Ease Family Conflict with an Elder Mediator when Caring for Elderly Parents

happy couple talking with elder mediatorWhen you need to work together in caring for elderly parents, even the closest of siblings may find themselves in conflict. Stress levels and emotions are, of course, running high. Add to this your past history and family dynamics, which have a tendency to resurface during stressful times, and it is easy to understand how challenging this stage in life could very well be for each of you.

The most frequent areas of contention among family members include money matters, differing viewpoints on medical treatments or living arrangements, and an unfair balance of tasks related to caregiving, just to mention a few.

On occasion, regardless of how hard you try, you and your family members are simply unable to arrive at an agreement on how to best care for aging parents. An impasse like this is actually quite typical, frequently stemming from challenging family dynamics and unresolved conflicts. Nonetheless, there is a remedy many families are unaware of which can be exceedingly helpful: enlisting assistance from an elder mediator.

An expert experienced in conflict resolution, an elder mediator provides an unbiased, third-party voice to family meetings. She or he can help defuse increased emotions and outbursts and steer the dialogue in a manner that leads to an outcome that all parties can accept.

Elder mediator Susanne Terry explains, “Most of the time siblings want what’s best for the parents. They just look at it in a different way. Our goal is to help them figure out what their common interests are, so they can work together to find solutions.”

Different from family therapy, which helps families work through issues little by little over an extended period of time, elder mediation is a targeted, condensed process that usually brings about an agreeable outcome in only a few sessions.

Elder mediators give siblings the chance to both offer input and listen respectfully to one another. The aim isn’t only to determine the most favorable outcome for the senior parents, but to help family members maintain good relationships with each other during the process.

When exploring elder mediation options, there are lots of questions you should ask:

  • What is your education, training, and background?
  • What amount of experience do you have in our specific situation?
  • Are you a member of the Academy of Professional Family Mediators (APFM) or other professional associations?
  • Exactly what are your fees?

To find an elder mediator in your area, visit APFM’s mediator directory. Once you and your siblings agree on the very best path forward in taking care of your aging parents, connect with Responsive Home Care. We will be pleased to provide a free in-home assessment to talk about exactly how we can help make sure all their care needs are completely met. Contact us any time to learn more.

 

When Cognitive Functioning Returns in the Final Stage of Dementia

The return of cognitive functioning temporarily in the final stage of dementia can be an incredible gift to families.

Even when confusion and memory loss escalate during the final stage of dementia, there’s a fascinating and welcome reprieve that often occurs. Previously coined “terminal lucidity,” it is more frequently referred to now as “paradoxical lucidity.” It represents a sudden, short-term return of clarity to a nearly pre-dementia cognitive state. During this time period, the effects can cover anything from nonverbal but emotional connections to significant cognitive recovery.

For members of the family, it’s a gift to be treasured. It provides the opportunity for meaningful conversations and reminiscing, and also the mutual sharing of thoughts and feelings, if only for a brief period of time. For scientists, it means much more.

Dr. Basil Eldadah, supervisory medical officer at the Division of Geriatrics and Clinical Gerontology at the US National Institute on Aging, sees the opportunities as remarkable. “It gives us some pause with regard to our current theories and understanding about the nature of dementia. We’ve seen enough examples of this to be reassured that dementia can be reversed – albeit temporarily, very transiently – nevertheless, it does reverse. And so the question then is how.”

Currently, there are six scientific studies underway to answer that very question, and also to gain more comprehensive insight into the condition and to examine future therapeutic approaches. Based on preliminary data from the studies, it’s clear that it’s an even more common phenomenon than previously realized. Dr. Sam Parnia, head researcher and critical care physician, pulmonologist, and associate professor of medicine at NYU Langone Medical Center states, “If you talk to hospice nurses and palliative care doctors, they all know about this. But no one’s ever studied it properly because no one ever thought anyone would take it seriously enough. So what I wanted to do is to help move this into the scientific realm.”

Education for families caring for a senior loved one with dementia is also crucial. It’s important to be aware that this short-lived clarity may come about, allowing for the chance to reconnect with the senior loved one, while understanding that it isn’t indicative of improvement in his or her condition.

To get more dementia educational materials and care resources, get in touch with Responsive Home Care, the leaders of in home senior care in Fort Lauderdale and surrounding areas. We are also always here to provide specialized in-home dementia care to make life the best it can be for anyone with dementia together with the families who love them, through services including:

  • Memory-stimulating games, conversations, activities, and reminiscing
  • Specialized, compassionate help with the distinct challenges of dementia, for example, wandering, aggression, sundowning, and so much more
  • Help with safe bathing and other personal care needs
  • Meals and household chores to allow family members to relish more high quality time with the older adult they love
  • And more

Contact us online or call us at (954) 486-6440 to discover the best possible quality of life for a person you love with dementia.

Therapy for Family Caregivers and Their Siblings

Therapy for Family Caregivers

Explore the benefits of therapy for family caregivers of aging parents.

There are particular milestones we might encounter in our lives that, though not always negative, are known stressors. Losing a job. Starting a new job. Getting married. Getting divorced. And one that we in the home care industry are especially mindful of: the physical and mental effect on family members who are caring for aging parents.

A lot of conflicting emotions crop up for anyone in the role of family caregiver, and they are increased when trying to share responsibilities with siblings or other family members. There are past resentments and hurts which might resurface, conflicts pertaining to decision-making, as well as the stress when trying to navigate what feels like a role reversal with a parent who once took care of us.

For these reasons and more, family counseling tends to be a wonderful addition to a family caregiver’s toolbox to ensure the absolute best possible care for senior parents, as well as his/her own emotional wellbeing. Here are several advantages of therapy for family caregivers as parents grow older:

  1. It provides care for the care provider. Agreeing to the role of family caregiver may be daunting in and of itself, but factor in additional responsibilities, such as managing a home and caring for children while maintaining a job, and you have a recipe for stress. Family therapy helps caregivers work through challenging emotions and reach solutions.
  2. It offers support through grief. Grief comes in many forms, and frequently begins during the early stages of caregiving for senior parents, as family members work through the inherent changes taking place now and to come. When a senior parent is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or another type of dementia, the decrease in cognitive functioning brings about yet another degree of grief. A family therapist will help all people in the family to work through their grief together.
  3. It helps the family as a unit. A family therapist focuses on arriving at precisely what is best for the whole family as well as its cohesiveness, through challenges such as issues connected to inheritance and other financial concerns, medical decisions, and any complicated family dynamics.

If in-person therapy for family caregivers is not possible as a result of geographic constraints, continued COVID-19 distancing concerns, or another reason, phone or Zoom sessions can be equally successful. The key factor is for involvement to be a main priority for all family members involved, and to make therapy appointments a regular routine.

If you need a partner to provide reliable respite care services while you devote the time necessary for family therapy, give us a call at (954) 486-6440 for help from our professional caregivers in Fort Lauderdale, FL  and surrounding areas. With both a dependable family counselor and the aging care professionals at Responsive Home Care on your team, your family can overcome caregiving-related obstacles and enjoy good quality time together.

Tips for Taking on the Role of Family Caregiver

Tips for Taking on the Role of Family Caregiver

Taking on the role of family caregiver may feel overwhelming at first, but we’re here to help get you started.

It may have come completely out of the blue: an unexpected fall that led to a fractured hip and the need for Mom to have help and support to remain at home. Or, it may have been building up over time, such as through the slow and incremental progression of dementia. Regardless of the circumstances, you’ve now found yourself in the role of family caregiver, and perhaps are wondering exactly what that means and how to navigate these new waters.

First of all, take a deep breath, and a moment to appreciate the selflessness of your decision. Caregiving is a noble and incredibly rewarding endeavor, yet not without its challenges. A little proactive planning will go a long way towards a smoother transition to care, both for yourself and your loved one. A good starting point is to think through how you would both like each day to look, creating a simple timeline to list out the daily tasks and activities that will need your attention. For example:

  • 7 a.m.: Help Mom get out of bed, showered, dressed, and ready for the day
  • 8 a.m.: Make breakfast and clean up
  • 9 a.m.: Take Mom to physical therapy and/or exercise class
  • 11 a.m.: Run errands with (or for) Mom
  • 1 p.m.: Prepare lunch and clean up
  • 2 p.m.: Help Mom get settled in for afternoon activities: a movie, nap, reading, puzzles, engaging in a favorite hobby or pastime, etc.
  • 6 p.m.: Make dinner and clean up
  • 8 p.m.: Help Mom with bedtime tasks – a bath, changing into pajamas, brushing teeth, etc.
  • 10 p.m.: Help Mom get into bed

Your list will look different for each day, of course, but this provides a helpful outline to let you know when you may have a little downtime to yourself, and when you’ll need to provide hands-on help.

This is also a good time to establish boundaries together – and to agree to stick to them. Again, these will vary for each person and on different days, but decide what is important to each of you: having a designated time each day for self-care and personal time when family and friends may come to visit, whether or not you want to maintain a job outside of the home, etc.

Know that as the leader in home health care in Deerfield Beach and the surrounding area, Responsive Home Care is always available with the backup care needed to ensure you are able to take care of yourself, too – something that is extremely important in your role as family caregiver. Call us at (954) 486-6440 or visit our Caregiving Resources to find out more.

Caregiver Resilience During a Time of Crisis

happy senior woman making a heart shape with her hands

Learn caregiver tips to help you navigate a crisis.

Times of crisis can bring out the best as well as the worst in us. During the coronavirus pandemic, we’ve heard stories of people hoarding items and selling them to generate an outrageous profit, together with stories of people who selflessly met the needs of others despite their own fears.

The secret to weathering the storms, which are certain to show up within our lives, is resiliency. Mia Bartoletti, clinical psychologist for the Navy SEAL Foundation, works with families of people serving in the armed forces, and offers suggestions which will help build caregiver resilience through any time of crisis.

  1. Express your reactions. It’s common to experience various responses to a crisis: flashbacks to other very difficult situations, dreams and nightmares, withdrawal and avoidance, trouble with sleeping, irritability, issues with concentration and focus, and hypervigilance. What’s crucial is to make sure these reactions are temporary, and do not advance into longer-term psychological problems. Acknowledge your feelings, and share them with a trusted confidante, or write them in a journal.
  2. Maintain social connections. While your instinct might be to pull away from friends and relatives during a crisis, keeping in touch on a frequent basis with individuals you care about is vital. Finding a support group, whether in person or online, is yet another good way to ensure you’re building and preserving social ties, allowing you to speak with other individuals in the same circumstances.
  3. Take a moment for self-care. This means something different to each individual, but should include enjoyable activities, engaging interests and hobbies, nutritious meals, lots of sleep, and exercise. If you find it is hard to carve out time for yourself as a result of caregiving duties, Responsive Home Care is always available to partner with you to provide trustworthy respite care. Caring for yourself lets you take better care of those you love.
  4. Realize what you are able to control – and that which you cannot. Letting go of what’s out of your control and concentrating instead on what you CAN control is one of the foundations of resilience. Psychologist Mary Alvord, who founded Resilience Across Borders, explains, “Depression is hopelessness and helplessness, and so resilience is the opposite. No, you’re not helpless; you do have control over many aspects of your life.”

It’s always best to seek professional counseling in the event your reactions to stressful circumstances are impeding your ability to maintain a feeling of calm and to tend to the necessary day to day activities of living. And, watch for signs that senior family members are going through undue levels of stress so that you can obtain the help they need also.

Understand that regardless of what life may bring, you can rely on Responsive Home Care to walk beside you with trustworthy, professional aging care services that empower older adults to remain resilient and independent. Contact us at 954-486-6440 to learn more about home care assistance in Plantation, FL and throughout the surrounding areas.

How to Manage 5 Tough (But Normal) Emotions in Caregiving

Sad woman being comforted by a friend

It is normal to have strong emotions in caregiving as you offer assistance to a senior loved one.

If you are feeling somewhat disheartened in your role as caregiver, take heart; you’re in good company. Providing homecare for a loved one is perhaps one of the most complex roles we can hold: highly gratifying on the one hand, while at the same time frustrating and ever-evolving, often bringing about feelings of doubt on whether we are up to the challenge and providing the most effective care.

It’s why a number of family members providing care grapple with some or all of these types of emotions in caregiving:

  • Guilt: You may feel as though you are not doing as much as you can to help your parent, that you’re self-centered for seeking time away to yourself, or that you are inadequate to provide the assistance a senior loved one needs.
  • Helplessness: There are a few circumstances when you simply can’t solve the issues your loved one is experiencing.
  • Anger or frustration: This could be directed at yourself, other family members who seem as if they are not doing their fair share, or even at your older parent for causing you to be in this situation.
  • Resentment: Particularly common when taking care of an individual who hurt or betrayed you in the past, it is easy for those feelings to resurface when that individual is now in your care.
  • Hopelessness: When a senior faces a difficult diagnosis for example, a chronic or terminal condition, feelings of despair can settle in, that could result in despondency or depression.

Recognizing these feelings, and accepting they are completely normal, is a good place to start. These tips can also help:

  • Share your emotions. Find a trustworthy friend, family member, or professional counselor to vent to, a person who can provide a different perspective and help you to shift your thinking to a more positive slant.
  • Think about the advice you would offer a friend. Sometimes, stepping out of your circumstances and picturing how you would react to someone else dealing with these feelings will offer invaluable insight. Offer the same encouragement you’d offer to another to yourself.
  • Find a care partner. Working together with a knowledgeable care provider, like Responsive Home Care, enables you to achieve a healthy life balance – something that is vital to every caregiver.

Reach out to our highly trained, experienced, and compassionate care team by calling 954-486-6440 and let us walk alongside you with the high quality, personalized care services your loved one deserves – making it possible to take much-needed time for self-care. We are always available to answer any questions you have, to provide practical resources specific to the concerns you’re facing as a caregiver in Fort Lauderdale, Florida or the surrounding area, and also to provide a free of charge in-home consultation to share how our team in home health care in Ft. Lauderdale can help.

Easy Tips for Being the Best Caregiver for a Senior at a Medical Appointment

senior couple visiting a doctor

Family caregivers are uniquely positioned to be the best advocates for seniors at medical appointments.

Of all of the many responsibilities a family caregiver encounters, potentially one of the most overwhelming is managing health conditions. The National Council on Aging reports that around ¾ of all seniors are clinically determined to have at least two chronic diseases, and they are seeing an average of four medical experts.

As your aging parent’s advocate, it’s very important to know how to communicate effectively with those on the older adult’s medical team, and to arrive at appointments completely prepared to address all concerns. The following four questions are a great place to start:

  1. Are all of these medications essential? With most seniors taking several medications, you will need to keep a detailed list and evaluate it periodically with the doctor, along with the pharmacist, each of whom will be able to make sure there aren’t any duplications prescribed by different specialists, or any contraindications between meds.
  2. If prescribing something new, what unwanted side effects might we expect to see? Evaluating the benefits vs. the potential health risks for any new medication is very important, as there may be situations when troublesome side effects overshadow any positive benefits. And in case the physician shares a blanket statement such as, “Most people do not encounter any problems with this medication,” make sure to follow up to learn more about people who DO encounter problems.
  3. What’s the most effective way to decrease pain and discomfort? We’re all familiar with the opioid epidemic, and also the risk of addiction, as well as other problems that come with taking prescription pain medications. However, unaddressed pain can bring about both slowed healing and considerable emotional stress, both for the individual experiencing pain along with his or her caregivers.
  4. If this were your grandfather, what would you do? Inviting the doctor to step into your shoes is an extremely helpful method to gauge the way you may wish to proceed. There may be less invasive or aggressive means to managing a problem which you might want to explore first.

To get more tips on ensuring an older adult you love receives the best possible care, get in touch with the Ft. Lauderdale caregivers at Responsive Home Care. We’re here to help through:

  • Accompanying a senior loved one to healthcare appointments and procedures, making certain that questions are addressed
  • Ensuring medications are taken just as prescribed
  • Proactively monitoring for any changes in condition, such as medication side effects, and reporting them promptly
  • Planning and preparing healthy meals and providing encouragement to stay physically active to enhance health
  • And much more

Our qualified Ft Lauderdale caregivers are available across a large service area in Broward County.  To get started on a better quality of life for an older adult, contact Responsive Home Care at (954) 486-6440 to request an in-home consultation and learn more about options in Sunrise for elderly care.

Senior Health News: 5 Myths About Aging Debunked

Road sign symbolizing decision between Myths and facts

Responsive Home Care is your go-to source when it comes to senior health news.

Feed a cold, starve a fever. An apple a day keeps the doctor away. And for goodness’ sake, never go outside with wet hair or you’ll catch your death of a cold! While some may swear by old wives’ tales like these, it’s important to separate truth from fiction when it comes to senior health news.

Likewise, there are a number of myths accepted as fact related to growing older. The experts in home health care services in Fort Lauderdale, FL at Responsive Home Care wants to help seniors and their families separate fact from fiction to achieve the highest quality of life throughout aging. For instance:

Serious memory loss is not a normal part of aging. Although some mild forgetfulness may be common in older adults, severe memory loss, especially related to recent occurrences, may be indicative of Alzheimer’s disease or another type of dementia.

Falls are preventable. Falling should never be accepted as an inevitable part of aging. Senior falls can cause serious harm to older adults, and steps should be taken to prevent them, such as ensuring the senior maintains a routine of balance and strengthening exercises, receives vision checks, and has the home evaluated and modified to reduce fall risk. (Responsive Home Care can help with this!)

Nursing homes are not inevitable. In fact, the vast majority of seniors, given the choice, would prefer to remain at home throughout aging, and with the assistance of a professional home care agency, like Responsive Home Care, this is a viable option for many.

Engage hospice services early. While the tendency may be to consider hospice as a last resort, put off until the very end of life, it’s most beneficial to bring in hospice services as soon as possible. Research shows that individuals receiving hospice care experience a better quality of life, are more comfortable, and even live longer than those who do not.

For more resources on senior health news and aging, contact Responsive Home Care. It’s our goal to ensure that families are equipped with as much education and support as possible to help their senior loved ones. Call us any time at 954-486-6440 to learn more about how we provide the kind of home health care services Fort Lauderdale, FL families trust most. To learn more about all of the areas that we serve in Florida, please visit our Service Area page.

Beyond Weight Loss Resolutions: Meaningful Goals for Family Caregiver Support

Senior woman backpacking and exploring

Responsive Home Care provides family caregiver support

If you are among the eight percent of Americans who actually accomplish their New Year’s resolution goals, well done! However, if you’re like the majority of us, you have given up prior to even turning the calendar page to February. Although of course it’s admirable to attempt to better ourselves by resolving to get rid of 10 pounds or eat healthier foods, busy family caregivers need support, and there are several truly meaningful, achievable goals that can improve life throughout the year.

Consider these recommendations:

  • Find joy. Taking care of somebody else is a labor of love, but may result in challenges which make it hard to focus on the daily benefits that can spark joy. Take some time each day to pause and discover a reason to smile. Bring a sense of humor to your daily caregiving tasks to share laughter with your family member. Enjoy the feeling of the sun’s rays shining through the window as you’re sorting laundry. Contact a relative who lifts your spirits for a quick chat.
  • See the bigger picture. Make an effort to take one step back from the busyness of your to-do list, and view the effect your caregiving is making. Because of you, your parent can continue living in the comfort and familiarity of home. Thanks to you, life is the absolute best it can be for a senior loved one. Your contribution is priceless and it is making a difference.
  • Compartmentalize. It is extremely important to make mental wellness a priority, and one effective way to cope with the many different responsibilities associated with providing care is to be entirely focused on the present. Visualizing different rooms for different concerns can be helpful; when you start to worry about a planned surgical procedure a senior loved one is facing while watching a film with your kids, visualize setting that concern in its appropriate room until later, and being focused on today.
  • Be kind to yourself. It is very easy to slip into a pattern of wishing you could do more for a loved one, or worrying about errors you’ve made that you wish you might change. Point out to yourself you are human, and that you are doing essential work for the senior you love. Truly appreciate the sacrifices you are making, just as you would take note and appreciate them in another family caregiver.
  • Seek – and accept – help and support. Attempting to be a superhero who deals with everything independently can easily result in burnout and depression. Partnering with others to help a senior loved one is the best way to make sure his / her needs are completely met, while helping you achieve the healthy life balance you need and deserve.

As providers of the top Tamerac home health care available, Responsive Home Care, is the perfect partner for any family caregiver. We deliver highly skilled, professional, and compassionate care for seniors according to each person’s specific needs. Allow us to help! Call our care team at 954-486-6440 and together we can develop a plan of care in order to make 2020 the best year yet – both for the senior in your care, and for yourself. To learn more about all of the areas that we serve in Florida, please visit our Service Area page.

Taking Care of YOU: Family Caregiver Injury Prevention Tips

Learn how to prevent experiencing an injury yourself as you care for a loved one at home.

While the ultimate goal is to increase health and safety for the seniors they love, family caregivers, regrettably, oftentimes wind up compromising their very own health along the way. The truth is, an astounding 94% of caregivers in a recently available study carried out by Ohio State University revealed musculoskeletal pain in more than one part of their body – and 66% noted this pain influencing their quality of life.

And know that a “family caregiver” can describe anyone in the family who provides home care assistance for individuals with day to day activities. As reported by the Family Caregiver Alliance, this suggests 34 million Americans are at risk of becoming injured through the home care services they provide.

At Responsive Home Care, we know firsthand the degree of lifting, bending, and weight-bearing necessary in satisfying the care needs of a senior loved one, and that’s why each of our professional caregivers is competent in techniques that safeguard both themselves and the seniors in their care. Injuries might result from even the most basic of tasks that require more physical strength than you might realize: shopping and running errands, cleaning the home, performing laundry chores, cooking, and especially transferring a senior loved one to a chair or bed.

To help family caregivers reduce the chance of injury, we provide the following family caregiver injury prevention tips:

  • Let assistive devices do the lifting. For seniors with mobility issues, transfers, for instance from a bed to a couch, are among the most common factors behind injury to those taking care of them. Not just that, but the likelihood of the senior falling and acquiring an injury are heightened. Caregivers should look into equipment like a Hoyer lift to help with safe transfers (but realize that proper training will be required).
  • Employ safe movement practices. We’ve all heard the adage, “Lift with your legs, not with your back,” but prior to lifting a finger, caregivers should take a brief assessment of their own physical status. If pain is felt in any of the joints or back, it is a sign that the body could have been pushed beyond its capability – and an alternative way of helping your senior loved one should really be investigated.
  • Find help. The best way to try to avoid injury in caregiving is through acknowledging your limitations, and calling in professionals when warranted. The Sunrise elderly care team at Responsive Home Care is fully experienced and skilled in supplying a full range of senior care assistance, helping family caregivers and older adults alike to stay safe and well.

Contact us and our Sunrise elderly care team at 954-486-6440 to inquire about an in-home consultation. We can perform a safety assessment of the home, provide you with information that can help in your caregiving journey, and offer the highly customized, professional home care assistance services that allow families the chance to simply enjoy quality time with the seniors they love.

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 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 respite care 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.