09.28.07

October 1st -Put it on your calendar.

Posted in Assisted Living, Caregiver, Elder Care, Elderly Care, Nursing home, Senior Citizen, Senior Citizen Fathers, Taking Care of a Loved One, Texas Elderly Care Services at 4:01 pm by admin

October 1st is International Day for the Elderly. This day is to honor, respect and care for the world’s elderly. Even if you don’t have an elderly family member, go and be a blessing to an elderly neighbor or visit a nursing home giving out hugs.

Emotional Experiences of a Family Member Caregiver

Posted in Alzheimer's Disease, Assisted Living, care at home, Caregiver, Dimentia, Elder Care, Elderly Care, Home Health Care, Nursing home, Nursing home alternative, Senior Citizen, Senior Citizen Fathers, Taking Care of a Loved One at 3:29 pm by admin


When illness turns family members into caregivers there is often strong emotional experiences that the caregiver goes through.

Sadness: It is disturbing to see a loved one rendered physically helpless, particularly if the injury had a sudden onset. But the advent of cognitive deficits, causing changes in the patients personality and behavior, are generally found by researchers to be far more wrenching for families. When even so simple a task for the caregiver as sharing the events of one’s day and being understood is precluding by a patients dimentia, the loss of companionship is profound. Decreases in functioning, especially intellectual capacity, will often force patients who were working to retire, creating economical hardships for the family. When other family members shift to shoulder the bread-winning burden while also assisting the patient more at home with daily activities, they suffer dramamtically increased workloads and drastically reduced personal time. Some caregivers find relief in tears and take solace from sharing their mornful feelings with others who respond understandingly. Many caregivers however feel uncomfortable about expressing sadness and shame. They typicallycite several objections: 1-”I don’t want to feel sad because it will make me depressed.” 2-”I don’t want to express sadness because other people will think that I’m weak.” 3-”What do I have to feel sad about when I’m not the one who is disabled?” or 4-”I’m afraid that if I express sadness, it will make my loved one feel worse.” Generally though empathizing with the caregiver’s sadness is one of the most effective ways that a patient can give back something meaningful to the person who has made sacrifices on his behalf. When a caregiver is willing to take the risk of expressing sadness to a loved one in a non-blaming way, it most often results in a greater feeling of comunion or shared mission between the two that helps them both feel better understood and supported.


 Anger: Caregiver anger depends mostly on the relationship between the patient and the caregiver before the illness. At its simplest, it takes the form of blaming the patient for bringing the tragedy upon the family. The sting of being unjustly trapped often lies at the root of anger. Sometimes the anger isn’t toward the patient but at God. Anger must be dealt with promptly or it will turn into bitterness.

Worry: Every family member of one who is suffering worries. But a caregiver must be careful not to worry him or herself too much or he/she will get burned out.

Guilt: Many family members feel guilty that their loved ones have become ill as if it is their fault. A family member might feel guilty that he or she hasn’t visited a loved one in the nursing home. Also there may be guilt because a relationship went soar before the illness took place. It is never too late to love. Visit that family member in the nursing home. Start talking and praying for him or her.


09.22.07

When Is It Time To Turn In The Keys?

Posted in Jokes, Senior Humour, Senior Jokes at 12:35 am by admin


When is it time for a senior citizen to quit driving?

Old Lady Driving

Ruth realized that she had better turn in the keys when her and Martha were riding down the road and chatting. As they were riding they were approaching a red light. Martha realized that her sister Ruth didn’t slow down but ran right through the red light. Martha said, “Wooh, that was a close one!” They approached a second red light and went through that one full speed. Martha gripped the seat of her chair as they went through a 3rd red light. Martha yelled out, “Stop Ruth you just ran through 3 red lights!” Ruth looked at her with a confused look and said, “Oh I thought you were driving!” :)


09.18.07

Dementia and Bathing

Posted in Alzheimer's Disease, Assisted Living, Assisted Living Safety, Bathing, dementia, Elder Care, Elderly Care, Home Health Care, Nursing home, Texas Elderly Care Services at 3:21 pm by admin


Bathing is a particular sensitive issue for persons with dementia. Those with dementia become confused easily and often misinterpret what others are doing and saying. In such individuals, often even the smallest thing that is unpleasent such as water in the eyes or ears can make the individual respond with fear or violence.

A guideline for bathing without a battle:

-Focus on the person more than the task.

Try to meet individual preferences and focus on the well-being of the person. Always protect the persons privacy and dignity (such as covering the person with a towel after turning off the water and in transfers)

-Be flexible!

Modify your approach to meet the persons needs. Methods such as singing and talking with the individual while bathing can distract him or her from the fear, anxiety or shame of being bathed by someone else. Be flexible with the procedure divide up tasks such as washing hair and washing the body.

-Use persuasion,not coercion.

Help the person feel in control at bathing time. Give choices and respond to individual requests. Avoid asking “Do you want to take a bath?” when you know that the answer will be “no”. Instead say something like”It’s time for your spa, would you like body wash or a bar of soap? Would you like to wear the green and tan outfit or the blue one?” Use a supportive and calm approach and praise the person often. Ask questions that are not exasperating or that have maybe two or three answers. Sometimes questions with endless possibilities can overwhelm a person with dementia such as “what do you want to wear?” narrow the question down to 2 or 3 possibilities.


-Be prepared!

Gather everything that you will need for bathing before approaching the person. Warm the room (no one has a good expeirence bathing when they are cold and wet). Have towels, washcloths, and clothes ready. Get shower chair and bath mat securely in place.

-Stop.

When a person becomes distressed, stop and assess the situation. It is not “normal” for a person to cry moan, or fight during bathing. Look for underlying reason for the behavior. What can you do to prevent the person from becoming more upset? If you are unable to calm the person you will need to shorten the bath. In such a case wash only what is necessary for good health. If the person becomes too distressed or aggressive you will need to end the bath. Try to end with something pleasant such as offering a cup of coffee or a back rub. This may make it easier when you return. Reproach the person later to finish washing critical areas if necessary.

-Ask for help.

Talking with others about ways to meet the needs of the person  gives you an opportunity to find different ways to help make the bath more comfortable.