Archive for January, 2011
When Your Loved One Resists Care in San Diego CA
by Rich O’Boyle, Publisher
“How many times has your mother refused to change her clothes? Has your father resisted getting out of bed? Has your wife pushed you away when you tried to brush her teeth? Many times a caregiver will be particularly frustrated by her loved one’s refusal to help himself. At times she can’t help but think that the person she cares for "36 hours a day" is going out of his way to make her miserable! The increasing irrationality of individuals with dementia makes it even harder on the caregiver.”
When your loved one resists care, step back calmly and think:
- Are there any environmental factors such as lighting, shadows, noise, commotion or other external influences that are causing the problem now?
- Before you say something, think about what you are going to say. Check your emotions and frustration before you speak. Your increased frustration can contribute to your loved one’s agitation.
- Put yourself in her shoes. Use your knowledge of her personal background to pinpoint patterns and reasons for her reaction.
- Is this confrontation worth escalating? Choose your battles wisely. A head-to-toe bath is not necessary every day or even more than once each week. Similarly, clothes do not have to be changed every day if they are not soiled.
The caregivers at Age Advantage understand caregiver stress are available to talk with you and your family about all of your live-in home care needs and concerns. Age Advantage is a home care agency providing caring quality and affordable home care in San Diego CA and the surrounding areas. Call 619-660-8881 for more information.
When Siblings Step Up
By ANNE TERGESEN
Sisters and brothers are finding new ways to circumvent old conflicts as they take on one of the toughest roles in their lives: caregiver.
When Rene Talavera’s father, Jesus Talavera, 69, was hospitalized for kidney and heart failure last fall, the 45-year-old Chicago resident and his four siblings were catapulted into an uncomfortable new phase of life: caregiving.
But even as the Talavera siblings absorbed the shock of their father’s illness, they set aside old conflicts and concerns to work together. "The common thread is that you all love your parent," says Rene Talavera. "It’s not about you or an argument you had 20 years ago. It’s about Dad and what you can do for him."
Family cohesiveness is a tall order at any time of life. But as parents grow frail, brothers and sisters often encounter new obstacles to togetherness—at precisely the time they most need to rely on one another.
Sibling rivalry can emerge or intensify as adult children vie, one last time, for a parent’s love or financial support. And even as parents grow dependent on children, the desire to cling to old, familiar roles can create a dysfunctional mess.
For information about how Age Advantage can help your family with home care and assistance for your loved one, contact 619-660-8881. Age Advantage is a home care agency providing caregivers and in home care in San Diego CA and surrounding areas.
Caregiver Spotlight on Work-Life “Balance”
by Isabel Fawcett, SPHR
There’s no avoiding stress in caregiving, at work or in life. Stress, both “good” and “bad,” will always be a part of our human existence. That’s all the more reason for caregivers to be proactive in managing stress. Shining a spotlight on your work and personal life is one way to identify and better manage stress. Be prepared, though. It requires serious commitment on your part.
Are you still with me?
What is Work-Life Balance?
“Work-life balance” is a misnomer. In real-life, there is no such thing as equal balance – other than maybe on a well-calibrated scale. When humans are involved balance would be perfection. If you’re not a perfectionist, you know that human perfection doesn’t exist.
Although it may sound like an oxymoron, the word “tension” may be the better word choice. “Tension” has multiple definitions, including competing pressures that require learning how to better balance push-and-pull opposing forces. The push-pull tension of work competes with the push-pull tension of caregiving and other forces in each of our lives.
The force is truly with us, so to speak.
“Work-life balance” requires continuous prioritization by individuals, self-examination and seamlessly deriving pleasure or satisfaction in daily living. However you choose to reconcile and (de)value competing elements in your life is entirely within your control.
So much to do, so little time!
Doctors appointments, pharmacy runs, medical supplies, emerging symptoms, caregiver or elder general malaise, Medicare and other insurance tangles, financial spaghetti bowls, family sparring, swirling emotions and more, will run caregivers into the ground if we are not mindful.
Caregivers’ Stress Management Tips
Stress management presumes gaining or re-gaining life control and greater balance.
- Check your blood pressure at least once monthly. Discuss your monthly readings with your physician.
- Schedule medical appointments early mornings or as late in the day as possible. Aavoid needless back and forth between work, home, and medical offices.
- Consider taking pre-approved vacation leave on medical appointment days. Enjoy breakfast or lunch before or after appointments, whether alone, or with your loved one or a friend.
- Treat yourself at day’s end. You’ll feel refreshed at work the following day.
- Consider the most strategic use of Family and Medical Leave (FMLA) based on your own preferences in addition to your elder’s medical needs. Decide whether intermittent (working reduced hours at work) or consecutive FML eases competing elements in your life. If approved by your employer, consecutive FML is a block of leave as allowed under FMLA.
- Leave home earlier than rush hour traffic. Leave work later than rush hour traffic. Take the long way home occasionally.
May the (right) force be with you!
Home care counselors at Age Advantage are available to talk with you about your live-in home care needs including how to reduce caregiver stress while providing better, affordable home care in San Diego CA and surrounding areas.
Homecare After Hip Surgery in Seniors Increases Survival Rate, Study Finds
Seniors who received home care after discharge from hospital for partial hip surgery (hemiarthroplasty) were 43% less likely to die in the three months following the procedure, found a study published in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal). However, less than 16% of elderly patients discharged home after partial hip surgery in the study group received home care.
The study looked at 11,326 men and women aged 65 and older in Quebec who had partial hip surgery between 1997 and 2004. Those who were discharged with home care support were younger, more likely to have been treated in a teaching hospital and lower volume hospitals, and to have stayed more than 7 days in hospital. They were also more likely to have a trial fibrillation and acute renal failure. Men were at higher risk of death compared to women and those who stayed longer in hospital had increased survival rates.
Source: Science Daily
Home care counselors at Age Advantage are available to talk with you about your live-in home care needs including how to reduce caregiver stress while providing affordable home care in San Diego and surrounding areas.