Category Archives: Hospice of Santa Cruz County Caregivers blog

The Physical Effect of Caregiving

About two-thirds of all family caregivers are women. It’s these tender souls who give up much in order to take care of those they love who are on their final journey in life. It’s also these gentle souls, and maybe you are one of them, who tend to put all their energy into taking care of everyone else and fail to take care of their own physical needs. Let’s look at some statistics: –  Female caregivers experience higher levels of depression and anxiety and also a lower level of general wellbeing than their male counterparts. –  Twenty-two percent of female caregivers go to bed exhausted. –  More than 1 in 5 women fail to get their regular mammograms on time. –  Due to increased stress, 21 percent of all caregivers have a higher abuse level of alcohol and prescription drugs. –  Female caregivers are more likely to smoke or consume

Communication is Key to Being a Good Caregiver

 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

Care for Caregivers, Know Your Limits

As with any difficult period you go through in life, caring for a seriously ill loved one is a job you might gladly accept, but the impact on your physical and mental health and your relationship with your family, can be severe. The National Alliance of Caregivers has done extensive research on the subject: “Nearly three quarters (72%) of family caregivers report not going to the doctor as often as they should and 55% say they skip doctor appointments for themselves. 63% of caregivers report having poor eating habits than non-caregivers and 58% indicate worse exercise habits than before caregiving responsibilities. 20% of employed female caregivers over 50 years old report symptoms of depression compared to 8% of their non-caregiving peers.” By making you aware of these statistics, we hope you will take a few moments to reflect on just how important taking care of yourself is to the process

Home Safety – Lighting The Way

This is part three in our four part series on creating a safe environment for an aging love one. When it comes to safety in the home, prevention really is the best medicine. Elder-proofing will help your loved one maintain a sense of independence affording you the peace of mind that comes with knowing you’ve provided every safeguard for their wellbeing.  Lighting is important safety consideration. The correct lighting can go a long way in helping protect your loved one against falling and ensure they feel more comfortable in their home. Here’s a few simple steps to take: Lighting the Way – It is easier for elderly eyes to adjust if there are consistent lighting levels throughout the house, so consider using low-glare bulbs and shades. – Nightlights are helpful to guide your parent along stairways as well as from the bedroom to the bathroom and kitchen. – Light switches

Home Safety, A Look At The Bathroom

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