Posts Tagged ‘Stress’

Good Read for the Sandwich Generation

Posted on: May 5th, 2017 by Jamie

Good ReadAttention Sandwich Generation Members: If you need something to read while relaxing on this upcoming soggy spring Saturday and Sunday, I highly recommend Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant?  by Roz Chast It’s not new, it came out in 2014 and won lots of awards, but I finally got around to reading it. This memoir details the author’s journey with her parents aging, decline, moving and ultimately their passing.

The graphic novel style makes it an easy read. It is heartbreaking, funny, unflinchingly authentic, and relatable – if you are going or have gone through this with your own parents.

If you haven’t had conversations with your parents about the future, make it happen as real life won’t wait for you to do so. Planning is power – Good luck!

Good Read

November is National Family Caregivers Month

Posted on: November 8th, 2016 by Jamie

November is National Family Caregivers Month

 
Family CaregiversBeing a Family Caregiver is hard work. I know this from experience. Family Caregiving is both deeply satisfying and stressful. It can be physically demanding and emotionally draining. You are with a loved one but often feel alone. Then there is the financial piece: this is not a paid position and there are no sick days or health insurance. When providing this unpaid care, your own financial future is at risk since zero contributions are going into social security or a retirement fund. Family Caregiving is a full-time invisible job, and for many, it may be in addition to working another full-time job.

 
I want you to know that you are not alone. There are resources for you, ways to connect with others, and advocacy happening on your behalf. I am hopeful that things will get better, and as a nation we will come to embrace the hard work of Caregiving. I hope that you can take care of you. One simple thing that was helpful to me was to take a walk, every day if possible and sometimes with a friend. Here are three resources, in their own words, you need to know about. Please carve out the time to explore them.
Caregiver Action Network is the nation’s leading family caregiver organization working to improve the quality of life for the more than 90 million Americans who care for loved ones with chronic conditions, disabilities, disease, or the frailties of old age.

 

Caregiver Action Network is the organization that chooses the theme for National Family Caregivers Month annually and spearheads celebration of NFC Month nationally.

Celebrating Family Caregivers during NFC month enables all of us to:

• Raise awareness of family caregiver issues

• Celebrate the efforts of family caregivers

• Educate family caregivers about self-identification

• Increase support for family caregivers

The theme for National Family Caregivers Month November 2016 is “Take Care to Give Care”.

 

Next is The National Alliance for Caregiving is a non-profit coalition of national organizations focusing on advancing family caregiving through research, innovation, and advocacy. The Alliance conducts research, does policy analysis, develops national best-practice programs, and works to increase public awareness of family caregiving issues. Their mission: Recognizing that family caregivers provide important societal and financial contributions toward maintaining the well-being of those they care for, the Alliance is dedicated to improving quality of life for families and their care recipients through research, innovation, and advocacy.

 
And last but not least is the Family Caregiver Alliance. Founded in the late 1970s, Family Caregiver Alliance was the first community-based nonprofit organization in the country to address the needs of families and friends providing long-term care for loved ones at home. It began as a small task force of families and community leaders in San Francisco who came together to create support services for those struggling to provide long term care for a loved one who did not “fit” into traditional health systems: adults suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, stroke, Parkinson’s, traumatic brain injury and other debilitating disorders. The diagnoses were different, but the families shared common challenges: isolation, lack of information, few community resources, and drastic changes in family roles.

 
The services, education programs, and resources FCA provides are designed with caregivers’ needs in mind and offer support, tailored information, and tools to manage the complex demands of caregiving. FCA, as a public voice for caregivers, shines light on the challenges caregivers face daily and champions their cause through education, services, and advocacy.

Caregiver stress: Tips for taking care of yourself

Posted on: March 17th, 2014 by Armistead Admin

Caring for a loved one strains even the most resilient people. If you’re a caregiver, take steps to preserve your own health and well-being.

By Mayo Clinic Staff

With an aging population and changes in health care, such as shorter hospital stays, more and more caregiving is being provided by people who aren’t health care professionals. A caregiver is anyone who provides help to another person in need, whether that’s an ill spouse or partner, a disabled child, or an aging relative. Indeed, more than 65 million Americans provide care to a loved one.

Caregiving is rewarding but stressful

If you’re a caregiver, you know that taking care of someone who needs your assistance can be very rewarding. Being there for your loved ones when they need you is a core value for many. But being a caregiver can exact a high toll, and caregiver stress is common.

Caregiver stress is the emotional and physical strain of caregiving. Individuals who experience the most caregiver stress are the most vulnerable to changes in their own health.

Many caregivers fall into the trap of believing that they have to do everything by themselves. Don’t make that mistake. Take advantage of the many resources and tools available to help you provide care for your loved one. Remember, if you don’t take care of yourself you won’t be able to care for anyone else.

Signs of caregiver stress

As a caregiver, you may be so focused on your loved one that you don’t realize that your own health and well-being are suffering. Watch for these signs of caregiver stress:

  • Feeling tired most of the time
  • Feeling overwhelmed and irritable
  • Sleeping too much or too little
  • Gaining or losing a lot of weight
  • Losing interest in activities you used to enjoy

Too much stress, especially over a long time, can harm your health. As a caregiver, you’re more likely to experience symptoms of depression or anxiety. In addition, you may not get enough physical activity or eat a balanced diet, which only increases your risk of medical problems, such as heart disease and diabetes.

Strategies for dealing with caregiver stress

The emotional and physical demands involved with caregiving can strain even the most resilient person. That’s why it’s so important to take advantage of available help and support. These strategies have helped others manage their caregiver stress:

  • Accept help. Be prepared with a list of ways that others can help you, and let the helper choose what he or she would like to do. For instance, one person might be willing to take the person you care for on a walk a couple of times a week. Someone else might offer to pick up groceries or even to cook for you.
  • Focus on what you are able to provide. Don’t give in to guilt. Feeling guilty is normal, but understand that no one is a “perfect” caregiver. You’re doing the best you can at any given time. Your house does not have to be perfect, and no one will care if you eat leftovers three days in a row. And you don’t have to feel guilty about asking for help.
  • Get connected. Organizations such as the Red Cross and the Alzheimer’s Association offer classes on caregiving, and local hospitals may have classes specifically about the disease your loved one is facing.
  • Join a support group. A support group can be a great source for encouragement and advice from others in similar situations. It can also be a good place to make new friends.
  • Seek social support. Make an effort to stay emotionally connected with family and friends. Set aside time each week for socializing, even if it’s just a walk with a friend. Whenever possible, make plans that get you out of the house. Many have identified that maintaining a strong support system is the key to managing the stress associated with caregiving.
  • Set personal health goals. For example, set a goal to find time to be physically active on most days of the week, or set a goal for getting a good night’s sleep. It’s also crucial to eat a healthy diet.
  • See your doctor. Get recommended immunizations and screenings. Make sure to tell your doctor that you’re a caregiver. Don’t hesitate to mention any concerns or symptoms you have.

 

 
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