Monday, August 26, 2013

Always Looking for Advice for Caregivers.

Pictures of Will's confirmation. Mimi & Papa and Vovo (grandmother in Portuguese). Taken Spring 2012.
Talking to people who are taking care of a loved one, whether it is an elderly parent or special needs child, stress always comes into the conversation. We don't want to admit it, it feels like you are a weak person, like you can't do what those who have not done it, might consider like a job. "Just schedule it, just better your use of time management, just let one other thing go -your kids can wait." Raise your hand - how many have heard something like this. BrightStar Care of Southwest Houston, from Caregiver Junction had a post regarding 'what do family caregivers really need?'. Besides the outward tired look, caregiving can also lead to other health issues: infectious diseases, depression, sleep deprivation, premature aging, and higher mortality rate.

What does BrightStar say about it? Cognitive incapacity does have an important indirect effect through its influence on disruptive behavior and social functioning. It is important to find ways to deal with the disruptive behavior and declining social function. There are many ways to approach both of these, including day care centers for dementia patients and behavioral analysis of the disruptive behavior. Asking for help isn’t easy but these issues are difficult to handle alone.

Get help from the community resources available to you, seek out and accept respite care, learn new skills and acquire the tools you need to succeed.

Don’t see yourself as an island. A different study that showed that caregivers need more than just social support. It is critical to your health that you receive education, counseling, and/or direct services. It is important that you experience peer support and share the stressful but also rewarding experience of caregiving. However, we also need to acquire new tools to help us deal with new situations, we also need to invest in stress relief.

*** As you consider your journey as a caregiver don’t make your loved one your total focus. This is easier said than done but if you are going to finish your journey as a whole, healthy person it is important you keep part of your attention on your own needs.

Can't say it enough - use local resources: friends, senior centers, social service agencies, religious leaders. Ask for someone to take over for a time, look for respite care, day care centers. Don't feel like you have to do it all yourself.

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4 Signs of Caregiving Stress Overload

ElderCarelink email posts 4 signs that should not be overlooked by you, the caregiver, or a close family member or friend. They report that even though the immediate caregiver may not be helping in direct care, the mind is never far from the needs of the older person, thinking about meals, falling, medications. Take the opinion of a family member or friend if they are telling you that you are stressed. Four signs: you skip your own physicals; you isolate yourself from others; you eat and/or drink too much for good health; you are short tempered with the elder, your spouse or your children. If any or all of these sound familiar, take a break no matter how short in order to recharge. For more information on caregiver stress see ElderCarelink


You can check out my ranting and stream of consciousness writing about looking at adult service providers with Will.

A Caregiver's Poem

I was looking through a 'Caregiver's Blog: Senior Care Support' and came across a poem that was shared by a writer, Dana, from the blog. The poem was written by Becky Netherland and Dana's grandmother shared it with her. I thought it was great and there is not much to say about it - just read!!! Enjoy!!

Grandma’s Pearls of Wisdom:
(picture from Caregivers Blog)

I’ve traveled paths you’ve yet to walk
Learned lessons old and new
And now this wisdom of my life
I’m blessed to share with you
Let kindness spread like sunshine
Embrace those who are sad
Respect their dignity, give them joy
And leave them feeling glad
Forgive those who might hurt you
And though you have your pride
Listen closely to their viewpoint
Try to see the other side
Walk softly when you’re angry
Try not to take offense
Invoke your sense of humor
Laughter’s power is immense!
Express what you are feeling
Your beliefs you should uphold
Don’t shy away from what is right
Be courageous and be bold
Keep hope right in your pocket
It will guide you day by day
Take it out when it is needed
When it’s near, you’ll find a way
Remember friends and family
Of which you are a precious part
Love deeply and love truly
Give freely from your heart
The world is far from perfect
There’s conflict and there’s strife
But you still can make a difference
By how you live your life
And so I’m very blessed to know
The wonders you will do
Because you are my granddaughter
And I believe in you.

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