Caregiver Goals & Self Care

Caregiver goals are important for successful caregiving.

We’re talking about setting caregiver goals so we can appreciate the great job we’re doing.  Caregivers do so many different jobs. Social worker, recreation leader, chauffeur, nurse –  all things people get training for. There are also no real goals attached to the “job” of caregiving.

What are the five main caregiver goals?

Safety and comfort.  Your loved one didn’t burn the house down and they’re in a comfortable environment, congratulations, you’ve met your goal.

Meeting your loved ones daily care needs. Did they have at least one good meal, they’re relatively clean, and dressed?  If you were able to meet their daily needs, you’ve done your job.

Contented Involvement.  The person you’re caring for doesn’t need to be happy all the time. If they have moments of joy or moments of contented involvement like petting the dog, folding towels, something that gives them purpose, you’ve done your job.

Purpose. Having a sense of fulfillment. Even if we have dementia regardless of the stage we don’t lose the need to have a purpose in life. Making up tasks might be a way to help them have fulfillment. Peeling vegetables, emptying the dishwasher, whatever they can do, let them do it.

Listening to this episode will be quite beneficial to caregivers. It will help alleviate stress and frustration.

Alzheimer’s Association Website

Thinking For Two – How Caregivers Cope

Where Else To Find Fading Memories

Be sure to share this podcast with other caregivers! Thanks. You can find us on social media at the following links.  Facebook    Instagram    Twitter

Also, check out our new YouTube channel where you can see us in action!

Preserving Skills in People Living With Dementia

Dementia with Dignity book

Focus on the skills remaining is the lesson from Judy Cornish.

 

Can caregiving be less frustrating, less stressful?  Working with the skills our loved one retains we could achieve that goal. Judy Cornish, author of Dementia With Dignity talks to us about how to preserve skills in our loved ones.

For example, expecting our person to use rational thought long after it’s gone is common. As a result, we cause stress and frustration. To clarify this, think about how often you’ve explained what you need doing only to have to explain it again. It’s absolutely frustrating! Instead, by focusing on intuitive thought processes we can create a situation to get what we need accomplished.

For example, a common struggle for caregivers is showering. Think about how many steps are involved in the process. How many times is the action paused while waiting for something to happen? Even short pauses in activity allow their minds to lose focus.  As a result, we get resistance to showering.

On the other hand, focusing on their intuitive thought we set up a situation for them to “just do” what we want. For example, a support group member found a no-fuss way to get her Mom to shower. Her first step was to get everything ready and turn the water on. Meanwhile, as the water warmed up, she’d help her Mom to the bathroom for toileting. As a result hearing the running shower, Mom would naturally get in as she did prior to her Alzheimer’s.

Automatic Thinking Scripts

When we find ourselves doing a task without consciously thinking about it we are using intuitive thought. Some people call this muscle memory. Others call it an automatic thinking script. I’ve brewed tea so often in my kitchen I don’t need to think about the steps involved. Repetition brings competency. As long as there are no alterations in this process, we function just fine.

It is not good for those of us with healthy brains to be on auto-pilot except when doing mundane things. However, it’s critically valuable to people experiencing dementia because they cannot rely on memory to know where to look for coffee filters or socks. They don’t have rational thought to tell them that underwear goes on before pants once memory fails.

Intuitive versus rational thinking is the conversation in this episode. You will learn a lot and certainly be interested in Judy’s books. You can find them on Amazon or at her website where you can also check out her blog.

If you need a refresher on what living with dementia is like make sure to check out these past episodes.

Living With Dementia Part 1

Living With Dementia Part 2

Where Else To Find Fading Memories

Be sure to share this podcast with other caregivers! Thanks. You can find us on social media at the following links.  Facebook    Instagram    Twitter

Also, check out our new YouTube channel where you can see us in action!

 

 

 

Alive Inside -How Music Touches the Soul

Alive Inside in action

Alive Inside is a program that brings music to those in the late stages of Alzheimer’s.

 

Alive Inside is a program that brings music to people living in the late stages of Alzheimer’s. Music reminds us that we are vibratory beings.  Music can bring out memories long thought forgotten because of Alzheimer’s. Hearing familiar tunes can reawaken the mind & allow someone to engage again.

When someone you love struggles with Alzheimer’s, dementia, Parkinson’s or another form of cognitive or physical impairment, it can be a tremendous challenge to communicate and find ways to help them rediscover the world.

A personalized playlist can help you bridge that gap and help to reconnect with one another. Creating a personalized playlist takes some detective work, but it’s fun, so dive right in!  Each individual’s response is unique, and your loved ones’ ability to benefit from music will depend in a large part on the particulars of his or her cognitive impairment.  But, chances are good that she or he will find more pleasure in life once again. Additionally, you will regain a peaceful and relaxing way to renew your relationship.

Creating a personalized playlist can be easy if you’re able to ask your loved one about their favorite music. If that isn’t an option then you’ll have to become a detective. If you’re like me, you’d assume that the best way to achieve this goal would be to pick songs from their particular era. That didn’t work AT ALL with Mom but after conducting some internal sleuthing, I did come up with a handful of songs she did connect with.

Steps for Creating A Personalized Playlist

Here’s how I started. First, I vividly remember some songs that I heard when visiting my maternal grandmother. It wasn’t a huge leap to guess that if Moms mom liked these songs, Mom might as well. This was especially easy to assume since I enjoy them and still recall the words. Once I found those on iTunes (Spotify works too) I used the recommendation function to search for other songs.

All the songs I remembered had a similar style so my final step was to go to the years she was in high school and listen for other songs in that same style. You can see the results here —> Short dancing clip.

More ways to enjoy time with your loved one

Where Else To Find Fading Memories

Be sure to share this podcast with other caregivers! Thanks. You can find us on social media at the following links.  Facebook    Instagram    Twitter

Also, check out our new YouTube channel where you can see us in action!

 

Dear Clueless – Two Caregivers Sharing Knowledge

Caregivers have to deal with many clueless people, including themselves.

Author Sandy Seville and I talk about being clueless in our caregiving roles & how to get a clue. Sandys’ family has seen a lot of Alzheimer’s so it wasn’t a surprise to her when it also afflicted her Mom.  Her Mom was a bartender and had worked in the same bar forever. Sandy begged her not to retire because she knew retirement was the beginning of the end for her aunt.  Being social is important for good brain health and for many people retirement shrinks their life.

Loners are losers is a phrase that Sandy uses to describe what generally happens to older people who don’t remain social. If you’re a loner it’s likely you’ll also lose cognitive health. Having a purpose in life is something we all need to keep our minds healthy.

This episode is mostly two caregivers sharing their journeys and struggles. However, in this conversation, there are a lot of gems of information to be had. Sandy shared her wisdom just as she shared it in her book, with humor and acceptance.

The primary caregiver receives the least amount of cooperation from the person with dementia. The caregiving journey can be short or long.  Even a quick decline with Alzheimer’s can feel like a long journey. Being clueless about how to provide the kind of care you’d want is a big reason why.

Why This Book & Podcast?

Dear Clueless is a book for Alzheimer’s caregivers. You’ll need it (according to Sandy). Becoming a good caregiver requires us to read everything we can get our hands-on. Talking to other caregivers, both those on the journey and those whose journey has ended. The only way to avoid being a clueless caregiver is to become an informed caregiver.

Listening to this conversation is highly recommended for all caregivers. There’s a lot of laughs, inspiration and most of all, hope. I hope that you will survive and some caregivers can even thrive.

Find Dear Clueless Here

Understanding What It’s Like to Live With Dementia

Where Else To Find Fading Memories

Be sure to share this podcast with other caregivers! Thanks. You can find us on social media at the following links.  Facebook    Instagram    Twitter

Also, check out our new YouTube channel where you can see us in action!