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Who’s the Boss? Working with Your Parent’s Caregiver

By djohnson, 3:05 pm on August 8, 2018
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Communication is important between caregiver and family. Do you remember the childhood game of telephone? You whispered a sentence from child to child and the resulting sentence was nothing like the original? Like a game of telephone, messages get garbled without clear ground rules. Build a trusting relationship with your caregiver by understanding the rules of communication. Who is the boss in this relationship? Who has the authority to make changes, or communicate problems? Creating the Care Plan Before care begins for your elderly parent or spouse, you and the agency’s Care Manager will create a written Care Plan. The Care Plan outlines how to take care of your elderly parent or spouse in the …

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Dementia Care: Living in Denial About Dementia? Join the Club

By djohnson, 4:27 pm on July 25, 2018
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In dementia care, I have never met anybody who likes to admit weakness. The inability to do something is a truth of dementia care. Dementia becomes the elephant in the room – the topic that no one wants to talk about. This elephant of dementia must be approached and discussed openly. Defining Dementia and its Denial in Demntia Care To ensure that we’re all on the same page, let’s define dementia — and denial about dementia. Dementia is a brain disease that causes symptoms such as “occasional difficulty with language skills, like word-finding and vocabulary. [The person living with dementia] may explain away these situations with a general excuse about forgetfulness or fatigue,” writes Ashley Huntsberry-Legg. …

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Dementia Care for Paranoia Instead of Anti-psychotic Drugs

By djohnson, 1:31 pm on July 18, 2018
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In dementia care, paranoia is a real concern. Brain changes from dementia can cause hallucinations or delusions and paranoia. “Paranoia, or having false beliefs, is a common trait of later stage dementia,” says Jared Heathman, MD, a Houston psychiatrist. “However, it can occur in all stages of dementia.” Paranoia in dementia feels very real for the person living with it. So says Susan London, LMSW, Director of Social Work at Shore View Nursing and Rehabilitation. “There is often no evidence that will convince them otherwise.” Much of effective dementia care involves addressing emotions with professional delicacy; however, paranoia is more unpredictable and intense for traditional methods. Dementia care caregivers do not attempt to present “proof” …

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Millennial Caregiver, Here’s My Advice to You

By djohnson, 3:41 pm on July 11, 2018
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This is my story as a millennial caregiver. In my first semester of college I received the phone call. Mom had a hemorrhagic stroke, was in critical condition, and was being airlifted to Seattle for treatment. Before we hung up, the doctor asked how old I was. He sounded relieved when I told him that I was 18. He needed me to consent to an emergency brain surgery. The possible complications sounded terrifying, but without the surgery my mom wouldn’t survive. I consented to the operation, not knowing that it would be the first of many decisions I would have to make on my mom’s behalf. That doctor was the first of dozens that I …

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15 Minutes Alone as a Caregiver: Protecting Your Own Time

By djohnson, 1:01 pm on July 4, 2018
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Caregiver Tips for Self-Care That Require a Quarter-Hour…or Less! The world of a caregiver revolves around unending demands. These demands may drain you emotionally, mentally and physically. But the biggest drag is on your time. How big? For many caregivers, just enjoying 15 minutes alone is an unimaginable luxury. After all, you are your loved one’s eyes and ears. They depend on you to be their “voice” and interpret the world for them. Many people living with dementia have lost their sense of time, so if you are away for 15 minutes, they feel abandoned for an entire day. This dependency means they may want you around – and in sight – 24/7. 15 Minutes …

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How Employers can Help us Balance Work and Caregiving

By djohnson, 9:03 am on June 27, 2018
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When addressing the issues of caregiving, employee employer relationship is generally the most common. Family caregivers are all around us, but they are often hidden. At least 44 million people are unpaid caregivers in the US. Double Responsibilities At Work Three quarters of these family caregivers have jobs but struggle to balance work and caregiving responsibilities. Caregivers help family members with bathing, dressing, medications, doctors’ appointments and more. Being a dedicated employee and a supporting caregiver is a double responsibility. Some suffer from depression, anxiety and not being able to enjoy life. Bearing this double responsibility can decrease your employee’s productivity by 18.5%. Chances are higher that your employee will feel it is necessary to …

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Elderly Care: 5 Key Strategies to Help Your Parents Age in Their Own Home

By djohnson, 5:20 pm on June 20, 2018
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In elderly care we find more and more want to stay in their own homes. Have your parents let you know that they want to stay in their own home, no matter what? According to AARP, 87% of adults over the age of 65 want to stay in their current home and community as they age.1 This can be difficult as an adult child because you want to make sure that your parent is safe at home. You might worry that your parent won’t be able to afford living at home. Many adult children fear that their aging parent will be at a high risk for loneliness and isolation. Another frequent concern in elderly care …

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Baseball Therapy for Alzheimer’s Care

By djohnson, 1:11 pm on June 13, 2018
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New Alzheimer’s care socialization programs built around sports may sound odd; however, the benefits are promising. What are your most treasured sports memories? Was it the afternoon you saved the day on the ball field with a great catch? The game-winning hit? Do you remember sitting in the stadium when your favorite player belted one out of the park? These recollections are both powerful and sweet. Flash forward to today. A cutting-edge technique to help Alzheimer’s patients is sports reminiscence therapy. In Alzheimer’s care, it is important to keep the brain active. Let’s learn how America’s pastime, baseball, gives people with dementia a richer, happier life. The Power of the Group in Alzheimer’s Care Sports reminiscence …

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How A Caregiver Can Help Their Parents Accept Help Graciously

By djohnson, 1:05 pm on June 6, 2018
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It is common for a caregiver to wonder how to help someone in need who doesn’t want any help. When you are the caregiver of your parents, you want to be respectful of their pride and dignity. Even if you are dealing with a strong difficult parent, it is possible for them to accept help graciously. Understanding parents’ resistance to help If you feel trapped in a power struggle, try not to take it personally. Remember, your aging parent may resist or refuse help for VALID REASONS, such as: Habit. Your parent(s) could decline your outstretched hand out of habit. They’ve always fended for themselves, so why stop now? Pride. Asking for help may signal …

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Alzheimer’s Care: How One Protein Could Erase All Damage

By djohnson, 2:35 pm on May 30, 2018
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The latest Alzheimer’s care research brings hope for future cure. What if you could have one little protein changed in one of your genes and no longer have to live with the risk of developing Alzheimer’s Disease? Is it really possible? Can it be true? There seems to be a glimmer of hope on the horizon. Researchers at the Gladstone Institute have been able to erase memory loss damage caused by Alzheimer’s Disease (AD). Well… at least in the lab working with cells. Sounds pretty amazing, doesn’t it? Alzheimer’s Care Update: How Research is Combating Alzheimer’s By using human cells, researchers have been able to pinpoint the protein that deprives a person of their memories. By …

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