Seniors List website called
' Nutritian and Hydration in the Elderly'. For those of us with older parents, we can all attest to the fact that their eating habits change. They want to eat less so we worry about their health, will they lose too much weight. If there is an illness, how does that impact their eating or drinking, are they focused too much on their condition? Is the condition the problem - with dementia or Alzheimer's they may forget to eat or drink. Sometimes incontinence is an issue. I know with mom, she would watch her drinking or fruit intake to stop her from going to the bathroom every couple of hours, especially if we were traveling or had to drive a long distance. 'Seniors List' mentions some things to investigate to see if you can find the root of the eating and/or drinking problem.
* Has there been a swallow study (Modified Barium Swallow) done to rule out a physical problem which makes swallowing difficult?
* Are ill-fitting dentures or poor dentition to blame for a decrease in eating?
* Is there a fear of drinking or eating because of problems with incontinence?
* Is depression a factor?
* Are medications to blame?
* Is dementia a factor?
* Is a decrease in appetite the result of a terminal illness?
Mom had issues with a couple of these - incontinence and dentures. So we adjusted her drinking with what we were doing. For her dentures, she would take them out before eating, we would cut up food in small pieces or shred it, eat more things like applesauce and yogurt. One time a dental hygienist told me that when older folks start losing weight, it affects their mouth and dentures will not fit properly. The 'Seniors List' site also lists questions caregivers need to ask if thinking about alternative nutrition methods. They are:
* Will alternative nutrition/hydration improve nutritional status?
* Will alternative nutrition/hydration decrease the risk of disease or prevent disease?
* Will alternative nutrition/hydration help to increase life expectancy?
* Will alternative nutrition/hydration improve the quality of life?
* Is alternative nutrition/hydration a short-term or long-term intervention?
* What are the risks involved with alternative nutrition/hydration?
* Are there any considerations if alternative nutrition/hydration is provided, but there is a "change of heart"?
So it is important to make decisions specific to the parent's condition and other medical concerns. People need to talk to their healthcare professional for advice.
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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!!
(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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