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Diversity in Caregiving: African American Caregivers
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Facing Alzheimer's: An African-American Perspective
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Family Caregivers
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    Research Study on Black Female Caretakers

    Contributed by Johanna Williams

      Black Female Caretakers


    My name is Johanna Williams. I am a PhD student from Howard University currently study black female caretakers in families and how culture impacts our receptivity to mental health concerns. This study is very important to our vitality and ability to thrive. All individuals who take the survey get entered into a $100 VISA Gift Card Raffle. The Details are as follows...

    Hello Black America,
    Mental health concerns in our community are worth exploration and continued research to cater to families in need. Help us develop culturally sensitive treatments that aid in healthy emotional well-being.

    If you are 25+
    Female
    Identify as African America/Black (Can be from African diaspora)
    Emotionally, Physically, or Financially cared for a family member

    You can help us make a difference. Click the link below and take the brief survey and enter to win a $100.00 VISA Gift card.

    https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/femalecaregivers

    Johanna Williams
    4th Year Doctoral Student
    Counseling Psychology President (CPGSA)
    School of Education and Psychoeducational Studies
    4th and College Streets NW
    Washington, DC 20059


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    Patient Advocacy Exchange - De Gruy & Associates

     De Gruy & Associates


    Patient advocacy is all about protecting the rights of others and is the core mission of the De Gruy & Associate’s Patient Advocacy Exchange www.patientadvocacyexchange.com

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    Disclaimer:
    The articles on this website are provided as a community service for information purposes only. BlackRefer.com does not accept any responsibility or liability for the use or misuse of the above article content. Use this information with caution and at your own risk.

    No Implied Endorsement:
    BlackRefer.com does not endorse or recommend any article on this site or any product, service or information found within said articles. The views and opinions of the authors who have submitted articles to BlackRefer.com belong to them alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of BlackRefer.com. Resources/links that may be included in said articles are only suggested as sources for the reader to explore but we can't confirm or take responsibility for it's accurateness.






    8 Resources to Support Seniors in Need

    Contributed by Sara Bell


    I often sit and chat with my 85-year-old neighbor Bev, and recently she’s been filling me in on the details of her life. Both heartbreaking and inspiring, it’s a story I won’t soon forget. Bev and her husband have overcome some truly devastating challenges, from fertility struggles to substance abuse. Her husband was recently diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, and she says that after 50 years together, coping with the necessary changes to her husband’s care, her home, and her life overall has been a lonely process. I decided to reach out to other seniors who might be dealing with similar problems the best way I know how: I put together a collection of resources in the hopes of showing them how much support they truly have. I thought it would be a helpful addition to your website, especially if placed here: http://www.blackrefer.com/caregivers.html. Would you be so kind as to share them?

    Aging at Home: Common Problems and Solutions

    How Seniors are Designing Social Support Networks

    The Ultimate Guide to Home Accommodations for Persons with Disabilities

    The Benefits of Emotional Support Animals

    Guide to Addiction Prevention for Seniors

    Finding a Family: Discovering Your Queer Community When You’re 65

    Dental Care Tips for Caregivers

    Recognizing and Treating Depression: A Guide for the Elderly & Their Caregivers

    Thank you for your time and help in supporting seniors everywhere!

    Sincerely,
    Sara

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    Disclaimer:
    The articles on this website are provided as a community service for information purposes only. BlackRefer.com does not accept any responsibility or liability for the use or misuse of the above article content. Use this information with caution and at your own risk.

    No Implied Endorsement:
    BlackRefer.com does not endorse or recommend any article on this site or any product, service or information found within said articles. The views and opinions of the authors who have submitted articles to BlackRefer.com belong to them alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of BlackRefer.com. Resources/links that may be included in said articles are only suggested as sources for the reader to explore but we can't confirm or take responsibility for it's accurateness.






    Faith Leaders Condemn Supreme Court Decision: Ruling in Harris v. Quinn Will Hurt Caregivers and the People They Serve

    **Partner Organizations and Quotes from Individual Faith Leaders Listed Below**


    WASHINGTON, DC—In response to the decision by the U.S. Supreme Court today that weakens the collective bargaining power ultimately jeopardizes the ability of seniors and people with disabilities to get the reliable care they need to remain at home, the PICO National Network, Faith in Public Life, and nearly one dozen, non-partisan and multi-cultural faith-based organizations issued the following statement and words of support:

    “Today, the Supreme Court issued a decision in Harris v. Quinn that undermines the labor rights of Illinois home care workers and puts at risk the quality of care for seniors and people with disabilities. The 5-4 decision also compromises the future of critical services we all need while putting wages and benefits at risk for millions more.

    “People, who bathe, feed and care for the sick and the elderly in our society, as well as those who protect and serve our communities such as firefighters, police officers, nurses and teachers, must themselves be treated with dignity and respect. That includes the ability to bargain collectively for fair wages, good benefits, safe workplaces and higher standards for the services our communities need.

    “While we are deeply disappointed by the Supreme Court’s decision and its impact on home care workers, we are relieved that the Court reaffirmed the long-standing collective bargaining rights of public sector employees. As people of faith we believe in the dignity of all work and the fundamental right of all workers to organize for better pay, benefits and working conditions.”

    “Today, we stand up in solidarity with the millions of those working so hard to bring comfort to so many. We reaffirm their sacred and constitutional right to join together to fight for better lives for themselves, their families and those for whom they care.”

    PARTNER ORGANIZATIONS
    Christian Community Development Association (CCDA), Faith in Public Life, Interfaith Worker Justice (IWJ), National Latino Evangelical Coalition (NaLEC), NETWORK, PICO National Network, Presbyterian Church USA, Samuel DeWitt Proctor Conference, Sojourners

    QUOTES FROM FAITH LEADERS OF PARTNER ORGANIZATIONS
    “Home health care aides provide one of the most important services in our society—caring for the elderly, disabled and infirm. But it’s difficult to provide quality care to others when you’re worried about putting food on your own family’s table. We must treat all workers fairly by paying them a living wage and allowing them to join together to improve their own working conditions. Our commitment to Biblical justice demands that we speak out on behalf of these workers. ”—Rev. Noel Castellanos, Chief Executive Officer, Christian Community Development Association (CCDA).

    "The care and compassion that home healthcare providers give the sick and the elderly echoes the healing ministry of Jesus. These hardworking, underpaid workers deserve the dignity afforded by a voice in the work place, but the Supreme Court struck a blow to this principle today.”— Rev. Jennifer Butler, Chief Executive Office, Faith in Public Life (FPL).

    “Homecare workers provide critical tasks for families and the society. Like other workers, they deserve to have voice and representation in their jobs and advocates for improving wages and benefits. The Supreme Court should help us move toward, instead of hindering, serving the common good.” — Kim Bobo, Executive Director, Interfaith Worker Justice (IWJ).

    “In a democracy one of the greatest gifts is being able to stand up and have a voice in decisions that impact your life. As an Evangelical I support the right of these hard-working women and men to have a say in their working conditions so they can build better lives for themselves and their families.”— Rev. Gabriel Salguero, President, National Latino Evangelical Coalition(NALEC).

    “The practical impact of today’s decision will be to make it harder for everyday heroes to deliver quality public services to millions of Americans all across the country. This decision, however, does not stop the resolve of working people who come together to have their voices heard make real change in communities."— Rev. Michael-Ray Mathew, Director of Clergy Organizing, PICO.

    “In the PC (USA), we have long supported the rights of workers to come together and collectively bargain for the good of all. Today’s Harris v. Quinn decision is a step backward for all workers, for as we rise together, so together do we fall. The services of home health care workers, who are disproportionately women and people of color, are essential for older adults and people with disabilities, as well as their families, who all depend on a caring, competent, and stable workforce that enables living at home and aging with dignity. That these workers would be denied the basic human right to organize for better lives, wages, and working conditions is a travesty and a shame on this nation.” — The Rev. J. Herbert Nelson, Director for Public Witness, Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)

    “Today marks a major step backwards for racial and economic justice. More than 9 out of 10 home care workers in the U.S. are women, and nearly half are women of color. Racist politicians ensured that home care workers were excluded from New Deal labor protections in the 1930s, now the Supreme Court says they do not even have the right to come together to fight for a better deal. This is a moral outrage. We will continue to support home care workers in the fight for their human dignity.”— Dr. Iva Carruthers, General Secretary, Samuel DeWitt Proctor Conference

    PICO National Network is the largest grassroots, faith-based organizing network in the United States. PICO works with 1,000 religious congregations in more than 200 cities and towns through its 60 local and state federations. PICO and its federations are non-partisan and do not endorse or support candidates for office. PICO urges people of faith to consult their faith traditions for guidance on specific policies and legislation. Learn more at www.piconetwork.org


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    Disclaimer:
    The articles on this website are provided as a community service for information purposes only. BlackRefer.com does not accept any responsibility or liability for the use or misuse of the above article content. Use this information with caution and at your own risk.

    No Implied Endorsement:
    BlackRefer.com does not endorse or recommend any article on this site or any product, service or information found within said articles. The views and opinions of the authors who have submitted articles to BlackRefer.com belong to them alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of BlackRefer.com. Resources/links that may be included in said articles are only suggested as sources for the reader to explore but we can't confirm or take responsibility for it's accurateness.






    LONNIE ALI SPEAKS OUT ABOUT THE IMPACT TAKING ON THE CAREGIVER ROLE HAS HAD ON HER RELATIONSHIP WITH HUSBAND MUHAMMAD ALI IN A NEW, EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH AARP BULLETIN

    See The Greatest and His Wife Pose for the Cover of AARP Bulletin’s June Issue; Exclusive New Video and Photos of the Ali Family in their Home Available at www.aarp.org/bulletin


    WASHINGTON, D.C. (June 2, 2014) – The Ali caregiving story is about love, companionship and devotion. It is the story of a brave spiritual couple joining hands and going the distance in a difficult fight against an insidious disease, Parkinson’s. But perhaps most importantly, it is the story of a resilient woman serving as the voice, guiding light and conscience for an all-but-silenced superstar athlete and civil rights activist.

    LONNIE ALI SPEAKS OUT ABOUT THE IMPACT TAKING ON THE CAREGIVER



    In a rare and candid interview at the couple’s desert home in Phoenix, Arizona, wife Lonnie Ali opens up exclusively to AARP Bulletin about the challenges that come with caring for the man known as “The Greatest,” Muhammad Ali and the impact taking on the role of caregiver has had on their relationship. Discussing everything from how the couple has dealt with Parkinson’s disease over the years to building a new kind of relationship every day, Mrs. Ali offers insight into the round-the-clock life of caregivers.

    As the primary caregiver of the boxing legend, Lonnie is every bit the inspiration her husband is to the more than 42 million Americans in this same role. And given newly released reports from AARP and the Associated Press , which finds that nearly two-thirds of spousal caregivers admit it causes real stress on their family, her story is one of urgency, importance and relevance to families across the nation.

    The following are excerpts from the June issue of AARP Bulletin’s feature story, Caring for the Champ, in homes now and available online at www.aarp.org/bulletin:

    On the Impact Being a Caregiver Has Had on Their Relationship
    “The hardest part for any caregiver, whether it is a child, parent or spouse, is the relationship change.”

    “The relationship changes overtime with the illness. Physically, [patients] are not as mobile; they are not able to do things with you like they used to. The medications might affect their cognitive ability. They may not be able to speak as well…that is where you [transition] from a wife or a husband to a care partner or caregiver.”

    On Muhammad Ali’s Positive Outlook
    “I am so fortunate. I have a husband who doesn’t complain about anything. He is not a moaner, a whiner or a poor-me kind of person. Muhammad has learned how to not sweat the small stuff. He is amazing that way.”

    “Parkinson’s has taken away a lot from this man—a lot that would put people in bed, make them cover their heads and never look up. He has a lot to be depressed about…But I think he is secure in who he is, and about his place in history. That’s not to say that Parkinson’s hasn’t changed him—it has. But he still has enough sense of self and dignity that he maintains.”

    On Dealing with Parkinson’s Disease
    “Everything now is about protecting him and making sure he is healthy…When there is influenza, we don’t go to movies. We don’t want him exposed.”

    “This is the beauty of Muhammad. He has made this illness, as horrible as it is, as much as it has taken away from him, serve him in some way.”

    “If there was ever anyone who always lands on his feet and comes out smelling like a rose, it is Muhammad. It is his remarkable attitude toward life. He never has let anything stand in his way.”

    “We are on this journey for a reason, I know that—whether it was to bring attention to this illness [or] whether it was to save his mortal soul.”

    Additional information and resources for caregivers are available on AARP’s online Caregiving Resource Center (www.aarp.org/caregiving). Both Jon Saraceno, the author of AARP Bulletin’s story Caring for the Champ, and AARP’s Family & Caregiving expert Amy Goyer, are available for interviews upon request.

    # # #


    About AARP
    AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization, with a membership of nearly 38 million, that helps people turn their goals and dreams into real possibilities, strengthens communities and fights for the issues that matter most to families such as healthcare, employment and income security, retirement planning, affordable utilities and protection from financial abuse. We advocate for individuals in the marketplace by selecting products and services of high quality and value to carry the AARP name as well as help our members obtain discounts on a wide range of products, travel, and services. A trusted source for lifestyle tips, news and educational information, AARP produces AARP The Magazine, the world's largest circulation magazine; AARP Bulletin; www.aarp.org; AARP TV & Radio; AARP Books; and AARP en Español, a Spanish-language website addressing the interests and needs of Hispanics. AARP does not endorse candidates for public office or make contributions to political campaigns or candidates. The AARP Foundation is an affiliated charity that provides security, protection, and empowerment to older persons in need with support from thousands of volunteers, donors, and sponsors. AARP has staffed offices in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Learn more at www.aarp.org.


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    Disclaimer:
    The articles on this website are provided as a community service for information purposes only. BlackRefer.com does not accept any responsibility or liability for the use or misuse of the above article content. Use this information with caution and at your own risk.

    No Implied Endorsement:
    BlackRefer.com does not endorse or recommend any article on this site or any product, service or information found within said articles. The views and opinions of the authors who have submitted articles to BlackRefer.com belong to them alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of BlackRefer.com. Resources/links that may be included in said articles are only suggested as sources for the reader to explore but we can't confirm or take responsibility for it's accurateness.






    LAST WILL AND EMBEZZLEMENT


    With the breaking news regarding the legal battle over the care of legendary radio host Casey Kasem, the issue of elder abuse and financial exploitation of society’s most vulnerable group of people has been thrust into the media spotlight once again. Although high-profile cases involving celebrities like Casey Kasem, Mickey Rooney and Richard Pryor dominate headlines, more than 5 million elderly Americans are the silent victims of elder abuse each year, according to the National Center for the Prevention of Elder Abuse.

    A feature documentary titled LAST WILL AND EMBEZZLEMENT, produced by Pamela Glasner, presents a thorough examination of the issue of elder financial exploitation. The film features the last interviews with Mickey Rooney, in which he recounts his experience as a victim of financial exploitation. You can watch the film’s trailer here: http://youtu.be/WJCDQpqHPEQ

    Producer Pamela Glasner is an articulate expert on elder financial exploitation and has a personal story to tell about how her mother and Alzheimer-suffering father were embezzled out of their life savings by a synagogue acquaintance. After this incident, Pamela was shocked to discover how many victims are affected by elder financial exploitation each year and created LAST WILL AND EMBEZZLEMENT as a way to educate audiences about the prevalent crime.


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    Disclaimer:
    The articles on this website are provided as a community service for information purposes only. BlackRefer.com does not accept any responsibility or liability for the use or misuse of the above article content. Use this information with caution and at your own risk.

    No Implied Endorsement:
    BlackRefer.com does not endorse or recommend any article on this site or any product, service or information found within said articles. The views and opinions of the authors who have submitted articles to BlackRefer.com belong to them alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of BlackRefer.com. Resources/links that may be included in said articles are only suggested as sources for the reader to explore but we can't confirm or take responsibility for it's accurateness.






    New Report Finds That Spouses Who Are Caregivers Are More Likely Than Other Caregivers to Perform Demanding Medical/Nursing Tasks

    Yet They Are Less Likely to Get Support from Family or Friends Or to Have Support from Home Visits by a Health Care Professional


    NEW YORK, NEW YORK April 14, 2014—The United Hospital Fund and AARP Public Policy Institute issued a report today showing that spouses who are caregivers not only perform many of the tasks that health care professionals do—a range of medical/nursing tasks including medication management, wound care, using meters and monitors, and more—but they are significantly more likely to do so than other family caregivers, who are mostly adult children. Nearly two-thirds of spouses who are family caregivers performed such tasks (65 percent), compared to 42 percent of nonspousal caregivers.

    Despite these demanding responsibilities, spouses were less likely than nonspousal caregivers to receive in-home support from health care professionals; 84 percent of spousal care recipients received no professional health care on site, compared to 65 percent of nonspousal care recipients. Compounding the challenge, spouses were also less likely to receive help from family or friends or home care aides: 58 percent of the spouses reported no additional help from others, compared to 20 percent of nonspouses. This lack of support elicited special concern from the authors: “‘Taking care of one another’ in an era of complicated medication regimens, wound care, and tasks associated with complex chronic care is a challenge that no one should have to face alone,” they state in the report.

    In addition, spouses who are caregivers were on average a decade older than nonspousal caregivers (median age 64 versus 54). They were also poorer, less likely to be employed, and less educated than nonspousal caregivers.

    Family Caregivers Providing Complex Chronic Care to Their Spouses, a publication in the “Insight on the Issues” series, summarizes the new findings drawn from additional analysis of data based on a December 2011 national survey of 1,677 family caregivers, 20 percent of whom were spouses or partners. Earlier findings were published in the groundbreaking PPI/UHF report Home Alone: Family Caregivers Providing Complex Chronic Care and in an earlier publication in the “Insight on the Issues” series, Employed Family Caregivers Providing Complex Chronic Care.

    “The challenges spouses who are caregivers face are daunting,” said Susan Reinhard, Senior Vice President and Director of the AARP Public Policy Institute and co-author of the report. “Nearly three-quarters of the spouses they care for were taking five or more medications, which are not easy to coordinate. And some of these medications were administered in nonpill forms, including injections and infusion pumps, with greater frequency than one might expect.”

    The report notes that it is unclear why spouses receive less help, hypothesizing that it could be choice, lack of awareness about resources, financial limitations, or fear of losing independence. The report calls for additional research to help tailor interventions that support but do not supplant the primary bond between spouses.

    “As a former spousal caregiver, I certainly understand the desire to take care of all of a spouse’s needs,” said co-author Carol Levine, Director of the Families and Health Care Project for United Hospital Fund. “But the care that is needed and the responsibilities thrust upon family caregivers by our health care system—typically, without adequate support—are more than any family caregiver, particularly an older spouse, can handle alone.”

    Sarah Samis, Senior Health Policy Analyst at United Hospital Fund, was the third author of the new publication, along with Susan C. Reinhard and Carol Levine.

    There are more than 42 million unpaid family caregivers in the United States.

    Family Caregivers Providing Complex Chronic Care to Their Spouses is available at http://www.uhfnyc.org/publications/880975 and http://www.aarp.org/home-family/caregiving/info-04-2014/family-caregivers-providing-complex-chronic-care-to-spouses-AARP-ppi-health.html. The earlier report Home Alone: Family Caregivers Providing Complex Chronic Care is also available, at http://www.uhfnyc.org/publications/880853 or www.aarp.org/homealone. The earlier “Insight on the Issues” publication Employed Family Caregivers Providing Complex Chronic Care is available at http://www.uhfnyc.org/publications/880949 or http://www.aarp.org/home-family/caregiving/info-11-2013/employed-family-caregivers-providing-complex-chronic-care-AARP-ppi-health.html.

    ###


    AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization, with a membership of nearly 38 million, that helps people turn their goals and dreams into real possibilities, strengthens communities and fights for the issues that matter most to families such as healthcare, employment and income security, retirement planning, affordable utilities and protection from financial abuse. We advocate for individuals in the marketplace by selecting products and services of high quality and value to carry the AARP name as well as help our members obtain discounts on a wide range of products, travel, and services. A trusted source for lifestyle tips, news and educational information, AARP produces AARP The Magazine, the world's largest circulation magazine; AARP Bulletin; www.aarp.org; AARP TV & Radio; AARP Books; and AARP en Español, a Spanish-language website addressing the interests and needs of Hispanics. AARP does not endorse candidates for public office or make contributions to political campaigns or candidates. The AARP Foundation is an affiliated charity that provides security, protection, and empowerment to older persons in need with support from thousands of volunteers, donors, and sponsors. AARP has staffed offices in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Learn more at www.aarp.org.


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    Disclaimer:
    The articles on this website are provided as a community service for information purposes only. BlackRefer.com does not accept any responsibility or liability for the use or misuse of the above article content. Use this information with caution and at your own risk.

    No Implied Endorsement:
    BlackRefer.com does not endorse or recommend any article on this site or any product, service or information found within said articles. The views and opinions of the authors who have submitted articles to BlackRefer.com belong to them alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of BlackRefer.com. Resources/links that may be included in said articles are only suggested as sources for the reader to explore but we can't confirm or take responsibility for it's accurateness.






    Statement by Debra Whitman, AARP Executive Vice President for Policy, on The Elizabeth Dole Foundation Report on Military Caregivers Released Today


    This report can do for family caregiving what the Surgeon General’s report did for smoking: elevate family caregiving issues to the national level meriting attention from individuals, families and policy makers.

    It honors the reality that family caregivers are a silent army serving the nation by caring for loved ones, family by family and friend to friend. If you aren’t a family caregiver now, you either have been a caregiver or will be one.

    The Dole Foundation report makes it clear that all family caregivers could benefit from the kind of support accessible to post-911 family caregivers.

    For our part, in service to family caregivers, AARP is engaged in a national education campaign with the Ad Council www.aarp.org/caregiving and a multi-state advocacy campaign to improve family caregiver support, training and workplace protections as well a national strategy to support family caregivers www.aarp.org/SupportCaregivers. The AARP Public Policy Institute conducts policy research on family caregiving issues and convenes leading policy experts for discussion of national and state policies to better recognize and support caregiving families http://search.aarp.org/source/ppi/_/N-4gZ1z14009Z1z1404aZ49


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    Disclaimer:
    The articles on this website are provided as a community service for information purposes only. BlackRefer.com does not accept any responsibility or liability for the use or misuse of the above article content. Use this information with caution and at your own risk.

    No Implied Endorsement:
    BlackRefer.com does not endorse or recommend any article on this site or any product, service or information found within said articles. The views and opinions of the authors who have submitted articles to BlackRefer.com belong to them alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of BlackRefer.com. Resources/links that may be included in said articles are only suggested as sources for the reader to explore but we can't confirm or take responsibility for it's accurateness.






    10 Tips for Caregivers During the Holidays
    Amy Goyer


    As caregivers, many of us are already overwhelmed with our daily responsibilities, leaving us vulnerable when the stress of the holidays arrives.

    During this busy season, we can be tempted to increase unhealthy behavior — such as drinking more alcohol, eating more sweets, getting less sleep and exercising less. This in turn lowers our defenses and makes every experience — both positive and negative — seem magnified. Here are some tips to help you come through the holiday season with more joy and less stress.

    1. Recognize the signs of stress and burnout. As caregivers, we give and give and give, and during the holidays we give even more! All that giving can add up to high stress levels or even full-on burnout that creeps up on you before you know it. In my book, AARP’s Juggling Work and Caregiving, I explain it this way: “The prolonged stress builds up, we are robbed of energy, and sometimes we reach a point of total emotional, mental and physical exhaustion. We may lose motivation completely or feel we just don’t care about our loved ones, our other relationships or our work. We may feel that we’ve lost ourselves in the vastness of caregiving and that nothing we can do will make a difference. If you feel like this most of the time, you may have reached burnout.” Be aware of emotional ups and downs, fatigue levels, foggy thinking, inability to sit still or the opposite — feeling frozen and unable to get anything done.

    2. Anticipate your own holiday hot buttons. Are there holiday activities or toxic relatives that trigger stress or unhappy memories? Are you feeling grief or loss that overcomes you at certain times of day? Do unhelpful relatives regularly arrive for the holidays and criticize your caregiving? Are there topics it’s better to avoid when the family gathers? It may be best to limit your exposure to — or even avoid — certain places, events or people. If you can’t do that, prepare yourself. Minimize the drama, don’t try to resolve longtime family problems over the holidays, try short encounters and develop quick exit strategies. Mentally put yourself in a protective bubble, letting negative energy bounce off without hurting, annoying or distressing you.

    3. Mind your own mind-set. Acknowledge all your emotions, including fears, frustrations and sadness, during the holidays. All those emotions are perfectly normal. Try to stay mindful, concentrating on what you are doing in any given moment, rather than letting your mind wander to your ever-growing to-do list. Stay focused on the positives: Think about what you can accomplish instead of what you can’t; celebrate what your loved ones can do, rather than mourning what they can no longer participate in; revel in the holiday joys you will experience, instead of missing those you’ll bypass; appreciate the help you are receiving rather than resenting those who aren’t supportive. Negative thinking actually activates your body’s stress response, so steer your mind elsewhere when you start down the slippery slope of negative thinking.

    4. Keep self-care at the top of the list. It’s easy to let this slip when you’re even busier than usual — just when you need it most. Keep it simple and incorporate it into your daily caregiving routine if possible. For example: Make time for exercise; it can boost your mood. Even something as simple as walking in a shopping mall, dancing to holiday music, or stretching or doing jumping jacks while watching holiday movies can help. Try yoga, meditation or tai chi to reduce stress and help you sleep better. Limit sugary foods that can cause an energy and emotional crash as blood sugar plummets. Get outside for some mood-elevating vitamin D from sunlight, or consider therapeutic lighting if you suffer from seasonal affective disorder. Relax with some aromatherapy, using scents such as citrus and lavender to soothe yourself.

    5. Know your own best stress outlets. Only you know what works best for you as a stress reliever. It may be writing in a journal, laughing at a funny movie, talking with a friend, going for a walk or sharing your thoughts on social media such as Facebook. Make a list of outlets you can keep handy when you start to feel stressed out.

    6. Connect with support. With everyone so busy this season, online message boards or groups can be a convenient way to seek support. And don’t forget professional help from a counselor or therapist.

    7. Plan ahead and focus on what is most meaningful. Perfection is not the goal of the holidays — joy is! Cramming more into your already crazy schedule can push you over the edge, so consider what is really doable before you commit. Remember, you’ll be happier if you can go with the flow and expect the inevitable delay, crisis or disappointment. Above all, making good memories with your loved ones is especially valuable at this time.

    8. Ask for help for yourself and those you care for. Now is the time to seek help with both your caregiving responsibilities and your holiday preparations or personal matters. Even if you don’t usually pay for help, consider doing so now, since hiring someone to assist for a few hours can be a huge relief. A personal assistant or concierge can complete items on your holiday to-do list or handle some of your home tasks, such as organizing mail, doing laundry, cleaning or running errands. You might also take advantage of paid care for your loved ones, including using individual caregivers, adult day care centers or respite care programs that can free you up for holiday activities.

    9. Simplify your holiday activities. Many of us love to go all-out for the holidays, but it will be less stressful if you can scale back and find a way to simplify while still enjoying the spirit of the season. You could choose just a few decorations or foods that are most significant to you and feel doable, or cut back to two or three holiday activities that fill your heart with joy. Set limits and you’ll be OK.

    10. Start new traditions. Instead of focusing on what you’re not doing, try doing something new. If cooking holiday meals is too much for you, eat out or order a prepared meal to have at home to give you more time with family and less time cleaning up. Give the gift of time or attention rather than costly presents. Attend a holiday concert you’ve never gone to before. Can’t make it to a holiday gathering? Use technology and have a video visit.

    Amy Goyer is a caregiving expert for AARP and the author of Juggling Work and Caregiving. These tips can also be found here: http://www.aarp.org/home-family/caregiving/info-12-2013/caregiving-holiday-stress-goyer.html


    ooOoo


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