Recommendations on being a caregiver

Recommendations on being a caregiver

Lately, the responsibilities of a caregiver are mounting and have too much to joggle at once. If you happen to be a caregiver, you know what it’s like to come across new situations that leave you wanting to ask for help no matter how good you are at getting the job done.

It is vital to keep yourself healthy to continue to be successful at being a caregiver. Since there are challenges and new situations that you will face, we want you to feel encouraged and also we are providing tips that will help as you balance the demands of being a caregiver.

Make sure to care for yourself

It is both physically and emotionally tiring being a caregiver. Make sure you get plenty of rest and feel revitalized so you are able to provide the best care. Take a break when needed without feeling guilty. Give yourself some time at least once a day for at least fifteen minutes.

Trust your doctor

If your doctor is fully aware of your situation as a caregiver and of the level of care you provide yourself, she/he will be able to better evaluate your health and provide the best recommendation. It is crucial that your doctor knows explicitly that you are a caregiver. This will help her/him provides a unique assessment of your heath along with any advice and detect any early warning signs related to your health. You will be given plenty of advice and resources for your care from a knowledgeable doctor.

Take the help you are given

You might be tempted to believe that, as a caregiver, it is up to you to do it all yourself. Even if you are very willing to do all the work, you will begin to experience poor health, burnout, and also a not so positive attitude towards people in your life that you care about. It is your responsibility to yourself and to those you care for to take the help that is offered to you. This help can be anything, for example, having a friend or relative spend time with your care recipient or driving your care recipient to a doctor appointment. This will allow you to have time to yourself and to get help on your responsibilities.

Embrace change

Having an open mind to new ways of providing care can make a positive impact on your responsibilities. Staying current on new technology, resources for the community, and nearby physicians will help ensure your care recipient is the least dependent on you.

Go with your gut feeling

You are the one who knows your care recipient the best and your gut feeling should lead you to make good choices. Believe in yourself and rest assured that you are doing things to the best of your ability.

Look for support

You can find solutions to problems, emotional support, and a community of people who share your experience through a support group. There are various online and in person support groups and I recommend you seek one you feel at ease with.

Speak up

As a care provider, you need to understand your rights. We know that becoming a caregiver means many responsibilities. For example, you might get an important phone call that makes you stop everything you are doing and handle the matter. Knowing if you are eligible for Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) by checking with your employer is good practice.

Stay in the loop

Educate yourself of the any community resources available. These resources can be transportation services, food services, and even assistance for adults. These resources are meant to help people lead healthy and independent lives as much as possible. You might not even have to pay for some these services!
You will find that being a caregiver is one of the most satisfying jobs even if there are downsides, like the emotional and physical stress.

Here are 12 Pros to Old Age

Here are 12 Pros to Old Age

There definitely exists a share of sad moment that come from being in geriatrics. Fortunately, those sad moments are compensated for by the moments of laughter and wisdom that my patients bring me each day.

It is my pleasure to share with you the below list containing twelve advantages of old age. The list was given to me by Mr. R., who is 83 years old, and who is continuing to manage to care for his 98-year-old wife despite his high blood pressure and heart damage. He gave me the list during one of his follow-up visits and I realized that getting old is not all that bad.

The 12 Pros of Old Age

  • You might get away with sleeping whenever and wherever.
  • You are allowed to drive slower than others without getting reprimanded for it on the road.
  • No one will mind much if you forget to zip up.
  • You might forget what you read after finishing a book or magazine, so it will be perfectly fine to reread it.
  • Food stains on your clothes are the least of your worries.
  • You enjoy each each as if it was a holiday.
  • You will be able to get the early-bird special and additionally get your senior discount on other purchases.
  • Even if you have a bad-temper, people will understand and be nice to you.
  • You are allowed be forgetful, since you ARE a senior citizen.
  • You only have great recollection for the good things and forget all about the bad.
  • You can remove your hearing aid, if you want to tune anything out.
  • The hospital staff (doctors and nurses) is always kind and understanding.

After reading such a list, how could I not love what I do? Seeing firsthand the courage and poise that many of my elderly patients demonstrate when dealing with the challenges of getting older is by far the best part of being a geriatrician. What are your thoughts? What are some advantages for you of caring for someone older?

Test for High Blood Pressure now instead of Waiting to Visit the Doctor

Test for High Blood Pressure now instead of Waiting to Visit the Doctor

The announcement by these organizations received coverage in mainstream news . The announcements:

  • In-office doctor diagnosis can have misleading results, either overestimating or underestimating the results. It is called the “white coat effect” when it is overestimated.
  • Home testing will give a more accurate representation or a Big Picture, since blood pressure typically varies throughout the day and doctor visits will not catch that. This might be more representative than the “snapshot” result from a visit to the doctor.
  • The quick results from home monitoring can be a great advantage for patients, making them think twice about their eating choices and even motivating them to exercise more.
  • Tools for home testing as well as specific advice is provided by The Heart Association.
  • Those monitors can cost from $50 to $100 and can be purchased on-line and at drug stores.

Additionally, the group suggests purchasing an automated model, which has the upper arm cut. The British Hypertension Society provides a list of monitors that meet international standards.

Are you feeling you are not tech-savvy enough to help your parents set up a blood pressure machine, much less persuade them to do the monitoring themselves? You should not worry. Clear instructions and toll-free phone numbers with real-person assistance is included with most monitors.

 

3 Fitness apps for travel nurses

3 Fitness apps for travel nurses

Fortunately, we now all have smartphones with thousands of apps downloadable. Some of them are just great for fitness ; and really adapted to people who work a lot, far from home, and have few time to keep a healthy lifestyle with good food and exercises.

MyFitnessPal

It is a free app, that tracks the foods you eat with its calories counter. You just have to fill in the food you eat and its quantity, then its database of 5 million foods calculates the calories it makes. According to your weight, MyFitnessPal tells you if you need to adapt your portion of food in order to eat just what you need. Doing that everyday enables you to follow a good diet, without forcing you to eat the food you dislike.

Sworkit

This app enables to workout anywhere. The short personalized videos show you the exercices you can do, without material. Thus, as long as you have a room (and sometimes a fitness carpet when you have to lay down), you can workout ! Strength, Stretching, Cardio, Pilates, Yoga.. you have no excuses anymore not to do exercises while travelling with Sworkit Plus, if you get the premium version, you can talk directly with a trainer

Nike+ Run Club

This free app has a built-in GPS that tracks your run. Nike+ Run Club tells you where, how long and how fast you ran ! You can also get coaching programs to help you reach your personal objectives. You can compare your runs with your friends’ ones and share them with them by taking a picture. The apps adds your run details (length, speed, time) on the picture, that you can share on the social media.

5 signs your mom is a nurse

5 signs your mom is a nurse

« It’s nothing » : according to her, you are never sick

As long as you are not unconscious or totally bleeding out, she would say there is nothing to worry about. It is a bit frustrating when you really feel sick and don’t feel able to go to school or to work. But you are reassured because you know that if you need anything, she would know what to do – and not every kid has this chance.

She is rarely sick herself

She is treating sick people every single day of the year, shaking dozens of hands, gets coughed at… and is never sick ! How is that even possible ? However when you were a kid, you did not always want to approach her too close, fearing to get the virus she could have brought home.

She always has the medication you need with her

A walking drugstore ! Going out for the weekend or for vacation ; she always has everything she would need, « just in case ». And you have assisted at least once to a scene where someone got hurt and she was the only one having the necessary tools and medication to give him first aid. Making you so proud, and realizing eventually that she was right to bring all that stuff with her.

Literally everyone asks her for medical advice

People trust nurse, and not only for medical advice. However, they would ask her opinion whenever they could. Parents, siblings, friends and even your very own friends can not help asking her opinion about any health problem or interrogation.

You don’t always want to ask how was her day

Nurses are hard workers and they often come home late. Nonetheless you do not always want to hear her telling what she did during her day. Because no matter how bad your day was, she has seen worse for sure ! So much so that you wonder how she can do this job. But that is her vocation and there is nothing else she would want to do !

How to improve communication with a patient with Alzheimer ?

How to improve communication with a patient with Alzheimer ?

Naturally, frustrations arise for both the caregiver and the patient. Here is our advice to help you manage the breakdown in communication you are facing.

Most common symptoms of dementia

During the early stages, people with Alzheimer tend to speak less and can not find some words to express themselves. Then the situation may aggravate quickly ; the patient has more and more difficulties to express his thoughts and feelings, making the communication worse and worse.
It is hard, especially when you have to deal with family members losing their temper as they see their loved ones being in decline. However, as frustrating and annoying it can be, you should not give up. As very often in personal or professional life, good communication is the key to solve your problems.

Facing Alzheimer with effective communication techniques

  • Being patient : Don’t show any sign of annoyance or irritation, avoid correct their mistakes and never interrupt them. Be careful when you try to guess what they want to say.
  • Being supportive : Show them you are trying your best to understand and keep on encouraging them when they are speaking. Even though as a caregiver, you are empathetic by nature..
  • Reassure them : Tell them that things are ok ; even if they will not remember they just struggled to express something, it will affect their mood.
  • Focus on the emotion : don’t focus too much on the facts, you need to find the intended meaning behind their say.
  • Unspoken communication is a plus, but it doesn’t work with every patients.

Caregiving for patients of different cultures

Caregiving for patients of different cultures

The aim is to bind a trustworthy relationship, and in fine to reach the outcome you are looking for. As a caregiver, acknowledging the cultural differences of your patients may have with you is important, because it can impact their needs and expectations from your role and your care.

What to know about religious patients’ expectations

Here are some considerations you need to keep in mind :

  • They may feel uncomfortable to be treated by a caregiver from the opposite gender ;
  • They may not eat some food ;
  • They may not do some activities after sundown ;
  • They may need to pray at certain hours of the day ;
  • They may spend holy days you do not know about ;
  • They may refuse blood transfusion.

Why is it important so ask about your patients’ beliefs ?

If it is not easy to bring up the subject of the religious background of your patients, it is nonetheless fundamental for a caregiver to know about it. They need to feel comfortable with you. Plus, you have to pay attention not to change your attitude and communication only based on assumptions.

Indeed, it is not because someone comes from a certain culture that he follows the rule you may expect. Everyone is unique and lives its faith according to its own choices.

Stressed out nurses : our tips to relax

Stressed out nurses : our tips to relax

Most of the nurses have experienced indeed intense periods of stress, which have consequences on their patients and their personal life. They tend to complain a lot more about your job and even their patients to your colleagues, friends and family ; which has a negative impact on their productivity and health – as we saw in our article about nurses’ fatigue.

Nonetheless, there is no fatality to it. To all the nurses – or future nurses – who read us today, here our the tips we gathered from nurses to relax when you do one of the most stressful jobs in the world.

Pinpoint what irritates you

First thing to do when you deal with any problem is to acknowledge it. It is not always easy to be able to find what really grinds your gears. In most of the cases, it has to do with your job ; for nurses it is even more frequent. Is it what you have to do ? Is it who you are dealing with ? Patients, colleagues, doctors or the administration of the hospital ?
Once you know what irritates you the most in your job, you can start to find a solution to improve things in your job.

Take a deep breath. Close you eyes for a minute in a quiet place. And think about what you need.

Talk to people…

who may be part of the problem. Many people can not actually act like adults. If you have a quarrel with someone, go tell him/her and fix it. Do not forget the earlier you do that, the easier it will be.

Impose short breaks to yourself

You may happen not to feel when it is time for you to make a break. You need to learn it, and above all to learn how to relax – in the good way. Avoid coffees or sodas but prefer green tea, water or why not homemade juices ? Stop drinking Coke or eat potato chips. Having a good diet is primordial when you work that much, and avoiding sugar and fat will help you going in. When you get home, turn off your TV, and read a book – or go to the cinema ! Go outside, alone or with friends, in a parc or in a bar. Having a social life is essential indeed.

Plan something fun to do every month

Breaking out from your routine once in a while is important. Those are the things you actually remember you need at the end of the year. A breath of fresh air that will do you good for sure. Never forget that you work to enjoy the rest of your time, and not the contrary ! Keeping your nose to the grindstone is a bad habit you ought to fight.

If you are not able to do this at all, or if you think it would not change anything, maybe it is time for you to start thinking about changing your job or working less than you are doing now.

How do I deal with many doctors at the same time ?

How do I deal with many doctors at the same time ?

However those doctors often tell you a lot of important things that you ought to never forget – for your health. The patient gets lost with all these many, complicated information ; and the health care team does not communicate enough with each other. Worst-case scenario, you can disagree with one of them.

With all those people involved in your treatment, we are about to see why it is important to advocate for yourself.

  1. Always carry a booklet on you to note every medical problem you have through the weeks, your medication and the name of your providers with their phone numbers.
  2. If the specialist does not give you an after-visit paper with every test he made and and every recommendation he made. They may be useful to you if you forget anything or if a doctor tells you something, mainly about your medication, and another one says another. You may suggest your care team to communicate better.
  3. If you disagree with any of the doctors, on how your cure should go on for example, ask him why he thinks this is the best plan. Write it down, read your notebook again, think about it at home with a fresh mind, and maybe ask one of your providers his opinion. If you follow this procedure, it will help you to take your decision.

This is your health, your life we are talking about here ; none cares more about your health than you do.

Nurses : how to avoid burnout

Nurses : how to avoid burnout

burn out

First, being able to accomplish all those tasks requires a few skills : being well organized, being good at what you are doing (we all know cheaters who are terrible at what they are doing, but nurses can’t afford that), even with a great amount of stress and under intense pressure.

Not everyone has to deal almost everyday with matters of life or death. And that may be the hardest part of the job. Empathy is a requirement to do this job, but you need to keep a certain distance between the patient and yourself, which is particularly difficult for nurses in the neonatal departments.

Nurses see themselves as invincibles

They care for people, not the contrary. So they tend not to care enough about themselves ; and they even often don’t even think about it, having your head to the grindstone !

But that is actually what brings nurses to burnout. The pressure, the lack of sleep, the illness, intense joy followed by sad news. Nowadays every caregiver knows fatigue, because we ask them more and more and they can’t say « no » because there will always be patients and they will always need them.

But nurses need to recognize when it’s time for them to say enough. Nurses should give themselves the same care that they give to their patient, because work shouldn’t have such an impact on your health and mind. Plus, in the majority of cases, when burnout is recognized it is right after an incident. And all different type of nurses more than any other person can not make mistakes, as they can be irreversible and fatal.

So for everyone’s sake, nurses ought to think about their needs to know when they should slow down.

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