caregiver-ten-commandments

Caregiver Ten Commandments

I came across these Ten Commandments for Caregivers online.  The author is listed as unknown.  However, I felt that it was important to share with you dear readers.

Caregiver Ten Commandments

–Unknown

Ten Commandments for Caregivers
Ten Commandments for Caregivers

I       Thou Shalt not be perfect or even try to be.

II     Thou shalt not try to be all things to all people

III    Thou shalt sometimes leave things undone

IV    Thou shalt not spread thyself too thin

V     Thou shalt learn to say “NO”

VI    Thou shalt schedule time for thyself and thy support network

VII   Thou shalt switch thyself off and do nothing

VIII  Thou shalt not even feel guilty for doing nothing or saying “NO”

XI    Thou shalt be boring, untidy, inelegant and unattractive at times

X     Especially, thou shalt not be thine own worst enemy, but be thine own best friend

 

Which commandement do you struggle with the most?

help

7 Ways to find Caregiving Help without Breaking the Bank

Caregiving can be exhausting and we all need a break.  There is no way a person can be a caregiver 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for 365 days.  If so they will become very isolated and depressed.

But, when you live on a budget, where do you find caregivers to help without breaking the bank?

  1. Siblings—ask your siblings to step up to the plate and help out. Every family is different and
    Don't be afraid to ask for help
    Don’t be afraid to ask for help

    depending on how many siblings you have the chance for a break is greater for some people than for others.

  2. Adult children—if you have adult children {or even grandchildren} ask them to come and help you. Helping provides a greater understanding for what you are dealing with on a daily basis and more support.
  3. Neighbors—if you are friends with your neighbors ask them if they would mind helping.
  4. Friends—ask friends to come and visit and help out.
  5. Church members—ask friends at church if they would be willing to help out
  6. Ask for references—ask your friends and neighbors if they have any suggestions for an experienced caregiver that can help out. Many have been caregivers or are caregivers and may be able to refer someone that has experience and are affordable.
  7. Caregiving agencies—most caregiver agencies will come and sit for a minimum of three hours. Even if you hired someone to come once a week for three hours this will provide a much needed break.

How do you find caregiving help?  Which of these have worked best for you?

hope and comfort for caregiver

7 Ways to Get a Break from Caregiving

As a caregiver, often one can feel isolated and cut off from society.  You discover you need time for yourself and a break from caregiving.

So what are some ways to reconnect with society and friends while also helping yourself?hope and comfort for caregiver

  1. Go out to lunch or a cup of coffee with a friend—having time with a friend is much needed and is a great break from your duties, as well as catching up with others.
  2. Have a shopping date with a friend—even window shopping allows time for a break.
  3. Get a job—I have a friend who cares for her husband. For a break, she works for four hours a day three days a week at a local supermarket.  Her daughter sits with her husband so she can help.  This lady has expressed what a huge help this is to just get out of the house and away.
  4. Go to church or a Bible study

    caregiver need to care for themselves
    caregiver need to care for themselves
  5. Take a class—often libraries, community centers and local colleges/universities offer a wide range of classes that are either free or affordable. These can be anything from a one to two hour class to meeting for six to twelve weeks at a time.
  6. Volunteer—many places are looking for volunteers that are dependable. Be up front about what time and hours you are able to offer.
  7. Join a club—find a book club, gardening club or another group with an interest you enjoy. Ask your friends and church members or search on a website such as Meetup.com
  8. Bonus—Go see a ball game or enjoy a concert.

 

How do you get out for a short time period?

you-are-not-alone

7 Benefits of a Caregiver Support Group

We all need support when dealing with caregiving
We all need support when dealing with caregiving

Caregiving is stressful.  Each caregiver deals with the stress in different ways, but the one thing that is evident is that it takes a toil on the mind, spirit and often even the body.

As an Activities Director I see this stress in a variety of different ways every day.

So I searched for an answer and decided to start a support group.

What are the benefits of a support group?

  1. A listening ear—we all need to vent and get our feelings out. This provides a safe place to release all of the frustration and tension that builds up.
  2. People that understand—the people there are in the same circumstance and know how you feel.
  3. A friendly smile—we all need a friendly smile and comforting nod.

    You Are Not Alone in your journey
    You Are Not Alone in your journey
  4. An outing—a chance to get out of the house for a short time
  5. Resources—other caregivers can provide resources that have been helpful to them to research and use.
  6. Tips and Suggestions—again, those in the support group can provide tips and suggestions to help with issues and frustrations.
  7. Opportunity to brainstorm—this group provides an opportunity to brainstorm for issues on how to overcome an obstacles or frustration.
  8. Bonus—New friends—this group provides you with the opportunity to meet new people and make new friends.

As a caregiver, I strongly encourage you to search for a caregiver support group in your local area.  If one is not available, then start one.

What benefits have you found in a support group?

Pause, Praise, Pray

Pause, Praise and Pray

“I go to work to get away.”  A lady in the support group I lead admitted rather sheepishly.

Take time to Pause, Praise and Pray
Take time to Pause, Praise and Pray

Caring for a loved one is very tiring and trying.  A loved one with Alzheimer’s, that needs constant supervision, is even more of a trial.

Caregiving cannot be a lone support.  Don’t be afraid to admit you need help and to ask for it.

We all need a break.  Whether it’s to work, to go shopping, to do something special for ourselves or be pampered.  Don’t be afraid to get away.

No one can go 24/7 without becoming exhausted, depressed and eventually physically ill.

I enjoy reading the blog Living in the Shadows of Alzheimer’s.  While documenting her life with her husband that has Alzheimer’s, Sherri often reminds herself {and her readers} to take time to Pause, Praise and Pray.

How do you take time to pause, praise and pray?

laughter-1532978__180

3 Everyday Lessons for an Alzheimer’s Caregiver by Kathleen Brown

Today, I am thrilled to welcome Kathleen Brown to Caregiving Monday.  She is going to share lessons she has learned from being an Alzheimer’s Caregiver.  This seemed very apropos today, because Wednesday is World Alzheimer’s Day.  Welcome, Kathleen!

 

3 Everyday Lessons for an Alzheimer’s Caregiver
by Kathleen Brown

Sapphires were once associated with clear thinking
Sapphires were once associated with clear thinking

I discovered Mom had Alzheimer’s during a September trip. September. Its flower is the forget-me-not; its gemstone, the sapphire. Sapphires were

once associated with clear thinking. As I began caring for Mom, in the house where I grew up, I hoped the clear thinking part was for me.

If you’re an at-home caregiver, you know it presents unique challenges. My first weeks with Mom felt like one emergency after another; I was on adrenaline overload. Then I began noticing the miracles: tiny ones (finding one of Mom’s shoes in the trash can), and huge ones (Mom suddenly agreeing to a long-needed bath). Feeling the Lord’s presence and help, I calmed down and began to learn. Fear not—you’ll see miracles, too.

Finding the best way, however, means we must look at all the options.
Finding the best way, however, means we must look at all the options.

 

Three of the Biggest Everyday Lessons

 

#1-You always have options.

In the beginning I thought there was only one right way to accomplish any care task. Wrong. There will always be more than one way to do what you need to do. Finding the best way, however, means we must look at all the options.

Example: Doctor to Mom: “Exercise.”
Mom to doc: “No.”
Solution: Two carts at the mega-store. While Dad shopped with one, Mom used the other like a walker, happy to stroll with me all around the store.

 

Laughing in the face of Alzheimer’s is absolutely necessary for survival
Laughing in the face of Alzheimer’s is absolutely necessary for survival

#2-Be ready to laugh.

Laughing in the face of Alzheimer’s is absolutely necessary for survival. The day Mom opened her mouth and I saw her dentures were in upside down, I smiled when I wanted to cry. After I fixed them, I laughed. Her poor gums were no longer being bitten by false teeth! Humor is an invaluable companion in caregiving.

 

When you need strength, you’ll have it.
When you need strength, you’ll have it.

#3-You will make it, even through the most difficult times.

When you need strength, you’ll have it. When you need words, they’ll come to you. When there’s nothing you can do to help your loved one, she will, against all odds, help herself. I can’t tell you how it happens—who can explain a miracle?—but I can tell you that resolution

always comes. Expect it.

Expecting solutions widens your field of vision. You’ll find resources and strategies you won’t see if your eyes are closed in despair.

We hope effective treatments for Alzheimer’s will come—someday. Ways to cure and even prevent it. Until then, our peace will be in knowing we can help our loved ones through it. We can.

 

 

Kathleen Brown
Kathleen Brown

 

Kathleen Brown is a writer, speaker, and firm believer in everyday miracles. The author of A Time for Miracles: Finding Your Way through the Wilderness of Alzheimer’s, she focuses her work on needs of at-home Alzheimer’s caregivers. You can reach Kathleen through her blog, www.hopeandhelpforalzheimers.wordpress.com, or by email to http://kbrown.writer@gmail.comkbrown.writer@gmail.com.

 

 

All pictures courtesy of Pixabay.com and are free creative commons pictures

listeningear

We All Need Someone to Listen

Caregiving can be very trying at times and we all need someone to listen.

We all need a listening ear
We all need a listening ear

We all need someone with whom we can share both our frustrations and the funny moments.

Now that my grandmother is living with Mama, we discover the need to share and vent has become even more important.

At least once a week, I’ll receive a text or call from Mama to share her conversations.

Two of these sound something like the following:

“It’s 6:30 and she’s pulled the shade down.  Never mind that it’s still light outside.”

“Mama had a frosty for lunch.  I said, “I guess you don’t want any ice cream since you had a frosty” tonight.  She said “I can eat a little.  The frosty was for lunch.”

Sometimes it’s the small things we need to share.  That’s okay.

Don’t be afraid to reach out to someone?

Who listens to you?