We Heal Too
May 18, 2018

What are you doing in preparation for the winter?


Winter is coming. I know that I deal with seasonal depression, especially living in the North where wintertime means shorter days and less sun. Coldness also makes me very irritable. Besides layering up and drinking lots of hot tea, what are some other things that you all do to beat the winter time blues?

New Posts
  • wrightannisla
    Sep 17, 2018

    Assisted living is always a tough subject to broach. Whether you are considering it for yourself, or you’re looking to help a family member live a better, safer life, it’s definitely a complex thing that requires good communication, research, and the willingness to reach out and ask for help. While there is a lot of fear about changing an aspect of life that we’re used to and starting something new and different, the transition doesn’t actually need to be all that stressful. Every person’s needs are different, but picking something that suits you and your family members can actually be a liberating experience that lessens the burdens and the worries of our minds. To make sure you’re making the right choice, here are five things that you need to bear in mind. Services available What kind of services does the elderly care facility have to offer? Is there an in-house doctor? Is there a physical therapist that can help you stay active or recover from injuries? Is there a barber to help you maintain your hair? Amenities such as grocery store, spa, Wi-Fi, and a good restaurant are something to bear in mind. Think about what kind of things you want to always have access to and prepare a list of questions when visiting a potential nursing home to check whether everything is satisfactory. It is important to find a carer who will be able to meet your exact needs in all aspects of your life. The kind of life you want to lead You have to think about what you want your life to look like in a realistic way. Assisted living is nothing more than a means to an end, a way to help you keep your freedom and stability and make sure you live in comfort and safety where there’s always someone around that can help you. If you want to retain your independence, you will absolutely be able to do that in a nursing home as much as your own house. If you have hobbies and interests, we encourage you to find a facility that lets you engage in those because there is simply no reason not to do all that you were doing before, only with more help around you. Health concerns The biggest question should be about your health and level of independence. Do you need a lot of help with maintaining personal hygiene? Mental health is also important, and children who are taking care of elderly parents whose mental health has deteriorated and need to be constantly watches should look into facilities that provide quality dementia care and are able to monitor their patients properly. When visiting nursing homes, make sure to describe your parent’s physical and mental state to the very last detail to help the care providers determine whether they can provide everything they need. The living space Always take a tour of the home. Look at the rooms, look at the garden, and pay special attention to cleanliness. Is the place neat and tidy? If it isn’t, there’s a good chance the facility is either understaffed, or that there aren’t proper regulations set in place. Check out the common room and the bathrooms as well, look at the furniture used. What is the atmosphere like? Are the decorations restful, can you imagine yourself sitting down somewhere and enjoying a book? You can also approach other residents and ask them about their experiences, ask them about the staff and whether they are organized and caring, whether they’re always available to provide help. Activities available A good elderly care facility will always have a range of different activities and a schedule of fun nights and entertainment. Your social life is important, so look for places that organize game nights, arts and crafts, and physical activities that will keep you fit, healthy, and stress-free. Assisted care is really what you make of it. Remember that you get to pick the kind of facility that suits you, so do your research and find a place that you think you could enjoy.
  • wrightannisla
    Jul 13, 2018

    Watching a loved one struggle with an illness as serious as Alzheimer’s or dementia is truly heartbreaking. Although you are dealing with your own suffering as well, you shouldn’t let your personal trouble get in the way of taking care of your parent, grandparent, or other elderly person affected by the illness. Learning in order to understand If your family member has just been diagnosed with dementia or Alzheimer’s, invest your emotions and time into learning. Read books, search for information on the internet, ask for advice from people who have been in your shoes and talk to doctors and other caregivers who will be able to share their experience with you. You need to learn more about your loved one’s condition, what they are and will be going through, how to take care of them. A lot of hardship lies ahead, as caring for persons suffering from such forms of memory loss is far from easy. Seeking help You won’t be able to do everything alone, and you’ll frequently need other people’s help. Don’t hesitate to keep your siblings and other family members involved—as together you’ll handle the difficulties more easily. Patients are ever less able to function independently over time, so more and more assistance is required. You’ll also need professional help for guidance, but also for those times when you inevitably have to be absent and have someone experienced take care of your loved one. You can hire a highly qualified nurse for home-care, or have your (grand)parent stay at an aged care center. Excellent aged care facilities like Bellmere will provide them with a safe, nurturing environment, chances to socialize, and round-the-clock, customized help with their daily activities. Safe proofing the home Many objects in our homes can cause accidents if used improperly. It’s therefore important to adjust the person’s environment to their needs and avoid exposing them to risk. Move sharp and other dangerous items like knives, needles, razors, tools, matches, lighters, cleaning products, and similar objects somewhere they cannot be accessed. Stoves, cookers, and kettles with automatic shut-off switches are a great means of preventing fire. Moreover, install smoke detectors, safe proof the cabinets, sharp edges, stairs, slippery areas like tiles, and any other hazardous areas. You can also install cameras in certain rooms, like the kitchen, if you want to be able to check if everything is alright when you’re not present. These are only some of the ways to create a safer environment. Interacting Dementia and Alzheimer’s involve many striking behavioral changes , rooted in the immense deterioration of cognitive skills and memory. That especially goes for the middle and late stage, when the disease has progressed significantly. Consequently, you need to re-learn how to communicate with your loved one and handle the expressions of anger, strong disapproval or refusal to do what is suggested, spatial and temporal disorientation, the urge to pace around, failures to remember and recognize names, people, and things around them, even occasional outbursts of physical violence and aggression toward their closest ones. The key thing to understand is that none of that is actually purposeful behavior, but a consequence of the disease, so don’t, under any circumstance, see it as reason for arguments. Instead, remain calm and positive in such situations so as not to further upset the person. Try to pinpoint the immediate cause of their feeling of discomfort, as there may be something in themselves or in their surroundings that’s further provoking the behavior—noise, objects, physical discomfort, crowd, overloads of information, etc. Sometimes moments may appear when the person looks like they’ve come back to their old self. Don’t mistake them for signs of long-term improvement, as they’re unfortunately not. These temporary situations can be very deceptive for the patient’s closest ones, leading to the belief that the person isn’t suffering from the given illness. Caring for an elderly person with Alzheimer’s or dementia is an uninterrupted, long process that requires much learning, adjustment, and strength. Arm yourself with patience, knowledge, and support from others to endure the challenges ahead.
  • Tracey Clayton
    Jun 28, 2018

    As you parents get older, you can’t help but notice that they’re less and less capable of caring for themselves, until you realize that it might be time for you to step in. However, it’s not always easy to know when the right time for that is. Furthermore, you aren’t always sure how to react or what to do in certain situations. Here are three challenges you’ll probably experience when caring for your elderly parents and ways to deal with them. Balancing between your parents and your children Being there to fulfill your children’s needs is something you’re used to by now. However, now you have to juggle between being a parent to your children and a caregiver to your parents. Start with making a schedule that will cover all the children’s activities, as well as your parents’ appointments or social calls. If you all stick to the schedule, you will avoid a huge amount of stress. Do some research and learn if there are any support groups or even financial resources for caregivers in Australia that are available to you. If your parents suffer from dementia, it’s a problem when you have to leave them alone to take your children anywhere, so consider asking your siblings or friends for help, or hire a part-time professional. Also, don’t hesitate to give your children some age-appropriate tasks , since their help can mean a lot to you, and it can help build their sense of responsibility, as well as their empathy. And finally, always find time for some self-care. If you don’t blow off some steam once in a while and if you don’t take good care of yourself, you won’t be at the top of your game, which will reflect on everybody in your household. Discussing tough issues There are certain conversations that can be extremely uncomfortable and create a lot of stress, both to you and your parents. For example, if it’s clear to you that your parents aren’t fit to drive any more, but they don’t see it, taking away their keys might insult and hurt them deeply. How do you even suggest that they should start wearing diapers if they refuse to acknowledge it themselves? And is there a way to explain to them that you can’t take care of them on your own? The way you approach these issues is extremely important. You might not reach a solution after just one conversation, but several of them instead. Be gentle and understanding, and try not to force them into anything, but rather work on opening their minds to new options. Do your research and show them only the best of the options you found. If you think your parents need assisted living arrangements, finding an aged care centre can be a good option, where they can choose where and how they want to live and exactly how much help they receive. Communities like these offer a variety of activities for those their age, as well as an opportunity to meet new people and make new friends. Whatever the topic of the conversation is, make sure that they understand that you only have their best interest at heart and you’re doing everything you can to help them. Balancing between their need of assistance and their independence Once their bodies and minds start giving in, one of the main problems is that they aren’t always aware of the extent of the problem. They are used to making their own decisions and being independent , and now you’re waltzing on the thin line between having to care for them and respecting their right to make their own choices. Although they aren’t physically capable of doing certain things on their own and they might even show some signs of dementia, they are still your parents. The roles might seem reversed since they’re the ones in your care now, but the things aren’t so black and white neither in your, nor your parents’ heads. So, you need to give them as much autonomy as you can, while still providing them with the help they need. If there are things they want to do that day, like visit their friends or even attend an event in Sydney, do your best to make it happen. If you can’t, talk to them and explain your situation, and try to reschedule those activities for another day. Caring for your elderly parents takes a lot of patience and strength. However, there’s no shame in admitting you can’t handle everything yourself. Therefore, both you and your parents should be aware of all existing options and choose the ones that work best for your situation.

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