Tag Archives: Seniors

How to Best Communicate With Someone Who Has Alzheimer’s


If someone you know or care about has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, you are probably already preparing for the ways your relationship will change. Alzheimer’s disease, as defined by Psychology Today, is a progressive, neurocognitive disease characterized by memory loss, language deterioration, impaired ability to mentally manipulate visual information, poor judgment, confusion, restlessness, and mood swings. It is the leading cause of dementia in the elderly.

With these symptoms impacting your relationship with the person afflicted, you will benefit to know how to best communicate with someone who has Alzheimer’s.

Effects on Communication at Different Stages

The stage at which someone’s illness has progressed may impact your best tactic for communication. Alzheimer’s disease facts outline the stages by which communication is affected.

In the early onset of the disease, the person may find it difficult to say the right words and will use familiar words repeatedly, even describing objects because they cannot recall the words they aim to speak. Speech challenge progressions will include losing train of thought easily and difficulty forming a coherent sentence.

If the patient is multi-lingual, they may also start speaking their birth language. An Alzheimer’s disease fact is that the patient may speak less often and rely on gestures instead of speech. One of the perplexing attributes of the disease is how differently it affects each person.

Be Patient

In most early stage patients with Alzheimer’s, they will have the ability to communicate with others. You should make every attempt to maintain conversation, just with more patience. Still look at your friend or family member directly and in the eye when speaking to them, and wait for their response. Try to refrain from jumping in while they are talking as they may take longer to form and articulate their thought and you could throw off their answer. Make your conversation reciprocal, asking questions to continue the dialogue.

As their Alzheimer’s disease progresses, it is possible that with the aforementioned changes in speech, their stories may present as incoherent or unlikely to be realistic. It is still best that you help them to continue the conversation. Don’t be argumentative, even if you know the story they are sharing isn’t theirs, they are calling you by the wrong name, or other common communication challenges.

Alzheimer’s disease facts outline that the patient may develop delusions (false beliefs despite a lack of evidence of truth) and hallucinations (like a waking dream without outward stimuli) in their current or recall. Caring.com outlines that the patient doesn’t realize that the memories or stories they are sharing aren’t true. They are not lying, they are victim to the effects of their disease.

Ask How the Person Prefers to Communicate

The experts at Alzheimers.org suggest learning how the patient prefers to communicate. As they may themselves grow frustrated with the challenges of speech, they may prefer to talk over the phone rather than in person, or be most at ease communicating via text or email.

It is beneficial to the patient to continue to communicate in any form. By trying to speak, recall words and stories, their brains are remaining active.

Triumphs in speech can also have a positive emotional response for the patient. Reports have shown that remaining socially and cognitively active may help build the cognitive reserve of a patient with Alzheimer’s. While it cannot cure or reverse the effects of Alzheimer’s, it can help to reduce depression, apathy, sleeplessness and other side effects such as challenges swallowing.

It may be difficult for you to watch your friend or loved one change through the disease, but your presence and efforts are essential to their treatment and care.

Keep Questions and Task Instructions Simple

In opening dialogue with an Alzheimer’s patient, it may be helpful to ask simple yes or no questions. By removing the more complicated open-ended thoughts, the patient may be more at ease in evaluating the question and associating their answer.

So rather than asking, “What would you like for a snack?” ask a series of questions and be patient for each answer. For example, “Would you like a snack?” To a yes, you might follow by asking – even showing – the options, “Would you like a piece of cheese?” If the answer is no, offer and show another option.

This slower step-by-step thought process can help in communicating. If physical examples aren’t on hand such as you’re ordering or going to another location to pick up food, you can try to write down options, or use flash cards.

Likewise, if providing task instructions, offer steps slowly and articulately, one at a time. Saying to a patient that it is “time to go” could lead to confusion or lack of direction. Instead, taking them through the task list can lead to results and understanding.

Ask if they have their shoes on? If they don’t, talk them through locating and putting on their shoes. Do they have a sweater or coat? Do they have their keys, wallet or purse? The same mental checklist that you might go through before preparing to leave or a similar task list will be helpful to an Alzheimer’s patient when presented slowly, clearly, and patiently.

Connect Directly

In the mid- and late-stages of Alzheimer’s, a patient may need your further reassurances. It is likely that to engage you will need to reintroduce yourself upon each visit, even when speaking to a close relative or lifelong friend. Be patient but respectful – remember, it’s the disease and out of their control. Maintain eye contact after your re-introduction and assist in communication with verbal and visual clues. You may also need to engage all senses – sight, sound, touch, taste and/or smell, to be sure they are understanding you.

Listen Carefully

As it is an incurable, progressive disease, Alzheimer’s disease facts state that it will become more challenging to communicate with a patient. Even as you ask shorter yes/no questions, use visual aids and other clues, responses to questions or stories shared may be harder to understand. Try to listen to the sentiment of what the patient is telling you, not only the words.

It’s possible that they will mix up words but the context of their story is where you can engage. Or you can read their happiness, sadness, or other emotions. Sometimes, a caregiver who is with the patient regularly can also help you to communicate. And most of all, being there to lend your continued support and care are what is most important to helping them through this difficult disease.

 

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Caring For A Loved One And Their Skin


There is approximately 43.5 million caregivers in the US that are unpaid, meaning they’re usually taking the responsibility of caring for family and friends. Skin thins and loses its elasticity as it ages, making it more prone to dryness, injury and ulcers. These can all be serious for a senior as they can’t fight off infections as effectively, so if you’re their caregiver you need to stay informed of skin conditions, how to prevent them and how to treat them.

Worried About Wrinkles?

As you hit middle age it’s common to start focusing on creams to eliminate wrinkles, but various skin conditions can present themselves posing a bigger problem. 1 out of 10 middle aged men and women will experience the redness, stinging, spots and regular cheek flushing of rosacea, making it a physically and emotionally distressing condition. While there is no cure for rosacea, it can be treated, and triggers can be avoided to improve symptoms. Triggers can be stress, food, alcohol and caffeine, so identifying what causes your flare ups will benefit your skin. Home treatments include regularly hydrating the skin with antibacterial moisturizers, like coconut oil, and cleaning the skin with cold green tea, which is known for its antibacterial properties.

Pressure Ulcers 

Elderly skin can become complicated to care for with a lot of issues, often dependent on lifestyle, habits and genetics. In America 43% of senior citizens require help with daily tasks with many being entirely dependent on caregivers. Being confined to a bed or sitting for the majority of the day can cause skin to breakdown and result in pressure ulcers. These are sores that need regular medical attention and can go as deep as the muscle and bone. They are notoriously difficult to heal; especially as elderly skin doesn’t repair or renew skin cells as quickly as younger skin does. If you’re a caregiver for an elderly person it’s important to regularly check their skin in pressure areas, such as their buttocks and heels of the feet. If skin is discoloured or starting to break down seek medical help to avoid them getting worse, reposition the person regularly and apply barrier creams to reduce the risk of pressure ulcers.

Tips For Caregivers 

As we age we don’t need to bathe as often as we move around a lot less. Frequent washing can cause skin to dry out, so showering or bathing your loved one three to four times a week is better and applying a moisturizer afterwards will help to keep it hydrated. Dry, itchy skin affects more than 30 million Americans, and while it may seem like a small problem, it can quickly escalate into bigger issues for senior skin. Trimming your loved ones nails will reduce the risk of them scratching accidentally catching and tearing the skin, which can easily lead to infections. If they do get a cut make sure it’s kept clean to reduce the risk and monitor how it’s healing.

Being a caregiver is one of the most rewarding things you can do in your life, especially when you’re giving back to a loved one by doing so. It’s also a very emotional and stressful experience as you are responsible for another person’s wellbeing. Skincare is an easy aspect of caregiving to overlook when there is many other medical conditions going on and needs to be met. Having a simple skincare routine to follow with them is the easiest way to also meet their skincare needs.

Guest blogger 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. You can contact Jess at: jesswalterwriter@gmail.com

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How to Ensure Your Loved One Gets the Right Care


One thing that is sometimes inevitable is people becoming unwell. Whether it is a result of lifestyle choices or actions that could have been avoided, it could end up having lifelong effects. Caring for someone who is sick can be difficult and often requires a great amount of patience. It is also imperative that they get the best care possible to make getting through every day easier. You may be reading this because you’re a caregiver or responsible for a loved one who’s battling a long-term or terminal illness. If that happens to be the case, you’re in the right place as this article is going to tell you how to ensure your loved one gets the right care.

Know What Their Needs Are

Before you can ensure your loved one gets the best care possible, it’s imperative that you understand their needs are. In order to do this, however, you should learn as much about their disease or illness as possible. It could mean taking time out to research their condition so that you can learn about what the best solutions available are to help them cope. Another alternative is to ask a medical professional about how best to take care of them, and this is relevant whether you’re their caregiver or looking for someone else to help with regular care.

Offer the Right Care

Taking care of a loved one when they’re suffering from a terminal illness can be difficult. It is often a full-time job, so you should seriously think about if you have what it takes to give them the care they need. Some tips if you do decide to be their primary caregiver include being patient, making time for yourself, and getting help if you need it. If you do decide to get a professional caregiver to offer help, it’s important that you’re confident in the services they offer. You should also pay attention to any signs that something may be wrong. If you feel your loved one is experiencing clinical negligence, then you should contact an organization like Minton Morrill Solicitors as they may be able to offer help and advice on what you can do and if you can be compensated.

Look After You

If you decide to be a primary caregiver for an ill loved one, it’s important that you take the time out to look after yourself. It’s key that you don’t underestimate the amount of work that goes into being a caregiver and how demanding as well as emotionally, physically, and mentally tasking it can be. If you want to give the best care, it is therefore essential that you spend time doing things you love, getting out of the house for fresh air and endeavor to retain a personal life.

Getting the right care for your loved ones is extremely important, so taking the time out to explore your options is key. Aside from the tips mentioned above, your goal should be to pay attention to their needs and find ways to meet them. By doing so, you should find that you have peace of mind knowing that they get the best care possible.

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How to Help Your Loved One Overcome Insomnia


14 percent of elderly persons between the ages of 65 and 80 take prescription sleep medications on a regular basis, according to the United States National Poll on Healthy Aging. 23 percent of seniors rely on sleep medication occasionally. When a caregiver helps a loved one to create a pre-bedtime routine, avoid computer monitors and smartphones before turning in and stay away from food three hours prior to bedtime, and a senior’s sleep habits may improve dramatically.

Create a Pre-Bedtime Routine

According to the Sleephelp.org website, creating a pre-bedtime routine for a senior is one of the keys to helping a loved one avoid the ill effects of sleep deprivation, which include daytime sleepiness, cognitive problems, irritability, depression, cardiovascular health problems and greater risk of chronic diseases. To establish a routine, a caregiver should make sure that a senior has a set bedtime each night. A warm bath before bedtime is also a smart component of a good pre-bedtime routine. A study published in the European Journal of Applied Physiology and Occupational Physiology shows that pre-bedtime warm baths positively impact the sleep quality of seniors.

Keep Seniors Away from Computer Monitors

Lots of seniors enjoy using computers and smartphones, just like everyone else. However, using electronic toys before bedtime may make it harder to fall asleep and stay asleep, according to a wellness blog post at The New York Times website. Devices that emit blue light, such as many electronic gadgets, are enriched with short wavelengths which negatively impact melatonin levels. Melatonin is a hormone which induces sleep. Encouraging seniors to stay away from blue light emitting-devices sixty minutes prior to bedtime should help them to enjoy better rest.

Avoid Offering Food 3 Hours Before Bedtime

According to the Health.harvard.edu website, everyone (including the elderly) should try to avoid eating for three hours before bedtime. It’s one of the secrets of stopping the endless tossing and turning. Healthy, small snacks are ok and may even be beneficial. Examples include apples and beverages which are known to promote sleep. Big meals are tough to digest and they keep the body working when it should be in sleep mode.

Try These Sensible Tips Today

Seniors sometimes need support to feel their very best. This is where loving and dedicated caregivers come in. When a caregiver puts these sleep-enhancing tips into action, a senior may fall asleep with ease and enjoy restful sleep all night long.

Guest Writer  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.  You can reach Jess at <jesswalterwriter@gmail.com>

 

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Healthy Benefits of Gardening


Helping Your Loved One To Carry On Gardening In Later Years

If you are caring for someone in their twilight years, you will know just how important hobbies and recreation are for them, and indeed for you as the caregiver. It’s not just the fact of getting out in the fresh air and having something to do – although this is, of course important. The CDC has carried out research and found that just two hours of gardening per week can have a profound effect on health issues that include blood pressure, depression, maintaining a healthy weight, osteoporosis, and many other conditions.

Clearly, there are plenty of reasons for your loved one to want to carry on gardening for as long as possible – even if they have reduced mobility or other physical or medical conditions that might mean they cannot do quite as much as they used to. How can we make it easier for them?

Choose your battles

There are some activities that are clearly going to be outside the scope of someone who is frail or has restricted mobility. Trimming hedges and cutting grass are prime examples. Outside assistance is going to be necessary with the labor-intensive tasks, and you might consider weighing up the benefits of doing away with the lawn entirely in favor of artificial grass.

Maintaining flower gardens and tending vegetable beds, however, are activities that anyone can enjoy. And if you invest in a few handy tools and accessories, there is nothing to stop your loved one from continuing to enjoy his or her hobby.

Useful tools

Vertical planting beds are ideal, as they negate the need to bend or crouch down. Alternatively, raised beds have a similar effect, and can easily be made from simple containers. Even better, you can put them on casters to make them easy to move around. Also, look out for lightweight gardening equipment such as shears and clippers, or ones with easy-grip handles. These are particularly useful for those with arthritis. At a push, you can adapt existing tools using plastic tubing, foam, and tape.

Stay safe, and enjoy the garden

Take care to keep walkways clear, and sweep them regularly to avoid slip hazards. Make sure there is plenty of shade for those hot summers days, and ensure any injuries or even minor scratches are treated promptly. Finally, provide plenty of seating, so that your loved one can take time to rest and enjoy the garden – it doesn’t all have to be work, work work!

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 jessalterwriter@gmail.com

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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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Seven Ways Caregivers Can Care For Themselves


As the world’s population ages and diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, dementia, and various forms of cancer – as well as many more conditions – become more prevalent, so more and more people are becoming caregivers for their loved ones. This is a hugely selfless and difficult thing to do, and it is essential that anyone who is looking after someone else also takes care of themselves. The following tips should help anyone who is feeling stressed, exhausted, and overwhelmed feel more like themselves again.

Find Emotional Support

Going through the caregiving journey alone is a difficult decision to make, and one that should ideally be avoided for the sake of your mental and even physical health. You cannot effectively care for a loved one if you yourself are unwell. Therefore, it is a good idea to talk to friends and family about what you are going through if you can and listen to their advice. Even just using them as a sounding board can be a good thing for you. If there is no one close to you to talk to (or whom you feel comfortable discussing things with), then see if you can join a support group. You can do this in person or online, and it can make a world of difference when you realize other people are going through the same things you are.

Prioritize Good Habits

When you are a caregiver, it is easy to ignore your own needs because you are so focused on looking after someone else’s. Although that is admirable, it isn’t sensible. You need to be as fit and healthy (and happy) as possible in order to give the best level of care. That means getting as much sleep as you can (at least seven to eight hours if at all possible), exercising regularly, and eating properly. Don’t grab snacks on the run and prepare as much food as you can in advance, and this will help you to be healthier. If you are in pain and suffering, then don’t put off going to see a professional such as Smith Chiropractic about it or you could risk becoming more unwell.

Ask For Help

When you need help, don’t be too proud to ask for it. When you are offered help, don’t be too proud to accept it. People around you will often want to help you out, but they may not know how best to do it. That’s why, when you need something, you should ask for it – there will be someone willing to assist. Whether it is running to the pharmacy to pick up some medication, looking after your loved one so you can head out to the store, the library, an exercise class, or just for a walk to clear your head, or even just coming round for a chat and a cup of coffee, someone will be glad to oblige. It will make them feel better because they are finally doing something for you, and it will help you out at the same time. If people want to help, let them – it’s a golden rule when it comes to caregiving. You really can’t do it all by yourself, and you shouldn’t have to.

Get The Training You Need

Having the right kind of professional training can help you to give the care you need in your role as caregiver. Workshops, online courses, and one to one training sessions in the home can all be advantageous in teaching you want to expect. It will depend on what illness or condition your loved one has as to what you are going to need to do for them, so picking the right kind of training will help you out. If you can’t find any personal training, then look online for resources or ask at your local library for books and information that can help you.

Manage Your Emotions

Caring for someone you love, especially if their illness or condition means that they are in pain and suffering, is difficult. You will often feel emotional, and that is perfectly normal. It’s what you do with those emotions that is important. Next time you are feeling angry or sad or low in general, take a moment to step back and discover what caused those feelings if you can. Once you know, you can better manage the situation and the emotions that are caused by it. That will make both you and the person you are caring for much happier.

Take A Break

You will not be able to just keep going forever. Sooner or later you will feel tired (even bone weary exhausted), emotionally drained, absolutely overwhelmed by the enormity of what you are doing. Taking a break can help to re-set you, enabling you to be a better carer in the end. This could be as little as a 15-minute walk around the block or a power nap, or it could be a vacation where you really do get away from everything for a week or two. If this latter idea appeals, you will need to look into respite care or find someone else who can come into your home and look after your loved one while you are away, of course. Once that is organized, you can go away and really relax, coming back happier, healthier, and ready to continue your caregiving duties.

Find A New Normal

As the health of your loved one declines, the way you live your life will change. If you worry about those changes and constantly think back to your old life with regret, missing what you used to do and have, you will be unhappy with the present, and this can lead to serious issues such as depression. It will also mean that you begrudge your caring duties and start to resent your loved one. Instead, you need to look for the new normal and go along with the new ways of living. Understand that life changes for everyone, not just for carers, and that going with the flow is the calmest, safest, easiest thing to do – it will keep everyone much happier.

 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 organisations.

Email address: maggiehammond57@gmail.com

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Identifying Scams


The Purple Jacket is excited to share a post about how everyone can identify scams – make sure to check out the info-graphic below!

Everyone but especially caregivers should be focused on identifying scams, because they’re proliferating yearly and often target the elderly. In fact, as identified in the graphic below, a full 80% of telemarketing scam victims are seniors! The goal of these scams is usually some form of identity theft. If you’re unaware of what identity theft is, here’s a great resource with additional information on the topic. Once you understand what identity theft risk is, you’ll be more apt to stay vigilant and make sure you’re minimizing the risk of yourself and those you care for in any way possible. This info-graphic really helps with that goal in mind.

 

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Be Part of the Solution: Become a Senior Home Safety Specialist!


One of the things I value the most is my friends and colleagues. So when I come across something that has impressed me, I want to share it with my trusted friends and colleagues. As part of my continued advocacy for family caregivers and seniors, I recently I had the opportunity to take and review The Senior Home Safety Specialist™ course from Age Safe America. I was quite impressed! Here is my review of the course:

” The Age Safe America course is extremely well organized and informative. The instructors are knowledgeable and provide clear examples for the student to achieve success. There was not one glitch with the software which is amazing considering the amount of audio and video files attached to the training course. The idea of the point system and badges is brilliant because it provides the user with visual goals and a sense of accomplishment. Well Done!”.

Christopher MacLellan, M.A., “The Bow Tie Guy” Caregiver Advocate, Founder of the Whole Care Network

Below is a more detailed description of the course.

The Senior Hsenior-home-safety-specialistv2-1ome Safety Specialist™ course empowers participants with actionable ways to better help educate clients, older adults and their family members on the serious issues of home safety, fall prevention, financial exploitation and personal safety. This comprehensive 6-hour self-paced audio/video course offers the only certificate of its kind to individuals within the senior services industry. This important training consists of a 10-module self-study educational program with a quiz after each section that participants must pass in order to continue. Upon successfully completing the entire course, you will receive an attractive Certificate along with a digital copy of the Senior Home Safety Specialist™ emblem to use in your own marketing efforts.

Approximately one-third of adults age 65 years or older fall in their home each year, resulting in injury, long-term disability and and premature loss of independence. By the year 2020, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates the cost related to these kinds of injuries to be nearly $60 Billion annually. In an effort to help reduce and prevent falls and their associated costs Age Safe America now offers the Senior Home Safety Specialist™ course.

In an effort to help reduce and prevent falls and their associated costs Age Safe America now offers the Senior Home Safety Specialist™ course.

What is Covered in This Online Course: 

– Fall Prevention Myths and Solutions

– Fire Safety Precautions and Solutions

– Aging-in Place Home Modifications

– Mobility and Accessibility Issues

– Home and Senior Safety Technologies

– Considerations for Alzheimer’s/Dementia

– Crime Prevention and Personal Safety

– Senior Exploitation, Identity Theft and Scams

– Communication with Older Adults and Family

– Performing a Complete Home Safety Assessment

No matter what role you might play in serving caregivers and seniors, I highly recommend you taking the Senior Home Safety Specialist™  course!

To learn more about Age Safe America and how to register for the Senior Home Safety Specialist™ course follow this link https://agesafe.talentlms.com.

Be sure to enter Coupon Code “bowtieguy” to save $20.00 off the cost of the course.

Have a group that wants to take the course? Contact Steven Bailey at Age Safe America directly at Steven@AgeSafeAmerica.com for special group rates. Be sure to tell them the Bow Tie Guy sent you!

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Filed under Age Safe America, Caregiving, Senior Health

How to Help Your Loved One Overcome the Fear of Asking For Help


We welcome back our guest writer Trevor to “The Purple Jacket”

Overcoming obstacles in life is only half the battle. The other half is living and functioning after the obstacle has been overcome. Addiction is a complex disease that individuals can violently be sucked into, without any recollection or realization that a substance or behavior has suddenly defined their life so dramatically. Pulling oneself out of addiction is a process – a journey that takes almost a lifetime to conquer. The desire to end an addiction is self-respect, but seeking help itself might possibly be the most frightening step, but the most courageous one and a mark of strength.

By seeking guidance outside of their own opinions, an individual with addiction is completely opening up their emotions and memories, leaving an incredibly personal part of themselves vulnerable to criticism – by no means is that a walk in the park. The fear in asking for help is completely valid and should never be something seen as humorous or a disposition to be taken lightly. Asking for help is always the hardest step. As the supporting friend, family member, or spouse – you are an assurance to your loved one that there is value in seeking help. You are their support system that provides positive affirmations and actions. Not to mention, you also remind your loved one there is a meaningful life outside of addiction, and they have so much to experience that makes life worth living, and that it can be done without unhealthy coping mechanisms and tendencies.

 First, sitting down and having an honest, raw conversation with your loved one sets everything on the table and gives you both an opportunity to share how you feel. You are able to learn why they want to take this journey. On the other hand, your loved one will always remember that someone understands their circumstances to the best of their abilities and is willing to be supportive. The utter transparency between you both is a solace, and may even make your loved one speak more easily and freely to a professional therapist or support group in the future. By your encouragement and love, it can give a loved one a little push to take the initiative to find help on their own. You can hold them accountable but also encourage their independence – because self-reliance is all that is necessary. Remember when you asked for help once? It was monumental to feel acknowledged by another human being.

 If your loved one wishes, go with them to support groups, wait in the seating area of a psychiatric office, or attend an event with them that will be a bit more bearable with a person by their side. The actual presence of someone during a difficult moment can make all the difference in the world. It is natural to be hesitant doing certain things alone, especially when particular moments require openness.

Besides meaningful conversations and formal treatments to addiction, simply having fun with your loved one is a break from anything disheartening in life. By experiencing the world outside of addiction, your loved one can see that there is truly an end-result to the recovery process. It is easy to lose oneself in addiction, question self-identity, and spiral into a dark place. But by enjoying themselves and letting go of pain – even just for a few minutes – your loved one can find pleasures in things and hobbies that they once loved, or will come to love.

 If there is one last thing that helps your loved one, it is never losing a sense of purpose from the trials of their mistakes and relapses, triumphs, and self-doubt that gives them the courage to ask for help. Life isn’t a race to see who can get to the finish line with the least amount of trauma and scars. Life is what they make it, and you hope that even through unexpected and painful bumps along the way – there is not an end, but a never-ending opportunity to give themselves an existence they have always wanted.

Trevor is a freelance writer and recovering addict & alcoholic whose been clean and sober for over 5 years. Since his recovery began he has enjoyed using his talent for words to help spread treatment resources and addiction awareness. In his free time, you can find him working with recovering addicts or outside enjoying about any type of fitness activity imaginable.  Trevor can be reached at 

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/trevor-mcdonald
Website: https://about.me/trevormcdonald
Email: trevorc.mcdonald@gmail.com

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