Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Balancing Work, Family and Caregiving

Having been a caregiver for over six years, I know how difficult and tiring it could become.

So today I would like to salute all caregivers, present and past for taking the time to show that you care.


Jesus has no other hands but yours.

When my mother first became sick I was running a retail business and juggling responsibilities at church.
As my mother's disease progressed I was faced with personal sickness that I had to make a decision.
I was overloading and I needed to do something before depression took over and I burn out.

I decided to give up my business to take care of my mother as my other siblings are in different countries.
Even after I gave up my business, I found it increasingly difficult as I began to deal with medical and financial issues.I became nurse, doctor, counselor and psychiatrist. I became everything that was needed for the situation.
I quickly learnt how to take blood pressure readings , etc.

My most difficult time was when my mother was in the hospital for twenty-one days, it was three visits a day back and forth from Sunday to Sunday, Thankfully that was her only hospital stay during her sickness.

When she came out the hospital, I learned how to take care of a patient in bed because she had become bedridden. Of course you now have to learn how to give baths in bed and change bed linen with the patient in the bed, that lasted about four and half moths until she passed away.

I also had the responsibility of taking care of my father who couldn't quite grasp what was happening to mother
As my mother grew worse , he became more negative and difficult, he felt he was not getting the attention he was used to and of course tension spiraled.Thank God there were no children to deal with.

So how did I do all of this, I began to plan and make schedules for things that needed to be done.
Meals were planned in advance, housework was rearranged, things were simplified and most importantly I had God that I could call upon, the truth is If I had not know him then, I don't know how I would have handled things.
He was my strong tower, my burden bearer , my peace and the lifter of my head.

As if all this wasn't enough, when my mother passed away, my work was still not over, it took one week for my siblings to come home from various countries for her funeral, so I had to make all the arrangements that went along with a funeral, everything had to be in place because some came the day before the funeral and some had to leave the day after.

Easy to follow daily houshold routines

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Alzheimer's Patient and Activities

It is good to keep your Alzheimer's patient occupied and active while they still can, whether inside or outside before they become immobile.Choose activities that will stimulate anything too complex will frustrate them and you will have other emotions to deal with.

Its is good to have your patient get some amount of sunlight everyday, whether walking or just sitting for a while.
You can also play games and do word search or puzzles depending on what stage of the disease they are at.

You can also give them family photos to search through and select their favorite ones and place them in a special album so they can have with them to look at whenever they like.

Get them a stuffed animal or doll to hug, they like to hoard things, it keeps them comfortable.

A good daily amount of light exercise helps to keep their bones and muscles strong. Exercise improves their balance and also helps them to sleep better.Don't over do it remember they are not training for a marathon, you are only trying to keep them healthy.

If you can afford it you can higher a personal trainer or a physical therapist, someone who has experience working with Alzheimer's disease patients

While doing the light exercises may sure to look for any signs of discomfort, pain, dizziness, shortness of breath, if you notice anything you should stop the exercise and consult their doctor for advise.