Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Elder Care Cafe on the 'Net

The Elder Care Cafe dot net version just received a much needed upgrade, and is ready to roll. Click here to see the results, and to subscribe to the newsletter (sent monthly or weekly) that will begin after the first of the year.

I am very excited about the potential this site has to be a positive force in the world of senior citizens and those who love and care for them. Let me know, in the comments or by email, what you think of the changes. Most are not visible, but you will see a few additions.

If you have a website or blog concerning elder care, baby boomers, caregivers, or anything related to health care and the elderly, feel free to leave the url in the comment section. We would love to check out your site.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Women and Bone Density

This morning I posted a comprehensive article at the ElderCareCafe site about women and the importance of having a bone density test.

Because nearly 80 percent of those who develop osteoporosis are women, it is important that all women are aware of the steps necessary to slow or halt bone loss.

Please check out this important article by clicking on the title above. While you are there, take a look at the nifty additions to the site. Joel at TheBlogTechGuy did a marvelous job repairing and updating the site.

The Elder Care Cafe on the net is a more formal blog for caregivers and those who love them. This blog on Blogger is less formal, with personal stories about my family mixed in with information about elder care and caregiving.

Two sites with similar names, but very different in focus and atmosphere. I hope you subscribe to both.

Please let me know what topics you would like to hear about, and please comment on what you read. I love to hear what you think. Thanks for visiting the Elder Care Cafes.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

More Men Now Caregivers for Elderly Parents

According to a recent survey by the Alzheimer's Association, more men are caring for their elderly parents. Formerly a "women's job", men are stepping up to the plate, possibly due to the increased number of women in the workplace and families becoming smaller.

In 1996, the number of male caregivers was 19 percent. Now that number has increased to 40 percent of men who are now family caregivers. It is estimated 17 million men are now caring for adults in the United States.

Unfortunately, the male caregivers have more problems with isolation than do their female counterparts. It is believed women are more likely to open up to others about their concerns, socialize more than men, and generally get out of the home more often to attend support groups or church activities allowing them opportunity to interact with other adults.

Men have fewer outside contacts and tend to feel more isolated. For men, care giving is more stressful because they do not feel they can open up and talk about what is going on the way women are able.

On the caregiver forums, I have seen a few men join in the conversations, but the majority are women. Hopefully, if men aren't able to communicate with someone in their physical area, they will get online and open up to others in a safe online environment such as a caregiver forum.

Do you know a male family caregiver? Would you point him in the direction of the AARP online community, or the National Family Caregivers Association (NFCA) caregiver message boards? Just have them click on the links and they can easily and anonymously share their feelings and frustrations online.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

3 Ways to Keep Your Mind Healthy

The Alzheimer’s Association estimates 5.2 million Americans have memory and language problems caused by Alzheimer’s disease. That number is expected to increase by more than 50 percent by 2030.

Studies show there are three ways to help keep the mind healthy as people age:

1. Physical activity. Staying active seems to lead to a healthy mind. Fortunately, you don't need to engage in planned exercise, just staying active by cleaning house, gardening, and other movement-oriented activities count.

2. Challenge your brain. Daily word games, crossword puzzles, visiting museums and attending concerts all help keep the brain active.

3. Social activity. Having a large social network helps the brain stay active. Get out there and mingle among your friends and acquaintances for a good time, and to stay mentally healthy.

You can read the complete article at With Alzheimer's statistics increasing at a frightening pace, anything you can do now to prevent or slow the disease will only help you in the future. None of the tips above are difficult, and you will add richness to your life at the same time.

Do you have a favorite brain activity? Do you think it helps your brain stay healthy?

Monday, December 1, 2008

World Aids Day 2008

December 1, 2008 is the 20th anniversary of World Aids Day. Statistics furnished by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)indicate that around the world, 33 million people are living with HIV with nearly 7,500 new infections occurring each day. An estimated 3 million people are now receiving antiretroviral treatment in low and middle-income countries.

In the United States, CDC estimates that about 1.1 million people are living with HIV.

World AIDS Day is a time to celebrate the many lives saved by HIV prevention and treatment programs. It also serves as a reminder that we all must do more — as individuals, communities, and as world citizens — to fight the spread of HIV and AIDS.

CDC currently estimates that approximately one in five persons living with HIV in the United States is unaware of his or her infection and may be unknowingly transmitting the virus to others.

Since anyone can be at risk for HIV, CDC recommends that adults and adolescents between the ages of 13 and 64 years of age be routinely screened for HIV infection in healthcare settings. Pregnant women in the U.S. should be screened for HIV infection as part of their routine prenatal testing.

Once tested, individuals can take steps to protect their health or, if infected, they can gain access to health-sustaining treatments and care, and help prevent the spread of the disease to others.

On this World AIDS Day 2008, we all need to commit to expanding the reach of effective prevention efforts to those at risk and those living with HIV in order to stop the further spread of HIV in the United States.