November 27, 2016

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Caring for the Caregiver - Part II

December 22, 2016



 Signs That a Caregiver Needs Help




How do you know if the stress is becoming too much for you?  The following is a list of signs that you need help.  Take a moment to look through these and identify those that are now problems for you or may be potential problems.


  1. You don't get out much anymore.

  2. You argue with the person you care for.

  3. You have conflict with other family members.

  4. You abuse drugs, alcohol, or prescription medication.

  5. Your appetite has changed.

  6. You isolate yourself from others.

  7. You behave in a compulsive manor or are overly focused on minor details.

  8. You feel listless; you lack energy.

  9. You feel more angry, anxious, or worried than usual.

  10. You have a difficult time controlling your emotions.

  11. You have a hard time concentrating.

  12. You have physical symptoms of anxiety, such as an upset stomach, headaches, or a racing heart.

  13. You often forget things.

  14. You are clumsy or accident-prone.

  15. You have self-destructive or suicidal thoughts.

  16. You sleep more or less than usual.

  17. You never seem to get enough rest.

  18. You feel guilty about your situation.


Caregiver Survival Tips

  1. Find out about resources before you need them.  For example, don't delay researching assisted living or nursing homes until the patient needs to be placed in one.  Within the United States contact your local Area Agency on Aging if patient is 60+ years of age for resources.

  2. Seek all the support you can find.  Be on the lookout for groups, individuals, and organizations that provide emotional, social, physical, and financial support.

  3. If the patient is a Veteran.  Contact the local Veteran's Administration, medical treatment and medication may be free in the United States.

  4. Physician and Nurse appointments in the home.  Visiting physicians and visiting nurses see the patient in their home and are available in most areas of the United States.

  5. Ask your family and friends for help.  They may be able to provide you with time, knowledge, or money.

  6. Investigate adult day care facilities.  They offer therapeutic, rehabilitative, and support services such as nursing, social work services, meals, or transportation.  Some nursing homes offer respite care for a short period of time, allowing a caregiver break or vacation.

  7. Consider having meals delivered.  Many organizations provide nutritional programs.  Meals-on-Wheels may be accessed through your local community in the United States.

  8. Consider hiring a home health aide.  Aides can provide personal care at home such as help with eating, dressing, oral hygiene, bathing, administering medication, and light household tasks.  Area Agency on Aging for a patient 60+ years of age are a valuable resource in the United States. 

  9. Find out about homemaker services.  These services can assist with shopping, laundry, housecleaning, preparing meals, and taking clients to medical appointments.  This service is offered within the United States and is administered at the County or State level.

  10. Look into hospital and surgical supply services.  They rent or sell medical supplies, and equipment like hospital beds, canes, walkers, bath chairs, oxygen, and other equipment.

  11. Check out respite care services.  They provide relief to caregivers.

  12. Look into social day care.  They provide recreational activities, social work services, to meals, transportation, and some health services.

  13. Find out about transportation services.  They provide transportation to and from medical appointment or other care services.

  14. Find out about skilled nursing services.  They offer professional help with specific medical problems.

  15. Maintain your interests.  Keep balance in your life. 

  16. Be realistic about what you can accomplish.  Recognize what you can and cannot do.

  17. Maintain communication with your family and friends.  When tensions and misunderstandings develop (and they will), address them quickly.

  18. Take care of yourself.  Eat well, exercise, rest, and take time off.  It is okay to say, "No".

  19. Continued ..........

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Quiet Stress and Anxiety with Sue Parker  -  409 Plymouth Road,  Suite #126, Plymouth, MI  48170

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