Posts Tagged ‘advice’

5 Tips for Dealing With Family Conflict

Thursday, June 19th, 2014

Having a family member with Alzheimer’s disease is a stressful situation that can create conflict within families.

The Mayo clinic has the following advice for families where there is significant strife: 1) Share responsibility, 2) Meet face-to-face regularly, 3) Ask someone to mediate if needed, 4) Be honest and don’t criticize, 5) Join a support group, and/or seek family counseling.

In my case the closest family member, who lived out of town, insisted that Ed only needed to go to an assisted living facility. I knew that wouldn’t work because of his incontinence (of both bowel and bladder), because he couldn’t have found his way back and forth to dining room and, furthermore, he wouldn’t have even wanted to go to the dining room. Neither was he capable or showering and dressing himself or do his own laundry – and the list goes on and on. I was certain they would have asked him to leave after two or three days.

There was tremendous conflict between the two of us, and, unfortunately, I wasn’t aware of the tips above and we didn’t follow any of them. The conflict didn’t disappear until Ed had passed away and there was no longer anything to argue about.

 

Advice from Leeza Gibbons, TV Personality and Caregiver: “Breathe, Believe, and Receive”

Monday, December 2nd, 2013

Breathe: Start by taking 10 purposeful breaths; breathing in sheer certainty that you are doing your best. Breathe out all the negativity that weighs heavily on you. This can change your physical and emotional state so you can better cope with your caregiver stress.

Believe: Now is the time to be an optimist. Know that your efforts will be enough. Believe that you can get empowered by others who have achieved this before you.

Receive: Everyone has limits. Know that real strength comes from knowing when to ask for help. When someone says, “Do you need anything?” say “yes,” and be prepared to tell them a specific way they could help.

Source: This is a shortened version of interview with Leeza on CNN, April 26, 2011.

Note: After Leeza Gibbons’ grandmother and mother died of Alzheimer’s disease, she decided to help other family members caring for their loved ones with the disease. She created Leeza’s Place, a group of facilities  for Alzheimer’s caregivers. She also wrote an outstanding book for caregivers entitled Take Your Oxygen First – available on Amazon.com.

A Valuable Resource for You: Tryn Rose Seley’s 15 Minutes of Fame

Wednesday, May 22nd, 2013

Tryn Rose Seley’s book, 15 Minutes of Fame, is a gold mine for caregivers of people with dementia. This brief and concise 35-page book has the subtitle One Photo Does Wonders to Bring You Both Back to Solid Ground. It is full of positive, practical and uplifting advice for enriching the lives of people with Alzheimer’s.

The book’s focus is “Empowering Caregivers of Those With Alzheimer’s.” It is intended to enable professional or family caregivers to entertain, engage and build trust with people who have dementia. The proposed approach is to share personal and meaningful stories, photos, songs and other materials with the person for at least 15 minutes per day.

According to Tryn Rose, “This improves daily mood, energy and hope for you and the one you care for. The ideas in the book,” she continues, “turn a stressful or ordinary day into an extraordinary one, sparking creativity and gratitude on this path of caregiving.”

The book contains numerous examples from the author’s experience as a caregiver. These illustrate how easy it is to implement the ideas advanced in the book.

Ms. Seley says it’s also important to leave stories and other materials in the person’s room (either at home or in a long-term care community) so that other caregivers or visitors can see and share them with the person. In this way a “circle of care” can be developed.

In conclusion, this is a wonderful, inspirational, and motivating book with clear and easy to follow strategies for transforming the days of people with dementia (or other special needs for that matter).

The book is available in Kindle format on Amazon.com. If you prefer a PDF, you may download it on the author’s website.

Note: Tryn Rose Seley is a professional caregiver, photographer, and a sought-after musician who makes presentations and offers workshops on various aspects of dementia for interested communities and organizations. You can email her at TrynRose@gmail.com and follow her on Twitter: @TrynRose.

 

 

5 Things Alzheimer’s Caregivers Should Never Do

Sunday, May 5th, 2013

Don’t Be in Denial: When a loved one shows signs of dementia it’s common for their friends and loved ones to be in denial. It’s easy to ignore the symptoms, make excuses for the person, and push the symptoms to the back of your mind. The problem with denial is it doesn’t lead you to take your loved one to a primary care physician or neurologist for a complete workup. Sometimes dementia is caused by health issues other than Alzheimer’s. Some of those problems can be treated or even reversed.

Don’t Ask “Do You Remember?” Asking a person with Alzheimer’s if they remember something is a common mistake. They have probably forgotten the event in question. That’s what people with Alzheimer’s do. They forget. So it’s better to say, “I remember when . . . ” and then tell them a story.

Don’t Argue With or Contradict the Person: If you’re caring for someone with dementia it’s so easy to contradict or argue with them when they say things that are total nonsense. And they typically say a lot of things that fall into this category. But it’s much better to agree with them and then change the subject. This can prevent a nasty argument.

Don’t Delay Nursing Home Placement When It’s Clearly Needed: At some point it may (but not always) become evident that you can no longer care for the person at home. Mid- to late-stage patients need nursing staff and aides 24 hours a day and a physician on call at all times. They also need a dietician, a cook, a housekeeper, an activity director and many more professionals. And they need to have people around them to provide social stimulation. Sometimes placing the person in a reputable institution is indeed the most loving choice for the patient.

Don’t Stop Visiting When Your Loved One No Longer Recognizes You: Many people think that there’s no reason to visit a loved one who no longer recognizes them, but I am firmly convinced that you should visit anyway. First of all the person may enjoy being visited even if he or she doesn’t quite know who is visiting them. More importantly, it’s possible that the person does recognize you but simply isn’t able to say so.

Do any of you have suggestions of other things an Alzheimer’s caregiver should never do?

Dr. Ruth’s new book on Alzheimer’s caregiving

Saturday, October 27th, 2012

Dr. Ruth Weighs in on Alzheimer’s Caregiving

Dr. Ruth Westheimer

Dr. Ruth, renowned expert on sex, has just published a new book on Alzheimer’s caregiving, entitled Dr. Ruth’s Guide for the Alzheimer’s Caregiver.  After reading it, I concluded that it’s one of the best on this topic I’ve ever read. And I’ve read a lot of them.

In the Introduction Ruth states, “The purpose of this book is to make carrying that weight [of caring for someone with Alzheimer’s] a little more tolerable.” She succeeds fully in accomplishing that mission.

This guide is jam packed with practical, hands-on, down-to-earth information designed to help caregivers function in their new roles and take care of themselves while doing it. But it doesn’t just advise them what to do, it includes very detailed explanations of how to do it.

I don’t want to use a cliché, but I feel compelled to do so. This new guide really is a “must read” for anyone caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s.

 

Advice from Leeza Gibbons: Breathe, Believe, Receive

Wednesday, December 21st, 2011

Advice from Leeza Gibbons, TV Personality and Caregiver: “Breathe, Believe, and Receive”

Breathe: Start by taking 10 purposeful breaths; breathing in sheer certainty that you are doing your best. Breathe out all the negativity that weighs heavily on you. This can change your physical and emotional state so you can better cope with your caregiver stress.

Believe: Now is the time to be an optimist. Know that your efforts will be enough. Believe that you can get empowered by others who have achieved this before you.

Receive: Everyone has limits. Know that real strength comes from knowing when to ask for help. When someone says, “Do you need anything?” say “yes,” and be prepared to tell them a specific way they could help.

Source: This is a shortened version of interview with Leeza on CNN, April 26, 2011.

Note: After Leeza Gibbons’ grandmother and mother died of Alzheimer’s disease, she decided to help other family members caring for their loved ones with the disease. She created Leeza’s Place, a facility for Alzheimer’s caregivers.