You never know when you or someone you love might need daily help, such as assistance getting groceries, help with transportation or round the clock care, all of which require planning and coordination.
At home, positive interaction between grandparents and grandchildren is possible, providing benefits for both and easing some of the burdens commonly faced by family caregivers. Here's a seven-step plan for bridging the generation gap for family caregivers.
Reach out to other caregivers in your situation, and look for opportunities to give and get support. Recognizing that the work you do is important and that you're not alone in your situation will help you reap the most positive benefits from your caregiving.
Fortunately, you don't have to be a physician, scientist, memory care specialist, or music therapist to make meaningful connections through music. So dust off that piano or CD player, or better yet, warm up your voice and start singing!
Most people find it comforting to know that, as technology improves, more and more illnesses and conditions can be managed outside a hospital or nursing home setting, and that they can remain in their homes for a longer period of time.
Hanging in her bathroom was a navy blue vinyl windbreaker, size 2XL, which Mom had "borrowed" from my stepdad years ago. Every morning and every afternoon the two of them would walk around the block, holding hands to steady themselves, wearing their identical navy windbreakers.
Denial for a short period can help caregivers and patients to cope. Yet when prolonged denial begins to stand in the way of the patient's treatment, comfort, or well-being, it's no longer helpful to anyone.
While many years of medical training made me an effective professional caregiver, I was completely unprepared to assume this role in my personal life. Despite my eight years of medical training, and three years of experience in private practice, I could not actively heal my wife.
Based on my years treating patients who have dealt with the loss of a loved one and my personal experience with my husband's death, I know there are many complicated emotions that one can experience when dealing with late-stage illness and death.
Jane started out as a publicist representing authors. Now, 13 very humorous romance books later, she is an acclaimed writer herself. After reading her guide, I am amazed at how she has kept her sense of humor while being her husband's caregiver for many years.
A week after returning from a snowboarding trip, Emmy-award-winning talk show host Montel William recalls how, 15 years ago, a doctor not only diagnosed Williams with multiple sclerosis (MS) but also advised Williams that he would be confined to a wheelchair within four years.
Remember that as close as you may be to your spouse (or parent), his or her death sentence is not your death sentence. Protect yourself from undue stress by staying strong and remembering that you have a choice in how you choose to react to your loved one's illness.
While there's a fine line between being involved and being overbearing, it's necessary for you, as a family caregiver, to foster open lines of communication -- and this includes questioning decisions concerning your loved one's health.
As a caregiver, you use your heart to provide compassionate comfort and support to a loved one. Now use your head -- if you become ill or too exhausted to continue to care, what will become of your loved one and of you?
Over the course of my 20-year marriage, my husband Michael has developed an uncanny knack for having medical crises on national holidays -- crises that inevitably require a trip to the emergency room of whatever hospital is within striking distance.
Mushroom-barley soup, a staple of my childhood, lovingly prepared by Grandma Mollie, was the most delicious soup I'd ever tasted. Grandma Mollie always got it just right, but this time, something was awry.
We can take each of those seven characteristics of "home" and use them to assess living environments for people with dementia, remembering that significant accommodations may need to be made to recreate the home experience that patients yearn for.