Alternatives to Nursing Homes
||Dr. Jodee Graifman Meddy, DO, MS, LNHA|
Co-founder of SeniorSite.com.
Dr. Jodee Meddy is a nationally acclaimed Doctor, Licensed Nursing Home Administrator and an expert on Long Term / Extended Care issues and Nursing Homes.
Care giving - Be good to yourself
Caring for YOU, the caregiver of a frail, elderly person
Identify what you currently enjoy about your relationship with your
relative. Take time to enjoy the positive aspects that you share. It may
help to keep your care giving responsibilities in a balanced perspective.
Maintain activities in your life that you enjoy doing. Although at times
this may be difficult, consider this as important as your other care giving
Identify the aspects of your relative's behavior that cause you the
greatest upset. Take one problem at a time and learn to problem-solve. Look
at your past successes for clues on how to solve present problems. Ask
others in similar situations for suggestions.
Learn to identify your symptoms of stress. Are you sleeping more,
sleeping less, increasing your use of alcohol or tranquilizers? Learn ways
to reduce your stress, such as relaxation techniques.
Learn about your relative's disease or disability. Through information,
you can better interpret and respond to your relative's behavior.
Involve other people your family, your friends in your life. Do not protect
family from the reality of what is happening. Ask for their help. Give
concrete suggestions how people can help you.
Take care of your health. Get regular medical supervision for yourself.
Arrange for time away from your relative. Find out what types of respite
care are available in your community. Even though planning for respite may
be difficult and your finances limited, any respite time you can create is
beneficial for your well-being.
Be realistic about what you can and cannot do. Avoid unrealistic
expectations for yourself that will cause you to feel guilty and resentful.
Recognize the negative feelings you experience in caring for your
relative such as resentment, anger, disappointment, sadness. These feelings
are normal. Talk about these feelings with someone who understands --
perhaps a family member, friend, or other caregiver.
Prepare for the future. Make a long-term care plan for your relative. Be
willing to change it over time.
If you find yourself at your wit's end, unable to cope, unable to
problem-solve, or with persistent symptoms of stress, seek professional