caregiver support

Self-help for caregivers

Are you tending for someone in need -- such as a elderly or disabled relative or spouse in the home, a friend or neighbor, or someone in hospice care?

If so, you're not alone. Most of us will be called on to perform unpaid caregiver responsibilities at some point in our lives -- whether that might involve helping another with their shopping or cleaning, handling their finances, monitoring their medication schedule, or providing what we may consider to be "traditional" caregiver tasks such as helping with bathing, cooking and dressing.

SHOP Amazon's Top 100* Best Selling Vitamins & Nutritional Supplements
+ Free Shipping & Returns on Eligible Items.
(*Amazon's Top 100 list updated hourly.)

On top of this, more than half of the 44 million Americans who perform unpaid care giving tasks do so while holding down "regular" jobs.

Caregivers can be unsung angels of mercy for those in need -- but their own needs can too often be ignored. Researchers have identified several factors that can cause caregiver stress:

  • feeling isolated: losing social, emotional, financial or practical support
  • feeling overwhelmed: when caregivers are expected to do too much or have health problems of their own
  • feeling guilty when mistakes are made or being less than "perfect"
  • feeling unappreciated (or resentful) when the person being cared for doesn't respond (or improve) as we'd like

For your own well-being as a caregiver, it's important to take good care of yourself while you do the same for someone else. (Over half of all caregivers say that their health has gone "downhill" due to caregiver responsibilities.) Medical experts offer these steps to help:

Steps for caregivers' self-health

  1. Don't discount the power of prayer. 73% or caregivers find stress relief through prayer.
  2. Develop a support network of family and friend whom you can turn to for advice.
  3. Stay on schedule with your own medical needs: checkups, screenings and tests.
  4. Say "no" when too much is requested or demanded of you.
  5. Organize your work with to-do lists. (This can not only help you to get more done, but it can be rewarding to check off tasks and look back to see how much you accomplish.)
  6. Maintain healthy eating habits -- for your sake, and your loved one's.
  7. Get plenty of rest. Short naps, when possible, can be big energy boosts.
  8. Stay active. Enjoy any kind of physical activity at least 15-30 minutes per day: walking, gardening, cleaning or just going up and down stairs can help.
  9. Manage stress. Giving yourself time to relax is an important part of self-care.
  10. Realize that you do not need to be the "perfect" caregiver. No one is perfect. All that can be expected of you is that you do your best.

When you think about it today, be sure to take time for yourself physically, emotionally and spiritually.

Caregiver's Bill of Rights
Caregivers have rights, too. These affirmations (author unknown) may comfort and support you while you do the same for your loved one.
  • I have the right to take care of myself. I have the right to seek help from others.
  • I have the right to maintain parts of my life that do not include the person I care for.
  • I have the right to get angry, be depressed and express difficult feelings once in a while.
  • I have the right to reject any attempt to control me through guilt or anger.
  • I have the right to consideration, affection, forgiveness and acceptance.
  • I have the right to take pride in what I'm doing.
  • I have the right to protect my individuality.

Sources:
http://www.womenshealth.gov/publications/our-publications/fact-sheet/caregiver-stress.cfm


Philadelphia Tips for Healthy Living...

Want to lessen your chances of catching a cold or the flu?
Gargling with water may help
gargling to prevent colds and flu

Kyoto, Japan - Regular gargling with water may help protect against upper respiratory infections in healthy people, researchers from Kyoto University School of Public Health reported in The American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

Scientists recruited 387 healthy volunteers between the ages of 18 to 65 and followed them for 60 days during the cold and flu season. Participants were assigned to water gargling, diluted topical disinfectant gargling and non-gargling groups (volunteers in the gargle groups were asked to gargle three times a day).

Those who gargled three times a day were over 30% less likely to contract upper respiratory infections. Those who gargled and contracted infections reported that gargling helped ease the symptoms. Suggested recipe: dissolve 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of salt into an 8 oz. glass of warm water. Gargle for a few seconds before spitting out solution. If you find this too unpalatable, try adding lemon and/or honey.

Other steps for avoiding the cold include:

  • wash your hands frequently and avoid touching fingers to eyes and nose
  • keep commonly touched surfaces like door knobs, phones, etc., disinfected
  • avoid large groups or classes, if possible. The fewer people you are exposed to, the less your chance of exposure
  • get adequate sleep
  • don't smoke and avoid exposure to secondhand smoke.
  • some research suggests that it may help to eat or drink yogurt, miso soup, kefir or other fermented foods that contain live, active probiotic cultures (good bacteria)
  • keep your immune system strong by eating a healthy diet, managing your stress and getting regular exercise

Tips for battling a cold

According to Harvard Medical School's Anthony Komarof --- once you already have a cold, time the only certain solution. Antibiotics will not help (colds are caused by viruses whereas antibiotics help the body battle bacteria) and may even make the condition worse by contributing to antibiotic resistance. The average cold lasts for 1-2 weeks and is most contagious for those first 2-3 days. In the meantime, while your body is battling the virus, the most beneficial steps you can take are:

  • gargling with salt water, as described above
  • staying well hydrated by drinking water, juice, or broth. Avoid alcohol, caffeinated beverages and sodas.
  • gently flushing your sinuses with saline solution or run a humidifier to loosen congestion
  • getting plenty of rest

You can also minimize the discomfort with over the counter decongestants and pair relievers -- but be careful. When combining medications, such as Tylenol PM and Tylenol for daytime use, it is easy to consume unsafe levels of acetaminophen. Also, cold medications are not suggested for children under the age of 6.

Though the research has thus far been inconclusive, some studies suggests that the duration or intensity of a cold can be minimized though nutritional supplements.

Low-grade inflammation at a young age associated with lower intelligence

Stockholm, Sweden - Inflammation - it's the body's normal body response to injury (burns, cuts, breaks or exhaustive exercise) as well as foreign invaders (tobacco smoke, allergies, toxins, medicines, diseases, alcohol, viruses, parasites, bacteria, pollution, a diet rich in saturated fats - even splinters, dust and debris). It is critical to our healing and protective processes but, when it becomes chronic it becomes destructive.

intelligence factors

Medical conditions believed to be linked to chronic inflammation include Alzheimer's disease, asthma, some cancers, chronic pain, type 2 diabetes, heart disease and autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and lupus. Now, we may have to add lower intelligence to that list.

According to research reported in Brain, Behavior and Immunity, inflammation is associated with lower intelligence for those as young as 18 years of age.

Researchers at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden used data on 49,321 Swedish males aged 18-20 who had registered for military service in 1969-1970. Using IQ test results and a measurement of inflammation, they found that low-grade inflammation affected cognitive (mental) ability even in those as young as 18-20.

Scientists explored mortality rates between 1971-2006 and also found an association between inflammation and premature death risk.

Low Prices on Best Selling VITAMINS &
SUPPLEMENTS

SHOP NOW AT AMAZON

Join in our discussions:
spacer
A Sampling of Today's Health News Headlines
BBC News - Health
BBC News - Health
BBC News - Health
09/30/2016 03:51 AM
Thailand confirms two cases of Zika-linked microcephaly
Thai health officials confirm two cases of microcephaly, a severe birth defect in babies linked to the Zika virus, the first in South East Asia.
09/29/2016 09:36 PM
Gene editing: Ethical issues 'should be discussed'
Ethical questions around a new gene editing technology need to be considered now - even though its use may be some way off, experts say.
09/28/2016 09:19 PM
One in 10 children has 'Aids defence'
A 10th of children have a "monkey-like" immune system that stops them developing Aids, researchers say.
09/29/2016 08:48 AM
Russia plans to ban 'baby boxes' for unwanted infants
Russia plans to ban "baby boxes" - the hatches introduced in many countries where desperate mothers can safely abandon a baby.
09/29/2016 04:23 AM
Common painkillers 'increase heart failure risk'
Taking a common kind of painkiller is linked to an increased risk of heart failure, a study focusing on elderly people suggests.
09/27/2016 01:13 PM
First 'three person baby' born using new method
The world's first baby has been born using a new "three person" fertility technique, heralding a new era in medicine, say experts.
09/27/2016 08:22 AM
Polluted air affects 92% of global population, says WHO
The World Health Organisation says 92% of the planet's population is breathing polluted air outdoors, contributing to three million deaths a year.
09/26/2016 07:09 PM
Dilute honey 'may fight urine infections'
A simple mix of honey and water might be a useful weapon against urine infections in hospital patients, according to researchers.
09/28/2016 12:21 PM
Widow wins High Court frozen embryo case
The widow of a Falklands war veteran has won a High Court bid to keep frozen embryos that they created.
09/25/2016 07:35 PM
Body fat link to bacteria in faeces
The make up of the bacteria found in human faeces may influence levels of dangerous fat in our bodies, say researchers from King's College London.
CNN.com - RSS Channel - Health
CNN.com - RSS Channel - Health
CNN.com delivers up-to-the-minute news and information on the latest top stories, weather, entertainment, politics and more.
09/30/2016 08:05 AM
What a real "Fault in our Stars' couple taught us
They became known as "the real 'Fault in Our Stars' couple" and soon became nearly as famous as the couple in the novel and movie.

04/01/2015 08:39 PM
Meet the Pragers, a real 'Fault in Our Stars' couple
Late one night on Facebook, a girl with cystic fibrosis messaged a boy with cystic fibrosis, and both their lives were changed forever.

09/23/2016 06:05 PM
Katie Prager dies days after her husband
Katie Prager, the wife in the real "Fault in Our Stars" couple, died Thursday after complications from cystic fibrosis and a lung transplant. She was 26 years old.

09/22/2016 11:12 AM
Dalton and Katie Prager: A love story
Katie and Dalton Prager both had cystic fibrosis. Despite doctors' warnings, they married and became known as the real "Fault in Our Stars" couple. They passed away days apart from each other in September 2016.

09/29/2016 03:10 PM
Removing ovaries speeds aging in premenopausal women
A surgery recommended to women as a way to prevent ovarian cancer is unethical in many cases, say Mayo Clinic researchers.

09/29/2016 05:55 PM
Weight bias is bigger problem than you may think, experts say
Fatness was an unexpected topic at the presidential debate -- and many obesity experts now say that they are concerned about what was said.

09/29/2016 07:07 PM
Are 911 calls affected by police violence?
Police violence can pull a city apart with unrest and pain, but there may be another, equally chilling consequence.

Reuters: Health News
Reuters: Health News
Reuters.com is your source for breaking news, business, financial and investing news, including personal finance and stocks. Reuters is the leading global provider of news, financial information and technology solutions to the world's media, financial institutions, businesses and individuals.
09/29/2016 07:58 PM
Zika-related birth defects likely higher than anticipated: panel
BOSTON (Reuters) - The risk posed by the Zika virus to developing fetuses is likely far greater than current estimates suggest, a top U.S. health official said on Thursday.

09/30/2016 08:17 AM
Regeneron's Eylea combination therapy fails mid-stage study
(Reuters) - Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc said a combination therapy containing its flagship eye drug, Eylea, was inferior to Eylea alone in a mid-stage trial involving patients with wet age-related macular degeneration (AMD), a leading cause of blindness in the elderly.

09/30/2016 07:20 AM
Thailand confirms first Zika-linked microcephaly in Southeast Asia
BANGKOK (Reuters) - Thailand reported on Friday the first confirmed cases in Southeast Asia of microcephaly linked to mosquito-borne Zika, as the World Health Organization urged action against the virus across the region.

09/29/2016 04:31 PM
CDC concludes probe into flour-linked E.coli outbreak
(Reuters) - The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said on Thursday it had concluded an investigation into a multi-state E.coli outbreak linked to flour produced at a General Mills Inc plant in Kansas City, Missouri.

09/29/2016 07:15 PM
Ex-Insys sales manager arrested in U.S. fentanyl-kickback case
(Reuters) - A former Insys Therapeutics Inc district sales manager was arrested on Thursday on charges he participated in a scheme to pay kickbacks to doctors to prescribe a drug containing the opioid fentanyl, U.S. prosecutors said.

09/29/2016 07:49 PM
CDC issues Zika travel advisory for 11 Southeast Asian countries
(Reuters) - U.S. health officials on Thursday recommended that pregnant women postpone nonessential travel to 11 Southeast Asian countries because of the risk of Zika virus infection, which has been shown to cause severe birth defects.

 
feedback
news@PhiladelphiaHealth.com
Copyright 2016 PhiladelphiaHealth.com. All rights reserved. rss Subscribe to our RSS
Information provided here should not be relied on to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any condition, disease or illness. Please consult with your physician or health care professional for guidance on any health concern. PhiladelphiaHealth.com is a commercial website and is not affiliated with any government agency, university, or private medical center. COMPENSATION DISCLOSURE: This site may be compensated for products promoted here. Read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.