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Managing Your Caregiving Fears

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We all have fears—of heights or spiders or public speaking. The fears in caregiving, though, make those seem like child’s play. The caregiving fears you face can overtake you, disabling your rational thoughts and common sense. These fears– about loss, failure and the future—seem too big until we break them down to break through them. You fear what you’ll lose because of caregiving; specifically, your caree. A disease process or simply old age slowly and ...

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10 Tips for Family Caregivers from Richard

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Richard shares his first ten tips for family caregivers as part of our 10 Tips a Day initiative; we’ll share more of his tips throughout the month. You can connect with Richard on his profile: @kreisler. 1) Keep a one-page Medical Information Sheet on you caree, which includes medical and insurance information, allergies, emergency contacts, surgeries, etc. in your car or purse always. 2) Make up a binder with tabs by month (works best for ...

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10 Tips for Family Caregivers of Persons with Low Vision

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As  part of our 10 Tips for Family Caregivers initiative, I asked Second Sense, a non-profit organization which inspires individuals to move beyond vision loss and believe in their abilities, to share tips for a family caregiver of an individual with vision loss. Ten Steps to Encourage a Productive Lifestyle Clarify diagnosis and prognosis of the eye condition with a medical eye care professional. Make sure you understand how the eye condition affects the field ...

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Seven Ways to Manage Stress

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During one of her appearances on Your Caregiving Journey, Dr. Elizabeth Lombardo, author of A Happy You, Your Ultimate Prescription for Happiness, explained that, when we reach a level of stress that’s too high, we can’t think straight. Picture rating your stress along a scale of 1 to 10, with a 10 being the highest stress level. When you hit a 7 or higher on the scale, you reach irrational thinking. Think about it. Remember ...

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When You Are Toast, Eight Tips to Heal the Burn

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Bonnie is burnt, just like the over-toasted piece of bread that pops up from her toaster. She even looks toasted–frayed around the edges with new wrinkles forming every day. She spends as much time as she can with her father who resides in a skilled nursing facility. As much as she can means lunch (rushing from her job) and dinner (then rushing home to cook for her family). Her evenings include phone call updates to ...

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How Do I Get Rid of the Guilt?

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On a regular basis, family caregivers will ask me: How do I deal with all this guilt? Because it can seem like caregiving is a party of three: You, your caree and your guilt. You may feel guilty for what you have that your caree no longer does: Good health, friends who call you, activities you can enjoy. You also may feel guilty for what you can’t do for your caree. You can’t take away ...

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Getting a Break: Ideas to Get a Day of Respite

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In my post on Tuesday, I suggested ideas so you can take a break for a few hours. Those few hours can be feel great until you think, “I need more! I need more time away!” So, let’s take a look at how you can arrange to take time away from caregiving for an entire day. Adult day services: While you take a day off, your caree attends an adult day service, which provides activities, ...

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Getting a Break: Ideas to Get a Few Hours of Respite

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We regularly talk about taking a break to offset the intensity of caring for a family member. With breaks, you can manage what’s required of you in caregiving. But the work behind making the break happen can feel so overwhelming that you may be tempted to simply skip the break. So let’s break it out down so you can feel like a break is not only possible but doable. Today, I’ll offer ideas on how ...

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Long-Distance Caregiving: Tips for the Check-In Call

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You live in New York City; your mom lives in Florida. You talk regularly. But, after each phone conversation, you wonder: How do I really know that all is okay? Sometimes, caring conversations can be about the big issues (money, moving, a change in care needs) and sometimes it’s about the little things, like how the day goes for your caree who lives a distance away. Caring conversations about the little things can help you ...

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Quick Reminder: Demand Hand Washing

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The worst place for a sick caree is often the one place where they have to get better–the hospital. So, while the hospital may have the technology and treatments to help your caree, it also contains those dratted super bugs which can make your caree worse. The Centers for Disease Control warns that a deadly drug-resistant strain of bacteria is on the rise in U.S. hospitals. Known as carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae, or CRE, these germs are ...

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