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New Year’s Resolutions: Are They Practical for Caregivers?

...This is a new year, which makes it a good time psychologically for an attitude adjustment on your part. Changing your attitude toward your caregiving responsibilities doesn't mean that you don't love the person you are caring for as much as ever. Changing your attitude may even be evidence, once you think about it, of the depth of your love.

Read more on Agingcare about how changing our attitude may give us a fesh look:

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


Faith and Alzheimer’s: Spiritual Connection Supports Many People with Dementia and Their Caregivers

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, Associate Professor in Psychology & Brain Sciences and Geriatric Medicine at the University of Louisville author and also author of "Second Forgetting: Remembering the Power of the Gospel during Alzheimer’s Disease," to give us some answers from his perspective. 

Read more on HealthCentral about Faith and Alzheimer's:

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


Stephen Ministers can help with grief support

Dear Carol: My mom has multiple sclerosis and Dad took care of her for years. Eventually, she had to go into a nursing home, but it was near their apartment and Dad remained a dedicated caregiver. Things went well until Dad died of a sudden heart attack. Since there was no one left for mom, and the three of us kids live in different towns, we decided to move mom to a very nice nursing home near me, the oldest daughter. Mom is so devastated by Dad’s death that she doesn’t care about anything, including the move. Her doctor here has her on an antidepressant which doesn’t seem to do much. She’s a very devoted Christian and just wants to “join” Dad. How can I help her live a better quality of life? - Freddie

Read more about grief support from Stephen Ministry:

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


Wishing an elderly, ailing parent could die and feeling guilty

Let’s say a widowed father has a stroke. The family goes into crisis mode. The doctors bring him through, and then what? He’s disabled and can’t go home alone. The family doesn’t want Dad to go to a nursing home, so the daughter who lives in town makes some adjustments to her home and takes dad in with her. Everyone is on an adrenaline high. Then reality sets in.

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


Excellent books for those who are dying and the people who love them

Hospice1 Hospice2Two small books can make a big difference in a life. The combination of “Hard Choices for Loving People: CPR, Artificial Feeding, Comfort Care and the Patient with a Life-Threatening Illness,” and “Light in the Shadows: Meditations While Living with a Life-Threatening Illness,” has brought comfort to thousands of people in the past. I believe that, for years to come, these books will reach thousands more.

Both Books are written by Hank Dunn, a chaplain who has done wonderful work with hospice. These books both inform and comfort.

“Hard Choices” is informational. The book examines resuscitation, artificial hydration and nutrition, comfort care and gives examples of decision making and treatment options for ill people and their families to consider. In Chapter 5, the chaplain discusses treatment decisions, the emotional nature of struggle, letting go, the spiritual nature of struggle and other points.

“Light in the Shadows” is a companion volume of meditations. I don't feel these meditations are only for those who are dying, and the people who love them. They are very good meditations for anyone struggling with issues in their lives.

Both books are available from the site www.hardchoices.com. I highly recommend them.

 

Find care agencies to help you care for your loved one:

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


Path Into Healing a Fascinating Journey

PathHealingOliver Sam Oliver is a man on a mission. He’s attended many deaths as a hospice chaplain. And he has an insatiable thirst for inner healing and spiritual growth. Oliver’s latest book, The Path into Healing is another fascinating journey.

In The Path into Healing, Oliver investigates the feminine side of both genders, and the trend toward integration of the masculine/feminine aspects of every human being, leading to a spiritual wholeness.

Oliver writes of how, when children are hurt, they want their mommy. In many ways, we never lose that need. The world interferes with the human need as we are forced to “grow out of it.” However, the need remains buried. Oliver’s book, The Path into Healing, is indeed a journey worth taking. The book  is available at www.pathintohealing.com.


Awareness of Personal Growth During Caregiving Can Help Caregiver Health

In a story on health.usnews.com titled "Caregivers Face Multiple Strains Tending Older Parents," a study was examined that showed "middle-aged adults who regularly help their elderly parents get by experience a drop in health and well-being in their own lives..." The study is reported in an edition of the Journal of Gerontology: Social Sciences earlier this year.

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How Your Voice and Words Can Affect a Loved One During the Death Process

I've learned many valuable lessons as I've attended the deaths of loved ones. It's hard to place a value on any of them. However, one that I'll keep close to my heart is the value of the spoken word, even as a person in a coma nears death. As my mother's body was shutting down, her limbs looked as though they were rotting, but her heart kept beating. My sister, Beth, and I were at Mom's side, expecting that at any moment her heart would follow the rest of her organs, and finally she would give up. Mom could then be released from her frail body and do what she had wanted to do for months. She would join Dad, her sisters and her parents in whatever form our spirits take after the death of a worn out body.

Read more on How Your Voice and Words Affect a Loved One During Death on ouralzheimers.com:



A Spiritual Take on Caregiving

A caregiver's blog that I recommend to caregiver's seeking additional spiritual perspective can be found at Caregiversvoices.The group is closely monitored, but all caregivers are welcome to check it out. If you'd like to join, email  bigsur_1999@yahoo.com. The blog has a lovely and loving feel, with a lot of support.