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Practical & Proven Tips for Family Caregivers

Dear :

Today is the first day of spring. Depending on where you live, tulips may have already begun to pop out of the soil or you may still be buried in snow.

Spring is a time of anticipation and looking forward. Caregivers often become immersed in daily duties and feel that there is little reason to look forward. Who wants to look forward to increased hours devoted to care, ongoing family disagreements, or the death of a loved one.

The theme of this newsletter is about challenges experienced by caregivers and how to avoid those "little things" (really big things) that creep up on us just when we thought we reached a place of stability. What child ever imagined their parent would choose to become involved in a relationship when mom or dad is still living in an Alzheimer’s community? Who wants a longer to do list?  Or why didn't someone tell me that?

Please read and share these articles with your friends, colleagues, and others who may be experiencing caregiving challenges. The Caring Generation® Library hosts these articles and many other articles, podcasts, and videos to support caregivers.


Click on the links to read the following articles.

If you are or know a caregiver looking for a single source of information, my book, The Caregiving Trap: Solutions for Life’s Unexpected Changes® offers helpful advice and recommendations.  

Articles in this newsletter are posted in The Caring Generation® Library . Access to the articles expires in 30 days. You can join the library for free, it’s just like having a library card, to access these and many other articles, videos, and podcasts.

If The Care Navigator has been of assistance to you, we sincerely appreciate other individuals and caregivers you send to us for assistance. We do our best to make sure that your confidence in us is returned.

Please email me at
Pamela@TheCareNavigator.com or call me (303) 810-1816 if you have questions about how The Care Navigator might assist you or those you know.  You may also review our list of Frequently Asked Questions.

Visit our two websites, www.TheCareNavigator.com and www.TheCaringGeneration.com  for more information about our services and for caregiver support. We look forward to serving you or someone you know.   

In gratitude and service,


Pamela D. Wilson,
Caregiving Expert, Advocate & Speaker

720-726-3111
The Care Navigator specializes in fiduciary services and care management for adults experiencing memory loss and health concerns.

Featured Articles
Top 10 Caregiving Mistakes
By Pamela D. Wilson, CSA, MS, BS/BA, CG

There is no education to prepare us for the role of a caregiver or a care receiver. As in many aspects of life there are lessons to be learned and a lot of bumps and bruises that occur along the way. The challenge with caregiving and care receiving is that needs are usually immediate. Decisions have to be made. There are no "do-overs." Practice doesn’t always make perfect.

Those involved in care situations are often emotional rather than rational. The healthcare system is a maze requiring skilled navigation in order to be successful. It’s impossible to know what you don’t know and what questions to ask when you are in unfamiliar caregiving territory.

Below are 10 tips to help you avoid the pitfalls involved in common caregiving and care receiving situations:

Creating a Longer To Do List: Adding the Role of Caregiving to an Already Stress-Filled Life
By Pamela D. Wilson, CSA, MS, BS/BA, CG

Stress is prevalent. We work long hours, we worry more than we should, and we constantly rush from here to there attempting to cross items off a long to do list. We fail to take care of ourselves. Research has shown for years that more heart attacks occur on Monday mornings because the stress hormones of cortisol and adrenaline are present in higher levels on this day of the week. After a relaxing weekend, many of us experience stress as the result of the thought and action of returning to work on Monday morning.

What happens when we add the stress of caregiving to an already stress filled life? Many caregivers don’t experience the "weekend break" that most individuals enjoy. Caregivers work during the week, some provide caregiving support in the evenings during the week, and then on the weekends there is a long list of tasks to be completed for a loved one. There are few experiences comparable to a caregiver’s 7-day work week and having to be available 24 hours a day to care for a frail or ill loved one. As responsibilities increase for caregivers, the stress meter goes off the charts and feelings of anxiety, anger, overwhelm, and frustration occur many times because the options to remove oneself from this situation seem absent or extremely limited.

Alzheimer’s Disease: in Memoriam Marriage

By Pamela D. Wilson, CSA, MS, BS/BA, CG

"In sickness and in health, until death do us part;" words recited at marriage ceremonies with the expectation of a life-long happy marriage and a golden retirement. Years pass with children, career, moving here, and there. One day a surprising and unwelcome visitor, Alzheimer’s disease, shows up at the front door. A few more years pass and we find ourselves living with a spouse who has no recollection that we were once a young, active, married couple looking forward to a long and happy life together. Our spouse has becomes a person, much like a child, for whom we provide care.

We wake in the morning to toilet, dress, and make breakfast for a husband or wife who on some days requires spoon feeding. The day passes. We stay home for fear of leaving our loved one alone. Maybe a friend visits for a few hours so that we might take a break to run errands and go to the grocery store. Each night, the glowing hand of the clock sitting on the nightstand moves ever so slowly as we listen for our loved one to get up out of bed or we discover damp sheets that require changing. Sleep is illusive. Worry, stress, and overwhelm our new constant companions.

The Care Navigator - Frequently Asked Questions:

How do I decide if services of the Care Navigator can help me?

Pamela D. Wilson of The Care Navigator offers a FREE 15 minute phone consultation to allow you to present the details of your situation, to ask questions and to determine if The Care Navigator is able to provide support that is a good fit for your situation. The Care Navigator offers as little or as much support as desired -- ranging from a one hour in office consultation to the services of care navigation, care advocacy, care oversight and care coordination, assessments and service as a guardian, power of attorney or personal representative. We tailor our services to meet your needs.

What if I don't know the questions I should ask?

The fact that you are asking this question proves that you are aware of the benefits of asking the right questions and the importance of this aspect in arriving at a positive outcome. During the FREE 15 minute phone consultation and throughout our work with you, you will be asked questions to help you understand the complexities of situations so that you become more educated and informed and better able to advocate for your situation.

What if my loved one has a diagnosis of dementia or Alzheimer's disease?

If you have a loved one diagnosed with dementia or Alzheimer's disease, accessing the services of The Care Navigator is even more important. Understanding the effects of the diagnosis on daily life and making plans for the future are critical to ensure that a loved one's wishes will be fulfilled. Some individuals with dementia experience significant changes in behaviors that threaten or frighten loved ones. Others refuse care. By having a better understanding of the disease process and the options for support you will be able to support needed care for your loved one.

How do we decide what support is beneficial?

A component of care navigation is the development of a care plan. A care plan is a document developed to include historical and current information about social and personal background, individual preferences, health history, medications and other relevant information to identify specific needs.
Development of a care plan is a participatory activity between The Care Navigator staff and the client and client’s family to identify and agree upon needs and beneficial services. The Care Navigator and/or family caregivers implement the care plan

Are you able to work within my budget?

Yes. We work with many care situations where a monthly budget is established for the services we provide. Call for a FREE 15 minute consultation to request more information.

Click here to read all of the answers.

How to Access Information in the FREE Family Library

To visit and check out the FREE information (without subscription) in the Caring Generation® Library Click Here. If you like what you see, I encourage you to subscribe and to share this website with co-workers and other people in the caregiving profession.

To access the articles in this newsletter, click any of the "Click here to read the entire article" links above. If you want to read entire articles in the family library, take the next steps:.

To become a Family subscriber of The Caring Generation® Library, Click Here. Your information remains secure and allows me to publish articles, podcasts and video content specific to family caregiving situations.

Pamela D. Wilson
Caregiving Expert, Advocate & Speaker
Author of the book,
The Caregiving Trap
pamela@thecarenavigator.com
(303) 810-1816

 
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Pamela D. Wilson, P.O. Box 18349, Golden, CO 80402 888-393-7757, United States

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