As we begin a new year, we do so while still dealing with the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. According to what you read most on this blog last year, your focus has been on your loved one’s mental health as well as your own, and how to support them.
If your loved one's health declines, you may find yourself taking responsibility for complicated, difficult tasks that used to fall to medical professionals. "It's not unusual for caregivers to feel overwhelmed," said Linda Pellegrini, a Gerontological Nurse Practitioner at UMass Memorial Medical Center. In her blog post, she explains which tasks are considered complex, how to find resources to help you and why it's imperative to take care of yourself.
Talking about your role as a caregiver can be essential for maintaining clear understanding and communication between you and your loved one. By acknowledging the changes that are happening and the increased need for support, you can build a more effective relationship and a more mutually positive experience.
Many people find it hard to like winter. Add the challenges of caregiving in the age of COVID-19 to the cold, snow, ice and long nights, and this becomes a season that’s even harder to deal with.
Fortunately, there are steps you can take to get through the cold months safely and even happily.
How you can you enjoy the holidays when you can't be with your family and friends in person? Check out these suggestions for connecting with your loved ones to celebrate safely during the COVID-19 pandemic.
One in four people aged 65 and older fall each year. But paying attention to changes in health and mobility can help you reduce the risk of your loved one falling.
When you notice memory lapses, behavior changes, confusion, poor judgement or a decline in driving ability in someone you care about, it can be alarming. And confusing. How do you know if a forgotten conversation is a sign of dementia, normal age-related change, stress or something else?
Kathleen Greer, an expert on employee assistance programs, knows there’s no way to be prepared for your “new normal” when you're a caregiver. But what if you had a resource at your fingertips that could provide some emotional support for you—and the information and resources you need to help plan for your loved one’s care?
Dr. Arthur Kleinman, a Harvard University professor, cared for his wife Joan for 11 years, as she struggled with a rare form of early Alzheimer's disease. He thought he was prepared and knowledgeable, yet he still struggled.
"[Caregivers] endure, we learn how to endure, how to keep going. We’re marked, we’re injured, we’re wounded," he says. "We’re changed … [in] my case, for the better."
The correct technology can help make caregiving more manageable. But with so much available, it can be difficult to know where to begin.
Consider these caregiving technologies your starting point.
The signs are all there. Your loved one needs more care. What's the best way to bring up the subject? Diane Paseos, a Fallon Health social worker, has some recommendations to help you get started.