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Caregiver Blog: August 2012


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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