Helpful Information

Make the Most of Your Visit to Princeton Care Center

Visits from family and friends are always appreciated by an elderly person living in a care center. They provide an opportunity to stay in touch, more about doctor to express emotions, viagra sale to share experiences, story and to simply enjoy time together. The transition into a care center can be difficult – especially for the person making the move. Spending time together helps reassure the person you are visiting that he or she is still an important family member or friend.

Following are guidelines for visiting a family member or friend in a long-term care facility:

Before Visiting

While spur of the moment visits are better than none at all, it is suggested to plan ahead. Most elderly people prefer knowing ahead of time when to expect a visitor. This way they can look forward to the visit with excitement. They will be rested and ready, with no other conflicting visits, activities, or therapy appointments scheduled.

To enhance the quality of the time you spend together, you should have a clear understanding of why and how your visit will benefit the resident, as well as yourself. Think about the person’s needs and interests, and what he or she will appreciate most in a visit.

Will Your Family Member Or Friend Enjoy

  • Having someone to talk with?
  • Discussing what’s happening in the family, community, or world?
  • Being asked for an opinion or advice?
  • Reading or listening to music?
  • Sharing an activity or meal?
  • Keeping up past relationships?
  • Reminiscing?
  • Being hugged?

It is important to be entirely focused on your visit and the person you are with. Being attentive shows that you are enjoying the visit and value this person.

What To Do During Your Visit

While spending time together is reason enough to visit, here are some other suggestions for enjoyable visits:

  • Participate together in a scheduled activity.
  • Spend time reading out loud to an elderly person or listening to music together.
  • Work together on a family album.
  • Show a homemade family videotape.
  • Give the person a manicure or help with hair care.
  • Share a meal together in the facility’s dining room or the person’s room.
  • Help in arranging or cleaning out drawers or closets.
  • Go for a walk outside, or sit out on the patio or in the courtyard.
  • Bring a younger family member along on the visit.
  • Celebrate birthdays or other special occasions.
  • Bring an old friend who wouldn’t be able to visit otherwise.
  • Involve the person in past hobbies.

Ending Your Visit

Ending the visit can be difficult. Many family members find that using the first few minutes of a visit to plan the next one is a good way to ease the transition of parting. The nursing home staff can also give you additional suggestions or assist you if saying good-bye becomes a problem.

Coping with Caregiver Stress

Many people who are between 45 and 65 years old are finding themselves caught in the “sandwich generation”, responsible for caring for elderly parents, children and sometimes even grandchildren. There are more than 76 million baby boomers in the United States, many of whom are entering the “sandwich generation” themselves.

Providing daily care for an aging parent or friend can be rewarding, but also physically and emotionally exhausting. Balancing the demands of work, home and caregiving are often a struggle.

When you are the caregiver it is important that you save some caring and compassion for yourself. Several studies have noted that family caregivers suffer from more stress and illness than the general population, and they have a greater frequency of depression. In fact, “well spouses” (overwhelmingly women), who care for spouses suffering from chronic diseases such as MS, cancer, Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s disease, often develop their own medical problems and other symptoms of stress overload.

Caregiver burnout is a common phenomenon, but there are practical steps you can take to reduce the stress of caring for an elderly parent, relative or ill spouse.

No one has to tell you that being a caregiver is a challenging responsibility. At times, you may feel overwhelmed, especially if you also are trying to meet the demands of a career and family.

  • Build a support system. ?Whether it’s a friend, relative, religious official or formal therapy, the result is the same—you relieve stress by talking about your situation. Emotional support is essential for your well-being.
  • Recognize the range of emotions that accompany caregiving. ?Rage, anxiety, guilt, fear, frustration and resentment are entirely normal. Caregiving can be rewarding, and it is something you do instinctively when the recipient is a parent or spouse.
  • Separate yourself from your loved one’s condition. ?You can sympathize with the person, but continue to do things that make you happy. Don’t deny yourself pleasure while you are caring for your loved one. Experts say that allowing time for yourself makes you a better caregiver—one of the biggest mistakes you can make is to give up your own life to take care of the person.
  • Ask for help when you need it. ?Friends and family are often willing to help with specific tasks, like running errands or just sitting with the person so you can take some time for yourself. You are not withdrawing or being unfaithful if you summon outside help—you can’t always do everything yourself. Home care, adult day care or housekeeping services can also give you a break. Respite care can provide a healthcare worker to lend a hand when needed.
  • Be realistic about what you can and cannot do for an aging or ill relative. ?You can’t reverse the situation, but you can offer support and help with medical attention or coordinating details.

Many factors contribute to caregiver stress. Included are changes in daily routine, loss of privacy, conflicting demands from others, fatigue, financial concerns and worrying about “getting everything done.” These and other lifestyle changes might cause you to feel resentful toward others, trapped, troubled, helpless, depressed or just plain “burned out.” Following are some tips on ways to feel better by combating caregiver stress.

Caring for the Caregiver

Taking care of yourself is one of the most important responsibilities you have as a caregiver. More often than not, caregivers fail to make time for themselves, to do the small but important things that help them endure daily stress. You will be less able to provide adequate care if you are not well or if you allow yourself to become run down and overly tired.

Taking Care of Yourself – For Caregivers ?As caregivers, we often forget about “taking care of ourselves” because we are so preoccupied with the care of others – whether it is a child, an aging parent or relative. Healthful living is an important part of the caregiver role. Following are specific good health practices most recommended by physicians and other health professionals.

  • Exercise Regularly ?A consistent exercise program has tremendous benefits at any age. Exercise can help prevent or control heart disease, osteoporosis, arthritis, diabetes, hypertension and many other ailments. You can fit exercise into your life in many ways, whether it’s a brisk walk to the store or a bicycle ride in the park. Exercising with a partner will help you stay committed to your fitness program.
  • Eat Sensibly ?The proper diet can greatly reduce the risks of heart disease, diabetes and some cancers, such as breast and colon cancer. A healthy diet is low in fat (especially saturated fats) and high in dietary fiber. It should include a balance of protein, fats and carbohydrates, with adequate supplies of the recommended vitamins and minerals. Drink plenty of water and avoid too much salt, caffeine, alcohol and refined sugars. Use herbs and lemon in place of salt. Steam, bake or roast vegetables to retain nutrients.
  • Reduce Alcohol ?Too much alcohol can cause permanent damage to the brain, liver, heart, kidneys and stomach. Even moderate amounts can interact with prescriptions and over-the-counter medications with serious results. Talk to your physician or community hospital about resources and programs for alcohol misuse or abuse.
  • Quit Smoking ?The risk of heart disease quickly drops after you quit smoking. After 10 years, the risk is virtually that of a nonsmoker. The risk of lung cancer is normalized after 10 to 15 years. Many hospitals offer smoking cessation classes to assist people in kicking the habit. To find out more, call your local chapter of the American Cancer Society.
  • Get Frequent Check-ups ?Speak with your family physician about specific screenings and tests to undergo at certain points in your life to detect and eliminate potential health problems. This regimen will allow you to remain as healthy as possible for as long as possible.
  • Reduce Stress ?Stress is a byproduct of mental agitation, the inability to deal with conflicting demands. High levels of stress suppress the immune system, increase accidents and jeopardize healthful practices. Reduce stress by socializing, seeking mental stimulation and getting the support you need.
  • Get Adequate Sleep ?The immune system requires a good night’s sleep to work best. Plenty of deep sleep is also a prerequisite to good mental health.
  • Drive Safely ?Always observe the speed limit. Don’t drink and drive. Using seat belts reduces the risk of serious injury by 50 percent.
  • Take Medications Safely ?Many medications mix poorly with each other. Tell all your physicians about all medications you take. Ask your physician about possible side effects and never share prescriptions.