Write down those special grandparent moments

How to keep a journal or blog so you can both share memories

By Patricia Corrigan for Next Avenue

Sharing your hopes and dreams for your grandchildren can become a treasured gift.

Credit: ThinkStock – You can record your thoughts and memories as a keepsake for your grandchildren.

So many boomers are finding delight in nurturing grandchildren — and most of us also are amazed that they do grow up quickly. That rarely seemed the case when we were bringing up our own kids.

A traditional baby book stuffed with baby shower napkins, pink or blue ribbons and photos seems a bit outdated in this digital age, though many of us do make them for our grandchildren.

Another option is a journal.

You can write it on the computer and call it a blog, or on paper and call it a diary. Either way, recording special moments will help you recall every heartfelt emotion from the early days, months or years — depending on long you keep writing. Plus, you will have something meaningful to share with your grandchild when he or she is old enough. read more

Keeping older people safe in the summer heat

Make sure you know the signs of life-threatening heat stroke

By Emily Gurnon for Next Avenue

Avoiding heat stroke is important for seniors who may be taking medicines that make them more susceptible.

Credit: Thinkstock – Know the signs of heat stroke and how to avoid it.

If you’ve ever lived in a hot place without air conditioning, you know how miserable it can be. But getting overheated is more than just unpleasant for older people. It can be dangerous, and even deadly.

That’s why it is important to be aware of the risks of hyperthermia, or overheating of the body, especially if you care for an older parent or have elderly neighbors. Hyperthermia includes heat fatigue, heat syncope (sudden dizziness or fainting), heat cramps, heat exhaustion and — the most serious — heat stroke. read more

9 ways to help your spouse with a sleep apnea machine

A CPAP will result in better sleep for both of you

By Madeline Vann for Next Avenue

A CPAP machine can improve sleep quality.

Credit: Adobe Stock – Sleeping with a CPAP machine can improve how both you and your partner sleep.

If your spouse has sleep apnea, his or her CPAP machine for it could save your sleep, health, and marriage. But first you need to find effective ways to help and support your husband or wife.

Whatever you do, don’t suggest that the CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) machine makes your spouse less desirable, advises sleep medicine expert Dr. Patricia Patterson, medical director of the UAB Sleep-Wake Disorders Center in Birmingham, Ala. You’ll have to find a delicate balance between helping, encouraging and focusing on the benefits rather than nagging or offering a cold shoulder. read more

Is it time to downsize your dog?

A big dog can cause a fall, so the next one will be smaller

By Jane Gross for Next Avenue

Jane Gross and Henry, her standard poodle.

Credit: Courtesy of Jane Gross – Jane and her dog, Henry, a 10-year-old standard poodle.

Henry is a 10-year-old standard poodle, weighs 50 pounds, stands 2-feet-3-inches tall and has liver cancer. I am a 67-year-old woman, 5-feet-tall and tipping the scales at 85 pounds — with brittle bones, bad eyes and bursitis in my shoulder.

This dog is the first I’ve ever had and he’s taught me unexpected lessons about being responsible for another living creature and what it means to experience unconditional love. He sleeps on my bed and licks my face when I cry, which I do anytime I think about losing him. read more

5 commonly overlooked or misdiagnosed conditions in older adults

Certain diseases are often mistaken for others. Know the differences.

By Frieda Wiley, PharmD for Next Avenue

Sometimes it's not just your age that's ailing you.

Credit: ThinkStock Learn the signs and symptoms of five commonly misdiagnosed or overlooked conditions in people age 50 and older.

It’s no mystery that time and medical conditions may accelerate changes in our bodies as we age. Eventually, some of those changes might make it more difficult to distinguish between certain conditions and the actual process of getting older.

Not only do some illnesses present differently with time, but the signs and symptoms of many of them actually start to mimic each other, making a correct diagnosis more difficult.

Here are five commonly misdiagnosed or overlooked conditions in people 50 and older along with their signs and symptoms to help guide your discussion with your doctor: read more

How to declare your financial independence

Tips from a man who did, plus apps and sites that can help you

By Richard Eisenberg for Next Avenue

You can achieve financial independence

Learn five tips for declaring your financial independence.

(Next Avenue is republishing this 2014 blog post, timed to July 4th.)

As the 4th of July nears, what better time to talk about a few ways that could help people in their 50s or 60s declare their financial independence within the next few years?

You may have noticed that the goal of “financial independence” and its close cousin “financial freedom” seem to be replacing the traditional goal of “retirement.”

“Freedom and freedom money really resonate a lot more than ‘retirement’ when we do focus groups,” said Chris Brown, a partner at the Hearts & Wallets financial services market research firm. read more

Senior Living 1010 offered

Fulton Presbyterian Manor hosts free program

Residents will share why they love living at Fulton Presbyterian Manor.

Wondering if senior living is right for you? Learn what Presbyterian Manor residents love most about the lifestyle at a free event August 16.

Meet campus residents and find out why they chose senior living over life at home. Find out how peace of mind and security can enhance your quality of life at Fulton Presbyterian Manor.

“Fulton Presbyterian Manor 101” will begin at 2 p.m. August 16 at Fulton Presbyterian Manor, 811 Center Street. It is part of Presbyterian Manor’s Just Ask series, a free, ongoing lifelong learning program featuring information from local, regional and national experts on topics of interest to older adults and their families. read more

Get to Know: Patty Hellebusch

New Health Services Director Patty Hellebusch isn’t new to the nursing profession. With 44 years of experience, she’s knowledgeable about hospitals and long-term care communities especially. She’s looking forward to using her knowledge here at Fulton Presbyterian Manor.

She really enjoys being able to teach and train her staff, and when she’s not at work, you can find her on the farm, on the river, or in the garden. She also sings with her church choir. Welcome, Patty! read more

Q & A: Employee and his resident mother share what they love about Presbyterian Manor

It’s not all that unusual in senior living communities, but it still interesting when a staff member’s parent becomes a resident. We sat down with Environmental Services Director Lowe Cannell and his mother, Janie, to ask them few questions.

Q: What do you like best about working/living where your mom lives/your son works?

Lowe: The best thing about working where Mom lives now is that I get to see her every day. I know that she is being well cared for. It’s all the more reason to make sure that I do the best job possible to make this place the best it can be. read more

When doctors should ignore end-of-life directives

Things are not always black and white during a health crisis

By Dr. Kathryn B. Kirkland for Next Avenue

Knowing your wishes for end-of-life is important in a medical emergency.

Credit: Adobe Stock – Advance directives will remain an important part of the picture: They ensure that decisions about medical interventions at the end of life are in the hands of patients and that patients’ values drive these decisions, even when they can’t speak for themselves.

(This article was provided by The Op-Ed Project, with which the writer is a fellow.)

Sheila was very clear about her wishes for the end of life. She was 88 years old and a former hospice volunteer. When her time came, she wanted no ventilator, no feeding tube, no CPR. She even wrote down her wishes — NO LIFE SUPPORT! — in an advance directive, in case she wasn’t able to say what she wanted. (Advance directives such as the one Sheila wrote are common; many hospitals even use their completion rates as a quality metric.) read more