Are you exhausted from the holidays? Are you thinking how great it would be to take a little time off from your caregiving duties but wondering how you can afford the luxury? If you are overqualified for free respite care programs and not able to afford to pay private professional caregivers, then you need to check out the Arizona Caregiver Coalition Lifespan Respite Voucher program. To qualify for a $300 quarter-year respite voucher, you must be a full-time family caregiver living with your care receiver.
To obtain more information and an application form, call the Caregiver Resource Line at 1-888-737-7494. As a dedicated caregiver, you deserve to take a break to renew and refresh your energy.
As a caregiver, you may be feeling extremely stressed and overwhelmed with holiday tasks in addition to all your caregiving duties. According to Amy Goyer featured on the AARP website, applying these two important points can make a big difference in your emotional health:
Stay mindful on what needs to be done right now. Don't let your mind stray to the long list of tasks that you need to complete.READ MORE
The holidays can be very stressful for everyone including caregivers and care receivers. Caregivers may feel a heavy burden of taking on holiday preparations while care receivers, especially those with memory problems, may become confused and disoriented by the change in their daily routines. The Mayo Clinic provides the following tips on how to handle holiday preparation and celebration in ways to reduce stress:READ MORE
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. Some of their tips are as follows:
For more tips on holiday stress for caregivers, go to www.caregiver.org/caregiving-and-holidays-stress-success.
One of the greatest challenges that caregivers face 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.
What is to be done about caregiver burnout? The best thing caregivers can do is to take a break from their caregiving duties. While a longer break is desirable, shorter breaks (30 minutes to a couple of hours) can help a caregiver feel refreshed and re-energized.
Most caregivers do not plan to become caregivers. Instead through a series of events that affected the independence of their loved ones, they find that they have acquired the position and title of family caregiver. With accepting this new reality, many caregivers find themselves learning the job as they do the job. In an ideal world, family members would have the opportunity to learn more about caregiving and develop a plan of care before assuming the role of caregiver. It is NEVER too early to start thinking about providing care for a loved one.
So you are a caregiver, and YOU know that you are a caregiver. However, who else knows that? What would happen if you were hospitalized for a serious situation and could not communicate? Who would be there to look after your care receiver? Who would know that someone is depending upon you?
While this may be a hypothetical situation, it can easily become reality. Your loved one could be left stranded without any caregiving support if something were to happen to you. This unfortunate situation can be avoided with a very simple solution - carry a Caregiver’s Emergency Card with you at all times to alert emergency personnel that you are a caregiver. Fashion your card for your wallet using an index card. Make sure you provide the following information: name, address, age of your care receiver; your relationship to the care receiver; phone number of another caregiver or family member; and whether or not your care receiver can be left alone. In addition, write the same information on a sheet of paper and place it on your refrigerator. Paramedics automatically check refrigerators for information. If you are caring for your loved one in your home, also place both your loved one’s medication list and yours on the refrigerator.
In today's busy world we talk about one-stop shopping which makes life easier. This concept also applies to the busy caregiving world in which caregivers can benefit from one-click access to resources. If you are a caregiver with very little time to do research resources, then you may find the Caregiver Action Network (CAN) website to be very helpful. The website has a section that is devoted to various resources and information designed to support caregivers that are only a click away. This section contains links to information on nutrition tips, nutrition counseling for those with cancer, technology for caregivers, handling incontinence, managing medications, how to talk with doctors, managing the cost of care, understanding Medicare, advance directives, Alzheimer's caregiving, respite care for caregivers, caregiver depression and free clinical tries in addition to other topics.
To get to this one-click page on the CAN website, go to caregiveraction.org/family-caregiver-toolbox.
Compassion fatigue, also known as caregiver burnout, is a common problem among caregivers. As caregiving responsibilities become more complex and require more time, caregivers find themselves stretched in many directions as they try to manage other responsibilities. There may even come a point when the caregiver is so exhausted that she or he just wants the caregiving journey to be over. How does a caregiver know he/she has compassion fatigue? Some of the signs 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.READ MORE
Mark your calendar for some special events coming soon! On Sat, Nov 4, FSL (formerly Foundation for Senior Living) will be holding its 3rd Annual Family Caregiver Open House from 8:30am-3:00pm at the FSL Caregiver House, 1201 E. Thomas Road, Phoenix 85014. At this come-and-go-as-you-please event, you will be able to learn about caregiving resources and self-care for caregivers, receive caregiving tips, and watch some healthy cooking demos. You are even welcome to bring your care receivers with you. They will be provided with free respite care under the supervision of professional caregivers while you attend the seminars.READ MORE
Is your care receiver a veteran? If so, are you aware that the Veterans Administration offers a number of programs to support family caregivers taking care of their loved ones who are veterans? The programs are designed to provide support and help for the veteran and for the family caregiver both in the home and out of the home. The VA has trained professionals who can talk with you and help you determine which programs and services would be the best fit for your specific situation.
As one of the 65 million family caregivers in our country, you are on a busy, often stressful, time-demanding journey. Research has shown that one of the best ways for caregivers to take care of themselves is to join a caregiver support group and attend meetings regularly. While this is ideal, it is not often practical as many caregivers are unable to get away from their duties and responsibilities to attend meetings. Now it is possible to use an app to connect with other caregivers who are experiencing very similar caregiving situations. The app is called CINC – Caregivers in the Community. This free, mobile app is offered through AARP's Care Connection which is part of the AARP caregiving community.READ MORE
One of the greatest concerns for older/ill people is falling down. Caregivers often have to deal with the after-effects of their loved ones falling. Last week we looked at four ways to help prevent falls through encouraging regular exercise, medication mindfulness, visual health checks and safe home environment. According to Health in Aging.org, many older people suffer from osteopenia or osteoporosis which is thinning and weakening of bones. With this health condition, people can easily break their bones when they fall. However, it is also possible that the reverse can occur. People with weakened bones occasionally fall after a bone has broken. How does a caregiver know if his/her care receiver has osteopenia or osteoporosis? Warning signs include stooped posture and loss of height. If these signs are present, the caregiver should discuss the issue with the care receiver's physician.
For more information on what caregivers can do to help a care receiver with osteopenia or osteoporosis, check out the website for Health in Aging at the following link: www.healthinaging.org/resources/ resource:eldercare-at-home-boneweakness/.