Faith Feed

As 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. One of the most scientific, in that it uses hard physical evidence, was published last spring. The study, by Ohio State University in conjunction with the National Institute on Aging, showed that caregivers may have their lifespan shortened by four to eight years. Read more →


How can faith help both caregivers and people with dementia get through something that makes no sense even to those who believe in a loving God - or maybe especially to those who believe in a loving God? Many people have asked me this question. My own spiritual beliefs have been vital to my caregiving life, but I wanted to give people more depth than I could provide on my own. With that in mind, I asked Dr. Benjamin Mast, a licensed clinical psychologist... Read more →


Most Alzheimer's organizations have found that, in general, people are more afraid of a dementia diagnosis than finding out that they have cancer. One reason for this fear is the stigma that accompanies dementia. While sympathetic to those who have Alzheimer's and other dementias, people who haven't been close to anyone with the disease often think that any type of satisfying life is out of reach after such a diagnosis. Read more →


Sometimes it's just easier to stay home. I'll admit I have these thoughts more often than most people, as I don't have a very social personality. However, when it comes to caregivers, it's often undeniably true - it easier to stay home...If we won't push ourselves to respond to invitations they will dwindle. People will get tired of asking. And many caregivers, no matter where the loved one lives, can sink into isolation and start refusing opportunities to go out with friends because seems too exhausting to go. It's just one more thing to do. I did that, even when the last three of my elders were living in a nursing home. Read more →


It should come as no surprise that optimistic thinking is, for the most part, better for one’s health than negative thinking. In fact, negative thinking has been connected to poor health for some time. A recent study confirms what was previously suspected, linking optimistic thinking to the preservation of memory and good judgment. Both of those traits bode well for staving off, if not preventing, Alzheimer’s disease. Read more →


A double whammy here is that chronic stress is a problem for most caregivers and stress can be a trigger for many people who live with chronic migraines. It is for me. The fact is that whether caregivers have migraines, severe arthritis, asthma, or any other ailment if they are still functioning better than the person or people for whom they care, they carry on. It’s what we do. Read more →


...The questions in Simpson’s newest book illuminate the bond between two generations of women — one just entering adulthood; the other approaching the years when one wonders how much of life remains. Are you afraid of dying? How do you want to be remembered? Is there anything that you really regret or wish you did differently when you were younger? What do you hope to live to see? These are the questions asked and answered with love and wisdom. Read more →


The people we love and care for often reach a point where we can no longer be sole care providers and we need to look at options. This is painful, because up to this point we’ve likely been partners in their care but haven’t had to make forceful decisions. Now, things have changed. Because so many people have a negative view of nursing homes, the idea of going to a care facility terrifies many older people and being the person to make this decision can be agony. Read more →


Unlike me, many caregivers care for an elder or a spouse who lives in the same home. If you are fortunate, your care receivers may be cognitively able to understand that this is a bad day for you and you may not be as helpful as you’d like. If this is the case, tell them that you are sick, or that you have a migraine, or whatever your issue is. Read more →


Pamper Yourself: Do something you enjoy. Read a good book, go to a concert, take a walk alone or with a buddy, have coffee with friends, get away from the computer. Anything that you really enjoy should help your body heal from the negative effects of constant stress. Read more →