Posts Tagged ‘ caregivers ’

Stages of Alzheimer’s Disease, Part 1

Sep 1st, 2016 | By Sharon Shaw Elrod MSW EdD | Category: Senior Moments Blog

Caregivers for family members and/or friends who have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s find the availability of care-giving resources both helpful and encouraging. In particular, the explanation of stages of the disease and symptoms characteristic of each stage enable the caregiver to better plan for addressing the symptoms of Alzheimer’s. He/she can be somewhat prepared to help the person with Alzheimer’s mitigate some of the symptoms and make life more pleasant for everyone involved.

Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI)

The first signs of a change in brain functioning (cognition) are generally mild and may go unnoticed. Banner Alzheimer’s Institute defines MCI as “…impairment in thinking skills that goes beyond normal age-related cognitive changes but does not meet criteria for dementia.”



THE QUANDARY OF CAREGIVING

Dec 11th, 2013 | By Sharon Shaw Elrod MSW EdD | Category: Senior Moments Blog

The Internet guides for caregivers are so numerous it is difficult to both count them and sort them into helpful categories. A simple query, such as ‘caregiving issues’, produces over a million responses. And many of the articles offer very good advice for caregivers seeking help managing the sometimes overwhelming demands on their time.

Suggestions for caregivers ring similar tones… ask for help; accept offers of help; take time off to spend with friends; meditate; relaxation routines… All the advice is helpful, and much of it is focused on what to do for yourself as a caregiver. Individual response will be based on individual need and what ‘works’ for each.



#4 – LESSONS IN CAREGIVING

May 28th, 2013 | By Sharon Shaw Elrod MSW EdD | Category: Senior Moments Blog

Many Internet websites offer good information for caregivers about taking care of elderly loved ones. A search engine offers thousands of articles one can review for assistance. And they all have one theme in common: The caregiver needs to take care of her/himself if he/she wants to do a good job caring for the elderly loved one.

In our caregiving experience, we found a couple of ways to care for ourselves that worked well for us:
We took time off for outings just by ourselves. We had assistance from three family members who offered weekly time to stay with our elder mother, and we accepted that assistance. Some days we would go out for lunch alone; other days we would do errands and shopping. Whatever the activity,



#2 – LESSONS IN CAREGIVING

May 3rd, 2013 | By Sharon Shaw Elrod MSW EdD | Category: Senior Moments Blog

Someone recently said to me, “I do not want to die with any regrets.” My life-long statement to self has been, “I want to be proud of what I do and say.” This was certainly true of the six months we spent caregiving. Did I live up to that totally? No. Did I get close? Yes. I learned that, because there is life after caregiving, I needed to conduct myself so I would not end up with regrets.

By far the most difficult situations we encountered caregiving for my mother-in-law centered around her safety. Momma never got her fair share of common sense and good judgment in life. Health care professionals, particularly in rehab after she broke her hip for the third time, consistently identified her lack of judgment as a major problem in her rehabilitation. So we came to her last days still trying to manage her safety in the face of her poor judgment.



CAREGIVERS AND THE LAST HOURS

Apr 8th, 2013 | By Dr Jerry D Elrod | Category: Senior Moments Blog

For Caregivers, and Care Receivers who have chosen to die at home, the last hours can be a contradictory combination of relief and sadness. There is much to do. It begins to feel like preparing for a huge meeting in which greater details demand attention. It is also a test of one’s handling the growing fatigue that comes with sadness, depression and grief.

All of the time that has gone into expecting this hour, now collides in a series of making plans, settling all the necessary affairs, preparing one’s own spirit and disposition for what is soon to come.



TERMINAL AGITATION, A CAREGIVER’S NIGHTMARE

Mar 22nd, 2013 | By Sharon Shaw Elrod MSW EdD | Category: Senior Moments Blog

Caregiving is increasingly common among senior citizens in today’s world of ever-increasing longevity. Many of us have elderly parents or loved ones for whom some level of care is required. They may still be in their own home, and we check in on them several times a week. Or they are still at home needing daily care and attention. Or they cannot live alone any longer and for a variety of reasons do not enter a care facility; they move in with you instead. And still more of us find our parents in nursing/group/assisted living facilities.

Let’s face it. We seniors are at high risk to become caregivers to one degree or another. And many of us are ill equipped to manage caring for the elderly who manifest a variety of behaviors that confuse and perplex us.



CAREGIVERS ACCOMMODATE LIMITATIONS

Mar 10th, 2013 | By Dr Jerry D Elrod | Category: Senior Moments Blog

Increasingly seniors are finding it necessary to provide in home care for an elderly member of the family. Often this will mean that someone in the family takes on the responsibility of caregiving of a senior adult, a parent or someone struck with an illness that requires 24/7 attention.

More, caregiving is a situation that involves managing health care issues, watchfulness over the management of medications, careful attention that prevents accidents or oversight that is perpetual during the caretaking period.

It is no small matter for one to agree to take on the full time care or shared care of a family member. It carries with it the limitations of any one, other than a paid professional, to be alert to all of the matters



CAREGIVING FOR ELDERLY LOVED ONES AT HOME

Nov 23rd, 2012 | By Sharon Shaw Elrod MSW EdD | Category: For Senior Women

National Family and Caregiver Month It’s National Family and Caregiver month.  Over 65 million people in the United States provide care for elderly or chronically ill loved ones. Most, but certainly not all, are women.// This Senior Editor is having her first full-fledged experience as a caregiver.  We chose to bring my mother-in-law with us [...]



FACTS AND RESOURCES: CAREGIVING AND CAREGIVERS

Oct 26th, 2012 | By Sharon Shaw Elrod MSW EdD | Category: Lifestyle, Health & Fitness

Jerry and I are in a caregiving phase of our lives.  Prior to our recent move, we asked his 92 year-old mother to move and live with us.  She agreed with no hesitation.  We are now in the midst of learning how to be caregivers, with the assistance of Hospice of the Valley, and their [...]



WHILE THERE IS STILL TIME

Oct 5th, 2012 | By Dr Jerry D Elrod | Category: Senior Moments Blog

At 73 and 69, my spouse and I are making some major life choices. If you have kept up with us the past few weeks you know that we have made a major cross country move. We sold our dream house of 15 years, packed up and made a trek of over a thousand miles with my 92 year old mother and 3 precious pets.

The house we have moved into is pleasant, and half again the size of the one we left. Trying to stuff ten pounds into a five pound bag becomes something of a challenge. We brought more than we have room for more and that will require other choices. It is time. We have agreed that age will always get the upper hand, but we still have the hutzpah to challenge time and try to win a few more of the games life offers.