Dear Carol: My parents are nearly 90. I have three sisters who are scattered around the country and I'm much younger than they are so we aren't particularly close. I stayed in the community where I grew up so I’m with my parents nearly every day.

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Dear Carol: My parents are nearly 90. I have three sisters who are scattered around the country and I'm much younger than they are so we aren't particularly close. I stayed in the community where I grew up so I’m with my parents nearly every day. That’s fine with me since I’m close to them, but that also leads to confusion about how to deal with my sisters who aren’t as close. I think that if I spoke up they would offer help in some way, but I don’t want them trying to direct what I do so I don't ask and they don’t offer. I expect our parents’ needs to escalate in the near future but I’m confused about how much involvement I want from others. – DA

Read the full column on Inforum about this caregiver and her hesitation to involve her siblings:

MedicareFAQ – Medicare Resource Center

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Caregiver-iStock-948588488Most of us who have cared for someone living with dementia have tried our best to determine how best to provide that care. We research. We try putting ourselves in their place. We do our best to be patient because we understand that they can’t help their having the disease. Still, we are human and we make mistakes. While we shouldn’t wallow in guilt when we do make mistakes as a care partner, there are situations that we should try extra hard to avoid. Here are nine of them.

Read more on HealthCentral for tips on what to avoid when you are caring for someone with dementia:

Carol Bradley Bursack is the Candid Caregiver

MedicareFAQ – Medicare Resource Center

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CaregiverOlderWoman2Choosing an individual or a company to come into our home, or that of a vulnerable loved one, to provide assistance with anything from cleaning to personal services is never easy. We are giving an unknown person access to not only our property but to the safety of our loved one who may need care while we are not able to supervise. Choosing the right person or company should be done methodically, and education can help you ask the right questions.

View the slideshow on HealthCentral to find tips about what questions you should ask when looking for an in-home care agency:

Carol Bradley Bursack is the Candid Caregiver

MedicareFAQ – Medicare Resource Center

Support a caregiver or jump-start discussion in support groups with real stories - for bulk orders of Minding Our Elders e-mail Carol