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Aging

Caring for Yourself When Caring for Elders During the Holidays

If you are caring for an elderly family member, you are not alone. A 2015 report by National Alliance for Caregiving and AARP (2015) shows more than 34 million people are providing significant care to an adult over age 50. Most of this unpaid care is provided by women. Further, most of these women are doing double and even triple duty, caring for their own families and children and working while also providing care for a parent or parent-in-law. Balancing all those responsibilities is a huge challenge.

Studies show that the average caregiver spends 20 or more hours a week doing everything from basic hygiene care to administering medications to cooking and cleaning to taking their loved one to appointments to running errands. It’s exhausting. It is stressful. But if they didn’t do it, it could well be that no one else would.
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Aging

It’s My Birthday Again; Still Bipolar

Long time readers of mine know that I do two things on my birthday every year:

Write a blog about the previous year through the lens of living with bipolar disorder.
Whine, exactly the same way a toddler would if they can’t have a cookie before dinner.

I’m not a fan of my birthday because, frankly, nothing good ever happens. I am aware that nothing bad happens, but this time of year reminds me of how much time I’ve lost because of bipolar. It reminds me of my own mortality and it reminds me of all the things I haven’t yet accomplished.

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Aging

Finding New Friends After 40

A client, age 45, finds herself without close friendships in the wake of a difficult divorce. “Most of my friends are part of couples that my husband and I hung out with. It’s just plain awkward to try to be part of that group anymore.”

My 70-year-old client is lonely. “Most of the friends I thought I’d grow old with have died,” she explained. “I miss them terribly, of course. But I also miss just having people to do things with.”
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Aging

Surprising Losses that Need to Be Grieved

We think that the only time we grieve is when a loved one passes away. But it’s important to grieve all sorts of losses. Moving. Graduating. Retiring. Ending a relationship (even if you’re the one who ended it). Being diagnosed with an illness. Recovering from that illness. Starting a new job or even being promoted.

In short, a loss can be anything, negative or positive. As marriage and family therapist Cheryl Beatrice said, “If we can be connected to it -- whatever ‘it’ is -- then we can grieve its loss.”
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Aging

The Mind Games We Play with Aging

Have you ever looked in the mirror and realized that you have changed? Maybe there is suddenly a wrinkle that you never noticed, or you are finally spotting some grey hairs, or even more common, you realize that your body has changed, and not in a favorable way?

Aging is the great equalizer in many ways, we all go through it. And as we age changes occur. Some we can’t help, some we can camouflage, and some we have to fight for the sake of our health.

The realization that we have to make a concerted effort at these things can stir up lots of confusing feelings as well as some startling realizations. We all seem to go through some variation of the same stages as we are coming to terms with our changing forms.
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Aging

On Losing My Mother

It has been 3 years since my Mother died at 9:41pm on a hot August night. She was 62 and pancreatic cancer had ravaged her body in a short 7 weeks. I was there. I remember the room, the funeral home removing her body and my 45-minute drive home with my Yorkie. It was surreal and I didn’t cry.

Reflecting back on her loss and the associated grief, I didn’t start to grieve until 6 months after she passed. Immediately following her death, my siblings and I had a condominium to sell, clothing and household items to pack, and a funeral to plan. I told myself I was too busy to allow the sadness and grief in.
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Aging

Thoughts on Time Versus Money

If someone gave you five hundred dollars to spend on something that makes you happy, what would you buy?

Some new clothes? Gifts for friends and family? Or perhaps you’d donate the money to one of your favorite charities -- after all, what could make you happier than that?

Well, there is something that makes most people happier, but we rarely consider it to be something we can buy: Time.
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Aging

Forever Losing Things? Does that Mean You’re Losing Your Mind?

Are you one of those people who would like to be able to lose weight as easily as you lose everything else in your life? Do you sometimes think you might be an absent-minded professor even though you’ve not stepped foot on a college campus in decades? Do you worry that not only are you forever losing your keys, your glasses, your phone, and your ‘you-name-it,’ but perhaps you’re also losing your mind?

If you’re nodding your head ‘yes,’ keep reading. You’ve got company. Mega-company. And your compadres are not losing their minds. Nope, they’re too busy losing other things to bother with senility.
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Aging

Should You Record Your Doctor’s Visits?

My mother is 84 years old, and like many people her age, she has a host of medical issues. She regularly sees a primary care doctor, a cardiologist, an endocrinologist, a rheumatologist, a neurologist, a gastroenterologist, a dermatologist, and an ophthalmologist. She takes a lot of medication, and typically every few months it is recommended she undergo some type of “new” test or procedure. While I believe that bouncing from one doctor to another is not the best health care model, that’s a topic for another day. Today the question is, “How is she supposed to keep track of all the health care information bombarded at her?”
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Aging

Psychology Around the Net: July 22, 2017


Happy Saturday, Psych Central readers!

Confession time: I've been struggling a lot lately with work-life balance. Hasn't everyone at some point? Probably. Trying to manage work responsibilities, exercise, some semblance of a social life, personal hobbies and passions--oh, and let's not forget a proper sleep schedule--whew. Failing--and failing for longer than you care to admit--can bring on the panic, anxiety, and depression in a major way.

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Aging

Aging Wisely

We all have something in common. We’re getting older.

While this fact might delight children who can’t wait to be “grown-ups,” it is often a source of angst for those of us who have already “grown up.” There are approximately 76 million baby boomers in the United States, and their ages range from the early fifties to the early seventies.

It’s not surprising that this demographic is often bombarded by the media with anti-aging everything: skin creams for every part of our bodies, miracle “cures” for our wrinkles, youthful colors for our hair. They all promise to make us look younger -- to fix us. Botox and facelifts have become the norm for many people (men and women), and again, there is cosmetic surgery available for almost every part of our bodies.
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Aging

Are Middle Age Moments Inevitable?

These words are being typed in the waiting room of my local Meineke while I am waiting for necessary repairs on my 9-year-old Jeep Patriot. Purchased for cash back in 2011, after my mother left me an inheritance, I have taken good care of my vehicle which has taken me to Canada twice, to local destinations, to my various offices where I have seen clients, and on recreational journeys. My son keeps asking me why I don’t trade it in for an environmentally friendlier hybrid or electric car. He knows what a tree hugger his mother is and I tell him that I like not having a car payment and I want to maintain and sustain this one for as long as possible.
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