Thursday, August 23, 2007

Nursing Homes: The Hardest Part About Caring For Your Aging Parent

Nursing Homes...

Let's face it. Nobody ever wants to
be in the position of needing nursing
home care.

We hope we never need to go into a
nursing home. We hope we don't have
to see our loved ones in a nursing home.

But, there are times when it can't be
avoided. One of the main reasons for
your aging parent to need to reside in
a nursing home is that they require
around-the-clock care. Something you
are unable to provide.

If your parent is bed-ridden, the demands
of caregiving exceed what you are
capable of giving.

If your aging parent suffers from Alzheimer's,
in the advanced stages, especially, they need nursing
home care for their own safety.

It will be the hardest decision you'll have to
make. Heart-wrenching. Naturally, you'll
be doing a great deal of research to find
the best place you are able to for your loved one.

There is help available within your community.
Take advantage of every resource and referral
agency before making your choice. Remember,
the squeaky wheel does indeed get the grease!

For immediate online help, Click Here!

To learn from top experts in the field of
Elder Care...

Our Aging Loved Ones: Planning for the Day We Hope Will Never Come -- An in-depth look at eldercare, featuring over 14 hours of information, practical tips, and advice from today's leading eldercare experts

Wishing you peace,

Monday, August 13, 2007

The Emotions of Caregiving

The National Family Caregivers Associations
national profile of caregivers found that 67%
of caregivers felt frustration while nearly 40%
felt sad and anxious.

Half of all caregivers experienced back pain,
sleeplessness and depression.

You are going to take on a caregiving role. After
thinking it through, you know you can do it. Or,
you may be like so many and not have a choice.
It could be thrust upon you before you've had a
chance to think.

One of the things you should be prepared for are
the wide range of emotions you will experience.
And these emotions are normal. Don't beat yourself

Having my Mom live with me has shown just how
many emotions a body can experience. The ups and
downs of the caregiving rollercoaster ride.

Happiness, sadness, joy, depression, anger, frustration,
guilt, compassion and love. There will be days you'll
run through them all! And wonder how you will live
to cope another day.

Now that my mother has passed away and I've had
time to think back on our many years together, I'm
going through a lot of the same emotions.

The biggest is regret. I know the experts say that is
part of the grief process. But my regrets are that I
didn't have more information at the time. I thought
we were doing fine. Now I wish I could have the chance
to do it again.

I work in a library, for pity's sake. I help others find
information and resources they need. But not for me.
What they say about the cobbler's kids going without
shoes now makes sense to me.

What makes it extremely hard when caring for your
parent is the unresolved conflicts from the past. Put
a child and parent back together and you soon find
out that this role will never change.

Being a caregiver, I know your time is limited. But
please find out all you can. Libraries, support groups,
bookstores, senior services, etc...

If I could change anything, it would be to go back
and do it all again. But only better. I'm sorry, Mom.
I loved you. And always will...

Our Aging Loved Ones: Planning for the Day We Hope Will Never Come -- An in-depth look at eldercare, featuring over 14 hours of information, pratical tips, and advice from today's leading eldercare experts

Thursday, August 9, 2007

What Does Aging Look Like?

Our Aging Loved Ones: Planning for the Day We Hope Will Never Come -- An in-depth look at eldercare, featuring over 14 hours of information, pratical tips, and advice from today's leading eldercare experts

Aging. Nobody looks forward to the process.
But, as the saying goes, look at the alternative!

There are two kinds of aging:
Primary and secondary...

No, we don't get to pick which one we'll take.
We're going to get both.

Primary Aging

This is all about genetics. Here's
where we can blame someone else. Or thank
our parents for their great genes.

It's like pre-ordained coding that our bodies
follow. That's why medical doctors want to
know your family's medical history when
it's all about you.

Secondary Aging

This is when the systems of the body simply
slow down. And, where, in many cases, we
get to blame ourselves.

A healthy lifestyle will delay the effects of
secondary aging. Not stop. Just slow down.
You've heard it all before...
Healthy diet, exercise, no smoking, etc...

So as we take care of our aging parents, it
will be a learning experience of what's in
store for us. And when we think of it in
that way, we tend to have more patience
through the rough times of being caregivers.

Warmest thoughts,

Friday, August 3, 2007

The Care Receiver: How To Walk A Mile In Their Shoes

Caregiving is one of the most demanding roles
anyone can undertake. If you are performing as
caregiver now or you know you will be in the near
future, there are some techniques you may find

Whether you are caregiver to an aging parent,
spouse, sibling or any loved one, many emotions
will be the same.

Frustration and anger will rear up its ugly persona.
Even if you think you are as good-natured as they
come, think again.

This is natural. Don't let the guilt of these emotions
overwhelm you when they happen. Just keep
saying over and over, "I'm not a bad person.
This is normal. I'll get through it."

My mother depended on me for many years. She
was caregiver to my father for many years so I got
to see first hand what I would be doing in the future.

At first it was more psychological dependence. In the
last year of her life, she was like my little child.

Mom resided with me for more years than I care to
admit. Maybe I've actually forgotten. As you may
know, living with someone is a whole lot different
than caregiving at a distance.

Add to that the mother-daughter dynamics and you
are sitting on the proverbial powder keg at times.

We went from me getting her fixed up to go out
when she was mobile to informing her the time had
come for the adult diapers.

Emotions ranged from envy. (She looked better than
me when out socializing! Heck, there wasn't time
left over for me to primp.)

To anger. At her. At myself. At life. Then back to
sadness and depression. For the both of us.

In the final years, I'd finally figured it out. Duh!
Whatever negative emotion I was feeling, I'd
take a deep breath. Yes, it really does work.

As I looked at my mother, I'd remember the pictures
of her taken as a child and young woman. And, I'd
simply put myself in her shoes.

This woman once skipped across the hayfield. Played
with her siblings. Giggled at silly things.

She grew up. Married. Was a dedicated wife. Adopted
me. And put up with my teenage years. Sure, we had
problems. I've never known a family without dysfunction.

Then I'd look at this little old lady and see her soul.
Her aged body turned against her but her soul
was still that of the newborn baby brought into this
world where she endured many difficult years.

I know it's hard. There are times you think your
aging parent will send you off the deep end. But, stop
and remember them. The way they were.

They did not want this. My Mom used to say,
"Oh, to be 70 again!" When I would cringe when
"wiping her bottom", I'd remember the hard-working,
energetic woman who always took care of others.

Try that experiment when your emotions are doing you in.
I know it's easy for me to say. Now. Mom died last year.

And I miss her terribly. I want to hug her again.

Go hug your aging parent. And remember the good times...

This may be of interest and assistance to you...


Thursday, August 2, 2007

Alzheimer's: News On Skin Patch

...Taken from News Release...

Skin Patch Approved for Treatment of Mild to Moderate Alzheimer’s

Monday, July 30, 2007

A skin patch that delivers small, continuous doses
of the Alzheimer’s drug Exelon throughout the day
was approved for sale in the United States earlier
this month. It is expected to be available in pharmacies
in the coming weeks.

The “Exelon Patch” contains the same medication,
rivastigmine, that is has been available in capsule form
since 2000 to treat mild to moderate Alzheimer’s.

The medication is also available in a liquid form.
The skin patch is replaced once a day and worn on the
back, chest, or upper arm.

Various medications have been available as skin patches,
which allow small and continuous doses of the drug to be
absorbed through the skin, but this is the first such
skin patch to be available for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease.

According to the drug’s maker, Novartis Pharmaceuticals,
the skin patch may be preferred by caregivers because it
may be easier to apply than taking a pill.

“The patch provides a visual reassurance for the caregiver
that the patient is receiving their medication,” they note.
Because it delivers a small and steady dose, it may also be
less likely to produce upset stomach, nausea and vomiting
than oral forms of the drug, the drug-makers say.

The Food and Drug Administration also approved the use
of Exelon Patch in treating patients with mild to moderate
dementia due to Parkinson's disease. Parkinson's disease
is a chronic and progressive neurological condition that
affects some 1.5 million people in the United States.


Yes, this is wonderful news for caregivers! Easier on them
and on the patient...

For more information on Alzheimer's...

For information from noted elder care experts...

Warmest thoughts,

Alzheimer's: Don't Let The Sun Go Down On Me

Caregivers of Alzheimer's patients will
deal with a troublesome symptom known
as "sundowning".

This means that in late afternoon and
evening Alzheimer's symptoms become

**Causes of Sundowning**

---end of day exhaustion (both physical, mental & emotional
---"internal body clock" upset
---lighting is reduced
---inability to separate dreams from reality when trying to
sleep leads to disorientation
---less need for sleep

**Things To Do**

---reduce agitation and sleeplessness
---plan more active days if patient is up to it such
as walks, socializing, exercise, etc...
---restrict sweets and caffeine to mornings, early dinner,
light healthy snack before bedtime
---seek medical advice for bladder and incontinence problems
medication for relaxation

**When patient awakens and is agitated**

---approach loved one in quiet, calm manner
---ask what they need
---remind them of time of day
---do not argue or ask for them to explain themselves!!!
---offer reassurance, hugs, love...

Be kind to them and yourself...