Well spouse Feed

Caregiving Rewards Can Outlast Challenges

LookingDistanceCaregivers of elderly or disabled loved ones work hard. There’s no getting around the sacrifices of time, energy, private life and often financial wellbeing that caregivers, be it family or professional, often make. However, the rewards that accompany this self-sacrifice can be priceless.   With a caregiving history involving decades of caring for multiple loved ones, I know quite a bit about the hard times as well as the blessings of caregiving. Yet, because I’m an eldercare columnist, I receive letters from individuals who have caregiving responsibilities far beyond anything I’ve ever imagined. 

Continue readng on HealthCentral about the rewards of caregiving:

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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


Caregiving: Unearned Guilt Intrinsic To the Job

DepressedIf ever there’s a group of people who suffer deeply from unearned guilt it’s caregivers. Whether you’re the parent of a vulnerable adult, an adult child of aging parents or the spouse of a vulnerable adult, you are bound to have your “if only” times where you are sucked into the quicksand of guilt.

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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


Outside Activities Essential to Caregiver Mental Health

YogaCan caregivers get so drawn into the world of the care receiver that their mental health is at risk? I received a private email from a reader that made me think more deeply about this possibility. The reader said she’d been caring for her mother in her mother’s home for three years. The mother has middle stage Alzheimer’s and can be quite “creative” about reality. The caregiver told me that she does what experts often suggest and tries to join her mother in her mother’s dementia world. 

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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


The Many Faces of Dementia: Understanding the Symptoms

NoiseyBirdsDementia is not a single disease. It’s a non-specific syndrome that affects cognitive areas of the brain that control memory, language, attention and problem solving. To be considered dementia, the problems must be severe enough to affect daily living. Because Alzheimer’s is responsible for 50 to 60 percent of dementia cases, it’s the most broadly recognized form. However, there are up to 50 different known versions of dementia.

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Alzheimer’s Apathy Preventable with Stimulation

GuitarLack of enjoyable, stimulating activity can lead to apathy for anyone but particularly those with Alzheimer’s disease. According to a 2013 report by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), apathy is one of the most common neurobehavioral symptoms in dementia. Strong, focused stimulation can help people with Alzheimer's disease overcome apathy. 

Continue reading on HealthCentral about how to provide stimulation that helps prevent apathy:

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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


Caregiver Anxiety Can Be Contagious

. Happy-woman-receiving-head-massage-10037680..If a caregiver is anxious because of job stress, he or she likely takes that anxiety home in some form, and transfers some of it to the person they are caring for. This is not intentional, but even body language can transfer anxiety.

The person being cared for picks up on the anxiety of the caregiver. His or her anxiety may stem from not knowing what is causing the person caring for them to be stressed, so they blame themselves. Or they may just absorb the feeling of generalized anxiety that radiates from the caregiver.

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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 Ways To Help Your Loved One Smile

. FriendlyOlderWoman..There are many potential sources of a senior's bad mood. For starters, your elders may suffer from physical and emotional pain. Arthritis and other chronic pain can lead to snappish behavior. Losing life-long friends to disease or death is depressing for most people. Memory issues and cognitive glitches are frustrating and even frightening. Additionally, it's not easy being forced to give up the parental role and let your adult child make decisions for you.

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Wishes To Die For: Keeping End-of-Life Documents Updated

WishesToDieFor“Code Blue!: A voice cries out in the Emergency Department. “Is there a doctor who can ‘tube’ a patient in Cardiac Cath Lab?”

These beginning lines of “Wishes To Die For: Expanding Upon Doing Less in Advanced Care Directives” by Kevin J. Haselhorst, MD prepare the reader for an adventure in self-examination.

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Mixed Emotions Can Run Rampant after Loved One’s Death

DramatictreeDad's dementia was a shock to the family. He came out of a fairly routine brain surgery in a severely demented state. His ability to differentiate between reality and what was going on in his own head varied, but it seldom was good. He had picked up a permanent voice in his head we came to call Herman. His anxiety was difficult to manage; his frustration gut-wrenching. Dad lived in this state for ten years.

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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


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

LilypadAs 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.

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