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Thanksgiving: Discovering Gratitude in Caregiving

CaringCaring for our aging loved ones can be exhausting, frustrating, demanding and time consuming. Since November marks National Alzheimer's Awareness Month  we’re honoring Alzheimer’s caregivers, but November is also National Caregiver’s Month. Thanksgiving, as another November holiday, reminds me to think of ways that caregiving, tough as it can be, also offers caregivers a time to note the special blessings we’ve received when we are open to recognizing the gifts. After all, caring for one another is, in my view, one of the answers to “why are we here.”

Read more on HealthCentral about finding gratitude in Caregiving: 

50% off Black Friday: Christmas Gift for your Elders - Peace of Mind for You:  Simple Smart Phone with Large Screen, Jitterbug flip phone, Urgent Response Device   For help CALL:  1-866-222-0703

Support a caregiver this Christmas with Minding Our Elders: Caregivers Share Their Personal Stories - for bulk orders of Minding Our Elders e-mail Carol


Acceptance of Reality Precedes Gratitude and Peace

AnxietyDEAR CAROL: My wife has had a stroke that’s left her mostly paralyzed on one side. She can’t speak well and she cries often. We’re in our 70s and have spent our lives as active church people. In fact, we’ve done our share of visiting hospitals and nursing homes representing the church. We’ve told people that what they are facing is their reality and that we will pray for them. We’ve told them to be grateful for what they have. Now, the shoe is on the other foot. I’m having a difficult time feeling grateful for anything at all. Instead, I feel angry, exhausted, frustrated and frightened. How could I have been such a hypocrite all of these years? – Roger

Read more on Inforum about acceptance making gratitude possible:

50% off Black Friday: Christmas Gift for your Elders - Peace of Mind for You:  Simple Smart Phone with Large Screen, Jitterbug flip phone, Urgent Response Device   For help CALL:  1-866-222-0703

Christmas Gift for your Elders - Peace of Mind for You:  Simple Smart Phone with Large Screen, Jitterbug flip phone, Urgent Response Device   For help CALL:  1-866-222-0703

Support caregivers this CHRISTMAS by giving them copies  of Minding Our Elders: Caregivers Share Their Personal Stories. ORDER EARLY before supplies run out.


Caregivers' Self Care: Some Suggestions for Accomplishing That Goal

Meditation2A recent study found that adult children caring for their parents, as well as parents caring for chronically ill children, may have their life span shortened by four to eight years. Caregivers could conceivably alter these statistics if they practice reasonable self-care. Here's how:

View slideshow on HealthCentral about taking care of yourself:

Christmas Gift for your Elders - Peace of Mind for You:  Simple Smart Phone with Large Screen, Jitterbug flip phone, Urgent Response Device   For help CALL:  1-866-222-0703

Support caregivers this CHRISTMAS by giving them copies  of Minding Our Elders: Caregivers Share Their Personal Stories. ORDER EARLY before supplies run out.

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Finding Our Way to Gratitude During Difficult Times

Lonebird3It’s easy to feel grateful when life is going well and certainly it’s desirable to acknowledge life at its best with appropriate gratitude. What’s not easy is finding gratitude when life hard. Is it even realistic to try? Yes. Discovering gratitude during difficult times can be a giant step toward peace.

View slideshow on HealthCentral about finding ways toward gratitude when times are hard:

Christmas Gift for your Elders - Peace of Mind for You:  Simple Smart Phone with Large Screen, Jitterbug flip phone, Urgent Response Device   For help CALL:  1-866-222-0703

Support caregivers this CHRISTMAS by giving them copies  of Minding Our Elders: Caregivers Share Their Personal Stories. ORDER EARLY before supplies run out.


Life Expectancy for Person with Advanced Dementia Hard to Predict

MobilityAid

Dear Carol: My mother was diagnosed with mixed dementia (vascular dementia along with Alzheimer’s) at age 67. She’s now 75 and the doctor says she’s in Alzheimer's stage seven. She’s had two strokes and takes medication for high blood pressure. Mom doesn’t know anyone and simply sits and stares into space without reacting very much. All of her doctors are vague about her life expectancy. I don’t expect the doctor to know exactly how long she will continue this way but I’d like some idea.  Are they uncomfortable with my question? PT

Read full article on Inforum about life expectancy and comfort care:

Christmas Gift for your Elders -  Peace of Mind for You:  Simple Smart Phone with Large Screen, Jitterbug flip phone, Urgent Response Device    For Help CALL:  1-866-222-0703

Support a caregiver this Christmas with Minding Our Elders: Caregivers Share Their Personal Stories - for bulk orders of Minding Our Elders e-mail Carol


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


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

 


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

Hands6Forgiveness, or the lack there of, 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 and some reasons why you should.

Read more on HealthCentral about the benefits of forgiveness:

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


When Life Falls Apart Try Gratitude

Reflections5I’ve lived a number of decades and had my share of pain, yet I don’t know that any pain cuts more deeply than knowing that someone I love is hurting. Unfortunately, as a family caregiver who over time helped provide care for multiple elders, that kind of soul searing pain is something I know well. Yet, I do my level best to find things to be grateful for even during those tough times. Why? Because, in the end, recognizing all that I have to be grateful for helps me cope. 

Read more on HealthCentral on finding gratitude in despair:

Global Alzheimer’s Study Now Enrolling

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 Helps Some Caregivers Relieve Stress According to Study

StormcloudAs 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 life span shortened by four to eight years.

Read more on HealthCentral about how faith can help lower stress levels for some caregivers:

Global Alzheimer’s Study Now Enrolling

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

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Long-term Caregiving May Shorten Life Up To Eight Years

Are You a Caregiver? Coping with Holiday Stress