For caregivers, just like being proactive is helpful in reducing mental stress, thinking preventatively is a vital step to ensure your physical well-being. Caregivers often forget there are inherent dangers to themselves and their loved ones while performing the physical demands of care. Lifting in particular, can be hazardous for your back, and unsafe should you hurt someone while moving them about. Daily care training is available. Along with considering your physical limitations, prioritize your own health when evaluating your overall caregiving needs. Continue reading “Taking Care of You – Part 2: The Physical You” »
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As a caregiver of someone with Alzheimer’s disease you will likely hear many words of advice that start or end with, “don’t forget to take care of yourself.” Hmmmm.. .supportive advice, but sometimes easier said than done. To be candid, depending on your situation, taking care of yourself may in fact be an ongoing challenge. But you can do some small things along the way to help yourself and your overall family. In the next few blog posts we will talk about ways to take care of the “Mental You”, the “Physical You” and even the “Guilty You”.
The Mental You
As a caregiver, one of the best things you can do for your mental health is to be as proactive as possible. Hearing the diagnosis of Alzheimer’s can be overwhelming in itself, but having to react to ongoing unknowns and constant surprises are much worse. Educate yourself on everything possible, starting with the disease and its progression. Continue reading “Taking Care of You – Part 1: The Mental You” »
Paul and Susan were college sweethearts who had lived many adventures in their 38 years of marriage, including a stint with the Peace Corps in Afghanistan and teaching for two years in Norway, where their son James was born. The couple finally chose to settle in Reno, where they spent more than 20 years building their careers, family and community.
“My first recollection that something wasn’t right was when Susan wasn’t able to do simple addition or subtraction when balancing the checkbook,” says Paul. “Things got worse so we took her to a neurologist. He was the first person to bring up the possibility of Alzheimer’s.”
In January of 2009, Greenbrae, Calif., resident Kathleen Zalecki was approached by her daughters who expressed concerns about her memory. As an active almost-65-year-old who cycled regularly and was living a full and busy life, the conversation was challenging.
“My first reaction was denial and anger; what they were saying was difficult to hear and accept,” says Kathleen. “But I was eventually able to recognize changes that were becoming problematic and I agreed to get tested.”