• November 11, 2013 /  Resources

    I have written on this before. In order to take care of others, you need to take care of yourself. It’s similar to the instructions you receive in the cabin of an airline, “Put the oxygen mask over your mouth and nose first, THEN put it over the mouth and nose of your child.” In other words, save yourself first, then the other person.

    This link offers a thorough assessment and analysis of caregiver burnout. Enjoy.


    caregiver holding hand

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  • April 18, 2013 /  Basics

    respite care basics

    The following information comes directly from HelpGuide.org.

    It is difficult caring for an elderly, chronically ill, or disabled family member in addition to living daily life. It is a demanding job and very few, if anyone, are equipped or trained to do it alone. Respite care provides short-term breaks that can relieve stress, restore energy, and promote balance in your life. Even if working with family members is difficult, there are many other respite care options available to support you and your loved one.

    Respite care basics

    Seeking support and maintaining your own health are key to managing your role as a caregiver. Using respite care before you become exhausted, isolated, or overwhelmed is ideal, but just anticipating regular relief can become a lifesaver.

    Respite care can take many forms, but boils down to two basic ideas: sharing the responsibility for caregiving and getting support for yourself. Finding the right balance requires persistence, patience, and preparation.

    Planning your relief

    Planning starts with analyzing needs, both yours and your loved ones. Assessing your needs for the type, skills, frequency, and location of respite services is critical to ensure you receive appropriate respite. As a caregiver, is support what you need most? Or is it some regular free time? Or maybe help with transportation? Keep track of your daily activities and then make a list of the areas and times when you most need help.

    Identifying your loved one’s requirements, abilities, and preferences will also help you find the right match. Are social activities primary? Do they require assistance with walking, eating or medications? Do they need mental stimulation? Or exercise? Answering these questions will help you determine which respite options to pursue.

    Learn more about an organization called Helpguide.org started by Robert and Jeanne Segal. It is a non-profit site dedicated to helping the caregiver.

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  • February 25, 2013 /  Basics

    alzheimer's and the caregiverYour loved one is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. What happens now? Do I give up my life? Do they? This wasn’t part of our plans. This is not fair. This is so overwhelming. I need help!

    You prepare.

    No, neither your social life nor theirs ends with the diagnoses; but you both will need to prepare for the future.

    There are many things that we don’t plan for but there are many blessings and growing opportunities that will come out of the road ahead. It will probably be both rewarding and depressing; but planning now is your key to surviving with your sanity intact.

    Fair? It all depends on how you approach it: hide, run or…plan.

    Ah, my favorite part. Overwhelming. That’s my favorite part! God created us as community beings and that’s how we get through most of the bad stuff in our lives. It makes those good times even better, because we have friends, family…community around us.

    With that thought, I would like to remind you of www.alz.org/norcal as one of those resources that will help you plan and lead you to others who are working through the same or similar issues that you both are facing. They have tons of educational programs in your area and in the Placer/Sacramento County areas. Del Oro, http://www.deloro.org, partners with them on many of the educational programs. Seniors First, http://seniorsfirst.org/, also assists with training, referrals, relief and many other resources.

    Don’t despair, there really is help. But you have to reach out first.

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  • February 12, 2013 /  Basics

    caregiverThere are many issues in caring for someone whether it is your child, parent, spouse or friend. I will be writing a series of brief articles to help you or direct you to resources that can help in your role as caregiver. This article concentrates on you, the caregiver.

    It has been said that the doctor cannot take care of the patient unless s/he takes care of themselves. The same is true for the caregiver. If you are stressed or sick how do you effectively take care of your charge?

    AARP has many resources to help caregiver and suggests the following:

    1. Figure out your priorities
    2. Take time out from caregiving
    3. Ask for help
    4. Spend time with other people
    5. Find some free outlets for your energy

    They have a host of other suggestions and resources that you can find and use at the following web link.


    Del Oro Caregiver Resource Center is also a great resource and Seniors First has referred many of its clients to them. You may reach them by calling 800-635-0220 or visiting their website at: http://www.deloro.org

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