Moti Gamburd https://rayasparadise.com//wp-content/uploads/2019/07/RP-LOGO-Horizontal-Name-Only-websitetrans.png Moti Gamburd2013-01-24 04:00:512013-01-24 04:00:51Dealing with Cranky Elderly Parents
Has dealing with your elderly parent become an encounter with Oscar the Grouch? If so, you certainly are not alone. However, as their child, it can help to view these encounters from an entirely different perspective. For a person who has always been independent, athletic, and able to recall many details, losing these faculties brings many underlying fears to the surface. Feelings of both helplessness and hopelessness can overtake their thought processes. It is important to remember that anger is often an outward expression of inner fears, and that while the complaints may seem to be hurled in your direction, it often has little if anything to do with you. Be patient, be kind, and reassure your loved one that he or she can talk to you. Understand though that no matter your age, parents generally do not want to place excess burden on their children. If your mother or father is uncomfortable expressing their innermost feelings with you, perhaps arranging sessions with a professional counselor will help your parent to truly process those raging emotions. It’s important for adult children to really assess the situation thoroughly–and honestly. For instance, some individuals always see the glass half empty, regardless of the circumstance. If your aging parent was always negative, illness will not bring out the best in them. Complaining personalities generally remain negative, complaining personalities… and sometimes you, as the caregiver, must be honest with yourself about this. Also, most people are more irritable when they do not feel well. But, there are some elderly individuals who feel that by virtue of their years on this earth, they have somehow earned the right to “not hold back”… and some will use it with a vengeance! In this case, there may be a glimmer of hope for change in circumstance. When your loved one begins taking a new medication, it often can wreak havoc on the body. This is further exaggerated by negative interactions between multiple drugs used to treat symptoms. If you notice a recent change in behavior or attitude that seems to coincide with a new prescription, a pharmacist or your loved one’s doctor can often help you get to the root of the issue. Personality changes can come on quickly and strongly in these scenarios. Bladder infections can also cause severe shifts in mood and personality. Cognitive decline (such as that found in Alzheimer’s disease, dementia and Pick’s Disease) can trigger severe levels of frustration. That is due, in part, to the inability to perform certain tasks that have been routine for years. These disorders cause a person to lose the ability to recognize objects or to remember things and people that are very familiar. It’s a tough time for both the individual as well as their family members; the frustration can spark the types of personality changes that surprise even those closest to the individual. Addressing personality changes brought on by medical challenges is easiest to deal with; simply get your loved one to a physician for treatment. These types of personality changes can disappear very quickly with medical attention or a change in prescription. However, if your parent was always the “Debbie Downer” type, or if he or she had tendencies toward verbal abuse (or worse) in the past, you have to establish reasonable boundaries so that you, as the adult child and caregiver, do not walk away hurt, frustrated, and disrespected constantly. If that still doesn’t work, you may also have to distance yourself from your parent, assisting on a limited basis. If you cannot find a workable solution on your own, you may need to speak with your local Social Services office to find a reasonable solution for everyone involved.
Moti Gamburd https://rayasparadise.com//wp-content/uploads/2019/07/RP-LOGO-Horizontal-Name-Only-websitetrans.png Moti Gamburd2013-01-22 04:00:322013-01-22 04:00:32Signs of Caregiver Burnout
Caring for an ailing loved one is demanding, time-consuming, and quite stressful. Often, caregivers spend a great deal of time making sure their loved one’s needs are met and their affairs are on track. What often goes quickly out the window? The caregiver’s own needs. The following are ways to detect if you, as a caregiver, have neglected yourself to the point of burnout. Isolation. As human beings, we thrive upon healthy relationships. When you find yourself regularly failing to engage in healthy social interaction–even with your own friends and family–this may be a huge signal that caregiving has begun draining you. Avoiding calls from people you enjoy, making excuses for not going out, etc… can indicate you may be well on your way to isolating yourself from others, which is never good. Feeling Overwhelmed. Caregiving can be an emotional rollercoaster for sure. There is the physical toll of spending so much time attending to the needs of your loved one. Further, there’s an emotional toll that comes with facing the shift in relational roles, seeing both physical and emotional decline in your loved one, and having to face day-to-day tasks which reinforce that life as you have known it has changed. It is natural to grieve, especially at the beginning of your caregiving experience. Frustration can arise. Anxiety and exhaustion can arise. But over time and left untreated, those feelings can lead straight into depression. If you become angry to the point of wanting to hurt your loved one or even yourself, get help fast. Your doctor should be able to diagnose whether there is a medical condition driving these symptoms. If medical challenges have been eliminated as a probability, you may have reached the point of extreme burnout and may possibly be experiencing depression. It is important to remember that while you serve as a support system for your loved one, you will also need to create a team of others who can step in to help. Being kind to your loved one is important, but it is also important for you to be kind to–and eliminate excess pressure on–yourself. Loss of Interest. One of the biggest warning signs of depression is loss of interest, especially in things that were once a huge source of happiness and enjoyment. When your hobbies, big and small, no longer inspire you… you may need help. Significant Changes in Your Sleeping or Eating Patterns. Can’t sleep at night? Can’t get enough sleep, no matter how long you’ve been in bed? Binge eating or hardly eating at all? Major shifts in your habits generally indicate huge shifts in your stress levels and turmoil in your emotions. Ceasing Your Exercise Routine Despite Enjoying It Before. Exercise is one of the best stress-busters available. It leaves a person invigorated and energized. So, when you used to enjoy exercise and suddenly stop, start again! The endorphins released while you’re exercising will relieve tension and help elevate your mood, plus you will get a better night’s sleep. Failing To Keep Up Your Appearance. Unfortunately, many caregivers fall into the mode of caring for a loved one so much that simple grooming (haircuts, manicures, etc…) become neglected. Some who once were fashion-conscious and took particular efforts to care for their appearance can suddenly become apathetic in this area. Generally, your outward appearance reflects what’s happening inside. This challenge may require some input from others you trust–close confidants, social workers, or healthcare therapists can help you sort things out to decide if you’re experiencing burnout and if additional help is necessary. Frequently Susceptible To Illness. If you catch every cold or flu that comes your way, and especially if you cannot shake the cold once you get it, your immune system is likely compromised. Our bodies are not created to handle excessive stress for long periods of time. If this is you, caregiving could be getting to you. Take these symptoms seriously. You can only be a good caregiver for your loved one if you yourself are healthy and happy./by
Moti Gamburd https://rayasparadise.com//wp-content/uploads/2019/07/RP-LOGO-Horizontal-Name-Only-websitetrans.png Moti Gamburd2013-01-15 04:00:262013-01-15 04:00:265 Steps for Taking Responsibility for a Parent's Finances
As parents become older, there comes a point where you realize that you need to step in and help them with their finances. The red flag may be a bounced check or noticing that some bills are past due, or you could discover much more serious problems like the fact that mom or dad has been taken in by a telemarketing scammer. The steps below are your roadmap to getting your loved one back on track. 1. Know Your Parent’s Finances The first thing every adult child needs to know is the condition of your parent’s finances. This means that you need to know what debts they have (credit cards, loans, mortgages, etc…), as well as what their living expenses are. Familiarize yourself with utilities, credit cards, and any bills they have and make sure you start paying them right away. You also need to know if there are any safe deposit boxes, and if you parents already have a financial advisor. It may be beneficial to take a look at your parent’s tax returns to get an idea of their financial situation. 2. Learn About Your Parent’s Income and Insurance Situation Find out what sources of income your parent has. Find out of if your parent is receiving income from social security, what Medicare options they’ve chosen, and whether they receive Medicaid. Also find out if they have purchased long-term care insurance or other forms of insurance to make sure any premiums are kept up to date and policies are still in order. 3. Establish Who Has Legal Authority Over Your Parent’s Finances When a parent becomes unable to care for their finances, it is especially important for adult children to know who has legal authority to manage the estate. Find out if your parents have already established legal guardianship with a relative, financial advisor, or with an executor. Pre-planning in this area can be especially important as it‘s more difficult to establish power of attorney if your parent develops dementia or Alzheimer’s. If you parents haven’t established a legal guardian before they become incapacitated, you’ll need to seek guardianship through the court system. A judge must agree that your parent is not legally competent to handle their own finances and that you are, which may take time. 4. Contact a Financial Advisor A financial advisor or accountant can help you not only sort out your parent’s current finances, but also help you plan for the future. Depending on how you parent’s have invested, there may be other ways to maximize their assets to help finance their transition to assisted living. A financial advisor can help you navigate the options and ensure the best possible course for your parent’s financial future. 5. Get Everything in Writing In order to safeguard both your parent’s and your own financial future, it’s best to make sure you have written documentation of everything related to their finances. Make sure you have legal authorization to act on their behalf. Any access to funds should be documented and any decisions with a financial advisor should be copied into a written document so there is a paper trail to help protect you and your parent legally. Having written records will also help if conflict or concern arises among siblings or other relatives. Watching a parent age can be a difficult process emotionally for adult children, but it doesn’t have to be difficult financially. By following these steps, adult children can help ease the transition for their parents, ensuring a brighter and more secure financial future./by
Moti Gamburd https://rayasparadise.com//wp-content/uploads/2019/07/RP-LOGO-Horizontal-Name-Only-websitetrans.png Moti Gamburd2013-01-10 04:00:122013-01-10 04:00:12Reducing Caregiver Stress
Being the caregiver to an aging parent may be one of the toughest family roles imaginable. The task can be as demanding as watching a small child, with the added heartbreak of seeing mom or dad decline…plus the challenge of navigating the changing parent-child dynamic. But there is hope: stress can always be managed. Here are a few tips to use during those times when you feel like it’s all too much. First, do not attempt to become a lone ranger. One of the greatest areas of stress comes from the feeling of taking on more than we can handle, and that is as true in the caregiving role as it is in other areas of our lives. Other relatives may be both willing and able to help. You may also be surprised to find that those outside the family, such as family friends or neighbors, may also be there to lend a hand. It is important to remember that aside from the task of caring for your aging loved one, there are necessary tasks related to caregiving, and having someone else shoulder those for a while may help you build in some much needed time for yourself. Second, schedule in your “me” time. One of the greatest challenges family caregivers have is the overwhelming tendency to neglect their own needs in favor of their loved one. It is critical for caregivers to schedule some non-negotiable time to participate in activities that stimulate and interest them, because caregiving can (and often does) demand a significant amount of time and can deplete an individual both physically and emotionally. Schedule such activities as an exercise class, a movie, date night with a significant other, a massage, dinner with friends, taking classes on a subject of interest, etc… By doing so, the caregiver remains in touch with his or her own life. Third, pay attention to your body. While most caregivers begin their roles in an overall state of good health, statistics show that they are more likely to develop symptoms of depression, anxiety, obesity, and weaker immune response as time goes on. Exercise is a particularly effective method of de-stressing the body, with the added bonus of boosting overall energy levels. Getting outside for fresh air can also be highly invigorating. All the great advice we give our loved ones — about eating balanced meals, drinking plenty of water and getting adequate rest — are just great rules of thumb for everyone to live by… including caregivers. Fourth, building in a support system can be very beneficial. Providing care for an aging loved one brings forth a flood of emotions. After all, it is during this time that the caregiver witnesses the frailty and physical decline of the person whom they have always looked to for their own care. Seeking the services of a psychotherapist or joining a support group (through a church, synagogue, or local agency on aging), caregivers can often receive sound advice on how to cope during this emotionally taxing period. It is important also for the caregiver to not place unrealistic demands upon themselves but to simply do the very best they can. Finally, cherish every moment. Glean the wisdom of these years and forgive any past disappointments you may be harboring against your loved one. Resolve any issues that may still linger, and commit to enjoying each precious moment available. Remember to be kind to others, understanding that each person operates the best they can with the knowledge they have. Be gentle even when expectations go unfulfilled. With a slight shift in perspective, you may find — as others have — much greater enjoyment of life’s simplest gifts as an unexpected bonus from caregiving./by