More than half a million Canadians are currently living with dementia, and you may be surprised to learn that six out of ten of them will go missing at some point.
As a caregiver, you have to be realistic about what can and can’t be controlled. Your attitude can be the biggest barrier to taking care of yourself and doing the best job for your loved one.
Needles are never fun, but giving a needle might be added to the list of tasks you’ll need to do as a caregiver. Learn how to do so safely!
The person you are caring for may have wounds that require care at home. These wounds may be due to surgery or pressure damage, or the consequence of long-standing chronic conditions.
Ostomy is a surgically created opening through which stool or urine exit the body. A person may be required to have an ostomy bag. Emptying this bag is a fairly simple process but can also be overwhelming.
The mere mention of a Catheter can make some people uncomfortable, but it’s not as difficult as it sounds. It is important to Routinely clean catheters to prevent infections.
Many people find themselves in the awkward position of having to bathe someone else. If you feel uncomfortable assisting someone with their personal care, you’re not alone.
Whether it’s because of infection, injury, disease or dry eyes, the person you’re caring for might need help with their eye drops or ointments.
As a caregiver, you may not even think about breathing. You just do it. However, the person you are caring for may rely on medication(s) to help them breathe.
If a healthcare professional orders medication patches or creams for the person you’re caring for, you may need to help them apply them.
Sometimes the person you’re caring for might need help using the toilet. If they aren’t able to walk to the washroom, using a bedside commode or urinal can be a good option. Helping someone use the toilet can be embarrassing for both of you, but it doesn’t have to be.
When the person you’re caring for has to stay in bed for long periods of time, you may have to give them personal care in bed. Moving someone around in bed can be tiring and you might be afraid of hurting yourself or the person you’re caring for.
As a caregiver, you’re probably going to have to physically help the person you’re caring for at some point. Protecting yourself from injury is one of the most important things that you can do.
If someone has had a fall, surgery or has become unsteady on their feet for any reason, using a walker can help prevent falls and provide support.
As a caregiver, and like the majority of us, you are up and down countless times in a day without giving it much thought. However, this task may be difficult for the person you’re caring for. If the person you’re caring for has an injury or becomes unsteady on their feet they may need to use a cane, you want to make sure they’re safe.
At times the person you’re caring for may be menstruating and may need assistance to manage their cycle. Helping someone stay clean and dry during their cycle will help prevent skin rashes, infections and help them feel better.
Sometimes the person you’re caring for will need help getting out of bed because of pain, surgery or difficulty moving. You may be worried that they’ll fall if they try it alone or you might be afraid to injure yourself.
Sometimes the person you’re caring for will get an infection or disease that can spread to other people they have contact with. Knowing this can be frightening and might make you feel uneasy giving care in this situation–not just for you, but for family and visitors as well.
When they’re not able to get into the shower or bath, it can seem impossible to keep their hair and scalp clean. But washing someone’s hair in their bed doesn’t have to be difficult.
Brushing your own teeth is a simple task but it’s not so simple when you have to do it for someone else. Mouth care is important because it maintains oral health, prevents infection and helps to maintain appetite.
Getting dressed and undressed is an everyday task that’s challenging for many older adults. A variety of health conditions can make independent dressing difficult.
Sometimes a doctor will order compression stockings to help someone with swollen legs and feet.
Foot care matters for the person in your care, especially if he or she has diabetes. If the person you’re caring for has diabetes, they may lose feeling in their feet. This can cause injuries like wounds and blisters that they won’t even know are there.
When the person you’re caring for can’t trim their own nails, they can be at risk for infections, pain from long nail growth and scratch injuries.
Testing blood sugar regularly helps to keep blood sugar levels (also known as blood glucose levels) under control.
It might be awkward to do, but keeping someone you care for clean is essential. Poor hygiene can cause discomfort, skin complaints and infections, and can lower self-esteem.
If you are helping someone with a bedpan, try to be relaxed. Helping with a bedpan can be embarrassing for both of you. If you are calm and don't seem embarrassed, the person may feel more comfortable.
Putting an adult brief on someone else can be a little tricky – especially if you are new to the process. Depending on the wearer’s mobility, briefs can be changed while the person is standing, sitting, or lying down.
If the person you are caring for is unable to eat because of physical restrictions or they have difficulty swallowing.
It seems like common sense — everybody falls, no matter what age. However, for many older adults, an unexpected fall can result in a serious and costly injury. The good news is that most falls can be prevented.
Hand washing is the most important thing we can do for ourselves and for the people in our care. Whatever we come into contact with may contain germs and we can become infected without knowing it, simply by touching our eyes, mouth, or nose before washing.
Of course, changing bed linens when nobody is in the bed is easy, but changing an occupied bed is a little different but at the same time almost just as easy if you know-how.
Bathing keeps the skin healthy and can help prevent infections. It's a good time to check the skin to look for sores or rashes. Bathing also helps your loved one feel fresh and clean.
During a stroke, every minute counts! Fast treatment can lessen the brain damage that a stroke can cause. By knowing the signs and symptoms of stroke, you can take quick action and perhaps save a life.
Aging is a regular part of life, and as a caregiver it’s important that you’re able to tell the difference between the normal aging process and the signs that something might be wrong.
Caring for someone can certainly be rewarding, but it can also be stressful. Nearly half of all family caregivers say they are “somewhat stressed,” and more than a third are “highly stressed”.
A suicide attempt should never be seen as a bid for attention. Depression tends to come back, especially if it's not treated or is only partially treated.
If someone you care for has a panic attack, he or she may become very anxious and not think clearly. You can help the person by staying calm, sticking around and do your best to be understanding, positive, and encouraging.
If the person you’re caring for has recently experienced vision loss, you may be worried about how this change will impact your caregiving. Aside from the obvious physical effects, visual impairment can take an emotional toll as well. It’s important that you help the person you’re caring for feel as comfortable as possible during this stressful time.
There are many causes for low blood pressure, also known as hypotension. It could be certain medications the person you’re caring for is taking, extended bed rest, particular heart conditions, or other reasons. Dietary changes can also help to raise blood pressure. Small changes in diet can make a big impact to the health of the person you’re caring for.
When the person you are caring for is diagnosed with diabetes, it's natural to have questions about what food to eat. Each person with diabetes is different and there is no single diet that suits everyone.
Living with dementia will affect a person's feelings, thoughts, and responses. It is important to recognize and respond to the person's emotional needs. It can also cause not only loss of memory but also changes in behaviour and mood.
Pain is complex, and there are many treatment options, medications, therapies, and mind-body techniques. Learn the benefits and risks of each, including addiction and how to use medication responsibly.
Communicating well is an important part of being a good caregiver. If you and the person you’re caring for don’t communicate your feelings clearly and directly, it can lead to stress and frustration for both of you.
Taking care of a family member isn’t easy, especially if you’re a young caregiver. It’s a lot of responsibility, and you can start to feel like your life isn’t yours anymore. But caregiving is important, and your help makes a big difference.
Continuing Power of Attorney is a legal document to give another person legal authority to make decisions about their finances and property, (not about their personal health or care) if they become unable to make those decisions themselves.
As a caregiver, your instinct is to give the person you’re caring for as much help as you can. But did you know that it’s possible to help them too much? Giving someone more support than they need can cause them to become dependent and reduce their ability to care for themselves.
You might not think it, but your mental health is just as important to your overall wellness as your physical health. In fact, your mental health can have a big impact on how well your body feels. As a caregiver, maintaining your mental health is one of the most important things you can do for yourself.
Reframing is a technique to shift your perspective or point of view on a situation, person or problem. Usually, the shift is from a negative perspective to a more positive one, to one that sees the good in the situation.
People with dementia often use behaviors such as wandering, pacing, cursing and calling out to tell us what they want or how they feel and there could be a number of reasons why it could be happening.
Just hearing the words palliative care can be scary. When a doctor says the person you’re caring for would be helped by palliative care, you might think that means they’ll pass away soon, but that isn’t always the case.
Finding time to sleep may be one of the biggest challenges of caregiving. Sleep deprivation isn’t just dangerous for you as the caregiver; it also puts the person you are caring for at risk.
Everyone is different, so it’s not easy to say exactly what will happen when someone approaches the end of their life. But in the last weeks and days before death, it’s common to experience certain changes.
Spirituality is different for everyone. Many people find that having a spiritual or religious practice helps with stress management.
One of the challenges that a caregiver faces is determining how to properly manage waste, especially medical waste. Medical waste removal isn’t hard to do properly. You just need to know how to do it.
Studies have shown that journaling improves self-awareness and can give you the perspective that may be beneficial in relieving some of your day-to-day Caregiver stresses.
Leaving the hospital can be both exciting and stressful. Whether it was a long or short hospital stay, there is often some degree of apprehension about the return home.
Advance Care Planning is a process of thinking about and sharing your wishes for future health and personal care. It helps you tell others what would be important if you were ill and unable to communicate.
Safety is important when you are caring for someone who takes medication. But there might be somethings you don't know about medication safety.
What is a patient care advocate? How do you know how-and-when to step up for the person you are caring for?
Health care partnering is essential to successful home care. As a caregiver, you are an important part of the health care team. It’s a big job – 80 percent of patient care is given by informal or family caregivers in the community so you are the eyes, ears, and hands for health care professionals.
Caregiving can be emotionally and physically demanding (and exhausting). Establishing a caregiver support network can help to set you up for success as a caregiver.
Anxiety is a normal response to a threatening situation and can positively motivate us. However, it becomes a problem when it interferes with normal functions, causes physical symptoms and becomes intolerable to the person.
The emotional and physical demands involved with caregiving can strain even the most resilient person. As a caregiver, if you don't take care of yourself, you won't be able to care for anyone else.
Grief is a natural response to loss, coping with the loss of someone or something you love is one of life’s biggest challenges. Often, the pain of loss can feel overwhelming.
During moments of stress, have you ever said to yourself or others, “I just need some breathing space or I need a minute?”
As a caregiver, feeling guilty is very common. You’re not alone. You may feel guilty because you took some time for yourself recently or feel that you’re not being a good enough caregiver.
As a caregiver, you need to ensure that the person you’re caring for gets proper medical treatment. There are different care options, and it can sometimes be hard to tell which one is the best choice.
If the person you’re caring for hurts their leg or foot and can’t put weight on it, or they just need some extra stability when walking, they might need to use crutches.