After Caregiving Ends


Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage. Lao Tzu

March 9th! This day comes around every year and there is no way to avoid it. Sure, I could roll the covers over my head for the entire day and wallow in sadness, but what does that accomplish; more sadness, more isolation? I think not!

As I look back on these last four years, I see quite a bit of change in all facets of my life. There is the weight loss, the new moustache, establishing The Whole Care Network and TLO Cruises and Tours and of all things getting a tattoo!

 

The tattoo is probably the most outlandish thing I have ever done in my entire life, however the tattoo has so much meaning to me as I ACE, (After Caregiving Ends). I believe it is through the experience of the white flower and tattoo which has allowed me to work through my grief and (If you would like to learn more about the tattoo see my post entitled “We’ve Only Just Begun: White Flowers and Green Shoes by clicking here“) guide me on a peaceful path.

When Richard (aka TLO) made his life transition on March 9, 2104, two lives were forever changed. As I look back on what I wrote the three previous years on March 9, there is one constant theme, love endures. What is different for me on March 9, 2018 is that I have started to live life again and break out of my isolation.

As I wrote in “What’s The Deal With Caregiving” I believe there are four stages of grief that caregivers experience:

  1. Relief < caregiving has come to an end and the one you are caregiving is now pain-free
  2. Sadness < the life that you once knew is forever changed
  3. Guilt < when you realise that you move on with your life without the one you love
  4. Acceptance < that day when you wake up and say to yourself…”Job well done” and you’re ready to move on with your life with your head held hight.

It took me 15 months to get to the point when I could get to acceptance. What I realize this past year is that I left out one important stage in grief, taking…

5. Action < Moving from isolation and activate your hopes, dreams and desires.

Whether it was the experience of the while flower, the tattoo, starting the Whole Care Network, (I could use countless examples from this past year) these experiences that happened over the past 12 months made me realize that until I took action, I was going to continue to isolate myself and stay stuck in my own muck (Richard would be most displeased!). Taking action has not only has restored my confidence, taking action has allowed me step outside my comfort zone which has provided exciting opportunities for personal growth and fulfilment.

What I have learned along the way is just as caregiving is different for each one of us, life after caregiving is going to be different for each one of us too. Now four years past, I don’t miss him any less; I’ve learned to live with him, and the love, care and commitment we had for each other, in a different way.

It’s “funny” how taking action has allowed me to find deeper meaning to our love, care and commitment. I will be interested to see what March 9, 2019 brings to me on The Purple Jacket!

 

4 Comments

Filed under After Caregiving Ends, Caregiving

Simple video wall solution transforms a hospital


We welcome back guest writer, Mia Clark to The Purple Jacket.

Simple video wall solution transforms a hospital

Now Future Past

The introduction of technology to institutions such as hospitals can completely transform the way things are done. A video wall is an electronic screen comprising of several LCD monitors, LEDs, TVs, or projectors that are fixed and installed together on a wall. A simple video wall solution can mitigate several problems that might be faced by a hospital.

Administration

Video walls can assist hospital administration by displaying signs to nurses, patients and visitors. This could include messages such as directions and maps of the hospital, paging calls for doctors and urgent messages for staff members. Information such as doctors who are absent, stand-in staff and waiting times could also be displayed to keep patients and visitors updated.

Although banners are regularly used for this purpose, video walls can contain more information and display messages with details. Video walls are also more prone to catching the attention of those walking by as the messages are not static.

Practical examples

Video walls can also be used by hospital administration to remind hospital staff about procedures and rules relating to patient treatment and care. Graphics and text explaining patient procedures can be displayed and easily changed for the various departments. Training videos and treatment guides will reduce the margins of error that a nurse can make during patient treatments and may prove invaluable in emergency instances where first-aid or other urgent services are required.

For instance, there have been several instances of patients falling in hospitals, particularly when hospital staff or nurses attempt to move a patient from operation theatre to general ward or from ambulance to the emergency room or from stretcher to bed. Such incidents of patient-fall have resulted significant injuries to already ill patients. This could be especially harmful and even fatal for patients who are older and already weak from severe illness. Video walls can thus help educate hospital staff about the preconditions for relocating patients from one space to another.

In addition to the benefits of administration and teaching, the hospital can also use the video walls for advertisement purposes. Pharmaceutical agencies, public health services and private companies can be offered paid advertising slots on video walls to generate an income stream for the hospital. Revenue gained from advertising can be invested into improving hospital facilities and acquiring new technology.

Conclusion

In a nutshell, video walls can be used to transform hospitals into well-managed healthcare facilities with state of the art technology and top-quality health care. It will assist the hospital administration in managing hospital affairs in a more sophisticated and disciplined manner. It can be used to remind staff about patient procedures and could even generate an extra income through advertising. HD displays can make hospital walls appear more colorful and improve the monotone aesthetics and clinical feel of the hospital environment while providing staff, patients and visitors with essential information.

Mia Clarke is part of the content and community team at Userful.com, experts in all things video wall and display solutions. When Mia is not spreading the word about video walls she is often found discovering the great outdoors, walking or cycling. Mia can be reached at Mia Clarke <userful@canwetalk.co>

Leave a comment

Filed under Guest Blogger

Stress-Busting Apps For Caregivers


We welcome free lance writer Jess Walker to The Purple Jacket

Stress-Busting Apps For Caregivers

Recent research has found that most care in the US is provided by family members, rather than nurses or doctors. This has resulted in over 40 million unpaid carers who look after adults aged over 65 in the US – and this statistic doesn’t even factor in paid carers and carers who look after people aged under 65.

This means that it is likely that there are hundreds of millions of caregivers in the US, and many of these carers will also have full times jobs and families of their own. Caregiving is already a fairly stressful job, and the extra responsibilities can leave carers feeling exhausted, anxious and upset. If you can relate to this, you could try using some stress-busting apps to help you feel better on a day to day basis. Here are three stress-busting apps for caregivers.

Happify

If you want to reduce stress levels and kick negative thoughts, consider downloading Happify. The app was designed by 18 happiness and health experts, and it has lots of positive games and gratitude prompts to improve your mood and help you to relax. This is very important because the medical community has recognized for many years that working as a caregiver poses an increased risk of ill health and mortality. The app also offers useful lifestyle suggestions, which is very handy as caregivers are often rushed off their feet! For instance, the app provides healthy meal options, including fruits, vegetables, healthy drinks that help to boost cognitive capabilities and snack suggestions.

SAM

SAM (also known as Self-help for Anxiety Management) is an app that helps you to monitor anxious thoughts. It allows you to track behavior and mood patterns, making it easier for you identify causes of stress. It also offers lots of guided self-help exercises to help you relax. Instead of watching online videos, try using this app to de-stress after a day of looking after your loved one.

Breathe2Relax

This wonderful little app was created by the Department of Defense to help veterans with PTSD, and it helps users to learn diaphragmatic breathing. This is really useful has various studies have found that controlled breathing can reduce stress. The app has lots of great features, including a log where you can record stress levels and customizable guided breathing sessions.

Life as a caregiver is both rewarding and challenging. Even if you love having such a meaningful role in someone else’s life, it is important to make sure you don’t put your own needs to the side.

Jess Walter is a freelance writer and mother. She loves the freedom that comes with freelance life and the additional time it means she gets to spend with her family and pets and can be reached at Jess Walter <jesswalterwriter@gmail.com>

Leave a comment

Filed under Caregiving

How To Work Towards A Healthier Lifestyle


Many people are guilty of enjoying treats every now and again, but these small habits can turn into more significant problems if not managed effectively. There are heaps of outside influences from the people you spend the most time with to the media bombarding you with temptation every minute of the day. It can be hard to get away from it but using some substantial willpower can assist in building a barrier up to these unhealthy lifestyle choices.

Create a list

Before you start to eliminate habits, you have to build up a list of things that you want to change about your current lifestyle. This could be a host of things that may include losing weight, getting healthier, giving up undesirable habits or just wanting to feel happier. This list can help to keep you focused on the important things and direct you through tougher times. In these cases, it is also a good idea to note down why you want to incorporate these changes, as this can also assist in bringing about positive change as you have something to look back on and remind yourself of the progress you are making.

Take your time

When you have your list, making drastic changes is a big no-no, as this can bring on everything on too fast and you’re unlikely to sustain momentum. Taking small steps to achieve the wider goal will give you the chance to see and feel the full force of your actions and take advantage of the positive steps along the journey. So where do you look to start making the initial changes? Looking at the basics is an ideal place, although they can sometimes be the hardest places to get your going on your journey as they are embedded in your mindset. Breaking free of this will open up a whole world of opportunities and the chance to discover your own strength.

Change your lifestyle choices and habits

Lifestyle choices cover a host of things from eating right, exercising well and quitting bad habits. It is often said that food is one of the biggest factors in leading a better lifestyle and although this is true, complementing this with moving more and cutting out temptation has profound effects on health. Incorporating exercise into your everyday routine however small can help to boost your energy and make you feel more productive for the day ahead. Even small steps such as taking a walk during the workday to relieve your mind from the stresses of the environment and get your eyes away from the screen help to clear your head.

Social habits are other things that may need addressing, as albeit having friends is great for your health, they can also be a negative influence too. By getting everyone on board with your lifestyle changes, this can help to bring everything in line, so you can stride towards your goals. It may also help others to assess their lifestyle choices in order to change their habits too. Some habits are harder to break, and if you enjoy a drink, or have found that drugs have become a regular occurrence in your life, this is a lifestyle habit to certainly address. Thinking about how these affect your life is one of the first steps to seeking help to quit them. Drug rehab centers are an invaluable resource in changing this compulsive habit and can help turn your life around for the better.

Have a positive mindset

Nothing can be achieved if your mind is filled with negative and self-destructive thoughts. The overall effects of this type of thinking can cause several physical and mental health problems, which drain your energy and dull any positive thoughts. It’s natural to feel down or pessimistic some of the time, but if this is a constant occurrence in your life, this has to be addressed before you can take the next step. It could be that you don’t enjoy your job, or you feel your friends are having a bad influence on your mindset; immersing yourself in new experiencing can help break this cycle. It can be easy just to get stuck in a rut and feel that you are just existing and not living, but battling through these mental barriers can have a huge impact on your outlook for the future. There will be several obstacles in the way including the opinions of others and the tussle in your own self-doubt, but striving to feel more confident and self-aware will help you leap into a better stage of your life.

Quit the junk food

Quitting junk food is often seen as one of the easiest ways to break your bad lifestyle choices, but in fact, it can be the hardest. Junk food can be an addiction, and the additives and sugars in these foods make you crave more and more of it. Breaking this cycle is a hard journey too, as there is so much promotion of bad habits plastered across the media every day. Making small changes here will most likely see the most significant success rates, as entirely binning the junk is possibly going to make you feel deprived, which can lead to failing very quickly. There is no reason why you can’t treat yourself every now and again, but when it becomes a daily habit, this is not classified as a treat no matter how much you tell yourself it is. Reducing or quitting the junk food altogether can make you feel better in no time and you should start feeling more energetic as the days pass. This feeling itself will begin to become more addictive, and you’ll wonder why you even wanted junk food in the first place.

There are several areas of your lifestyle that can be tweaked to ensure you are getting the best foods, exercise, and stimulation possible to promote a healthy outlook. Making small but significant steps will see you through some of the toughest times during this process, but also some of the most rewarding ones too. Taking the leap can be the hardest part, but you’ll certainly be glad you did.

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Guest Blogger

How to Manage Your Finances as a Caregiver


More than 34 million Americans currently provide unpaid care to loved ones over the age of 50. This can include dropping by to check on their loved one’s well-being, shopping for groceries and assisting with the activities of daily living (ADL). It can include ferrying older people to doctor’s appointments, physical therapy or hospitals. Caregiving can also involve monitoring prescription medication and making sure doctors’ orders are followed.

These multiple caregiving activities have one thing in common: they can erode or even severely damage your finances.

It’s very easy to start spending your own money in caregiving activities. It may start as a bag of groceries or a home-cooked meal. But it can also get larger and deeper very fast. You may renovate your parents’ home to make it safer for elderly living, or you may need to pay part of their mounting medical bills.

Among Americans, 46 percent spend more than $5,000 of their own money caring for elderly relatives yearly. Another 30 percent spends up to $10,000 yearly.

Before you know it, your own finances are in danger. You may have difficulty paying bills. You may take out a second mortgage on your home. You may max out your credit cards or use up rainy day or retirement savings.

The sums spent are compounded by the fact that caregivers often cut back on paying work to give care. Many transition to part-time work which can lead to less cash coming in just when you are spending more.

Fortunately, there are ways to more effectively manage your finances as a caregiver. All caregivers are entitled to look after themselves. After all, if they don’t, they won’t have any energy or patience left to give care with.

Here are the most important ways to manage your finances.

Create a Budget for Yourself

It’s essential to create a budget. Without it, people may tend to be somewhat in the dark about what they are actually spending their money on, and how frequently.

The first step is to start keeping track of what you spend every day, week and month. There are several software programs that allow you to do this — and a spreadsheet or even a small notebook can do the trick as well.

Don’t just guess. Guessing may lead you to believe you are spending $10 on coffee per week when stress has made you spend closer to $10 per day.

Only when you see these figures laid out in front of you will you know how much you are spending. If it matches or is less than your income, great! If it exceeds your income, you need to make some cuts or raise your income.

Create a Budget for Your Loved One

You need a budget for your loved one. You should know how much income your loved one has coming in.

You also need to create a spreadsheet of how much your loved one is spending per day. Then begin to enter it on a spreadsheet for each week and month.

If your loved one has income such as Social Security, retirement distributions or a pension, see how much of their daily expenses it covers. Be sure to leave enough for health insurance and deductibles.

Discuss the Budget With Family Members

If you have siblings or other concerned family members, it’s time to have a meeting once the budget is done. Include your loved one, of course, if that is feasible. If your loved one’s income meets their needs, it’s time for you to stop spending your own cash.

If the income exceeds their needs, broach the idea of the caregiver being paid out of the surplus. It’s not unreasonable for all needs of the loved one to come out of their own funds. Some older people may need help with paying bills and balancing checkbooks.

If the caregiving is extensive and the caregiver has curtailed work, see if the caregiver can be paid out of the loved one’s funds. You want to hold a family meeting so that the use of the funds is transparent and doesn’t cause misunderstanding or hard feelings. If you can be paid, keep a record of all payments for future reference.

Discuss Sharing Arrangements

If the loved one’s funds aren’t sufficient to pay a caregiver, discuss other options with your family. Some common options are:

  • Share caregiving duties with other family members.
  • Engage respite care to give the caregiver a break at least once a week.
  • Hire a live-in caregiver at least part of the time with family members chipping in on the salary.
  • Move the loved one to be closer to you if that eases the financial burden.
  • Move the loved one to an assisted care facility, nursing home or specialized care facility.

If none of these options is realistic for your situation, it might be time to look for other sources of funding.

Look Into Other Funding Sources

Multiple organizations offer potential funding. Medicaid options vary by state, but some offer an allowance for care. They also sometimes have information on other funding sources.

If your state or municipality has services for seniors, ask about what they offer in terms of respite care and funding.

Veterans of the U.S. armed forces should contact the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). Veterans who might otherwise have to move into a nursing home have access to a Veteran-Directed Home and Community-Based Services program. It has provisions for managing care, including paying hired caregivers.

The takeaway here is that you don’t necessarily have to compromise your own financial peace of mind to care for an older loved one. Instead, look into these potential sources of help.

Authors Bio: Kayla Matthews is a lifestyle and productivity writer whose work has been featured on Lifehacker, The Next Web, MakeUseOf and Inc.com. You can read more posts from Kayla on her blog, Productivity Theory.

Leave a comment

Filed under Caregiving

5 Key Tips for the Working Caregiver


Working a job or running a business while caring for a loved one can be a tough task. You have to balance between making your friend or family member feel loved and comfortable, and working a job to pay the bills. Additionally, with caregiving expenses the overall monthly expenses are likely to be higher and thus quitting a job may not be an option. If you find yourself in a situation where you are the primary caregiver and still have to work, below are 5 tips that can be helpful.

Find a More Flexible Job

The first option is to consider a flexible job that will leave you with enough time to care for your loved one. For instance, if you are currently working fulltime, you could consider a part time job opportunity in a field that pays well. A good example is a medical or dental assistant. Some dental offices hire assistants without any experience or formal training but in some cases you may be required to take a short course in a San Antonio Dental Assistant School. Other flexible opportunities you can consider include data entry, medical billing, freelance writing, transcription, translation, online tutoring, ecommerce stores, blogging, marketing, consultancy, customer service and book keeping, to mention but a few.

Have a Schedule

Review your work plan and the activities that need attention around the house and come up with a schedule for each day. Having a caregiving plan will keep you on track and ensure that everything is done on time. Every night before you go to bed, review your schedule for the next day so that you wake up prepared. Also, consider planning your meals in advance.

Buy Groceries and Other Supplies in Bulk

Going to the store every day is time consuming and thus you should consider shopping for all the supplies you need in bulk. Buying in bulk can also save you a few bucks every month. Make a list before you head to the store to ensure that you do not forget anything.

Exercise

Taking a few minutes to exercise every day can give you an energy boost, reduce fatigue and boost your feel-good hormones. Consider at least 150 minutes of cardio each week and a few minutes of stretching exercises. The workouts can be split to 30 minutes each day for five days. With a good workout routine, you will have more energy to care for your loved one and work your job. Additionally, exercise can boost the quality of your sleep and the strength of your bones.

Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Help

When you feel so worn-out, financially drained or emotionally drained, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Putting on a brave face when you’re feeling too drained may affect the quality of care you give to your loved one, your performance at work and your health. Thus, when you are feeling stretched, request a friend or family member to assist with caregiving, finances or just offer a shoulder to lean on.

With proper panning, you will be able to balance your job and caregiving responsibilities. However, note that you will not always have it all together. Don’t feel guilty when you feel tired and need some time off.

Author’s bio: Maggie Hammond is a retired nurse and freelance writer, exploring and writing in the U.S. in retirement. An advocate for public health and nursing qualifications, she feels passionate about raising awareness of the current strain on public health organizations. Email: maggiehamm

Leave a comment

Filed under Guest Blogger

5 Ways to Improve Your Mood and Outlook


Depression is often discussed in a way that minimizes it to a purely chemical condition, but in actuality, many negative emotions are caused by circumstances and occurrences with an individual’s life. On the other hand, optimizing your body chemistry by consuming a healthy diet is an excellent way to reduce the effects of depression, anger, and other moods that can have you feeling down and out.

Thus, there are various factors to consider when trying to determine the source of a bad emotion and how to put a stop to it in your everyday life. With that said, here are five things you can do to reduce the incidence of mood swings and create a more enjoyable lifestyle overall.

1.      Fix Your Diet

Most people overlook how profound of an effect diet can have on the way you feel and how you think. Many times, mood swings and bouts of depression are directly related to low blood sugar, nutrient deficiencies, chronic over usage of stimulants like sugar and caffeine, or other poor dietary habits. Try drinking water instead of soda for a while and make it a point to consume mostly whole foods. You don’t necessarily have to become a vegan food lover, and a rare snack of the processed variety won’t hurt, but if you’re wanting better moods, less junk is always better.

2.      Pick up a Hobby

Giving yourself something new to do will help keep your mind occupied and away from the wondering thoughts that may lead you back down the rabbit hole of depression. It can be something as simple as starting a collection of some sort or taking up a sport at the local gym.

3.      Be More Social

Loneliness and depression go hand in hand, so if you’re always alone and feeling sad with no one to talk to, it makes sense that your outlook on the future could suffer as well. Make it a point to make a few friends or reignite some old relationships and you’ll probably feel good that you did.

4. Start Working on that To -Do List

Staying goal oriented and continually making progress is a great way to release a rush of endorphins and serotonin because the brain’s pleasure center tends to issue a feeling of reward and satisfaction whenever a new achievement is tackled.

5. Focus on Success Instead of Failures

Everybody wins some and loses some, but it’s important not to dwell on your losses, even if they are more numerous than your wins. In fact, some of the greatest achievers of all time had to endure a hard-fought journey to the top, and during such battles, failures are almost always going to be more common than successes, so you just have to learn from them.

Give Positives More Weight Than Negatives

By latching onto successes and giving them much more weight than the failures, while also practicing the other tips mentioned above, you can begin to dismiss the shortcomings of your past along with all the detrimental emotions that come along with not letting go and moving on.

Author’s bio: Maggie Hammond is a retired nurse and freelance writer, exploring and writing in the U.S. in retirement. An advocate for public health and nursing qualifications, she feels passionate about raising awareness of the current strain on public health organizations. Email: maggiehamm

Leave a comment

Filed under Guest Blogger

Top Tips for Effective Self-Care


With today’s busy lifestyles and crazy schedules, finding enough time to maintain your own self-care is often the last priority. There are a number of things that can make you feel negative and can hinder your progress in life but getting through these hurdles is what makes you a stronger and more resilient person. Whatever life throws at you, by taking a positive approach and spending time on caring for your body and mind, you’ll start to notice changes in both physical and mental well being. Sometimes you need a reality check, and although you may have a support network around you, you have to take responsibility for your own destiny and well being to support your own development and progression in life.

For some people, this concept can be more difficult than for others, so if you’re looking for some inspiration on how you can incorporate self-care into your life, take a look at these handy tips to make some time for you.

Treat yourself as you treat others

The saying normally goes ‘treat others how you want to be treated,’ but that should also be turned around when looking at how you value yourself. Being kind to yourself is just as important as being kind and considerate to other people and actually could arguably be more important. Give yourself little pep talks and make sure you’re supporting and nurturing your own development. Re-training your thought process and recognizing your own strengths and attributes will help you gain more self-confidence which leads to better self-care.

Focus on being healthy and happy

You may have some personal hurdles to overcome that prevent you from seeing the bigger picture, or you might need a little motivation to get rid of those bad habits. However, focusing on health and feeling happy is an essential factor in self-care. It might be you need a little helping hand for alternatives to habits such as smoking, and www.brokedick.com offers liquids to support a change in lifestyle. Feeling healthy also isn’t just about physical health, it also focuses on mental health too, so making some time for yourself and relieving symptoms of daily stresses can help put you in a better frame of mind to take on new challenges.

Staying positive

Learning to love yourself and your body can be a difficult task but having the right mindset and getting to grips of the real picture can help you see past the fake stimuli that society is pressuring you to achieve. Focusing on the positives in all situations even the bad ones can help you achieve so much more. Not fixating on problems and seeing past small issues can help you understand things in a different light, which, in turn, help to control your emotions and take care of your mind.

Believing in your own strengths and realizing your achievements is vital for positive affirmation. Getting to this point might require time and patience, but the journey will help you reap the rewards in self-love.

Author’s bio: Maggie Hammond is a retired nurse and freelance writer, exploring and writing in the U.S. in retirement. An advocate for public health and nursing qualifications, she feels passionate about raising awareness of the current strain on public health organizations. Email: maggiehamm

 

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Caregiving, Guest Blogger

How to Prepare For Life After Caregiving


The thought of your caregiving journey coming to an end may be extremely overwhelming and upsetting. Whether the person in your care passes over or makes a full recovery, it can be incredibly difficult to find your feet and move on with your life. If you are so used to thinking about the needs of someone else, not having to do so anymore could leave you feeling more than a little lost. Instead of fretting about the future, you should take on board the following seven suggestions. They won’t be able to remove the pain from the process, but they will be able to provide you with a little comfort during this tough time.

Find hobbies to enjoy

As a caregiver, it is unlikely that you currently have a lot of time to spare. However, once you are relieved of your caregiving duties, you will suddenly have a huge gap in your schedule. If this is due to the loss of the loved one, you may find it extremely difficult to come to terms with your change in lifestyle. Even if this is due to a brilliant recovery, it is still possible that you will find yourself at sea, which is why you should be on the lookout for interesting hobbies to enjoy. This will provide you with something positive to direct your attention towards. It will also help you to rediscover your identity as an individual. Instead of seeing everything in relation to the person in your care, you will need to teach yourself to prioritize your own needs once again.

Establish your own support system

Taking part in exciting new hobbies could also provide you with a fantastic opportunity to meet new people. If you are going to move forward with your life, it is vital that you have your own support system to fall back on. This may seem like a foreign concept if you are used to being the one that is providing support. However, every now and then, it is important that you allow yourself to be taken care of. If you are wondering how to achieve this, why not sign up to a friend finding app? You could even look out for ex-caregivers who are also trying to build connections. That way you will be linked to likeminded individuals who understand your mindset and appreciate everything that you have been through.

Reach out to other caregivers

If you are interested in reaching out to other caregivers, you should do so via a wide range of online forums. You could also follow uplifting blog sites or attend conventions. This is a great opportunity for you to learn from the experiences of others. To someone who has never been a caregiver, all of your answers will appear obvious. You should simply cheer up, keep busy, and put yourself first. However, your fellow caregivers will be able to understand just how difficult it is to break away from the pattern of always prioritizing someone else.

Look after your own health

The next step is to look after your own health. You can do this by taking up regular exercise, following a healthy diet, and spending plenty of time in the open air. You should also be getting enough sleep and drinking your recommended daily intake of water. If you have spent all of these years worrying about someone else’s health, the last thing you want is to be struck down by your own health issues now that your time is your own. That is why you should also endeavor to invest in a comprehensive health care plan and schedule in regular checkups. As a caregiver, you understand perfectly just how important good health can be to someone’s life. That is why you should never take any chances with your own.

Deal with any negative side effects

If you have experienced any negative side effects from your years of caregiving, it is vital that you deal with them as soon as possible. For example, if you struggle with anxiety after years of worry, you will benefit from speaking with a therapist. They will be able to provide you with the coping techniques you need to clear your mind and control your breathing. Or, if you have become overly reliant on harmful substances, you should visit an inpatient drug rehab Colorado way. This is a fantastic opportunity for you to receive the treatment you need in a safe environment, led by professionals who know the journey themselves. Whatever your issue, it is important that you confront it head-on. Acting as a caregiver is an extremely difficult job, so you shouldn’t feel ashamed if it has had a serious impact on your life.

Re-evaluate your living space

Another great idea is to re-evaluate your living space. If you have had your patient or loved one living at home with you, it is important that you embrace a new way of looking at your environment. This is especially important if part of your caregiving duties required you to maintain a sterile home that stored a lot of medical equipment. Instead of being surrounded by painful memories, you should consider updating your design scheme. This could be a therapeutic process, so it is important that you carry out most of the work independently. That way, you can ensure the transformation occurs at a speed that you are comfortable with. While it is essential that you move forward in your life, you don’t want to do so before you are ready.

Embrace a change of scenery

If you are not yet ready to transform your home, but would like to enjoy a change of scenery, you should get to work planning a vacation. This is a brilliant opportunity for you to step away from the stresses and strains of daily life. It is also a great way for you to force yourself to unwind. If you haven’t truly relaxed for a number of years, it might take some getting used to. That is why you will benefit from a trip abroad. Once you have selected your destination, you could invite along some close friends. Or, you could make the most of your chance to go it alone.

Author’s bio: Maggie Hammond is a retired nurse and freelance writer, exploring and writing in the U.S. in retirement. An advocate for public health and nursing qualifications, she feels passionate about raising awareness of the current strain on public health organizations. Email: maggiehamm

Leave a comment

Filed under Guest Blogger

How To Get Help With Your Caregiving Duties


How to get help with your caregiving duties

As a caregiver, it is likely that you are dealing with an enormous amount of responsibility. In order to protect yourself and the person in your care, it is important that you are honest about whether or not your duties are beginning to overwhelm you. The moment that you feel out of your depth, you should be on the lookout for opportunities to lighten your workload. One of the best options available to you is to bring in outside help. If you are wondering how this could work, you will need to pay close attention to the following seven suggestions.

Hire a personal trainer

First things first, you should consider hiring a personal trainer. This is a fantastic way for you to improve the health and happiness of the person that you are caring for. You could even join in with the exercises yourself, in an attempt to boost your own levels of strength, flexibility, and stamina. If you decide to push forward with this plan, just make sure that you opt for a personal trainer who is able to tailor their workouts to suit your specific needs. Otherwise, you could be putting the person you care for in danger. Although it is important that they stay healthy and active, it is vital that they aren’t pushed beyond their capabilities.

Work with a physiotherapist

If the recipient of your care isn’t in a position to benefit from a personal trainer, why not scale things back by working with a physiotherapist? This is a great opportunity for you to ensure the person that you are caring for isn’t doing any long-term damage to their health. Depending on the condition that they are dealing with, it is possible that they will be putting extra strain on specific areas of their body. Instead of allowing everyday wear and tear to spiral out of control, you can hire a physiotherapist to prevent this from happening.

Call in a dietician

Another important step is to call in a dietician. Hopefully, bringing in an expert will help you to ensure your patient or loved one is eating the correct meals and receiving all of the nutrients they require. While you might find it difficult to talk them out of unhealthy choices, a trained professional will be equipped with persuasive arguments and startling facts. They will also be able to help your patient or loved one to enjoy the best of both worlds. Instead of cutting out all of their favorite treats, a dietician will think up innovative recipes that are both healthy and delicious. When you are struggling through a hard time, the last thing you want is to be denied all of life’s small pleasures, which is why you need to strike the right balance between being a sensible caregiver and acting as a kind and understanding source of support.

Reach out to a rehab center

If the person that you are caring for is struggling with addiction, it is essential that you reach out to a rehab center as soon as possible. This is one area of the caregiving process where you simply cannot manage independently. Of course, you can offer your patient or loved one plenty of advice, but you can’t shoulder the burden of their behavior alone. That is why you should research drug rehab centers in Washington State. Whether the recipient of your care is struggling with addiction as a result of depression or compulsive medication use, the right rehab will be sure to help you out. Allowing their addiction issues to escalate could put even more strain on their body and mind, so you need to act at the first sign of trouble.

Book a session with a stylist

Next, you should consider booking a session with a stylist. While this step might not seem as important as visiting a rehab center or collaborating with a physiotherapist, there are still plenty of benefits to thinking about the superficial from time to time. In order to raise the spirits of the person in your care, you need to make sure that they are looking and feeling their best. The fact that they are going through a difficult time doesn’t mean that they can’t take pride in their appearance. Therefore, organizing a styling session could be a brilliant way for you to remind your patient or loved one that they are still worthy of pampering and preening. You could even use this as a bonding session and join in with the fun. Whatever you decide, the most important thing is that everyone involved is given the chance to feel confident, happy, and normal.

Hire an interior designer

In addition to this, you should encourage your patient or loved one to hire an interior designer. This is another brilliant way for you to provide them with a mood-boosting treat. Updating their décor could also be a great option if they are tired of being constantly enveloped by medical equipment and a sterile environment. If the person that you are responsible for spends a lot of their time at home, it is vital that they are comforted by their surroundings. Even if you don’t decide to pay out for an interior designer, you could always take matters into your own hands by adding a touch of color to the walls, rearranging the furniture for easy access, and purchasing a couple of houseplants. You might be surprised by the amount of difference it makes.

Schedule in a regular deep clean

Last but not least, you should embrace the many benefits of hiring a cleaner. There is no better way for you to ensure your patient or loved one is protected against harmful germs and bacteria. A regular deep clean will also come in handy if they suffer from allergies or easily trip and fall. While you may not be able to afford a weekly clean, scheduling one in for the end of every month will still have an impact. Of course, it will provide a touch of luxury for the person in your care, but it will also help to cross one more job off your list. It really is a win-win situation!

Author’s bio: Maggie Hammond is a retired nurse and freelance writer, exploring and writing in the U.S. in retirement. An advocate for public health and nursing qualifications, she feels passionate about raising awareness of the current strain on public health organizations. Email: maggiehamm

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Guest Blogger

How to Prevent Chemical Poisoning In the Aged


Chemical poisoning might sound very rare and complex to occur normally, but it is actually quite common in children and the elderly in particular- most of the household products, medicines, cleaners we use daily have chemicals in them, and due to their physical frailty, kids and the aged are more vulnerable to injury or illness by chemical poisoning. Substances like carbon monoxide and lead are common in cleaning liquids and yet other chemicals release fumes and odors which can cause slow chemical poisoning when inhaled frequently. An elderly person is more susceptible to these dangers but there are a few checks to prevent chemical poisoning.

Keep notes

With age, one tends to get a little confused about different things, and it’s possible for the same to happen in the case of medication. To avoid the risk of getting muddled and taking the wrong medicine, or consuming it the wrong way, one can keep notes about each medicine and when and how it should be taken. Caregivers should keep track of the same.

Protection against fumes

An elderly person should try to find alternatives to harsh chemicals which give out possibly poisonous fumes, but in case that is not possible, it is prudent to take measures such as using thick, anti-absorbent cleaning rags and brushes, protective face and body gear, and opening all the windows around to let the gases out. The caregiver needs to be careful in such cases.

Study and research

If you’re taking care of the elderly on a regular basis, or are doing it professionally you might consider reading up on what kinds of chemicals to avoid or to be careful around. There are several courses from simple first aid to basic toxicology which you can pursue. In fact, toxicology makes a sound career and combining it with anti-hazard precautionary care for the elderly is a novel idea. How much does a toxicologist make? A good amount, that’s for sure, and it’s a great way to learn about chemicals, chemical poisoning, and how to prevent it.

Emergency phone line

This is important for everyone, including the aged and their caregivers. Always keep a poison/hazard helpline number at hand, amongst the regularly important numbers such as those of the police, ambulance, fire department, etc. Chemical poisoning is a terrible danger for the elderly, and being prepared this way is best.

Store chemicals in original containers

Many households have a tendency to store different products and materials in containers of different categories, such as laundry detergent in a soda bottle, for example. That is not a good idea, as the aged person might mistake it for something else and spill the chemical, which could result in injury. So be careful not to interchange containers with chemicals in them, and label everything clearly to avoid any confusion.

As you may have observed, the little factors play a huge role in preventing terrible events like chemical poisoning. One must be alert, careful and pro-active when it comes to protecting particularly the aged from such dangers.

Author’s bio: Maggie Hammond is a retired nurse and freelance writer, exploring and writing in the U.S. in retirement. An advocate for public health and nursing qualifications, she feels passionate about raising awareness of the current strain on public health organizations. Email: maggiehamm

Leave a comment

Filed under Guest Blogger