Finding the Right Words: Providing Cancer Support to a Loved One

A woman with cancer laughs with her friend who is offering support.

Offering words of encouragement and empathic conversation are crucial parts of cancer support.

Striking up a conversation with a family member with cancer can sometimes be awkward and leave you feeling unsure of what to say. Should you bring up their diagnosis right away, or avoid the C word altogether? Is it ok to try and make the person laugh? What should I do if they start crying? Conversations become loaded with unspoken emotions, and finding the right words to offer cancer support is not easy.

You’re not alone in this endeavor. Many families facing cancer wrestle with the challenge of communicating effectively in the midst of the uncertainty and fear. Here are some ideas to bear in mind to better navigate these difficult conversations:

  • Take care of yourself: Supporting someone with cancer can be emotionally taxing. Don’t forget to prioritize your own well-being and seek support when you need it. By taking proper care of yourself, you’re going to be better able to support the person you love over time.
  • Listen: Sometimes, the most reassuring thing you can do is to lend an empathetic ear. Let them share their fears, frustrations, and hopes without judgment or interruption.
  • Respect their boundaries: Each individual’s journey with cancer is different. Respect their wishes regarding privacy and disclosure, and let them guide the conversation.
  • Be sincere. Avoid clichés and platitudes that may feel empty. Instead, speak from the heart and offer sincere words of encouragement and support.
  • Offer useful help: Take initiative in offering specific ways you can help, whether it is running errands, preparing meals, or providing transportation to appointments. These small acts of kindness can make a big difference in their everyday life.

In addition to these tips, it is vital to remember that every individual’s knowledge about cancer is different, and what works for one person might not necessarily work for another. Empathy and flexibility are key when navigating these sensitive conversations.

Finally, don’t underestimate the power of simply being there for the person you love. Your presence and support, even if you are not sure what to say, can provide immense comfort during this challenging time. So, take a deep breath, show up, and don’t forget that your love and support mean even more than you might realize.

Reach out to Responsive Home Care for help, too. Our caregivers are trained and experienced in supporting individuals with cancer and the families who love them with a variety of services, including:

  • Light housekeeping, laundry, and linen changes
  • Respectful assistance with personal care and hygiene, preserving dignity and independence
  • Running errands, including food shopping and picking up prescriptions
  • Friendly companionship to brighten each day
  • Planning and preparing healthy meals, taking into consideration difficulty with appetite or any other challenging symptoms
  • And much more

Serving Fort Lauderdale, Plantation, Lighthouse Point, as well as the nearby areas, we are just a phone call away at 954- 486-6440.

Bridging Differences: How-To Guide for Effective Family Communication

A woman utilizing effective family communication tips speaks to her siblings about the care of their aging parents.

Learn tips for effective family communication that helps make sure everyone is heard and respected.

Caring for an older adult at home can put a strain on family dynamics. Siblings may disagree on care decisions, adult children may feel stressed, and aging parents may resist help. Effective family communication is vital to bridge the gap between differing opinions, ease the responsibility of caregiving, and ensure everyone feels heard and valued.

Before your next family discussion, take some time to consider these helpful suggestions:

  • Check in frequently: Schedule regular family meetings or check-ins to discuss caregiving arrangements, share updates, and address any concerns or conflicts that develop. These meetings provide you with an organized platform for open communication and collaboration, ensuring everyone remains informed and involved with the caregiving process.
  • Be open and honest: Encourage open and honest dialogue with everyone in your family. Steering clear of complicated topics or sugar-coating concerns can result in misunderstandings and tension. Be transparent about your worries, limitations, and expectations about caregiving responsibilities.
  • Communicate clearly: Be clear and concise in your communication to prevent confusion or being misunderstood. Clearly outline expectations, responsibilities, and plans regarding caregiving tasks. Use simple language and avoid jargon, particularly when talking about medical or legal matters related to your family member’s care.
  • Watch for non-verbal cues: Observe body language, facial expressions, and tone of voice. These can often express emotions and intentions more truthfully than words alone. Maintain eye contact, use a calm tone, and be aware of your own body language to convey empathy and understanding.
  • Respectfully disagree: It is natural for family members to have differing opinions or approaches to caregiving. However, disagreements must be handled with respect and maturity. Avoid resorting to blame or criticism and instead concentrate on finding common ground through constructive dialogue and compromise. Practice active listening: Instead of just hearing words, actively listen to understand the underlying emotions and intentions behind them. When talking about care options for your loved one, listen attentively to every person’s perspective without interrupting, and then reflect back to ensure that you are understanding each other correctly.
  • Exercise empathy: Empathy enables you to interact with others on a deeper level, fostering mutual support and understanding. When discussing the challenges of looking after an older loved one, try stepping into each other’s shoes to see individual perspectives and offer compassionate support.

Caring for an older loved one is undoubtedly challenging, but with effective family communication and support, it can also be profoundly rewarding. Remember that you are not alone in this journey. Responsive Home Care is here to help you and your family with superior senior home care services in Deerfield Beach, Hollywood, and Fort Lauderdale in addition to the surrounding areas. Contact us at 954-486-6440 to discover the many ways we are able to make your caregiving journey easier and provide you with the peace of mind you need.

How to Support Aging Parents Who Resist Assistance

A man tries to reason with his older father as he struggles to know how to support aging parents who need help but refuse to accept it.

These tips will help you know how to support aging parents who need help but refuse to accept it.

It is a challenging predicament many family caregivers encounter: your elderly parents, who once looked after you, now resist the aid they so desperately need to remain safe and comfortable living at home. Family members face a delicate balance between respecting their parents’ freedom and protecting their safety and well-being. When you are in this situation, you’re not alone! We understand the range of emotions associated with accepting the need for help, and have some suggestions that will help you understand how to support aging parents who are resistant to accepting care.

See It From Their Perspective

Understanding the reasons for your parents’ resistance is a good place to start. In many cases, it arises from a wish to retain self-sufficiency and control of their lives. Aging can be a daunting process, marked by physical and cognitive changes that can leave seniors feeling vulnerable. By refusing support, they might be seeking to affirm their autonomy and preserve a feeling of dignity.

However, their refusal can also be fueled by fear or denial. Acknowledging the need for assistance can be intimidating, as it might signify a loss of independence. Additionally, some individuals may simply not understand the extent of their limitations or even the available support options.

Reaching an Agreement About the Need for Care

So, what can be done when faced with this challenging scenario? First, come to the discussion with understanding and empathy. Acknowledge your parents’ feelings and concerns, and assure them that your goal is to support them in maintaining their independence and well being.

Begin by listening actively to their position. Understanding their reasons for resisting care can help you tailor your approach and deal with their specific fears. Reassure them that accepting help does not mean that they are losing control, but rather that they are ensuring they will be able to live at home safely and comfortably.

Compromising is often a great way to reach agreement with your parents. For example, if the idea of having help with baths or showers is off-putting, propose the idea of assistance with housekeeping, meals, and running errands. When they get to know and trust their caregiver with these types of less-intimidating services, it’s easier to work your way up to additional care.

If your parents are still unsure about accepting help, consider enlisting the help of a trusted third party, such as a doctor. In some cases, hearing advice from an objective professional can carry more weight than coming from a member of the family.

Most importantly, keep in mind that change doesn’t happen overnight. It may well require several conversations and gentle persuasion before your parents feel more comfortable about accepting help. Be persistent yet compassionate, and always prioritize their feelings and wishes.

At Responsive Home Care, we have helped many older adults live fuller and more enriching lives at home, and we are here to help your parents whenever they are ready, with tailored in-home care solutions in Fort Lauderdale, Deerfield Beach, Plantation, and the neighboring communities. We offer a complimentary in-home consultation to help you and your parents talk through the services that will best meet their needs. Reach out to us any time at 954-486-6440.

Are We Being Heard? Insights Into the Essential Needs of Family Caregivers

An adult daughter experiencing firsthand the needs of family caregivers stands behind her mother.

Discover the surprising results of a listening session to uncover the top needs of family caregivers.

If you’ve ever felt invisible as a family caregiver, you’re not alone. Caring for someone you love takes center stage, and you may find that your own needs are put on the back burner. A recent listening session, however, allowed family caregivers to speak openly and honestly about what they need—and the results may surprise you. Here are a few of the key insights and findings gleaned from these sessions about the top needs of family caregivers.

  • Emotional Support: One of the most prevalent needs expressed by family caregivers is the importance of emotional support. Caring for a family member can be emotionally taxing, leading to feelings of stress, anxiety, and isolation. Listening sessions revealed that caregivers greatly benefit from having a support system in place, whether it is through peer support groups, counseling services, or just having someone to talk to who understands their journey. It is imperative to realize that caregivers need avenues to express their emotions and concerns without judgment, allowing them to ease some of the emotional load they carry.
  • Financial Support: The financial implications of caregiving can be significant, frequently placing strain on family finances. Listening sessions highlighted the need for financial support programs and assistance with navigating insurance coverage and government benefits. Many caregivers also expressed concerns about the long-term financial impact of caregiving on their own retirement savings and future financial security. Addressing financial concerns is essential to ease stress and ensure that caregivers can focus on providing quality care without worrying about their financial well-being.
  • Access to Resources and Information: Family caregivers often find themselves navigating a complicated healthcare system without adequate guidance. Access to reliable resources and information is crucial for effectively caring for their loved ones. From understanding health conditions to accessing community services and financial assistance, caregivers expressed the need for easily accessible information tailored to their specific circumstances and needs. At Responsive Home Care, we are happy to provide comprehensive resources and guidance to caregivers, empowering them to make informed decisions and navigate the healthcare landscape with confidence.
  • Respite Care: Balancing caregiving responsibilities with other aspects of life can be overwhelming. Many caregivers expressed the importance of having opportunities for respite care, allowing them to take breaks and recharge. Whether it’s through professional respite care services or support from family and friends, having time for self-care is essential for preventing burnout and maintaining overall well-being. Respite care not only benefits caregivers but also improves the quality of care provided to their loved ones by ensuring caregivers are well-rested and rejuvenated.

At Responsive Home Care, we hear you—and we are here for you! Our respite care services are designed to allow you to take necessary breaks from providing care so you can focus on self-care. We understand the challenges family caregivers face and are committed to providing support that meets your unique needs. Whether you need assistance with accessing information, finding resources, or taking a much-needed break, we’re here to help. Contact us at (954) 486-6440 for more information on our respite care services in Fort Lauderdale, Deerfield Beach, Plantation, and the surrounding areas. Remember, you are not alone on this journey—we are here to support you each step of the way.

Reduce Family Caregiver Stress With These Tried and True Time Management Tips

A woman who has learned how to reduce family caregiver stress smiles as she writes a note in her daily planner.

Reduce family caregiver stress by implementing these tips to more effectively manage your time.

How much extra time do you have on your hands? If you are like most family caregivers, carving out sufficient time to meet each day’s basic requirements could be hard enough. The idea of having regular intervals of downtime may seem unattainable.

Caregiving is definitely a time-intensive commitment. But what if there were steps you could take to reduce family caregiver stress and manage your time more effectively, allowing each day to run more smoothly and even providing you with time for yourself? It is not quite as far-fetched as it might seem! These suggestions are a good place to start.

  • Prioritize Tasks: Begin every day by determining the most important tasks. Be reasonable about what you can achieve, and set aside lower priority tasks that can wait for a less hectic day. Remember, it is okay to prioritize and postpone less urgent tasks to maintain a manageable workload during the day.
  • Break Down Tasks: Divide larger tasks into smaller, more manageable steps. This strategy makes it easier to allot time efficiently and helps prevent you from feeling overwhelmed. This helps make the workload more manageable and also allows for a sense of accomplishment while you complete each step of the process, reducing the overall stress of the task.
  • Take Breaks: Schedule regular breaks to recharge. Whether it’s a quick walk or just a moment of quiet reflection, self-care is vital for maintaining your well-being. Remember, taking care of yourself enables you to provide better care to others.
  • Delegate Responsibilities: Don’t hesitate to involve other family members, friends, and a professional caregiver in the caregiving process. Delegating tasks can provide you with much-needed support and prevent burnout.
  • Learn to Say No: Recognize your limits and be comfortable saying no when needed. Overcommitting can lead to fatigue and compromise the quality of care you provide. Understand your limitations and embrace the power of saying no when necessary. Prioritize your well-being to ensure sustained, high-quality caregiving.
  • Create a Schedule: Develop both a daily and weekly routine that incorporates your caregiving duties, work, and personal time. Design a schedule that features dedicated time for caregiving responsibilities, work commitments, and personal activities. Having a structured routine not only ensures you fulfill all of your responsibilities but also helps maintain a healthy balance between work and personal life.
  • Seek Community Support: Connect with local support groups or online communities for caregivers. Sharing experiences with others who can relate to your challenges can provide emotional support and valuable insights, creating a supportive network to navigate the complexities of caregiving.
  • Establish Boundaries: Set clear boundaries to distinguish your caregiving responsibilities from your personal life. Communicate these boundaries with friends and family, fostering understanding and support. This ensures a healthier balance between your personal life and your caregiving role.
  • Stay Organized: Keep essential information, including medical records and contact details, organized and easily accessible. Easy accessibility to this information reduces family caregiver stress and promotes seamless communication with healthcare professionals, ensuring that you are able to provide the most effective care for the person you love.
  • Utilize Technology: Explore caregiver apps and tools that can help streamline tasks, track appointments, and organize medications. Technology can be a powerful ally in managing caregiving responsibilities. Embrace the ease of technology and caregiver apps to simplify your responsibilities, giving you more time to focus on providing quality care.

One of the best strategies to better manage your time as a caregiver is by adding Responsive Home Care to your care plan. We are here to work with you to ensure the best care for someone you love, while you maintain a healthy life balance. Contact us at 954-486-6440 to learn more about our home care services in Fort Lauderdale, Deerfield Beach, Plantation, and the surrounding areas.

How to Help an Older Adult Who Is Grieving

An older adult who is grieving clutches a photo in her arms as she gazes sadly out the window.

An older adult who is grieving needs lots of support to get through this difficult time.

By the time we reach our golden years, we’ve had many years of building deep connections with family and friends. These bonds are crucial to our quality of life, and when they are severed, it inevitably leads to feelings of deep loss.

You may feel hopeless to help an older adult who is grieving, but there are steps you can take. It begins with understanding more about this powerful emotion.

What Should You Know About Grief in Older Adults?

Grief Is Complex

  • Grief in older adults is a complicated emotional reaction to a variety of losses, including the passing of family members, declining health, or changes in independence.
  • Acknowledging the unique nature of each older adult’s grieving process is essential for offering individualized support.

Grief Effects Mental Health

  • Grief can manifest in a variety of ways, impacting mental health and well-being.
  • Seniors may experience feelings of loneliness and sadness, as well as physical symptoms such as changes in sleep patterns or appetite.

Grief Is a Process

  • The grieving process is non-linear and unique to each individual, encompassing stages such as denial, anger, depression, bargaining, and acceptance.
  • Seniors may revisit these stages at different times, necessitating patience and empathy from caregivers and loved ones.

How Can You Help an Older Adult Who Is Grieving?

Encourage Healthy Coping Mechanisms. Engaging in activities that bring joy and comfort is important for dealing with grief. Encourage the person to pursue hobbies, take part in social interactions, and practice mindfulness. In addition, emphasizing a healthy lifestyle, including regular exercise and nutritious meals, contributes to their resilience and overall well-being during challenging times.

Seek Professional Support. Grief is a complex emotional experience, and professional support can offer valuable guidance. Encourage the individual to explore counseling or join a support group tailored to their needs. Professional resources offer tools for managing emotions, coping strategies, and also the comfort of a supportive community, aiding in the healing process.

Maintain Open Channels of Communication. Grieving seniors often face the struggle of expressing their emotions. Encourage open communication, providing a safe space in order for them to share their feelings. Be a compassionate listener, offering understanding and reassurance without judgment. Creating an environment where emotions can be expressed fosters a sense of connection and healing.

Strengthen Community Connections. Building a supportive community is crucial for someone facing grief. Create opportunities for social interactions, and make certain they maintain connections with family, friends, and community resources. Establishing a network of support can provide a sense of belonging, reducing feelings of isolation and fostering a supportive environment for healing.

We’re here to assist older adults who are struggling through times of bereavement. Our compassionate, kind care professionals provide both a listening ear and engaging activities to help make each day a little brighter. Contact us online or give us a call at 954-486-6440 for assistance and support in Fort Lauderdale, Hollywood, Lighthouse Point, or the surrounding areas.

Reality Orientation in Dementia: The Pro and the Cons

A caregiver helps guide a senior with dementia through reality orientation.

Reality orientation can help loved ones with dementia through confusion.

Did you ever wake up in the middle of a dream and wonder, just for a moment, if what you were dreaming about was real? It can feel very disorienting until you open your eyes and take in your familiar surroundings. An experience like this can give you just a brief glimpse into the ongoing disorientation for a person with dementia. When confusion about time, place, and even identity settle in for a person you love, you’re faced with two options for responding: either stepping into their reality with them, or practicing reality orientation for someone with dementia.

Which Reality Is Best?

In a nutshell, each approach has its place in dementia care. However, there are specific cautions to understand when using reality orientation for someone with dementia. It is important to first understand what is involved with both options and when they could be most appropriate.

Accepting Their Reality

Living in an alternate reality is quite typical for a person in the mid to later stages of dementia. The individual may believe they are a young adult engaged in their previous career (or a different one altogether), with a spouse and young children to look after. Going along with their perception of reality helps them maintain a feeling of self-worth and purpose. It instills comfort and peace, and it is often the recommended approach.

Orienting Them to Your Reality

On the other hand, reality orientation involves providing cues and prompts about the current time, date, and place. Studies have shown that it can improve cognitive functioning, especially when combined with donepezil, and help with some of the more difficult aspects of dementia.

However, reality orientation should be handled gently with compassion, skill, and awareness of the person’s emotional state. For example, if the person asks where their mother is, it could be extremely harmful to respond, “Why, she died 40 years ago! You are 95 years old, so there is no way your mother could still be alive.” In contrast, reality orientation may be effective in ordinary conversations. For instance, if the individual wakes up and asks what day it is, you might respond, “Today is Friday, the day you have your exercise class and then dinner with Steve.”

If the person seems to become agitated or anxious with reality, it’s always best to join them in the perceived reality that feels comfortable to them.

Our specially trained caregivers are pros at knowing how to effectively engage someone with dementia and make each day the best it can be. We utilize imaginative, customized approaches that help with memory, communication, safety, and comfort, while encouraging independence and a sense of purpose and self-worth.

Reach out to us at (954) 486-6440 for more information on our dementia care in Fort Lauderdale, Deerfield Beach, Plantation, and the surrounding areas.

 

Are You Prepared for the Responsibilities of Hospital Care at Home?

A woman in a wheelchair receiving hospital care at home is assisted by her adult daughter.

It’s important to understand and prepare for your role before agreeing to hospital care at home for a loved one.

No one wants to spend any more time than needed in the hospital. The aim is to get the necessary treatment or procedure over with as quickly as possible and move on to recovering. Unsurprisingly, the growing trend in hospital care at home is one being met with open arms. Imagine being able to avoid:

  • Isolation and loneliness from short visiting hour periods
  • The risk of infection inherent in a hospitalization
  • The need to share a room with somebody else who is ill
  • Institutional food
  • The bright lights, alarms, and bells that make sleeping difficult

Hospital level care in the home allows someone whose condition is serious yet stable to receive visits from clinicians and any necessary medical equipment—so treatment is provided in the most comfortable and least restrictive environment.

There is nothing not to love about such a program, right?

The Downside to Receiving Hospital Care at Home

While the benefits of in-home hospital care are incredible, there’s one main factor to take into consideration: are you ready and equipped to serve as the caregiver for a family member who is critically ill? While physicians and nurses visit the home and are available by telehealth sessions for questions, the majority of care falls on the family.

“In the hospital, if something happens, they know how to take care of it,” explains Clare Semling, whose husband participated in a hospital-at-home program. “Now it’s on you.”

It’s important for family members to participate in the decision-making process about a loved one receiving hospital care in the home, and also to be made aware of the implications it will mean in their own lives. For instance, you’ll need to think through:

  • What will you do in the event of an emergency?
  • Can you handle getting up as required during the night to check on the person, help them to the bathroom, etc.?
  • Are you ok with having clinical staff coming in and out of the home at regular intervals?
  • Will you be able to manage medications and ensure they’re taken as directed?

Also, think about your current commitments and responsibilities: caring for children, taking care of household chores and errands, working outside of the home, and other important activities such as spending time with your spouse, nurturing relationships with friends and other friends, participating in hobbies and pastimes you enjoy, engaging in healthy lifestyle choices, etc.

It can be helpful to create a quick estimate of how much time you currently have available to care for a family member at home, considering all of the factors above. If it feels unmanageable or overwhelming, seek out help.

Responsive Home Care is here to help if a loved one chooses to receive hospital-at-home care. We can provide medication reminders, run errands, prepare meals, and take the night shift if you would like, enabling you to maintain the healthy life balance you need. Contact us at 954-486-6440 for more information on how we can help with personalized in-home care services in Fort Lauderdale, Lighthouse Point, Hollywood, and the surrounding communities.

Why Providing Care for Your Spouse Can Cause Resentment – And How to Overcome It

A woman who knows that providing care for your spouse can cause resentment hugs her husband as they both look out the window.

Providing care for your spouse can open up a new realm of emotions you may not have expected.

You both promised to look after each other through better or worse, in sickness and in health. When these cherished sentiments are first spoken on your wedding day, it is difficult to imagine how it will feel to actually live them out when providing care for your spouse. It may come as a shock to you that anger, frustration, and resentment can go hand-in-hand with fulfilling your vows when caregiving for your spouse.

How Can I Resent Caring for the Person I Love the Most?

In a nutshell, providing care for your spouse is overwhelming, both physically and emotionally. You may feel:

  • Unappreciated and taken for granted
  • Concerned about your spouse’s prognosis
  • Frustrated from insufficient time for self-care
  • Stretched too thin
  • Angry or irritated for inexplicable reasons

All of these feelings are valid and completely normal, even if unexpected – and there are things you can do to overcome them while strengthening your relationship with your spouse.

How to Conquer Spousal Caregiving Resentment

Set and maintain boundaries. Remind yourself that you are human, and you cannot (and shouldn’t attempt to) do it all. Setting an unattainable bar for yourself as a caregiver will quickly result in depression, burnout, and a reduced quality of care for your spouse. Identify realistic expectations that are in line with your strengths and abilities, and bring in help for the rest.

Face your emotions. You might be trying to cover up how you feel to keep the peace, but it’s important to find a safe space to vent. Caregiving is stressful on many levels, and identifying a strong network of support is a must. Speak regularly with a trusted friend or family member, counselor, or spiritual guide.

Explore couples therapy. A professional marriage counselor can be helpful to both of you individually and as a couple. You will gain the tools you need to resolve disputes in a healthy way, to better understand each other’s perspective, to better manage feelings of resentment, and to improve communication. The therapist can also provide you with referrals to other helpful resources as appropriate.

Take care of YOU. If you think of self-care as selfish, think again. Taking care of yourself empowers you to take better care of your spouse. Carve out and prioritize time for pastimes you enjoy, socializing with friends and other family members, and stress-relieving activities: exercise, reading, journaling, listening to music, being outdoors.

Responsive Home Care is here to serve as your partner in care to help you restore a healthier life balance and to rediscover the joy of spending quality time with your spouse. Contact us at (954) 486-6440 to ask about our respite care services and to request a free in-home consultation to learn more about the many ways we can help. Our services are available in Fort Lauderdale, Lighthouse Point, Hollywood, and the surrounding areas.

Having Hard Conversations While Caregiving

Two women stand in the kitchen with cups of coffee, having hard conversations while caregiving.

Having hard conversations while caregiving is key to maintaining healthy family relationships.

Any time you dedicate so much time to caring for a senior member of the family, it is natural for other relationships to take a back seat. After all, there are only 24 hours in a day, and you can only spread yourself so thin. This may result in additional stress, misunderstandings, and hurt feelings.

The answer to overcoming this obstacle is communication. This means having hard conversations while caregiving, which may be uncomfortable but allow the opportunity to air grievances, share feelings, and ultimately reinforce the love you have for each other.

Having Hard Conversations While Caregiving

First, understand that a planned, formal meeting is not necessary for a conversation to be effective. It can be a quick chat while waiting for the coffee to brew. It should not, however, be a triggered response to a stress-inducing incident. Plan to talk about a concern before the stress has an opportunity to build up to an explosive level (or when you’ve had the opportunity to settle down).

Here is an example scenario and how to include a courageous conversation. Your teenage daughter is feeling embarrassed and uncomfortable bringing friends over because of the dementia-related behaviors of your elderly parent. Begin with this brief assessment to gauge the answers for yourself along with your teen:

  • What do we need from each other?
  • What goals do we wish to accomplish from this conversation?
  • What do we have to give and receive?
  • What do we want each other to know?
  • What exactly are each of us feeling and thinking?

Include in your assessment the feelings of the individual in your care as well. In particular, prior to the cognitive decline, determine what your mom would want for you personally as well as your daughter.

With this framework in mind, allow yourself to be honest, authentic, and vulnerable. Listen to each other’s viewpoint respectfully, offer empathy and understanding, and collaborate to create a viable solution.

Is It Better Left Unsaid?

You might feel as though it’s simpler to maintain status quo than to risk upsetting a family member by initiating a challenging conversation. And certainly, situations may arise that are best resolved through another means, like speaking with a professional therapist to unravel your feelings and thoughts before approaching someone else with them. As a general rule of thumb, however, nothing beats open, honest communication to allow you and those you care about to better understand one another.

Let a Responsive Home Care caregiver help you carve out time for the conversations you need with other members of the family by providing skilled, professional in-home care for the person you love. Contact us at (954) 486-6440 for more information regarding our home care in Pompano Beach, Coral Springs, Fort Lauderdale, and the surrounding areas.

How Caregivers Can Prioritize Privacy

A woman who knows how caregivers can prioritize privacy smiles as she reads a book and holds a cup of coffee in a sunny room.

It’s vitally important to know how caregivers can prioritize privacy to achieve a healthy life balance.

Reflect back to your teenage years. Remember how important it was to find a safe place to be on your own, to shut out the world, turn the music up, and write your most secret thoughts in your diary?

The desire for privacy that began then can become overshadowed when providing care for someone else. Yet it is still extremely important to know how caregivers can prioritize privacy, both physically and mentally, to take time for self-care.

How Can a Caregiver Prioritize Privacy?

Frankly, it isn’t always easy. You might feel as though you need to always have at least one ear and eye open to the needs of the person in your care. There are several steps you can take to help, however. Try:

  • Designating a spot of privacy for both yourself and the older adult. After all, they need privacy as much as you do. Agree that whenever either of you needs some alone time, you can retreat to your chosen spot and only interrupt one another in case of an urgent situation.
  • Determining house rules. In shared living spaces, put together some basic rules of etiquette that are fair for everyone. For example, take turns choosing TV shows to watch, so one person isn’t monopolizing the remote. Compromises similar to this can make together time less stressful for everyone.
  • Considering emotional privacy. Make sure to take frequent breaks from care that allow you time to disconnect completely from your care role. Go on trips, attend events and activities with other friends and family members, take a book to the park for a stress-free afternoon. Responsive Home Care’s care experts are always on hand to fill your caregiving shoes when you take some time for self-care.

Special Considerations for Dementia

If the person in your care is struggling with the challenges of dementia, finding privacy becomes more challenging – and much more vital to obtain. The person may need 24/7 oversight to ensure safety, but this doesn’t mean that you should (or can) provide that level of care yourself.

We frequently hear from primary family caregivers that there is not anyone in their circle of close friends and family who knows the senior or the requirements of dementia care well enough to assist. This is when our specially trained and experienced dementia caregivers are an invaluable part of your care team. We can partner with you to ensure the seamless, reliable, skilled care a senior with dementia needs, while you take the regular breaks from care you need.

Contact us at (954) 486-6440 for further tips on how caregivers can prioritize privacy and find help in acquiring a healthier life balance. Our personalized home care services are offered in Coconut Creek, Fort Lauderdale, Pembroke Pines, and the surrounding areas.

Can You Handle Embarrassing Dementia Behaviors in Public?

An older woman stands in the grocery store, leaning on her cart with a calm expression on her face.

If you’re not sure how to handle embarrassing dementia behaviors in public, these tips can help.

Dementia is unpredictable, to say the least. It can transform a person’s mood, personality, and behaviors in the blink of an eye. When you’re at home caring for a person with dementia, these changes can be hard enough to manage. But what happens when embarrassing dementia behaviors arise when you are at a grocery store, restaurant, or hair salon?

Simple Tips to Change Cringeworthy to Calm

Fear of a public outburst can make you want to eliminate venturing out at all with someone with Alzheimer’s or another type of dementia. However, being out in the community is very important. It gives someone with dementia a feeling of purpose, eases loneliness and isolation, offers opportunities to socialize, and much more.

Understanding how to cope with an uncomfortable situation before going out is key. These recommendations can help.

  • Keep calm. Your demeanor and attitude are highly contagious to a loved one with dementia. Take a deep breath and give yourself a pep talk before stepping out the door. Remind yourself to remain calm and patient, regardless of what happens.
  • Carry cards. If you are worried about how embarrassing dementia behaviors may impact others around you, create some small business-sized cards that you can discreetly hand out. They can simply state, “Please forgive any impolite actions or outbursts. These are the result of dementia.”
  • Track triggers. Keep a journal to make note of details on difficult behaviors in public and then look for commonalities. You might find, for example, that the individual does well in a small store or restaurant, but becomes distraught when there are large crowds, too much noise, or bright lights. There might be a specific time of day that is more distressing to be out, or physical needs could be an issue, such as hunger, thirst, pain, fatigue, or the need to use the restroom.

How In-Home Care Can Help

Our dementia care experts are available to help manage the effects of the disease, with patience, skill, and creativity. As seasoned experts who are fully trained in a wide range of dementia care needs, we have seen it all! We understand just how to restore calm to somebody who is distressed or agitated, ensuring respect and dignity throughout an outburst.

A few of the many challenging symptoms of dementia we are able to help manage include:

  • Aggression
  • Sundowning
  • Hallucinations and delusions
  • Wandering
  • Anxiety
  • Confusion and disorientation
  • And more

Whether you are looking for just a couple hours of respite care to allow time for you to take a break, overnight support or live-in care to ensure safety and wellbeing while you get much-needed rest, or anything in between, we’re here for you.

Give us a call at 954-486-6440 for more tips and resources, and to learn more about our specialized in-home dementia care in Tamarac, Parkland, Fort Lauderdale, and the surrounding areas.