Caregiver Depression: A Silent Health Crisis

One of today’s all-too silent health crises is caregiver depression. A conservative estimate reports that 20% of family caregivers suffer from depression, twice the rate of the general population. Of clients of California’s Caregiver Resource Centers, nearly 60% show clinical signs of depression. And former caregivers may not escape the tentacles of this condition after caregiving ends. A recent study found that 41% of former caregivers of a spouse with Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia experienced mild to severe depression up to three years after their spouse had died.

Guidelines for Better Communication with Brain Impaired Adults

Communicating with a loved one with a brain disorder can indeed be challenging. Finding the right words and getting your point across are difficult under normal circumstances.This difficulty is often compounded by your role as a caregiver. And although there are no easy solutions, following some basic guidelines should ease communication, and lower levels of stress both for you and for the care recipient.

Caregiving During a National Emergency

At times of emergency, such as the events of September 11 or Hurricane Katrina, there are so many things to process, one has trouble prioritizing and putting things in perspective. If you are caring for a loved one with dementia, you probably found your attention distracted and your emotions conflicted. Sometimes it was hard to concentrate on the daily things in life, sometimes it was reassuring to do mundane tasks. Often people feel out of control and insecure at times of crisis. Perhaps the suggestions below will help when times are unsettled —for any reason.

Consejos para la seguridad (Safety Tips)

A fin de reducir el riesgo de accidentes y mantener el hogar seguro para tu ser querido, es importante seguir una serie de consejos.

Preste atención a posibles peligros como:

Siblings and Caregiving

Old wounds and rivalries can come into play, making compromise about care decisions challenging

The doctor has informed you that your mother can no longer live independently. You feel that assisted living would be the best solution but your sister strongly disagrees. It seemed that at one time you were able to communicate with her, but not any longer . . . .

Sexuality and Dementia

Coping with Changes in Your Intimate Relationship 

How has your relationship with your partner changed as a result of disease? Physicians seem reluctant to address this question with caregivers dealing with a long-term chronic illness.

"No one asked me about my marriage or sexuality. Yet it plays a large part in our well being. No one asked me, 'what's the quality of your life?' … I'm a sexual individual. I'm 76 years old and I'm still alive," said Jerry, who cared for his wife with dementia.

Resources for Discount Medications

Caregivers everywhere are familiar with the high-wire act involved in paying for medications for a loved one in their care. Already working within tight budgets, families find it difficult to absorb recent increases in prescription costs. Carol Thomson, for example, pays $700-800 a month for her mother’s medications, and even though a small grant helped cover the cost over the past year, the grant is about to run out. So far, she has made 30 or 40 phone calls in an attempt to find discounted medications. Fortunately, a few generous physicians have helped her with free samples.

Changing Places: Should Your Parents Move in with You?

Lisa's mother, Ruth, has been living alone since her father died five years ago. Ruth has been active at church and eats lunch at the local senior center a couple of times a week. Lisa does the food shopping, takes Ruth to doctors' appointments and has her over to her house for dinner, usually once a week.

Estrategias para motivar a su ser querido (Strategies for motivating your loved one)(Spanish)

Es fácil que una persona de la tercera edad que está enferma llegue a sentirse deprimida y que su vida se centre entorno a su enfermedad. En muchos sentidos, la casa donde el individuo está confinado se convierte en un mundo. Frecuentemente, las únicas salidas de casa son las visitas al médico y los únicos cambios que ocurren en la vida inmediata son causados por aspectos relacionados con la enfermedad.

Derechos del cuidador (Caregiver Rights)

Como cuidador, yo...


Subscribe to RSS - Articles