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Practical & Proven Tips for
Professionals Supporting Caregivers

Dear :

Happy Valentine’s Day!

How recently did you have an individual or family member in your office, care community, hospital or in their own home with the “deer in the headlights” expression about a care situation? Was your client lost, angry, frustrated, or guilty about a family care situation and uncertain about what to do?

Are you or your clients exhausted from caregiving – yes professionals are caregivers too!

The theme of this newsletter is about reducing caregiver stress by acknowledging that care issues do exist, by providing options to support care, and by offering ideas for activities to stabilize cognitive and behavioral concerns of loved ones diagnosed with memory loss

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.

Be the professional who offers solutions
.

Click on the links to read the following articles.

If you have a client or 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
Caregiving: 10 Tips to Advocate for Good Care in an Imperfect and Sometimes Insensitive Care “System”
By Pamela D. Wilson, CSA, MS, BS/BA, CG


Whatever happened to appropriate bedside manner? To the sensitivity of frustrating care situations? To the dignity that our elders should receive but do not? To common sense that might be expected of caregivers in the care industries? To politeness? To follow through and attention to identified concerns?

In my twenty years of work as an advocate, daily interactions occur that continue to disappoint me related to the care of my clients. I wish I could say that I am surprised by the “system” and the industries of medical care, health insurance, health care, and caregiving that fail to train their employees to provide good or standard care. Clearly there is a gap between my expectation of good care and the provision of care at all.

Caregivers and families with whom I work, experience shock at the insensitivity of the “system.” Those who have been caregivers for some time, as well as I, realize the system is imperfect at best.  The increasing number of individuals needing care have strained a system that struggles to find willing and able bodies to fill positions. Providers in the care industries, at least those who are honest, admit that hiring, training and retaining staff qualified to support care recipients is and will continue to be a daily and ongoing struggle.

And then we have the other issue of individuals and families in denial about care, those who refuse care, those who are in constant disagreement about steps to be taken to provide care for loved ones, and those who have lost patience with the system and are viewed as “problems” to providers in the system.

Dementia and Delirium: Activities to Support Daily Abilities and Reduce the Likelihood of Requiring a Greater Level of Care
By Pamela D. Wilson, CSA, MS, BS/BA, CG

DSD is a term describing delirium superimposed on dementia. This condition most commonly occurs when a person with dementia experiences a hospitalization or a significant change in medical condition like a diagnosis of pneumonia or a urinary tract infection. Professionals working in the care industry and family members of loved ones with dementia notice signs of increased confusion, agitation, aggression, irritability, and physical decline. In these situations, this perceived overnight change occurs suddenly and rapidly. One day the person was doing well and the next day the change is so significant that there is concern the person will be unable to function at the prior level, will require a significant increase in daily care, or may not recover at all.

For persons not yet having experience with DSD, the experience may be likened to the effects of anesthesia after surgery. Patients report experiencing “brain fog” after surgery. Chemotherapy patients report a similar experience. For these individuals, delirium is characterized by a change in cognition and attention. Fifty-three percent of patients having coronary artery bypass graft surgery report having temporary declines in cognitive function.(1)

Hospitalizations are another factor inducing delirium upon dementia. “An estimated 22-89% of older adults in the hospital and in the community, develop DSD. The effects of DSD include worsening cognitive and physical declines, longer hospital stays, higher rates of rehospitalization, the need for institutionalization, and death.”(2) Studies of specific interventions focusing on one-to-one daily interaction to improve executive function resulted in shorter stays in rehabilitation centers by up to sixteen days and improved cognition versus that witnessed at the onset of the DSD.

The one-to-one daily interactions listed below, can be performed by family and care professionals.

Adult Day Care: Reducing Stress for Caregivers and the Behaviors of Care Recipients

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

A significant portion of individuals receiving caregiving support continue to live at home with the support of informal caregivers, defined as family members and friends. These informal caregivers provide significant amounts of physical and hands on care at the expense of their own time in careers, raising families, health, and well-being.

Informal caregivers supporting loved ones to remain at home will sometimes retain community assistance that includes: in home caregiving assistance or will participate in the use of adult day programs for respite or as a bridge to assisted living or memory care. Costs of care for adult day centers average $70-80 per day as compared to in home caregivers averaging $28 per hour, assisted living communities averaging $4-5,000 per month, memory care communities averaging $5-8,000 per month and nursing homes averaging $300 or more per day.

Care recipients react negatively to caregivers who are angry, stressed, impatient, or feeling guilty about the care situation. Much like horses have intuition, individuals with memory loss look to caregivers for a sense of safety and security. How many times have you heard an individual say, “I don’t like this horse (dog or another animal) and it knows I don’t like it.”

Individuals with dementia, are observant of body language, tone of voice, levels of respiration, adrenalin levels, and everything in their surroundings that might be perceived as negative or threatening.

Persons with memory loss respond to the actions of persons providing care
that include family, friends, and paid caregivers.  They respond negatively to persons who respond negatively or who are perceived to be threatening versus comforting.

Adult day programs offer emotional and financial benefits for informal caregivers and loved ones needing care. Learn more about the benefits to preserve your well-being and emotional life.

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 Professional Library

To visit and check out the FREE information (without subscription) in the 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 professional library, take the next steps:.

To become a Professional 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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