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10 Caregiver Tips from a Professional Caregiver
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10 Caregiver Tips from a Professional Caregiver

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caregiver face much when trying to provide professional care for loved ones.

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  • "You have to realize it's not the end of your life; it's a part of it.” “ I think these have been the best 5 years of my life!” Sometimes he is ' very much himself', she tells me!  “ I learned so much about myself and about others. Things I hadn't realized when I was nursing.”- Kay Devlin


  • 1. 10 Caregiver Tips from a‘Professional Caregiver’ Jennifer Jilks Author: Living & Dying in Dignity 1
  • 2. Topics 1. Look after yourself 2. Find a support group 3. Find individual support 4. Understand dementia 5. Understand your emotions 6. Write a journal 7. Get some respite 8. Prioritize your crises 9. Know when to hold ‘em, when to fold ‘em 10. Hop off that ‘What If’ train 2
  • 3. 1. Look after yourself• Breathe – yoga, meditation: in for 4, hold 7, out 8• Exercise, walk, Brain Gym, do 8s!• Love yourself, pamper yourself• Get out into nature• Volunteer - Reach out to others• Socialize• Sleep hygiene vs. insomnia• Accept help – there is joy in receiving!• For professionals: be specific in your help: “I will sit with loved one 2 hrs. Wed.” 3
  • 4. 2. Find a support group• Groups such as Alzheimer’s Society• Community Home Support offers bereavement groups, Expressive Arts therapy• Hospice volunteers will give you support• Laugh, Sing, Talk• Do something in a group 4
  • 5. 3. Get individual support• Alzheimer Society, Virtual Hospice.ca (95 yr. olds!)• Community Home Support: Hospice• 211 Ontario• Talking helps, Your spiritual advisor• Grief varies by individual, gender• Can pre-grieve, laugh and cry same day• Let grief, let go, let God (Universe) 5
  • 6. 4. Understand dementia• Read biographies• ontarioseniors.blogspot.ca• 4 A’s: agitated, anxious, angry, apathetic• Gentle Persuasive Approaches in Dementia Care• Buy into their story• Dementia vs. Delirium 6
  • 7. 5. Understand your emotionsMartin and Doka describe the two styles of grieving in this way:his wife would come back from work each day and go upstairs and have a good cry and he would be working, crafting the perfect memorial stone out of a piece of granite. As he’s chipping away at this granite and hearing his wife cry, he’s saying, “Why aren’t I grieving?”Understand: things will never be the same again, make modifications, forgive, and be kind to yourself.Dysfunctional families do not become more functional with illness 7
  • 8. 6. Write a journal• Documentation: making a complaint• Dates, times, events• Putting thoughts to paper important part of healing• Puts issues into perspective• Gratitude journal: 3 things @ day• Write a life review, make a memory album• Blog, read and/or write one! 8
  • 9. 7. Get some respite• Really helps!• You deserve it!• Put on the oxygen mask first• No guilt• Take lessons, join a club, find a group, learn something new!• Dementia may ebb & flow, but degenerative 9
  • 10. 8. Prioritize your crises• “You are perfect and you are allowed to make mistakes!”• Forgive yourself• Understand we make the best decisions we can at the time with the information we have.• Let go that which does not matter• Change up holidays• Change up vacations 10
  • 11. 9. Know when to hold ‘em or fold ‘em• Avoid negative people (neighbours!)• Know YOUR limits• Many home supports; LTC, ADLs• Give yourself permission to grieve-healthy• There are no wrong emotions –they just are• Recognize new situations, old grief 11
  • 12. 10.‘What If’ Train• Hop off the “What If” train• Lockdowns with students• Deal with the here and now• Prepare and plan realistically• Make journals of your medical visits• Take notes• Ask for copies of medical records or stats 12
  • 13. Resources• Kübler-Ross, E. (1997). Death: The final stage of growth. Carmichael, CA: Touchstone Books.• Kübler-Ross, E. (1998). The wheel of life: A memoir of living and dying. Carmichael, CA: Touchstone Books• Kübler-Ross, E., & Kessler, D. (2005). On Grief and Grieving: Finding the Meaning of Grief Through the Five Stages of Loss.• Tuesdays With Morrie• "What happened when Grandma died" is a good one for kids.• The 10th best thing about Barney.Freddie the Leaf (Leo Buscalia) 13