Tag Archives: GuestBloggers

6 Skills You Need to Have as a Caregiver


Whether it’s a career you want to pursue or something you want to do to use your time to give back, being a caregiver is both a challenging and rewarding experience. People do it every day all over the globe to make sure their loved ones and others get the care and help they need. It’s a selfless job for anyone who wants to take it on, and like all other jobs, you should have certain skills before you step into the role.

Beginning your journey as a caregiver before you know if you’re ready for it would be a major problem. Not only would you be putting yourself in a bad position, but you’d be preventing someone from getting the quality care they need. Read on to see which skills are most important for you to have as a caregiver.

Find out what you can do to improve those skills if you find yourself lacking, but don’t let yourself be discouraged. If you’re passionate about caregiving, that love and effort will shine through.

1. Communication

Your ability to communicate is another skill you’ll constantly improve as a caregiver. Not everyone communicates in the same way, especially if the person you’re caring for has limited communication abilities.

You’ll need to be quick to pick up how they communicate best and then work with them to become a better team. You may also need to be able to translate their needs to other family members or caregivers. Ensuring you have good communication skills will improve the lives of everyone involved with your caregiving.

2. Compassion

Compassion is something everyone should have a good grasp on, because it makes you a better person and promotes a positive environment for the people around you. It’s especially good to have as a caregiver because you’ll be able to empathize and easily understand your patient’s point of view. Showing genuine compassion will pass on a higher level of kindness to the person you’re working with, which will make them more comfortable and trusting.

3. Problem Solving

Every day, you use your problem-solving skills to get through your daily routine. You might need to locate missing supplies or adapt to quickly changing work situations. In an emergency medical situation, you could need to know legal issues of caregiving. Whatever happens, you can find a new solution, which is invaluable as a caregiver.

The person you assist will depend on you, so if something doesn’t work out according to plan, you’ll need to know how to solve problems on the go. This skill is something you’ll hone throughout your career, but be confident in it before you become a caregiver.

4. Organization

Caregiving isn’t only about meeting a person’s physical and emotional needs. It’s also about maintaining their quality of life. That means planning hospital visits, scheduling doctor appointments, keeping track of medications and balancing their social life. If you’re a caregiver for a parent, this also means you should have preparations for emergencies. Juggling all these things means you’ll need to be great at organization to be a caregiver. The better you can handle the aspects of a person’s life who needs assistance, the happier they’ll be.

5. Patience

Providing care to someone who needs it is something you can do to bring joy to their lives, but it won’t come without challenges. You’re going to be building a relationship with your patient as well as meeting their needs. These needs may seem like a lot at first, when you’re not used to what they need and how they live. Patience will be essential to your success, so practice patience daily, because going into caregiving with a quick temper won’t lead to anything good.

6. Positivity

Before you start looking after anyone, it’s always a good idea to try to consider the situation from their perspective. They may have transitioned from an independent life to one where they need to depend on someone else for help, and that can be hard. They’ll have individual challenges that will frustrate them, and you’ll need to be there for them even at their most difficult moments. Do your best to remain positive in all situations, because genuine positivity easy to share.

Giving back to someone through your job or a volunteer opportunity can change their day, week or even their whole life. Be sure you’ve got the skills you need before you enter that role. Maintaining a positive attitude, always being organized and having compassion will take you far in the role of a caregiver.

Practice these things so when the time comes for you to take care of someone in need, you can be the best person possible for them to depend on.

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.

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5 Self-care Tips for Caregivers


While caregivers give so very much of themselves to their patients, they often neglect their own health and even their own needs. Providing care for the elderly is a particularly mentally and physically taxing job. Without attending your own needs, you may not be able to give the quality care needed. A proper diet, good sleep, and learning strategies to address the mental and emotional strain are necessary. To provide the best care for either patients or loved ones, consider these 5 self-care tips for caregivers.

  1. Know Your Personal Boundaries and Barriers

The fault and strength of several caregivers is that they give too much. To truly provide what your patient or loved one needs, you must understand that you have personal boundaries and barriers and learn how to use them as well as work with them. Caregivers tend to have barriers that make them question if they are being selfish for wanting to put their own needs above their patients. Others feel that they are unworthy to even consider doing so. They care so deeply that they take situations that cannot possibly be in their control and make it their own responsibility. Accept and remove these barriers to be a more effective caregiver.

  1. Reduce Your Own Stress

Since caregiving is a stressful environment, it is important that caregivers find ways to reduce the stress they may experience in their own lives. After you’ve removed your barriers, you can then accept that you need time off to take care of your own personal needs and responsibilities. Stress reduction techniques may be needed before you enter a job as well. Meditation, reading, stretching, listening to your favorite music, or even playing a game on an app are some of the techniques that professional caregivers will use before beginning or in the middle of their caregiving routines.

  1. Life Continues with a Life Source

Caring for the elderly can be especially traumatic for caregivers without their even knowing. As we lose loved ones and patients, it can be difficult to not remain in those dark and depressed emotions and remember instead that life continues. Because caregivers become so attached to their patients, it is difficult to remain constantly objective in dark situations. To combat these feelings, find what several experts call a life source. This could be a hobby that makes you happy, regular coffee dates with friends, or time spent with your family.

  1. Watch Your Diet

A caregiver’s job is demanding not only mentally but physically. The atmosphere is often so fast-paced that a proper diet becomes the last thing on a caregiver’s mind. This can have a dramatic impact on your mental state. Just as you would advise your own patients to eat healthy, so should you. Fresh fruits, vegetables, and avoiding fast foods at all costs can help to improve your mental state of being as well as give you needed energy to tackle the job ahead. Taking time to prepare or cook your meals can also be a form of stress relief or life source.

  1. Don’t Skip the Exercise

Although it may seem impossible to do, try your hardest not to skip daily exercise, even if this means taking a short walk. As a caregiver, you know that your patients need daily physical activity for a variety of reasons related to their physical and mental health. You are no exception to that rule. Exercise releases endorphins which can help positively stimulate the mind—something caregivers need regularly. Exercise has also been proven to be a form of stress-therapy as can it function as a life source. If you are able, try to exercise for a minimum of 20 minutes three days a week. Due to their nature, caregivers will naturally put other’s needs before their own. Remembering to take care of your own needs will not only allow you to provide care more effectively, but it will make you a living example for your patients and loved ones.

Author’s Bio: Marcus Clarke regularly blogs at psysci, a psychology, science blog that examines the latest research and explains how findings can impact and improve people’s lives.  You can reach Marcus  at  marcus@psysci.co.uk

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Caring without a cure: Dementia


Greetings everyone!  Today we welcome guest blogger Andrea Bell to The Purple Jacket.

Caring without a cure: Dementia

When you realize that you or someone you love has been diagnosed with dementia, a progressive disease that has no cure whatsoever, what do you do? After a decent amount of panic and existential crisis, you begin to understand that the right kind of care is necessary in order to cope and survive in this situation.

The most significant thing to be noted is the fact that dementia has a huge impact on the emotional as well as the physical characteristics of the patient. Caring for both becomes absolutely crucial considering the amount of depression and withdrawal that the person suffers through. There is a lot of mental pressure involved.

Emotions and Feelings

It is completely alright to go through a range of new feelings post-diagnosis because your body and mind need time in order to adjust to the news. It might start with a feeling of helplessness, which is absolutely alright as long as there is a gradual shift towards normalcy. Acceptance is key.  The faster you learn to accept the truth, the better the situation becomes. Thus, the first step of self-care or caring for others suffering from dementia is acceptance.

This highlights the significance of positivity in these situations. In progressive or regressive diseases, keeping a positive attitude is half the battle. Under no circumstances must you or your patient leave hope of ever living a normal life again. Even though it may seem impossible considering the current that goes down your spine when your physician mouths the words “there is no cure…” and typing ‘dementia cure’ in your Google tab does not turn out be as fruitful as expected, you must understand that a positive approach can be an alternative maintenance formula nonetheless. However, individual differences outline the fact that every person will go through a different set of emotions, depending on their personality and thought process.

Relationships and Socializing

Dementia patients are in constant need of support and reassurance – after all, they’ve just learned that their mental capabilities are declining. If you are suffering from dementia it is highly advised that you try to spend as much time as possible with your family and friends, because the unconditional support that comes from loved ones has an automatic healing effect which will help you release mind and body stress. All of this is significant not only in order to make the patient ‘feel better’ but also to try and reverse the adverse psychological impact.

Family ties, relationships or your care givers can help you or the patient to stay grounded with reality and a sense of self. So you must follow your daily routine as closely as possible. Social media is another fun and easy way for staying connected and it stimulates the functioning of the brain which makes it work hard.

Finding your people

Since you’ve transitioned into this new life, it would be a good idea to reach out and connect with people who share the same condition as you. This way you will find people from different cultures who have experienced or are experiencing the same irritations and problems such as you. Their experience could be useful to you in many ways and at the same time provide you comfort in the fact that you aren’t alone in the abyss of suffering. Get a chance to communicate with people suffering from dementia on numerous blogs on the internet, just like this one here.

Be your own Anchor

Being independent is important for everyone not only patients because by doing things your way will prevent your condition from getting worse rapidly. It is natural for people around you to try and do everything for you. Let them take care of you from time to time, and do not hold back from telling them that you would like to do your own work and discussing your other independent choices.

Daily tasks will become much more challenging if you forget minute things like a certain date or a password. This can also impact your decisiveness. However, if you decide to remain independent and as mentioned above ‘take charge’ of your life, these challenges could become less complicated, some steps are mentioned below:

  • Sticky Notes – stick them all around the house
  • Keep a Diary – writing about your day or a special event can help
  • Hang a large digital clock in every room.
  • Hang a whiteboard for reminders

Get more gifts and health care products targeted for dementia patients at Unforgettable.org.

Eating well with Dementia

Unfortunately, dementia can cause a change in your dietary habits as you may begin to feel how some of the food tastes.

The two keys to a healthy diet are:

  1. Consume only what your body needs.
  2. Choose a variety to get all supplements.

Read more about proper diet and nutrition in a guide by Eatwell here.

The Doctor is on your side

Regular trips to the physician can be very beneficial for Dementia diagnosis, test, and screening if you are open enough to discuss your problems. This will allow the doctor to keep a check on your progress, and change your medicines or diet accordingly.

Doctors can offer you:

  • Medical treatment and advice
  • Specialist help and referrals and
  • General advice on fitness and preventing further illness.

If you are accompanying a dementia patient to the physician’s clinic, it can be considered a good idea to note down the points that you or your patient wants to discuss, so that you do not forget by the time you get there. Also, making a note of what the doctor has to say during the consultation can be useful, so that you or the patient can refer back to time and again.

Author Bio:  Andrea Bell 

I am a Freelance writer by day and sports fan by night. I write about tech education and health related issues (but not at the same time). Live simply, give generously, watch football and a technology lover. Find me on twitter @IM_AndreaBell.

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