Highlights from the Caregiver Forum: Real Questions and Answers from Senior Caregivers

weekly Q and A

Q: My grandparents are in their mid-80s and are fairly mobile, but I still worry, since neither of them are in good enough condition to help if some significant kind of injury were to occur. What kinds of medical alert systems would work best for them?

A: They are all basically the same, but you need to decide if you want to buy a machine outright (usually about 200 plus monthly service fee of 10-15), decide what kind you want (some have GPS in them so you can go to the grocery store or for walks, others simply are for home use), and what size you want. Life Alert is the most popular, but it is more expensive. 

Q: I’m finding that I have less and less time, as well as less energy to help my mother these days as her primary caregiver. Does anyone know of perhaps a volunteer group who could intervene? There is simply no balance in my life at this point. At this rate, I’ll need a caregiver for myself if I don’t get some relief!

A: Check with local churches. Sometimes they have life after 50 clubs who volunteer with help. Call some home care companies who may know about some adult day programs. You may even be able to contact some CNA schools who have young caregivers looking for experience.

Q: After nearly a full week of 24-hour care for my clients, I find I can’t sleep very well on my first night back in my own home. Anyone else having this problem? I need rest!

A: I know its not a great idea, but I will take an OTC sleeping pill, a book, and some chamomile tea.

It normally does the trick!

Q:  Does anyone know if all types of macular degeneration have cures?

A #1: There is a blood test that measures the person’s D3 level. I’m not sure about its connection to heart disease, but I do know that low levels of D3 can lead to dementia-like symptoms.

A #2:  Yes, a simple test run by a any Dr. If you are concerned I am sure you can begin supplements to see if helps but always check with a Dr. first.