Family Caregiver Resources

Dear #FIRST#,

The holiday season is upon us. Halloween rushed by. Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, and the New Year will have passed in the blink of an eye.

Caregivers are one of the busiest groups of individuals in the world. Many caregivers attempt to be like the energizer bunny but soon run out of battery charge.

The theme of this newsletter is about being proactive to support good health through simple daily actions, recognizing and addressing caregiver stress, and advocating for loved ones. Also included is a special article about guardianship and conservatorship, a subject that arises in my day to day communications.

If you are already a care receiver, what might you do to improve your situation? If you are a caregiver please read and share these articles from The Caring Generation® Library with friends and colleagues.


Featured Articles


If you are a caregiver looking for a single source of information, my book, The Caregiving Trap: Solutions for Life's Unexpected Changes offers helpful advice and recommendations.

The Caregiving Trap


Articles in this newsletter are posted in The Caring Generation® Library. Access to the articles expires in 30 days. You can join the library for free, it’s just like having a library card, to access these and many other articles, videos, and podcasts.

If The Care Navigator has been of assistance to you, we sincerely appreciate other individuals and caregivers you send to us for assistance. We do our best to make sure that your confidence in us is returned. Please email me at Pamela@TheCareNavigator.com or call me (303) 810-1816 if you have questions about how The Care Navigator might assist you or those you know. You may also review our list of Frequently Asked Questions.

Visit our two websites, www.TheCareNavigator.com and www.TheCaringGeneration.com for more information about our services and for caregiver support.

Have a peaceful, healthy and happy holiday season. We look forward to serving you or someone you know.

Pamela D. Wilson, The Care Navigator



Dementia & Skilled Nursing Home Rehabilitation: Care Needs vs. an Apathetic System

By Pamela D. Wilson, CSA, MS, BS/BA, CG
       
If you are a family member or a professional working to support persons diagnosed with dementia, what can you do to ensure that the individual receives the appropriate rehabilitation? What can you do to ensure that the individual is not permanently resigned to live in a nursing home the remainder of his or her life due to the familiar statement of a “lack of progress” for not meeting insurance standards? 

I guarantee that you will hear from staff that “this is a normal progression of dementia,” which really means “we’re not equipped or trained to care for your loved one with dementia and we don’t have time to put forth the effort.” You will hear, “your loved one is not depressed” and other excuses for beneficial medications being discontinued. There is a long list of reasons why your loved one will not improve and may never leave skilled rehabilitation unless you take the appropriate actions.

If you find yourself in this situation, prepare yourself for a battle against a system that lacks compassion and understanding for a special population with different needs. This lack of compassion for persons diagnosed with dementia stems from rules and regulations beyond your control. If you are a caregiver for an individual with dementia you may have already lost this battle. 

If you haven’t yet faced this situation, know someone who is, or want to avoid this situation read on to learn ways to advocate for your loved one with dementia and to battle against an apathetic system. 

Click here to read the entire article.



Spousal Dementia Caregiver Stress and the Risks of Cognitive Decline for the 
Caregiver

By Pamela D. Wilson, CSA, MS, BS/BA, CG
       
Caregivers fail to consider who will care for their loved one if they are unable to provide care. They also feel extreme responsibility, feel pressure from the care recipient or other family members to provide care, and experience significant guilt about the duty to provide care. 

* According to the Family Caregiver Alliance(2), 57% of caregivers report that they do not have a choice about performing clinical tasks, and that this lack of choice is self-imposed. 43% feel that these tasks are their personal responsibility because no one else can do it or because insurance will not pay for a professional caregiver.

* 12% report that they are pressured to perform these tasks by the care receiver.

* 8% report that they are pressured to perform these tasks by another family member. [AARP and United Health Hospital Fund. (2012). Home Alone: Family Caregivers Providing Complex Chronic Care.]

Click here to read the entire article.



Men: 10 Tips to Living to 85 and Beyond in Good Health

By Pamela D. Wilson, CSA, MS, BS/BA, CG
       
1. Maintain a healthy weight and avoid abdominal obesity; maintain a body mass index of 25 or lower. A healthy weight offers the benefits of positive physical and emotional health and avoids early age-related disability which results in an earlier than expected death.

2. Eat a healthy diet, the Mediterranean-like diet(3). Avoid the traps of fast food supported by the American lifestyle. You are what you eat, research proves that a healthy diet avoids chronic disease. 

3. Engage in leisure time physical activity and exercise. Physical activity supports ongoing positive mental health and physical strength, reduces stress, and increases positive self-esteem. 

4. Avoid smoking of all substances.

Click here to read the entire article. 



Reducing the Likelihood of a Dementia Diagnosis by Taking Care of Your Teeth

By Pamela D. Wilson, CSA, MS, BS/BA, CG
       
Tooth loss, gingivitis, and periodontal disease result in chronic infection that, according to research, contribute to a diagnosis of dementia.

The bacteria in your mouth and build-up of plaque increase the risk of atherosclerosis which in simple terms is build-up of plaque in the bloodstream that may result in chronic heart disease. Treating periodontal disease can reduce the risk of stroke, esophageal cancer, and heart attacks(1). Periodontal disease is a chronic inflammatory disease related to other systemic diseases like heart disease, diabetes, breathing diseases, and cancer. 

Who would have thought that plaque build-up in your mouth relates to plaque build-up in your body and in the brain? You’ve heard that memory loss is associated with plaques and tangles. Chronic diseases that affect the circulatory system increase the likelihood of a diagnosis of memory loss. Plaque is present in the mouth and in the bloodstream. The simple act of having your teeth cleaned is a protective factor for your overall health. 




Certified Guardians and the National Guardianship Standards of Care 
By Pamela D. Wilson, CSA, MS, BS/BA, CG
 
Many times, questions about fees arise due to a lack of familiarity by the general public and some professionals about the existence of the National Guardianship Association and the Standards of Care. Since the fiduciary industry has been relatively unregulated specific to the roles of guardian and conservator, there has been little discussion of the qualifications and background of fiduciaries entering the profession. 

While the general public and professionals including attorneys are very familiar with standards of the American Bar Association, the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, and similar associations, unfamiliarity exists about the National Guardianship Association. Absent of membership in the National Guardianship Association, and a commitment to the NGA Standards of Care, a guardian or conservator may take short cuts, ignore care needs, and purposely charge low fees to obtain the reputation of being a more reasonable option to fiduciaries committed to follow the NGA standards of care.




The Care Navigator - Frequently Asked Questions:

How do I decide if services of the Care Navigator can help me?

Pamela D. Wilson of The Care Navigator offers a FREE 15 minute phone consultation to allow you to present the details of your situation, to ask questions and to determine if The Care Navigator is able to provide support that is a good fit for your situation. The Care Navigator offers as little or as much support as desired -- ranging from a one hour in office consultation to the services of care navigation, care advocacy, care oversight and care coordination, assessments and service as a guardian, power of attorney or personal representative. We tailor our services to meet your needs.

What if I don't know the questions I should ask?

The fact that you are asking this question proves that you are aware of the benefits of asking the right questions and the importance of this aspect in arriving at a positive outcome. During the FREE 15 minute phone consultation and throughout our work with you, you will be asked questions to help you understand the complexities of situations so that you become more educated and informed and better able to advocate for your situation.

What if my loved one has a diagnosis of dementia or Alzheimer's disease?

If you have a loved one diagnosed with dementia or Alzheimer's disease, accessing the services of The Care Navigator is even more important. Understanding the effects of the diagnosis on daily life and making plans for the future are critical to ensure that a loved one's wishes will be fulfilled. Some individuals with dementia experience significant changes in behaviors that threaten or frighten loved ones. Others refuse care. By having a better understanding of the disease process and the options for support you will be able to support needed care for your loved one.

How do we decide what support is beneficial?

A component of care navigation is the development of a care plan. A care plan is a document developed to include historical and current information about social and personal background, individual preferences, health history, medications and other relevant information to identify specific needs.
Development of a care plan is a participatory activity between The Care Navigator staff and the client and client’s family to identify and agree upon needs and beneficial services. The Care Navigator and/or family caregivers implement the care plan.

Are you able to work within my budget?

Yes. We work with many care situations where a monthly budget is established for the services we provide. Call for a FREE 15 minute consultation to request more information.




How to Access Information in the FREE Family Library 

To visit and check out the FREE information (without subscription) in the Caring Generation Library Click Here. If you like what you see, I encourage you to subscribe and to share this website with co-workers, members of your community, friends and family.

To access the articles in this newsletter, click any of the “Click here to read the entire article" links above. If you want to read entire articles in the family library, take the next steps:.

To become a Family subscriber of The Caring Generation library, Click Here. Your information remains secure and allows me to publish articles, podcasts and video content specific to family caregiving situations.


Pamela D. Wilson
The Care Navigator, The Caring Generation, and author of the book, 
The Caregiving Trap 
(303) 810-1816
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Golden, CO 80402
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