Caregiver Support Tip
Of the numerous challenges related to caregiving, the Alzheimer’s Association indicates that the most prevalent challenge is hygiene care for someone with Alzheimer’s, for various reasons:
Decreased sense of vision and smell
Comfort found in familiarity (i.e., desiring to wear exactly the same clothes repeatedly)
The challenges of bathing, compounded by cognitive impairment and confusion
Fear of falling, the noises and feelings associated with the water, and more
Cajoling, arguing, and logical thinking are hardly ever practical strategies with those impacted by Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia. Rather, attempt these innovative techniques if your loved one resists hygiene care:
Arrange the bathroom in advance so that the room will likely be comfortable and you will not have to juggle collecting supplies along with assisting your senior loved one. Warm the … Read More »
As a family caregiver, you obviously encounter an array of feelings throughout the day: shared laughter over a joke with your senior loved one; worry due to a health concern; and certainly, from time to time, irritation. We want only the best for those we love, and if a senior loved one is resistant to doing an activity we realize is beneficial, it could be tough to identify the most appropriate response.
The key is to try to offer motivation and support, while remaining cautious not to ever cross the line into bullying your senior loved one. These caregiving tips are good to remember:
There’s no one-size-fits-all. An approach that has worked on a single occasion may perhaps be entirely ineffective in another. In … Read More »
Our facial expressions divulge so much to those around us, and when you’re feeling an unusual level of caregiver stress, well-meaning family members will certainly recognize it, possibly encouraging you to essentially, “Cheer up, buttercup!” In reality, of course, it takes a whole lot more than a couple of words to turn our mood around.
Nonetheless, recent research does support the concept of positive thinking as a method to minimize levels of depression and anxiety which might develop when we’re bombarded with stress – something critical for busy family caregivers to take to heart to decrease the possibility for burnout.
Judith Moskowitz, head psychologist in the research project who consequently established a program to combat the downward spiral of emotions so typical in individuals providing … Read More »
Sharing what’s on our hearts with those we love is never more important than when someone is nearing the end of life. There are often unspoken sentiments and unresolved issues that, once verbalized, can bring peace and a deeper connection with our loved ones in their final days.
As Dr. Jessica Zitter, physician in critical and palliative care medicine at Highland Hospital in Oakland, CA explains, “Those are opportunities for people to take stock and say, ‘I want to be more intentional about how I want to relate to people in my life.’ Death should really be seen as the last opportunity that you have to make amends and clean things up before you’re in the next world, wherever that may be.”
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Of all the impacts of Alzheimer’s disease, one of the most alarming is the individual’s tendency for wandering and the potential dangers that may develop if the senior becomes confused or lost. Wandering in dementia can occur any time the older adult is:
Scared, confused, or overwhelmed
Trying to find someone or something
Trying to maintain a familiar past routine (such as going to work or shopping)
Tending to a simple need (such as searching for a drink of water or going to the bathroom)
The aim is twofold; to help keep your loved one secure, and also to be certain that his/her needs are satisfied to attempt to stop the want to wander to begin with. Consider the following safety measures if your … Read More »
“I’m telling you, there’s a dog in my closet! I hear it growling all night long. We’ve got to track down its owner!”
Listening to a senior loved one express concerns like this that you know to be untrue is distressing – however, not unheard of. Your first instinct may well be to try and rationalize with the person with a response such as, “Nonsense! There is no way a dog could have gotten into the closet!” However, for various reasons, this could be the least effective technique to handle unreasonable thoughts and paranoia in seniors.
Instead, we at Hired Hands Homecare propose the following tactics which will help bring back a sense of calm and wellbeing:
First, schedule an appointment with the senior’s physician. It … Read More »
The days when extended families lived together on neighboring plots of land are, unfortunately, a thing of the past in many cases. With loved ones spread apart, it’s not always possible to provide the caring, hands-on care and support that older family members often need, especially when a chronic health condition – like Parkinson’s disease – creates additional concerns.
Yet even from a distance, there are still plenty of ways to assist. The Michael J. Fox Foundation offers these tips on how to help someone with Parkinson’s from afar:
Get organized. Take and keep detailed notes about medications being taken, treatments, emergency contacts, and other aspects of the person’s care needs. A digital version of this … Read More »
Good nutrition is crucial during cancer treatment and recovery, yet not always easy to achieve. Appetite problems during chemotherapy are common, as a result of the way the treatment impacts how foods taste. Many people undergoing chemo treatment complain of a metallic aftertaste in foods, and this can even occur in plain water. When combined with another prevalent side effect of chemotherapy – nausea – sticking to a healthy diet can be a challenge.
Clinically known as dysgeusia, it’s a condition that affects as many as 65% of patients receiving chemotherapy, sometimes lasting for just a few days or even up to several months. Nutritionist Ginger Hultin, RDN, explains, “Taste changes can really turn people off to eating enough food. Patients can start … Read More »
Have you ever woken up and said, “It’s definitely going to be one of those days!” Maybe your alarm didn’t go off, the hot water heater decided to stop working, and the dog chewed up one of your favorite shoes overnight. Now consider if each day were “one of those days!” For someone living with pain or chronic illness (and that is the majority of the older adult population), routine struggles and challenges may be a given.
However, there are several steps that the elderly can take to discover and maintain a life of joy, even in the face of chronic illness. For instance:
Follow passions. Discovering purpose and meaning in every day is essential – and achievable. Many older adults … Read More »
Not long ago, actor Rob Lowe brought caregiving into the spotlight by sharing his story of caring for his mother and the toll it took on his own life. He said, “When you’re caring for a loved one, there’s nothing you won’t do to give them as much comfort and peace of mind as you can possibly provide. Often that means you’ll skip your social obligations, wreck your diet, suffer sleep deprivation, and even risk your career.” So, does that mean you need to choose between a career and caregiving for an older loved one?
Obviously, this topic is not anything new to the 75% of the United States workforce who are concurrently providing care for a parent at home. Based … Read More »