Making a photo book is simpler than it sounds

This is the fifth in a series about creating photo (and other) books to help you, your family, and future caregivers focus on the richness and significance of your life -- instead of primarily on infirmities you might develop.

Photo books may sound great. But how exactly do you create them?

Photo books are useful to people of any age

This is the third in a series about creating photo (and other) books to help you, your family, and future caregivers focus on the richness and significance of your life -- instead of primarily on infirmities you might develop.

Photo books can help connect generations

This is the third in a series about creating photo (and other) books to help you, your family, and future caregivers focus on the richness and significance of your life - instead of primarily on infirmities you might develop.

How photo books can help you get better care as you age

This is the second in a series about creating photo (and other) books to help you, your family, and future caregivers focus on the richness and significance of your life - instead of primarily on infirmities you might develop.

Many people become forgetful as they age, for one reason or another. Photo books - genuine printed books, not photo albums - can help reinforce who they are and what makes their lives unique. These professional-looking, full-color picture-and-text books are inexpensive to create and can make a big difference in your quality of life as you age.

Photo books help retain memories as people age

This is the first in a series about creating photo (and other) books to help you, your family, and future caregivers focus on the richness and significance of your life - instead of primarily on infirmities you might develop.

I realized one day that my mother had entirely forgotten my father, her devoted husband of 38 years. She didn't even know his name or what he had looked like. Except that she had three children, it was as if he had never existed.

Don't take dementia's side effects personally

"Mom!" the woman sitting in front of me in the airplane said to the older woman next to her. "You know you can't play those cards! They either have to be all the same number or all the same color!"

"Oh!" her mother said, sounding a little flustered. "That's right! I'm sorry!"

A few minutes later, the daughter - let's call her Ariel - repeated the same instructions. And again, her mother apologized and agreed. After three plays with the same results, Ariel decided to stop playing cards and got out magazines instead.

Be skeptical when doctors refer to "best practice"

"This treatment is standard practice," your doctor says reassuringly. Or, you might be told it's the "best practice" or even "the gold standard" for people with your condition. You're sitting on the exam table, legs dangling, wearing a drafty paper or cloth gown clearly designed for someone who is a very different size than you. Even if you manage to keep your wits about you, what can you possibly say in response?

"Think happy thoughts" doesn't work for every condition

"That's odd," Cheryl thought. "I don't usually get headaches." But before long, she had unexplained headaches every day. Then she began having trouble hearing on the phone, a big inconvenience, given the frequent phone calls that went with her job as a management consultant. She also started feeling dizzy, as if she or her surroundings were spinning.

Be aware of medication's side effects

"Man!" Mark said, reaching down to grab the back of his left ankle. "That really hurts!" He was lying on the couch in the living room, watching an old movie on Netflix. A small table had been pulled over next to the couch. It held a humidifier, a variety of pill bottles and nasal sprays, a box of tissues, and a big glass of water.

"And it's not like I've even been hiking!"

Ask your doctor about palliative care in the hospital

This is the sixth and final article in a series about palliative care.

Palliative care can help relieve troublesome symptoms of serious chronic diseases, not just when you are at home, but also when you are in the hospital. Yavapai Regional Medical Center (YRMC) in Prescott recently re-launched its palliative care program. Richard Rader, the coordinator of the palliative care program there, is a nurse practitioner who is board-certified in palliative care.

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