Thursday, January 15, 2015

3 Great Resolutions for Caregivers

Alzheimer’s Disease is incredibly difficult for those battling this disease, but it’s all too easy to forget about the heroic amounts of stress and anxiety that accompany the caregivers as well. So, caregivers out there, this blog post is for you!

We invite you to join us, and thousands of others, in resolving to make 2015 the year to take a stand against Alzheimer’s disease. What do you say? Are you up for making the most of this life and leaving a legacy generations after you will remember?

This is the year we say “Enough!” Ready? Let’s go!
1. I resolve to ... sign the pledge to support the fight to end Alzheimer's. By signing this pledge, you are making a statement to Congress. You are saying, we won’t stand for this and neither should you. This is the important first step in making a lasting difference for yourself, for your loved one, and for others.

2. I resolve to ... find an outlet for myself. As Eleanor Brownn, Speaker and Healthy Lifestyle Consultant, said, “You cannot serve from an empty vessel.” It is far from selfish to take some time for yourself. Whether that means making lunch plans with a friend once a week, finding a support group, or picking up an old favorite hobby, it’s important to remember that life is meant to be lived and full of love.

3. I resolve to ... find one Alzheimer’s Association sponsored event and attend. When you attend an event, you become a champion for all of those living with Alzheimer’s disease as well as people like you, their caregivers. There are so many ways to move the cause forward. Choose one and dig in!

Are you inspired yet? This is OUR year. It may have started with Alzheimer's, but it ends with us!

Monday, January 5, 2015

3 Tips this January

Now that the holidays are over, life may begin to feel a little calmer. That’s not to say, however, that it will remain that way. Just as Alzheimer’s Disease continues to change as it progresses, so does one’s role as caregiver. Even if you’re not the primary caregiver for your loved one battling this disease, your relationship with Alzheimer’s is bound to continue shifting as well.

Here are three tips to help prepare you for whatever stage you’re experiencing right now or transitioning into:
1. Early-Stage Caregiving: In the early stages of Alzheimer’s Disease, you are more likely to fall into the role of “care partner” rather than that of “caregiver”. Remember that your loved one will primarily need love, support, and friendship at this point. Tap into the person's strengths and encourage him or her to continue living as independently as possible.

2. Middle-Stage Caregiving: As a caregiver to someone in the middle stages of Alzheimer’s Disease, you will need to educate yourself on what to expect in the coming months. Perhaps most importantly, develop some strategies to help you to cope in the particularly trying moments. For instance, you might consider joining a support group.

3. Late-Stage Caregiving: It is important to realize that, as the disease advances, intensive, around-the-clock care is usually required. Focus on preserving your loved one’s quality of life. This might mean playing his or her favorite music, looking at old photos, or preparing his or her favorite foods.

Although a person in the late stage of Alzheimer's typically loses the ability to talk and express needs, research tells us that some core of the person's self may remain. Remember that, as a caregiver, you are not alone. There is a strong community of people just like you ready to reach out and help!