Caregivers Need Care, too – Transition Aging Parents
(Many thanks to our guest blogger, Lydia Chan, for sharing her wonderful insight for caregivers. Self-care is not optional. It can save lives!) November is not only a time to give thanks, it is also National family carers and National Alzheimer's Awareness Month. And as those who care for Alzheimer's disease know, it is a […]

(Many thanks to our guest blogger, Lydia Chan, for sharing her wonderful insight for caregivers. Self-care is not optional. It can save lives!)
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November is not only a time to give thanks, it is also National family carers and National Alzheimer's Awareness Month. And as those who care for Alzheimer's disease know, it is a terrible disease that wreaks havoc not only on the sick but also on their families.

Caring for a loved one with Alzheimer's disease is a full-time job. It is a thankless and exhausting labor of love, and many caregivers are unwilling to walk away, even for a moment. However, it is this sense of obligation that often leads to caregiver syndrome. CNN notes that caregiver syndrome is accompanied by guilt, anger, depression and deteriorating health. This can be debilitating and compromise the care provided. Here are some ways you can fight caregiver fatigue so you can continue to provide lifelong care to your aging family member:

Ask for help. It is easy to immerse yourself in the daily care of a person with Alzheimer's, dementia or other cognitive disorder. Between repeating yourself over and over, administering medication, and calming unnecessary outbursts, you might not even have time to ask for help.. But you should. Adult children, grandchildren and even close family friends may appreciate the opportunity to carry some of your burden.

Consider respite care. Even if the grieving person does not have another family that can fit you in, there are a number of companies that offer respite services specifically for Alzheimer's caregivers. The Alzheimer's Association ensures that it is normal to need a break. This doesn't mean that you don't like the person with dementia, but that you understand that their well-being is directly related to yours. A respite provider can take care of all aspects of care, including cooking, cleaning, bathing, and companionship.

Outsource time-consuming tasks. Caring for a patient with Alzheimer's disease also means taking care of their home and their pets and fulfilling other obligations on their behalf. Many of these time-consuming tasks can easily be left in the hands of others without compromising your position as the primary caregiver. Walk the dog, cleaning and grocery are just a few of the tasks that sometimes should be given to give you a break.

Take time for yourself every day. Your mental and physical health should be one of your top priorities. Set aside at least an hour a day to focus strictly on yourself. Read a book, paint your nails, take a walk, or just snuggle up with your favorite four-legged friend; studies have shown that time spent with dogs can reduce stress and help cure depression and anxiety. Your body and mind will feel better if you physically separate yourself from your chores, even if it is only for a little while when your loved one is sleeping.

Understand the disease. The unpleasant personality changes that can accompany the disease are one of the greatest sources of stress in the lives of many caregivers with Alzheimer's disease. It is not uncommon for Alzheimer's patients to be described as cantankerous or Too emotional. It is quite stressful at home, but it can be even more stressful when trying to do things to keep the patient's life as normal as possible. Travel, dining, and doctor's visits are especially taxing. Remember that Alzheimer's disease is a degenerative disease that wreaks havoc on the brain. Your formally gentle and patient grandmother may have turned into an angry and bitter woman who takes it all in. She can't help it and she doesn't try to be difficult. Once you understand the effects on the brain, it's easier to deal with the emotional roller coaster of watching helplessly as your loved one progresses for the worse.

RememberJust because you are responsible for someone else's mental, physical, and daily medical care doesn't mean you have to put your own needs aside. There is no shame in going out for a moment to regain sense of yourself. After all, you can only provide the best care if you are in your best shape.


What does it mean to age gracefully ? You can’t stand in a checkout line without seeing at least a few magazine headlines about how to look younger. While dreading some wrinkles and sagging isn’t uncommon, there’s so much more to aging well.

Aging gracefully isn’t about trying to look like a 20-something — it’s about living your best life and having the physical and mental health to enjoy it. Like a bottle of wine, you can get better with age with the right care. Read on to find out what to do and what not to do on your quest to age happily.

Your skin is your body’s largest organTrusted Source. If you treat it with care, it can better protect your body from the elements, regulate your body temperature, and provide impression. to keep it looking and functioning at its best : Wear sunscreen and protective clothing when outside. Get yearly skin cancer screenings. Stick to gentle products in your anti-aging skin care routine. Stay hydrated.

Your skin is your body’s largest organTrusted Source. If you treat it with care, it can better protect your body from the elements, regulate your body temperature, and provide sensation. tera keep it looking and functioning at its best : Wear sunscreen and protective clothing when outside. Get yearly skin cancer screenings. Stick to gentle products in your anti-aging skin care routine. Stay hydrated.

Regular exercise significantly lowers your risk of diseases, such as heart disease and cancer, and helps you retain your mobility longer. Exercise also lowers stress and improves sleep, skin and bone health, and mood. The Department of Health

Healthy foods are the way to go when it comes to aging gracefully. The Dietary Guidelines for AmericansTrusted Source recommends that you eat : fruits and vegetables, either fresh, frozen, or cannedlean protein, such as fish and beansat least three ounces of whole-grain cereals, breads, rice, or pasta every daythree servings of low-fat or fat-free dairy, such as milk, yogurt or cheese that are fortified with vitamin Dhealthy fatsAvoid using solid fats for cooking and use oils instead. Stay away from processed foods, refined sugars, and unhealthy fats. You should also keep your salt intake to a minimum to keep your blood pressure down.

Being happy and keeping your stress down goes a long way in helping you real and age well. tera keep your mood elevated : Spend time with friends and loved ones. Meaningful relationships and a strong social network improve esprit and physical well-being and longevity. Don’t forget your furry loved ones as having a pet has been linked to lower stress and blood pressure, reduced loneliness, and better moods. Accept your age. There is evidence that people who maintain a positive attitude about aging real longer and may recover better from a disability. Aging is inevitable and learning to embrace it can make all the difference. Do things you enjoy. Taking the time to engage in activities you enjoy will only mazout your happiness. Spend time in nature, pursue a new hobby, volunteer — whatever brings you joy.

Numerous studiesTrusted Source have linked a sedentary life to an increased risk of chronic illness and early death. Some options to stay active are going on walks and hikes, taking vacations, and participating in group exercise classes.

The effects of stress on your body are vast, ranging from premature aging and wrinkles to a higher risk of heart disease. There are a number of proven ways to relieve stress, including : using relaxation techniques, such as meditation, breathing exercises, and yogaexercisinggetting adequate sleeptalking to a friend

Smoking and alcohol have both been shown to cause premature aging and increase the risk of disease. Quitting smoking isn’t easy, but there are resources available to help you quit. Speak to a doctor about how to quit. As for alcohol, limit your intake to the recommendedTrusted Source amount to avoid health risks. That’s one drink per day for women and two drinks per day for men.

Good sleep is important for your physical and mental health. It also plays a role in your skin’s health. How much sleep you need depends on your age. Adults over 18 should aim for seven to eight hoursTrusted Source of sleep every night. Getting enough sleep has been proven to : lower the risk of heart disease and strokereduce stress and depressionlower the risk of obesityreduce inflammationimprove focus and concentration

Finding new and meaningful hobbies can help you maintain a sense of purpose and keep you engaged throughout the course of your life. Evidence shows that people who engage in hobbies and leisure and social activities are happier, experience less depression, and live longer.

Mindfulness is about acceptance and living in the moment by focusing on the present. Practicing mindfulness has many proven health benefits that can help you age better, including : improved focusbetter memorylower stressimproved emotional reactionrelationship satisfactionincreased immune functioningTo practice mindfulness, try : meditationyogatai chicoloring

Drinking enough water helps keep you regular and improves your energy levels and brain function. Coincidentally, it’s also been provenTrusted Source to help keep skin healthier and reduce signs of aging. How much water you should drink depends on : your thirstyour activity levelhow often you urinate and move your bowelshow much you sweatyour genderSpeak to a doctor if you have questions or concerns about your water intake.

Not taking care of your teeth not only ages your smile, but also puts you at risk for gum disease, which has been linked to heart disease, stroke, and bacterial pneumonia. Along with proper oral care, it’s important to see a dentist regularly. According to the American Dental Association, a dentist can spot signs of nutritional deficiencies, épidémie, cancer, and other illnesses, such as diabetes. They recommend brushing twice a day, flossing once a day, and using a mouth rinse.

Seeing a doctor regularly can help the doctor find problems early or even before they start. How often you see a doctor depends on your age, lifestyle, family history, and existing conditions. Ask your doctor how often you should go in for checkups and screening contrôles as you age. Also, see a doctor anytime you experience concerning symptoms.

Though aging is inevitable, some people find it difficult to deal with the changes that come with getting older. If you’re worried about your health, are having trouble feeling positive about aging, or worry that you’re not aging well it’s important to reach out for help. Talk to someone you trust, such as a family member or close friend. Professional help is also available through a doctor or a counselor.

Aging gracefully is more about being healthy and happy than keeping wrinkles at bay. Maintain a healthy lifestyle, surround yourself with people you love, and do things that bring you joy. It’s natural to worry about the challenges that aging can bring, so don’t hesitate to speak to someone about your concerns.

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