compassion

Caregiving Monday: Tips to Consider when Hiring Private Caregivers

You can hire caregivers from an agency or on a freelance basis.  Different individuals have different preferences.  Personally, I prefer the freelance compassion 2basis.  That way if I don’t feel an assignment is a good fit, I have the choice to say no thank you and walk away.

Other people swear by hiring someone from an agency.  You have to decide what you prefer. I know some families that have both freelancers and an agency.

There are pros and cons to either choice.  Research your options to find the solution that will best fit your circumstances.

 

With an agency, caregivers are:compassion

  • Licensed
  • Bonded
  • Insured
  • Often have workman’s compensation coverage
  • Backup care

My best piece of advice is to interview the caregiver and make sure the individual is a good fit with you {you will essentially be the one in charge}, the person being cared for and the overall situation.

When you interview a prospective caregiver make sure you:parents

  • Make sure the caregiver’s physical abilities match your needs
  • Define the duties and expectations of the job
  • Ask about previous experience
  • Don’t be afraid to ask for references

 

What do you look for when hiring a caregiver?

 

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

Caregiving Monday: Cherishing the Moments

Caregiving can be very taxing and trying at times.   There are times when you just need to get away and have “me” time.

There are numerous times when sacrifices have to be made and we as caregivers have to give up things we really want to do.

Take time to Cherish the moments
Take time to Cherish the moments

When these moments come, I remind myself to cherish the moments I have with my loved one.  I remind myself that she is getting older and we will not have her forever.

This was driven home this past week with the passing of a very dear individual in my life.  I thought about the times we spent together and how I wish I had more of those moments to just sit with him or to sing another song together.

I strive to remind myself to cherish these moments when I am with my grandmother and other loved ones.   I find that I have more appreciation and gratitude when I use this reminder.   This is the time to enjoy the small moments together, as well as to ask questions and listen to stories from their younger days.

When our loved ones are gone all of these opportunities will also be gone.  Usually, we don’t know how much longer we have together.  We can either take advantage of them now or regret the missed chances later on.

How do you cherish the moments together?

loss

Caregiving Monday: Dealing with Violent Outbursts

At times it is difficult for someone with Alzheimers to know how to express themselves
At times it is difficult for someone with Alzheimers to know how to express themselves

 

 

 

 

I had one resident that was normally very sweet, but at times she had nightmares that caused violent outbursts.

Calming her down during one of these episodes was never easy and took a lot of time.  Often it took time that others did not want to dedicate to her.  There have been numerous times when I spent a good hour or more working to calm her down.

So how do you calm down an Alzheimer’s patient that has a violent outbursts?

  1. Remember that often it is the disease and not the individual

    Finding the window to help Alzheimer's deal with their reality
    Finding the window to help Alzheimer’s deal with their reality
  2. Understand the history and background of the person. In this case, we knew the traumatic event from her youth that triggered these outbursts.
  3. Redirect the individual as much as possible
  4. Don’t argue with the person
  5. Allow the individual to talk about the incident if possible and necessary. You don’t want to agitate him/her more.
  6. Beware of triggers. Keep a record of events before these outbursts.  Is there a certain person, incident, time of day, etc. that triggers these outbursts? By tracking any triggers you can work to eliminate them.
  7. Remain calm and don’t take it personally
  8. If nothing else works and the person is in a safe place and not a danger to his/her self, sometimes the best thing is to leave him/her alone {even if you watch over him/her from another room} to come down
  9. Music is often a great way to calm an individual
  10. Pray and quote scripture together or over the person.

I used all of these techniques and in time I was able to calm this sweet lady back and see her return to her normal self.  What works with one person may not always work with another, but in my personal experience I found that singing and then praying together were the most calming tools I could use.

Of course, I had to talk with her until she was calm enough to sing and pray with.

How do you calm an individual that has violent outbursts?

grief2

Caregiving Monday: Grief in Alzheimer’s

Recently a dear friend of mine with Alzheimer’s mourned the loss of his wife.  He would often twists his wedding ring when thinking about her and asks questions.  There were times when he was quiet and other times when he had bursts of anger.  All of this is a natural part of the mourning process.

Alzheimer’s does not stop our loved ones from grieving when they lose a loved one, whether it is a sibling, spouse, or child.grief2

So how do we deal with this grief?

  1. DO NOT keep reminding them if they don’t remember.
  2. Allow them to talk about the loved one and share memories.
  3. Realize that any anger or showing out may be due to the grief.
  4. Try to redirect them if they become too agitated.
  5. Celebrate the life of the loved one.
  6. Understand that they will feel your loved one needs to grieve and will express the same steps in the grief process {denial, anger, guilt, sadness, acceptance}.
  7. Recognize signs, times of day or situations that may trigger the grieving process {especially anger and guilt steps}.
  8. Understand that some bonds and intuitions are strong that even without telling your loved one s/he may “know.”
  9. Remember that you are grieving also {most likely} and grieving together may be good for both of you.

Grief takes time for everyone to experience.  We’ve got to remember that the same is true for our loved ones with Alzheimer’s.  However, if they don’t remember, don’t keep bringing it back up.  Doing so will be like hearing the news for the first time each time.

How have you deal with grief?