How are you holding up on your caregiving journey?

01-14-2018On the Caregiving Journey…

How are you holding up on your caregiving journey? Are you beginning to feel the strain of handling too many responsibilities? Are you starting to resent the time and energy you are spending taking care of your loved one? Are you feeling unhappy and even depressed because you are no longer able to live your own life? Are there days when you feel like crying or screaming? Are you longing for the day when your journey is over? If any of these describe your present situation, you may be on experiencing early stages of compassion fatigue commonly experienced by professional and family caregivers who are rapidly losing their ability to provide care in a compassionate, loving way. Compassion fatigue sets in when caregivers do not take time for self-care. So what are you doing in the area of self-care? Not sure what to do? Not sure how to fit in self-care?

Taking Care of Yourself

01-07-2018On the Caregiving Journey…

This is the time of the year when everyone makes New Year's resolutions to live life in better, healthier ways. What resolutions have you made? Are you resolved to do something to take better care of yourself? As a caregiver, it is imperative that you engage in self-care. If you do not take care of yourself, you will not be able to take care of anyone else.

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Arizona Caregiver Coalition Lifespan Respite Voucher Program

12-31-2017On the Caregiving Journey…

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.

Holiday Tips for Caregivers - Part 2

12-24-2017On the Caregiving Journey…

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.

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Holiday Tips for Caregivers

12-17-2017On the Caregiving Journey…

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:

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How to Handle Holiday Preparations

11-26-2017On 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. Some of their tips are as follows:

  1. Include your loved one in some of the preparations focusing on his/her strengths.
  2. When decorating, try to keep the clutter to a minimum to decrease confusion.
  3. Maintain the furniture arrangement to prevent disorientation and tripping and falling.
  4. Schedule the major activities earlier in the day leaving quieter activities, such as visiting with guests, for the latter part of the day when your loved one is more likely to be tired.

For more tips on holiday stress for caregivers, go to www.caregiver.org/caregiving-and-holidays-stress-success.

Caregiver Burnout

11-19-2017On the Caregiving Journey…

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.

The New Reality of Being a Caregiver

11-05-2017On the Caregiving Journey…

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.