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Family Caregiver Tips

How to Help Seniors Experience More Joy

How to Help Seniors Experience More Joy It has taken nearly 80 years and a slew of research studies to determine the result: wealth and a good genetic makeup really have little to do with our level of joy. The Harvard Study of Adult Development launched in 1938, delving into the lives of high-profile participants such as John F. Kennedy and Ben Bradlee. Over the years, it has been expanded to incorporate inner-city residents along with offspring from the original Harvard elite, and the outcomes were surprising, to say the least. It was determined that the most effective predictors of a long and happy life were not genetics, IQ, fame, finances, or social class but simply close relationships. Robert Waldinger, director of the research study and a psychiatrist at Massachusetts General Hospital as well as a professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, explains, “The people who were the most satisfied in their relationships at age 50 were the healthiest at age 80. Loneliness kills. It’s as powerful as smoking or alcoholism.”…

How To Create a Daily Routine to Benefit Seniors

How To Create a Daily Routine to Benefit Seniors Life can be full of uncertainties. For older adults who are feeling less in control of certain parts of life, such as losing physical or cognitive functioning, focusing on exactly what can be controlled is empowering. A great place to start is by establishing a daily routine, customized to a senior’s specific needs and interests. Keep in mind the senior’s routine is not intended to be designed as a strict schedule that must be adhered to, but merely the basis for structure and predictability. With the older adult's input and direction, settle on a desired framework for each day. A sample day to day routine may look like this: Wake up at 7:30 a.m. Take care of personal hygiene needs and get dressed Enjoy breakfast in the sunroom while listening to favorite music Take a walk Tackle a puzzle or art project Pack a picnic lunch to take to the neighborhood park Run an errand Take a brief nap or spend some quiet time reading Make dinner together and clean up afterwards Have a bath Watch…

What is Elderspeak: The Grown-Up Version of Baby Talk

What is Elderspeak: The Grown-Up Version of Baby Talk Watch what occurs at the next family get together when a brand new mom places her infant in someone’s arms. The person is likely to transition immediately into baby mode: a high-pitched, sing-song voice, exaggerated facial expressions, and overly-simplified speech. Of course, this is quite normal and actually good for a baby's developing brain. Hopefully, however, when that baby’s great-grandmother enters the room, loved ones avoid reacting similarly. Yet it happens so frequently, and can be so damaging to seniors, that there’s a word to describe it: elderspeak. A recent research study by Susan Kemper, a professor who specializes in gerontology at the University of Kansas, paired elderly listeners with younger speakers. In spite of the seniors’ instructions to simply listen without interrupting while the younger people spoke to them – thus leaving no hint to the speakers that they were experiencing any difficulty understanding what was being said – overwhelmingly, the speakers…

Sandwich Generation: Strike a Healthier Life Balance with These Tips

Sandwich Generation: Strike a Healthier Life Balance with These Tips Ask any individual included in the sandwich generation if he or she has obtained a healthy life balance between providing care for an older loved one, kids at home, a job, self-care, household management, etc., and you are more than likely to receive a similar reply: perhaps a sigh of longing, a snort of frustration, or a rolling of the eyes. And if you are actually a sandwicher yourself, you might be struggling to set aside the time to even read this article completely! Nonetheless, allow yourself just a few minutes to consider the tips below that may just help you to breathe easier and release some of the stress and pressure involved with so many duties: Identify the top priority – and put everything else to the sidelines. In any particular moment, you may discover yourself to be pulled in a number of directions: your child needs help with a homework assignment, the dog needs to go for a walk, Dad is becoming agitated. Decide which, if any, of those needs is truly a crisis or time-sensitive…

Are Family Caregiving Responsibilities Prompting Feelings of Dread?

Are Family Caregiving Responsibilities Prompting Feelings of Dread? What are your first thoughts when you wake up each morning? Are you looking forward to what your day holds, or would you like to crawl back under the covers and remain there? If you are feeling more dread than delight when you consider your caregiving responsibilities for the day, you’re not alone. Distinctly different from depression, anxiety, and even burnout, caregiver dread is an exhausted, heavy feeling of responsibility. It is caused by feelings of overcommitment as well as the need to get away from obligations. While possible to push through and carry out necessary tasks in spite of these feelings, there are methods to overcome them instead – and restore the joy which comes from making life better for someone you love. For starters, try these techniques: Let go of the guilt. Meeting the caregiving needs of someone can feel unimpactful, mundane, and simply downright tough. It requires selflessness, which can feel burdening. Yet dreading the day-to-day tasks you are required to…

The Post-Pandemic Work-Life Balance: Here’s What Family Caregivers Can Expect

The Post-Pandemic Work-Life Balance: Here’s What Family Caregivers Can Expect If there is one particular positive after-effect of the pandemic, it is the appreciation generated for the plight of family caregivers. Managing work and home life has always been a tremendous challenge for people caring for a senior family member. As Lindsay Jurist-Rosner, CEO of Wellthy, explains, “Caregiving went from a silent struggle to being in the spotlight overnight.” Businesses were unexpectedly thrown into the fire of directing an environment of balancing the safety of staff along with the need to maintain productivity. Here is what we learned – and what we should expect for the future: More telecommuting. Individuals who began working from home in the last year have, in many cases, demonstrated their ability to be much more productive. Because of this, it is forecast that a large portion of the workforce will continue telecommuting at least several days per week this year. Decreased stress. Eliminating the daily commute opens up more time for self-care for family caregivers,…

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