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?

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?

moving boxes

Caregiving Monday: When a parent moves in

Recently we moved my grandmother in with Mama.  This is a learning process for everyone involved.

The time has come for a transition in the life of our elderly loved one
The time has come for a transition in the life of our elderly loved one

Finding time alone is even more difficult.  Even if Mama goes back to her bedroom, my grandmother will come to check on her if she’s back there for more than a few moments.

Trying to explain that she needs time to herself goes unheeded. So what do you do when a parent moves in?

However, there are ways in which we can receive help.

  • When I’m in town I’ll take my grandmother off on errands or to ride through the countryside for a while
  • Mama and I will run errands together, which gives us time to talk and share
  • I’ll stay with my grandmother, so Mama can run errands
  • We ask friends {from time to time} for help
  • We hired someone to take her to church and doctor appointments {this also helps Mama so she does not have to take more time off work}

How have you dealt with a parent moving in with you?

massage

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?

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10 Ways to Care for the Caregiver