Caregiving: Taking Care of You is Rule #1

November is National Family Caregivers Month. Approximately 43.5 million caregivers have provided unpaid care to an adult or child in the last 12 months. [National Alliance for Caregiving and AARP). About 34.2 million Americans have provided unpaid care to an adult age 50 or older in the last 12 months. The cumulative financial impact of this unsung and unpaid labor from loving volunteers is estimated at $470 billion per year.

 

As Caregivers we are often put into a position where we have to choose between what is good for ourselves, and what is good for our loved one or care partner.  Placing someone else needs in front of our own might be difficult for some people to understand, but not for the caregiver!

 

To be a healthy caregiver we have to learn how to live our life in the solutions of our caregiving experience, not the problems caregiving can create in our lives.  By living a life focused on solutions, we live life with clarity, hope and love.  Focusing solely on the problems of caregiving we live in fear, worry and despair.

 

Here’s The Deal: Taking care of self is rule number one while in the midst of caregiving. Whether the words are spoken or not, your loved one understands the stress you are under and wants you to take care of yourself.  When you get to the point where you are at least half as good at asking care of yourself as you are at taking care of your loved one, you be on the right track. But first and foremost you have to start by making a plan!  Start by:

 

Create A Care Team: While are super hero’s our caregiving capes are limited. Reach out to family members and friends who can play a role on the care team. Everyone brings different talents to the team, utilize them!  Asking for help is a sign of strength, not a sign of weakness!

 

Set a Daily Intention For Yourself: Caregiving can be time consuming, especially if your balancing your career and raising children at the same time.  Schedule something for yourself, every day, even if it is just five minutes of me time in a room alone.

 

Have A Back-Up Plan: What if you get sick?  See Create a Care Team Above.

As Caregivers, we then to think that we are indestructible, but we are susceptible to illness too.  Stress and fatigue will play havoc on all parts of your body, mind and spirit.

 

I believe that there is no greater honor than to be entrusted with the care of another human being.  I make no bones about it, caregiving is hard, but in the end, the good days will always outweigh the bad ones.

 

 

by Christopher MacLellan, M.A., CSA

Chris MacLellan, is affectionately known as “The Bow Tie Guy” in many caregiving circles. Chris has over 10 years of personal caregiving experience and is an ardent advocate for caregivers and their caree’s, through his Caregiving blog, The Purple Jacket and his weekly radio show, ‘Healing Ties.’ Now Chris is creating a life to love after Caregiving ends through his radio show, ‘Healing Ties’ by encouraging people to live a happy and healthy life. With special guests from across the country, Healing Ties: Creating A Life To Love provides listeners with real-life solutions to real-life issues in a calm and peaceful way.

Chris’ book, “What’s the Deal with Caregiving” takes you on the caregiving journey from beginning to end, with plenty of sound tips in-between.  Learn the importance of creating a care team, how to advocate for your caree, using your Ph.D. in caregiving and Chris’ four stages of grief.

Get the Book: What’s The Deal With Caregiving

Visit his Site: The Whole Care Network

 

 

 

Ashton Applewhite: Let’s End Ageism.

Ashton Applewhite’s TED Talk: Let’s End Ageism.

What’s one thing that everyone in the world is going to become? OLDER! It’s not the passage of time that makes it so hard to get older. It’s ageism, a prejudice that pits us against our future selves — and each other. Ashton Applewhite urges us to dismantle the dread and mobilize against the last socially acceptable prejudice. “Aging is not a problem to be fixed or a disease to be cured,” she says. “It is a natural, powerful, lifelong process that unites us all.”

 

It starts between your ears: how do you feel about your own aging? What messages have you absorbed over the years? Look at where they come from. Think about what purpose they serve. Learn about longevity. Start a consciousness-raising group. Question the mainstream narrative. Speak up when you encounter ageist behavior or attitudes. Join forces with olders and youngers to make ageism as unacceptable as any other form of prejudice — and to dismantle them all.

Visit her site here:

 

 

WATCH THE TED TALK NOW!

 

We Remember All Who Served

 

Veterans Day is a time for us to pay our respects to all those who have served. For one day, we stand united in respect for you, our Veterans.

On the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918 an armistice between Germany and the Allied nations came into effect. On November 11, 1919, Armistice Day was commemorated for the first time. In 1919, President Wilson proclaimed the day should be “filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service and with gratitude for the victory”. There were plans for parades, public meetings and a brief suspension of business activities at 11am. This holiday started as a day to reflect upon the heroism of those who died in our country’s service. However, in 1954, the holiday was changed to “Veterans Day” in order to account for all veterans in all wars.

In this 99th year of commemoration, the Department of Veterans Affairs is broadening that tradition of observance and appreciation to include both Veterans and Military Families for the entire month of November. Veterans Day is not to be confused with Memorial Day, a U.S. public holiday in May; Veterans Day celebrates the service of all U.S. military veterans, while Memorial Day honors those who died while in military service.

This day is also the 242nd Birthday of the United States Marine Corps. –Semper Fi.

 

 

 

…We salute you Milt (1921-2017)

Majority of Home Fires Caused by Cooking

The overwhelming majority of home fires are caused by unattended or forgotten cooking.

iGuardStove keeps families and their neighbors safe by preventing kitchen fires before they start. We are this century’s innovative, intelligent and imonitoring solution for your peace of mind and home wellness.

The iGuardStove was designed to reduce the risk of unattended stove fires. It prevents stove fires and protecting people in the heart of the home from distractions and their busy lifestyles. Handicapped, those living with a brain injury or the onset of diseases like Alzheimers and Dementia are just some of the people we assist.

The iGuardStove monitors the kitchen area for unattended or forgotten cooking. The device simply shuts off the stove top. This prevents fires, horrible injuries, loss of structure or even death. Once someone returns to the kitchen the stove automatically resumes cooking. Its that simple! Visit: www.iGuardFire.com info@iguardfire.com

 

 

 

National Aging in Place Week

America’s seniors and senior service providers throughout the country will join to celebrate National Aging in Place Week from October 15-21, 2017. National Aging in Place Week is an annual effort to expand awareness of the Aging in Place movement and the availability of the means for seniors to remain in their homes for as long as they would like.

“Aging in Place” refers to our ability to live safely and comfortably in our homes as we get older, often to the very end of our lives.  Homes that are suitable for aging in place are those that are “accessible” to us as our mobility decreases. Accessible homes include those on a single story that remove the dangers and effort of climbing stairs on creaky legs. Multi-level homes with a master bedroom on the first floor, as well as homes with elevators or stairlifts, are also suitable for aging in place but tend to be more costly than single

story homes.  Other features of accessible houses include the absence of stairs to get in or out of the house, good lighting, wide doorways for walkers and wheelchairs and walk-in showers or baths.

 

Purposeful aging in place has grown in popularity and celebrated by the National Aging in Place Week and the National Aging in Place Council that promotes the positive outcomes of older adults having a choice in their care and living arrangements.   In addition to Certified Aging-In-Place Specialists (CAPS) there are many more professionals trained to fill the growing need in this service model for older adults such as the Senior Home Safety Specialist™ designation offered by Age Safe America.

 

Industries that have special programs or certifications include Real Estate, Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy and Relocation specialists.  Many communities are now fully engaged and committed to exploring ways to better serve older adults by developing action plans that address future needs and ensure that the necessary services are in place when they are needed.  Recognizing that a home is filled with memories and is more than just a place to stay, companies are engaged in accommodating the elderly for years of comfortable living.  These companies provide comprehensive services ranging from household cleaning to occupational therapy to assist in maintaining maximum quality of life.

 

There are many things adult children of seniors can do to make their parents’ homes safer and more accessible, regardless of how much — or how little — the family can afford to spend.

 

No-Cost or Low-Cost Modifications

De-clutter: Seniors tend to have accumulated a lot of possessions over the years, but too many belongings can put them at risk for falls. Remove clutter so that rooms are as sparse as possible.

 

Re-organize: Put the items your parents use often in the most accessible places. This is especially important in the kitchen and bathrooms.

 

Adjust lighting: Nightlights can be placed throughout the home (especially in hallways and bathrooms) to improve visibility. It’s also a good idea to replace low-wattage light bulbs with high-wattage bulbs.

 

Reduce slip risk: Help fall-proof your parents’ flooring by securing rugs with non-skid pads or tacks and using non-skid wax on the floors. Wet floors in bathrooms are also a major slip risk for seniors. Slip-resistant rugs are perfect for bathrooms because they won’t move even when the floors are wet.

 

 

Medium-Cost Modifications

Safe-T-element Cooking System: Once installed over the stove top, this device will shut off burners if they’re accidentally left on and get too hot.

 

Security poles with curved grab bars: Install these next to the shower, toilet, couch and/or bed to help your parents safely rise, sit, and get in and out of difficult-to-navigate spaces.

 

Ramps: Parents who use a wheelchair or have mobility issues will especially appreciate this ease of access to and from their homes…and inside their homes.

 

 

Higher-Cost Modifications

Stair lifts: These mechanical devices will safely transport a parent up or down stairs on a seat that attaches to a track that’s installed on the stairs.

 

Walk-in tubs: These tubs have a door that opens so seniors don’t have to step over the side to get in or out. They also usually come with a built-in seat and grab bars for safe bathing.

 

Sensors: Incredible new technology — in the form of sensors placed throughout the home — can help you keep tabs on how your elderly loved ones are doing. If your parents interrupt their daily pattern of behavior (such as not getting out of bed or not returning from a trip to the bathroom), you can be notified.

 

 

 

October is Fire Prevention Month

Fire is the number one emergency in the United States. The U.S. Fire Administration reports each year, more than 4,000 Americans die in fires, more than 25,000 are injured in fires, and more than 100 firefighters are killed while on duty. Most of these deaths occur in residences and could have been prevented.

Older adults face the greatest relative risk of dying in a fire. In a report by the US Fire Administration in 2014 older adults represented 14 percent of the United States population but suffered 38 percent of all fire deaths. Older adults over 65 have 2.6 times greater risk of dying in a fire than the total population. And those ages 85 and over were 4.1 times more likely to die in a fire than the total population.

 

10 simple tips to help you avoid fires and reduce the risk of injury:

 

1)      Smoke Alarms – These are a very important addition to your home.  Smoke alarms are widely available and inexpensive.  Install a smoke alarm on every level of your home and test it monthly.

 

2)      Prevent Electrical Fires – Don’t overload circuits or extension cords.  Cords and wires should never be placed  under rugs or in high traffic areas.  Avoid loose electrical connections by checking the fit of the plug in the wall outlet.  If the plug loosely fits, inspect the outlet right away.  A poor connection between the plug and the outlet can cause overheating and can start a fire in minutes.

 

3)      Keep Plugs Safe – Unplug all appliances when not in use.  Follow the manufacturer’s safety precautions and use your senses to spot any potential disasters.  If a plug is overheating, smells strange, shorts out or sparks – the appliance should be shut off immediately, then replaced or repaired.

 

4)      Alternate Heaters – Make sure there is ample space around any portable heating unit.  Anything that could catch fire should be at least three feet away.  Inspect your chimney annually and use fire screens to help keep any fires in the fireplace.

 

5)      Fire Safety Sprinklers – When combined with working smoke alarms, home fire sprinklers greatly increase your chance of surviving a fire.  Sprinklers are affordable and they can increase property value and lower insurance rates.

 

6)      Create An Escape Route – Create and practice your escape plan with your family from every room in the house.  Practice staying low to the floor and checking for hot doors using the back of your hand.  It’s just like a routine school fire drill – but in your home.

 

7)      Position Appliances Carefully – Try to keep TV sets, kitchen and other appliances away from windows with curtains.  If there is a wiring problem, curtains can spread a fire quickly.  Additionally, keeping your appliances away from water sources (like rain coming in from windows) can help prevent wiring damage which can lead to a fire.

 

8)      Clean Dryer Vents – Clothes dryers often start fires in residential areas.  Clean the lint filter every time you start a load of clothes to dry or after the drying cycle is complete.  Make sure your exhaust duct is made of metal tubing and not plastic or foil.  Clean the exhaust duct with a good quality dryer vent brush to prevent blockage & check for lint build up behind the dryer at least twice a year.

 

9)      Be Careful Around the Holidays – If you fill your home with lights during the holiday season, keep them away from anything that can easily catch fire.  Check all of your lights prior to stringing them up and dispose of anything with frayed or exposed wires.

 

10)   Conduct Regular Inspections – Check all of your electronic equipment and wiring at least once a month.  Taking a little time to do this each month can really pay off.

 

Following these simple tips could potentially save your life or the life of a loved one.  Pass this list on to your friends and family and make this fire prevention month count!