10 Tips for Caregivers From Caregivers

As I cared for my parents, helping them to live independently at home as they aged, I learned to listen to the learnings of other family caregivers. Just a few weeks ago, I shared 5 Tips for Caregivers and asked others for their views on our @AARPAdvocates Facebook page. The comments from fellow caregivers came flooding in. While I wish I could share them all, here are 10 tips from caregivers to caregivers: 1. Be patient. Nan: “Patience followed by more …

Sometimes Family Caregivers Need a Break

Every day for eight years, my Pop provided hands-on care for my mom, who faced a number of physical challenges.  At age 90, Pop was still helping Mom out of bed into her wheelchair, bathing and dressing her, making the meals, and doing the dishes, laundry and anything else that needed to be done. A few times a week, Pop would get out of the house for a trip to the grocery store and a few staples like bread, milk …

5 Tips for Caregivers: Take a Break!

A colleague recently cautioned me about using the term “respite” because she thought people wouldn’t know its meaning. I found this ironic, because I actually believe it’s more likely that most of us don’t know how it feels rather than what it means in terms of getting a break from caring for family and friends. We rarely get to experience time completely away from the responsibility and stress of caregiving. That’s why I feel so lucky to have recently returned …

A Promise to Help Caregivers

You know those New Year’s Resolutions we make?  To be kinder, break a bad habit, save money, stress less, travel more, lose weight, exercise, work harder? Is helping a family caregiver ever on your list? The national Lotsa Helping Hands has decided to speed up New Year’s resolutions with a campaign they have launched. Its purpose: have people begin to think about how they can lighten the load for a caregiver (and/or care recipient) in 2013. To keep folks on the …

Taking the Pulse of Caregiving

A new national survey confirms what some of us already know: Many older Americans take care of others and are not just on the receiving end. Let’s get specific. In this first-ever United States of Aging survey, half of respondents identify someone as their caregiver, while nearly one-third say they care for another person. Those are just two caregiving results culled from the survey, created by the National Council on Aging, UnitedHealthcare and USA Today. Its purpose is to gauge …

Gardens as Medicine: 5 Things You Need to Know

Want to feel better? Think nature. Healing gardens are a growing trend. Many major medical centers, including the 6,300-square-foot rooftop garden at the Yawkey Center for Outpatient Care, part of the Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston and the NIH Clinical Center, and long-term care facilities, are adding them. And so are homeowners. The basic elements of a healing or therapeutic garden include: Plants and wildlife Walkways Private sitting areas Shade A water feature Most are outdoors. Some have raised planters …