Caregiving Monday: 10 Things to Never Say to an Alzheimer’s Patient

Having a conversation with an Alzheimer’s Patient can be very frustrating at times.  Often they do not have the ability to carry on a conversation, do not remember what you are discussing or cannot find the proper word they are searching for.

However, there are some things we should never say to an Alzheimer’s patient.

  1. I know you remember—they honestly don’t remember; instead reminisce with them, you could say “the address was 10” and do not ask me to remembersee if they can finish the address
  2. I know you can do this—allow them to try, but if they can’t then don’t force them
  3. You could just do this if you would try–they want to but are not able
  4. You’re stupid, lazy, dumb, etc.—they honestly have no idea how to do what you ask; that cognitive ability is gone
  5. You’re wrong—even if they are there is no need to stress them out or argue with them
  6. That person is dead—unless specifically asked I never told; instead use therapeutic lies “they are not here right now, etc”
  7. Don’t bring up any subject that might upset or anger them
  8. Why can’t you remember—again reminisce; don’t make them feel bad
  9. Don’t you remember when you used to…; don’t you remember Uncle “so and so”—they don’t;  maybe ask “Was it Uncle Arthur that drowned in the fishing hole?”  and then see if they remember
  10. Well you can do it if you’d only try—sometimes they can do it if they’d try, but often they just don’t have the cognitive ability

What else would you never say to an Alzheimer’s patient?

 

Tweetables:

10 Things to Never Say to an Alzheimer’s Patient

Transitional Friday: Facing Your Fears

We all have fears!  I don’t like heights!

I’ve also overcome some fears, such as flying.

So, how do we face and overcome our fears?fear

  1. Make a list of your fears—make a list of all of your fears.  Which one is the easiest to cross of your list?
  2. Challenge your thoughts and the reason behind it—ask ourselves why this is a fear, what has caused this to be a fear and why you are fearful of this event.
  3. Make a list of steps to overcome this fear—make a list of steps that need to be taken in order to overcome this fear.
  4. Ask yourself what is the worst case scenario—then ask what the worst case scenario is.  With my fear of heights, that would be falling and breaking bones.
  5. Relax and visualize yourself going through the motions of what you are afraid offear2
  6. Revisit past victories—what fears have you overcome in the past?  How did you do this?
  7. Ask your family and friends for encouragement—we all need encouragement to keep moving forward and reach our goals.
  8. Take deep breaths—often deep breathing calms us and helps us to have perspective on the matter at hand.
  9. Face your fear head on—you may want a friend with you to lend emotional support

How do you overcome your fears?

Tweetables:

Facing Your Fears in Life Transitions

Creative Thursday: Does Your Environment Effect Your Work?

Where do you work on your creative projects?  Do you find that some areas bring you down?  Is there anything preventing you from your work?

I mainly work at home, but there are times when I discover that I cannot get into the groove.  There are too many other things that distract me.  When that happens, I have to get away in order to accomplish my goals.  At the moment I’m writing this at GG’s house {she has no internet to distract me}.  creativity-300x219

So what can I do so that my environment does not affect my work?

  1. Set a dedicated space to work—whether this is a corner or a room, find an area just for work
  2. Turn off distractions—turn off the television, internet and other distractions.
  3. Use Music—find music that allows me to concentrate and get into the needed mood and groove
  4. Explore other areas—find other places to work such as a coffee shop, library, park, etc.   Often just a change of scenery helps.
  5. Schedule time to work—schedule the time to work on your craft.  Knowing it’s on the schedule and has to be done is a huge help at time.
  6. Decorate—decorate your area to inspire you and your creative medium
  7. Do Not Disturb—Let your family and friends know that you are working during this time and cannot be disturbed.

What have you done to make your environment more attractive for working?

 

Tweetables:

Does Your Environment Affect Your Work?

Caregiving Monday: 10 Ways to Care for the Caregiver

walk              Being a caregiver is very exhausting.  When you add these responsibilities on top of work, children and other responsibilities, it is easy to become overwhelmed.  I’ve discovered it is important to care for yourself, because if not you’re not good in caring for your loved one.

Tips to care for yourself are:

  1. Take a walk or exercisemassage
  2. Read a book
  3. See a movie
  4. Go out to eat with friends
  5. Find a hobby or craft  {such as gardening, etc}
  6. Get a massage or medi/pedi
  7. Join a support group {even if it’s online}
  8. Don’t be afraid to ask for help.  Implement a support team.
  9. Keep a journal to write in
  10. Eat right and get plenty of sleep

What do you do to care for yourself as a caregiver?

Tweetables:

10 Ways to Care for the Caregiver 

Transitional Friday: Thinking Positively Through the Transition

When life gets us down, it is difficult to see the light at the end of the tunnel.  The devil pounces on the darkness and insecurities to bring us down.  In order to see the good and move forward, we need to see the positive.

This has often been a personal struggle for me, but each day I work to have a better attitude and move forward.

  1. Write your goalsgoal
  2. Write stepping stones towards your goals—what steps are necessary to reach the goals made.
  3. Reward yourself—find a way to reward ourselves for each small accomplishment we’ve made.  This could be a book or CD, massage, favorite restaurant, etc.
  4. Write positive affirmations and repeat them—I find that writing and repeating positive affirmations helps me to begin to believe them in time.  I heard one speaker {I wish I could remember who at the moment} state that they state these right before bedtime every night.
  5. Reflect on your situation, what brought you here and how far you’ve already come—I find it difficult at times not to dwell on how far I still have to go, but I have to look at how far I’ve come.
  6. Replace negative thoughts—don’t allow the dark places to crowd in and bring me down to where I’m useless.  The positive affirmations really help. prayer
  7. Pray and ask for God’s guidance and peace
  8. Listen to uplifting music and watch heartwarming movies—these lift the mind and help me to change perspective.  I have to remind myself I deserve this also.
  9. Find a peaceful place {ex. Lake, mountains, meadow, etc.} and remind yourself this too shall pass

What do you do to think positively?

 

Tweetables:

Thinking Positively Through the Transition

Creative Thursday: Exploring Your Creative Desires

Do you have ideas that come a mile a minute?  Do you have numerous outlets or interest to try?  Would you like to make a living with your creative desires?

Creative types often deal with all of these questions.

So how do you determine answers to these questions?

  1. Write your ideas outartistic
  2. Try different things
  3. Determine what you can’t do
  4. Determine what you enjoy doing and want to continue to explore
  5. Is this just a hobby and for fun?
  6. Is this something you dream about making a living out?
  7. Can you eat, sleep and breath this creative style
  8. How can your ideas be implemented into your medium of choice?
  9. Are you willing to learn and develop your skills?
  10. Are you willing to take chances and step out of your comfort zone to meet your goals?
  11. Do you have the financial resources to pursue your dream?
  12. Write out your goals and a plan to get from where you currently are to where you want to be.

What other steps would you recommend to explore your creative desires?

 

Tweetables:

Exploring Your Creative Desires

Discovering your creative talents

Caregiving Monday: 10 Tips for Putting a Caregiver Plan in Place

Becoming a caregiver can be very overwhelming.  This is especially the case if the shift has been sudden instead of gradual.  Although it’s always best to discuss your parent’s wishes with them long in advance, there are times when that is not possible.  Here are a few tips to help you in putting a caregiving plan in place.

  1. Keep a list of important phone numbers of people to call.  Have one for both you and also a list for your loved one of phone numbers.lifeline
  2. Decide who will make the decisions.  Obtain a Power of Attorney. Even if it is just for medical needs, it is important to have one in place.
  3. Decide who will pay all of the finances and add them to the checking account.  Determine what can and cannot be afforded.  How much {if anything} are you or siblings able to assist financially?
  4. Determine what your loved one’s wishes are for the future as far as a nursing facility, funeral plans and if they want to be buried or cremated.  Go ahead and determine all of this in advance and it will not be as difficult later on.
  5. Obtain or update wills, living will, power of attorney, etc.
  6. If the individual is living alone {or with an older spouse} invest in a lifeline that can be used in case of falls.  If the individual is known to wonder you may want to invest in an electronic tracking device.
  7. Keep a list of the individual’s medicines for any future hospital or Dr visits.  Also determine if you need to prepare the medicine. medicines
  8. Access what your loved one is capable of.  Do they need meals prepared, someone with them at night, help with household and yard duties, are they even able to stay by themselves are all questions you need to take into consideration.  Then plan accordingly.
  9. Have a current picture on hand of your loved one if they have a tendency of running off.  You may also want to look into ID Jewelry.
  10. Investigate any needs to prevent falls.  Do they need handles at doors or in the shower?  A shower chair?  Are they in need of a walker or cane?  Do certain rugs need to be removed?  Determine the best course of action for fall prevention and implement

 

What else have you done to put a caregiver plan in place?

 

Tweetables:

10 Tips for Putting a Caregiver Plan in Place

Transitional Friday: Finding Support in Life Transitions

There are times when we feel all alone or there is no one to talk with.  I’ve struggled with this often.  As a caregiver, I often find it difficult to have the opportunity to become involved with other groups or organizations due to my responsibilities.  However, regardless of where we are in life, we all need a support system. Finding support in life transitionssupport

  1. Have a friend to talk to—everyone needs a friend to confide in and trust, as well as to just hang out with and have fun at times.
  2. Find a support group—a group of likeminded people going through the same struggles often helps us to feel that we are not alone.
  3. Get involved with an organization like Celebrate Recovery or Divorce Care {if you are dealing with addiction or divorce}.
  4. Find programs for your need {ex. Several local churches have Employment Support Groups for those searching for jobs}journaling
  5. Don’t Be Afraid to Share Your Feelings—often we may be embarrassed to share our feelings, think no one cares or just be afraid to speak out.  We can’t keep it all bottled up, because this isn’t healthy.  We need to get it out and express ourselves.
  6. Try Journaling—often it helps to write your feeling.  If journaling doesn’t work, try expressing yourself through music or art.
  7. Get involved with a local church—find a local church to get involved and join a group {this could be a Sunday School class, small discussion group, senior adult group, Women or Men’s group, etc.}

Who supports you?

 

Tweetables:

Finding Support in Life Transitions

Creative Thursday: The Importance of Networking

This is the time of year that many conferences are taking place.

Networking is essential to most of the creative arts.  Often it is all about who you know that allows you the break you are looking for.

So what are some great ways to network?

  1. Workshops—often are for just a few hours or days, concentrating on one emphasis to help you grow, learn and improveworkshops
  2. Conferences—often last a weekend to a full week, offers numerous classes, opportunities for critique, networking opportunities and the chance to meet important people in your industry
  3. Critique Groups—groups that meet to share one another’s work and offer constructive advice on how to improve and make it better
  4. Classes—these can be anything from a music school to a theatre or art class to a continuing education class at a university.  You’re there with others of your skill level that also want to learn and grow. You could make friends, find accountability partners or even find someone to collaborate with.
  5. Networking Events—many communities offer networking events, check your local listings.  You can also check with the library, school or business that specializes in your interest.volunteer
  6. Volunteer—if you’re interested in theatre but unsure how to get started, volunteer to help with the sets, costumes, etc.  This is a great way to make friends, see what happens behind the scenes and ease yourself into this area of interest.  You never know what doors may open through this endeavor.  This is a great way to get involved with any creative interest.
  7. Mentor—a mentor is a great way to grow.  The mentor offers his/her expertise and advise, can offer contacts and networking opportunities you may not otherwise have.  The most difficult aspect is finding a mentor that has the time to take you under his/her wing.

What have you done to network?

 

Tweetables:

The Importance of Networking

Reasons to Network

Ways to Network

Caregiving Monday: 5 Activities You Can Do to Keep Your Loved One Active with Alzheimer’s

Do you struggle with finding activities for your dementia patient?  Often it is difficult to find activities they are able to do or to keep their interest for long.  None of these activities have to be very long, but are a couple of ideas of activities to help keep the brain active and interacted.

  1. Music is always great.  It soothes the soul and reaches into the recesses of the mind where other avenues may not be able to elderly dancingreach.  Put on a CD with your loved one’s favorite music or sing along with them.  Even if all they remember are songs you learned as a child, this is a great device to keep them active.  Depending on their capabilities you can add activity to the music such as tossing a balloon, using scarves, using instruments, etc.
  2. Puzzles are a great way to keep the mind active.  This can be a physical puzzle, cross word puzzle or Sudko {depending on the person’s interest}.   Depending on the individual’s capabilities even easy puzzles designed for toddlers are worth the effort.
  3. Picture books are a great way to help a person remember family, friends, and places.  You can help them flip through the picture book and ask who that person in.  Begin to talk about memories of that person or place and allow your loved on to fill in some of the blanks.puzzle
  4. For more advanced cases of dementia when they are limited in their ability, ask to help you fold washcloths and socks.  Even if you have to refold them, at least you are making the person feel useful.  Please wait until you’re in another room to refold them.
  5. Older people love to dance.  Even if they are not physically able to stand up and dance, you can hold their hands and swing your hips.  For them this is dancing.  They may not want to do this for long but even a short song like Let Me Call You Sweetheart or On Moonlight Bay is a start.

What activities have you done with Alzheimer’s patients?

  Tweetables:

5 Activities You Can Do to Keep Your Loved One Active with Alzheimer’s

Transitional Friday: Ecclesiastes 3: 18-22, The Purpose of Life

We are wrapping up our look at Ecclesiastes 3 and a season for all times.

I also said to myself, “As for humans, God tests them so that they may see that they are like the animals—God tests us to show us that we have the beastly quality of animals and will prey upon others.

 Surely the fate of human beings is like that of the animals—man is frail     ashes and dust

the same fate awaits them both—their existence is temporary

As one dies, so dies the other—all living, breathing animals {whether human or not} will died one day

All have the same breath—we all breath the same air

humans have no advantage over animals—we do not have long to live in righteousness and honor before God

Everything is meaningless—if we’re not living for God then it is all meaningless
 All go to the same place—life is fleeting and we all go to the same place

all come from dust—we came from dust ; Abraham asked in Genesis 18:27, “who am I but ashes and dust”  return to earth

and to dust all return—one day we will all return to dust; think about the burial ceremony, we say “ashes to ashes and dust to dust”
 Who knows if the human spirit rises upward and if the spirit of the animal goes down into the earth?—only God knows if the human spirit goes up and the animal spirit goes down.  Some may say if the saved goes to heaven and the unsaved goes into the earth.

So I saw that there is nothing better for a person than to enjoy their work—God wants us to enjoy our work and to work hard

because that is their lot—because that is why He made us.  He has a purpose for ALL of our lives.
For who can bring them to see what will happen after them—only God knows the purpose for our lives, how we will touch others and what will happen in the afterlife.  He also knows the rewards this life will bring into the afterlife.

What is your purpose in life?

 

Tweetables:

The Purpose of Life

Creative Thursday: Worshiping God With A Creative Spirit

Often we think that we can only worship God through prayer and Bible study.  This is a great way to worship God and very important, but it’s not the only way to worship God.  There are some creative ways that we can also worship our Lord and Savior.

 

  1. Journaling—journaling is very popular and you hear many people talking about journaling.  Journaling allows you to pour
    art journaling
    Art Journaling

    out your feelings on paper.  I often find that when I pray I can’t find the words, but when I write a letter to God the words just pour forth.  Journaling comes in many forms: writing God a letter, keeping your thoughts in a daily journal, etc.

  2. Art Journaling—I had a friend that introduced me to this recently and I found it greatly freeing.  Again, there are numerous options to what you can do.  This can be coloring a picture, drawing a picture, stamping, cutting out designs to paste on the page, etc.  Within the picture or design you can write your prayers or you can allow your picture to show your prayer or just pray as you journal.
  3. Painting or Sculpture—a few years ago our church had a man come in and paint a picture of Jesus during the service.  The skills of this man is amazing and he worked so fast.  We may not be at this skill level but can still paint or create a sculpture while praying and praising God.
  4. Dance—dance is a great way to praise God and show him your heart.  This can be done in church or the privacy of your home.  Often we hear churches say that we should not dance, but we’re told that King David danced for the Lord with great abandon.  If he can do it why can’t we?  {2 Samuel 6}
  5. Music—in church music is a vital part of worship, but you can also worship through music in your home or car.  Whether you play an instrument or just sing to the Lord.  We are told to “make a joyful noise.”  {Psalm 95:2}  As musician there are times Idancing for God cannot find the words to express my heart to God, but can lift up my voice to the Lord in song.  I always feel better.  Whether you turn on the radio, sing a capella, play a CD, use soundtracks or play your own music, God doesn’t care as long as we praise Him.  Music also lifts the mood.
  6. Drama—this most likely would be done in a group, but you could also act out a scene or monologue in the privacy of your home.  Drama is a great way to express yourself and show God your heart.
  7. Design—this option has numerous possibilities, because you could design an area in your home to pray and worship, design a piece of jewelry to wear, design a craft project, etc.  Just remember that regardless of what you are designing, you are doing it to the glory of God.

What are some creative ways you’ve worshipped God?

 

Tweetables:

Worshiping God With A Creative Spirit

Creative Thursday: Worshiping God With A Creative Spirit

Often we think that we can only worship God through prayer and Bible study.  This is a great way to worship God and very important, but it’s not the only way to worship God.  There are some creative ways that we can also worship our Lord and Savior.

 

  1. Journaling—journaling is very popular and you hear many people talking about journaling.  Journaling allows you to pour out your feelings on paper.  I often find that when I pray I can’t find the words, but when I write a letter to God the words just pour forth.  Journaling comes in many forms: writing God a letter, keeping your thoughts in a daily journal, etc.art journaling
  2. Art Journaling—I had a friend that introduced me to this recently and I found it greatly freeing.  Again, there are numerous options to what you can do.  This can be coloring a picture, drawing a picture, stamping, cutting out designs to paste on the page, etc.  Within the picture or design you can write your prayers or you can allow your picture to show your prayer or just pray as you journal.
  3. Painting or Sculpture—a few years ago our church had a man come in and paint a picture of Jesus during the service.  The skills of this man is amazing and he worked so fast.  We may not be at this skill level but can still paint or create a sculpture while praying and praising God.
  4. Dance—dance is a great way to praise God and show him your heart.  This can be done in church or the privacy of your home.  Often we hear churches say that we should not dance, but we’re told that King David danced for the Lord with great abandon.  If he can do it why can’t we?  {2 Samuel 6}   dancing for God
  5. Music—in church music is a vital part of worship, but you can also worship through music in your home or car.  Whether you play an instrument or just sing to the Lord.  We are told to “make a joyful noise.”  {Psalm 95:2}  As musician there are times I cannot find the words to express my heart to God, but can lift up my voice to the Lord in song.  I always feel better.  Whether you turn on the radio, sing a capella, play a CD, use soundtracks or play your own music, God doesn’t care as long as we praise Him.  Music also lifts the mood.
  6. Drama—this most likely would be done in a group, but you could also act out a scene or monologue in the privacy of your home.  Drama is a great way to express yourself and show God your heart.
  7. Design—this option has numerous possibilities, because you could design an area in your home to pray and worship, design a piece of jewelry to wear, design a craft project, etc.  Just remember that regardless of what you are designing, you are doing it to the glory of God.

What are some creative ways you’ve worshipped God?

 

Tweetables:

Worshiping God With A Creative Spirit