Archive for the ‘Family Caregivers’ Category

Vitamin B3 a memory enhancer?

Sunday, January 11th, 2009

Vit B 3 or Niacin has been know as a cognitive enhancer for a long time.  It also has a profound effect on cardiovascular problems, in particular high cholesterol.  It is not recommended for people who have high blood pressure, a frequent problem in the older population.  To find Niacin in an amount that would be sufficient you could try the Niacitol from Pure Encapsulation.  It comes in 1500 mg which is very close to the amount they suggested in the British study. 

Information from Bertrand Babinet PhD., LAc.

Benjamin Button strikes a chord

Monday, January 5th, 2009

Over the holidays I chose not only to relax, but went to see “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” a movie recently released depicting a man aging in reverse.

I work with older people everyday, as a geriatric care manager. I also have a 19 month old daughter. I often come home after visiting clients, struck by the similarities between the human experiences of those in old age and infancy.  Diapers, soft foods, a limited vocabulary, dependency on another, and the need for patience, compassion and a sense of humor from those who are caring for them.

This topic of aging is rich with material! The movie moved me to think about friends, human kindness, love and loss.  I was awash with memories and reminded of how important it is to cherish each moment (this too shall pass) and to follow my heart, no matter what. I was moved by the women caregivers in this movie who had such compassion.  They demonstrated the capacity to love what others might consider unlovable.

I was also reminded that we are all ordinary in older age in that no matter what kind of material success we have created or not created in our lives, our physical bodies all go through a similar process in our passing from this world.

I’d be curious to know what the movie struck in you! Let me hear from you.

Cailfornia Women’s Conference showcases caregiving

Sunday, November 9th, 2008

The California Women’s Conference in Long Beach was another amazing success this year.  If you haven’t been, it is worth your time. When this year’s tickets went on sale, they sold out (14,000 tickets) in 3 hours, so you have to be watching when tickets go on sale. Speakers ranged from Condoleezza Rice to Bono, Billie Jean King to Warren Buffet.

AgingPro.com’s booth was packed with people interested in learning more about the national online resource. So many told stories of past or present caregiving adventures.

One of the breakout sessions covered the topic of Caregiving, and Leeza Gibbons (Leeza’s Place) was one of the speakers. I was impressed with her positive perspective on aging and caregiving and her authenticity – seeing the challenges as blessings and how caregivers can take care of themselves.

Videos of the conference are available at the conferenece website  http://www.californiawomen.org/assets/conferenceday/livevideo.html

New Awareness of Everyday Activities – for Caregiver Health

Monday, September 29th, 2008

Today is about nurturing yourself while you’re doing regular activities.

For example, how about enjoying a shower meditation? While you’re showering, take the time to feel the water on your skin, and imagine it washing away the stress of the day.

While you are eating, bring your awareness to the taste of the food in your mouth.  Allow yourself to appreciate you nurturing yourself with healthy food to keep your body vital and healthy.

While you’re walking today, feel your feet touching the ground.  Imagine that every step you take is on sacred ground and that the earth is supporting you.  Bring your awareness to the flowers along your path, and appreciate who made them.

Bring your awareness to your breath.  Take deep, cleansing breaths and feel your lungs expanding and oxygenating your cells. When you breathe out, exhale stress and judgment, and inhale loving and calm.

Take everyday activities and bring your awareness to them in a fresh, new way today.  It doesn’t take any extra time, just a shift in perspective.

Take good care of yourself today.

Resting – for Caregiver Health

Thursday, September 18th, 2008

Today, I’d like you all to stretch out of your comfort zones for 5 minutes for Me!   Today, I want you to just rest.  Yes, rest.  This could mean sleeping, or just sitting down and doing nothing.  Rest has a lot of value, including being restorative.

So, after you’re done reading this blog, please, go be somewhere just with you, turn off the lights and the phone and the pagers – put up a sign that says “unavailable for 5 minutes” and just rest.

Notice how you feel before and after your 5 minutes of rest. After resting for 5 minutes, celebrate and congratulate yourself for taking care of yourself and taking time for you! Leave the guilt behind.

If you’re like me, or other caregivers, taking time for yourself just to rest is an underutilized skill.  I remind myself regularly that rest is good and that it is productive – it just looks different than other types of productivity and the results are not always seen on the exterior.

Rest is important – it calms the nerves, decreases stress, and brings peace.

I want to hear from you – what do you do that brings you peace and calm?

Enjoy!

11 Warning signs that an older adult needs help

Tuesday, August 26th, 2008

Almost every one of us wants to remain living independently in our home for our entire life.  At some point, most older adults will need help to allow them to feel safe and happy in their home.  Caregivers often ask what are some warning signs that it is time for your loved on to get help.

There are many warning signs that will let you know it may be time to offer assistance to your aging loved one:

1. Unopened mail or unpaid bills piling up
2. Plants not watered
3. Trash not taken out
4. Clutter around the house more than usual
5. Clothes are dirty
6. Personal hygiene has declined
7. Lack of interest in previously enjoyable activities
8. Declining memory
9. Difficulty walking or increasing incidence of falling
10. Decreased judgment
11. Isolation

If your older loved one has one or more of these signs, you may want to talk to a professional about assessing the situation and discussing what type of care is needed.  Geriatric care managers do just that.  The eldercare directory on www.AgingPro.com offers a national searchable database of professional geriatric care managers. Just type in the zip code of your loved one and find the nearest resources.  The Caregiving 101 article also gives practical information for all stages of caregiving.

Patiently and lovingly talking with your loved one is a good approach.  Most older adults deny that they need help, “I’ve been doing this by myself for 85 years, why do I need help now!”  It is true that they have been doing fine for 85 years, but as we age, we frequently need help to continue to have the best quality of life, and to be safe.

What warning signs have you seen in your loved ones that made you know/wonder if it was time they needed help?  Share your experience here with other agingpro readers.

Thanks!