60 HELPFUL TIPS FOR CAREGIVERS: In the Reader’s Digest article 60 Things Every Caregiver Needs to Know, author Michelle Crouch shares research-backed tips and strategies from other caregivers to help you give the best possible care to the person you love:
“Don’t wait too long. ‘Most people wait way too long before getting their loved ones the help they need. When you go to visit Mom or Dad, be a gentle detective. Open the medicine cabinet, check the fridge for moldy food, and go through that pile of unopened mail. Some red flags that they shouldn’t be left alone: a formerly tidy house that is now in disarray, unpaid bills, missed medications, bad hygiene, or inappropriate clothing (like wearing a sweater in the summer).’ – Carolyn Brent, eldercare legislation advocate and author of The Caregiver’s Companion.
Don’t promise to keep them at home. Never promise someone you will keep them at home. It can come back to haunt you if you end up having to place them in a long-term care facility, and many, many people require a level of care that you simply can’t provide at home. Instead, say something like, ‘We’ll do everything we can to keep you at home.’ – Peter V. Rabins, M.D., professor at the University of Maryland and co-author of The 36-Hour Day: A Family Guide to Caring for People With Alzheimer’s Disease, Other Dementias, and Memory Loss in Later Life.
Be aware that it’s gradual. ‘Nobody wakes up one morning and says, “Today I’m going to be a caregiver.” Unless there’s something like a fall or a stroke, it’s usually a gradual process, so it can be tough to recognize the signs. My mother lived with me for five years, but we didn’t realize how bad she was until she spent a weekend at my sister’s. Because my sister’s bathroom wasn’t the same as the one my mom was used to, she went in and couldn’t figure out what to do. Finally, she says to my sister, “I’m sorry, I don’t know how to take a bath,” My sister looked at her and was like, “What?! What do you mean, Ma?”; – Michele DeSocio
Read the rest of the tips >> 60 Things Every Caregiver Needs to Know
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