Empathy for Caregivers Feed

Group Singing Offers Multiple Benefits for People with Dementia

Guitar3Recently, I wrote about how playing in an orchestra has helped  people living with dementia renew their confidence in themselves.  Another twist on music has now come in a recent report from the British Psychological Society's Division of Clinical Psychology in London. The researchers describe how both the people in their study who had dementia, as well as their caregivers, benefitted from group singing.This exercise seemed to have much the same effect on the people with the dementia as the orchestra experiment.

Read more on HealthCentral about how group singing care help care partners relate:

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“I hold onto your book as a life preserver and am reading it slowly on purpose...I don't want it to end.”  Craig William Dayton, Film Composer

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Faith Helps Some Caregivers Relieve Stress According to Study

Prayer3As a longtime family caregiver who provided, and continues to provide, differing levels of care for loved ones with illnesses, I can attest to the fact that caregiving can be unimaginably stressful. For dementia caregivers, the stress is even more extreme. Only lately have we seen the results of studies that have followed family caregivers.

Read more on HealthCentral about how faith can help many caregivers:

Support a caregiver or jump start discussion in support groups with real stories - for bulk orders of Minding Our Elders e-mail Carol

Global Alzheimer’s Study Now Enrolling


Illnesses and Hospitalization Can Permanently Worsen Dementia

DeathDear Carol: Can illnesses like a bad cold, the flu, a urinary infection or other common ailment make someone with Alzheimer’s worse? My mother had been diagnosed to be in quite an early stage of Alzheimer’s disease but she still got along very well. She then developed a cold which was followed by a UTI and then pneumonia so we had to have her hospitalized. The whole experience was terrible. Mom’s physical issues were eventually taken care of by antibiotics and she seems alright physically, but she’s gotten much more confused and her short-term memory has deteriorated markedly. I’m wondering what caused this big change so quickly. The doctor said that since Alzheimer’s is progressive it’s hard to tell. He’s guiding us toward looking for a memory unit for Mom since she lives alone and I can’t quit my job to take care of her at home as progresses to the middle stages of the disease. This stage now seems much closer than a month ago before she got sick. Is this a common situation? STC

Read more on Inforum about how illness can make dementia worse:

Support a caregiver or jump start discussion in support groups with real stories - for bulk orders of Minding Our Elders e-mail Carol

Global Alzheimer’s Study Now Enrolling


A Speech Pathologist Explains Common Swallowing Issues Part 1: Causes and Coping

Visiting4A few months ago, a gerontologist told us her story about how she coped as a family caregiver when her father developed swallowing problems (dysphagia). Considering the seriousness and frequency of these issues with aging adults, I felt that we needed further information from a specialist. I contacted speech-language pathologist Kathryn Kilpatrick who has spent four decades helping people cope with these issues.

Read more on HealthCentral about swallowing problems that are common among people with dementia:

Support a caregiver or jump start discussion in support groups with real stories - for bulk orders of Minding Our Elders e-mail Carol

Global Alzheimer’s Study Now Enrolling


Interview with Dr. Barry Jacobs, Psy. D: How to Identify and Minimize Caregiver Burden

StressedMan“Some people do not realize the extent of their stress and burnout, so they do not realize that they need to take action or look into things that can help them,” says Barry J. Jacobs, Psy.D., a licensed psychologist in the state of Pennsylvania. “This puts those caregivers at greater risk for fatigue and depression and, ultimately, for being unable to continue their caregiving duties.” Dr. Jacobs is the author of “The Emotional Survival Guide for Caregivers: Looking After Yourself and Your Family While Helping an Aging Parent.” He also coauthored “Meditations for Caregivers: Practical, Emotional and Spiritual Support for You and Your Family” with his wife, Julia L. Mayer, Psy.D.

Read full article on Agingcare about caregiver burnout and stress:

Purchase Minding Our Elders: Caregivers Share Their Personal Stories – paperback or ebook

“I hold onto your book as a life preserver and am reading it slowly on purpose...I don't want it to end.”  Craig William Dayton, Film Composer

Global Alzheimer’s Study Now Enrolling

 


Hospice Care about Re-Focusing Priorities, Not Giving Up

Hands9Our culture is steeped in language that makes accepting the terminal diagnosis of ourselves or a loved one more difficult to accept than it needs to be. Doctors say, “I’m sorry, there’s nothing more we can do. You might want to look into hospice care.” Patients tell their doctors that they want “aggressive treatment,” until there is nothing else that can be done, then they will go on hospice care. The crux of these conversations is that medicine will do everything possible and then when you give up you will go on hospice care.

Read more on HealthCentral about understanding hospice care:

Support a caregiver or jump start discussion in support groups with real stories - for bulk orders of Minding Our Elders e-mail Carol

Global Alzheimer’s Study Now Enrolling

 


Dad Crushed When Mom Finds New Love in Care Home

DementiaManDear Carol: My mother developed Alzheimer’s about six years ago.  Dad was her primary caregiver until his health began to deteriorate. At that time, the family talked Dad into placing Mom into a good, local memory unit where she’s lived for two years.  She no longer knows any of her children, or even her husband, but now she’s got a boyfriend in the nursing home. They hold hands and are together as much as possible. Dad knows that Mom’s behavior is caused by the disease, but when he visits Mom and sees them holding hands it breaks his heart. The man’s wife isn’t bothered by the relationship since her husband, who also has Alzheimer’s, is happy. She says to let it go because this relationship doesn’t mean anything. I agree with her, but watching Dad suffer is almost too much. How can we help him? CTB

Read more on Inforum about person with Alzheimer's finding new love:

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“I hold onto your book as a life preserver and am reading it slowly on purpose...I don't want it to end.”  Craig William Dayton, Film Composer


5 Examples of How Forgiveness Can Improve a Caregiver's Life

ForgivenessForgiveness, or the lack thereof, can loom large in the life of a caregiver. Forgiving doesn’t mean forgetting. That is rule number one for people to remember when they are working toward crafting better relationships with family members and others whom they care about. Forgiveness can have enormous benefits for the health of the person who does the forgiving. Considering that negative thinking can be disastrous to your own health , you may want to work toward the positive habit of forgiveness. Here are some people that you may need to forgive along with reasons why you should.

Read more on HealthCentral about how forgiveness can improve your own life:

Support a caregiver or jump start discussion in support groups with real stories - for bulk orders of Minding Our Elders e-mail Carol

Global Alzheimer’s Study Now Enrolling


10 Tips for Being a True Friend to a Family Caregiver

FriendsIf you are just a casual friend to the caregiver, perhaps it's best to remain that way. Still, some of you really care about your caregiving friend and want to help, but you don't know how. The following tips may give your some insight into what you can do to help your friend as he or she takes care of their elderly loved one. (Remember to take this as general advice since every caregiver and every care situation is unique.)

Read more on Agingcare about how to be a good friend to a caregiver:

Purchase Minding Our Elders: Caregivers Share Their Personal Stories – paperback or ebook

“I hold onto your book as a life preserver and am reading it slowly on purpose...I don't want it to end.”  Craig William Dayton, Film Composer

Global Alzheimer’s Study Now Enrolling


Are New Beginnings Possible for Caregivers?

JournalingYou're in a rut. The awareness may begin with a birthday, a seasonal change, an event or a new year. Whatever the reason, the sameness of each day in your life as a caregiver can, at times, seem overwhelming and permanent. Yes, you have adrenaline rushes when your loved one has an emergency. Yes, you have frequent medical updates and experience other changes in your loved one's care. But what about you? What about your need, as a caregiver, to look forward to something fresh in your own life every once in a while?

Read more on Agingcare about ways to get your life back on track:

Purchase Minding Our Elders: Caregivers Share Their Personal Stories – paperback or ebook

“I hold onto your book as a life preserver and am reading it slowly on purpose...I don't want it to end.”  Craig William Dayton, Film Composer

Global Alzheimer’s Study Now Enrolling