“Caregiver to Caregiver” is a service of Interfaith Caregivers to accompany those caring for older adults on their caregiving journey. Our Caregiver Consultants are here for you–caregiver to caregiver–to listen, encourage and equip you perform your caregiving role while achieving a balanced lifestyle.
We all know it’s important as we age to take a look around our homes and consider what elements may pose a danger for us, especially in relation to keeping us safe from falls. A fall at 30, 40 or 50 typically does not have the same serious outcome as it can for someone in their 60’s, 70’s, 80’s and beyond. Yet, falls are not the only danger that we may need to consider. This is especially true if you have a loved one living with dementia. Because dementia affects the brain and its functions, it often becomes difficult forContinue reading “Safety First”
For caregivers of someone with dementia, a daily challenge can be helping your loved one to continue to do things they find enjoyable. Since each person is an individual and because dementia affects each person differently, the caregiver that spends the most time with the loved one is best suited to suggest or plan activities for them. With modifications your loved one may be able to continue with a hobby they enjoyed before he or she was affected by the disease. Simplifying any activity will likely make it easier for both caregiver and care receiver. Maybe you are someone whoContinue reading “Plan to Be Active”
Many caregivers who valued the pre-pandemic days when they could leave their loved ones for just an hour or two to go to coffee or lunch with friends, or lose themselves in the stacks at the library, attend a support group, book club or any other activity they’ve enjoyed are struggling to find a new way to “take a break”. A key element of these activities was the ability to leave the house and just get away from the responsibility of 24/7 caregiving for a while. Many of those activities have been put on hold or simply are not safeContinue reading “Care for the Caregiver”
Statistics show that the need for surgery increases as we age. As much as 53 percent of surgeries are performed on individuals over the age of 65. Many surgeries require the use of general anesthesia which carries additional risks for older adults. One area that can be affected more severely in the elderly population is cognition. It is common for anyone undergoing surgery to feel foggy or sluggish for a few days after surgery as the anesthesia works its way out of their system. But for older adults, that same feeling of sluggishness can go on for weeks, or evenContinue reading “Anesthesia Can Be Risky Business”
It seems inevitable as we age that as the years increase, so does the number of pills or medications that we add to our daily regimen. While aging or elderly adults may have several health conditions that require medications to manage them, it is a concern that as the list of prescriptions grows, so does the possibility of serious drug interactions. And the longer the list of medications, the longer the list of side effects. In this article on polypharmacy, you will find information about the types of questions to ask if you have concerns about medications, side effects orContinue reading “Is It Risky for Older Adults to Take Multiple Medications?”
All it takes is one wild, unexpected storm to turn life upside-down in a hurry. Some of us lost power shortly before Christmas, and after one cold night, many of us were looking for ways to warm up fast. Winter storms can be especially dangerous, as we saw when temperatures plunged in Texas, threatening the lives and health of millions of people. Sometimes a brief, localized summer thunderstorm can knock out power. I can still see in my mind’s eye the unfortunate squirrel that took out power on my block for several hours some time ago. While we usually can’tContinue reading “Prepare for Power Outages”
Check out this video put together by MAGIC – MN Association of Geriatric Inspired Clinicians. It goes over the facts about the COVID vaccine and dispels some of the myths around it. Vaccine Video You can also go to the CDC website to find information on the vaccine. If you are interested in receiving the vaccine the MN Dept of Health has a list of locations that are offering the vaccine. CDC Vaccine Information Find Vaccine Locations – Minnesota
Too often, UTI’s (Urinary Tract Infections – also known as bladder infections) in our elder loved ones go unnoticed. The symptoms the rest of us are familiar with are not necessarily the symptoms experienced by older adults. This article from AgingCare gives information that can help to understand and notice the warning signs of a UTI in our older loved ones before they become serious. It is especially important for caregivers of someone with dementia to be aware of the warning signs as a loved one with dementia may not be able to recognize or express the symptoms they areContinue reading “UTIs Cause Unusual Behavioral Symptoms in Elders”
If you’ve identified that your loved one is showing signs of memory loss or from the list of 10 signs of Alzheimer’s Disease that were mentioned in a previous post, it’s time to make an appointment with your loved one’s health care provider and talk with them about the changes you are noticing and have testing done. Alzheimer’s is like other diseases in that it needs to be identified and diagnosed so that you and your loved one can take steps to help navigate the changes you will experience. One of the reasons it is necessary to have this appointmentContinue reading “Diagnosing Alzheimer’s Disease”
When was the last time you were in to see your optometrist? For most seniors, medical providers recommend annual exams, and that’s a good chance to see if your glasses prescription needs tweaking. They will probably also check for any changes in your eye health, screening for glaucoma, cataracts, or even macular degeneration. If you have other health issues that may impact your eyes, those annual visits become even more important. Diabetes has long been identified as a concern that affects eye health. Good vision is important to prevent falls, with its accompanying health risks such as fractures, depression andContinue reading “Vision concerns for people with Parkinson’s”
As the COVID-19 Vaccine makes it’s way through the nation people are eager to get it and show their loved ones that they’ve received it. I’ve seen many pictures of friend’s vaccine cards on various social media sites, most of whom are nurses, showing the world they’ve received the vaccine and encouraging others to get it. While their intentions are good, those that see the information on their card may not be. Check out this article on the scams that come about from showing your vaccine card: Don’t Flaunt Your COVID-19 Vaccine Card on Facebook
I’m a Minnesotan, and I’m tough. I can handle sub-zero temperatures, icy roads, and another year the Vikings weren’t in the Super Bowl. And if I’m a caregiver, I may even be tougher – I can juggle a job, kids in whatever version of school they’re having now, and still check in on Dad, who’s living alone out on the farm. Groceries, medical appointments, online meetings at any time – I’m juggling it all. But what I may be starting to realize, what I maybe can’t handle, is that I’m . . . lonely. We worry quite a bit aboutContinue reading “Loneliness and Caregivers”
If you’ve been working or going to school online, meeting with groups, or just celebrating a grandchild’s birthday 1,000 miles away, all from the safety of your home, you’ve probably been using Zoom. Since the pandemic began almost a year ago, this free online program has exploded in popularity across the country. Its use is now so commonplace that children grow tired of it! But what do you do if you don’t know how to access and use it? In the before times, many seniors who wanted to expand their technology use would simply call their nearest child or grandchild,Continue reading “Zooming for Seniors”
The changes in someone with Alzheimer’s disease or other types of dementia tend to happen gradually over time. It becomes noticeable that they repeat comments or questions in a 10 minute conversation or forget names of family/friends they’ve known for years. A loved one may not be able to retain new information or they may forget the steps to make a familiar recipe, play a favorite game or finish a hobby project. If you’ve noticed these changes in a loved one and have concerns about what may be going on, check out this article from the Alzheimer’s Association. The signsContinue reading “10 Early Signs and Symptoms of Alzheimer’s”
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