What I Love About Caregiving

Today is Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. birthday.

What I love about caregiving most is that it does not discriminate. Caregiving crosses all boundaries of racism, ageism, inequality, and other “isms” because everyone will eventually become an older adult.

At some point regardless of how much money you have, where you live, who your parents were, your college degrees, level of poverty, it doesn’t matter. You will need someone, some day to care for you. Ironically, it may not be your own family. It behooves us all to treat one another with dignity and respect. Avoid burning bridges.

Whatever a man sows, that shall he reap! So be nice. Have a great week!

January Observances

I hope everyone is doing well.  Please log onto the show listing to follow my show on The CW21 weekly.

January has several observances. Cervical Health Awareness Month, National Birth Defects Prevention Month, National Glaucoma Awareness Month, Thyroid Awareness Month, and National TBI Awareness Month.  Both professional and nonprofessional (lay or family caregivers) affect the lives of caregivers around the world.

Since there are over 65 million caregivers and this number is growing, it is high time we discuss the national financial impact.  Family caregivers help those with glaucoma to perform activities of daily living, those with special needs and serve those with national birth defects.  

I am never shocked about how caregivers give so much of themselves, often self-sacrificing.  

Handwashing

Although national handwashing week has passed, it is very important that handwashing takes priority in caregiving. This is especially true if you are caring for anyone ill or who is suffering from a disease.

Handwashing not only protects you, it protects the person you are caring too. We come in contact with so many germs unseen, it is amazing how our immune systems are able to fight them off. In fact, it is probably a good thing we are unable to see them with the naked eye.

For most of us, we know that we should wash hands constantly, when entering a room, leaving a room, and procedures, cooking, handling briefs, and even proper coughing, when is not in the hands! Handwashing keeps you from transmitting unnecessary illnesses to you and your family.

Caregivers, let take care of ourselves as we care for others. Then and only then can we live a life of health, giving, and wellness to make a difference!

Stress Can Affect Memory

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Memory loss.  It is feared.  As you age, your memories for long-term become more vivid.  We want to hold on to our brain.  My mother who has dementia can remember everything from years past.  

Research reveals that increased stress or overload processing of our brain can breed memory loss.  We are often trying to multi-task…if there is such a thing.  It’s called doing so much at one time, busy work, rushing and going from challenge to challenge.  I have days when I want to literally scream because everything and everybody is pulling on me.  Needless to say, it’s a part of caregiving, knowing when to stop, and when to say “no.”  

It is important for us to understand normal from abnormal memory loss, short-term, and immediate recall of things.  Too much stress can make our minds go blank.  I am not sure about the long term damages, but I would bet over time there would be some effect on brain health.  

Take care of your memory by decreasing your stress today!!!

It’s All About That Sleep!

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Sleep. You must have it. At least 5 to 7 hours a night. You really need more. This is a time when your body rejuvenates, heals, and restores problem areas within.

If you don’t get your sleep as a caregiver, you could easy pass out, feel lightheaded, and experience unnecessary agitation. Sleep is important, but many caregivers are simply sleep deprived. We get up and down with our loved ones, we sleep lightly and are easily awaken with the least of noise.

Personally, I don’t sleep as sound as I used to since caring for mom. I can hear her when she goes to the bathroom, coughs, or talks in her sleep. I can tell a difference when I am rested or not! Sleep helps us all to function and go forward another day!

Get your sleep, please!

Love,

Clarissa 🙂

Resource Tip: You Need A Team!

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As a family caregiver, you must think in terms of “teams.”  Since we are all so busy, you must have no less than 3 to five people you can count to help in time of need.  These persons may be trusted neighbors, relatives, friends, and even extended/blended family members. I believe that putting good seed in the ground will yield good results.

Make sure that these persons are legit in all areas.  You even need to do background checks on your family in many cases.  Either way, don’t do it all alone.  In my case, if I have to pay for service here, there or short-term, it’s worth the help.

Thankful For You & Happy Birthday to Me!

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Forget the turkey, dressing, macaroni and cheese, sweet potato pies, turnip greens, rolls, corn and more!  Well, not so fast Clarissa!  Happy Thanksgiving to all family caregivers across and around the world!  There would literally be no world without us, and we know it.  

Today is my birthday.  My mother Lois, who has dementia has relocated to be with my brother Clarence.  I just needed some rest, so that is my birthday present!  Please take time out to thank a caregiver today.  We can show them that we thank them by giving them respite!  Rest, relaxation, time off, and just “me” time.  Show love.  It’s more powerful than mere talk.