If you were to detail the top 5 emotions you encounter in meeting the caregiving needs of your aging parents, what would they be? Maybe you would first think of emotions like compassion, love, and sometimes, even frustration or stress. Would anger make the list? In many cases, though family caretakers wouldn’t wish to admit it, it’s quite common to feel angry about caring for aging parents.
“Worrying is using your imagination to create something you don’t want.” – Abraham Hicks
Worrying can quickly become a way of life for family caregivers. Between age-related concerns, chronic health conditions, and trying to balance a plethora of other commitments, it’s no wonder that anxious thoughts tend to overtake positive, peace-inducing ones, making it difficult to know just how to ease caregiver stress.
How Can You Alleviate Caregiver Worries?
It is possible, however, to take the energy you’re exerting for worry and changing it into productivity. These three simple steps are a great place to start:
To start, write it all down. Worrisome, anxious thoughts have a tendency to swirl haphazardly through our minds. If you write down your thoughts, it corrals them into manageable chunks, while giving … Read More »
What are your first thoughts as soon as you wake up each morning? Are you looking forward to what your day will bring, or would you rather crawl back underneath the covers and stay there? If you find yourself wondering, “How can I overcome caregiver dread?” you are not alone.
Distinctly different from depression, anxiety, and even burnout, caregiver dread is a heavy, exhausted sense of duty. It stems from feelings of overcommitment and the need to get away from responsibilities. While it is possible to push through and carry out needed tasks regardless of these feelings, there are methods to conquer them instead – and restore the joy that comes from making life better for someone you love. To begin with, … Read More »
Take a moment and look around your home and surroundings – the pictures on the walls, collectibles, furniture, books, and memorabilia that all are part of the story of your life and who you are as an individual. Now think about having to part with most of those items in order to move into a smaller home or a family member’s home. You can imagine how overwhelming it would feel. It’s important to keep this in mind if you’re helping your parents downsize.
How Can I Help Make Downsizing Easier?
If your parents are faced with the need to downsize, there are a number of steps you can take to simplify and ease the process. These guidelines from a professional organizer are a great place to … Read More »
Dementia delusions can come seemingly out of thin air: you place your loved one’s favorite chicken salad sandwich in front of her – light on the mayo, no onions – something she typically enjoys. But today, she pushes the plate away and will not take a bite, insisting that you’ve poisoned the food.
Or, you’ve provided your loved one with a meaningful activity that links her to a significant time in her past career, sorting paperwork. Out of the blue, she accuses you of tampering with the documents in order to steal money from her banking account.
How can you respond to dementia delusions or hallucinations without further agitating the person? Try these strategies:
Keep a controlled, soothing, understanding tone. It might be instinctive … Read More »
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:
Delusions, delirium, or hallucinations
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 »
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 … Read More »
“It takes a village” was never a more accurate statement than when taking care of an older family member. It’s important for that “village” to have effective, ongoing communication so that you can offer the best care and to make sure everyone taking part in that care is on the same page. It’s also critical for family caregivers to have the opportunity to express concerns and to come together to get to resolutions, to share various perspectives, and to continue to be proactive in preparing for the future.
Holding senior family care meetings that produce good outcomes includes thinking through the following:
Who should always be included – and who should not? Unquestionably, those providing direct or indirect care for the senior loved one should attend, as … Read More »
When asked whether they thought they might be at risk for financial elder abuse or fraud, the overwhelming majority of surveyed older adults – 81%, in fact – were confident that they would never fall for a scam. We all want to believe we’re too savvy and smart to be taken advantage of; but the reality is, many scammers are even smarter and savvier.
And though we might assume that financial fraud mostly occurs at the hands of strangers, the truth is that as many as two out of three of all financial crimes are committed by people the victim knows and trusts.
The good news is, there are several steps that seniors and their loved ones can take to protect themselves:
Register with EverSafe (or a … Read More »
Even though the ultimate goal is always to improve safety and health for seniors they love, family caregivers, regrettably, frequently end up diminishing their very own in the process. In fact, an astonishing 94% of caregivers in a study carried out by Ohio State University revealed musculoskeletal pain in a minimum of one part of their body – and 66% noted this pain influencing their quality of life.
And know that a “family caregiver” can describe anyone in the family who helps another individual with day to day activities. As reported by the Family Caregiver Alliance, this suggests 34 million Americans are at risk of becoming hurt through the care they provide.
At Hired Hands Homecare, we know firsthand the amount of lifting, bending, and weight-bearing necessary in satisfying the … Read More »