Health
October 18, 2019
link to facebook link to twitter
More Stories
Prepareness plan to protect seniors Time for the yearly flu vaccine Avoiding spooky smiles this Halloween Seven ways seniors can interact with pets Turn the page Five best pet types for seniors Prosthetic joints and dentistry When hard things happen Are you stressed out? The spirit of Alzheimer’s learning Part II Pets and seniors make the perfect pair Halloween pirate’s gold Fall risks are sometimes simple, yet fatal Is multi-generational living for you? Five ways our self-talk may be hurtful Natural disaster threats call for preparedness plan to protect seniors The spirit of Alzheimer’s learning  Winter sun safety: What to know about protecting yourself during colder months Tending to spiritual distress with aging and illness Blood pressure control a focus of American Heart month Home your own way March is colorectal cancer awareness month Safety at home for seniors Suicide - Are there answers? How to prevent bad breath War on opioids in California Help families make time for seniors during the holiday season Helping seniors with vision and hearing impairments Holiday stress-busters for harried caregivers It’s what’s inside that counts! Dental emergencies Don’t wait until it hurts! Does spring mean allergy season for you? Top 10 products to help seniors stay home How to take Tylenol safely The role companionship plays in aging 7 Tips to reduce the stress of incontinence caregiving Improving the state of aging in America Fight flu this season by getting immunized Confirm your preparedness plans for Seniors Did you get your flu shot? If not why not? A message from the heart Using anxiety to your advantage Youth, women and dementia The long-reaching impact of dementia Children’s dental health month Ten tips for healthy aging Planning for aging at home Thirty-four years as a dentist Tooth friendly Easter tips Feeding my hungry heart How to keep older adults cool during the heat of the day Invisible braces work wonders Senate passes Alzheimer’s and dementia research funding October’s most celebrated event Our Feelings Come From Our Beliefs Making sense of the season for seniors Cultures differ on what makes a beautiful smile! How to have a better year Falling in love is easy, but staying in love is very special A confession Women in dentistry Plan for where you want to age Three ways a senior can fund a home remodel Cannabis as medicine-Changing the face of aging May is skin cancer awareness month A brain is a reason to join the Alzheimer’s fight Recognizing and reporting elder abuse Dental technology- computers have changed our lives Create your personal Medicare account Understanding the aging brain Two ways to get your Medicare taken care of How to know if you are in danger of compression fractures Psychology Today The Art of Resilience: I Have I Am…I Can The advantage of dental implants Too much of a good thing for seniors and the holidays What families’ caregivers need to know about Recommendations for screen time Resolutions for your oral health Super Bowl, Joe Montana and blood pressure Open heart surgery – Thoughts from the other side Chewing gum - Helpful or harmful? Five tips for a healthy smile I will– I should– I can– I’ll try Rightsizing for seniors doesn’t have to be painful The Joy of Sadness Human Touch: The role companionship plays in aging at home Becoming who we really want to be How to fail well Back to school with healthy teeth Senior dating – Mom’s new relationship is heating up... Should you be concerned? Aspirin relieves mild pain Fighting osteoporosis and preventing fall-related injuries Un-retiring in a changing economy Coping with the unpredictable life of caregiving Double duty tools: toothbrush and floss Merry Christmas and Happy New Year Tips for living with low vision  Keep your Medicare costs down The freedom and choice to again place at home Put dementia on the agenda for 2019 Free app shows what Medicare covers The reason “Four” is the magic number? Preventing tooth decay in children Laughter is the best medicine Sports mouth guards-keeping teeth safe  Help your senior loved one avoid preventable hospitalizations Tips for keeping calm in the midst of crisis  Five cybersecurity tips for older adults Preparing kids for first dental visits Dental treatment concerns with patients taking blood thinners Home Health Care vs. In-Home Care: What you need to know Three ways to lessen negative thinking Amazing results with Arestin Navigating the aging journey Smoke and stress maintenance and recovery How to lower your surgery costs Know your pharmacist… Know your medicine as drug prices will jump in 2019 Influenza activity is increasing throughout California Show your kids’ teeth some love this Valentine’s Day! New life and stormy weather Your Medicare rights and protections Summer snacking and your child’s teeth Back to basics 10 summertime activities for seniors Three ways to boost your self-esteem Increasing West Nile Virus activity in Ca. Why are seniors targets for scams? Summer’s sun damages the skin Abscess gives warning 8 tips to minimize the behaviors of “Sundowning” Keeping your relationships fresh What are dental sealants? Healthy eating habits can benefit you and your teeth How does the body heal? Apply or renew Covered Ca. Health insurance by Jan. 15 Guilt from holiday eating Toothbrush tips Three reasons for a root canal Seniors: Say no to “free” genetic tests Yoga for relaxation & healing What causes sensitive teeth to hurt All of us make mistakes  Heat and older adults Five tips to cope with caregiver anger Back to school health Real decisions and moderation Three gifts you can give yourself Don’t stress, clench or grind! Gratitude and positivity can inspire caregiver self-care Medicare helps seniors use opioids safely Is it elder abuse or neglect? Dental scanning technology improves dental care Using Medicare when on foreign land I slept in last Saturday! Always being bright may not be so bright Trying to save a knocked out permanent tooth What happens to our teeth and gums as we age? Reduce wear and tear As Autumn begins, a reminder flu season can hit seniors hard Overcoming fears surrounding End-of-Life care Important: women and periodontal health Americans unaware of potentially life-threatening skin cancer Sun protection tips for young children Cannabis symposium Sept. 19th The importance of immunization Returning home is bittersweet Osteoporosis, osteonecrosis and dental health Living with Lupus Erythematosus How dentistry handles gastric reflux disease Use it or lose it- Muscle mass as you age  A free cheek swab test Twice a victim Finding a path forward after an accident Use it or lose it- Muscle mass as you age  If it is not broken, don’t fix it! Managing your mental health with or without insurance coverage Why gardening is the most recommended exercise for seniors

Five ways to manage caregiver guilt

By: Julie Ann Soukoulis
August 9, 2019

Summer time for many is filled with excitement around family reunions, vacations or long weekend escapes. However, if you are the primary caregiver for an aging loved one that often leads to caregiver guilt.  Family caregivers carry a lot of weight on their shoulders. After all, they’re responsible for the well-being and care of a loved one. The caregiving journey ebbs and flows with memorable or fun days and challenging or stressful ones. Most of the time, family caregivers are just happy to make it through the day without an overwhelming feeling of fatigue.  This kind of fatigue often leads to caregiver burnout which negatively impacts a caregiver’s health and can cause stress.  I hear of this every day from many of the families we care for at Home Instead Senior Care. Lakelyn Hogan is Gerontologist and Caregiver Advocate for Home Instead Senior Care and has put together some thoughts I’d like to share with you today.

 Do you know what else is a major contributing factor to a caregiver’s stress level? Guilt.   

You know the feeling of wishing you had done or said something, but didn’t, or the reverse – something you wish you hadn’t done or said. Guilt is that nagging part of your conscience that says you’ve fallen short of a certain standard.  

When a caregiver feels guilt, it can do one of two things: 

• Guilt can make caregivers feel badly and breed anxiety, stress or even depression.

• Guilt can become motivation to improve.  

Here are five common sources of caregiver guilt, along with tips for refocusing the guilt into positive energy. These tips can help reduce the strain caregivers feel and be a step in the right direction of self-care. 

I feel guilty for not spending more time with my aging loved one.

When Mom begs you to stay longer or visit more often, it can feel like a real guilt trip. Busy schedules, work demands, and travel make visiting difficult. And, knowing that your visits are the highlight of her otherwise lonely existence only adds to the stress and keeps you from making the most of the time you do have.

What to focus on instead: 

Try to make the time you spend together as meaningful as possible. Pull out the old family photo albums and ask her to share with you the stories around those days captured in the photos. When you can’t be there, consider how having companionship services could help. You won’t feel as guilty “abandoning” Mom if she has someone coming on a regular basis whose company she enjoys and who can provide conversation, facilitate activities, help around the house and provide transportation wherever she needs to go. 

I feel guilty when I lose my patience.

Caregiving can try anyone’s patience at one point or another. Family caregivers of older adults with dementia who exhibit repetitive behaviors may find this is especially true.  

What to focus on instead: 

Patience typically wears thin when you’re worn out and have little support. If you feel like you’re reaching the end of your rope, use that as a warning sign that you need to take a break. It’s important to care for yourself and make sure you’re getting enough rest so you can be at your best for your loved one. Put your energy into finding time to recharge rather than dwelling on feelings of guilt. Phone my office if you are seeking resources. We can help provide direction and resources before you get to that point.   

I feel guilty when I take time to myself. 

Putting another person’s needs before your own is a sign of love. You may feel it’s your duty to devote all of your time and energy to care for your parents the way they cared for you. This is your chance to give back and you don’t want to let your loved one down by putting your needs before theirs. But you can’t ignore the need to care for yourself. It’s self-defeating to feel badly about indulging in a little time to yourself. 

What to focus on instead: 

The only way to sustain the love and care you feel your parents deserve is to take good care of yourself as well. Remind yourself that you can be a better caregiver to your loved one when you get enough rest, eat healthy meals and have a chance to attend to your own needs. These “Caring for Yourself While Caring for Others” resources have tips on how to balance your loved one’s needs with your own and can be found on the web site caregiverstress.com

I feel guilty for putting my loved one in a nursing home. 

Maybe you think it’s not what dad would have wanted, or you wonder if there is more you could’ve done to keep him at home. But there’s no use dwelling on the past, which you cannot change. 

What to focus on instead: 

If there’s a chance dad may recover from his current illness that requires nursing help, start planning ahead to make the transition home possible. Call my office 586-1516 we offer a FREE booklet on how to transition back home called Returning Home. If that’s not feasible, do what you can to make his time at the nursing home as comfortable as possible. Visit as often as you can and make your visits meaningful. Bring photos and decorations to personalize the room and help make it feel more like home. Talk with the nursing staff to get regular updates and offer suggestions if you think something can be done differently to make your loved one more comfortable. 

I feel guilty for getting angry or frustrated. 

If you’re like most people, you may view emotions like anger or frustration as a sign of weakness. People tend to hide emotions they feel are negative. But they’re just as natural as emotions like joy and love. It can be both stressful and dangerous to your health to keep negative emotions buried inside. 

What to focus on instead: 

While it’s true that too much negativity can be toxic to those around you, it’s important that you have a safe outlet for those emotions. Vent to a friend, diffuse your anger through exercise, yoga or mediation. When all else fails, grab a pillow to punch or find a secluded place to have a good cry. Next week I will share with you five tips to cope with caregiver anger which may also help. 

For more caregiver stress management and support, visit CaregiverStress.com or follow the Facebook page, Caregiver Stress Relief to engage with other family caregivers.

Julie Ann Soukoulis is the owner of Home Instead Senior care office in Rohnert Park, mother of two and passionate about healthy living at all ages. Having cared for her own two parents, she understands your struggles and aims, through her website, www.homeinstead.com/sonoma to educate and encourage seniors & caregivers. Have a caregiving or aging concern?  She’d love to hear from you at 586-1516 anytime.