Another inspirational story from a local caregiver.....
My mother has been given a one day a week schedule for me to take her out to do her errands, go to the hair salon, and go out for lunch. One day every week to 10 days.
Today I got an URGENT call that I have to take her to the bank. I can do her banking online.. but I guess she's bored. As a family caregiver I realized that you have to look past the schedules you originally made and be flexible, she looked after me my whole life now its mine turn to return the favour & yes we had a blast that afternoon she even ordered ice cream with 2 spoons for dessert at lunch!
I heard this story awhile age from a local caregiver and wanted to share it:
It was Christmas dinner, getting seated at the table my father (who has dementia) leaned over to me and asked if I was married to the man sitting down next to me. After we told him we were my father started singing " All I want for Christmas is my mem-or-ree!"
In the spirit of the season, sometimes you have to make the best out of your situation at hand-this caregiver and her family always incorporated humor into there daily lives.
If you have lost someone and the holidays are a difficult time, remembering all the good times, funny memories, cherishing all the moments with you in a positive way through sharing your stories about your loved one with family and friends.
Easy to prepare, healthy and can be used as a snack, breakfast or light lunch option. All fruits can be changed to your liking and what is fresh to each season. Check this one out:
1) Any fruit you have in the house (our household favorite is: peaches, raspberries, blueberries & bananas)
2) Add 3 Tbsp of cottage cheese on top
3) Sprinkle with cinnamon
This recipe will boost your energy and fill you up-Enjoy.
Its that time of year when family may want you to go see them- don't stress this is a great way to get your loved one out of the house and gets them excited. Either way you can relax and be ready with these easy travel planning tips:
1) Be Prepared
-If you plan ahead, some of the uncertainty can be managed.
Consider when your loved one’s best time of day is, and use that as your travel time.
-Plan your route so you arrive at your destination or at your hotel ahead of the time they usually struggle or need a break.
-Book hotels ahead of time so you won’t be stranded when everything is full during the busy travel season.
2) Have Realistic Expectations
-Driving twelve hours a day when you are on your own might be achievable. But if your loved one usually naps or needs a break after four or five hours, make that your travel goal for the day. It may take longer to get where you are going, but it will be worth it in the end.
3) Remember Important Documents
-No one wants to think they will end up in a hospital emergency room in a strange city. But it happens. Remember to pack a copy of their medication list, physician contact information, any pertinent medical history/documents, and something that lists who do call in case of an emergency.
4) Remember Your Car Cell Phone Charger
- It can cause your cell phone battery to go dead more quickly. Make sure your battery is fully charged before you leave home. If you are traveling by car, remember to pack your car cell phone charger.
5) Keep Loved Ones Informed of Your Plans.
-Make sure everyone on both ends of your trip knows your plans. Check in with them frequently, and let them know how far you plan to travel each day.
Remember to be safe and enjoy yourself this is a holiday vacation for all of you!
As a caregiver, you may find yourself with so many responsibilities that you neglect taking good care of yourself. But the best thing you can do for the person you are caring for is stay physically and emotionally strong.
No doubt you know that exercise is an important part of staying healthy — it can help relieve stress, prevent disease and make you feel good. But finding the time to exercise is another story. Use these tips:
-Take friends and family members up on their offers to help.
You can get in a good workout in a short amount of time — even a 30 minute break, a walk to the mailbox or around the block gets you out in the fresh air and heart beating.
-Start small. While it is recommended that you get 30 minutes of physical activity at least five days a week, even 10 minutes a day can help. Fit in what you can, and work toward a goal.
-When your loved one is on a nap pull out a yoga mat and stretch, set up a stationary bike, or try exercise tapes.
Exercise to do together:
-Take a walk together outside to enjoy the fresh air
-Go to the mall and take a stroll indoors
-Do seated exercises at home
-Dance together to favourite music
You will feel better by getting 8 hours of sleep, drink lots of water and eat healthy!
If you have ever cared for or help look after a senior, you know how hard it is for them to accept new things-especially gifts. The best gift you can give a senior is companionship and your time & focus.
So bring over the grandchildren and make lunch for them, play a board game or have a cookie baking day that you can have them participate in. This way they feel appreciated and though of, making memories is what Christmas is all about!
Other examples are:
Some senior citizens will enjoy a music-related gift for a Christmas present. For an active senior citizen, treat her to a Christmas musical. Your local community centre or playhouse likely hosts Christmas-related musicals. Offer to go with the person for company. Give a home bound senior two musical tapes so she can close their eyes and imagine they are at the theatre.
Give the senior citizen a comfortable bedroom gift. Throw blankets can help a senior experience warmth on a cool evening. When purchasing a throw blanket, avoid materials that would require a try to the dry cleaners. Another bedroom gift includes a nightstand table lamp. The table lamp acts as second bedroom light.
If you are unsure about the senior citizen's eating habits, give a food-related gift certificate. Ask about the nearby supermarkets. Some senior citizens do not drive, so make sure the certificate offers convenience. Supermarkets can offer more than food, such as flowers. See if the local bakery accepts gift certificates. This will allow the senior citizen to enjoy fresh breads.
A senior citizen who enjoys the backyard can appreciate a gift geared towards the space. A set of wind chimes offers a relaxing backyard gift. The chimes act as background noise when reading. You can bond with the senior citizen, plus get exercise while planting the flowers in the summer months. A knitting or wood working craft helps seniors keep busy in the winter months.
Offer a homemade gift to the senior citizen. You can make a homemade Christmas wreath for the front door. Other homemade gifts include baked goods like nut bread, apple-cinnamon cookies and fudge brownies. These homemade gifts can help make a senior feel appreciated.
Looking for ways to spend more time with your loved ones these winter months? Learn a new card game, check out these simple rules on Gin Rummy.
Hello! As a caregiver, mother and social service worker I have learned many life lessons through hands on experience. My dream for you is to make your journey through caregiving a cherished one.