Tip of the Week

Practical tips from family caregivers

Parkinson's Nighttime Safety

Last updated: November 05, 2012


"My mom has Parkinson's and lives with me, but I still worry about her getting up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom. So I bought one of those push lights that stick to the wall for her room. Then I cleared out a space in her closet and put a potty chair in there. At night, I bring the chair out and set it by her bed. She likes that she doesn't have to walk far from bed, and I get a better night's sleep."

-- Kate, from Alabama City, Alabama

A Thoughtful Remembrance Gift

Last updated: October 22, 2012


"We've lost several extended family members in the last few years and in lieu of flowers I've started sending windchimes. There are several online companies that sell them, and I can even get a plaque engraved with a name or quote. I've received several calls and thank you notes saying how meaningful the chimes are and that every time they hear them, they think of their loved one."

Helen, from Madison, Wisconsin

Keeping Up With Dad

Last updated: October 15, 2012


"Dad tends to wander off into parts of the house or yard without telling me, so I bought a carabiner clip and put some old keys that I don't use any more on it. It's like a cat's bell that I can hear (but it isn't insulting), and even though he no longer drives I think he likes having keys. He even wears them now when we go to the store. I can hear him three aisles over."

-- Thomas, from Castle Rock, Colorado

Unexpected Phone Calls

Last updated: October 08, 2012


"When my husband gets irritable I realize that we've just been spending too much time together, and what he needs is some male companionship. I've gathered a list of family, friends, and old co-workers and I go into the other room and call them and then take the phone to my husband and say, 'Someone wants to talk to you.' Everyone has been quite understanding -- and my husband never thinks about who called who. He's just happy to talk to someone other than me."

-- Harriett, from Lake Jackson, Georgia

Lullabies for Mom

Last updated: October 02, 2012


"Mom needs to go to bed earlier than I do, but she doesn't want to stay back in her room alone. I moved an old alarm clock that has a CD player in it into her bedroom and bought some music she likes -- Doris Day and Rosemary Clooney. Now I hear her singing herself to sleep."

-- Janie, from Port Joe, Florida

An Ice Cream a Day

Last updated: September 24, 2012


"Mom's having a hard time keeping weight on, so every afternoon she gets a bowl of ice cream. And on the days that we're out or just bored, we pile in the car and head to our neighborhood ice cream shop. Mom really looks forward to it, we get out of the house, and even if she eats less dinner it's okay because it makes her so happy."

-- Karen, from Chattanooga, Tennessee

Camp Chair

Last updated: September 17, 2012


"Dad insists on walking wherever we go, but he tends to gets winded easily, so I've started packing a lightweight camp chair. It's just a small seat with no back and has a cover with a strap I just sling over my shoulder. It's really helped in stores and still gives dad the freedom he wants."

-- Jesse, from Rochester, New York

A Collection of Scarves

Last updated: September 10, 2012


"Mom's hair is really thinning, and she's quite self-conscious about it. She doesn't want to wear a wig or a hat, but she has taken to scarves and has just a little bit of her hair fluffed out the front. We've started collecting them wherever we go: antique stores, nearby small towns. Now she's known as the scarf lady, and people give her scarves as gifts."

-- Kathleen, from Augusta, Georgia

Quenching Endless Questions

Last updated: September 03, 2012


"My mom has Alzheimer's, and what really gets to me are the incessant questions. Finally I realized that answering them was akin to pouring gasoline on a bonfire, so I started calling my sister and handing my mother the phone. Even if my sister isn't there, my mom gets sidetracked and the questions subside, at least for a time. If she is there, it gives them a moment to talk and gives me a break."

-- Maria from Louisville, Kentucky

What You Should Know About Alzheimer's Disease

Tip of the Week: Body Pillow

Last updated: August 28, 2012


"Mom didn't like going to bed, and I realized that she's gone to bed with my dad for 53 years and she probably missed having somebody in the bed with her. So I got her a body pillow (a very long pillow) with a fuzzy type cover and I help her get comfortable by throwing one arm and leg over it. It really seems to comfort her -- and she even asks for it."

-- Nell, from Baton Rouge, Louisiana

About Tip of the Week
  • Ease your caregiving journey with these simple, practical ideas from the real experts: your fellow caregivers and Caring.com members.

    Have a great tip to share? E-mail it to tips@caring.com (please include your name and city).

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