Caregivers Healing with the Power of Art

Creativity takes on many forms of expression. Feeling your own joy can activate the power of the healing potential inside this moment of transformation. Sharing of creative energy during caregiving can be healing, discover your inner creativity. Take advantage of the wonderful resources to guide you through the healing process.

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Caregiving in the Midst of Hurricane Season

Caregiving is stressful and challenging, that’s an understatement. Preplanning can reduce your frenzy when a hurricane is looming in your area. The additional stressors, and changes in routine related to Covid-19 have resulted in extra unforeseen hurricane preparedness barriers. Eliminate the burden; complete your preplanning preparations. Make it easier for yourself to “weather the storm” by avoiding the last minute frenzy.

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Being Happy with What I have

Being happy with what you have can be challenging when facing caregiving responsibilities and living during a pandemic. Modifying expectations and resisting the urge to compare your situation to those of others can help increase your level of happiness. There are simple things that you can incorporate into your routine to increase your level of happiness.

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COVID-19: Are You Among the Frustration and Disappointed?

Frustration and disappointments are an inherent part of caregiving, yet recent events have added new aspects of frustration and disappointment, too often involving lack of caregiving support and companionship. These times of uncertainty challenge our support and coping mechanisms. Rechanneled frustrations and disappointments, into focusing on finding current rays of brightness and your hopes and wishes for the future.

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Caregiver Surprises

Caregiving is full of unknowns. The role changes along with the unique needs of the loved one. It is one of the most challenging roles, yet there are rewards and surprises. There are caregiving commonalities, and no one came to the job with all the answers. Don’t be shy about reaching out for assistance.

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Memory Creation

Memory creation is impacted by our relationship with our loved one. After the passing of a loved one, there are numerous options available for preserving precious memories of your time together. Consider what tangible item will best help you preserve the memory of your loved. Did the loved one have a passion for clothes, books, pictures, plants or other item that will help you preserve a memory.

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Care Allocation

Resources needed to care for patients during the COVID-19 pandemic are in short supply. The determination as to how care will be allocated is already happening. There are a number of guidelines that are directing resource allocation. The discussion of the use of Palliative Care and hospice services has never been greater. There will never be a question of ensuring that patients are kept comfortable when there are not sufficient services or supplies for all.

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COVID-19 Is The Advance Directive Jolt

The need to address Advance Directives and advance care planning has never been greater than during a pandemic. Consider who will speak for you and share your care preferences when you are unable to speak for yourself. Do your loved ones know where to find key documents and information how to manage your affairs? Take action to spare them from having to address your medical and financial needs in crisis mode. Take the time to get your affairs in order and share your preferences with those charged to manage on your behalf.

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Gloves Are Not A Substitute For Handwashing

The use of disposable gloves has become common place. Although they provide a barrier, they are only a barrier, as strong as the glove. The use of gloves is not a substitute for handwashing. Incorrect use of disposable gloves can place you at risk from the very germs you are trying to avoid. Correct size of glove, appropriate removal, along with handwashing will minimize your exposure.

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Social Distancing Isn’t Isolation

Social distancing is a strategy to minimize coming in contact with those that may be ill and not yet showing symptoms. It does not mean isolating yourself from others. There are precautions to be taken to ensure your person safety during these challenging times. Ensure that you have the knowledge to safely navigate during these challenging time.

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Will My Advance Directive Be Followed?

The question of “will my Advance Directive be followed when I am unable to speak for myself?” should be of concern to everyone. The probability of your Advance Directive not being followed increases if the document is not readily available, your healthcare surrogate is not available, willing, or able to speak up on your behalf, it is possible that your wishes may not be honored. The need for a strong healthcare surrogate to advocate on your behalf is vital in insuring that your wishes are respected.

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Just In Case Planning

The free Just In Case Planning resource helps individuals work through the process of preparing for the inevitable. Keeping track of pertinent end of life documents, recording funeral considerations, creating a digital clean-up plan, and providing a space for reflections and messages for loved ones, this tool provides peace of mind for all. How can wishes be honored and respected if loved ones are not aware of your preferences? The Just In Case Planning resource provides a dynamic space for storing, sharing, and updating your important information.

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Caregiver Stress: It’s Not What You Think

Caregiver stress goes beyond managing the myriad of the emotional and physical symptoms experienced by caregivers. Unfortunately, few approaches to caregiver stress address the root cause that produces the emotional and physical reactions experienced by caregivers. Symptom management is important, yet is vital to address the underlying cause of caregiver stress, unmet and unrealistic expectations. The mismatches of expectations surface for a variety of reasons, and often go unrecognized as the catalyst for emotional and physical symptom manifestation. Caregivers can explore ways to reduce stress by setting and managing more realistic expectations.

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How Can Caregivers Protect Themselves and Remain Safe?

Caregiver personal safety is extremely important. If the caregiver is incapacitated from an injury, who cares for the loved one? While no one can eliminate the risk of injury entirely, the use of proper body mechanics will absolutely reduce the risk of injury. Taking advantage of supplemental equipment and devices can further reduce the risk of injury to both the caregiver and loved one.

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Your 2019 Year End Personal Report Card

An annual year end personal report is status review that involves more than an evaluation of financial standing and legal documents; it also incorporates healthcare assessments and a review of your Advance Directives. Those are your wishes for future care and treatment, should you not be able to share them yourself. It is an opportunity to make modifications given changes in your health status and determine if individuals you named to carry out your wishes are still able and willing to do so. During times of celebration, reach out and reconnect with someone that you have missed or parted ways. Make time to recognize and acknowledge a caregiver for all the hard work that they do for a loved one. Share your gratitude with someone who could use a kind word, smile, or a hug.

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Count Your Blessings

The ability to express gratitude, thankfulness or appreciation, when experiencing illness, undergoing personal challenges or grief is very challenging. This is one of the most important times when one needs to refocus. Redirecting our attention from our trials and tribulations to the acts of friendship and kindness that have been extended to us, and the beauty of nature that surrounds us can be uplifting. Failures to notice and appreciate the “rays of support” are missed opportunities for gratitude. May this Thanksgiving be a time of blessings for you and your loved ones.

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Birthrights & Deathrights, a 21st Century View

Deathrights, a prickly unfamiliar, and strange concept that is tied with end-of-life care. Exploring the last phase of the Patriarch Isaac’s life with a 21st century perspective provides a perspective to help individuals and families to make Advance Directives. Loved ones left behind should not have to make unnecessary or uninformed decisions. The final phase of life can be a time for blessings, a time to address unresolved family issues, a time to be mindful and appreciate what life still has to offer. Know your wishes, share them, and unburden your loved ones.

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November 2019 is Palliative and Hospice Care Month

November is National Palliative and Hospice care month. It is the time to recognize and raise awareness for the vital work done for those in need of symptom management and comfort care. The dedicated professionals are committed to controlling symptoms and providing end-of-life care. It is a perfect time for individuals of all ages to discuss their end-of-life preferences and wishes with loved ones and their physician. How you formulate your individual Advance Directive will be shaped by many aspects including your culture, values, experiences, religion, relationships, and environment. As you address your Advance Care Planning wishes, remember that aging in place may be part of your plan. Consider is your current home going to meet your needs or will modifications be necessary?

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Helping Someone Grieving– What Should I Do?

Grief is individual, when someone you care about is suffering a loss there are specific actions that you can take to support them on their journey. The relationship between the individual grieving, the loved one, and the circumstances of death often impact the grief journey. After addressing the immediate needs associated with loss, support for the mourner tends to wane, yet that may be when they need the most support. There are specific times that love and support may be needed most; anniversaries of special occasions and holidays. Don’t ignore the existence of the loved one and do mention their name. Reach out and check in periodically, long after the loss. Your efforts will be appreciated mote that you will ever know.

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