tips for caregivers

Celebrate National Hobby Month

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Hobbies can be a lot more than just time-filling activities that pass the day for you and your senior loved one. AZ Health Care professionals point out that having a hobby can be something that relieves a great deal of stress for the elderly person in your household, and can provide him/her with an outlet for self-expression that is both fulfilling and enjoyable.

Stress relief may not sound like a huge medical accomplishment, but as both medical experts and home health care professionals know, stress can be a killer and is something to be avoided if at all possible. Here are some ways that hobbies can be an important component of your senior loved one’s Phoenix home health care.

Participate in Sports

Of course, not all seniors are in condition to actively participate in sports activities like golf, swimming, jogging, or power walking. However, there are also lightweight versions of such activities that will provide nearly the same health benefits, such as dancing, gardening, and water aerobics. Free swim time in a pool can be an excellent activity for older people, because it relieves any stress on joints and still promotes good activity levels. Besides the exercise benefit, being active in sports can improve coordination and flexibility, and can even be socially fulfilling.

Become Involved as a Volunteer

The first thing that happens when you or your elderly loved one volunteers for any kind of community service is that you begin thinking about the welfare of others, and focus less on any problems you yourself might have. As an example, if your elderly loved one recently lost a spouse or a close friend, that could trigger an extended period of grief and withdrawal. One of the best ways to curtail this potentially damaging situation is to encourage your relative to become active in volunteering, and draw them out of self-pity and sadness. This is a great way to establish a real sense of purpose for your senior loved one, to give him/her a chance to show off their talents, and to feel good about themselves.

Artistic Pursuits

Many older people had some kind of hobby in their younger days that they were really good at, for instance sewing, painting, baking, or maybe even writing. Senior years are a great time for re-discovering those talents, because they can revive pleasant memories of those former talented times, and they can rekindle a sense of self-worth and personal ability. Even if your loved one had no such hobby as a youngster, it would be a great idea to start one and become really immersed in learning a new skill. This can literally provide endless hours of rewarding activity, and it’s no exaggeration to say that it can become a pretty exciting part of a senior’s life.

Caring for a Pet

All kinds of studies have been conducted and have confirmed the fact that caring for a pet produces increased levels of beneficial hormones in the caregiver, and elevates the sense of well-being as well. Being involved with the care of a cat, dog, or other domestic animal can lower stress and blood pressure levels, and can banish feelings of depression very effectively. Phoenix Health Care professionals encourage home caregivers everywhere to consider the possibility of providing your elderly loved one with a lovable pet that can literally change the life of a senior.


6 Ways to Maintain Your Sanity as a Caregiver

mdhomehealthadmin Caregiver Information, Hiring a Caregiver Leave a comment   , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Happy male nurse and senior man enjoying while using tablet computer in nursing home porch

Providing home health care for a loved one or patient can be a very demanding job, especially in situations where that person is a fully incapable of self care. This scenario is occurring more and more throughout the country, including Phoenix, as the elderly population increases, and fairly often the caregiver is a spouse or other relative who provides round-the-clock assistance.

This can be a very trying situation to maintain, especially when lifting, bathing, feeding, and other requirements are involved – not to mention disruptions to rest and sleep for the loved one/patient’s unplanned needs. It’s not surprising that many caregivers in circumstances such as these find themselves exhausted both physically and mentally from the constant demand for care. To help cope with the effects of such intense home assistance, these suggestions for caregivers are offered.

Regular attitude checks

When the ‘nasties’ start creeping into your attitude, i.e. all the negatives and the many irritations of the daily care-giving routine, have a time-out, take a few deep breaths, and acknowledge them. Build in regular sanity checks throughout the day, and try to focus on the more positive aspects of life.

Don’t forget down time

Even in the midst of care-giving, down-time should be included. Whenever possible, try listening to soothing music, take little cat naps or at least close your eyes and relax when your loved one is also resting. Reading a book can be very calming, or watching a movie on television to take your mind off the duties of a caregiver.

Know your limits

Understand that you will simply never be able to do everything that could be done, and trying to do so will inevitably result in frustration. In addition, acknowledge the fact that you will occasionally forget something or fail in the attempt to accomplish something, and that those are normal limitations. Doing your best as a caregiver is all you can do – accept that, and spare yourself any self recriminations.

Maintain order

Staying organized in your daily routine can be an enormous boost to your sanity. By keeping your mind ordered, as well as most aspects of daily care, much of the annoyance of unanticipated incidents can be averted. Make use of technology wherever possible to help with organization, for instance keeping notes and reminders on your cellphone.

Remember the ‘why’

One final way to conduct a mini sanity check is to stop for a moment and recall the ‘why’ of what you’re doing. If you are a caregiver for a spouse or other relative, the care you provide is literally sustaining that person, and to some extent, adding to his/her quality of life. You are giving this care out of a deep sense of love and responsibility, and have chosen to do so.

Outside help

Soliciting the help of an outside service can be another huge boost to your sanity, even if their involvement is no more than one or two days each week. MD Home Assist provides just such personalized home care  in the Phoenix area from personal care to homemaking assistance.  Are you seeking an extra hand around the home? Give us a call and we’ll send someone over for a free consultation. We’ll even help plan a caregiving schedule that fits your unique individual needs. In the meantime, take a look at the Caring.com Caregiver Wellness Solution Center online for some amazing resources for caregivers.