Helpful Holiday Hints for Caregivers

11-25-2018On the Caregiving Journey…

The holidays can be very stressful for everyone including caregivers and care receivers. The Caregiver Alliance provides tips on how to handle holiday preparations and reduce stress. The following are some of their tips:

  • Include your loved one in some of the preparations focusing on his/her strengths.
  • When decorating, try to keep the clutter to a minimum to decrease confusion.
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A Great Resourse can be the Caregiver's Insurance Company

11-11-2018On the Caregiving Journey…

One resource for caregivers that is often overlooked is the care receiver's health care insurance provider. Most of the major health insurance companies provide a variety of resources that can be accessed by caregivers.

  • Need some helpful advice and decision-making support as you care for your loved one?
  • Looking for a registered nurse to conduct an in-person health overview of your loved one?
  • Need someone to assess the safety of your loved one's living arrangements?
  • Looking for a calendar tool to manage your loved one's support and care?
  • Need some help in finding and arranging for community-based programs and services to support your loved one?
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The Grief Journey

11-04-2018On the Caregiving Journey…

No two grief journeys are alike; all grief journeys are different. Two individuals grieving the same person, such as a wife grieving the loss of her husband and a daughter grieving the loss of her father (same person), will often experience entirely different journeys based upon their own relationships with the deceased. In addition, a person who has grieved the loss of two or more loved ones will find that each journey was different from the others again based upon each unique relationship. It is not unusual for a person to grieve the loss of one loved one more than the loss of another. It is important to remember this point – that all grief journeys are different – and not make comparisons as a person might think something is wrong because his/her journey is longer or shorter, more stressful or less stressful, or more complicated or less complicated than another person’s journey or the journey traveled for a previous loss. Each journey through grief is as unique as the person who is experiencing it.

Prepare to Care: Planning Guide for Families

10-14-2018On the Caregiving Journey…

You, like many other people, may have just learned that your loved one has been diagnosed with a chronic, serious and/or terminal health condition. As the significance of this situation sinks in, you may have also realized that you are now becoming a caregiver possibly facing a long journey. You may be asking yourself, "Where do I start?"

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National Caregivers Library

10-28-2018On the Caregiving Journey…

If you are a family caregiver who is trying to perform caregiving duties while working and caring for your own family, you may feel overwhelmed by all that you have to do. In such a situation, there is never enough time in the day to be on top of everything. While there are many resources available for family caregivers, many caregivers just do not have the time to spend on the internet searching for websites that have appropriate and practical information that can be readily and easily applied.

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Comments from Friends and Family

10-21-2018On the Caregiving Journey…

As a traveler on the journey through grief, you may have experienced family members and friends who meant well, but actually added to your burden of grief through their comments. They may have assumed they were being sensitive and supportive when they offered thoughts such as: "He's in a better place now. God needed her in heaven. He's no longer suffering. This is better for everyone. Now you can go on with your life. I know how you're feeling; I've been there. You're still young; you have time to re-marry/have more children."

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Prepare to Care: Planning Guide for Families

10-14-2018On the Caregiving Journey…

You, like many other people, may have just learned that your loved one has been diagnosed with a chronic, serious and/or terminal health condition. As the significance of this situation sinks in, you may have also realized that you are now becoming a caregiver possibly facing a long journey. You may be asking yourself, "Where do I start?"

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Coping with Grief

10-07-2018On the Caregiving Journey…

Some times when a loved one dies, relationships among family members will become stronger as family come together to grieve their loss and support each other. Other times, death can be a very divisive element, breaking families apart. Some family members may approach their grief with denial attempting to move on as quickly as possible and may expect other family members to do the same. Some family members may be experiencing longer periods of shock unable to accept the reality of their loss. Other family members may be so weighed down with their loss that they are unable to move forward to begin the healing process. In addition, they may question how others can move on and act like nothing serious has happened. These different reactions can create a lot of stress for everyone. What has to be remembered is that each family member is grieving in his/her own unique way. Attending a support group can be very helpful. However, if relationships are strained, it is best that mourners attend meetings individually so that they feel free to share their deepest feelings without upsetting other family members. If the relationships continue to be strained, family counseling may be beneficial to all.

Simple Tasks can become a Challenge

09-30-2018On the Caregiving Journey…

As people age and grow weaker, it becomes more difficult to perform “simple” tasks such as sitting down, rising up out of a sitting position to stand and even walking. What was once easily done without thought, now becomes a challenge that must be carefully executed to avoid falling. At the same time, these tasks can become a challenge for caregivers who want to assist their loved ones, but can end up harming the care receiver and themselves if they assist inappropriately. Older people and health-compromised individuals who have been hospitalized will often receive occupational therapy following hospitalization to learn how to safely perform simple daily living tasks. Caregivers can ask to be included in the therapy sessions so they can learn how to assist their care receivers appropriately. Caregivers who do not have access to occupational therapists can acquire the information online.

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Grief is a Journey

09-23-2018On the Caregiving Journey…

The journey through grief is just that – a journey that goes through and not around grief. The feelings that come with loss can be so intense that people prefer to do anything to get past the pain of grief. This means that mourners will suppress their feelings, burying them deep within and pretend that everything is just fine. Actually, this is the worst way to proceed after a loved one has died. There is no way to get around grief as the grief will stay and fester until the mourner does something about it.

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Assessing Driving Ability

09-16-2018On the Caregiving Journey…

One of the challenges that many caregivers face is dealing with older loved ones who still want to drive their cars. The good news, according to the latest issue of the AARP Bulletin, is that older drivers (ages 70 and up) today are involved in fewer accidents than their counterparts a generation ago. Yet, as a caregiver, you may wonder if your loved one should continue to drive.

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Grief Myths - Part 2

09-09-2018On the Caregiving Journey…

Over the past two months, we have looked at several commonly held myths about grieving. One myth that creates a lot of guilt is the idea that a mourner should not ever be angry at the deceased loved one. This myth is truly impractical and unrealistic. It is not unusual or abnormal to be angry. The anger can stem from many things including the loved one’s decision(s) to not take the situation seriously, to not take care of him/herself, to refuse to seek medical assistance, to not follow the doctor’s orders, and to not let the important people in her/his life know what is happening.

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Area Agency on Aging

09-02-2018On the Caregiving Journey…

If you are a caregiver caring for your parent, grandparent or an elderly loved one, you may be concerned with what you can do to help your care receiver remain in his/her home for as long as possible. Most care receivers prefer remaining in their homes as opposed to moving to an assisted living arrangement. However, they may not be healthy enough to continue doing so without support from you and other care providers. One valuable resource for helping elders remain independent is the Area Agency on Aging. This organization features a variety of resources for seniors and caregivers.

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