If you are the primary caregiver for your loved one, you might not be thinking about how communicating effectively might benefit your loved one or your ability to care for them well. However, as primary caregiver, you are the focal point for which all communications are channeled. Some of those conversations will need to be relayed to others involved in your loved one’s care such as a physician, a spiritual counselor, the hospice team and maybe family and friends who are also providing support. How effectively you communicate can make a difference in the quality of care your loved one receives. Even if you have a close relationship with the person you are caring for, these discussions can be difficult and emotionally charged. Try a few of these suggestions and see if they help: – Calm yourself before beginning a discussion. Breathe deeply and settle yourself into a peaceful
This is part two in our four part series on creating a safe environment for an aging love one. Most people are familiar with the concept of childproofing a home when a new baby arrives. There are several steps you can take to “elder-proof” your home and ensure a safe and comfortable environment for your parents in their later years. One of the key rooms of concern is the bathroom. The bathroom can be the most dangerous room in the house, with slippery surfaces that are easy to fall on and sharp or hard corners where someone can hit their head. Making the bathroom safe is an important step in helping your aging loved one to maintain their independence. Here’s a few simple steps: – Add an elevated toilet seat with handgrips on both sides. Ensuring that the toilet tissue is within easy reach can ease the strain on an
Most people are familiar with the concept of childproofing a home when a new baby arrives. But what about bringing your aging parents in to live with you when independent living is no longer an option? There are several steps you can take to “elder-proof” your home and ensure a safe and comfortable environment for your parents in their later years. And when a parent, who is facing an advanced illness is living with you, home safety takes on a new level of importance. A primary safety concern with the elderly is the prevention of falls. Falls are the leading cause of injury or even death among the elderly. This four part series will focus on ways to safeguard your home against potential falls. General Tips For Preventing Falls – Remove all tripping hazards such as books, shoes, toys, electrical cords, etc., from the floors. – Remove all throw rugs.
This month, communities across the country are doing their part to spread the word that November is National Hospice and Palliative Care Month, and Hospice of Santa Cruz County (HSCC) is emphasizing the importance of the care that hospice provides for all residents, regardless of age, location or diagnosis. Consistently more than 90 percent of people polled say they want to die at home surrounded by their loved ones, with their symptoms managed and their pain controlled. However, more than 70 percent of us die in hospitals and other institutions. Though the use of hospice has increased, only 41.9 percent of patients nationally receive hospice care and often not until the last week of life, too late to attend to all the needs of the dying. HSCC strives to reach all appropriate patients and families so that support can be provided for many months ar the end-of-life. During this last
Human nature dictates that we often experience child-parent struggles. The blurring of identities as our parents advance in age and we become their caregivers frequently intensifies these struggles. This can create tremendous strain on our ability to manage the day-to-day stresses of these new roles. But there are some relatively simple ways to handle the changes in your relationship and make the transition easier on you both. Simply stopping and counting to 10 before responding to your parent will afford you precious seconds to calm yourself and potentially avoid an unnecessary argument. Those moments of deep breathing and hesitation can also give you an opportunity to more fully understand your reactions to stresses in your relationship. This, in turn, will help you transform your fight-or-flight instincts into more positive responses that can ultimately strengthen and deepen your bond with your parent. If your parent has a tendency to use verbal