Basic Caregiving

10 tips to consider for day to day care

  1. Get a diagnosis as early as possible
    • Symptoms appear gradually
    • The sooner you know what you are dealing with the better equipped to manage the present and future
       
  2. Start legal and financial planning
    • Consult and elder law attorney
    • Plan for Power of Attorney, Will, Living Trust, Guardianship
       
  3. Educate yourself on Caregiving
    • Different stages of progression require different skills
    • The Alzheimer's Association offers a wealth of information and resources
       
  4. Familiarize yourself with available resources
    • Adult Day Care facilities
    • Respite care programs
    • In-home assistance
    • Meals-on-Wheels
    • Visiting nurses
       
  5. Get help
    • Accept you cannot do everything yourself
    • Involve family and friends
    • Attend support groups
    • Ask questions
    • Remember you are not alone
       
  6. Take care of yourself
    • ake breaks from the routine
    • Exercise at least 15 minutes everyday
    • Remind yourself often... "You cannot care for someone, if you haven't taken care of yourself first"
       
  7. Manage your stress level
    • Stress will manifest itself physically, emotionally and behaviorally
    • Be alert for issues as they present:
      • Depression
      • Lack of concentration
      • Poor appetite
      • Digestive problems
      • Unable to sleep
      • Blood pressure
         
  8. Learn to let go
    • Allow professional caregivers to help
    • Connect with healthcare agency for an assessment
    • Explore other options with family
       
  9. Be realistic
    • Progressive Alzheimer's and Dementia cannot be cured (currently)
    • Enjoy good memories
    • Live everyday to the fullest possible
       
  10. Give yourself credit, not guilt
    • Do the best you can but realize and accept your humanity
    • Allow for mistakes
    • Take pride for what you are doing 

 

FACTS & FIGURES

  • 82% care for one person who is likely either living with the caregiver or living within 20 minutes of the caregiver

  • 60% of caregivers are female. The typical caregiver is a 49-year-old female caring for a 69-year-old female relative, most likely her mother

  • 40% of caregivers are male
     
  • 34% of caregivers have a full-time job, while 25% work part time. Caregivers who work do so for 34.7 hours per week on average
     
  • Caregivers have been caring for 4 years on average, spending 24.4 hours per week helping with activities like bathing, dressing, housework, and managing finances
     
  • 32% provide at least 21 hours of care a week, on average providing 62.2 hours of care weekly
     
  • 38% of caregivers report high emotional stress from the demands of caregiving

Visit: http://www.caregiving.org/caregiving2015/ or http://www.aarp.org/caregivingintheus/ to download the full report and related materials.