Caring for Someone with Alzheimer's

03-17-2019On the Caregiving Journey…

One of the most stressful journeys is taking care of someone with dementia or Alzheimer's. According to the Alzheimer's Association, more than 5 million Americans have been diagnosed with Alzheimer's. Ninety-five percent of are over the age of 65. One in every ten seniors has Alzheimer's. Every 66 seconds in this country, another person is diagnosed with the disease. Alzheimer's is the sixth leading cause of death in this country. How do you know if your loved one may be suffering from dementia or Alzheimer's or just showing normal effects of aging? The National Institute on Aging lists the following conditions as possible indicators of having Alzheimer's:

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Caregiving Resources

03-03-2019On the Caregiving Journey…

Are you currently providing some type of care for a loved one? If so, how many of these questions have entered your mind?

  1. How do I do my job as a caregiver?
  2. What resources are available to help me provide effective care for my loved one?
  3. Where can I go to learn more about various caregiving resources in my community?
  4. Who will understand what I am going through as a family caregiver?
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CAREversation Program

02-17-2019On the Caregiving Journey…

There are several organizations dedicated to helping caregivers with their caregiving responsibilities and duties. One of these organizations is AARP. An important way they are supporting caregivers is through their CAREversations program which is a free event for family caregivers.

The next CAREversation event will be held on Tue, Mar 5 from 5:00-7:00pm at Mi Amigo's Mexican Grill banquet room, 1264 S. Gilbert Road, Mesa 85204. If you are a caregiver taking care of a family member or loved one, you may want to take advantage of this opportunity to connect with fellow caregivers and exchange tips. The event will also include a presentation on the five key steps to aid caregivers in their caregiving journey. An additional presentation will provide information on local caregiving resources that are available in the Mesa area.

To register for the event, call 1-800-278-1045 or go to www.aarp.cvent.com/carephnx.

Let's Talk

02-03-2019On the Caregiving Journey…

There may come a time when caregivers realize that their loved ones can no longer care for themselves safely in their own homes or the caregivers can no longer provide the needed care. Caregivers are then faced with the issue of trying to convince their loved ones of the necessity to live elsewhere. If not approached appropriately, a power struggle will ensue between caregivers and care receivers with the latter insisting on remaining in their homes. How can this topic be discussed without becoming a bitter divisive issue? According to Stella Henry, R.N., author of The Eldercare Handbook, the conversation needs to start early before a crisis situation has developed. In addition, caregivers should make the conversation about their own feelings such as: “I’m really concerned about your safety; it worries me to see you living this way” OR “I’m worried that I can no longer give you all the care you need.” This approach has greater potential for encouraging a dialogue than just demanding and insisting on a change. Once the dialogue begins, caregivers can explore various options with their care receivers.

Dealing with Alzheimer's and Dementia

01-20-2019On the Caregiving Journey…

One of the most devastating diseases is Alzheimer's and other types of dementia. According to the Alzheimer's Association, Alzheimer's/dementia is the 6th leading cause of death in the United States. One out of every three seniors dies with Alzheimer's or another form of dementia. The most stressful journey for caregivers is taking care of someone with memory loss.

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Beginning a New Year of Caregiving

01-06-2019On the Caregiving Journey…

As the new year begins, you are now beginning a new year of caregiving. Reflect upon the past year and ask yourself how you did on your caregiving journey.

  1. If you felt overwhelmed in 2018, did you ask anyone else to help you with your caregiving duties?
  2. Did you take some breaks from your caregiving duties even if just for an hour or two each week?
  3. Did you seek and receive support from others on the caregiving journey through in-person support groups or online virtual support groups?
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Preventing Caregiver Burnout

12-23-2018On the Caregiving Journey…

One of the greatest challenges that caregivers face, especially during the holiday season is caregiver burnout. As caregivers devote more hours to provide increasingly more complex care for their loved ones while still managing all their other responsibilities, burnout, or compassion fatigue, starts to set in. How does a caregiver know he/she has compassion fatigue? There are many indicators that include being irritable, resentful, angry, depressed, annoyed, exhausted, frustrated, sarcastic, pessimistic, apathetic and overwhelmed. If you are experiencing one or more of these on a frequent, regular basis, then you may be experiencing compassion fatigue.

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Surviving the Holidays

12-16-2018On the Caregiving Journey…

The holidays are meant to be a joyous time spent with family and friends. For those who may be mourning the death of a loved one, the holidays can be very depressing in addition to stressful. One of the greatest challenges, especially in the first two years of grieving, is trying to get through the holidays with the least amount of stress and sorrow. AARP offers several tips that can make this challenge manageable including the following:

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Virtual Support Groups

12-09-2018On the Caregiving Journey…

Are you feeling the stress of helping someone take care of him/herself? Are you experiencing a roller coaster of emotions that actually surprise you? Perhaps you are experiencing frustration, resentment, guilt, and anger at your loved one for making demands on your time. These feelings are normal when you take care of another person whether or not you call yourself a caregiver. How does one get off the roller coaster? One of the best ways is to attend a support group that allows you to interact with your peers – others who are taking care of their loved ones and experiencing many of the same emotions.

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Journeying through Grief during the Holidays

12-02-2018On the Caregiving Journey…

The holidays are a time of family celebrations steeped in tradition. However, for those who are grieving, holidays can be very stressful. The issue is how to get through the holidays with the least amount of stress. With the use of a few tips, this can be possible. The Palliative Care Organization of Australia has developed a list of eleven tips to help those who are grieving.

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