Author Archives: Dawn Kairns

Senior Care Resources

704The  website has created a blog with grief support and resources for senior care. I want to refer you to their post Your Top Senior Care Resources that includes a list of resources to address the needs of our aging population as well as their families and other caregivers. Their intention is to help those looking for medical information, caregivers to hire, tips to deal with  elderly family members,  finding an advocacy group and even those seeking caregiver jobs.

Here is their list from Your Top Senior Care Resources that has given me permission to share:

Resources – Dedicated to caring for the elderly. Information from home care, alzheimer’s, dementia, arthritis, fitness and more. – An online resource and a wonderful book, Final Years is a collection of stories from people dealing with tough decisions, emotional pain, depression, joy and the family dynamics surrounding old age care. – Online resource for those looking to hire caregivers. Home care, independent living facilities, nursing care, assisted living and more. Search for senior care by city and state as well as browse their list of helpful articles. Continue reading


Senior Move Management

senior coupleDo you have a senior parent who needs help moving to independent living in a retirement center, or into assisted living? Did you know that senior move management experts specialize in just this very thing? I recently learned about A Place for Everything, owned by Sarah Gabriele, MBA in Colorado. They are experts in senior move management. When it’s time to move,  the space planning experts from A Place for Everything can “coordinate, supervise and oversee” your parent’s relocation. They will help your parent to downsize from their current home space to comfortably fit into their new living environment with care and attention to their accumulated and treasured possessions. They can also stage their current home to help it sell.

Their professional organizers will help at the new location to unpack boxes, organize and put everything away.  They also arrange furniture and hang artwork if that is needed, making your parent’s new house feel like a home from the start.

They do encourage adult children to participate when it’s possible, and to work closely with their move management team. A Place for Everything is a member of the National Association of Senior Move Managers (NASMM).


Grief Support Network’s Gift of Grief

DSC00558I recently learned of the Grief Support Network in Boulder, Colorado. “Grief Support Network (GSN) is a non-profit, community–based organization that offers a new and positive perspective on the process of healing from grief and loss…a network of wellness providers who share the belief that all people have the power to transform themselves through their grief when they are given enough support, guidance and time to do so.”  Their goal is to connect individuals and families with “services and programs that will support them to heal and move forward in their lives.”

GSN was founded in 2012 by Wendy Black Stern after the loss of her first born child, Noah, at nine months of age. The following poem about grief was written by Wendy and I want to share it with you because anyone coping with the loss of a loved one whether it be a child, parent, grandparent, sibling, spouse, dog, cat or friend can relate to Wendy’s heartfelt poem. Please share these beautiful words with all who may find comfort in them. Continue reading


TRU Community Care for Serious Disease, End-of-Life Care, Grief

4275We have an amazing resource in our community that I want you all to know about. It is called TRU Community Care. Their mission is “to work to ensure that everyone in our community can live with advanced illness as comfortably, confidently, and fully as possible.”

Last March Hospice Care of  Boulder and Broomfield Counties changed its’ name to TRU Community Care because they felt Hospice Care of  Boulder and Broomfield Counties no longer fully described their organization. The name TRU is an acronym for Trusted, Responsive, Unparalleled, adjectives often used to describe them. Through the years they responded to changes in community needs and have responded with programs that extend beyond hospice. In addition, their services now reach outside Boulder and Broomfield Counties.They do continue to provide hospice care and offer grief support to anyone who has suffered a loss.

For example, if you or a loved one are living with an advanced illness but are not ready for hospice care, Continue reading


CaregivingCafe Offers Tips and Resources for Caregiver Journey

Are you taking care of a disabled, aged or chronically ill loved one, either in your own town or long-distance?  Being a caregiver can be a stressful time in life. I remember it well with both of my parents, especially for my father whose pulmonary fibrosis left him chronically ill for several years.

CaregivingCafe Logo

I certainly was far from alone.  During the time her father was ill, the founder of Caregiving Cafe spent hours searching for services for her parents including housecleaning, transportation, medical home care, and meal services; and then emailing these lists to her family. I remember those ongoing searches well, and wish I had one place to go with a directory Continue reading


Daughter of an Alzheimer’s Patient Offers Advice

More than 5 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s today. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, “Alzheimer’s is a type of dementia that causes problems with memory, thinking and behavior. Symptoms usually develop slowly and get worse over time, becoming severe enough to interfere with daily tasks.”

A friend of mine has a mother with Alzheimer’s disease living in England.  She shared her emotional difficulty with me regarding the loss she experienced even though her mother is still alive.  Coping with a parent with Alzheimer’s is Continue reading


SEE Every Elderly Person Through THESE Eyes

This amazing, anonymous poem shared by, titled Cranky Old Man really touched me. I feel compelled to share it with you in its’ truth and simplistic beauty:

“When an old man died in the geriatric ward of a nursing home in an Australian country town, it was believed that he had nothing left of any value.
Later, when the nurses were going through his meager possessions, They found this poem. Continue reading


Book for Caregivers to Aging or Ill Parents

Final Years cover on AmazonYou may wonder how I went from writing about my soul mate dog in MAGGIE The Dog Who Changed My Life to writing about parent care and loss. Although they are two different topics, both of my books bring to light difficult feelings and experiences that many find hard to talk about and listen to. Both MAGGIE and my parents touched my deeply and changed my life.

Are you a caregiver to aging or ill parents? Have you lost your parents? Many baby boomers are part of the sandwich generation caring for both their children and elderly parents. In my new book, FINAL YEARS Stories of Parent Care, Loss and Lives Changed, ten people shared stories of tough decisions, family dynamics, grief, and healing as their parents’ health diminished and they eventually passed. I weave my own account through each of their chapters. Continue reading


Pulmonary Fibrosis and My Dad

Do you know what Pulmonary Fibrosis is? Do you have an aging parent or other loved one suffering from it? According to the Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation, Pulmonary Fibrosis (PF) is a condition in which “the lung tissue becomes thickened, stiff, and scarred.” This is what happened to my father. The medical term for this scar tissue is fibrosis. Watching Dad’s quality of life change from this horrible disease was a heartbreak like I had not experienced before.

Oxygen is delivered to the entire body through the lungs. When someone like my father has PF, their lung tissue becomes scarred and thickens. There is therefore less healthy lung tissue to transfer oxygen into the blood to carry it throughout the body. As a result, the organs, including the heart and brain do not get the oxygen they need to function properly.  In Dad’s case he developed a debilitating anxiety as a result. And prior to having pulmonary fibrosis, there was nothing anxiety was even a remote part of Dad’s life or way of being.

In some cases, like Dad’s, doctors can determine the cause of the fibrosis (scarring). In his case it was related to asbestos exposure during his years of working in construction and remodeling. Often the cause remains unknown, and that is termed idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis or IPF. IPF occurs primarily in older adults. Continue reading