheet to form a soft, protective bumper that prevents someone from accidentally rolling out of bed.  They only cost a buck or two each, and it sure beats a trip to the Emergency Room. These are generally used by kids in a swimming pool, but have a very valuable use for our senior loved ones.

  • Normally when I know I will need to bring my father to store(s) to shop; since he still enjoys getting out; I plan days ahead completing all the shopping I need for myself. I am then able to concentrate solely on him. I know where we will be shopping and what he wants to buy. Then we are able to take as much time as needed from him to decide what type (pattern, style etc) he wants of an item. By focusing solely on my father, I can prevent him from wandering off and schedule rest or snack periods. Also having a preset list of items that he has agreed to, I can eliminate or reduce arguments and make the trip more pleasant for both of us.

  • If you have ever taken care of an elderly parent (or parent-in-law), it eventually

    becomes a real "grind." It isn't a question of patience, love, or devotion. It just gets harder and harder to handle. My 96 year old mother-in-law lives with my wife and me. She has lived with us for 6+ years and is truely a great lady and we're blessed to have her in our lives. But, (and that is a rather significant "but") it changes all the dynamics in the household. The nest was empty; but now it's overflowing! We just knew we needed some help but wanted to ensure that we were getting the best care/help at an affordable price; afterall, this was going to be an out-of-pocket expense to us. So, we contacted the local four-year college, where we knew some of the faculty, and had an ad posted on the student bulletin board advertising for part-time help. Turns out education and health care related majors have already had background "checks," required by the college and we were able to easily get references from faculty we already knew and trusted. We found three great students that come three afternoons a week and read to my mother-in-law for 3 to 4 hours for a minimal expense. It has made a tremendous difference in our lives and the "change in scenery" has been a real blessing to our mother-in-law. Everyone "wins" on this arrangement!  

  • Be prepared for anything. Carry a tote bag that holds all the little important items, such as:

    Bandaids, ice pack, bottle of water, small pillow, list of all meds, cell phone with all Dr. names and numbers, and a smile of course.

  • My adventurous, strong, beautiful mom passed away October 20, 2009 - although because of her years of swimming every day (even into her 80s) and her health foods-and-vitamins regimen, it took more than 7 years for the debilitating effects of her massive stroke in 2002 to ultimately take her life. Although I tried at first to care for her at home, it was clearly impossible and Mom had to go into a full-time care facility. I moved 5 minutes away and went every other night after work plus weekends to be with her for at least an hour or two. Besides of course giving her love and trying to restore some of her dignity that was constantly being stripped from her, I flossed and brushed her teeth after dinner whenever I was there. Aides will wash and diaper and dress an invalid who can no longer do those things for herself, but I never saw one resident getting any dental care. I knew this was critical. It became part of a normal routine; I’d put on latex gloves, use floss wherever I could, and then use floss threaders to get under the bridgework, finishing up with a gentle but thorough brushing. Sometimes I would continue our one-sided conversation while I did this, sometimes I’d softly sing some songs Mom had loved. Unfortunately, Mom had lost the concept of spitting out the rinse water I gave her, so I learned to gently pull out one of her cheeks over a plastic tray so the water could dribble out. For 81 years, this woman had moved heaven and earth to help and support me through childhood and adulthood without ever asking one thing in return; there was nothing I wouldn’t do for her. Although sadly, there was so little I really could do for her, so this consistent and loving dental care became very important to me.  When Mom passed (surrounded in her final moments by loving family), it was a small thing, but I felt good that she had had seven years of being able to avoid unnecessary extractions and pain from neglected teeth and gums. Maybe this sounds silly, but I’m so glad I could do this for my mother.

  • Always look for ways to enjoy the peace of God’s moment 

  • I learned while caring for my mother that merely giving her "a hand" was not sufficient to give her stability while walking or when she was trying to get up from a seated position.  I learned that holding her upper arm worked much better for both tasks.  I'm still amazed when I see people supposedly helping the elderly or those who are physically injured by dragging them along by the hand.  They are generally in too much of a hurry, despite the goodness of their intentions, to notice how pulling by the hand makes the person supposedly being helped so unstable and actually in danger of falling. 

  • I have a very large calendar on the wall that mom can see easily. On it, I write any appointments we have for her. If someone comes to visit, I put that on the calendar. Last but not least, I list all of the special birthdays in her life (hers, as well as her children's and grandchildren's). This also works really well for patients in the hospital where time is tough to follow. The calendar keeps mom in the loop od what's going on around her, so it's good for her and for me.

  • My family uses our iPhone’s notes app to keep track of our loved one’s vitals and doctor or nurse notes. We share it with the family members who are taking care of our loved one. This way we all have access to the same info if one of us is there with our family member and we have questions for the doctor.


    We also use the shared notes app to keep a visiting schedule so we always know that someone is with our family member. 

  • 95 years young!95 years young!


    My mother-in-law who had Alzheimer's had lived with us for the last year and a half.  I got into the habit of making reservations and requesting a table near the front of the restaurant.  Since she used a walker and was very slow at walking, it really helped. She recently passed away.

    I was recently reminded of this practice a couple of weeks ago when my sister and I took our 95 year-old aunt to lunch.  I was helping our aunt into the restaurant and noticed a couple of families parking their cars. I asked my sister to run and get our names down on the list.  She was not used to the practice, and I forgot to mention it.

    Upon our names being called, the very patient hostess took us to the third table from the back of the restaurant.  Waitstaff had to stop to get arund us.  Everyone was very patient!  Unfortunately, they did not take into account how difficult it was for our aunt to walk that far to get to our table.  THEN, it had to be repeated to get out of the restaurant.  I contacted the manager, and I believe they will be more observent in the future for the elderly or handicapped guests.


    Cecilia Romero, Aurora, CO

  • One more thing have the percriptions mailed its great. In the beginning I would stand in long lines for myself one day. And then I had to go for my father. And then my mother. So I set it up so I had all meds mailed. Another time saver.


  • I'm a caregiver for my mother and right now she lives alone. My father passed away in July this year and it was the next day after i entered my story about him. Whenever I go to the store or drug store and if I purchase something that is 2 for or buy 10 I give her half. 2 loves of bread i take one and give her the other one. This helps me so I won't have to go to the store twice. 10 for - 5 for me and 5 for her. It doesn't bother me if I have to spend my money because she is my mother and I have to take care of her. When I cook something like a large pot of soup, chili beans or a casserole there is always enough for her. This keeps her out of the kitchen and helps me so I don't have to cook 2 meals. When i buy in bulk half goes to her. She doesn't like it when I spend my money but its easier for me. If she wants something from the store she gives me the money or atm car the day before so I don't have to come back, I take care of it when I leave her or I do the shopping the next morning and then take it to her. This is easier for me and saves time. Basically I know what she needs and wants. I'm retired now so this is my new job. It is hard at times. God Bless the Caregivers.



  • My wife's walker was loosing traction on many smooth floors. She has MS and she needs to have secure ways of walking.

    The solution: She stuck half-inch wide shower strips completely around each wheel. No more slipping and sliding. They need to be replaced roughly every 6 months. Your mileage may vary!

  • I put reflective/neon tape on the edge of any step both inside and outside my parent's home. It helps them see the edge of each step, allows them to better judge where to place their foot each time and gives them a sense of the depth of each step which has aided them in avoiding sudden missteps and tripping up or down steps. The reflective tape is great in dark areas and with their vision becoming weaker in their later years. They feel better being able to move in and around the house without asking for assistance or fearing that they might fall. It's very inexpensive and can be changed or replaced at any time.

  • if you are caring for a loved one and you feel you are the most well versed on their wishes, likes, dislikes and maybe promises made to them, then my number one piece of advice is to do what you know they wanted. Do right by them by honorong their wishes. Enrich their days by giving them what they like. Don't let family opinions of balanced diets, sweets vs proteins, calories and too much full strength coca cola cloud your decisions. I brought my mom into my home two months before she died. I couldn't stand watching her veg in that awful nursing home where they'd feed her pureed meatloaf. Even the sherbert was some cheap off brand that lacked flavor. To make matters worse their assessment of her was that she was doing well - wow, slumped over in a wheelchair is doing well? Shocking. Once home with me she was surrounded by things she was familiar with, we played all the oldies on the CD player, she drank coca cola one after the other, i made her Campbell's tomato soup using half-n-half, and yes, sometimes she had root beer floats for breakfast. I am at peace and i know my mom is too.

  • I am 63, a senior myself, who has an 85 year old mother struggling with memory and anxiety.

    Play music from an elderly person’s young adulthood and view pictures of him/her then, maybe with you. The music can calm present fears while invigorating past memories. Bring up memories you have of the time and see if  he/she can add to it. Look through photo albums. If able take drives through past neighborhoods and haunts.  And often bring in a friendly toddler for hugs and comfort. Be prepared to listen to repeated stories and next time it starts again, you can add to it keeping it alive.

  • When our Dad was nearing the end with Parkinson's, he still wanted to ride his 3 wheel bike. We put his oxygen tank in the basket and tied his feet to the pedals. We had to push and steer for him, and I'm sure we were quite a sight. Bottom line, he got outside and rode around the neighborhood. Don't be afraid to be unconventional when caregiving.

  • I picked up this tip from a fellow caregiver.  My mom would come out of the shower shivering and shaking.  To help alleviate this, we would put the towels and change of clothers in the dryer for about 10 minutes to warm them up before the shower was over.  My mom found this so comforting to be dried with a nice warm towel and dressed in clothes that had the chill tossed out of them.