Saturday, October 13, 2007

Your Aging Parent: How To Remember The Past

It can be difficult caring for a parent.
From tying shoelaces to bathing. Many
times you'll wonder how it all came down
to this.

These are frustrating times. For you.
And for your parent. They too, remember
how it was before their bodies failed them.

A great thing to do for everyone is to
remember the past. When your parent
was healthy.

Gather up pictures of your parent when
they were young. In their prime. Put
the photos out where you can see them.

Make a collage or scrapbook. Find pictures
of your parent as they went through their
life. As a child, a teenager, a newlywed, a
young mother, etc...

It can be beneficial and heartwarming for
both of you to sit together and look at
the pictures.

It's a great reminder of why you are your
parent's caregiver now.


Thursday, October 4, 2007

Facing Alzheimer's In Your Aging Parent

For many years I lived in fear of my
mother getting Alzheimer's Disease. Mom
and I both coped with all her health-related
issues rather well, I thought.

But I knew Alzheimer's would force a
choice I didn't want to make. My Mom
wouldn't be able to live with me anymore.
As sole caregiver with no siblings, it
wouldn't have been an option.

But we were lucky. Mom lived to be
95. Mind sharper than mine. And we
were together.

For the caregivers of aging parents who
are faced with Alzheimer's, my heart
goes out to you.

This is the most distressing disease for
the patient, family members and care
givers. Devastating.

So if your parent has been diagnosed
or you are beginning to suspect Alzheimer's
Disease, you'll want to be well-equipped to
handle what the future holds.

We must remember. The brain is damaged.
The patient cannot make sense or use logic
to what they see and hear. Scary, right?

The patient has no control over what they
are doing. They can't prevent themselves
from doing or saying things they would have
never done when their brains were healthy.

Some Tips For The Caregiver

1. Learn everything you can about the dementing
We can't begin to understand anything if
we just don't know about it. This understanding
of the dementing illness will help us cope.

2. Talk to the patient if the illness is mild to
moderate. You'll both be able to share your feelings,
memories and concerns for the future.

3. Solve problems one at a time. Choose one thing
that has you in turmoil and make little changes
until you see a difference. Everything can't be
conquered at once.

4. Rest. The caregiver must have respite care. They
have to take care of themselves. It's been reported
that chronic caregiver stress leads to a shortened
life span for the caregiver. Serious stuff!

5. Adapt. Always ask yourself, "Is it that big of a deal?"
If the patient wants to do something like sleep in their
clothes, is the frustration of trying to force them into
pj's really worth the stress?

6. Laugh. You must find ways to make what you can
funny. Talk to other caregivers and find the humor in
the situation. The patient needs laughter as well!

If you'd like to learn more about this painful disease,

Be strong,

Monday, October 1, 2007

Looking After Aging Parents: When You're An "Only"

Perils of the "only child".

We "only children" have it much harder as
our parents age. There are no brothers and
sisters to turn to for emotional support.

There is nobody to take turns in being
the caregiver. It can be lonely. And it can
be difficult.

The only ones who truly understand are
the caregivers in the same situation.

This is why it is absolutely essential to
research the support assistance available
to you in your community!

It's been proven that chronic stress of
is known to shorten our life-span.

With me, I always thought my heart would
give out. The running joke with Mom was
that she'd outlive me because I was always
on alert.

If she so much as bumped her rollator into
the couch, my heart lurched and palpitated.
A constant flood of adrenaline is not good!

I didn't know how hard it was on the heart
until she passed away. (thankfully, she was
able to live with me until the end) I miss Mom.
But, I don't miss the adrenaline surges!

As an only child, please look into respite services,
home-care support, anything your community
offers to assist you in elder care. They truly are
a life-saver!

Check with your doctor, your hospital, the phone
directory, anything...Don't stop until you have
help lined up.

It will save you from caregiver burnout and
possibly add years to your life!

Click Here! if you'd like to learn more about
getting information from eldercare experts.

Warmest thoughts,