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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

What to Consider When Helping an Older Loved One Choose a Medicare Plan

With Medicare’s Annual Open Enrollment ongoing from October 15 to December 7, you may have already begun discussions with your loved one on the basics of Medicare, such as differences from Medicaid and what the different plans and options are. But before such an important decision is made, it’s important to go more in depth by preparing the right questions with your loved one to guide the conversation and exploring the different points of consideration that will help determine which plan is best for your loved one’s individual needs.

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By Cynthia Walker | 11/16/2020

Coping with an Older Loved One’s Sleep Issues

While chronic health conditions and medication interactions may also affect the sleep patterns of older adults, living under the constraints of the COVID-19 pandemic has further added to these challenges. Activities and finances have been disrupted, isolation has made people feel depressed, many are less physically and mentally active, fears around health and contact with others dominate public thinking and uncertainty has filled every aspect of daily living.

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By Lisa Weitzman | 11/16/2020