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Carol Bradley Bursack
I'm an author, blogger, columnist and speaker and consultant who can be reached by email at carolbursack@msn.com.
Interests: Family, senior, elder and caregiver advocacy; reading, writing, staying in tune with music and literature.
Recent Activity
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...Old sibling dynamics can bubble up and make parent care a divisive family issue rather than a collaborative one. Caregivers must honestly ask themselves if they have truly made an effort to include their sibling(s). Has a family conference been requested? Have requests been made for help with specific tasks Continue reading
Posted yesterday at Minding Our Elders
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Dear EK: This is common behavior for someone with advanced dementia, but it’s one of the many situations where caregivers can feel helpless. We don’t want to see a person whom we love distressed, and we view the idea that they are seeing their deceased parents as distressing. Sometimes, though, they find it comforting, so read on. Continue reading
Posted 2 days ago at Minding Our Elders
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...When I asked Lynn if her husband complained often, she said, "It's admirable how much suffering Seth endures. It's heart-breaking, actually. He does let me know how the pain is and how he's coping with it, but it's never a complaint." Continue reading
Posted 3 days ago at Minding Our Elders
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...It is worth mentioning that some people are too hard on themselves. The term “caregiver” means many different things to different people. In fact, some people don’t even identify as caregivers even though they alone manage and provide all aspects of a loved one’s care. Continue reading
Posted 4 days ago at Minding Our Elders
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...We shouldn't have to justify our choices to care for our adult loved ones or go on a rant about how we are trying to fulfill what we see as our responsibilities. Yet we often do. A MetLife study, as reported on NPR's "The True Cost of Caregiving," Continue reading
Posted 5 days ago at Minding Our Elders
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...As expected, there were a few bumps along the way so if you signed up but are not receiving your newsletter, feel free to sign up again. There were a few email addresses that were lost in the transfer (including one of mine I was using for testing). That glitch has been fixed. 2. The "preferences" link Continue reading
Posted 5 days ago at Minding Our Elders
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...Some of the cuts you make are obvious. If you’ve been volunteering significant time to a fun project, but it’s not one of your life’s priorities, you may need to take a break. Other relationships aren’t so easily altered, so hurt feelings — and even marriage problems — can arise. First, try to breathe, and next, Continue reading
Posted 6 days ago at Minding Our Elders
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...Caregiving decisions are nearly always a matter of trade-offs. Balancing the benefits and risks of each scenario and then finally deciding — often through our tears — that this (whatever “this” might be) is what must be done. And, there’s the rub: Continue reading
Posted 7 days ago at Minding Our Elders
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...My employer allowed me to take vacation time by the hour, so I hoarded every bit I could for use during emergencies and for medical appointments for those in my care. I shopped as though I was preparing for a disaster, buying multiples of anything my loved Continue reading
Posted Jul 31, 2022 at Minding Our Elders
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Dear AL: My uncle developed aphasia after a string of strokes, so I understand how this breaks your heart. You want your dad to know it’s all right that he’s having trouble. You want to help. Mostly, you want him to stop blaming himself. These words from my book illustrate Continue reading
Posted Jul 31, 2022 at Minding Our Elders
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...So, how do we start? The best way to begin is by examining your attitude toward and thoughts about yourself and your current situation. Lasting progress can’t be made by glossing over underlying issues and ignoring reality. We’ll start with a series Continue reading
Posted Jul 29, 2022 at Minding Our Elders
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When people have dementia, much of the learned behavior toward food safety may be forgotten. They'll do what comes naturally. It may not have bothered you when your teenage son drank milk from the carton, but somehow seeing your mother do the same can be upsetting. Licking peanut butter off of a knife Continue reading
Posted Jul 28, 2022 at Minding Our Elders
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...Then I read the client roster. It showed that some female veterans and/or wives of veterans also live there, so while the abundance of mostly World War II-era veterans were men, women were also part of the home's population. Continue reading
Posted Jul 27, 2022 at Minding Our Elders
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By the time we reach middle age, our mother or mother figure may begin showing signs of needing assistance. This shift in the relationship dynamic can be confusing for even the most tenderly raised adult child. For those who were neglected or abused Continue reading
Posted Jul 26, 2022 at Minding Our Elders
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...The passage of time lends valuable perspective to life’s events, but we don’t always use this gift in the most constructive ways. Instead, we look back and beat ourselves up for slips (whether real or imagined) despite knowing Continue reading
Posted Jul 25, 2022 at Minding Our Elders
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Dr. Jacobs sat in my chair a couple of months ago to answer our readers who wondered how to plan for caregiving. He's such a valuable resource that I wanted to share this again... Continue reading
Posted Jul 24, 2022 at Minding Our Elders
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Dear BC: One word. Go. You’ve more than earned this time away. That said, I understand your feelings. During a time when I had several older adults dependent to various degrees on my care, I had an opportunity to visit a close friend Continue reading
Posted Jul 23, 2022 at Minding Our Elders
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...The bottom line is that this responsibility makes it nearly impossible to have a social life, and outsiders—even those closest to us—typically have a hard time understanding this fact. Eventually, friends stop extending invitations and shrugging off plans that are canceled at the last minute. However, working together Continue reading
Posted Jul 22, 2022 at Minding Our Elders
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...As with nearly everything that has to do with caregiving, there is no guarantee that you, as a friend, will always do the right thing. Don’t feel guilty if you’ve neglected your friend Continue reading
Posted Jul 21, 2022 at Minding Our Elders
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...Some of you will see a phrase here that may help you get through a particularly tough day. Others will not, and that’s okay. You may find another way to remind yourself Continue reading
Posted Jul 20, 2022 at Minding Our Elders
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...Since in the real world, few such changes are seamless, feel free to message me through the contact form on www.mindingourlders.com if you have trouble receiving your newsletter or making the choices that you want. Always remember that until things smooth out, you can simply go to www.mindingoureldersblogs.com to read daily updates. Continue reading
Posted Jul 20, 2022 at Minding Our Elders
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...The downside is that you'll need to resubscribe to continue receiving the newsletters. It's not hard. You'll receive a confirmation email just as you did when you originally signed up. You'll need to confirm, but in the process, you can make your preferences known, which is a good thing. Continue reading
Posted Jul 19, 2022 at Minding Our Elders
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...They had already weeded out many of their belongings in the first move, but there was still so much to be done. Each of my loved ones made their last moves to a nursing home, which meant there was very limited space for furniture. We donated Continue reading
Posted Jul 18, 2022 at Minding Our Elders
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These days, having an aging loved one move in is still an option for some families, but it has become more complicated. Multigenerational living can have serious implications, and there are a number of factors that are often overlooked that must be taken into consideration Continue reading
Posted Jul 17, 2022 at Minding Our Elders
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Dear SL: You’re smart to have recognized that counseling could help you cope with the effects of your childhood. It’s obvious, too, that you’re kind since you want to see your dad well cared for even under these difficult circumstances. He’s fortunate... Continue reading
Posted Jul 16, 2022 at Minding Our Elders