Tag Archives: Aging

7 Ways to Care for Someone in a Way That Improves Their Wellbeing


Out of the many things that human beings deeply desire, being cared for is likely to be on most people’s list, especially as they grow older. There are times in your life when you may not be able to care for yourself, and this could be as a result of sickness, disease, or disability. In moments such as these, vulnerability is often inevitable, and a helping hand is needed. Whether you happen to be a caregiver or you’re looking after someone you love, there are ways that you can care for them that will help them mentally, emotionally, and physically. This article will explore 7 ways that you can care for someone in a way that will improve their overall wellbeing.

Suggest Healthy Eating

When caring for someone, you often think about ways that you can help them feel and look better. Although there are numerous ways to make this happen, healthy eating is also a proven method you could encourage. Whether someone is suffering from an illness or healthy, choosing the right foods and drinks to consume can enhance their wellbeing. Some diet suggestions to think about include picking lean meat instead of fatty meat, opting for non-fat or 1% milk, choosing breads and cereals made from whole grains, and, of course, drinking plenty of water. You should make a note that not all foods that have fat, cholesterol, and sodium are bad. It is more about being able to strike a balance and not overindulge. Some of the positive ways that eating healthy can improve wellbeing are by making ones physical, mental, social and intellectual health better which could ultimately help improve their quality of life.

Encourage Regular Exercise

Similar to healthy eating, regular exercise has the potential to improve the holistic wellbeing of someone you’re caring for. There are so many different types of exercises they can engage in, so consider exploring a variety of them until you find one that they enjoy. If you’re thinking about what type of exercise to try out, jogging, going for long walks, yoga, stretching, swimming, bike riding, or playing a sport with low impact is ideal. The primary objective is to ensure they remain active and keep their organs healthy. Seeing as the four most important exercises are said to be aerobic exercise, strength training, stretching, and balance exercises, you could find an exercise routine that incorporates all four. Additionally, you should avoid encouraging strenuous exercises if the person you’re caring for isn’t physically well.

Aside from regular exercise, if your loved one is recovering from an injury or looking for natural ways to treat a disease, you should click here to explore possible physical therapy solutions. No matter what the status of the person you’re caring for is, if they’re capable of exercise, because of the many benefits, it is something that should be encouraged.

Help Them Find Hobbies

When caring for someone, keeping them engaged from time to time is key. This is because spending large amounts of time with anyone and doing the same routine on a daily basis can become tedious and cause unnecessary tension and frustrations at times. One way to avoid this and keep both of you engaged and in high spirits is by suggesting hobbies that they can do on their own, with you, or with a group of other people. If you don’t already know, find out what their interests are and see how they can turn that into a daily or weekly hobby they use to fill some of their free time. One way that you can help them find a hobby that they will enjoy is by asking them specific questions. Some of them include whether they would like more independent or social hobbies, what they enjoy, and what their budget is. Once those things are determined, you can help them overcome any fears they may have about starting and keep trying until they find one that sticks.

The benefits of finding a hobby include helping to better cope with stress, keeping them mentally engaged, the opportunity to make social connections, and also bringing feelings of happiness, even if it’s only momentarily.

Help Them Maintain Relationships

Relationships are one of the things that give many people’s lives meaning. Even if you only have one consistent relationship in your life, it can go a long way. In this light, encouraging someone you care for to maintain positive relationships is something that you should consider. It can be so easy to become busy with life or become overwhelmed with self-pity, grief or sadness especially when suffering from a disability, injury or illness. These negative feelings can often become a hindrance to maintaining relationships with family and friends. Typically, this is because they can begin to become withdrawn and sometimes even reclusive. You, however, can suggest that they spend a few hours a daily or monthly with people who make them feel happy and good about themselves. They could spend this time indoors, or they may choose to go somewhere fun where they can talk, laugh and forget about their worries. Doing this should help them feel connected, loved, and also significant. Sometimes, positive relationships help people remember that they are important and also needed. You could also suggest that they spend a few minutes a day calling or texting people who are important to them to help their emotional wellbeing,

Make Sure They Get Regular Check-ups

Not everyone is a fan of doctors, hospitals and needles. Part of helping someone live their best life and improve their wellbeing is ensuring they are healthy. You should suggest regular check-ups with the doctor, dentist and a psychiatrist where needed. This should ensure that they’re okay and there is nothing going on that is undiscovered. If the person you’re caring for is sick, it is likely that they get regular check-ups anyway. On those premises, you can ensure they keep up with their medications and subscriptions and are taking the correct dosage at the right time every day. If they’ve opted for more natural remedies in terms of treatment, then the same applies in terms of ensuring they’re keeping up and you assist them in any way that you can.

Get Some Fresh Air

You’d be surprised at what good some fresh air could do for someone that you’re caring for. If they happen to be disabled, on bed rest, or sick, you may find that you happen to spend a lot of time indoors. It can get stuffy, boring and sometimes even depressing when you look at the same four walls on a daily basis. For this reason, you should think about taking them for a walk regularly even if it’s just around the neighborhood. As long as they’re able to change their environment and stretch their legs, then it is a job well done. You could decide to find different places to go such as the park, a museum, or to the mall to have a look around if that’s possible. The reality is that getting some fresh air may boost their mood, make them feel livelier, and also give them a deeper sense of appreciation for life and their circumstances. In case you didn’t know, there are also several health benefits of getting fresh air which include boosting the immune system, increasing happiness, providing boosts of energy, helping the digestive system and cleaning the lungs.

Communicate with Them Regularly

Talking is an important aspect of caring for someone as it’s a form of communication. As well as showing someone that you care, telling them is also important. You can do so by saying kind and encouraging words to them regularly. You can also commend them for areas that they’re excelling in to help boost their self-confidence. Additionally, it is also important that you get them to talk about how they feel. Although some people are more open than others are, using different techniques to get them to open up is imperative. Some techniques to consider are promoting trust, respect, safety and openness, being patient, stating your intentions where necessary, and being open yourself. In regard to the last point, you may find that your loved one is more inclined to open up when you are free and tell them how you’re feeling on a regular basis. Getting them to talk is so important because keeping things bottled inside can create sadness, anxiety and depression, which are mental health illness that need proper treatment.

Caring for people can be a demanding thing to do. It can also be equally rewarding. This is especially true when you’re able to see noticeable levels of growth, progress and improved health in the person that you care for. A large part of life consists of the connections that you make with other individuals and caring for a person is just another means of connecting. Every individual has their unique needs when it comes to how they would like to be cared for, but when it comes to improving a person’s general wellbeing, health, happiness, and connecting to those who matter are usually effective ways of going about it.

Author: 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 organisations.  Contact Maggie at  maggiehammond57@gmail.com

 

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If She Had Lived to 100


Be happy. It’s one way of being wise. Sidonie Gabrielle Colette

Today, my Mother would have turned 100, unfortunately, she missed being a centenarian by just under 31 years!  Born in 1915 in New Orléans, my Mother was a women before her time.  Obtaining two college degree’s in the late 1930’s, she was talented and always seemed to be the “bell of the ball.”  Yet she passed away in 1984, just before her 69th birthday with seemingly, many unfulfilled dreams.

The MacLellan Six: Merrille, Mary, JoAnn, Jim, Gerri and Chris

The MacLellan Six: Merrille, Mary, JoAnn, Jim, Gerri and Chris

While “Gramma Bell”  got to know all of her 25 grandchildren, she missed out on getting to know all of her great-grandchildren which now reach past the number 40.  She missed out seeing the success of her six children, four of which have lived longer than her.  How medicine has changed over the years. But most of all later in life, she missed out on being happy, which is the saddest of them all.

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Family Reunion 2013

I’m sure raising kids in the 40’s and 50’s was challenging, just as it is today.  Yet it is important to note that she loved being a mother, but being a mother kept her from fulfilling some of her dreams.  There are so many things in life we give up when we care for someone else, albeit a parent or a caregiver.

I’ve never been a parent, but I do know what it is like to be a Caregiver.  I sense there is quite a bet of similar traits in these two roles, most notably the ability to love and care for someone else.  Sure, I realize that some parents do not have the ability to love and care for their children, just as I realize that there are IMG_2082many Caregivers who are out there who do not love their Caree: I call those folks, “Caregivers By Default.”  But when you get right down to it, we all have the innate ability to care, it just  has to be nurtured.  I’m thankful for that I received the care gene from my Mom, I am mindful that life moves on, and it is better to move on in happiness, than in worrying about the past.

Happy 100th birthday “Gramma Bell,” we are all just doing fine!

Chris MacLellan is a radio show host and Author of “What’s The Deal With Caregiving”

Available on Amazon by clicking here

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The Conference on Aging Wrap-Up


We welcome Guest Blogger, Maria Ramos to The Purple Jacket!

The Conference on Aging Wrap-Up

The White House hosted the much-anticipated Conference on Aging on July 13th. This long-running event, held once per decade since 1961, explores the issues facing the elderly, their caregivers and families, while promoting new advances in technology and government programs. In addition to the attendance of some 200 delegates, the conference was broadcast over the web, allowing access to viewers across the country. With the White House as organizer, and President Obama giving a keynote speech, this prestigious conference shined a spotlight on challenges facing the elderly that might otherwise have gone unreported.

In his address, the president highlighted the importance of Medicare and Medicaid in providing funding for elder care, and explained how the Affordable Care Act aids in reducing the number of Americans who lack health insurance, and by making prescription drugs less expensive. Besides health care, he also mentioned the significance of social security, private pensions and 401k plans in making sure that retirees have enough money to comfortably live on. President Obama wants to make it easier for workers to enroll in retirement plans and receive tax benefits for doing so. As he praised the efforts made by previous generations, he also stressed the fact that more work needs to be done to foster the welfare of senior citizens.

As viewers tuned in at hundreds of watch parties around the country, and participated through Twitter, discussions took place about the level of care required by the nation’s oldest citizens. Because life expectancy in the United States has reached nearly 80 years, up from about 70 years half a century ago, there are many more elders today who need assistance particularly those with Alzheimer’s disease or other debilitating conditions. Some caregivers are trying to take care of their own parents while at the same time raising children. By allowing flexible working hours and paid leave, society can make it easier for people to care for their loved ones without putting themselves at financial risk. Also touching upon the topic of financial loss, discussions were held about the need for financial caregivers to carefully steward elders’ financial health just as traditional caregivers promote their physical health.

As it has transformed so many aspects of society, so too is modern technology changing the lives of the elderly for the better. This topic was explored in a panel called “Technology and the Future of Aging.” Participants spoke about the fact that a growing number of seniors are learning how to properly use electronic devices despite the popular conception that old people have no interest in modern technology. By using sensors and remotely accessible video cameras to track the daily habits of elders, their loved ones can easily keep tabs on their health from afar. At the same time, fully featured home automation equipment enables the elderly to remotely control their utilities, home security systems, door locks and other components of their homes automatically. These advances will make it possible for large numbers of seniors to remain in familiar surroundings, or “age in place” rather than having to move to assisted living facilities.

Although changing demographic trends mean that there are fewer younger people around today to care for a larger population of seniors, there are many ways in which society can step in and lend a hand. From new policies for workplaces and retirement plans, to broadening health insurance options, we’re moving in the direction of seriously working towards the happiness and well-being of those above the age of 65. Just as technological developments are largely responsible for many people living to their retirement years in the first place, so will they make  those years richer, more convenient and more secure.

Maria Ramos is a freelance writer currently living in Chicago. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from the University of Illinois at Chicago with a minor in Communication. She blogs about environmentally friendly tips, technological advancements, and healthy active lifestyles.

Thank You Maria for your great post!

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Finding Solutions on Healing Ties Radio


Join us on Wednesday April 22nd on Health Café LIVE.com  at 7:00 pm (EDT) as we visit with Doris Haas, RN from Atlas Care Management and Life Enthusiast, Betty Rosse. Both aging specialists, Doris and Betty help individuals and families find solutions to real life issues during the aging        process.  Through her work in Professional Care Management, and as Dementia Care Specialist and in Elder Care Mediation, Doris has as a first hand view of the aging issues.  Noted public speaker   Betty Rosse, presents on aging through the lens of Law of Attraction.  You don’t want to miss a     conversation with Betty and Doris!    Tune in and learn how Betty and Doris are creating Healing Ties all around us. Cannot listen live?  No Worries!! Healing Ties is available on demand at iHeart Radio and now on now on UK Health Radio, too!

To listen live every Wednesday at 7:00 pm simply click here! 

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Eliminating Limited Beliefs On Aging: Your Second Fifty!


 Eliminating Limiting Beliefs On Aging!

Join us on Wednesday, March 25th at 7 pm EST on HealthCafeLive.com as we welcome author, film producer and public speaker, Frank Moffatt to Healing Ties Radio. Frank is an international best-selling author, motivational speaker, lifestyle coach and founder of the educational community, “Your Second Fifty”  – dedicated to holistically improving the lives of people in their second fifty.   From his #1 International Best Seller – Your Second Fifty ~ Rising Above the Myths of Aging! To his documentary of the same name, Frank is relentless when it comes to assisting those in their second fifty, live their remaining years positively, productively, happy and healthy.

 Listen in and learn how Frank Moffatt is creating Healing Ties all around us!

To listen live at 7:00 pm (EST) simply click here!  to access our show on Health Cafe Live.com.

Not available to listen live?  NO WORRIES!!!  Healing Ties is available ON DEMAND on our iHeart Channel by clicking here! 

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 Interested in being a guest on the show…Advertising packages? Contact me direct at chris@thepurplejacket.com

 

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Creating A Caregiving Team with Lisa Kendall on ‘Be A Healthy Caregiver’


On Tuesday July 9th at 1:00 pm (EST) I am pleased to welcome from Crossroads Counseling and The Eden Alternative, Lisa Kendall, LCSW-R, CSW-G to ‘Be A Healthy Caregiver’ on Blog Talk Radio.  To listen to our show live, simply click here! 

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Lisa Kendall

Lisa Kendall possesses over 30 years of experience working specializing in the areas of aging, senior care, grief and loss.  Lisa’s blog, “Reflections from the Crossroads” promotes change in how society views aging while promoting  self-care for all members of the care partner team. 

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Creating a Caregiving team is essential to the health and well-being of not only your Caree, but for the Caregiver as well.   But how do we go about selecting people to be on your Caregiving team?  Our conversation on Tuesday will surround why it is important to have a Care Team and how we as Caregivers can create one.  Through our conversation with Lisa, we will all learn how to Be A Healthy Caregiver!’ 

Visit Lisa’s website by clicking here!

Visit Lisa on Facebook by clicking here!

To listen to our show live click here! 

Now On Tuesday’s and Thursday’s!

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Can’t listen live…NO Worries!!! All our episodes of ‘Be A Healthy Caregiver’ are archived for your listening convenience by clicking here! 

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LGBT Caregiving Blog Series


 

I was privileged to have been had one of my blog post published recently  in the  American Society of Aging; LGBTcaregiving section. ASA’s Aging Issues Network (LAIN) is a great source for LGBT Caregiving and Caregivers.

‘Two Relationships in One’  

To be entrusted with the care of another human being is one of the greatest honors that can be bestowed on you.  It takes on meaning that is beyond approach.  New parents have nine months to prepare for the responsibility. Doctors and nurses undergo years of rigorous training for the work that they do.  But caregivers can find themselves thrust suddenly into roles that they do not choose when called to care for a partner, spouse or loved one after a diagnosis or an accident.

At a moment’s notice you become a caregiver, without any warning or time to think things through. You feel like you have no idea of what you are supposed to do, so you do your best, as you follow your instincts and common sense. You embrace the new reality. You simply care for the one you love.

When you become a caregiver for your life partner, a new and uncharted realm opens up.  Two distinct relationships must now be blended into one. The familiar partner from the past remains and is always present.  But now there is someone different on the scene – someone with a significant illness.

Suddenly, two people sharing a life together will need to face challenges that cannot be left unattended.  A whole set of new and hard-core emotions are likely to intrude on the relationship. Worry, detachment, mortality, anger, fear of abandonment and having to live life alone, to name just a few, begin to intertwine with the idiosyncrasies of your personal dynamics. They can lurk in a caregiver’s mind when faced with a life-and-relationship-altering illness in your partner.

Care giving is an intense experience that asks you to surrender yourself for the needs of someone else.   Often times you have to give up the things you love in order to care for the one you love.  Even though it may feel like a hardship, you make the choice because you know that it is what love and commitment is all about.  Yet it is not that simple, because care giving can be an emotional, physical, and interpersonal roller coaster that is both tremendously rewarding and frustrating. These emotions can surely test even the best communication and trust in a relationship.  The common denominator in the blending of these two relationships is communication.

Communication is a funny thing; just like relationships.  It is funny how the two go hand in hand.  Successful relationships are built on strong communication and trust.    It is through honest communication that the true essence of a partnership is revealed.  This does not change when you add the role of caregiver to the mix.  Communication has to be the focal point for conveying the wants and needs of the one who is ill, and this must be accomplished without losing the identity of either the partnership or the caregiver.  The term “delicate balance” takes on a whole new meaning.

Frequently reviewing and maintaining clarity in your roles becomes crucial so that your judgment and decision-making skills are based on sound facts instead of raw emotions. How much can the mind and body take when faced with so many changes in such a short period?  I think that really depends on the couple’s ability to safely, clearly, and honestly communicate their wants, needs, and desires as indicated by the partner’s health needs first and the personal relationship second.

While I have no doubt that caring for my partner (who has been diagnosed with esophageal cancer) has strengthened our relationship, it has changed our relationship at times, too.  I have seen someone who was firmly independent become dependent in certain areas of life that have been difficult for him to accept.   Stepping outside one’s comfort zone and asking for assistance with mundane everyday chores adds stress to both parties.  That is undeniable!

Caregivers often become the voice for the one who is ill. As caregivers, we have to be mindful that we are in a supporting role;   caregivers are the advocates, not the “deciders”!  In this supporting role, we must remember that what we want for our loved one may not necessarily be what the loved one wants.  What a slippery slope this becomes when the person you are caring for is your life partner!

As part of an LGBT intergenerational couple, I have, on occasion, observed discrimination in our health care system. Here again, personal political preferences may need to be deferred in favor of pragmatism because I am in the role of caregiver.  Successfully addressing and focusing solely on the needs of my partner is paramount.  There will be plenty of time to step up and do what is politically right once I have insured his proper care.

Life’s journeys are not often driven on smooth roads, but we can always hope for a gentle wind at our backs.  That gentle wind is always fortified by love, trust, and commitment.  Come to think about it, aren’t all relationships manifested in this way?

We might have cancer, but cancer does not have us!” 

Below are links to other LGBT Caregiving articles which are worth your read.  I am honored to be a small part of this wonderful group.  I encourage you to bookmark American Society on Aging, especially their LGBT Caregiving Blog Series.  (The ASA logo above will take you to the ASA website)

Finding Pride in Caring: LGBT Caregivers Answer the Call from the Community
By Holly Deni

Sharing Care an Energizing Experience
By Nancy Bereano

Transcending Business as Usual
By Paul R. Blom

Complications of Transgender Caregiving
By Julie Ellingson

 

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