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Senior Times - November 2018 Page 3CELEBRATING THE FAMILY CAREGIVERBy: Anne Clark, Senior Health PartnersIt’s National Family Caregiver Month and this is a month where we celebrate the Family Caregivers, those who are caring for someone. Now that means so many different things, it can be something as small as helping get groceries, paying bills, making sure the mail is brought in... to providing hands-on care for someone, actually helping them with a bath, getting dressed, brushing teeth, using the bathroom – again it can mean something different depend- ing on the situation.There are many conversations that take place with the Family Caregivers to really help them along the way. It doesn’t matter really what con- dition the person you’re providing care for has, what matters is first and foremost, how you’re taking care of yourself. You might be saying to yourself, well it doesn’t matter about me but it matters how I’m providing care to my person. And although it’s very important how you’re taking care of someone else, how you take care of you MUST come first. The reason is simple, if you’re not at the top of your health (both mentally and physically) you will not provide the best level of care that you could be. When you’re stressed out, not getting enough sleep, not eating right, not getting your water intake, not getting exercise... you will not be in the best shape mentally or physically.Many Family Caregivers often don’t even identify as a Family Caregiver, they identify as a husband, wife, daughter, son, daughter- in-law, son-in-law, aunt, uncle, friend, and more.But the reality is, if you’re helping someone be able to stay independent and you are making sure their needs are being met – YOU ARE AFAMILY CAREGIVER (and yes even if they’re not blood related). So the first step is helping you to understand that you really are who we’re talking too.The next step is having to assess where you’re at physically and mentally. Are you under a tremendous amount of stress, or have you been putting off some health issues you’ve been having yourself, are you eating healthy, again there are many ways to look at “how” you are doing. Again, if you’re being honest, you will look at all aspects of your life and please don’t be like most and answer as you would if you go to see the doctor, which typically looks something like this:Doctor: How have you been doing? Patient: Oh I’m fine just fine.The reality is that many different issuesshould be shared with your physician. You want to be sure to do this because otherwise your doctor isn’t really going to know how to treat you. It can be simple things (to you) such as, “When I stand up, I get lightheaded.” or “I’m getting up five times a night to use the bath- room.” Your physician really does want to know the whole story of what you might be experi- encing. Keep a log or jot down what’s going onwith you. The more information you log and then prepare before your appointment, the better doctoring you will get.Thirdly, look at all the areas of care you are providing and really, really think about every- thing. Are you doing laundry, dusting, mopping, vacuuming, washing windows, grocery shop- ping, putting away the groceries, planning the meals, preparing the meals, cleaning up after the meal is prepared, putting away the dish-es, gathering the laundry, washing/drying the laundry, putting away the laundry, calling to make the doctors’ appointments, driving to the appointments, going to the pharmacy, setting up the medicine to be taken 1, 2 or 3 times a day, mowing the lawn, getting the mail, getting the paper; making sure the bills are paid, calling to verify charges are correct on the bills, etc.As you can tell, there is a whole lot to care and I didn’t even get to the personal care: the bathing, dressing, toileting, dental care, trans- porting. I want you to really look at a list and say – I AM DOING SO MUCH to help my person stay where they are. Family Caregiving is a HUGE job for anyone to do and just think, many are doing it all on their own, they don’t have a support system to help them. Does this list help you to better understand why you might be so tired, why you’re feeling overwhelmed all the time, and why you just can’t seem to feel like you can get ahead?THIS is why we say you ARE most import- ant when it comes to the care you are provid- ing. So please during this month when we are celebrating you – Family Caregivers, celebrate yourself too by giving yourself the best possible care you can!Have a beautiful Fall. In this season of ‘Thanks’ please know how very ‘Thankful we are for You!’For Admissions and Tour Information... Please Call (269) 870-5537 • marketing@gantonsc.comAssisted Living14420 Helmer Road South 14661 Helmer Road South 14316 Helmer Road South Battle Creek, MI 49015 Battle Creek, MI 49015 Battle Creek, MI 49015Ganton Senior Communities are committedEnjoy the advantages ofto providing an atmosphere that gives people the opportunityto thrive. Our Battle Creek campus offers three vibrant communities where seniors can take advantage of services such as diverse life enrichment programs, restaurant quality meals, housekeeping and laundry services, assistance with activities of daily living and medication management. Staff is onsite 24/7 to assist residents in the comfort of their private apartments.www.gantonseniorcommunities.comQUALITY CARE IN THECOMFORT OF YOUR HOMEBronson at Home provides comprehensive care to help you during illness, injury or recovery. Our team of providers are part of the region’s leading health system. That means we can easily connect you with all the services you need and coordinate care for you in the comfort of your own home.• Healthcare Services • Oxygen & Medical Supplies• Personal Care Services • Personal Emergency MonitoringBronson at Home offers services in nine counties across southwest Michigan.Learn how Bronson at Home can help you or a loved one. Call (844) 241-HOME (4663) or visit

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