Family Caregivers


How to Effectively Handle the Extreme Emotions of Alzheimer’s

Screaming, crying, and other extreme emotions of Alzheimer’s can unnerve even the most seasoned family caregiver.

Of the many and varied challenging behaviors someone with Alzheimer’s may experience and display, perhaps the most heartbreaking is uncontrollable screaming and/or crying. Seeing a person you love in an inconsolable state of mind, and being completely unsure how to help or to understand what’s causing these extreme emotions of Alzheimer’s, is both painful and frustrating. How can you help a loved one with dementia feel calmer?

To begin with, realize that crying and yelling in dementia can occur as the result of:

Pain
Fear
Boredom
Sadness
Agitation
Frustration
Delusions, delirium, or hallucinations
Sundowning
An uncomfortable environment
Or a number of other factors

For the short-term, try these strategies to help:

Stay calm yourself, speaking to the senior in a soft, soothing tone of voice.
Try to uncover what’s causing the outburst. Maintaining a … Read More »



Help! I Can’t Live Up to My Aging Parents’ Expectations!

If you’re struggling to meet your aging parents’ expectations, these tips can help.

In an ideal world, we could manage to perfectly compartmentalize our caregiving duties, staying with a routine that met your aging parents’ expectations, while allowing enough time to take care of our assortment of other responsibilities. But needless to say, life doesn’t follow our desired script, and conflicting needs are frequent when caring for an aging parent. Many older adults resist the need for help, while others may come to depend too heavily on an adult child, leading to unfulfilled expectations and ultimately disappointment for both parties.

Hired Hands Homecare’s aging care professionals provide the following tips to help clarify expectations and communicate successfully:

Focus on empathy. As opposed to pulling away from an older loved one whose expectations seem unrealistic, stop and empathize. Think through … Read More »



Make Sure You Have These Legal Documents for Aging Parents in Place

Finalizing all of the necessary legal documents for aging parents can be a challenge, but these tips can help.

If there’s one thing we learned from the COVID pandemic, it’s to be ready for anything. Although it’s human nature to want to procrastinate, particularly as it relates to the unpleasant topic of future planning and putting together all of the necessary legal documents for aging parents, now is the best time to take stock of your loved ones’ final wishes and make sure all of the i’s are dotted and t’s are crossed, before the need arises.

Surprisingly, a number of older adults actually do begin the process of completing a will, trust, durable power of attorney, advance healthcare directive, etc., but for a variety of reasons, they never finalize these important documents. Attorney Carolyn Rosenblatt, author of … Read More »



5 Ways to Help with Rummaging Behaviors in Dementia

Rummaging behaviors in dementia can cause distress for family members, but they actually serve a purpose.

Digging through boxes, cabinets, and closets, taking out assorted items from drawers, and searching repetitively through a number of items may be frustrating for the people providing care for a loved one with Alzheimer’s, but in fact these actions are fulfilling a purpose. Rummaging behaviors in dementia can provide a degree of reassurance, along with the comfort of identifying familiar items and finding purpose and meaning.

The important thing then is not to discourage rummaging, which might lead to agitation, but to more effectively manage this behavior if it becomes disruptive.

How Can You Help Someone with Dementia with Rummaging Behaviors?

These guidelines will help:

Keep rummaging to a controlled area. Assemble bins of items the senior seems especially interested in, such as … Read More »



Dementia and Incontinence: 7 Tips to Help

If dementia and incontinence are causing challenges for someone you love, these tips can help.

Dementia care necessitates both compassion and creativity to deal with a number of complex behaviors and effects, and that’s particularly true when someone is experiencing both dementia and incontinence. Unfortunately, incontinence occurs frequently in Alzheimer’s as well as other forms of dementia. These tried-and-true approaches from our experts in home care in Marin and the surrounding areas can help decrease the impact of incontinence and prevent an escalation of emotions in someone you love with Alzheimer’s.

Choose your words very carefully. Rather than making reference to incontinence products as “diapers,” for example, call them “briefs” or “pull-up underwear.” Nonetheless, take the cue from your senior loved one; if she or he chooses to utilize the word “diapers” and seems more comfortable with that, then … Read More »



How to Approach Money Management Issues With Seniors

Money management issues with seniors need to be addressed tactfully and with sensitivity.

Among the most difficult obstacles for older adults is recognizing the need for help with financial matters. Finances are both extremely personal and a representation of your autonomy, and adult children specifically can often be met with opposition when stepping into this arena when suspecting money management issues with seniors. 

However, for a number of reasons, including the ever-increasing incidence of senior scams and cognitive decline, it’s essential to make sure that the financial assets our senior loved ones have acquired through the years are safeguarded, and that bills are paid correctly and on time. It’s an issue that needs to be taken care of delicately and with diplomacy. Try these strategies for an easy transition to assisting a loved one with monetary management:

The introductory … Read More »



Overcome Senior Isolation and Loneliness with These Tips

We know that socialization is vitally important for our overall emotional (and even physical) wellbeing – but we also know that senior isolation and loneliness is an epidemic in America. With the hectic pace of life, it’s difficult for families and friends to provide the full measure of social interaction needed to keep loneliness at bay for older adults, who are often homebound or unable to get out as much as they’d like. 

But the mother of invention truly is necessity, and the need for creative socialization solutions has sparked some interesting innovations:

The Chat Bench

Thanks to the police department in the southwest England town of Burnham-On-Sea, several benches now boast signage that boldly proclaims, “The Happy to Chat Bench: Sit Here if You Don’t Mind Someone Stopping to Say Hello.” And, stop they do! It’s a lovely … Read More »



4 Important Facts About Cancer You May Not Know

These facts about cancer may change the way you think about the disease.

Each year since 1999, we’ve achieved an increasing decline in cancer-related deaths, an encouraging trend that’s poised to continue as researchers learn more and more facts about cancer and its causes, and are able to develop new and better treatment methods. Yet cancer is still one of the leading causes of death in America, second only to heart disease – making it all the more crucial to continue to press forward with persistence to find a cure.

Here’s what we’ve learned so far:

Diet makes a difference. Although a diet rich in antioxidants can help prevent cell damage (and protect against cancer), a recent study showed that in some cases, cancers take advantage of a nutrient-rich diet, leading to accelerated metastasis. As a result, the recommendation … Read More »



Women and Alzheimer’s: Why the Risk Is So Much Greater and How to Help

Understand the trend between women and Alzheimer’s and discover how you can help someone you love who is battling the disease.

Researchers are finally beginning to get a grip on the imbalance between Alzheimer’s diagnoses in women and men. Currently, as many as 2/3 of those with Alzheimer’s in the U.S. are female. As scientists begin to understand the particular nuances behind the increasing trend of women and Alzheimer’s, we can begin to address the problem and find solutions.

According to the Alzheimer’s Association’s Director of Scientific Engagement, Rebecca Edelmayer, “Women are at the epicenter of Alzheimer’s disease as both persons living with the disease and as caregivers of those with dementia. Over the last three years, the Alzheimer’s Association has invested $3.2 million into 14 projects looking at sex differences for the disease and some of the … Read More »



4 Ways to Promote Purpose and Meaning for Seniors

Promote purpose and meaning for the seniors in your life with these ideas.

Think of a typical day in the life of a senior loved one. Hopefully it provides several positive and enriching experiences: enjoying breakfast, engaging in a fun hobby or interest, visiting with a friend or family member, watching a favorite TV show. Nevertheless, there’s a difference between positivity and purpose and meaning for seniors; and the need for a life rich with significance and purpose is starting to become more evident, particularly in the life of aging parents.

Viktor Frankl , world-renowned psychiatrist and survivor of the Holocaust, shares poignantly, “What matters is not the meaning in life in general, but rather the specific meaning of a person’s life at a given moment.”

For people whose identity has been focused on a career and raising … Read More »






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How to Effectively Handle the Extreme Emotions of Alzheimer’s

Screaming, crying, and other extreme emotions of Alzheimer’s can unnerve even the most seasoned family caregiver.

Of the many and varied challenging...

Happy Thanksgiving from Hired Hands Homecare

Greetings!

As we step into the Thanksgiving holiday, we would like to send a sincere and heart felt THANK YOU to...

Help! I Can’t Live Up to My Aging Parents’ Expectations!

If you’re struggling to meet your aging parents’ expectations, these tips can help.

In an ideal world, we could manage to perfectly...