Care Partner Corner
**Caregivers, don’t be too hard on yourselves; caregiving for another is a process with a steep learning curve for some of us. We weren’t trained for this.
***Check out new addition as of 1/5/2023. Go to section IV below.
1. Zoom SHARING GROUP MEETINGS FOR CARE PARTNERS ONLY
Although we are now meeting in person for our monthly meetings, we are still offering an opportunity via Zoom for the Care Partners to share with others. It is a meeting open specifically for care partners. Below are the dates and information you need to enter the Zoom meeting. For each date, the link noted below is the same. We suggest you save that link.
Caring Partner Zoom: 3rd Wed. of the month, and all meetings are at 2:00 p.m. This is a new time since January, 2023
Dec. No meeting; instead, Holiday Luncheon, Dec. 13
Join Zoom Meeting Link (Click once in the middle of the gold link below; then click on the address after "Go to link" to open and join the meeting.)
Link to Join 2023 Care Giver Zoom Meetings:
2. HABITS THAT MAY AFFECT YOUR SELF WORTH AS A CARE PARTNER
a. Comparing yourself to others Remember, you are unique
b. Assuming others think less of how you caregive Usually other people are
too busy themselves to critique your caregiving skills.
c. Overestimating what you think you can accomplish in a given time You
need to give yourself a break and applaud what you do accomplish, even
d. Judging yourself by the worse thing you've ever done. Now is the time to
remind yourself of all the good you've done...big and small.
3. HOW TO GATHER MORE PEACE IN YOUR LIFE Sections I-III
Section I. (from Dr. Peter Cuomo, Neuropsychologist)
-Be patient—wait for the person to respond. After a few minutes, you might ask in a different way, with simpler phrasing, or even with pauses between your phrases giving the person a chance to take in the idea. Complex ideas are difficult for the PD patient.
-Give prompts, cues, reminders. Add a large calendar to the refrigerator, hang signage noting each day of the week on the knob of a cupboard or drawer, ask questions.
-Simplify choices or options. Offer no more than 2 options at times. Or even ask "yes" or "no" questions. "Do you want ham for dinner?" "Do you want to go for a walk?"
-Avoid confrontation . This is not easy. If the conversation escalates, try shifting topics. Then forgive youself for losing control. You are only human.
-Reminding the patient of what he should do, such as "stand up straight, swallow more", etc, sounds helpful, but more peace on both sides could be had if the carepartner did not nag, even with the best intentions. It is hard not to, but just let it go. It's a responsibility the care partner does not have to carry.
Section II (from Parkinson’s Disease 300 Tips by Shelley Schwarz)
Be encouraging: Whether it’s getting the person with Parkinson (PWP) to exercise, eat, dress or do any other activity, have a positive, patient and encouraging attitude. Allow the PWP to do as much for herself/himself as possible. Squelch the tendency to jump up and do a task because you do it faster and more efficiently. (p.7)
(from An Unlikely Gift, by Nancy Alexander. )
1. Meet your PWP where they are. It is not easy. “We don’t want to see them there. They don’t want to be there. But that is where they are. We must stop forcing what we so desperately want, some semblance of normalcy, on them.” Normalcy is no longer an option. (p. 55)
2 Routines are important whenever possible. “The more you can keep things the same, with the same routine, the better for” both PWP and the care partner. (pp. 57-58)
3. “Talk slowly and calmly” using a simple one-direction-at-a-time method. Too much information too quickly is overwhelming.” A PWP needs more time to process. Also, speaking more calmly decreases anxiety. (pp. 58-59)
Section IV (NEW) Dealing with Guilt: Veterans Association (VA) Caregiver Support Handout
Click on the link below (in gold); then click on the link (in blue) after the phrase "Go to file" to download the VA handout on "Caregivers and Guilt". Guilt is a feeling that can hamper our best efforts as a caregiver.
4. Possible Sources for In-The-Home Support
* You might wish to contact one or more of the following.
Home Health Aid
Home Care Assistance
Adult Day Care
Office of the Aging
Nursing Students from MCC or FLCC
Comfort Care Companion
Medicare with PT, OT, who come to the house
“Next Door” On-line
Hospice would send aids when needed