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Caregiver Blog

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Caring for the Caregiver 

Wednesday, August 8, 2012  by jhblogger

 

Do you live with or know someone who is full time caregiver caring for another?  Do you ever wish you could do more for them?  Here are some simple things you can do to help them help others:

 

1.      Go beyond one-time help. Find repeatable ways to help the caregiver in your life. Ideas include mowing the lawn, grocery shopping, providing rides to appointments, and preparing or delivering a meal.

2.      Help with family meetings. Family meetings are a good way to keep everyone engaged and working together. Ask the caregiver if you can help by scheduling a time, preparing an agenda, or even setting up a conference call number.

3.       Provide emotional support. Set up a weekly time to call or visit your caregiving friend or family member. Try to provide a comfortable way for him or her to vent frustrations or to simply stay connected.

4.      Establish a weekly practice. If possible, find one activity you can do every week for the caregiver. Ideas: take the care recipient to church, watch him or her for a couple of hours at the same time every week, or pick up medications.

5.      Be an exercise buddy. Regular exercise does wonders for caregiversí stress levels. Commit to regular walks, trips to the gym, or gardening with your family member or friend. Both of you will be glad you did.

6.      Help with home safety. Provide peace of mind by helping to make the care recipientís home safer. If youíre handy (or know someone who is), offer to do an inspection of the home and make any changes needed, such as installing grab bars in the bathroom or adding more lights.

7.      Cold, hard cash. Canít be there in person to help your sister? Donít underestimate the power of money to cover caregiving costs, including respite care that will let her take the breaks she needs.

8.      Bon voyage! Help finance or arrange a vacation, including the necessary substitute care. Even helping your family member or friend get away for a night or two can make a big difference.

9.      Get your own house in order. Give some thought to how youíll pay for your own long term care. Research all the options and put your plan in place.

10.  Research community help. Chances are your friend or family member doesnít have time to research all the help available in the community. Find out whatís available in terms of respite care, assisted living services, adult day care, and other community resources

 

If you are looking for more information on assisted living services available from Arbor Rose at Jerome Home, please join Resident Care Counselor Katie Mauriello for an open house on August 18, 2012 from 10:00AM to 2:00PM or call for more information at 860-229-3707.

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Signs of Caregiver Stress 

Wednesday, August 1, 2012  by jhblogger

 10 Symptoms of Caregiver Stress :

Caring for a Loved One with Alzheimer's

  1. Denial- about the disease and its effect on the person who has been diagnosed.
    "I know Mom is going to get better ."
  2. Anger -at the person with Alzheimer's, anger that no cure exists or anger that people don't understand what's happening.
    "If he asks me that one more time I'll scream! "
  3. Social withdrawal- from friends and activities that once brought pleasure.
    "I don't care about getting together with the neighbors anymore.
  4. Anxiety -about the future.
    "What happens when he needs more care than I can provide? "
  5. Depression -that begins to break your spirit and affects your ability to cope.
    "I don't care anymore. "
  6. Exhaustion- that makes it nearly impossible to complete necessary daily tasks.
    "I'm too tired for this. "
  7. Sleeplessness- caused by a never-ending list of concerns.
    What if she wanders out of the house or falls and hurts herself?
  8. Irritability- that leads to moodiness and triggers negative responses and actions.
    "Leave me alone! "
  9. Lack of concentration- that makes it difficult to perform familiar tasks.
    "I was so busy, I forgot we had an appointment. "
  10. Health problems -that begin to take a mental and physical toll.
    "I can't remember the last time I felt good."

If you experience any of these signs of stress on a regular basis, make time to talk to your doctor, as well as talk to family or friends for support! What other ways can a caregiver relieve stressors or cope with their situation?

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Summer Traveling 

Friday, July 13, 2012  by jhblogger

Are any of you traveling this summer? I'm sure many of you are. It's a great time to enjoy the sunshine, barbeques, parks, and time with family. Here are some basic tips to keep in mind which may make your travels with a loved one easier.

-Plan a short trip that involves few stops. Traveling a far distance can be challenging depending on your loved ones abilities.

-Stick to familiar places. Less change to routine and being surrounded by familiar things is more comfortable for your loved one, especially if they have dementia.

-Have a bag of essentials including medications, change of comfortable clothes, water, snacks, and maybe activities.

-Allow plenty of time for rest and restroom breaks. A packed schedule with walking or events can be overwhelming for a senior.

Please share any tips you may have or stories and happy summer traveling!

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Honoring Our Veterans on Independen Day 

Monday, July 2, 2012  by jhblogger


To all Jerome Home and Arbor Rose Family and Freinds, Happy Independence Day!  Every July 4th the United States recognizes their independence from Great Britain.  Arbor Rose and Jerome Home would like to take this time to honor their veterans, including residents, employees, friends and family members.  These individuals fight for our freedoms and we should honor them each year.    We would just like to say thank you.


For those caring for a veteran, the United States Department of Veteran Affairs offers financial assistance to those that qualify for programs including, assisted living, adult day services and even prepaid burial services.  For more information about qualification for the VA Benefits program see the link below:  http://www.veteranaid.org/program.php   or contact your local VA Benefits Officer.


 

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Schools Out, Time to Enjoy the Sunshine! 

Monday, June 18, 2012  by jhblogger

With school out for the summer, now is the time to start enjoying the warm weather.  The outdoors is a great place to spend some quality time with those that we are caring for.  Research has found sunlight to have benefits for our health:

 
  • Sunlight can relieve symptoms of depression and anxiety, especially in those suffering from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).
  • Sunlight may improve sleeping patterns in people suffering from dementia, particularly when exposed to morning light.
  • Sunlight may possibly improve the bodyís immune response to wound healing.
 
Although sunshine can be therapeutic, UV light rays found in light can be dangerous to the skin and possibly lead to skin cancer.  Here are some sun safety tips for you:
  • The strongest sun is between 10AM and 4PM, so avoid direct sunlight during those hours.
  • Be sure to cover up with sun screen of at least SPF 15 or higher and children should wear SPF of 30 or higher.
  • Be sure to cover all the skin including face, ears, nose and head if hair is thinning. 
  • Be sure to reapply sun screen after getting wet.  Itís recommended to reapply every 1-2 hours.
  • Drink lots of water to avoid dehydration.
  • If there are any signs of sun damage, apply cool cloths and cooling lotions, such as aloe vera. 
 
 
Arbor Rose and Jerome Home would like to wish their friends and families a happy summer.  We home you get outside and enjoy the sun!!!
 
 

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