The main goal for any caregiver should be to take care of himself or herself first, so they can continue to do their best for the person they are caring for. To do that, they must move through the process of learning what to do and how to do it as quickly as possible while avoiding additional stress from confusion and poor choices. The best way? – to learn from the mistakes of others.
Some of our elderly needlessly end up broke. Many others pass along much less to their heirs and beneficiaries than they had planned, worked and saved for during their income producing years. They didn’t just wake up one morning and decide to deplete their accounts nor was there a major event that took everything they had. It happened gradually and was barely noticeable, if at all, until it was too late.
Guest Post by Dr. Keith Giaquinto, DC
If you are feeling heavy, sleepy and/or bloated 60 minutes after you eat a meal; if you know that your body reacts poorly to certain foods like dairy, grains or meat; if you have an autoimmune condition or any chronic unresolved health problem, then you have weak digestion and your body is malnourished. Stress is a stealthy enemy.
According to the American Psychological Association, “… one of the most difficult problems family members face is achieving a balance between respecting an older adult's autonomy and intervening before self-neglect becomes dangerous.” Many seniors enjoy expanding their social circles and many prefer to shrink them. When they want to stay home all of the time, it can be a sign that something else is going on and it could be the early stages of self-neglect. Caregivers must be alert to this and take steps to ensure the well-being of their loved ones. Here's how.
Guest Post by Dr. Keith Giaquinto, DC
Givers must set limits – takers don’t have any. People who like to give, help, and support others often have difficulty setting boundaries that allow them to stay healthy; and it costs them dearly. Takers can be energy vampires who thrive on the goodwill of those who don’t know how to say, “No.” Hang around them long enough and you’ll soon feel drained and exhausted; which will prevent you from helping anyone else. Dr. Keith shows you how to be a healthy giver.
Caregivers and seniors who depend on Ecumenical Adult Care of Naperville, a 501c3 charitable organization, urgently need your help. Later today, an emergency meeting will decide the fate of the center which has faithfully served the Naperville area for over 33 years by caring for society's forgotten ones while their family members try to make ends meet and keep their jobs. Here's the story.
If you’re like me, you don’t schedule a moment’s rest for the last three weeks of the year. You get up earlier than usual and after your day job and caregiving, you still have plenty to do. You prepare for get-togethers, sign and mail holiday cards, spend extra time shopping, take care of many little tasks that no one thinks of until the last minute, and the list goes on. Keeping the holiday spirit can be quite difficult if you don’t find ways to cut back so that you still have some time for yourself. Why not try some of these?
Thankfulness, Love, Peace, Joy, Family, and Friends are the ingredients of a happy holiday season. Stress is not. Any undue pressure caregivers put on themselves to make everything perfect is nothing more than a negative whirlwind of emotions that lead to unrealistic expectations, overspending, mental fatigue and physical exhaustion. Even if your loved one has dementia, you can, and should, have a good time.
On Thanksgiving Day, as families were gathered around their tables, nearly every caregiver expressed gratitude for their loved one and genuinely meant it. After the work of getting everyone and everything ready, a sense of calm and thankfulness took over as they considered the blessings they had received. But for some, there was also a sense of guilt. Sometimes, no matter how hard people try to stay focused on the positive things in their lives, they can’t avoid recalling times when they didn’t measure up as they thought they should.
Betty’s family thought she was lazy and just didn’t want to do the exercises, but that probably wasn’t the reason. Whatever the source of her resistance, no one could get through to Betty with enough information that would motivate her; even though it would have reduced her pain and even saved her life. Talking seldom works. Find out how to help someone recover from couch potato syndrome.