Care for Caregivers

Family Caregivers Voice is proud to share a brochure on stages of care giving with you. Please download the brochure from here and share it with other caregivers.

FCV-Stages of Caregiving

 

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This promotion is not valid until further notice!

 

Family Caregivers Voice is proud to announce an opportunity to help caregivers.  Today’s Menu is a company that will deliver chef prepared meals to your home.  The packages come in a frozen package and prepared for one or two people or a family.  They provide gluten free options as well.  Carole Ann Alloway has tried this service and is raving about it.  On those nights when she is too tired to cook after a day of providing care, she simply gets one of the delicious packages out of the freezer, defrosts according to the directions, reheats and voila! a delicious meal prepared with minimum fuss.

Try it for yourself.  Caregivers get a 10% discount for orders over $75!  In the discount box, key in ‘caregiver10’.

FCV is a non-profit group and no monies are paid to us, nor do we receive any advantages for our recommendations.  We just want to share with other caregivers anything that will make your life easier.

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Topics on challenges that caregivers face personally on a daily basis.

 

1. First and foremost is Caregiver Stress:

(Source: Wikipedia)-Caregiver stress is the emotional and physical strain of care giving.

How can I tell if I have caregiver stress? First, you must realize that your symptoms cannot simply be dismissed as “just stress”. Your sentiments must be handled carefully and immediately. Some of the signs of caregiver stress include:

  • Feeling overwhelmed
  • Extended Frustration
  • Sleeping too much or too little
  • Gaining or losing significant amounts of weight
  • Feeling tired most of the time
  • Loss of interest in activities you used to enjoy
  • Becoming easily irritated or angered
  • Feeling constantly worried
  • Depression
  • Frequent headaches, bodily pain or other physical problems
  • Drug abuse, including prescription drug

 

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2. Have you experienced any of the following?

– feeling angry, frustrated, impatient…some or all of the time

– feeling exhausted and a) can’t sleep or b) want to sleep all the time

– missing your own doctor appointments

– forgetting to take your own medication

– annoyed that people constantly ask you about the patient while ignoring you

– fixing healthy meals for the patient, but grabbing something quick/easy  (and not so healthy) for yourself

– resenting being at the beck and call of the patient

– wanting your own life

– tired of constantly monitoring what the health professionals are saying and doing

– watching health professionals ask the patient questions that they can’t answer while ignoring you

 

You are not alone!  These are all valid concerns for the caregiver.  Physical exhaustion, short temper, craving attention and forgetting about your own needs are all indicators you may have caregiver burnout.  You’ve heard that on an airplane you should put your own oxygen mask on first before putting your child’s mask on.  This is also true in caregiving.  You need to look after your own needs before you can look after someone else’s needs.

Some suggestions to help you cope…

– Ask for help.  People want to help, they just don’t know what to do.  Ask them to walk your dog, pick up some groceries, sit with the patient while you go to the movies.

– See your family physician.  Tell her the situation and ask her to monitor you; not just your physical being, but your emotional and spiritual sides as well.

– Forgive yourself; for not keeping the house immaculate, finishing the laundry, making a gourmet meal, etc.  You are doing an amazing job.  You are only one person and can only do so much.

– Keep in contact with your friends.  It’s easy to say you’re too tired to make the effort, but these folks are your lifeline to the outside world.  Talk about your interests more than the issues of your patient.

– Treat yourself.  You are doing an honourable and worthwhile job and you deserve a reward from time to time.  Go out for dinner, buy yourself a box of chocolates or flowers, a new sweater.  Tell yourself how much you love and appreciate you.

– Join a support group.  Others have felt overwhelmed and have learned how to deal with it.  Hearing their stories could help you as well.

– Write your story and post it here on our website.  We would love to hear from you.  We advocate the health care system on your behalf.  The more we know about the issues caregivers face out there, the more we can educate the health care professionals.

 

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3. Based on a report by Canadian Caregiver Coalition:

The health consequences of caregiving were even more pronounced when caregivers were asked specific questions on their health symptoms. Over half (55%) of caregivers felt worried or anxious as a result of their caregiving responsibilities, while about half (51%) felt tired during the past 12 months. Other common symptoms associated with providing care included feeling short‑tempered or irritable (36%), feeling overwhelmed (35%) and having a disturbed sleep (34%).

  4 comments for “Care for Caregivers

  1. May 2, 2016 at 4:44 pm

    Hi Carole and Sara,
    It was great to meet you both at the Hot Talks event last week in Toronto. I’d love to stay in touch – but I didn’t have your email addresses! I’m based in Ottawa, as you know but I do get to Toronto on occasion (I have a daughter living there, and I lived in Toronto for 40 years!) I’m looking forward to hearing more about your work and research.
    All the best,
    Katherine

    • Sara
      June 8, 2016 at 9:36 pm

      Hi Katherine,

      Thanks do much for your comment. Hope we can get together sometime soon.

      Best,
      Sara

  2. Rich
    October 12, 2017 at 6:17 pm

    Hi. Stumbled across your site by chance. I’m a 53 yr old retired police officer. My wife has Huntingtons Disease and is in the later stages. I’ve been her caregiver for the past five years. I’ve never done something so tough as this. I feel drained and I am now encountering some PTSD. I have no supports locally. Thanks for creating this site

    • Sara
      October 12, 2017 at 8:48 pm

      Hi Rich,

      Thanks for your comment; please let us know if we can help in anyways. We are two caregivers running this website; we can share with you how we’ve been trying to overcome some problems we have face during our caregiving journey. Looking forward to hear from you Sara sara.shearkhani@gmail.com

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