Floods, earthquakes, tornados, snowstorms . . . wherever you live, there likely exists the potential for a variety of natural disasters that can create an emergency situation. When you're caring for a loved one, it's times like these that you'll be thankful for having prepared for such a situation.
As you face aging and the need to make plans for your future, you face having to make decisions about many aspects of your lives. These legal and health care decisions not only protect you from others making decisions for your care that you do not want, they also protect family and loved ones by giving them guidance in the care that you would like to receive. After completing all the legal paperwork, the next step is to sit down and talk to family about the decisions you have made and why.
Tips to help caregivers move or transfer a loved one with mobility limitations
Learn proper body mechanics. Ask for a Physical Therapy referral from your physician to teach you how to use your body so you don’t get hurt.
Save your back. If you feel a strain, get help; don’t do it alone. This is for your safety and the safety of the person you are trying to move. If you hurt your back, you aren’t going to be able to care for someone else.
Avoid food fights. Make mealtime as pleasant as possible. Encourage someone to eat but don’t demand, cajole or threaten.
Someone with dementia may not know what he/she wants to eat. If giving choices, give only two things to choose between. Even if a choice is made, the person may not want it when it is presented. Don’t take it personally. If you know his/her favorite foods, have them available for back up. Favorite foods might change.
Moving is a high-stress life event, the experts tell us, and they're right. Whether it's cross-town or cross-country, whether to a small apartment or a large suburban home, tackling the organizing, packing, discarding, cleaning, paperwork and the myriad other tasks is a major challenge.
When you're older and moving from the family home to a new smaller residence, possibly in a new community or your adult child's home, sorting through decades of family history and possessions can feel overwhelming—even paralyzing.
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.
People respond to our body posture, facial expression, and tone of voice more than our actual words. Your upbeat mood can help keep the person you are dealing with remain calmer.
You need to pay attention to the non-verbal clues the person you are caring for is giving you. Understanding his/her feelings may be more important than the content of the conversation. Acknowledge feelings whenever possible.
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.
I've been a caregiver for my husband since about 2001 when he began having angina. My caregiving responsibilities have progressively increased and his health has progressively declined since he had triple heart bypass surgery in 2003. After the surgery, he had atrial fibrillation, which stayed.