Ketogenic Diets And Alzheimer’s

The Alzheimer’s Association reports that almost 6 million Americans live with Alzheimer’s. Additionally, someone develops the disease every 65 seconds. There is a dire need for solutions.

Diabetic Patient

Particularly, a good support network is crucial to the management of the disease. To date, 16 million Americans provide unpaid care for people with Alzheimer’s. However, it is important to consider the terrible toll the disease takes on caregivers.

Yet, there is hope in more ways than one. Researchers continue to make new research advancements and to uncover promising developments in treatment options.

The Importance of Insulin

According to Clinical Neurology News, insulin plays a key role in brain function, glucose metabolism, and amyloid beta/tau regulation. Amyloid beta and tau buildup can damage brain cells responsible for memory and cognition. So, insulin plays a critical role in regulating the accumulation of amyloid and tau.

At the 2017 World Congress on Insulin Resistance, Diabetes & Cardiovascular Disease, Suzanne Craft, PhD explained the importance of insulin. After insulin crosses the blood-brain barrier, it binds to receptors and modulates important brain functions. However, it is now known that modulation malfunctions can result in insulin resistance and, ultimately, Alzheimer’s disease.

Today, doctors use intranasal insulin to treat patients with mild cognitive impairment and Alzheimer’s disease. However, a new, non-pharmacological approach has also shown promise – the ketogenic diet.

How A Ketogenic Diet Can Help Alzheimer’s Patients

The ketogenic diet is a high fat, low carbohydrate diet. Its benefit are found in how it depletes the body of excess sugar. Many health experts argue that it should be an important part of a healthy lifestyle. Additionally, researchers speculate that the unique diet may be effective in treating Alzheimer’s disease.

Dr. Craft’s research team divided 87 middle-aged people into two groups. One ate a high salt, sugar, and saturated fat Western diet. Meanwhile, the other group ate a healthier diet.

Not surprisingly, those on the Western diet showed reduced memory and blood flow after 4 weeks. Meanwhile, participants in the healthy diet showed increased blood flow to several regions of the brain. They also reported improved memory function. The results were significant.

Personalized, Compassionate Care at David York Agency

At David York, we understand the toll Alzheimer’s takes on caregivers. So, if someone you love requires full-time or part-time care at home, contact us. Our healthcare professionals can provide personalized, compassionate care to your loved one. They can assist with everything from meal preparation to companionship.

Ageism, Elderspeak, and Long-Term Care

Wouldn’t you be confused if a near-stranger patted your head and called you “sweetie”, or if a nurse shouted instructions despite your excellent hearing? These behaviors are confusing and elicit irritation, but, for seniors, they are becoming more and more common. Ageism, elderspeak, and bias are an unfortunate reality for many seniors in long-term care. Seniors everywhere are struggling against the presumptions that demean them as well as the negative toll on their personal lives.

a care worker or medical professional with a senior client at her home . She is discussing the senior woman’s options on her digital tablet.

Ageism in Medicine

Ageism refers to negative stereotypes about older people that lead others to treat seniors differently from younger people. In medicine, extensive clinical evidence shows that older adults do not receive the same level of preventive care, diagnostic care or treatment as other age groups.

By speaking to residents in certain ways, long-term care workers perpetuate stereotypes about seniors. In turn, older adults may shut down or become angry at staff, which reduces their willingness to ask for help or to talk about their health concerns.

What is Elderspeak?

Elderspeak refers to a communication approach towards seniors that is based on the assumption that older people are incompetent, fragile or impaired. To some, elderspeak is unavoidable because many elders suffer from hearing loss or cognitive decline. But most seniors view elderspeak as a type of bullying that belittles their age. Elements of elderspeak include the following:

  • Speaking in a sing-song voice
  • Using baby talk
  • Talking too slowly
  • Interrupting frequently
  • Speaking loudly when it is unnecessary
  • Saying “we” instead of “you”
  • Using overly familiar endearments (“dearie,” “sweetie”) towards unfamiliar seniors
  • Using overly familiar signs of affection (hair-tousling, back-patting) towards unfamiliar seniors

Elderspeak and Dementia

Research suggests that elderspeak may be distressing to older adults, and may lead nursing home residents with dementia to act out negatively (e.g., disregard instructions, act aggressively) or to withdraw from social interactions altogether. This throws into sharp relief that even in the face of cognitive decline elderspeak has a negative impact on seniors.

Challenging Elderspeak

Several approaches can reduce the frequency of elderspeak. These include:

  • Self-awareness. Most nursing home staff do not realize that they sometimes use elderspeak to communicate with residents. This form of speech may occur among caregivers who genuinely want what is best for the people in their care. When caregivers become aware of their speech behaviors towards seniors, ageist assumptions are challenged.
  • Clear, respectful speech. Nursing staff should learn to speak to seniors in a normal, conversational way, including the use of humor when appropriate. A simple educational lecture is all the difference necessary to raise awareness among caregivers.
  • Encourage assertiveness. Not every senior will take offense at all elderspeak practices. Some seniors find nicknames such as “sweetie” or “honey”, endearing. However, when seniors are annoyed or hurt by certain utterances they can be encouraged to speak out, for example, to say, “You don’t need to yell, I have a hearing aid” or “My name is Lori, can you call me that?” By using calm, clear wording, seniors can advocate for themselves and challenge the inaccurate perceptions of others.

David York Agency provides exceptional in-home care for seniors. If you have further questions about ageism, please contact us.

For more information about David York Agency’s qualified, compassionate caregivers, contact us at 718.376.7755. A free phone consultation can help you decide what services might be best to provide you and your loved one with the assistance they need. If you’d like to hear more from us, please like us on Facebook or follow us on TwitterGoogle+, or LinkedIn.

What is Ageism in Medicine?

Today, there is an unfortunate epidemic that is affecting the elderly. This problem is the result of biases, misconceptions, and assumptions. We refer to it as “ageism in medicine.”

Consider this: a doctor tells a 75-year-old woman to ignore her back pain because aches and pains is a “normal” part of aging. Miles away, a research study about the side effects of a cholesterol-lowering medication includes no research subjects over the age of 60. In addition, the drug in question is most commonly prescribed to the elderly. What’s wrong with this picture?

These stories have one theme in common. They reflect a serious social issue called medical ageism, a phenomenon that affects millions of American seniors.

 

What is Ageism in Medicine?

Ageism is described as the “systematic stereotyping of, and discrimination against, people because they are old.” In medicine, ageism results in deficiencies in the medical care that older adults receive. Ageism is a term coined in the 1970s by the late Dr. Robert Butler, renowned and groundbreaking geriatrician, and it is still occurring today.

It is a fact that the elderly receive less aggressive medical prevention, detection, and treatment than younger adults. As a result, greater rates of preventable disability and early mortality occur among this age group.

Ageism is everywhere. It occurs at the institutional level, as evidenced by the lack of training provided in geriatric medicine. It also happens at the individual level. For instance, a doctor or nurse does not spend the required time with her senior patients to get to the root of the problem because they are “depressing” or “old”.

 

Examples of Ageism in Medicine

  • Only 40% of older Americans receive routine health care screenings for high blood pressure and elevated cholesterol. This occurs despite the fact that these conditions worsen with age.
  • Only 10% of older Americans receive prostate and colon cancer exams even though early intervention is crucial for treating these diseases.
  • A doctor complains that his next patient is a “difficult old lady” who is a “trainwreck” waiting to happen.
  • A 70-year-old widower tells his doctor that he is always sad and has lost a lot of weight. The doctor doesn’t refer the man for depression screening despite the fact that the suicide rate for elderly white men is higher than it is for any other group in America.

The list goes on.

 

How Can I Help?

If you are a healthcare provider or professional caregiver

  • Seek out training opportunities in geriatric care and medicine.
  • Be mindful of any implicit biases (prejudices you may not be aware of) that affect how you perceive and interact with older adults.
  • Be aware of the language you use to describe older patients. Phrases like  “cranky old-timer” and “sweet old lady” may seem harmless, but they can perpetuate stereotypes about older adults.

If you are a family member or caregiver

  • Be assertive in ensuring that your loved one receives routine, preventive care. Do not assume that her physician’s office will automatically conduct regular screenings.
  • Help empower your senior relative to have a plan before talking to the doctor.
  • Educate yourself about ageism in medicine and become an advocate for your older relative.

 

For more information about David York Agency’s qualified, compassionate caregivers, contact us at 718.376.7755. A free consultation will help determine what services your loved one needs. If you’d like to hear more from us, please like us on Facebook or follow us on TwitterGoogle+, or LinkedIn.

How Home Health Aides Can Prevent Foodborne Illness

preventing foodborne illness

People over 65 need to take special care to reduce their chances of contracting foodborne illness (i.e. food poisoning). Fortunately, home health aides for senior citizens can help.

Generally, food in the U.S. is usually very safe. However, food that has started to go bad or has been in a refrigerator too long may carry bacteria. This could cause illness in anyone, but is particularly dangerous for the elderly.

Toxins Especially Dangerous to Elderly

Older people process toxins in their body more slowly than younger people, so bacteria stay in their body longer. In addition, older people may have weaker immune systems, due either to chronic conditions or medications.

Seniors tend to live alone or with an elderly spouse. As such, food may often sit in the refrigerator longer and even go bad. Their lack of mobility and a normal concern about the budget on a fixed retirement income can contribute to the problem.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that 48 million Americans become ill each year from foodborne illnesses. As many as 128,000 people are hospitalized annually, and 3,000 of those foodborne illnesses become fatal. Many of those affected are senior citizens or children.

Home Health Aide Can Prevent Illness

Here’s where a home health aide can help. As people age, their memory may gradually deteriorate and they may lose some of the acuity of smell and taste they once had. Smell and taste are the ways people can easily tell if food is no longer safe to eat. If an elderly parent, relative, or friend is dealing with a diminishment in those senses, a home senior care aide can examine fruits, vegetables, and meats to see if they are still fresh.

A home health aide who helps prepare food or provides company can be a safeguard against food poisoning. At David York Agency, we offer a number of home healthcare services to help ensure your elderly loved one gets the care and nutrition they need. Whether you just need someone to come over a few days a week to help prepare fresh, healthy meals or you need a full-time home healthcare assistant, we can help.

 

For more information about our qualified, compassionate caregivers, contact us at 718.376.7755. A free phone consultation can help you decide what services might be best to provide you and your loved one with the assistance you need.

If you’d like to hear more from us, please like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter, Google+, or LinkedIn.

How MyPlate for Older Adults is Helping Improve Senior Care

MyPlate for Seniors

This May, the U.S. government rolled out a new version of its popular MyPlate for senior adults is a daily nutritional guide specifically tailored for the elderly. MyPlate shows a plate divided by food groups. Fruits, vegetables, protein, and other food groups are visually displayed to represent how and what healthy people should be eating daily. Now, MyPlate for Older Adults is providing a powerful tool for senior care that helps the elderly and their caregivers better understand the unique dietary needs of this age group.

According to MyPlate, at least half of older people’s daily diets should consist of nutrient-dense fruits and vegetables. Nutritionists note that these do not have to be fresh. They maintain that frozen fruits and vegetables have a nutritional profile equal to that of fresh. Furthermore, they often are easier to shop for and keep for many senior citizens.

Many believe that elderly individuals should not be wholly vegetarian, though. Proteins such as lean meats and fish, with healthy servings of high-protein dairy products, are also important to get enough iron and calcium.

Finally, MyPlate for Older Adults is unequivocal about salt: if you’re over the age of 65, don’t use it. Instead, they recommend replacing salt with spices and sodium-free sauces.

Caregivers Can Help With Good Nutrition

Good nutrition is critically important to older adults because it can prevent or slow many of the chronic conditions that are common as people age. A diet heavy in fruits and vegetables, for example, can help control diabetes. The calcium in dairy products can prevent osteoporosis. The no-salt rule is a boon to those with high blood pressure.

However, many senior citizens may not cook healthy meals on their own. Depression, lack of appetite, mobility issues, or frailty may make them less likely to stock and prepare food. Fortunately, caregivers can assist in shopping and preparing healthy meals in accordance with MyPlate. If your older loved one wants to age in place, it could make a huge difference in their ongoing health.

For more information about David York Agency’s qualified, compassionate caregivers, contact us at 718.376.7755. A free phone consultation can help you decide what services might be best to provide you and your loved one with the assistance you need.

If you’d like to hear more from us, please like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter, Google+, or LinkedIn.

Caring for the Caregiver by: Anita Kamiel, R.N., M.P.S.

older-americans-month1

Mother’s Day approaching and May being Older Americans month, I started thinking about caregivers at the beginning and at the end of life, for those young and old. Understandably, people most often associate caregiving with the harried young mother who has no time to shower or get dressed as she feeds, bathes and runs after little ones. However, those who care for seniors are often just as stressed, pressed for time and tied to their charges.

Societal Changes

Caring for aging loved ones was never an easy prospect. However, up until now, caregiver stress was not much of an issue. In the past, families lived in multi-generational households and together they shared the burden of their sick and elderly. Today, families are scattered and the responsibility for care usually falls on the spouse to shoulder almost alone. However, the spouse usually has their own physical problems of decreased mobility and strength as well as pain discomfort. Furthermore, paying for outside help can be quite expensive and unless proper planning took place years before, funds are often not available for full-time relief. It’s clear that these caregivers need help.

Caring for Aging Loved Ones

Caregiving is exhausting business. Seniors needing care often have complex health problems warranting total care. Though it may a labor of love, there are the routine activities of daily living (ADLs) such as bathing, grooming, dressing, and feeding. Days may be centered around the need to properly nourish, ambulate and stimulate the patient. Those are all physically demanding activities that become even more so if the patient has dementia or a personality shift due to a disease such as Alzheimer’s.

Real Danger of Burnout

Caregiver burnout is all too common. There is juggling the errands such as grocery shopping, pharmacy trips, and laundry – all must-haves. Except, seniors needing care are not as portable as infants, making the situation more stressful and coverage even more crucial. No matter how well-intentioned the caregiver, a difficult situation may spark feelings of fear, resentment, and frustration and, if left to fester, can easily turn into full-blown depression.

Caregivers are often confined and isolated with no one on hand to ask questions to; day-to-day decision making can become burdensome. In a facility, the staff has each other. At home, there is only the caregiver and patient with short interludes of other family members, doctors, and allied health professionals. Furthermore, the social support system for caregivers shrinks due to their responsibilities which in turn can contribute to a budding depression.

Neglecting Themselves

Almost as much of a problem is the tendency of caregivers to push their own health under the rug. They are notorious for skipping their own doctor appointments and ignoring their own aches and pains hoping they just disappear. Though denial might make the short term easier, it may be detrimental in the long run preventing them from seeking appropriate care and properly plan. In fact, there is a higher incidence of health issues associated with caregivers than non-caregivers probably due to a combination of stress, age and a certain degree of self-neglect. All too often, caregivers reach damaging and unhealthy levels of stress before they come to the point of reaching out for help and support.

Less obviously, the same dangers of fatigue apply to hired home health aides as they too are vulnerable to stress and isolation. Additionally, since they are often from entirely different cultures, varying priorities and expectations on the part of the patient, their family and caregiver may cause tension. Even the most caring aide’s work can suffer under this stress. And, stress has a habit of creeping back into a person’s work. Unintentionally, this transfer of stress can cause even the slightest discomfort to the senior or even his family. This is why it is important for the aide to work no more than 5 days a week on one case and for the family to have relief aides on hand.

Relief is Possible

This leads me to my next point, relief for family members. It is so important to care for the caregiver. Family and friends need to be offered practical support and watch for signs of caregiver stress. Here are some suggestions give caregivers a break:

1. Help with meals once a week or once a month. Even frozen food can be a help in a pinch.

2. Run an errand sporadically or on a regular basis. Do the trip to the drug store or the like.

3. ‘Senior-sit’ even one hour a week so the caregiver can get to the gym or a weekly class they enjoy.

4. If you can afford it, pay for a cleaning service once in a while to pinch hit.

5. Last, but not least, make a regular visit or just phone to show you care.

Take Care of Yourself

By the same token, caregivers must take steps to prevent any negative effects from their truly admirable work. Caregivers must seek the help of a friend, support groups or a physician, before their struggles become severe. Here are some steps to take:

1. Keep in contact with friends, neighbors or relatives. Though they feel pressed, they need to maintain their ‘social contract’ with friends. Keeping active socially reduces stress and provides an outlet for the rollercoaster of emotions that come with caregiving.

2. Seek out a support group. Many of the various associations that deal with diseases endemic to the elderly have regular, often local, support group meetings, even online.

3. Get active. Ride a bike. Go for a run. Put in an exercise video. Keep the blood circulating and the mind sharp.

4. Carve out ‘alone time’, even in the corner of the house, to read a book or watch a movie in peace. Some people find journaling daily thoughts and activities helps relieve stress.

5. Seek help immediately if depression is suspected. Talk therapy with a social worker or psychologist can help work through the unique challenges felt by caregivers. Remember, care must be taken to avoid what has become all too common – prescription drug abuse.

6. Keep your own nutrition up. That is the best way to maintain your health and energy level. You are a priority too!

Caregiving is praiseworthy, but lonely and challenging business – not for the faint of heart. However, if you make efforts to protect yourself while reaching out for help at the appropriate times, you will emerge healthy and fulfilled. Let me know if I can help!

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Anita Kamiel, RN, MPS, is the founder and owner of David York Home Healthcare Agency, licensed by the State of New York. She holds a master’s degree in gerontological administration and is fully acquainted with all factors related to eldercare services and the latest guidelines for seniors. Thirty years ago, she realized the need for affordable, quality home health aide services provided and supervised by caring individuals. You can contact her at 718-376-7755 or at www.davidyorkagency.com. David York Agency is also on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and LinkedIn.

Common Sense Medication Reminders For Senior Care

medication reminders for seniors

Most nurses can attest to the frustration felt when going through a medication reconciliation with an elderly patient. Oftentimes the elderly patient will come to the ER with a pill box and no idea of what medications it contains. They may simply be able to recognize certain pills based on color and size. They may even know how many times daily they take the pills. However, correlating it to what the medication is for might be a mystery. As a result, the hospital staff is often left waiting for family members to arrive with a medication list that is, in many cases, outdated. It is time for common sense medication reminders for seniors

So what common sense interventions can ensure accurate medication administration in senior care when reminders such as pill boxes and medication lists aren’t enough? Here are three tips for helping your senior loved one stay on top of their daily prescriptions.

1. Be Actively Involved

Whether it’s a family member or a home health aide, it’s important to have someone around regularly to ensure your elderly loved is taking their medications as prescribed.

Examine the pillboxes daily to see if some doses have been missed. Occasionally look under the chair or bed to find a spare pill. Has your senior been sick lately? Has she been dealing with bouts of nausea or vomiting? All this could cause them to miss taking pills due to skipping meals.

Having a personal presence in the life of your elderly loved one can make a huge difference. It can increase their safety and decrease their hospital admissions.

2. Education Is Key

Although it can be tedious, allow the elderly person to go through the pillbox filling process with you. Having them do it themselves can be very enlightening. You can determine if they understand the schedule and if they are aware of what pills they are taking and for what reasons.

For example, someone may be aware that four of their daily pills are for blood pressure. Upon waking, they check their blood pressure and get a low reading. This awareness of their condition may encourage them to confer with a home health nurse or their doctor’s office before taking the prescribed medications.  In that way, they could avoid a situation which could dangerously lower their blood pressure.

3. Simplify the Prescription Filling Routine

Try to have medications filled at only one pharmacy if possible. Then, assign one person to be in charge of reconciling what medications are filled on a monthly basis with the medication list. This way, medications that are no longer being prescribed can be eliminated from the list. At the same time, newly prescribed medications can be added on a month-to-month basis.

Keeping track of a sometimes long list of medications can be difficult for many seniors. This is exacerbated when other factors such as memory loss or illness come into play. While it may not always be possible for you to be there to remind them what to take and when, a home health aide can provide the extra care and support your loved one needs.

At David York Agency, our experienced in-home healthcare providers can help to monitor medication and ensure your senior takes the medications they need when they need them. We are certified and trained in the latest guidelines for eldercare.

For more information about David York Agency’s qualified, compassionate caregivers, contact us at 718.376.7755. A free phone consultation can help you decide what services might be best. Our aim is to provide you and your loved one with the assistance you need.

If you’d like to hear more from us, please like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter, Google+, or LinkedIn.

Consulteering: A New Way to Enjoy Life After Retirement

consulteering

If you have retired or have retired early to take care of a loved one full-time, you might be interested in “consulteering.” Consulteering is when you use your consulting skills on a volunteer basis. 

“It’s my trifecta. Paid work, giving back, and relaxation. I call it ‘consulteering’, said Dane Peters.”

Dane Peters, a seasoned educator and head of school who retired three years ago made up the word. He wanted to combine a life of consulting, volunteering, and leisure time to find a perfect work-life balance. Peters transitioned gradually from working full-time to building a rich, to lead a fulfilling life in his later years. He and others have made this ‘work a little, play a little’ philosophy work for them.

Retirement, even without caregiving, is an adjustment. If you miss your job and want to do some consulting, consider consulteering. Part-time or volunteer work will keep you excited about life, consulteering could be the answer. This type of volunteer work also gives you a chance to do a job you always wanted to try. 

You may have some goals you want to pursue, such as getting in shape or just visiting and spending more time with family and friends. You really do deserve some time for you.

Taking care of a loved one full-time is a rewarding labor of love, but it can be all-consuming at times. Adding a little balance to your life is not only good for your own health and well-being but for the health and well-being of the loved one you are caring for too.

Those you care for love you. They want you to go fishing or spend an hour or two working in the garden. They don’t want you to miss your grandchild’s sports game or ballet recital. It gives them pleasure to see you enjoy doing something that is meaningful that recharges you. Whether it is a part-time job, doing volunteer work, or just having fun, we all need a break, especially caregivers. As an added benefit, you will be able to come home with a new lens on life and window to the world to share with your charge. You will be able you update those needing care and confined to home. Your updates get them involved and thinking about something other than their personal situation. A win-win situation.

Consider exploring the life of “consulteering” while we watch over the ones you love most.

At David York Agency, we understand the commitment involved with being a caregiver for a loved one. You focus so much of your time and energy caring for others, and often forget to take time to do things for yourself. Our in-home health care professionals can be there to give you some extra time to pursue your interests or simply unwind a little.

For more information about David York Agency’s qualified, compassionate caregivers, contact us at 718.376.7755. A free consultation can help you decide which services might be best to provide you and your loved one with the assistance you need.

If you’d like to hear more from us, please like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter, Google+, or LinkedIn.”

Intergenerational Caregiving: It Takes a Village

intergenerational caregiving

In recent years, Americans have witnessed a drastic change in the way we care for our elders and our children. The average family size has become smaller, and many of us find ourselves living extended distances from our aging parents. Add to the mix the increasing number of households that require multiple full-time incomes, and it isn’t hard to see the challenges one may face when trying to provide safe and effective care for both children and elderly family members. These challenges can sometimes be best addressed through the concept of intergenerational caregiving.

What is Intergenerational Caregiving?

Simply put, intergenerational caregiving is the practice of bringing together children and the elderly for mutual benefit. And the list of benefits is impressive:

  • Improved memory and physical ability for the elderly
  • Decreased depression and anxiety for both adult and child
  • Decreased behavioral issues in children
  • Improved social development in children
  • Improved self-esteem for both adult and child

Real-Life Application

There are a variety of scenarios in which intergenerational caregiving can be successful. Grandparents caring for their grandchildren at home while the parents are at work, daycare centers placed in assisted living facilities, the bringing together of elderly adults and adopted or fostered children—these are just a few of the ways to successfully bridge the gap between the elderly and our children.

Whether the elderly adult is a grandparent, a close relative, or simply a member of one’s community, it’s easy to see that intergenerational caregiving provides positive benefits to both the elder adult and the child.

If you have a senior loved one who is in need of light assistance around the home, they may benefit tremendously from the company and purpose caring for a child can bring. In some situations, though, your senior may need the help of an adult. A home health aide from David York Agency can provide high-quality, personalized care either on a full-time or part-time basis.

For more information on David York Agency’s qualified, compassionate caregivers, contact us at 718.376.7755. A free phone consultation can help you decide what services might be best. We aim to provide you and your loved one with the assistance you need.

If you’d like to hear more from us, please like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter, Google+, or LinkedIn.

Caregiver Stress: How to Manage Common Caregiver Frustrations

caregiver frustration

According to a joint study by the AARP and the National Alliance for Caregiving, an estimated 44 million Americans provided caregiver services for an adult family member in 2015.

While many of them took the responsibility of providing care for a family member willingly, an overwhelming number of them believe they had no choice in assuming the role of caregiver. This can cause enormous caregiver frustration and resentment for a caregiver, particularly among siblings in situations where one sibling feels they have been forced into the caregiver role.

Families can alleviate caregiver frustration. 

Family members can help alleviate this frustration. Develop a plan for other family members to occasionally step in to relieve the primary caregiver. The sacrifice can be as little as a few hours a week. It can make an enormous difference to a caregiver. As well, this is especially true if you feel you are unfairly shouldering the burden of caring for a loved one on your own.

The emotional state of the person cared for is another leading cause of frustration among caregivers. Remember, it is very common for a senior in long-term care to become depressed. This can manifest itself in anger, emotional outbursts, or refusal to cooperate with the caregiver. As a result, the caregiver may experience increased exasperation and frustration. 

Caregiver stress is a very normal occurrence—even for professionals.

While you can’t control your loved one’s emotions, you can control how you respond to them. Staying calm and in control can help defuse the situation and prevent escalation. Take a deep breath and try to fully assess the situation from the perspective of the person receiving the care. If the roles were reversed, how would you feel at that moment?

Also, caregivers need to remember to take the time to care for themselves, both physically and mentally. Many caregivers ignore their own personal needs, skipping medical appointments, not eating regular meals, and not getting adequate sleep. The long-term effects of those choices can be devastating. They can lead to poor health, increased frustration, and an inability to provide adequate care.

Understandably, when the elderly lose their independence and mobility, it can be difficult to come to terms with. They often vent frustrations on a family member even more than on a professional caregiver. The key is to remember that you are not alone and that there are healthy ways to cope with and reduce your stress.

If you are feeling overwhelmed by the responsibility of caring for a loved one, remember that help is available. At David York Agency, we provide full and part-time support for caregivers and their families to lessen the burden of ensuring their loved one is safe, happy, and healthy.

For more information about David York Agency’s qualified, compassionate caregivers, contact us at 718.376.7755. A free consultation can help you decide what services might be best. Our aim is to provide you and your loved one with the assistance they need.

If you’d like to hear more from us, please like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter, Google+, or LinkedIn.”