A Guide to Caring for Aging Family Members

Archive for the ‘Miscellaneous’ Category

Categorized Index of Blog Posts


1000+ views


We made it! 

Readers and Followers:

Despite the fact that I am taking a break from this caregiving blog, the need for caregivers is not going to go away.  Since I believe my book, What to Do about Mama? and blog remain relevant, I have developed this “categorized index” so that you can reference posts related to your own caregiving endeavors.

Planning and preparing for caregiving

Life is fragile

Caregiver Questionnaire

Becoming a Caregiver and Planning for the Future


The Family Meeting

Slippery Slope

The Evolution of Caregiving

Caregiving profiles and difficult caregiving choices

Aging in Place: Moving in with the Kids

He Needs to Read the Book

Moving In!

Caregiving: Should I quit my job?

Long-Distance Caregiving

That Darkest Place

Your care receiver

Goal Setting: Does it Impact Longevity?



Should you sit in on doctor appointments?


A Thread of Conversation with the Cape Cod Caregiver

Canes: Aging and Vanity

Say what?

Reflection of the Future

When Parent-Child Lines become Fuzzy

The caregiver:  body and mind

Characteristics and Abilities of a Good Caregiver

Optimist-Pessimist-or Realist

Positive or negative?

Does Caregiving Impact Caregiver Health?

Support Groups

Caregiver’s Break


Caregiver Stress Webinar

Do Family Caregivers Feel Valued?

Not quite the plan: Dating and caregiving.

Looking ahead:  How will our children be prepared?

Caregiving Role Models

Burdening Our Kids

Family interaction in caregiving

Shared Responsibility

Too Many Cooks in the Kitchen

Emotional Conflict

Resentment: Recognize and Eradicate

It’s in the Book!

Family Dynamics: Caring for In-laws

Caregiver Contracts

Organizing and processing “things”

It Pays to Prepare

Processing the Pictures


Death, dying and other difficult emotions

The Conversation Project

A Controversial Issue Worthy of Comments

Again, Quality vs. Quantity of Life

Would you choose to die at 75?

People cope with death in many different ways – The Patriot-News

Different Perspectives on Grief

Hospice: When Should They Get Involved?

Childhood caregiving and children’s grief

It never goes away and it has made me who I am.

Missing Childhood: The Overlooked Caregivers

Remembering those who have died 

Heart Memories 

My Counterpart: a Go-To Grammy

Katie’s Story:  Parts One (October 2014) through Twenty-five (April 2015)

From Shifting Gears: Katie’s Story, Part One. (10/14) to Where Do We Go from Here?: Katie’s Story, Part Twenty-Five (4/15)

Thanks for visiting!

Barbara Matthews


Not quite the plan: Dating and caregiving.

In response to the  “Not quite the plan’s”  post on “Dating and caregiving:”

I refer you to “Marianne’s Story” in my book What to Do about Mama? Marianne opens her story with the comment, “I provided care for both my mother and my father. My mother had multiple sclerosis my entire life, so my caregiving began as early as age 4, when I simply offered my hand to help steady her walking gait.” (WTDAM p. 116) She goes on to describe her caregiving role as her responsibilities grew over a period of 40 years.

Later in her story Marianne states, “My husband, too, has had a lifetime caregiver role both with his sister, and later, his mother.” (WTDAM p. 119) (Sister is a post-polio survivor who must sleep in an iron lung every night. Mother lived to be a centenarian.)

One can conjecture that early on in their relationship, these two individuals were attracted to one another based on their similar life experiences and value systems; and taking that one step further, that their successful multi-decade marriage was built on mutual understanding, cooperation, and commitment.

My point? Keep looking. You, too, may find your diamond in the rough.


Not quite the plan

So another relationship ended a couple of months ago and I am back to the wilds of dating life.  This week I have my first first date in a couple of years and am of course contemplating how to juggle dating and caregiving for Mom.

I find myself staring at the question on the online dating site I frequent:  “Would you date someone who still lives with his/her parents?”  Answer– from every guy who appears like an interesting date for me: “No.”

And then there is the message from someone who thinks he is being creative by asking me what the movie about my life would be titled.  I ponder whether I share one of my possible titles for my memoir about this whole caregiving journey.  Not quite the plan?

At what point does one mention, by the way, I live with my mother with rapidly advancing dementia?  Is this a topic for…

View original post 171 more words


What to Do about Mama?- Book Review

What to Do about Mama?- Book Review.
by Victoria Brewster, MSWwtdam_fc

http://northernmsw.wordpress.com/ – Blog on aging, advocacy, end of life, healthcare, mental health, and social work topics/issues
Twitter: @97socialworker


Optimist-Pessimist-or Realist

On the #SeniorCare journey — Which type of caregiver are you: optimist, pessimist, or realist? The answer may affect your stress level: http://www.caring.com/blogs/self-caring/attitude-affects-caregiving
Photo: On the #SeniorCare journey -- Which type of caregiver are you: optimist, pessimist, or realist? The answer may affect your stress level: http://www.caring.com/blogs/self-caring/attitude-affects-caregiving
I think I’m a realist. Here is my take on caregiving—in a nutshell. Caregivers get involved with caregiving to meet a need, solve a problem, or deal w/ a crisis. Although the situation often improves—for a while—caregivers often do not take the following into account:  1) the process of aging cannot be controlled; 2) needs will increase—sometimes over many years; or 3) how heavy the burden can become.  Therefore it is important to have realistic expectations about caregiving; to remember that we’re all moving in one direction through life; to be prepared for the unexpected; to communicate expectations clearly to the “others;” and to develop a caregiving contract of shared responsibility to be signed-off on by all involved.
Barbara Matthews


Two Upcoming Book Events

book event

Wednesday, October 15, 2014
2:30 pm

Roxy’s Chatterbox Café
254 W. Main St.
Hummelstown, PA

Door Prizes and Refreshments

book signing

Sunday, October 19, 2014
3:00-5:00 pm

Midtown Scholar Bookstore
1302 North 3rd St.
Harrisburg, PA


 Barbara Matthews and Barbara Trainin Blank,  co-authors
“What to Do about Mama?


Ann Stewart,  author
“Twice a Child”

Both events feature a caregiving discussion format of the following topics:

Assuming Caregiving Responsibilities
The Roles and Responsibilities of Caregivers
The Emotional and Physical Impact of Caregiving
Family Relations
Residual Difficulties
Positives and Negatives of Caregiving

A review of the Sharon Marchisello’s novel Going Home

I’ve been away visiting my daughter, who moved away with her family (and three of my grandchildren) in August. I’ve been a spoiled grandma. They lived here (15 minutes away and in the same zip code) since grandchild #1 was one month old. Anyway, while my husband drove, I had the pleasure of reading a book uninterrupted: This is my 5-star review of Going Home by Sharon Marchisello.

Ernest & Edgar Literary Blog

by Barbara Matthews

gh_fcThe doorbell rang…” and in through that doorway Sharon Marchisello issues forth one bombshell after another in her contemporary murder mystery, Going Home.

Michelle DePalma arrives at her mother’s home to find that the door is uncharacteristically wide open. Upon entering, she finds a young woman dead on the floor with her mother hovering nearby—seemingly unaware of what has taken place in the foyer of her home.

As Marchisello weaves her intricate tale, the doorway introduces:

  • Unknown family: “I’m Isabella Rogers, and this is my daughter, Giovanna. I’m your daughter-in-law.”
  • A policeman: “Michelle, I’m afraid the evidence is pointing to your mother.”
  • A man with a raised baseball bat: “Where’s that crazy old broad that killed my Brittany?”
  • A potential suspect who appears in: “The same vehicle I had passed on my way up the street the day I arrived, the day Brittany had died!”


View original post 126 more words

Essential guide to caregiving


Helpful Books Blog

by S. H. Marchisello

wtdam_fcI wish a book like What to Do about Mama? had been available in 2000 when my mother was suffering from Alzheimer’s, or even a decade later, when we faced the same issues with my mother-in-law. Because America’s population is aging and more and more baby boomers—“the sandwich generation”—are being thrust into caregiving roles, this book is very timely and reassures you that you are not alone. Seeking help is not a weakness; it may be necessary to retain your sanity.

In What to Do about Mama? we hear about the very different experiences of the co-authors, as well as testimonials from numerous other caregivers:

  • Barbara Matthews cared for her mother-in-law in her home for four years. She felt like the warm relationship she’d had with her in-laws deteriorated during the process, due to criticism, second-guessing, and an unwillingness to share the burden to the level…

View original post 342 more words

Tag Cloud

Sing - a - Sonja

Peace with your past, present in the now, excited for the future!


Fun things to do with people with memory loss and tips for caregivers

cancer killing recipe

Just another WordPress.com site

NorthernMSW: Book Reviews and Advocacy

"We should be present, respectful, compassionate, empathic, and mentors to others."

Not quite the plan

on finding my groove as a 30 something single girl and caregiver for mom with dementia


The Politically Incorrect Alzheimers Poetry Blog

The Memories Project

Preserving family memories, caring for caregivers

Mom & Dad Care

Caring For Your Aging Parents

Help! Aging Parents

A Guide to Caring for Aging Family Members

An Only Childs Journey into Parent Care

When you are the only one left....

The WordPress.com Blog

A Guide to Caring for Aging Family Members


Publisher of hard cover, trade paperback, and eBooks

The Selfish Caregiver

Some thoughts on grieving and caregiving when you're young and self-absorbed.