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Elder Rage, or Take My Father... Please!: How to Survive Caring for Aging Parents

If you’re amongst the millions of baby boomers who is or wll be caring for an aging loved one, the Following  will prove to be an absolutely critical resource:
The Ultimate Caregiver’s Success System

Beyond Driving with DignityThe workbook for the families of older drivers

Knowing you are not alone
can be a great help

Stuck in the Middle: Shared Stories And Tips For Caregiving Your Elderly Parents

Could you use a guide that explains the Assisted Living maze?

Check out Ryan Malone's Book

The By Families, For Families Guide to Assisted Living: A Step-by-Step Guide to Evaluating and Transitioning to an Assisted Living Community

Carolyn Rosenblatt has authored this great series on senior issues.

The Boomer's Guide to Aging Parents: The Complete Guide

David Solie has authored this great book on geriatric and intergenerational communication:

How to Say It to Seniors: Closing the Communication Gap with Our Elders

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Feeling Good in Troubled Times…Simple Joys for Caregivers

by Cindy Laverty, The Care Company

I love fall. I like everything about it; the changing colors, the coolness in the air, the morning light, early evening dinners with the family on Sunday; and the promise of holidays upon us. I even like college football. It just feels right to me.

We’re wrapping up another year and I wonder, what are you doing differently this year than in the past? Summer came and went and I’m constantly reminded that for many family caregivers, there is no summer; there is no vacation. Days all seem to roll together. Weekends are no different than weekdays. Many caregivers have forgotten simple joys that make life worth living.

Often caregiving becomes overwhelming and a sense of hopelessness creeps in about our ability to make a difference. If you listen to the news then you know that caregivers are supposed to feel overwhelmed and exhausted and without hope. It’s what you’re told and when that mentality takes over; it’s a recipe for disaster. Don’t fall into victimization! I urge you to avoid adopting this mentality. It’s a horrible place to be and the longer the stay there, the more difficult it becomes to get out!

The truth is that it’s easier to sit in the pain and do nothing. It’s easier than being happy. It’s easier to feel sorry for yourself and it’s easier to convince yourself that the world is not fair. Yep, it’s easier – but it’s not better. Which path do you want to take? As human beings, we are challenged daily. This is the essence of life and there are periods where we are challenged more. The choice is yours? How do you want to live? It’s your life and you need to decide how it looks to you. You need to get serious about your life. You are responsible for your attitude.

What if, right now, you could do some simple things, which will ultimately improve the quality of your life, while positively impacting those around you?

Simple things; not complicated ones. Simple life changes when combined and done consistently can make very big improvements in your life. Happiness and peace of mind are a choice. Choose to live in happiness and your peace of mind will follow. The two are interdependent and so one must follow the other. Henry Ford once said, “If you think you can or if you think you can’t, either way you’re right.” Our thoughts have power. Over and over again, the universe confirms this. We end up with our thoughts and our words, so we need to be extremely careful about what we think about and how we view the world.

The last thing I want to do is sound like Pollyanna, although I’ve always thought she was pretty cool. I guarantee if you begin doing just a few of the suggestions below you will find some simple joy!

Live Each Day in Happiness

It’s your birthright. We’re meant to be happy. You were born in joy and it’s your obligation to wake up each day and shout it to the rafters, if you must, but the message is; “It’s okay for me to be happy!” Happiness is contagious. When you exude positive energy rooted in happiness, you profoundly impact the world. If you don’t believe this, take a few hours and do your own observation. You won’t believe how far a little happiness will take you.

What Can You Do to Find Your Happiness?

For many, this is a perplexing question. There are literally thousands of things you can do and they cost nothing. It’s a good idea to make your personal list and explore with it. This little step will positively impact your life.

  • Get connected to what means the most to you – what you deeply value. Once you have determined this, find ways to experience those values in your life. It may not be your job or career, but we all have feelings sitting in our souls that often are ignored. Tap into your center. It will speak volumes to you about what’s missing. When we are sad or angry or frustrated, generally something in our soul has been ignored. Pay attention.
  • Wake up Slowly. Take your time waking up in the morning. Listen to the morning. Try waking up thirty minutes earlier and enjoy a cup of coffee or tea in bed. This is a simple calming luxury to begin your day on a good note. (I know. You don’t have time for such nonsense. Why not? Remember I said to wake up thirty minutes earlier.)
  • Get outside. Walk, hike, run, bike, sit and meditate, do something in nature. Nature soothes and rejuvenates. It’s good for your body; it clears your head; and it’s free.
  • Play with your children or your pets. Just play. We’ve forgotten how to be childlike. Tap into the little girl or the rambunctious boy you once were and just play.
  • Keep a gratitude journal. There is not a person living who cannot find something to be grateful for on a daily basis. Keep a special journal for this purpose alone. If you’re grateful for the freckles on your daughter’s nose, write it. After you’ve done this for a while, go back and review and see if you don’t end up feeling happy and grateful.
  • Spend time with friends. Friends are our extended family. Theses are the people we choose to be in our lives. Our friends want us to be nurtured, fulfilled, joyous and complete. Spend time with people who complete you.
  • Appreciate the little things. In our stressful lives we forget that the simplest things can bring a smile to our faces. When was the last time you savored the smell of fresh dough baking in the oven? Take time to savor life.
  • Turn off the television. This is a pretty drastic measure, but we are so inundated with negative messages that turning off the television, even if it’s for one day a week, can make a very big difference in your daily perceptions. Set aside a day when the TV if off limits and decide in advance what you will do on that day to nurture your mind, body and soul. You might like it so much, that you’ll actually turn the TV off more than one day a week.
  • Get enough sleep. Numerous studies have shown that our bodies require at least eight hours of sleep a night. Go to bed at a reasonable hour and sleep. It’s good for your body. It’s good for your soul and it’s good for your brain.

If you’re a caregiver, you have to find a way to tap into the joy of life. It can’t all be dreary and awful. You’re an angel for the person you are caring for…and that role requires you to be good to yourself. It’s okay to not live in chaos. It’s okay to take a break. It’s okay to feel good. Honor yourself and the role you have taken on.

You’re worth it and you deserve. Will you believe it?

Getting mom to exercise it’s about keeping it relative

As a teacher of movement and balance exercises for seniors in Independent and assisted living center, I run across a good number of seniors who are used to sitting and doing nothing during the course of a normal day. I find this to be true also of most over 80 seniors who are home bound. […]

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