Daily or In-Home Caregiver

Sharing the MS Journey

Let's face it! We have MS. Actually, only my wife has primary progressive multiple sclerosis. But, having made the choice, I share the journey as her primary caregiver. We are now in our mid 60's but far from finished!

Guia del cuidador para entender la conducta de los pacientes con demencia (Caregiver's Guide to Understanding Dementia Behaviors)

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Medications: A double-edged sword

“Any symptom in an elderly patient should be considered a drug side effect until proved otherwise.”
Brown University
Long-term Care Quality Letter, 1995.

Controlling Frustration: A Class for Caregivers (Manuals)

Leader's manual describes the methods for conducting an 8-week class that teaches family caregivers the basic steps for learning to relax, to control their negative thoughts, and to act assertively when necessary. Participant's manual includes exercises and homework assignments to supplement the classes. Available in both English and Spanish.

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Communicating with Your Doctor

When was the last time you left a doctor visit feeling satisfied that your concerns were heard and responded to? Successful communication with your doctor demands effective two-way communication. Here are a few tips to consider:

Personal Care Agreements

How to Compensate a Family Member for Providing Care: Introduction

Many families reach a point when they recognize that an ill or older relative needs help. There are usually warning signs: difficulty with daily activities; memory problems; trouble with banking and finances; multiple falls; problems with driving; forgetting medications. Sometimes an elderly or ill loved one needs more than occasional assistance — they need full-time care.

Toileting (for dementia)

  • Set up the bathroom to make it as easy as possible for the person to get on to and off of the toilet, e.g. having a raised toilet seat and grab bars.
     
  • Notice when the person gives a sign about needing to use the toilet, e.g. agitation, fidgeting, tugging on clothing, wandering, touching the genital area. Have a routine and take the person to the bathroom on a regular schedule, e.g. every two hours. You may have to respond quickly if someone indicates they need to use the bathroom.
     

Incontinence (for dementia)

Talk to the physician to see if medication, enlarged prostate or a urinary tract infection might be causing the problem, especially if there is a sudden onset of incontinence.
 

Dressing and Grooming (for dementia)

  • Simplify clothing choices by putting out an outfit for the care receiver to wear, or give an option of two outfits. Do not ask open-ended questions like, "What do you want to wear?"—this kind of question can overwhelm someone with dementia.
     

Dental Care (for dementia)

  • Dental hygiene is important for overall health. Poor dental hygiene may lead to heart disease, gingivitis, stroke, osteoporosis, and respiratory disease. In addition to causing bad breath, inadequate dental hygiene can also affect one's ability to eat, chew, and talk. Certain medications can cause "dry mouth." Dry mouth makes it more difficult to eat and swallow, produce saliva, and causes tongue irritation.
     

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