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According to Cancer.org a caregiver serves a home health aide and companion to elderly individuals or those those dealing with chronic illness. Duties may include feeding, dressing and bathing patients, as well as arranges schedule, managing insurance issues and providing transportation. The National Alliance for Caregiving and AARP notes that, “65.7 million caregivers make up 29% of the U.S. populationproviding care to someone who is ill, disabled or aged.” A caregiver can always use a break: You need both short moments to yourself during the day and bigger breathing spaces that last a whole 24 hours or more. Unfortunately, breaks are not always easy to arrange or achieve. So many caregivers simply keep plowing forward without making themselves much of a priority. Result: big-time burnout.
How can you tell when you really, truly need to arrange help and make more time for yourself? Consider these four warning signs:
1. All you ever talk about or think about is caregiving.
Compassion fatigue is a very real condition to which caregivers are vulnerable. (Professional nurses and social workers get it, too.) Your caring is critical — but because you’re an individual, it’s not the entirety of your life even when it takes up most of the hours in a given day. It’s important for your sanity, and to maintain other important relationships and responsibilities, that you keep your life outside of caregiving moving forward.
Talking to friends and family about their lives and interests is one way to do this. So is spending time on non-caregiving activities, like things you used to enjoy doing. Read more…
New study shows, “resistance training can indeed improve both your cognitive performance and your brain function. What is key is that the training will improve two processes that are highly sensitive to the effects of aging and neurodegeneration — executive function and associative memory — functions which are often impaired in early stages of Alzheimer’s disease.” according to Teresa Liu-Ambrose, principal investigator with the Centre for Hip Health and Mobility and the Brain Research Centre at VCH and UBC.
“I noticed something caught up in the branches of a tree in the woods near my home. It was a balloon and tied to it was a note that simply read…”
–Dean Kalman Lennert
Director/Animator, Dear Anna Olson
These four simple words are an invitation to the reader to work past their complacency and reach out to an individual in need.
A wonderful treatise on the isolation of aging and how simple actions can make a big difference. The film is being completed and the filmmaker is seeking support to fund post-production and distribution efforts atwww.dearannaolson.com. Read more…
OK buddies, I want to talk about something. Alot of you nice people that read my stories are youngsters, 40 to 60 year olds. Alot of your parents are still alive and may either live in your city or away. I want to tell you all a secret. When you talk to your parents on the phone and say, “Hi mom (or dad), how are you?” And they always answer, “Fine, just fine.” When you say to them, “Are you keeping busy, getting out doing things?” And they answer, “Oh yes, I have plenty to keep me busy.” When you ask them, “Are you lonely? And they answer, “Oh no, I have friends, I’m fine.” When you say to them, “I wish we could visit but we are just so busy,” and they answer, “Oh I know, don’t worry about me, you have your life. Don’t worry about me.” I want to tell you a secret: Your parents are not telling you the whole truth.
They do get very lonely, they do need help sometimes, they do want to see you. They are your parents, and if you are parents, you know that you never want to hurt your children, or want them to be put out. Us seniors want to be on our own, we want to be independent, but hecky, we miss you. SO, here is my advice, before it is too late, and just because it would be wonderful for you to do, try and see them more. Read more…