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Home Care & Healthy Living Blog

Home Home Care & Healthy Living Blog

Home Care & Healthy Living Blog

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  • 1-855-HOMECARE
  • Marc Feder
  • June 20, 2017 08:35:40 PM
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Our home care and healthy living blog covers a wide range of topics concerning aging and health, support and guides for caregivers providing care, and articles on living a more healthy and positive lifestyle.

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Balancing Elder Care With Other Relationships

Without a doubt, becoming a family caregiver can have an impact on all of your other relationships. Whether you took on the caregiver role gradually or suddenly, that role becomes the main priority in your life. Before you know it, almost all of your personal obligations become secondary, but you tell yourself, “this is only for a little while”. The post Balancing Elder Care With Other Relationships appeared first on Community Home Health...

Without a doubt, becoming a family caregiver can have an impact on all of your other relationships. Whether you took on the caregiver role gradually or suddenly, that role becomes the main priority in your life. Before you know it, almost all of your personal obligations become secondary, but you tell yourself, “this is only for a little while”. However, it’s easy for a little while to become weeks, months, and eventually years. You don’t want to look up one day and find that all of your other relationships are suffering. After all, socialization is a part of self-care and not taking care of yourself can impact your role as caregiver. Here are a few suggestions to help maintain your other relationships. 

Maintaining Your Marriage as a Caregiver

The relationship you have with your significant other is one that always has to be poured into. And it’s not just for them, but you too. Studies show that full-time caregivers are at an increased risk for substance abuse, health issues, and depression and anxiety. Fortunately, self-care and balance can reduce such risks. Some ways to stay present with your partner is:

  • Keeping the lines of communication open and judgment-free
  • Doing simple acts such as complimenting them 
  • Setting aside time for a date-night, even if it’s just snuggling up watching movies in the living room
  • Actively listening to your partner

These few acts can help alleviate feelings of resentment and neglect in your relationship. Overall, you’ll need to be a team and be realistic about the changes that need to take place. A supportive partner can make it easier to get through it all. 

Maintaining Your Relationship With Your Children

If you happen to take care of both your parents and your children, then you are in what’s called “the sandwich generation”. Those who take on this role are not only providing financial and care support to their parents and children, but emotional support. It’s easy to always feel like your shortchanging one when you’re providing support and care to the other. However, there’s a way to help both generations and also help yourself! 

The best thing you can do for your children is to explain that their elders will need help sometimes. In fact, you may be surprised to learn that they want to help, which can ease the burden on you. For instance, if your parents like to play card or board games and your children are old enough to play, then let them play together. Your children will feel helpful and your parents will feel good knowing that they taught them something new. 

While not every family dynamic will work that way, the best thing you can do is to clearly communicate and set boundaries. 

Maintaining your Friendships as a Caregiver

When you’re caring for an aging parent, it’s easy to cancel on a friend, not respond to a phone call or text message, and forego almost all social festivities. You may find that even though you want to maintain your friendships, you just don’t have the energy to do so. On top of that, you may feel guilty if you choose your friends over your parents. 

As we stated about other relationships, you must clearly communicate about what’s going on. Your friends may be going through the same thing too! You’ll need your friends to occasionally vent, workout together, and just let your guard down. 

Overall, You Don’t Have to do it Alone

Everyone on this list is considered a part of your support system. You need them and they need you. Don’t be afraid to set boundaries to refill your own cup. Be clear about your priorities so you don’t enter a downward spiral of broken relationships and ongoing burnout. 

Also, don’t forget that there are professionals out there that can give your parents the quality care they need on the days you need to refresh. At Community Home Health Care, we have Personal Care Aides, Trained Companions, and Home Health Aides, who are ready to provide part-time and full-time assistance. You owe it to yourself and it’ll improve not only your quality of life but everyone else in your circle too. Contact us today to learn how we can best help your situation. 

 

The post Balancing Elder Care With Other Relationships appeared first on Community Home Health Care.


Feeling at Peace: How to Lose the “Caregiver Guilt”

If you’re feeling negative emotions when caring for an elderly loved one, you are not alone. For many, the demands of caregiving are only deepened by a sense of guilt—and often the worry that we aren’t doing enough, providing enough, or taking care of everything that requires our attention.  There are many forms of caregiver guilt, The post Feeling at Peace: How to Lose the “Caregiver Guilt” appeared first on Community Home Health...

If you’re feeling negative emotions when caring for an elderly loved one, you are not alone. For many, the demands of caregiving are only deepened by a sense of guilt—and often the worry that we aren’t doing enough, providing enough, or taking care of everything that requires our attention. 

There are many forms of caregiver guilt, depending on the caregiver’s life circumstances. For many, the guilt is a result of our sense of responsibility for things we feel we could’ve changed for the better—even if the events or choices were outside our control.  And when the complicated challenges of caring for an elderly loved one may not go as planned, our guilt makes us shoulder the disappointment and self-blame in how things turned out. 

If you’re feeling caregiver guilt, the following statements may sound familiar: 

  • We feel guilty we don’t spend enough time without loved ones, or that we spend too much time with them at the expense of others.
  • We feel guilty for moving our loved ones into a senior facility or assisted living, or that we’re hurting them and others by keeping them in their own home or moving them into our family’s home. 
  • We feel guilty for own feelings: for resenting the burden of caregiving, for frustration at our parent’s limits, and for being selfish if we do prioritize our own needs.  

Caregiver guilt is almost unavoidable. Our care and desire to make the best choices for our loved ones means that we can hold ourselves to high standards of behavior—and blame ourselves when the stress of caregiving shows on our careers, family life, or mental health. 

But there are steps you can take to mitigate your unwarranted feelings of guilt. Relying on others, taking time for self-care, and focusing on the positive helps you balance your emotions. And a happier, healthier caregiver can provide better care. 

Tip 1: Accept Help

The first step to alleviating guilt is to rid yourself of the expectation that you need to handle everything on your own. Reach out to other family members, or even consider hiring a caretaker to provide care and companionship when you can’t. If those options aren’t available, think about which errands in your personal life can be delegated or hired out. While paying for supermarket delivery or extra cleaning help may seem selfish, the benefits of your ease of mind will go a long way. 

Tip 2: Remove the “Should”

As a caregiver, your to-do list is full of “shoulds” for every minute of the day, but it may be time to renovate that list. Make a chart of “shoulds” and “needs,” and categorize all your tasks honestly. You may find that some of your most difficult or time-consuming tasks are “shoulds”, such as taking Mom for her doctor appointments, that can be delegated or given up to make way for the most important needs without compromising on your caregiving. 

Tip 3: Focus on the Positive 

Guilt has a way of keeping you focused on the things you haven’t done right, but you can keep negative feelings at bay with mindfulness and self-reflection. Keep in mind, your goal is to keep your loved ones safe and provided for—and no one can truly “do it all”. Take the time to reflect on your accomplishments, to give yourself positive reinforcement, and to reassure yourself that the caregiving role is a challenging one for anyone—and your efforts go a long way to keeping your loved one happy and healthy. 

Tip 4: Do For Yourself, Too.

There’s no quicker way to drain your emotional health than denying yourself the habits that keep you happy, healthy, and upbeat. When your schedule is full, it’s tempting to sideline your gym hours, social life, or even just some “me time”. But going for too long without any space for yourself will only leave you angrier, stressed, and unable to stretch yourself further. Put your self-care on your to-do list to keep it a priority, and focus on getting in your personal time—even if that means removing other tasks from the list (takeout is fine for dinner, sometimes!) 

Tip 5: Find Support 

Believe it or not, there are plenty of people in the same boat as you—or ready to offer an understanding ear. Search online for support groups in your area, or ask friends and family if they know a fellow caregiver. Speaking to others lets you share stories, tips, or even just enjoy the company of someone facing the same challenges with positivity and a healthy mindset.

Caregiving can be overwhelming. But when it comes to making the right decisions for your loved one, finding trusted home care shouldn’t be. Learn more about finding compassionate caregivers focused on dignity and quality of life by reaching out to Community Home Health Care at 845.425.6555. We’re always happy to answer any questions and connect you with the right care for your family. 

 

The post Feeling at Peace: How to Lose the “Caregiver Guilt” appeared first on Community Home Health Care.


Seniors at the Wheel: Aging Health Issues that Impact Safe Driving

How to know when it’s time to reconsider driving for your elderly parent or patient.  Telling an elderly loved one that it may be time to stop driving can be a difficult conversation. For many seniors, driving may feel like a key aspect of independent living. Asking family or friends for rides can be embarrassing or frustrating—and relying on expensive taxis or car services can add up. The post Seniors at the Wheel: Aging Health Issues that Impact Safe Driving appeared first on Community...

How to know when it’s time to reconsider driving for your elderly parent or patient. 

Telling an elderly loved one that it may be time to stop driving can be a difficult conversation. For many seniors, driving may feel like a key aspect of independent living. Asking family or friends for rides can be embarrassing or frustrating—and relying on expensive taxis or car services can add up.

But if your loved one is facing physical limitations, driving can be a serious risk to their safety. While aging alone doesn’t change driving ability (there are many happy 90-year olds with licenses while their younger peers have long given them up!), elderly drivers are more likely to have health concerns or other limitations that pose a challenge behind the wheel. 

Below are important tips to help you know when it’s time to ask your elderly loved one to hand over the keys—-and how to be sure you’re both making the safest choice. 

If your loved one…is confused, nervous, distracted, or forgetful. 

Whether your loved one has been diagnosed with Dementia, Alzheimer’s, or is simply experiencing general memory loss, cognitive health is the most important factor for safe driving. If he/she is not able to recall places or names, make choices quickly, or focus properly behind the wheel, they’re likely to be unable to navigate their vehicle or drive safely for any distance or time. 

If your loved one…has recent vision changes or an eye disease.

Moderate to severe vision loss or eye diseases (such as cataracts, macular degeneration, glaucoma, and diabetic retinopathy) can make it harder for a driver to see road signs, merging cars, or pedestrians clearly enough to respond quickly. 

If your loved one…has a hearing loss.

Safe driving relies just as much on our sense of hearing as on our sight. Sirens, honking horns, or mechanical issues need to be heard right away to avoid potential crashes or unexpected break-downs. 

If your loved one…moves slower or feels weaker. 

As any driver can tell you, quick reflexes can often be the difference between a crash and a quick swerve away from danger. As a driver ages, they may find their response times slowing down or their muscles weakening, both of which can undermine their control over the steering wheel, brakes, and vehicle. 

Medications and Driving…one more thing to consider.

Regardless of age or health, mixing strong medications and driving is a cause for concern—-and seniors may be more susceptible to negative side effects than their younger counterparts. Even if your loved one is in the best of health, check carefully with his/her health provider to make sure none of the prescribed medications’ side effects may impact their ability to drive safely. Note also that some over-the-counter medications, such as antihistamines or cold medicines, may cause drowsiness or dizziness and should be double-checked with a health provider, too. 

Making safe, smart choices with your aging parents can be a challenge. But choosing the best home care shouldn’t be. Learn more about finding compassionate caregivers focused on dignity and quality of life by reaching out to Community Home Health Care at 845.425.6555. We’re always happy to answer any questions and connect you with the right care for your family. 

The post Seniors at the Wheel: Aging Health Issues that Impact Safe Driving appeared first on Community Home Health Care.


July Aides of the Month

The post July Aides of the Month appeared first on Community Home Health Care.

The post July Aides of the Month appeared first on Community Home Health Care.


Preventing Memory Loss: Exercises & Steps to Keep Your Mind Active

We’ve all walked into a room and paused, forgetting why we got up from the couch. Or let an appointment, phone call, or errand slip from our mind. But when an elderly loved one starts forgetting names, places, or regular activities, harmless memory slip-ups can become a reason for concern.  Fortunately, moderate memory loss is a typical sign of aging—-and not necessarily a reason to worry about Alzheimer’s or dementia. The post Preventing Memory Loss: Exercises & Steps to Keep Your...

We’ve all walked into a room and paused, forgetting why we got up from the couch. Or let an appointment, phone call, or errand slip from our mind. But when an elderly loved one starts forgetting names, places, or regular activities, harmless memory slip-ups can become a reason for concern. 

Fortunately, moderate memory loss is a typical sign of aging—-and not necessarily a reason to worry about Alzheimer’s or dementia. And while memory loss is to be expected, studies show there’s plenty of steps you or your loved ones can take to improve memory, boost cognitive skills, and possibly even slow the effects of dementia. 

These steps, which include mental exercises and brain games, help our minds improved neuroplasticity. Neuroplasticity is how well our mind can adapt, change, and react to new situations or information. The more we work on mental gymnastics, the healthier we can keep neuroplasticity —and the more we can continue to remember, learn, and recall. 

These mental exercises fall into one of two categories: skill developing and skill retaining. Studies point to learning new things as a key way to keep our mind sharp and developing at any age. At the same time, your elderly loved ones may be struggling to recall skills or abilities they once had, and retaining those skills is crucial for a quality of life. 

Here are a few mind (and body) steps you can take for yourself or with an elderly loved one to prevent memory loss and increase mental activity.

  •  Pick up an instrument, or a paintbrush.  

Learning a new skill, especially a more complex one, is a sure way to give your brain a workout. Encourage your elderly loved one to join a class or take a few lessons on a topic that interests them. In addition to building brain power, learning new skills can keep your loved one feeling motivated and occupied. Motivation and a positive attitude also go a long way to keeping our minds healthy, so consider a local pottery class a 2-for-1! 

  • Test recall, or leave the list at home.  

“Recall” is an important mental factor that, with our phones and shopping lists at hand, we don’t exercise often enough. Try testing recall in small, stress-free ways to encourage focus and sharpen mental skills. Leave your shopping list in your pocket as you wander the aisles, or ask your loved one to describe a childhood home or pet to engage memory and visualization skills. 

  • Use your senses, or smell the roses. 

Our senses tie closely to our minds’ ability to learn and remember, so utilizing our sense can keep us engaged and ready to learn. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to experience the senses around the home. Encourage your loved ones to help you in the garden or try something new in the kitchen to enjoy new smells, touches, and tastes together. 

  • Get moving, or even dancing. 

Even while you exercise your brain, don’t neglect the benefits of giving your body a light work-out. Not only does moving reduce stress and improve your mood (both of which are great for mental health), it also increases oxygen to your brain for healthier neuroplasticity and reduced risk of diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Non-strenuous workouts, neighborhood walks, or even putting on your loved one’s favorite dancing music are great ways to boost mental and physical health. 

Facing memory loss can be difficult for an aging loved one, but there are key steps you can take to improve their mental health and increase their quality of life.  Learn more about finding compassionate caregivers focused on dignity and quality of life by reaching out to Community Home Health Care at 845.425.6555. We’re always happy to answer any questions and connect you with the right care for your family. 

The post Preventing Memory Loss: Exercises & Steps to Keep Your Mind Active appeared first on Community Home Health Care.


June Aides of the Month

    The post June Aides of the Month appeared first on Community Home Health Care.

 

 

The post June Aides of the Month appeared first on Community Home Health Care.


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