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?

elder

Alzheimer’s Patients Don’t Like to Be Alone

While working with dementia and Alzheimer’s patients over the years, I’ve noticed most of them don’t like to be alone.  This could be because of the confusion the disease creates.

Those with Alzheimer's are more perceptive than we give them credit
Those with Alzheimer’s are more perceptive than we give them credit

Sometimes the disease demands they are not alone because of their actions, also.

However, some of the reasons I’ve noticed this are:

  • Need reassurance not alone
  • Need reassurance someone cares about them and loves them
  • Need guidance to know what’s next
  • Need comforting when they are confused

What reasons have you noticed in Alzheimer’s patients that don’t like to be alone?

heaven

When A Loved One is Dying

I often see on message boards questions about loved ones that are in the end stages of life.

Often this includes loved ones:

Those dying see a world beyond what the rest of us can see
Those dying see a world beyond what the rest of us can see
  • Seeing people that others can’t see
  • Talking to people others can’t see in the room
  • Reaching up or out towards others
  • Making comments such as “He’s so beautiful” or “heaven is beautiful”
  • Mentioning loved ones long deceased
  • Even claiming to have a glimpse of heaven and sharing what was seen
  • Open eyes when in a coma and look straight up
  • Smile at an unseen entity

All of this is very common in the end stages of life.  This is a time and occurrence that none of us are going to understand until we are there.

Just as the journey through life is different for everyone, the journey towards life in heaven is different for everyone.

However, I want to assure you that all of these situations mentioned are very common.

This is a time to love and comfort the person leaving us for a better place.heaven

Remember, hearing is the last of our senses to leave us.  Even if your loved one is in a coma they can still hear you.

We may not be able to see what our loved one sees, but we can be assured that angels and loved ones long deceased are with us and waiting to escort our loved one into their new home and to meet Jesus.

be there

Caregiving Can’t Be a Lone Sport

“I can do it alone.”  I’ve often heard this from caregivers.  They think they can do it all alone.

However, we can’t!

Caregivers need help and support
Caregivers need help and support

I recently heard a story from a woman that had a stroke in her early 20s.  Her husband insisted on caring for her by himself for the next twenty years.  He refused to accept help from anyone.  Now they are divorced and to receive the care she needs, she is in a nursing facility.

Remember:

  • Caregivers cannot carry the burden alone.
  • We all need time to rest and recharge our batteries.

Often we hear of the caregivers that pass away long before the one they are caring for.  This is because they wear themselves out.

As caregivers we need to:

  • Don’t be afraid to reach out and ask for help.be there
  • Develop a schedule and strategy that will work.
  • Bring in or hire a team that can support you.
  • Explore your options and local resources.
  • Take time for ourselves
  • Remember we need a team or village

How do you prevent from making caregiving a lone sport?

older couple

9 Ways Alzheimer’s Changes Our Loved Ones

The diagnosis of dementia and Alzheimer’s means the change in our lives as we know it.

Often the change is slow and other times it is rapid.

However, the one thing that is for sure is that Alzheimer’s changes our loved ones.

Our loves one may now be more:

People with Alzheimer's aren't that different than the rest of us. They just want to feel loved.
People with Alzheimer’s aren’t that different than the rest of us. They just want to feel loved.
  1. agitated
  2. easily flustered
  3. react differently
  4. may express anger
  5. may show out
  6. may withdrawal into self
  7. lose interest in previous hobbies and activities
  8. personality change
  9. becomes more fixated on things

What changes have you seen after an Alzheimer’s diagnosis?

hospice 2

10 Benefits of Hospice

hospice 2

 

 

 

Recently, I’ve learned of several families that placed a loved one in hospice.

This is never an easy decision. There’s no easy way to prepare for this.

However, I’ve worked with hospice on numerous occasion.

Some of the benefits of hospice are:

  1. Helps in decision makinghospice
  2. Offers support groups
  3. Offers spiritual support
  4. Certified and knowledgeable workers in the end of life stages
  5. Provides knowledgeable feedback
  6. Oversees the final preparations {such as contacting mortuary, having death certificate issued, etc.}
  7. Provides services to you at home, in a hospital, at a nursing facility or at their own facility
  8. Continues to care for your loved one through a decline—while usually this is for six months or less, at times their services extend beyond this time period. If the loved one improves they can be discharged and later readmitted when a decline reoccurs.
  9. Give the patient and their family a sense of dignity
  10. Respects the patient’s wishes
  11. Bonus: Lessens financial burden of being in the hospital

How has hospice been beneficial for you?

mental block

Acceptance of an Alzheimer’s Diagnosis

I’ve worked with many families that have a loved one with Alzheimer’s and dementia.

Often I see a struggle to accept the diagnosis.

Accepting a loved one has Alzheimer's is not always easy. Sometimes we have a mental block.
Accepting a loved one has Alzheimer’s is not always easy. Sometimes we have a mental block.

This happens in a variety of ways:

  • Mental block
  • Inability to accept changes
  • Lack of knowledge about the disease
  • Belief loved one will be healed
  • Denial

 

Often you hear the saying that when you have a loved one with dementia you “mourn the loss of them now, to mourn the loss of them all over again when they’re gone.”

 

That is so true.  The person we know and love is no more as dementia changes the person.

 

Acceptance of the disease is a private journey that everyone has to reach in their own way and time.

  • However, a few tips to help are:

    Cheirsh the time you have together
    Cheirsh the time you have together
  • Educated self on the disease
  • Celebrate the time you have with your loved one
  • Listen to the professionals and be open to what they are saying
  • Understand you can slow the disease but not stop it
  • Pray and ask God’s help and guidance on this journey

 

How have you dealt with the Alzheimer’s diagnosis of a loved one?