What It Takes To Be A Caregiver

Many baby boomers are finding themselves in a rather unique position these days. In addition to raising and taking care of our own children, many of us are now finding ourselves in the role of caregivers for our aging parents. For that reason, we are being labeled as the sandwich generation. I am a baby boomer who is dealing with two aging parents. My 85-year-old mother is in a nursing home after suffering a stroke several years ago. My 88-year-old mother-in-law is also in a home care facility and in the latter stages of Alzheimers. On top of that, I am raising my teenage daughter. Being a caregiver can be overwhelming at times because you may feel like you’re being pulled in many different directions. You may also feel like you have no time for yourself and no one appreciates what you’re doing. Here are some statistics released by Eldercarelink: * Female caregivers outnumber males by 6 to 1 and report more emotional and physical impact due to caregiving than their male counterparts, but in other ways male and female respondents are very similar. * Forty-one percent of all caregivers actually live with the care recipient. * Most caregivers are married with some college education and have children who are grown and no longer living at home. * Nearly one third provide more than 40 hours of care per week, and 57% say they very rarely or never take time off from their caregiving duties. * As a result of their responsibilities, some 60% of all caregivers report their health has deteriorated since they began providing care, and 69% describe feeling overwhelmed by caregiving. Here are some tips on how to get through the tough times as a caregiver: 1. Have Patience: Caring for an aging, cantankerous parent can be a major challenge because there will be times when you want to pull your hair out. There will be times when you want to give up but if you can just keep remembering the fact that you are doing something good for others, that burden you feel will eventually subside. 2. Be Understanding: If you have the responsibility of taking care of an aging parent, remember this: You are doing the exact same things that your parents did when you were a baby. They clothed and fed you. They bathed you and changed your dirty diapers. They did this because they loved you. It is the same concept in reverse and even though they may not be able to express it, they appreciate it—just as you did. 3. Educate Yourself: Take the time to read up on the illness your family member is dealing with. A condition like Alzheimers is tough because you literally see your loved one deteriorate right before your eyes in a relatively short period of time. But you owe it to yourself to become educated on the symptoms so you will know how to react in the different circumstances. You should also be in close contact with the treating physician. 4. Give Hope: Even if the medical prognosis is not good for your loved one, it’s up to you to maintain a positive attitude and spirit. Give your loved one hope instead of doom and gloom. Make their remaining days/months/years memories that you can reflect back on with a smile. 5. Be a little selfish: Caring for aging parents can be both a difficult challenge and a rewarding experience, strengthening family bonds. But it’s stressful. Emotions such as anger, guilt, grief and anxiety are normal. Don’t forget to also take care of yourself. “Caregivers often let their own health deteriorate or their stress level becomes high,” says Trudy Lieberman, author of Consumer Reports’ Complete Guide to Health Services for Seniors. ” Lieberman advises caregivers to ask for help or accept help when it’s offered by friends or people in the church or community.

Crucial Caregiver

Caregivers are healthcare workers who provide assistance and care to other adults or children, often with special medical needs. The help they provide to their patients is very extensive and it includes health-related functions (e.g. on-time giving of medication and monitoring if vital signs are stable), simple daily activities patients have grown incapable of performing on their own (e.g. bathroom visits, bathing and dressing up) and emotional support (e.g. providing a relatively constant company with whom patients can readily talk to when needed). Sometimes, a caregiver is a family member or a relative of the patient. Most of the times, however, due to inevitable circumstances which render a family member unable to personally provide care to his relative, professionals are rather hired and paid to render these services. The decision of choosing to whom our dearest loved ones is trusted is extremely crucial because it is the life of our beloved that we bestow upon someone else’s responsibilities. So we ask: “What are the qualities of a good caregiver?” and “What skills are expected from them?” A caregiver may be a family member or a relative of the patient. There are both agonies and joys in providing this service to a loved one. The sense of fulfillment one achieves by being there for their family is priceless but there are tremendous personal sacrifices one must commit for the other’s sake. These responsibilities may eventually take its toll on an individual, subjecting them to stress and potential depression. That’s why it is very necessary that one is aware of the help available to them such as support groups whose members will aid them through their difficulty (e.g. Family Caregiver Alliance and Caregivers Support Group) and online medical outlets which provides quality medical equipment and education to customers such as medicalequipmentonsale.com. Usually, the personal traits a caregiver must possess depend on what suits the patient best. This is because of the personal touch this service provides. Patients’ personalities, as expected in all of us, varies extremely that it is important for the caregiver to remain flexible and understanding, depending on what the situation may demand. He should also be empathetic because some patients may build walls in between them. One definite way of breaking these barriers is to penetrate the patient’s walls by being one with them in their emotions. Upon realizing how it truly feels being in their shoes, it becomes much easier to relate and identify with them. Being professionals, they are of course expected to meet the requirements on basic nursing knowledge and skills (e.g. basic first aid, CPR and nasogastric feeding). As mentioned earlier, these patients usually have special medical requirements, often having the need to rely on someone else to perform most of their daily body functions. For example, if they are too unstable or too weak to proceed to the bathroom for defecation or voiding, a commode (a movable toilet) may be required for patient’s use. A sensitive assistance must be provided by the caregiver to prevent the patient from feeling humiliated or offended when performing this function. Furthermore, the caregiver must also be always willing to listen to keep a good communication status between him and the patient, so that when the patient voices out an additional assistance needed, the caregiver is ready to respond. For example, if the patient is bound to a wheelchair, he may express complaints or preferences to the type of wheelchair he desires to have. There are various types of wheelchairs such as those with average build (standard wheelchairs), smaller type (lightweight and ultra lightweight wheelchairs) and durable ones ( heavy duty wheelchairs). If the caregiver should bear enough initiative, details on this equipment are on easily accessible websites since multiple online medical outlets offer them such as medicalequipmentonsale.com. Caregivers are there to assure that the life of patients, no matter how much it was debilitated by their medical conditions, are still lived up to its optimum. It is equally important to ensure that the medical equipment we provide our loved ones are reliable and are according to their preferences, such as their walkers, canes, crutches and others. These can be easily researched and purchased on online shops such as medicalequipmentonsale.com, which provides various categories on tools which will aid your beloved’s everyday personal care. In the end, even if we appear to have entrusted their lives over someone else, it is still our essential decisions which largely impact the care they are provided for.

Special Needs Caregiver

Special Needs Caregive Find professional special needs caregivers in your area SoSsitter is the leading site for finding the special needs caregivers for the people you love. Get help to find professional special needs caregivers in your area There is nothing more important than finding the right caregiver to support your loved ones, especially when they have special needs. Life is busy and finding the right person can be challenging. SOSsitter is the leading site for finding the special needs caregivers, according to your criteria, in your local area. How to find the help you need? You can try to find the right person on your own but that can be a long and difficult process – and you do not always get the results you want or need. Modern life is busy and you need help, especially if one of your loved ones has special needs. SOSsitter with its proven process, years of experience and local network of candidates, can help you find the special needs caregiver you have been looking for now! A local network of qualified candidates The final piece to the puzzle is finding someone close to you. You can search for special needs caregivers candidates from the comfort of your home and according to your own criteria. SOSsitter simple, swift and secure process will help you find the special needs live-out caregivers you have been searching for. Special Needs Edmonton Find qualified special needs caregivers in Edmonton SOSsitter is the leading site for finding live-in special needs Edmonton caregivers. Turn to the best solution to find qualified special needs caregivers in Edmonton Finding a qualified and experienced caregiver to support you in caring for your loved one is an important job on your list. Unfortunately, it is not the only job on your list and you probably need some help. SOSsitter, the leading site for finding special needs caregivers (according to your criteria) in Edmonton, is here for you. Find the help you need! It can be a long and difficult process finding the right caregiver for your loved one with special needs – even when you have friends and family trying their best to help you. If you have tried everything without success, you need SOSsitter. With its proven process, years of experience and local network of candidates, SOSsitter can help you find the special needs caregiver you have been looking for in Edmonton today! Access a network of candidates in Edmonton The final piece to the puzzle is finding someone close to you. SOSsitter allows you to search for special needs caregivers candidates in Edmonton, from the comfort of your home and according to your own criteria. SOSsitter provides access to profiles for qualified and experienced caregivers – including those who specialize in providing care for people with special needs. But finding someone with the right qualifications and experience is only part of the story; the person also needs to be nearby. SOSsitter specializes in helping you find Edmonton special needs caregivers in your local area. Simply put in the criteria that is most important to you in a special needs caregiver, including your post code, and you will have access to the person you are looking to help you in Edmonton.

Avoiding Caregiver Burnout

Caring for one’s loved ones is a tough job that requires a lot of responsibility. As a family caregiver, not only do you have to manage your loved one’s health and medical needs, you also have to manage their daily living needs, including legal, financial, and social concerns. Judging from the important issues listed above, it is not hard to see that caregiving is often difficult, exhausting, and emotionally upsetting. Many times it feels like the care-receiver makes too many demands on the caregiver. At the same time, the caregiver still has to deal with her/his own responsibilities of work, marriage, and child rearing/parenting. In addition, the care-receiver and the caregiver may not see eye-to-eye regarding how caregiving situations should be handled. Stress can be exhibited in a number of ways: physical symptoms such as muscle tension or increased blood pressure, behavioral symptoms such as depression or verbal or physical abuse, emotional symptoms such as the inability to concentrate, or loss of self-esteem, or participate in escape activities, such as excessive alcohol or drug use. To better manage stress it may be necessary to modify the source of stress and/or change your reaction to it. To combat any stress that comes with being a caregiver it may be advantageous to keep a stress journal, noting events and issues that triggered a feeling of stress. Laughter, exercise, breathing techniques, meditation; guided imagery or visualization, yoga, music, a long, hot bath and other simple remedies are available to relieve stress. The main thing is that caregivers need to realize they must take care of themselves as well, to not let stress get to them. Otherwise, you’ll fail as a caregiver and be left with your own physical or emotional pains. To avoid the stress of caregiving and, what I like to call, “caregiver burnout” it is important to share your feelings about your caregiving experience. Find someone you can talk to about this. Support groups are a sure-fire method of finding someone with whom you can talk. Ultimately, there are eight steps a caregiver must focus on to control those things that cause stress: 1. Become aware of your stressors and your reactions. Don’t gloss over your problems. 2. Recognize what you can change and change what you can. 3. Reduce the intensity of your emotional reactions to stress. Are your expectations accurate? 4. Learn to moderate your physical reactions to stress. Take deep, slow breaths. 5. Build your physical reserves. Exercise. 6. Maintain your emotional reserves. Be kind to yourself. 7. Find someone to talk to about what you’re feeling. Join a support group. 8. If you cannot change the situation and cannot change the way you view the situation, you can still manage stress by mastering other skills. You can learn to “turn off” your stress. Achieving the ability to turn one’s stress off is an important component to being the best caregiver possible. This is a difficult task to undertake with immediacy, however, it is something that can be achieved by following the steps and passages listed above.

Moving People in the Hospital the Caregiver’s Way

Because now families prefer to take care of their loved ones while they are in the hospital, it is only proper that one or certain family members should learn how to handle the sick so that there will be no aggravation of injury while the doctor or nurse is not present. Moving people who are in the hospital require a lot of attention and care because not only injured person can be in danger of having another injury but also sick person can have injury when he or she is improperly assisted. People who are too sick to move or cannot move a part of their bodies should always be assisted when they are required to do bodily functions such as going to the comfort room, sitting to the wheelchair, taking a bath in bed, changing clothes or transferred to other beds. In this manner, moving people should always be done how nurses or caregivers do to their patients. Elder and disabled people are prone to hospital accidents and this happens because family members who are trying to help them move out of their beds fail to secure them properly. So what should we remember when trying to assist sick people in the hospital? The words are “learning it the caregiver’s way” and here are some tips and reminders how you should do’s and not to do’s. 1. Injured people, especially the old ones are prone to fractures so be careful when carrying them problems. 2. Moving people requires that your feet should be wide apart much like the distance of our shoulders. Keep your body in balance while lifting the body of the person to sit. While your face is toward the patient, tell him to place his hands on your shoulders for extra support. If he cannot move his hands, give him an embrace position and clasp your hands on his back while your other hand supports his neck. Use your legs to pull up his body and sit him on the bed. 3. When shifting a sick person to the wheelchair, you must bring the wheelchair near the bed and secure its wheel. Put the patient in sitting position and put your arm under the person’s legs and gently edge them on the edge of the bed. When his legs are both hanging, you position yourself in front of the person and with your legs lift him up slowly to the wheelchair until he is secured. 4. During bathing or cleaning the sick person’s body, you can turn his body slowly from side to side and wipe the towel on his body where the area is free then turn to the other side. 5. Changing clothes is much easier much like you change the clothes of a baby. Although the body of an adult is heavier, you can turn the body slowly to take out the shirt and support his neck when you take the shirt out of his head. If you want a more secured method for moving people while in the hospital, you can ask the nurses on how they do it and take note of important reminders they will give you because a sick person can easily recover if he can be assisted with his movements properly.