Caregiving Archives — Page 3 of 3 — The Wesley Communities

Knowing the Stages of Grief

Grief, the 5 letter word that weighs a ton.
Dealing with grief varies from person to person.  What most of us don’t realize is there are different stages of grief and knowing the stages can help you and your family deal better through the process after losing a loved one.  Often people say that time heals all wounds, which is not necessarily true when it come to losing someone you love. There is no good or bad, right  or wrong way to grieve, however there are healthy ways.
The grief process is a natural response to loss. It’s the emotional suffering you feel when someone you love is taken away. The more significant the loss, the more intense the grief.  The key to understanding the stages of grief is not to feel you have to have experience the stages in any particular order. Instead use them as guides in the grieving process.
Here are the common stages of grief that people go through, according to WebMD.com :
• Denial, numbness and shock: Numbness is a normal reaction to death or loss and should never be confused with “not caring”. This stage helps protect us from experiencing the intensity of the loss. It can be useful when we have to take some action, such as planning a funeral, notifying relatives or reviewing important papers.  As we move through the experience and slowly acknowledges its impact, the initial denial and disbelief fades.
• Bargaining: this stage of grief may be marked by persistent thoughts about what “could have been done” to prevent the death or loss.  Some people become obsessed with thinking about specific ways things could have been done differently to save the person’s life or prevent the loss.  If this stage of grief isn’t dealt with and resolved, the person may live with intense feelings of guilt or anger that can interfere with the healing process.
• Depression: In this stage, we begin to realize and feel true extent of the death or loss.  Common signs of depression in this stage include trouble sleeping, poor appetite, fatigue, lack of energy, and crying spells.  We may also have self pity and feel lonely, isolated, empty, lost and anxious.
• Anger: This stage is common.  It usually happens when we feel helpless and powerless. Anger can stem from a feeling of abandonment because of a death or loss.  Sometimes we’re angry at higher power, at the doctors who cared for a lost loved one, or toward life in general.
• Acceptance: In time, we can come to terms with all the emotions and feelings we experienced when the death or loss happened.  Healing can begin once loss becomes integrated into our set of life experiences.
Because there are no rules or time limits to the grieving process its possible that you could experience one or more of these stages again. The two most common of the stages that return over time are depression and anger. If this happens, don’t be alarmed and just remember that each individual should define his or her own healing process after the loss of a loved one.  Again, there is no limit to how long one should grieve, however the difficult times should become less intense and shorter as time goes by.
To find out more about hospice and the grieving process, please contact Hospice Services at Methodist Eldercare at 614-451-6700 or click here for more information. https://www.wesleyhospice.com


Is It Time for Assisted Living?

Making the decision to move your parents from the home they’ve lived independently for years is a complex one, both emotionally and practically.  Most of all you want your loved one to be safe and well.  Every situation is different and should be handled accordingly.
In some cases, you can count on your loved one to tell you that they can no longer live on their own.  In other cases, you will need to look for signs that your assistance is needed to help your loved one make the choice to move to an assisted living community.
Here are some signs to look for which are helpful in making a decision that’s not always an easy one, but a necessary one for both you and your loved one’s peace of mind.
1. Mobility Issues:  You are noticing that your loved complains of falling or notice bumps and bruises that they are unable to explain.
2. Skipping Meals:  Your loved one is struggling with what to cook and as a result, they are not eating.  While visiting, take a quick inventory of expiration dates on foods and how leftovers are being stored.
3. Signs of Fire: Burned knobs on the stove, pots that are singed and pot holders that have burned edges.  If you see any of these, calmly ask for an explanation of how they happened or when.
4. Signs of Careless Driving:  If you notice that the body of their car has nicks and dents and they are not sure how they happened or when.
5. Unopened bills:  If you find bills piling up in different locations could mean that your loved one is having difficulty managing their finances.
6. Personal Hygiene:  When visiting, you notice him or her wearing the same outfit over and over without it being laundered.  If personal hygiene items such a soap, body wash, and toothpaste are lasting longer than they have in the past.
7. Remembering Medication/Prescriptions:  Difficulty in remembering what medicines to take and when to take them.
Sometimes the mention of living outside of the place they’ve called home for so long is scary.  It’s important to let your loved one know that there is a difference between assisted living communities and nursing homes.   Arranging a tour with one of our staff members could help you better explain the many options available for you or your loved one.
Please call The Wesley Communities at 614-396-4990 to arrange a tour, or visit us at www.thewesleycommunities.com/contact/.


Ways You Can Help a Sick Friend

We all want to lend a hand when a friend or family member is ill and unable to tend to their daily needs without assistance.  The usual question for me is what can I do to help out without getting in the way?  If the person has been living independently prior to their illness, they usually don’t like to ask for help.
I’ve come up with my own list of ways to help let your friend or family member know that you are there for them.
1. Find out the best times to visit.  The last thing you want to do is to disturb them when they are resting.
2. Ask if there is anyone chore that they were doing daily before the illness that you can take over until they are up and around again.
3. Be a reliable presence in your friends’ life.  Checking in regularly can be a huge comfort to someone who has had their life turned upside down by a medical issue.
4. Hire a manicurist/pedicurist to do a house call.  Sending new soft & fluffy slippers with the manicurist is always a nice touch.
5. Providing meals is always a great help.  The last thing someone who is ill wants to do is cook.  If the person is homebound, reach out to other friends to help prepare and drop off meals.
6. Have a movie night.  Bring a DVD, make some popcorn and watch a movie together.
7.  While at the grocery store, call your friend to ask if there is anything they need you to pick up for them.
8. Offer to drive them to their doctor’s appointment.
9. Send notes and cards frequently.  This lets your friend know they are often in your thoughts.
10. If they are able to get out, take them for a ride around the city.
11. If appropriate, bring humor and a light mood to them. Laughter can be a terrific medicine.
12. Let them know you admire their strength.
No situation is the same.  Always remember, listen more and talk less.  If after some time you notice that your friend is not progressing at home, you might want to suggest to them or a family member to look into skilled nursing assistance and or assisted living.
Image Courtesy of happykanppy at freedigitalphotos.net


The Baby Boomer Caregiver Shortage

My name is Marlana and I am a Baby Boomer born in 1962. While worrying about work, home, and caring for my 72-year-old father and my 94-year-old grandmother, I’m at told that  I need to worry about who will one day care for me in my later years.
For those of us who thought we would be able to rely on our children, cousins or close friends as caregivers in our later years,  we may be in for a big shock according to an AARP report.
According to estimates by AARP, we can expect a sharp decline in the ratio of caregivers to care, recipients, especially in the United States.  AARP says currently,  there are about 7 people aged 45-64 years of age to care for each person who is 80 years or older.  By 2030, there will be only 4 and by 2050 there will be fewer than 3. One reason for this shortage is the number of children of Baby Boomers who represent Generation X. There are only 45 million Generation X adults compared to the 77 million Baby Boomers. The oldest Generation X adult turns 49 in 2014.
This ratio isn’t the only factor to consider.  Many of the children of Baby Boomers are in a less optimum situation for providing care.  Many are starting their families later and taking longer to establish their careers, and in many cases are less able to take extended time off to care for their elderly relatives.
What can we do to address this situation?  Although,  we don’t like to dwell upon the possibility of future physical or cognitive challenges, It is something that should be considered.  Even the healthiest person can face health issues down the road, and there are a few things to consider.
1. Are your financial affairs in order?
2. Would long-term insurance be a good choice?
3. Learn about Medicare, Social Security, and the other benefits to which you are entitled.
4. Talk to your family about plans for future care.
This topic may not be at the top of my to-do list, but  I realize that if nature plays out as it should,  I will need to put a plan in motion now so there’s no question about who will look after me in my golden years.
For more information on the caregiver shortage please visit AARP Public Policy Institute at  www.aarp.org/research/ppi/
The staff at The Wesley Communities is available to assist you and your family with questions regarding your future needs.  We offer many long terms living services, including assisted living, independent living as well as at home services provided by Wesley At Home if remaining in your own home is an option.  Please give us a call at 614-396-4990 with questions or to arrange a tour of our facilities, or go to  www.thewesleycommunities.com/contact/