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Support Resources for Caregivers

 

If you’re caring for an older adult and you’ve had to change your routine in the last few weeks with senior centers, doctors' offices, and adult day programs closing due to COVID-19, you might find yourself experiencing more caregiver stress and burnout.

 

Last week, I met with a caregiver who was teleworking from home and whose husband with dementia was unexpectedly home at the same time. Before the Coronavirus Pandemic, his home health aide would come to his home 3 days a week and he would attend an adult day program 5 days a week. These resources would help his wife (the caregiver) to continue to work and have a break from caregiving, so that she wouldn't have to give up her whole life in exchange for caregiving. But, since the Coronavirus Pandemic has started, his adult day program has closed, and his home health aide has been sick. As a result, the caregiver is experiencing lots of stress and overwhelm trying to figure out how to work and caregive...

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Helping Older Adults Stay Connected During the Coronavirus Pandemic

 

With the Coronavirus affecting adults over 60 at greater levels than other age groups, many older adults are electing to “self-isolate” or are actually on “lock down” at long-term care or skilled nursing communities. 

 

Social distancing and protecting the most “at risk” populations (i.e., adults 60 and older) is the current recommendation. And, I will do everything in my power to follow this guideline. 

 

The downside of social distancing, however,  is that it increases loneliness and isolation among a group of folks who are already at risk of social isolation- older adults, and more specifically older adults with chronic illness. 

 

What is the risk of social isolation?

There is a well established body of research linking social isolation and loneliness to an increased risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, a weakened immune system, depression, anxiety, cognitive decline, dementia, and even...

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5 Surprising Facts about Dementia Caregivers (Ep #038)

 

I hear from caregivers pretty regularly that"nobody really understands how hard caring for a loved one with dementia is!"

So, I decided to share some facts about dementia caregivers in the hopes that it will provide some understanding and support for the dementia caregiver's journey!

 

 

If you're caring for somebody with dementia, I see you and I value what you're doing. Please, please, please take care of yourself because we know that depression and anxiety and stress and strain will not only affect your, your sense of self and well-being, it will affect your health. And so please find some ways to take care of yourself. This episode will give you some resources for self-care. So, read (or watch) until the end!

 

Read transcript here

 

1. Nearly half of all caregivers provide care for someone with dementia

Nearly half (48%) of all caregivers provide care for somebody living with dementia. So of all the illnesses that older adults experience, all the...

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Creative Tips for Talking With Your Loved One With Dementia (Ep #033)

 

In my work with people caring for loved ones with dementia, I often hear that it can be hard to connect with a loved one as the illness progresses. Comments like: "they've become a stranger to me" or "I don't even recognize them anymore".

Dementia is a devastating illness that often robs families of the opportunity to connect and experience joy.  Because of this, it's essential that we find a way to share connecting moments, enjoy one another, and see a little piece of the person eclipsed by the shadow of this devastating illness.

And, I have just the person to help us with this!

In this week's episode of the Caring for Aging Parents Show, I interview Gary Glazner, the founder and Executive Director of the Alzheimer’s Poetry Project. In this interview, Gary generously shares with us four strategies for using poetry to enhance connection with our loved ones with dementia and he even shares about his own experience bringing poetry to his mom at the end of her...

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Helping Aging Parents Plan for Driving Retirement! (Ep #016)

 

 You’ve heard about people retiring from work, right? They make a plan, set a date, and spend some time preparing financially, physically, and emotionally for this big transition. Retiring from work is a conversation that, as a society, we're pretty comfortable having. 

 

Now, let me ask you, have you ever heard of a Driving Retirement Plan?!!

 

Well in today’s episode, I will be talking about a driving retirement plan and how you can help your aging parents begin to plan for their driving retirement. 

 

 

Did you know that 78% of family caregivers provide transportation for loved ones?!

I need to repeat this! 78% of family caregivers provide transportation for loved ones!  Transportation is the most requested type of assistance by older adults!!  (National Family Caregiver Alliance and AARP Public Policy Institute, 2015 Report on Caregiving in the U.S.)

 

 

That's why it's so important that we’re...

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Is My Aging Parent Safe To Drive? 10 Driving Warning Signs! (Ep #015)

I’ve been talking a lot about driving and how older adults are by and large good drivers. I've also shared how to keep older adults driving safely for as long as possible.

 

Even with this said, there may come a time that you’re concerned about your parent’s driving. You might catch yourself wondering,

“My parent just made a major driving error.

Is this normal? Or something I should be concerned about?” 

 

In this episode, I share warning signs, or red flags to consider, to let you know that you may want to start the conversation with your parent about changing their driving or stopping driving all together.

 

 

Every day, I get questions from physicians, social workers, nurses, friends, and so many others about older adults and driving. So, I decided to create a series on driving in the hopes that it will help you to navigate a very difficult topic for many families.

 

So here are warning signs...

Or red flags to...

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Safe Driving Recommendations for Older Adults! 5 Tips! (Ep #014)

 

Driving is so important to older adults. It helps them to stay socially connected, helps them to experience independence, it reduces risk of depression and isolation, and so much more.

 

There are so many good reasons that older adults want to drive for as long as possible. So in today’s episode, I will share 5 tips for helping your aging parent drive safely for as long as possible. 

 

 

In my work with older adults and families, I have found several resources to help older adults not only remain driving, but do so safely. I'm delighted to share them with you!

1. Get Educated

The first step in helping your parent to remain driving safely as long as possible is to help them get educated. There are several really good online resources to provide education to help your aging parents remain driving safely. Here are my three favorites:

  • NHTSA has downloadable, easy to read documents on how various medical conditions (like dementia, arthritis, diabetes,...
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What Is A Geriatric Care Manager? Everything You Need To Know! (Ep #012)

 

Imagine you live in DC and your aging parent lives alone in Michigan and needs support and resources. You’ve been to visit your parent a few times to help get them set up with services, but you’re finding it more and more difficult to take the time off work and leave your life in DC every month, not to mention that the cost of travel is weighing you down...

AND, when you get to Michigan you have no idea of where to start looking for the resources your aging parent needs.

On the third trip to see your parent, you think you have everything set up, only to return home to DC to discover that there are countless other needs your parent has. You’re in a bind! You can’t take any more time off of work, you have to manage your own needs in DC, and at the same time, you know that your aging parent needs your help! 


This is where a Geriatric Care Manager can come in! 


In this Blog/Video I am going to walk you through everything you need to know...

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Knowing Activities of Daily Living Will Help You Care For Aging Parents (Ep #011)

 

Raise your hand if you’ve heard the term Activities of Daily Living, otherwise known as ADLs!

Now, raise your hand if you’ve heard of term Instrumental Activities of Daily Living, also known as IADLs! 

 

Your hand is probably down. And that’s okay! At the end of this episode you are gonna be raising your hands high!

 

In today's episode, I’m going to walk you through Activities of Daily Living, which I’ll call ADLs and Instrumental Activities of Daily Living, which I’ll call IADLs!  And, I’ll also explain why it’s so important that you know what they are!

 Because...

Knowing Activities of Daily Living Will Help You Care for Aging Parents!

 

 

 

So What Are Activities of Daily Living (ADLs)?

ADLs are basic life tasks that we learn when we are children and generally maintain independence with for most of our lives. They include:

  • Bathing: Can your parent bathe or shower on their own?...
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How To Find Senior Living Options! A Step By Step Guide (Ep #010)

This month has been all about senior housing!!!
 
THE WHAT!
A couple of weeks ago, I described the different living options for older adults (link here!). I answered the question, "WHAT are the different housing options for older adults, anyway?!"
 
THE WHY!
Last week, I reviewed WHY it's so important to know the different types of living options (read it here!).
 
THE HOW!
In this blog and video, I give you a tutorial on HOW to go about finding living options.
 
I figured, it's one thing to tell you that you need to know the living options, it's quite another to help you figure out how to go about finding them!
 
As we get started, I want you to know that I am not affiliated with any of the resources I am about to list. My goal is to give you options and methods to help ease the process of caring for your aging parents. With this in mind,  I'll share pros and cons for each method I list.
 
For this blog you will really want to watch the video!...
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