Are You Falling for These Common Hospice Misconceptions?

If you knew that a significantly better quality of life could be achieved for someone you care about, you wouldn’t hesitate to explore that option. Yet one of the most beneficial types of care – hospice care – is one that family members shy away from, because of many different hospice misconceptions.

Hospice is intended to help someone with a life-limiting illness obtain relief from pain along with other difficult symptoms, while benefiting from comfort as well as spiritual and emotional support. Hospice care is available around the clock, both for the person needing care along with family members. And, for anyone covered by Medicare, hospice care is available for a very low cost or possibly at no cost. Many additional insurance policies cover hospice care too.

Here are some of the top myths and the real facts you should know about hospice care:

Hospice is only needed at the very end of life. Lots of people mistakenly assume that hospice services are for a person’s last day or two, when in fact, the earlier hospice care is started, the better. The criteria for Medicare-covered hospice services are simply for a doctor to certify that the individual could die within six months. The hospice team and the doctor continue to monitor and modify this prognosis ongoing, either discharging the individual from hospice if improvement is noted, or recertifying if life extends beyond six months.

A person can no longer receive medical treatment while on hospice. While it is correct that typically aggressive treatments that won’t lead to a cure are discontinued, the goal of hospice care is to help an individual with pain and symptom management. Treatments designed to improve the person’s level of comfort are an integral part of hospice care.

Hospice takes place in a facility or at a hospital. Hospice care is available anywhere the individual and loved ones wish. In-home hospice care is readily available for individuals who opt to remain at home for a lifetime or in a facility setting, if preferred. Whatever the living arrangement, hospice care is brought to that individual – eliminating the need to go out to physician’s appointments.

Hospice care is a holistic approach to meeting the needs of the person receiving the care, in addition to his or her loved ones. Beginning care as soon as possible allows maximum time to take advantage of the resources, support, and comfort necessary for the most peaceful transition possible.

For answers to any other questions about hospice care, call Responsive Home Care at 954-486-6440. We can share additional information with regards to the benefits of hospice care and provide you with a free consultation to talk about the options that are available to you for in-home care in Plantation and throughout the surrounding areas.

 

How to Help Your Loved One When Alzheimer’s Affects Sleep

If it feels like a senior with Alzheimer’s has completely rewritten the rules on when and how to sleep, you are not dreaming—Alzheimer’s affects sleep. For reasons that are not yet fully understood, a number of people with dementia experience changes to their circadian rhythm, leading to sleepless nights and drowsy days.

The progression of the disease is one contributing factor. Damage to brain cells causes increased weakness, making everyday activities and tasks exhausting. Medication side effects from commonly-prescribed dementia treatments can further exacerbate the issue.

Why a Good Night’s Sleep Is Crucial for a Senior with Dementia

Decreased sleep quality in dementia may lead to an increase in restlessness and delusions and can result in serious safety concerns, including the potential for a senior to wander away and become injured or lost. Not just that, but a senior loved one who is sleepy during the day will also be less likely to engage in healthy activities, such as spending time outdoors and exercising.

And, for a busy family caregiver who also needs rest, it is typically quite a challenge to meet all of the person’s care needs during the day and throughout the night as well.

Ways to Help

Try these strategies for a senior whose sleep patterns are disrupted:

  • Talk to the physician, first of all, for a review of medications. Changing the dosage timing every day may be all it will require to make a difference.
  • Maintain a routine like going to bed and waking up at the same time each day. Limit caffeine, naps, and heavy meals later in the day.
  • Incorporate bedtime activities that are soothing, for example, a warm bath, reading, turning off the television, and playing quiet, calming music.
  • If wandering is a concern, a wireless bed exit pad can notify you as soon as the senior gets up so that you can assist.
  • Try placing a clock that distinguishes between nighttime and daytime near the senior’s bed.

You may want to encourage a senior to try sleeping on their side rather than the back or stomach as well. Recent reports revealed a possible link between side sleeping and much more effective clearing of brain waste, such as excess beta-amyloid. Note that this study was conducted on laboratory animals, and it’s unclear yet whether the results carry over to humans.

Responsive Home Care is available to help as well, with overnight caregivers who are awake and alert, looking after the older adult’s needs throughout the night, so you can get the rest you need. Our care team members are fully trained and experienced in creative, patient approaches to meeting the unique care needs of those with Alzheimer’s disease. Give us a call at 954-486-6440 to learn more about our specialized Fort Lauderdale elderly care offered throughout the greater metropolitan area.

How to Handle the Unexpected Emotions of Caregiver Anger and Resentment

ver Anger and ResentmentIf you were to list the top five emotions you experience in meeting the caregiving needs of your elderly parents, what would they be? Maybe you’d first think of emotions like love, compassion, and in some cases, even frustration or stress. Would anger make the list? In many cases, though family care providers might not wish to admit it, caregiver anger and resentment are very real.

The reality is that a large number of adult children grapple with the reality that their parents are getting older. Growing up, our parents might have exuded health, strength, and control, giving us an underlying impression that they would always be there for us. Watching a decline in their health upends that belief, that could leave us feeling let down, disillusioned, fearful, anxious, and yes – angry.

As the tide shifts and aging parents become the ones needing care, family dynamics may become complicated. And the negative stereotype within our culture towards aging informs us that growing older is something we must resist or deny – something that may have a direct impact on how both aging adults and their adult children handle age-related decline.

Add to that the increased stress experienced by individuals who are part of the sandwich generation – caring for children at home and aging parents at the same time. Approximately one out of three adults with elderly parents believe their parents require some degree of care as well as emotional support.

So, how might you shift to a more positive mindset? The most crucial step is coming to a place of acceptance. Laura Cartensen, Stanford University psychology professor and director of its Center on Longevity, explains, “The issue is less about avoiding the inevitable and more about living satisfying lives with limitations. Accepting aging and mortality can be liberating.”

Honest, open communication is also essential. Family caregivers and their parents should share their feelings in regards to what is working well in the relationship, and what needs to be improved. Oftentimes, just understanding the other person’s perspective makes a huge difference. For instance, a senior parent may voice annoyance with being reminded to put on his/her glasses. An appropriate response may be to clarify the reason for the reminders – because of a fear that the parent may fall, for example. A compromise can then be reached.

Concentrating on the quality time your caregiving role affords you with your aging parents, while handling your parents’ needs with your own, is key. One of the most effective ways to achieve this is by selecting a trusted care partner to assist. Call Responsive Home Care at (954) 486-6440 for more information about our services.

Tips for Respecting Elders in How you Speak to Them

Watch what occurs at your next family get together when a new mom places her infant in someone’s arms. The individual is likely to transition instantly into baby mode: a high-pitched, sing-song voice, exaggerated facial expressions, and overly-simplified speech. Of course, this is quite normal and actually beneficial to a baby’s growing brain.

Hopefully, however, when that baby’s great-grandfather enters the room, loved ones refrain from reacting similarly and are better at respecting their elders. Yet it happens so frequently, and can be so damaging to the elderly, that there is a term to describe it: elderspeak.

A recent research study by Susan Kemper, a professor specializing in gerontology at the University of Kansas, matched elderly listeners with younger speakers. In spite of the seniors’ instructions just to listen without interrupting while the younger people spoke to them – thus leaving no suggestion to the speakers that they were having any challenges understanding what was being said – in a great majority of cases, the speakers resorted to elderspeak.

It’s worthwhile to note as well that older adults regularly refrain from using elderspeak with each other. Studies have shown that for a great many older adults, elderspeak conveys superiority and a cold attitude.

Why It’s Harmful

Simply put, elderspeak can be considered belittling and patronizing. It conveys beliefs of inferiority and incompetency to older adults, instead of the admiration and respect they deserve. While typically well-meaning and meant to convey endearment, it frequently has the reverse effect.

What to Do Instead

  • Thoughtfully consider how to address the elderly in your life. Many older adults find terms like “young lady,” “honey,” or “dearie” to be offensive.
  • Use caution when modifying how you communicate with an older adult in accordance with individual need. For example, speaking clearly and slowly while facing a senior loved one with hearing loss is helpful. A high-pitched voice, however, can actually further distort the words. An older adult with memory issues can better follow the conversation if it’s broken down into simple, short sentences and yes-or-no questions. This can easily be accomplished without resorting to baby talk.
  • Don’t forget that there’s no one-size-fits-all approach, as each person has unique preferences and challenges. An open and honest conversation with the person about how precisely they would like to be addressed and spoken to is the ideal path to ensure you’re engaging with them appropriately.

At Responsive Home Care, we place a great emphasis on respectful interactions with each and every senior in our care. Contact us at (954) 486-6440 for an in-home consultation to learn how we can help promote independence for older adults with personalized in-home support.

How to Address One of the Leading Caregiver Struggles: Caregiver Dread

One of the most common caregiver struggles is caregiver dread.

What are your first thoughts as soon as you wake up in the morning? Are you looking forward to what your day holds, or would you prefer to crawl back under the covers and remain there? If you are feeling more dread than delight as you think through your caregiving tasks for the day, you are not the only one. In fact, caregiver dread is one of the most common caregiver struggles we help families with each and every day.

Distinctly different from anxiety, depression, and even burnout, caregiver dread is a heavy, exhausted feeling of duty. It stems from feelings of overcommitment as well as the need to escape from obligations. While feasible to muscle through and carry out needed tasks in spite of these feelings, there are methods to conquer them instead – and restore the joy that comes from making life better for someone you love. To begin with, try these techniques:

  1. Release the guilt. Meeting the care needs of a person can feel unimpactful, mundane, and just downright difficult. It requires selflessness, which can feel burdening. Yet dreading the daily tasks you’re obligated to do in no way is a reflection of how you feel towards your loved one. Acknowledge to yourself that your role is not easy, and it is okay to wish you could be doing something else.
  2. Deliberately search for joy. The little pleasures each day holds may be diminished by the difficulties. Make the effort every day to find five small things which make you smile. Keep a journal of each day’s finds and refer back to it at the conclusion of every week. Engage all of your senses as you look for the day’s joys: the smell of freshly brewing coffee; the beauty of the sunrise; the sound of your cat purring; the invigorating feeling of a hot shower.
  3. Set boundaries. Schedule time daily to spend on things that you enjoy apart from the senior loved one in your care. Plan and look forward to this time when your caregiving responsibilities begin to weigh you down. An established and trusted care partner is vital to ensure that nothing impedes with the important time of looking after yourself.

Remind yourself that the work you are doing in caring for your senior loved one is extremely important. Yet also keep in mind that no one can do it all, and in order to provide the very best care for the senior and for yourself, frequent breaks from care tasks are essential.

Connect with our experts in elder care in Fort Lauderdale and nearby areas at (954) 486-6440 to arrange for regular respite care services and release the stress of caregiving dread. We’re here for as much or as little assistance as you need to help you enjoy quality time together with a family member and also to rediscover joy in your own life as well.

 

Taking Care of Elderly Parents After the Pandemic: The Shift We Can Expect

Employers may now have a different perspective on those taking care of elderly parents post-pandemic.

If there is a single positive after-effect regarding the pandemic, it is the appreciation generated for the plight of family caregivers. Managing work and home life is without question a tremendous challenge for those taking care of elderly parents. As Lindsay Jurist-Rosner, CEO of Wellthy, explains, “Caregiving went from a silent struggle to being in the spotlight overnight.”

Businesses were suddenly thrown into the fire of navigating a world of balancing the safety of staff along with the need to uphold productivity. Here is what we discovered – and what we can expect in the future:

  • More telecommuting. Individuals who began working from home in the last year have, in some cases, demonstrated their ability to be much more productive. Because of this, it is predicted that nearly 25 – 30% of the workforce within the United States will continue telecommuting at least several days a week this year.
  • Less stress. Doing away with the daily commute opens up extra time for self-care for family caregivers, while enhancing peace of mind. This is particularly true for those who relied on public transportation and were wary of compromised health safety. To further boost mental health, many employers are offering subscriptions to mindfulness and meditation apps.
  • A corporate culture of caring. Working from home has opened up the personal elements of our lives to employers. Zoom meetings share our living spaces with each other, including the appearance of pets, children, and other household members. As a result, the workplace has started to become more humanized, resulting in a more empathetic working environment.
  • Emphasis on mental wellness. Along those lines, there is now greater awareness of the significance of attending to our mental health. A Kaiser Family Foundation poll shared that nearly 45% of adults experienced negative mental health affects as a result of the pandemic – and an even more substantial percentage in those who function as family caregivers for older family members. Many employers have started implementing ways to take care of the mental health of their employees, such as offering virtual adventures and trips to give the chance to relax and escape.

Let Responsive Home Care, who offers the best caregivers in Fort Lauderdale, FL and the surrounding areas, further help nurture a better work-life balance with our dependable respite care services. Regular, ongoing respite care is key to the general wellness of family caregivers. Our skilled and compassionate home care team is on hand to help with anything from only a few hours every week up to and including 24/7 care. Call us at (954) 486-6440 to request a no cost in-home assessment to find out more.

 

Safely Celebrating The Holidays During a Pandemic

holidays for older adults during the pandemic

Discover how to make holidays for older adults the best they can be during COVID-19.

Imagine the most perfect holiday season ever. What would it look like? While that image will vary a bit for each of us, it might include gifts, lights, good food, and traditions passed down through the generations. However, what absolutely rings true for all of us is the joy in spending time with the ones we love – and in particular for all of us at Responsive Home Care, safely celebrating the holidays with the seniors we love.

Sadly, the COVID-19 pandemic has caused all of us to reconsider how to safely experience the holidays with our older loved ones. With a bit of creativity and ingenuity, however, it’s feasible to bridge the gap while making new memories with the older adults you love, even if you are not able to be with them in person this season.

Our aging care professionals have gathered several ideas to help you get started:

  • Adjust traditions. Consider the traditions that mean the most to you and your family, and how you can modify them to help keep everyone safe. For example, if the family usually gets together each year to bake cookies, you can utilize Zoom or a similar platform to stay connected while baking from home. Select a favorite recipe, have everybody log on at a specific time, and bake away while talking and listening to some holiday music.
  • Don’t do away with decorations. Seniors who live alone usually look forward to having loved ones, especially grandchildren, visit to assist with holiday decorations. Without in-person visits, older adults might not be motivated to bother with decorations. Again, using a software program like Zoom, schedule for a time for everybody to get together online and share the stories behind the most loved decorations.
  • Enjoy the great outdoors. Safely celebrating the holidays with loved ones doesn’t always have to happen virtually. If weather allows, plan brief visits with older adults outside, safely socially distant and with face coverings. String lights on bushes in the yard and decorate the front porch together.
  • Send smiles. Cards, letters, pictures, telephone calls, small gifts, etc. will all mean a great deal to older adults who will be missing time with loved ones. Coordinate with members of the family to take turns reaching out as much as possible in ways like this so that your older family members are flooded with expressions of love.
  • Share your feelings. There is nothing quite as heartwarming as hearing from someone you love about the impact you’ve made on his or her life. Take this time to convey your gratitude to the older adults you love for the difference they have made in your life, and be specific: “Grandma, your patience with me when I was an adolescent taught me what unconditional love looks like, and thanks to you, I’m a more patient person with my own kids.”

Responsive Home Care, experts providers of senior care services in Pembroke Pines and the surrounding areas, employs caregivers who are fully trained and experienced in enhancing total wellbeing for older adults at home, and we follow rigorous safety protocols for each person’s protection. Call us at (954) 486-6440 to find out how we can help make this holiday season the best it can be for a senior you love with customized, professional home care services.

Can Humidifiers Help With COPD Symptoms?

Are humidifiers good for COPD? We’ve got the answers you need!

For seniors with lung conditions, maintaining the ideal air quality in the house is vital for managing COPD symptoms. Air that is too dry, for instance, may cause or exacerbate health issues; for example:

  • Dry, itchy, or chapped skin
  • Nose bleeds
  • A sore throat
  • Dry eyes
  • Aggravated allergy, asthma, and flu/cold symptoms such as congestion
  • And much more

Yet air that is too humid can cause mold and mildew to develop, which can cause a number of health problems along with causing damage to the house.

So, are humidifiers good for treating COPD symptoms in older adults?

Humidifiers, when used correctly, can help maintain the perfect degree of moisture in the air (between 30 – 50%), and especially for anyone with a chronic lung disease, can foster eased breathing, reduced irritation of nasal passages, and also the ability to more efficiently expel phlegm in coughing.

Furthermore, using a humidifier during the night can ease snoring and congestion, help minimize the amount of any allergens, viruses and bacteria in the air, even relieve a dry scalp. Again, use caution to be sure the level of humidity does not exceed the ideal range, which could bring about disrupted sleep patterns.

There are different types of humidifiers available:

  • Central humidifiers, that are built into the home’s central air conditioning/heating unit; the most costly option, but one that benefits the whole home rather than just one room
  • Impeller humidifiers, utilizing a cool mist, which is a safer alternative because it can’t cause burns; it could, however, trigger allergic or asthmatic problems if overused
  • Evaporators, blowing air through a dampened filter; an economical choice, but can be a problem if allowed to add too much moisture into the air
  • Ultrasonic humidifiers, using vibrations to create mist in either a cool or warm option; offered in a number of sizes
  • Steam vaporizers, which are typically the most affordable and most portable option; water is heated and then cooled before being expelled into the air

Check with a doctor about the advantages of a humidifier in your loved one’s specific circumstances, and which kind is preferred.

Responsive Home Care, the top-rated provider of home care in Deerfield Beach, FL and surrounding areas, is here to assist individuals with chronic health problems like COPD, or simply just the challenges inherent in normal aging, through a variety of home care services. Contact us at 954-486-6440 to see how we can help you breathe easier with reliable in-home support.

Laughter and Health: The Connection Is Sure to Make You Want to Start Smiling!

Happy Senior Woman

Discover the connection between laughter and health.

Have you ever caught yourself getting ready to bubble over with uncontrollable laughter at the most ill-timed moment – in a crowded elevator, a hushed waiting room, or a religious service? While there are, certainly, times when we will need to stamp down the silliness, writer Jane Heller explains that, “Humor can keep us balanced, even in the grimmest of times. It reminds us that despite illness and disability, there are moments of real joy in life and we need to embrace them.”

The connections between laughter and health are phenomenal, including:

  • Releasing endorphins that ease tension
  • Fortifying brain connectivity
  • Supplying a social boost
  • Relieving pain
  • Improving the immune system
  • Boosting mood
  • Defending the heart from coronary disease
  • Revitalizing circulation and muscle relaxation, both of which minimize stress
  • And so many more

Even though there is absolutely nothing funny when it comes to receiving a difficult medical diagnosis for someone you care about, there are methods to keep up an underlying feeling of positivity that may result in more possibilities for laughter:

  • Be deliberate about placing snippets of humor throughout your home/office; for example, a popular comic strip, meme, funny photographs, etc.
  • Look into a laughter yoga class – yes, there honestly is such a thing!
  • Adjust your reading material and TV viewing to incorporate additional lightheartedness. Include joke books – or browse the internet for new jokes to add to your collection.
  • Spend time with loved ones and close friends who raise your spirits. Reminisce over prior memories together that make you laugh, and create new ones!
  • Discover how to laugh at yourself, switching your internal dialogue from reprimands for errors to comfort in recognizing we are all human.

Interestingly, even if you don’t feel like laughing, rewards can still be achieved through faking or forcing laughter, according to certified health coach Nancy Kalish.

At Responsive Home Care, the top providers of senior care services in Pembroke Pines and the surrounding area, we understand the link between laughter and health, and our caretakers make it a point to bring happiness to seniors every day. Our friendly senior companions spend quality time with older adults, participating in conversations, games, puzzles, exercise, fun outings, and of course, laughter. And with our full selection of in-home care services, which include meal preparation, light housekeeping, and looking after personal care needs, family care providers together with the seniors they love are able to spend more quality time simply enjoying each other’s company. Allow us to help brighten your world! Contact us at 954-486-6440 any time to learn more and to schedule an in-home consultation.

Why Diabetic Seniors Need to Take Another Look at How They Are Managing Blood Sugar Levels

senior care research

Doctors are rethinking the treatment and management of diabetes in seniors and the dangers low blood sugar levels can cause.

The most up-to-date guidelines from the Endocrine Society regarding the elderly and diabetes are surprising, to say the least: lower blood sugar isn’t always best. And for individuals who have been maintaining a regimen of finger pricks, insulin injections, and careful monitoring of food consumed, this alteration may be rather hard to swallow.

Known as de-intensification, geriatricians are now commonly using the approach with older adults that the advantages to be achieved by striving for meticulous blood sugar control are not outweighing the health risks inherent with aging and illness. When A1c and glucose levels are kept at very low levels within the elderly, for instance, it could possibly result in an increased occurrence of hypoglycemia and even kidney failure.

With up to one out of three older adults currently diagnosed with diabetes, these new recommendations are poised to have a staggering influence on the treatment and management of the disease for seniors, requiring a shift in mindset for many.

And not unexpectedly, many older diabetics are unwilling to welcome this change. In one patient’s words to Dr. Pei Chen, a geriatrician in the geriatric clinic at the University of California, San Francisco, “I’ve been doing this for 25 years. You don’t need to tell me what to do. I can handle it.”

The latest guidelines recommend an increase in A1c from 7 to 7.5% for seniors who are in good health; and up to 8 – 8.5% for all those with dementia, multiple chronic illnesses, or poor health. It is critical to note, however, that suggestions are extremely individualized centered on a variety of factors, and that at no time should high blood sugar be ignored in the elderly.

Responsive Home Care can help seniors stick to doctors’ guidelines to control diabetes and a number of other conditions with professional, customized, in-home care services for seniors. Just a few of the countless ways we are able to help include:

  • Grocery shopping to guarantee the senior has a good amount of healthy food choices easily accessible
  • Meal planning and preparation in adherence to your prescribed dietary plans
  • Accompaniment to medical appointments, tests, and procedures
  • Encouragement to engage in physician-approved exercise programs
  • Medication reminders to ensure prescriptions are taken in the correct time as well as in the appropriate dose
  • And more!

Contact  Responsive Home Care, the home health services Hollywood, FL leaders, at 954-486-6440 to inquire about an in-home assessment and access a healthier lifestyle for a loved one you adore.

Best Ways to Avoid Crossing the Line From Motivation to Bullying with Aging Parents

Ft. Lauderdale senior home care

Sometimes the words we use when speaking to our elders can do more harm than good. Learn how to uplift seniors with these helpful tips!

As a family caregiver, you no doubt encounter a variety of emotions during the day: shared laughter over a joke with your loved one; worry due to a health concern; and of course, occasionally, irritations. We want only the best for people we love, and if an older adult is resistant to doing something we know is beneficial, it may be hard to choose the most appropriate reply.

The important thing is to try to supply motivation and encouragement, while also being cautious not to cross the line into bullying the senior. These tips from our Ft. Lauderdale senior home care team are important to remember:

  • There’s no one-size-fits-all. An approach that has worked in one situation is possibly altogether ineffective in another. In the event a loved one refuses to take a bath, for example, you could simply prefer to let the matter slide and attempt again another day. Or, maybe reframing bath time into a relaxing spa activity will carry some more appeal. Including humor may work nicely one day, whereas using a kinder, softer tone of voice may be the answer on another. Having a number of strategies at the ready can help cut down on irritation for both of you.
  • Encourage the senior to remain in control. Have a heart-to-heart chat with the older adult during the course of a relaxed, peaceful moment to obtain suggestions as to how the caregiving relationship is going, and what she or he wishes to see modified. It is essential to then take to heart the older adult’s feedback and incorporate it into your caregiving approach.
  • Be careful to avoid progressive bullying. Although we certainly would not set out to bully a loved one into submission, it is possible to slowly move from encouragement and inspiration into pushiness and forcefulness without noticing it. Take an honest look at your inclinations in speaking with your loved one, and then take steps to improve upon them as needed.
  • Remember the overarching priority. Apart from the many tasks required in delivering care for a loved one, preserving a healthy, happy and fulfilling relationship with one another is vital. If you realize that the worries of providing care are outweighing the rewards for either of you at any time, there is always the possibility of exploring alternate care options such as in-home respite care, letting you place your focus on spending quality time together with the older adult you love.

Responsive Home Care is the ideal partner for family caregivers. Our caregiving staff are highly trained and skilled in the many areas of senior home care, and will provide the assistance family members need to preserve healthy relationships with those who they love. Contact us online or call us at 954-486-6440 and request an in-home consultation to discover the difference our home health services in Fort Lauderdale, FL and nearby areas can make in both a senior’s total well-being and yours.

The Power of Positive Thinking: How to Overcome Caregiver Stress

Responsive Home Care is the ideal solution to achieve a healthier life balance – both for family caregivers and the older adults in their care.

Our facial expressions reveal so much to people around us, and when you are experiencing an abnormal degree of stress, well-meaning friends will certainly notice it, perhaps encouraging you to essentially, “Cheer up, buttercup!” In reality, of course, it requires a lot more than a few words to turn our mood around and to help us overcome caregiver stress.

Recent research supports the idea of positive thinking as a method to decrease levels of depression and anxiety which occur when we are flooded with stress – something essential for busy family caregivers to take to heart to reduce the possibility for burnout.

Judith Moskowitz, lead psychologist in the research project who subsequently created a course to overcome the unpredictable manner of emotions so frequent in individuals providing care for a senior loved one, says, “We’re not saying don’t be sad or upset about what’s going on. But we know people can experience positive emotions alongside that negative emotion, and that positive emotion can help them cope better.”

The primary techniques in her program include the following:

• Keep a journal of things for which you’re grateful – including the small things.

• Identify at least one uplifting event every single day.

• Talk about this occurrence with your family on social networks.

• Establish one new goal every day, and keep track of your progress in achieving it.

• Identify one of your talents and contemplate how you’re making use of that skill.

• Undertake one daily simple act of kindness for another.

• Think about a negative event, and then discover a way to view it in a positive light.

• Practice focused breathing and mindfulness to bring back a sense of calm.

For those of you providing care for a loved one with dementia, the need to concentrate on positives can be much more vital to overall wellbeing. Family caregivers who participated in a recent five-week study where the effectiveness of these coping skills was evaluated documented a decrease in depression scores of 16%, and a decrease in anxiety of 14%.

In addition to the strategies above, it is necessary for family caregivers to stop isolating themselves and trying to manage their caregiving duties solo, which can very quickly bring on caregiver burnout along with other significant health problems. Partnering with an established Sunrise elderly care, like Responsive Home Care, is the ideal solution to help in achieving a healthier life balance – both for family caregivers and the older adults in their care.

Life is indeed stressful, but we are ready to help! Contact Responsive Home Care, the leader in home health care in Pembroke Pines, and let us help you overcome caregiver stress so that you can concentrate on self-care and good quality time with those you love.