Caregiver Health

Caregiving and Ambiguous Loss

Introduction

Caregiving for a loved one can cause stress in many ways. To manage the stress—which we know can be dangerous to a caregiver’s health—we must first know what the problem is. Surprisingly, many caregivers of individuals with memory disorders or dementia report that the main problem is not the illness itself, but the ambiguity and uncertainty it causes.

Sea prudente...¡Vacúnese! (Be Wise...Immunize!)

Be Wise, Immunize! - Chinese

A Physician's View of Caregiver Health

A legislative hearing before the Senate Subcommittee on Aging and Long-Term Care in Sacramento focused attention on strategies to support family caregivers in California. (See story, Legislative Hearing Shines Spotlight on Caregiver Health). The session looked at future and current caregiver needs and the unique demographic trends that impact this important public health issue. Dr. Moira Fordyce was a key spokesperson. Below is her testimony.

Senator Alquist and Members of the Subcommittee:

Keeping Away the Caregiver Blues

(Aired: July 11, 2006)

Carol Smith, Ph.D., R.N., University of Kansas School of Nursing
Learn about the latest research on why those who care for others often feel sad, guilty and alone...and what we can do to change those feelings. 

 

Download File >  Download (22 mb | .zip)

A Caregiver's Pledge

  1. I will understand that I can’t care for anyone else if I also don’t care for myself. I will keep an image in my mind of putting the oxygen mask on myself first.
  2. I will remember that the only person I can change is myself. I cannot change my loved one who is ill, nor my family members.
  3. I will find opportunities to laugh, daily. These might come in movies, jokes, television, or with friends who can see the humor in my situation and remind me to do the same.

Be Wise...Immunize!

 

The following Fact Sheet is available as downloadable PDF document. To view and print this file you will need Adobe Acrobat Reader. It is available as a free download by clicking here.

Be Wise...Immunize! (English)

Grief and Loss Along the Way

Someone once said that aging is a narcissistic wound, meaning that the changes and losses that come with aging—our own or someone’s we love—affect us deeply in ways that are sometimes hard to deal with. This doesn’t mean that there are not positive parts to aging, but when we experience these losses, we sometimes need to stop and reflect on them. Many losses are subtle or ambiguous.

Dementia, Caregiving and Controlling Frustration

The Stresses of Caregiving

Taking Care of YOU: Self-Care for Family Caregivers

First, Care for Yourself

On an airplane, an oxygen mask descends in front of you. What do you do? As we all know, the first rule is to put on your own oxygen mask before you assist anyone else. Only when we first help ourselves can we effectively help others. Caring for yourself is one of the most important—and one of the most often forgotten—things you can do as a caregiver. When your needs are taken care of, the person you care for will benefit, too.

 

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