ACKNOWLEDGE YOUR FEELINGS WITHOUT JUDGMENT
Pay attention to the physical manifestations of your emotions.
Take a breather.
Talk to someone.
LONELINESS AND ISOLATION OF YOUR LOVED ONE
Offer appropriate control to your loved one.
Tap into the wisdom of your loved one (if it’s emotionally safe).
Ten minutes a day of presence that does not include tasks.
Make an appointment for all involved.
If a loved one is having a hard time, check in with curiosity.
Be transparent in conversations with both those who participate in the conversations and those who don’t.
If the loved one you’re caring for is resistant to having a difficult conversation, kindly tell them you’re only interest is their best possible care and to make sure their wishes are fulfilled.
Have conversation with those who are ready to participate.
Read AARP article on end-of-life conversations (link is below).
END OF LIFE
Consider hospice care.
Sleep/ Rest -- Good sleep hygiene.
Food/ Hydration -- Staying hydrated and good nutrition.
Social interaction -- Community of choice, attending a group for caregivers, getting out of the house at least monthly.
Relief Care—thinking outside the box means asking for help.
Exercise: Do what works for you but keep your body moving.
Health Care: Keep regular appointments. Make sure your physician knows you’re a caregiver.
ASKING FOR HELP
How to ask from family:
State the need without blaming or shaming siblings or others for past errors.
“Mom/ Dad need…”
“I need help with…”
2. Consider a family meeting to determine ways to support full-time caregiver and loved one.
3. Discuss with nearby siblings schedule for help with cleaning, cooking, and other necessities.
4. Create a fund for siblings who can’t participate in caregiving so they can help with meals, relief care, and other needs.
5. Ask children who live nearby to help with household chores.
5. Consider other ways your family can come together to create support.
6. If family is not an option, consider asking your Relief Soicety president.
7. Check community services.
8. Consider all options.
9. Remember: You are not meant to do this alone.
Giving yourself the same empathy, understanding, warmth, and caring you’d give a friend who was a caregiver.
Kristen Neff Ph.D. https://self-compassion.org/
CONSIDER THERAPY IF:
Family conflict is extensive and/ or intense.
Struggling with past or current issues with your loved one.
You’re alone in the work of caregiving and you need more support.
Struggling with feelings of depression, shame, or guilt.
If you feel as if you’re out of control.
You feel like hurting yourself or someone else.
Your difficult feelings are overwhelming.
AARP Sundowner’s tips https://www.aarp.org/caregiving/health/info-2017/ways-to-manage-sundown-syndrome.html?CMP=KNC-DSO-Adobe-Google-Caregiving-SundownSyndrome-Caregiver&gclid=Cj0KCQiAyoeCBhCTARIsAOfpKxidX0OA_UvIePj8IWuqUcaCFxyw7T5O1-Kx7upzEyAThjDZsxuygf8aAkk6EALw_wcB&gclsrc=aw.ds
AARP end of life conversations https://www.aarp.org/caregiving/basics/info-2020/end-of-life-talk-care-talk.html
US DEPT. OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/topics/family-caregivers
They offer a lot of information on dementia and caregiving.
ALZHEIMER’S ASSOCIATION NATIONAL ORGANIZATION https://www.alz.org/
You can go to your state assocation from this website.
FAMILY CAREGIVER ALLIANCE https://www.caregiver.org/
SELF COMPASSION https://self-compassion.org/
STATE AND LOCAL RESOURCES
WASHINGTON STATE CHAPTER OF THE ALZHEIMER’S ASSOCIATION: https://www.alz.org/alzwa
WASHINGTON STATE CHAPTER OF EASTE SEALS https://www.easterseals.com/washington/our-programs/adult-services/adult-services.html (statewide)
KITSAP COUNTY AGING DEPARTMENT
www.agingkitsap.com (county wide)