Monday, December 12, 2011

Christmas care for caregivers

The University of Medicine and Dentistry of NJ says 70% of the five million people with dementia are cared for at home.

Big job! Stress, anxiety, burnout are never far.

The holiday season can really amp this up.

Some caregivers don’t want help—they don’t want to bother people or appear to wimp out.

So what can you do?

Well, first, call before coming over. If the caregiver always refuses—then show up for a SHORT visit—bring a treat.

Don’t ask what you can do—be specific. “I am headed for the store—what can I bring back?” “Want me to pop in the laundry?”

Be a good listener. Encourage the person to call.

Offer to spend the night.

Do the research for them—services in the neighborhood, including respite services.

If you ARE the caregiver, accept some help!

You are not Superman or Superwoman! Everyone needs a hand sometime.

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