Saturday, June 15, 2024

Living with a Dementia Patient: Understanding, Coping, and Caring

Most of us know, or will know, someone who suffers from dementia, whether it is our spouse, parents, or grandparents.  According to research from the University of California in Irvine, by the time we are 90 years old about 40% of us will have dementia.  At age 85, about 20% of us have it.  At age 80, about 10%.  If we live long enough, most of us will eventually either get dementia ourselves or live with someone who has it.  So, how can we or our family members handle this difficult period of time, without going completely crazy?  

Living with someone who has dementia is both challenging and emotional. Dementia is a broad term for a decline in mental ability severe enough to interfere with daily life. It includes various conditions, the most common of which is Alzheimer's disease although there are other types such as vascular dementia and Parkinson's dementia. Caring for a loved one with dementia is paved with emotional stress, adjustments in daily living, and the need to understand the illness itself.  Since both my husband and my mother had dementia in the years before they died, I'll try to shed some light on the experience of living with someone with dementia and offer a few insights into understanding, coping, and caring for a loved one with this condition.

You are almost certain to want more information after you read this brief article.  I highly recommend you use this Amazon link to check out: "The Dementia Caregiver's Survival Guide." (Ad). It has a 5-Star rating and you will find yourself referring to it over and over again. 

Understanding Dementia

Dementia is not a specific disease, but rather a general term that describes a wide range of symptoms associated with a decline in memory or other thinking skills severe enough to reduce a person's ability to perform everyday activities. The World Health Organization (WHO) notes that around 50 million people worldwide have dementia, with nearly 10 million new cases every year. Alzheimer's disease accounts for 60-70% of cases. Understanding dementia begins with recognizing its symptoms, which can vary greatly, but the symptoms commonly include:

Memory loss that disrupts daily life (such as getting lost, forgetting how to do things)

Challenges in planning or solving problems (like paying bills or planning trips)

Difficulty completing familiar tasks (cannot following recipes)

Confusion with time or place

Trouble understanding visual images and spatial relationships

New problems with words in speaking or writing

Misplacing things and losing the ability to retrace your steps

Decreased or poor judgment (making unnecessary purchases or falling for scams)

Withdrawal from work or social activities (isolating)

Changes in mood and personality (unusual bursts of anger)

As you can see, signs of dementia can begin to crop up years before people begin to stop recognizing their loved ones. When my husband began to develop dementia, memory loss was NOT the first or the most evident sign.  He recognized family members, although he forgot the names of some friends or when we had seen them last.  The symptom that was the most noticeable was that he began to lose the ability to use technology.  He constantly fretted that his cell phone was broken, that "Google changed his computer" overnight, and he even began to have trouble using the remote control on our TV.  Later, he began to show signs of "poor judgment," including opening credit card accounts which I did not know about until after his death.  He also came very close to becoming a scam victim several times.  Fortunately, I was able to prevent him from acting on the scam calls he received.  I had to be careful constantly, and try to stay aware of everything he was doing. 

On the other hand, my mother became a "wanderer" when she developed dementia. She would leave my sister's home, where she lived, and wander to the homes of neighbors, who would call my sister.  She also lost the ability to pay bills and handle money.  Like my husband, my mother knew who everyone was in the family. It's important that you do not wait for a family member to forget your name before you recognize their developing dementia.

If someone in your family begins to show these types of signs, or any of the others, it is important that family members watch to make sure they are not doing anything which could cause them harm, either physically or financially. 

At the end of this article is a list of resources which you can use to read more about dementia so you can understand it even better.  Understanding it helps, although we still need to learn how to cope with the impact of it on our own lives, as caregivers.  Many times, the caregivers for someone with dementia will die before the patient who has dementia.  It is a very stressful life for the caregivers.

Coping with the Emotional Impact

Living with someone with dementia can take an emotional toll on the family members and caregivers. Feelings of grief, loss, frustration, and guilt are common. The gradual decline of a loved one's cognitive abilities is a source of grief and mourning for caregivers, even while their loved one is still alive. This is often referred to as "living grief, " where the person is still alive, but you grieve for the loss of the person they once were.  I know that I experienced this as I watched my bright, successful husband decline to the point where he could not even use a television remote control.

Coping strategies may include joining a dementia support group, counseling, and engaging in self-care practices. Education about the disease is crucial, as it helps in understanding the reasons behind behavioral changes and how to respond to them effectively. You need to remind yourself daily that they are not intentionally creating problems for you. The Alzheimer's Association provides resources and support for those navigating this journey.

Providing Care

Caring for someone with dementia requires patience, flexibility, and an understanding of the person's needs, which will change as the disease progresses. The care approach should be centered on respect, empathy, and maintaining the dignity of the person with dementia. Key aspects of care include:

Creating a Safe Environment: This may involve making modifications to the living space to prevent falls (especially if they have Parkinson's Dementia or similar disorders), ensuring safety in the kitchen, and installing locks on doors to prevent wandering.  You also need to make sure that you check after they do anything. You will want to be sure they have closed the refrigerator door, not left water running or turned on an appliance or the burner on a stove.  I constantly turned off appliances and closed doors after my husband used appliances, even when he was in the early stages of dementia, and I did not yet understand what was going on.

Establishing a Routine: People with dementia benefit from having a daily routine, which helps to reduce confusion and provides a sense of security.  Even in the early stages of dementia, a routine is helpful so they know when to expect things to happen.  Write things on a calendar and remind them of important appointments.  This was something that I practiced daily.  When he could no longer use the calendar on his phone, I kept a large wall calendar and wrote down appointments and other events on it.  We put a big X on each day after it was finished. 

Communication: Use simple words and sentences, maintain eye contact, and be patient in waiting for your loved one's response. Nonverbal cues and body language are also important in communication [5]. You need to make sure they are paying attention when you tell them something important, especially in the early stages.  Many people with dementia do not realize they have it, and they still try to do things for themselves.  It is important that you have their attention when you want to tell them something important, such as when they have a medical appointment, or when visitors are expected.  Do not be surprised if you have to repeat things often.  I know that I did. 

Activity Engagement: Engaging the person in activities that they enjoy and are able to do can enhance their quality of life and reduce behavioral issues. Tailor activities to match the person's interests and abilities.  Whether they enjoy crossword puzzles, crafts, or doing things on a computer, encourage them to stay busy and active, even if they need a little assistance from time to time.  Things they have done for a long time in the past are likely to be easier for them.  For example, some dementia patients can continue to play bridge and other complicated games for a long time, even when they have problems in other aspects of their life.  I was fortunate to have a caregiver for my husband three mornings a week.  He would drive my husband out to his favorite coffee shop, take him shopping, and sometimes just take him for a drive along the coast, which delighted my husband. 

Healthcare Management: This includes managing medications, attending doctor's appointments, and monitoring for any new or worsening symptoms.  Today, many doctor's appointments can be handled with a video call, which will make it easier for everyone, so you do not always have to take the dementia patient to the doctor's office.  See if you can schedule some of your family member's appointments so they are handled with a video call. This was life saving for me!


Living with and caring for someone with dementia is a profoundly life-changing experience that requires compassion, support and a lot of hard work.  Remember, it's also important to take care of yourself. Seek support from community resources, healthcare professionals, and support groups.  Accept any help that is offered.  You need breaks, too!

Don't forget to learn more after you read this brief article.  I highly recommend you use this Amazon link to check out: "The Dementia Caregiver's Survival Guide." (Ad). It has a 5-Star rating and you will find yourself referring to it over and over again. 

Enjoyed this post? Never miss out on future posts by following us.  You will receive a twice-monthly email with the most current post. 

If you are interested in learning more about retirement, Medicare, Social Security, common medical issues as we age, financial planning, where to retire and more, use the tabs or pull down menu at the top of the page to find links to hundreds of additional helpful articles.

Disclosure: This blog may contain affiliate links. If you decide to make a purchase from an Amazon ad, I'll make a small commission to support this blog, at no extra cost to you.

You are reading from the blog:

Photo credit: Pixabay, 


World Health Organization. (2023). Dementia. 

Alzheimer's Association. (2023). What Is Dementia? 

Boss, P. (2006). Loss, Trauma, and Resilience: Therapeutic Work With Ambiguous Loss. W.W. Norton & Company.

Alzheimer's Association. (2023). Support & Care. 

National Institute on Aging. (2023). Caring for a Person With Alzheimer's Disease. 

Friday, May 31, 2024

Most Seniors Have Heart Disease - How to Reduce the Risk to Your Life

Heart Attacks Can Happen without Warning! 

Heart disease remains the leading cause of death worldwide, affecting millions of individuals each year.  In fact, if you are over the age of 60, there is greater than a 75% chance that you have some type of cardiovascular disease.  If you are over age 80, the risk is 90%.  Nearly 700,000 Americans died of cardiovascular disease in 2021 ... or about one out of five deaths.  Despite decades of research into heart disease, it still remains the leading cause of death in the U.S.

The good news is that many heart disease cases can be managed through lifestyle changes and proactive measures. By taking control of our health and adopting healthier habits, we can significantly reduce the risk of dying from heart disease and improve our overall well-being. Below is a list of proven ways to promote a heart-healthy lifestyle.

Adopt a Balanced Diet

A heart-healthy diet is the foundation of cardiovascular health. Incorporate more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins into your meals while limiting saturated fats, trans fats, and processed foods. Consider the Mediterranean diet, which has been associated with a reduced risk of heart disease due to its emphasis on olive oil, nuts, fish, and fresh produce.

If you are new to the Mediterranean diet, you might enjoy using this Amazon link to read about "The 5 Ingredients Mediterranean Diet Cookbook for Beginners." (Ad) Most of these simple recipes only require five delicious ingredients, and it's a great introduction to the Mediterranean Diet. 

Regular Exercise

Regular physical activity is crucial for maintaining a healthy heart. Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise per week. Activities like walking, cycling, swimming, and dancing can all contribute to a stronger cardiovascular system and improved overall health.

Manage Stress

Chronic stress can negatively impact heart health. Implement stress-reduction techniques such as meditation, yoga, deep breathing exercises, or spending time in nature. Prioritize self-care and take breaks when needed to maintain a healthy balance in your life.

One way to reduce your stress is by taking long walks in nature.  Another way is to learn to remind yourself to live "One Day at a Time."  

We often become stressed when we spend too much time focusing on past mistakes, or worrying about future potential problems.  By living one day at a time, we eliminate a common cause of stress.

Get Quality Sleep

Sleep plays a vital role in heart health. Aim for 7-9 hours of quality sleep per night. Poor sleep patterns have been linked to an increased risk of hypertension and other heart-related issues. Establish a consistent sleep schedule and create a relaxing bedtime routine to improve sleep quality.  If you are not able to get enough sleep on your own, or you are tired again soon after you wake up in the morning, discuss these issues with your doctor.  They may be able to do a sleep study and help you find ways to improve the quality of your sleep. 

Quit Smoking

Smoking is one of the most significant risk factors for heart disease. If you smoke, seek support and resources to quit. The benefits of quitting smoking are almost immediate, as your heart health will start to improve within days of giving up this harmful habit.

Limit Alcohol Consumption

While moderate alcohol consumption has been associated with certain health benefits, excessive drinking can lead to heart problems. If you consume alcohol, do so in moderation – up to one drink per day for women and up to two drinks per day for men.  

Maintain a Healthy Weight

Obesity is a major risk factor for heart disease. By adopting a balanced diet and engaging in regular exercise, you can maintain a healthy weight or work towards achieving it. Even a modest weight loss can significantly reduce the risk of heart disease and related conditions.

Regular Health Checkups

Regular checkups with your healthcare provider are essential for monitoring your heart health. They can identify potential risk factors and recommend appropriate actions to maintain a healthy heart. Blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and blood sugar should be regularly monitored, especially if you have a family history of heart disease.

Once your primary care doctor or cardiologist is monitoring your heart, follow their advice.  They may want you to take blood pressure medication, a statin to lower your cholesterol, or put you on a special diet.  If you have AFib, they could also suggest a pacemaker or medications.  They may discover that you need to have a blockage cleared from an artery, and have a surgeon insert a stent to keep the artery open.  There could be other procedures which they feel you need.  Whatever they recommend, their suggestions are designed to help prolong your life and keep you as comfortable and active as possible.  

Stay Hydrated

Proper hydration is crucial for heart health. Drinking enough water helps maintain blood volume and prevents your heart from working harder than necessary. Aim to drink at least 8 cups of water daily, or more if you are physically active or live in a hot climate.

Engage in Social Activities

Social isolation and loneliness can have adverse effects on heart health. Stay connected with friends, family, and community to reduce stress and improve overall well-being. Engaging in social activities and nurturing meaningful relationships can positively impact heart health.

Reducing the risk of heart disease requires a holistic approach that involves adopting healthier habits and making positive lifestyle changes. By following the strategies outlined in this blog post, you can take significant steps towards improving your heart health and overall quality of life.

Enjoyed this post? Never miss out on future posts by following us.  You will receive one weekly email containing the most current post. 

If you are interested in learning more about common issues as we age, financial planning, Social Security, Medicare, where to retire, common medical issues as you age, travel and more, use the tabs or pull down menu at the top of the page to find links to hundreds of additional helpful articles.

Disclosure: This blog may contain affiliate links. If you decide to make a purchase from an Amazon ad, I'll make a small commission at no extra cost to you.

You are reading from the blog:

Photo credits: Google Pixabay images

Wednesday, May 15, 2024

Cohabitating with a Friend or Lover? How to Have a Better Roommate Experience!

There are a number of reasons why an adult may decide to have a roommate or romantic partner move in with them. They may be in love and want to share their life with someone.  They may be worried about how to pay their monthly bills, especially after the loss of a spouse due to divorce or death. They might not wish to live alone, or wonder if they will be able to afford their house payments, rent, homeowner's association dues, utilities and other expenses on a single income.  Financial reasons, such as the risk of losing alimony or Social Security payments, may prevent them from deciding to get married, but they would still like to have a companion and the financial security of having someone to carry part of the financial burden.

House sharing has become a popular option among Baby Boomers and older retirees, particularly women.  According to AARP, approximately four million women over the age of 50 live in a home with at least one other woman in the same age group.  In 2010, it was estimated that 2.75 million senior couples were cohabitating, or living together in a romantic relationship without being married.  Regardless of why you are living with another adult, there are many advantages to the arrangement, and certain pitfalls you will want to avoid. 

Before we get into specifics, you may want to consider purchasing the book "Roommate Agreement: Designed to Assist You with Roommate Agreements to Make Life more Manageable." (Amazon link)  They describe it this way: "A Roommate Agreement journal is a place to record and keep track of the terms and conditions agreed upon by all roommates, as well as any updates or changes to the agreement. By regularly reviewing and updating the journal, roommates can ensure that their living arrangement is harmonious and fair for everyone involved." 

Of course, simply having a form to follow is not enough.  You also need to think about the specific things you want to be sure to include in your agreement.  

Advantages of Senior Roommates

When people decide to enter a house sharing arrangement, they can both benefit in several ways. It's important to keep these advantages in mind as you put your agreement in writing.

*  Financially, people supporting themselves on fixed incomes can live more comfortably if they share the cost of housing, utilities and other expenses.

*  The added security of having another person in the home can be one more advantage of having a roommate.  I know of a fireman who is frequently away from his home for days at a time when he is on duty.  As a result, he invited a police officer who works a regular schedule to be his roommate.  It helped them both out financially, and provided extra security when the fireman was on duty.

*  Socialization is an additional reason for finding a roommate.  It is easy for people to become isolated, lonely and depressed as they age.  People who live with an amicable friend or romantic partner will always have someone to talk to, eat with, and do other things with each other ... such as attending movies or traveling.

Is Having a Roommate Right for You?

Not everyone actually wants to have a another person living with them all the time.  You need to know yourself, and evaluate the home you will be sharing.  Will you have enough personal, private space?  Are you flexible?  Do you have a lot of allergies, health problems or food preferences which could make it difficult for you to live with other people? Before you even consider inviting another person into your home, you need to see if you, and they, are suitable for sharing a home.

What Guidelines Need to be Put in Writing?

If you are planning to live with another person, it may go better if the two of you put your expectations in writing and discuss them first.  Below are some issues your agreement may need to cover:

*  Decide in advance specifically how the expenses will be shared.  Will one person be the landlord and the other the tenant, or will everything be split right down the middle?  If that is the case, make sure you list all the expenses involved in living in the home, including utilities, insurance, homeowner's dues, taxes, lawn mowing, a house cleaner, etc. 

*  If this is a landlord / tenant agreement, you should order  "Room Rental Lease Agreement Forms Book," (Amazon link) so you can put your lease in writing. Many people rent out a room in their home, and they need a formal agreement to make that a successful arrangement which spells out the expectations. 

*  If this is a roommate situation, decide who will perform which household tasks and how often ... cleaning, cooking, dishes, yard work, pet care, etc.  If you plan to hire someone to handle some of those chores, reach an agreement on how that cost will be shared. 

*  Decide if the two of you are going to cook and eat together or if you will each be responsible for your own meals, purchasing your own food, preparing it, and cleaning up afterwards.

*  Reach an agreement about pets ... if they are allowed, what kind, how large, where they will be kept, etc.

*  Discuss adult children and grandchildren with each other.  You need to agree in advance whether or not they will be allowed to spend the night, how often, where they will sleep, and any concerns which either of you have.  I have known of couples who grew irritated when the adult children seemed to be around too often, walked into the home without calling in advance, helped themselves to food in the refrigerator, etc.  These familiarities should be dealt with before someone moves into a friend's home.

*  Discuss the same issues which could arise with friends and occasional visitors. Will they will be allowed to spend the night? How often will friends be able to just "hang out."  How often can each of you plan to entertain your friends in a book club, bridge group, or other social circle? If you do not want to be friends will all of your roommate's friends, you need to discuss that in advance.

*  If you are two casual friends who are living together, and not a romantic couple, be sure to discuss dating and whether your dates will be allowed to come for dinner, hang out in the home, or spend the night.  This could become very awkward.

*  Your agreement should cover personal habits such as smoking, drinking, drug use or any other behaviors which someone else might consider offensive.  Even allergies, such as an allergy to candles, perfumes, or certain products, should be discussed in advance.

*  If either of you have strong religious or political opinions which could be the source of arguments, you should consider whether that could be a problem if you decide to live with this person.  Be sure that neither person believes that eventually "the other person can be persuaded to change their opinions." 

*  Discuss other expectations you both may have such as entertaining friends, relying on each other to do the shopping, what time the house should be quiet, using earphones to watch TV, when you could each practice playing your musical instruments, etc.  If one person likes quiet and the other wants to play loud music or have frequent parties, will this cause friction?  If one person likes an evening cocktail, and the other person doesn't, will that be a problem?

*  Discuss healthcare preferences with each other, in the event of a medical emergency. You should know the name of each other's primary care doctor, the type of health insurance they have, medical conditions, etc.  Also make sure you both have contact information for relatives, employers, lawyers or other people who would need to be contacted in the event of an accident, death or serious illness.

* Decisions need to be made in advance regarding what will happen if one of the housemates becomes too ill or weak to continue to participate in an independent living arrangement.  If you are co-owners or both on a lease and one of the parties must enter a nursing home, what will happen? What is everyone's "Plan B?"

* Both parties need to have a clear will and trust, especially if this is a romantic relationship.  Both people need to know if any provisions will be made for them if one of the parties dies.  If you are the owner of a property, and have a romantic partner living with you, do you want that person to be able to remain in the home if you die first?  Do you want to make any other financial provisions for them?  This should be worked out long before the need arises, and adult children should be informed about whatever you decide, so they are prepared to go along with that decision. 

As you can see, there are a large number of issues to consider before you decide if you and another person should live together.  Everything should be put in writing after you have talked about it.  This will reduce confusion about what you both agreed to.  This will also make it easier for your adult children to know your plans.

House Sharing Websites

If you are interested in senior shared housing, you will want to do additional research.  Here are a few websites which can help you locate roommates.  I have not used any of them myself in order to find a roommate, but these are the sites which were specifically mentioned by AARP in an article:

In addition, if you are considering a home sharing arrangement with strangers or casual acquaintances, I strongly suggest that you proceed extremely cautiously, ask for personal references and get a background check.  You want to have as much information as possible about the people with whom you will be sharing a home.

Enjoyed this post? Never miss out on future posts by following us.  You will receive one email twice a month containing the most current post.  You will not be contacted for any other reason.

If you are interested in learning more about financial planning, Social Security, Medicare, where to retire, common medical issues as you age, travel and more, use the tabs or pull down menu at the top of the page to find links to hundreds of additional helpful articles.

Disclosure: This blog may contain affiliate links. If you decide to make a purchase from an Amazon ad, I'll make a small commission at no extra cost to you.

Photo sources:  Pixabay, 

You are reading from the blog:

Tuesday, April 30, 2024

TIA Ministrokes Can Lead to a Major Stroke! Pay Attention to the Symptoms

Three years before he died, my husband had a major stroke while playing golf.  He was rushed to the hospital, treated quickly, and had minimal lasting effects from it.  However, we did not realize at the time that this would be the beginning of many more such events. Over the next few years, he suffered through a number of mini-strokes or TIAs.  In his case, they often took the form of losing his vision in one eye for a few minutes.  Because of other medical problems he had, the doctors were limited in the ways they could treat him, and they could not put him on blood thinners. After one of his mini-strokes, a year after that first major one, a surgeon cleared out his right carotid artery, although that was a dangerous surgery for my husband.

Meanwhile, all we could do was keep track of his blood pressure, limit the salt in his diet, and try to minimize the frequency of these mini-strokes.  We also attempted to learn everything we could about these small strokes.

Transient Ischemic Attack (TIA), often referred to as a "ministroke," is a medical condition that demands immediate attention and understanding. While it may seem less severe than a full-blown stroke, TIAs should not be taken lightly. Let's explore what a TIA is, its symptoms, causes, and available treatments.

What is a TIA (Ministroke)?

A Transient Ischemic Attack (TIA), commonly called a "ministroke," occurs when there is a temporary disruption of blood flow to a part of the brain. Unlike a full-blown stroke, which frequently causes permanent brain damage, a TIA usually resolves itself within minutes to hours, leaving no lasting damage. Sometimes, people do not even realize they have had one. However, it is essential to recognize them, as they can often be a warning that a more severe stroke may be imminent.  Looking back, I have often wondered if we missed the signs of mini-strokes which might have occurred before my husband's major stroke.  He often complained of headaches, visions problems, and vertigo.  Could that have been the beginning?  I'll never know.

Symptoms of TIA

The symptoms of a TIA are similar to those of a stroke but are temporary and typically last for a short period, usually less than 24 hours. Common TIA symptoms include:

Sudden Weakness or Numbness: This may affect the face, arm, or leg, often on one side of the body.

Difficulty Speaking or Understanding Speech: TIAs can cause slurred speech or difficulty in finding the right words.

Loss of Coordination or Balance: Patients may experience unsteadiness or difficulty in walking.

Vision Problems: Blurred or double vision, sudden loss of vision in one or both eyes, or difficulty seeing clearly may occur.

Severe Headache: A sudden, severe headache might develop in some cases.

My husband suffered from all four of the above symptoms, and they would happen suddenly, without warning.  Often they happened when we were simply relaxing, watching television together.  At other times, they happened when he was pushing himself to use his walker to get into a doctor's office.  Those events sometimes caused him to fall. 

If someone you love has had a stroke, there are ways you can help with their recovery.  To learn how, please read the book "Hope After Stroke."  It could improve their life ... and yours! (Ad)

Causes of TIA

The root cause of a TIA is a temporary disruption in blood flow to the brain, usually caused by one of the following factors:

Atherosclerosis: The buildup of fatty deposits (plaques) in the arteries can lead to narrowing or blockage of blood vessels, reducing blood flow to the brain. This is what they believed was causing the mini-strokes which my husband experienced. 

Blood Clots: A blood clot can form and temporarily block an artery in the brain.

Emboli: Small clots or debris from elsewhere in the body can travel to the brain and block a blood vessel.

Vasospasm: Spasms in blood vessels can constrict and temporarily reduce blood flow to the brain.

Cardiovascular Conditions: Conditions like atrial fibrillation, heart valve disorders, and heart infections can increase the risk of blood clots, which can lead to TIAs.

If you think you or your loved one is at risk of a stroke, read the book "You Can Prevent a Stroke." (Ad) You want to do everything you can to prevent them.  A stroke not only makes life more difficult for the patient, but also for their caregivers.

Treatment and Prevention

Prompt medical attention is crucial when experiencing any type of stroke symptoms, including TIA symptoms. Even though the symptoms may resolve on their own, the underlying causes need to be addressed to prevent a full-blown stroke. Treatment options include:

Medications: Doctors may prescribe anti-platelet drugs (e.g., aspirin) or anticoagulants (blood thinners) to reduce the risk of blood clots.

Surgery: In some cases, surgical procedures such as carotid endarterectomy (to remove plaque from the carotid artery) or angioplasty (to open narrowed arteries) may be recommended.

Lifestyle Changes: 

Patients are often advised to make lifestyle changes such quitting smoking, adopting a heart-healthy diet, exercising regularly, and managing conditions like high blood pressure and diabetes.

Medication for Underlying Conditions: Treating underlying conditions such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol can help reduce the risk of future TIAs.


While TIA symptoms may be temporary, they should not be ignored. TIAs serve as crucial warning signs for potential future strokes, which can be debilitating or fatal. Seeking immediate medical attention, understanding the underlying causes, and adopting preventive measures can greatly reduce the risk of experiencing a full-blown stroke. In the face of TIA symptoms, quick action can make all the difference in preserving your health and well-being.  

Check out the sources at the end of this article to learn more about ministrokes.  In addition, talk to your health care provider about any symptoms you may have, no matter how minor they may be.

Enjoyed this post? Never miss out on future posts by following us.  You will receive one weekly email containing the most current post. 

If you are interested in learning more about financial planning, Social Security, Medicare, where to retire, common medical issues as you age, travel and more, use the tabs or pull down menu at the top of the page to find links to hundreds of additional helpful articles.

Disclosure: This blog may contain affiliate links. If you decide to make a purchase from an Amazon ad, I'll make a small commission at no extra cost to you.

Photo sources:  Pixabay, 

You are reading from the blog:


Mayo Clinic: The Mayo Clinic website provides comprehensive and up-to-date information on TIA symptoms, causes, and treatment. You can find information at

American Stroke Association: The American Stroke Association, a division of the American Heart Association, offers valuable resources on strokes and TIAs. Visit their website at

National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS): NINDS, a part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), provides detailed information on TIAs and related research. You can explore their content at

WebMD: WebMD is a reputable health information website that covers a wide range of medical topics, including TIAs. Their page on TIAs can be found here.

You Can Also Learn More from Your Healthcare Provider: Always consult with a qualified healthcare professional or neurologist for personalized information and guidance regarding your specific health condition and any recent developments in the field of stroke and TIA management.

Please verify the most current information from these sources or consult with a healthcare provider for the latest updates on TIA symptoms, causes, and treatment options.

If you are interested in learning more about saving money, financial planning, Social Security, Medicare, where to retire, common medical issues as you age, travel and more, use the tabs or pull down menu at the top of the page to find links to hundreds of additional helpful articles.

Disclosure: This blog may contain affiliate links. If you decide to make a purchase from an Amazon ad, I'll make a small commission at no extra cost to you.

You are reading from the blog:

Photo credits:  Amazon and Etsy

Monday, April 15, 2024

Expand Your Home and Welcome Family Members


With the high cost of housing in much of the United States (as well as other countries), many people are looking for ways to accommodate more family members in their existing properties.  Whether your new college graduate has returned home (but unhappy living in their childhood bedroom), or your aging parents are no longer able to live on their own, you may be wondering how you can find a way for multiple generations to live happily together in one house.  

There are many more choices available today than in the past.  In fact, some home builders are building new homes which contain a private apartment with a separate entrance for other additional relatives. I have a friend who moved into her own separate apartment in her adult daughter's home, and it has worked out well. She loves having a separate life, while being close to her daughter and grandchildren. However, if you do not want to sell your current home and move to a new location, how can you make the best use of the home and property you currently own?  Here are some ideas to get you started.

Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs)

Many cities have now altered their zoning laws to allow people to build an accessory dwelling unit on a single family lot.  This has resulted in a new industry of "tiny homes" which even be purchased on sites like Amazon or from companies like Home Depot, although you have to arrange to have someone pour a slab or build a foundation, in advance, and then finish out the interior.  

Some people who are skilled at do-it-yourself work, can finish out the structures on their own.  However, most of us will need to hire a contractor to finish these buildings, including hooking up the plumbing and electricity.  

These small, backyard homes, sometimes called "granny flats" can be the perfect solution for a young adult who has returned home, or for an older family member who wants to live close to the family, but cannot afford to buy a home in the same neighborhood.  Depending on the size and amenities, they can be built and finished for about $60,000 to $250,000.

Creating a Guest Suite Inside Your Current Home

If you do not have a backyard large enough to accommodate an additional housing unit, you may be able to carve out an apartment inside your existing home.  For example, do you have an unused bedroom, dining room or formal living room next to a bedroom with a bath?  With a little redesigning, you could convert this combination into a nice little private apartment inside your current home.  Add a separate entrance and a little kitchenette, and everyone could have both the independence and the privacy they want, at an affordable price.  Many such conversions can be done for under $25,000 to $30,000, depending on how elaborate they are. 

Garage Conversions into Housing Units

If your zoning laws permit it, you may be able to convert a garage into a secondary housing unit.  This is more likely to be allowed if the garage is detached.  However, in some circumstances, even an attached garage might be converted into a cozy 300 sq. foot apartment for a family member.  Since a garage already has easy access to electricity, and plumbing is probably not too far away, the conversion could be less complicated than building an entirely new building.  The amount you spend depends on the current condition of the garage, and how fancy you wish to make it.  However, it can be a convenient way to accommodate additional family members. 

Basement Conversions

Even when I was a young woman living in the Midwest in the 1960s and 1970s, many parents set up space in their finished basement for an adult child to have their own space.  This choice is better suited to young adults, because of the stairs.  However, a healthy older person might also be able to navigate a staircase.  If the basement has an outdoor entrance, this can be particularly appealing, since it will allow for them to come and go, or entertain friends, without the need to walk through the main living area upstairs.  This is a great solution for a young adult who is just starting out and trying to save money for their own place.  In addition, many families have already finished out at least part of their basement, plus the electricity and plumbing is already available, and it may take very little effort to turn the space into a cozy apartment. 

Get Professional Design and Construction Help

Once you realize that it is possible to carve out some unused space within your home, garage, basement, or backyard for a separate apartment or housing unit, it is smart to get some professional help.  You will want to maximize the space, give everyone a sense of privacy, and make sure the new housing unit has safety features, especially if it is going to accommodate someone who is aging.  Ask about things like grab bars in the shower, or a walk-in bathtub.  You may want to have an intercom system between the two housing units, or a fall alert system.  The safer the new housing unit is, the more comfortable everyone will be. 

Include Study Area or Workspace

In addition to making sure that your new living quarters have space for cooking, eating, sleeping and watching television, make sure it also includes a small office space for studying or working.  Many people are able to work from home today.  Even if they do not officially work at home, almost everyone needs access to WiFi and plenty of electrical outlets for their computer and charging all their electronic devices. Whether the space is intended for a young adult starting out in life, or a senior citizen, it is important to make sure their living quarters have everything they need, including a workspace.  If you can accommodate a favorite hobby, or space for plants, a pet, or other activities, they will be even happier and more comfortable during the time they live there.

Enjoyed this post? Never miss out on future posts by following us.  You will receive one weekly email containing the most current post. 

If you are interested in learning more about financial planning, Social Security, Medicare, where to retire, common medical issues as you age, travel and more, use the tabs or pull down menu at the top of the page to find links to hundreds of additional helpful articles.

Disclosure: This blog may contain affiliate links. If you decide to make a purchase from an Amazon ad, I'll make a small commission at no extra cost to you.

Photo sources:  Pixabay, 

You are reading from the blog: