Aging & Elderly

Recent Articles

How can we love and care for the elderly?


We all have friends or family members who need to know someone cares about them. They need assurance that they are loved and valued even if they are unable to do all things they’ve done in the past. Every person needs to know they matter to someone.

We hope to offer stories from experiences of others, good advice, and valuable ideas you will be able to use often.

What are the early signs of Alzheimers Disease?


Dear Karen,
How do I know if my mom has Alzheimer’s disease? What are some of the early signs of this disease? -Betty

Dear Betty:
Good question, Betty. Many people, including myself, want to know what signs to look for. For wisdom on this subject I went to wonderful resource, Coach Broyles’ Playbook for Alzheimer’s Caregivers. Frank Broyles, is Athletic Director Emeritus for the University of Arkansas Razorbacks. His wife, Barbara, was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. Frank says, “I had many questions and spent a lot of time looking for answers. What I learned is contained in my book, Playbook for Alzheimer’s Caregivers.”

One of the first topics which Coach Broyles deals with in his book is what signs to look for.

What advice do you give to an adult son who is being abused by his mother?


Dear Karen,

I have a friend who’s elderly mother has always been emotionally controlling, abusive and just down right mean. I would describe her as “toxic”, just full of venom. She seems to have never learned any other way to get her needs met. I would say she is mentally ill. Her son, my friend, is the only family member willing to make sure she is cared for. What is your advice for the son in this case… day after day, week after week subjected to the assaults to his heart, soul and humanity as he tries to do the right thing for his mother? – Sarah

Did I Make a Difference?


One of the most important issues for older people is wondering, “Did my life make a difference?”

In preparing mom’s 85th birthday party, we asked all the members of the family to write her a note or letter sharing a special memory and describing what they especially admired or liked about her. We saved these letters in a photo album filled with pictures of her life.

Son, Harold: “You’ve always been the kind of mother on whom I could depend, to help me and encourage me . . . and be my trusted friend. I warmly think about you as the best mother anywhere!” Love, Harold

Win-Win Situation


I love the following true story written by Janet Clark from Hunnington, Indiana. It truly is a story of the family of God taking care of the care-giver and the care-receiver.

Janet says, I noticed that my friend Agnes was sounding and looking increasingly heavy-hearted about her husband’s lack of social life since he became wheelchair-dependent. It finally occurred to me to just help his friends do what they probably wanted to do but didn’t know how to get started.

Telling Life’s Stories


Reminiscing is healthy! It’s the process by which we make sense out of this mystery we call life. Reminiscing helps those who are older to find meaning and purpose in the years they have lived. It can create new levels of appreciation and intimacy between generations and can transform times spent beside beds or other visits into memorable times together.

The following questions will provide you with hours of worthwhile communication. If possible, tape or write down your discussions. Then the stories can be shared with other family members and friends.