Page 14 - Senior Times South Central Michigan September 2020 - 27-09
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Page 14 Senior Times - September 2020
                                                                                      200 West Michigan Avenue Suite 102 Battle Creek, MI 49017
  Kinship Korner
Caregivers Need Care Too
By: Mary Peterson, Program Coordinator, CareWell Services SW
Family Enrichment Center Regional Resource 3 Team 415 S. 28th Street Battle Creek, MI 49015
Sharon Dewey
Foster Care Navigator Email:
 Ph: (269) 660-0448
Fx: (269) 963-0160
 The pandemic has changed so much for our Kinship families. Parenting time is around the clock, without much relief. We are older, more tired, but oh so much smarter. We have learned through years of experience, “not to sweat the small stuff.” This is the very attitude that helps our children heal.
The Family Enrichment Center wants to commend each of you for providing the best care possible for these young ones who cannot live with their birth parents at this time. Your home provides the continuity of care and retains the family cul- ture that is so vital for healing and healthy growth.
While we are not yet meeting in person, we do have some resources for our Kinship fam- ilies. We can help with food, clothing, back to school items, and diapers. We also offer on-line trainings and webinars on issues families might have raising traumatized children.
We also have passes for fam- ilies to visit Frederick Meijer Gardens in Grand Rapids. This is a great outdoor venue.
If you identify with these needs or just need a listening ear please call me, Sharon Dewey at (269) 274-4077 or email – Sdewey@fecfamily. com.
God bless and stay safe.
       Family Enrichment Center
 There are presently more than 90 million Americans who care for family members, friends, or loved ones with chronic conditions, disabilities, disease, or frailties of old age, according to the Caregiver Action Network.
how you talk to yourself actually has more impact than what anyone else thinks or says. You are unique in your efforts so give yourself that well deserving “pat on the back” every time you can.
  Caring for someone that has Alzheimer’s, dementia, or chronic illness can be one of the most difficult roles that a person can take on. It can be exhausting, overwhelming, frustrating, lonely, and, most often, thankless. Caregivers are never truly off
Notice what you’ve done right. Celebrating caregiver victories
and successes can increase
positive emotions like self-respect, happiness, and confidence. It also reduces stress and boosts your mood because you’re focused on the positive and noticing all the great things you’ve been able to do for your loved one. Plus, revisiting your accomplishments when you feel discouraged or defeated is
the clock. Caregiving can be a 24-hours-a-day, seven-days-a-week job.
that you care about them by gifting them their favorite coffee drink, snack, or dessert! You can also put together a few items the caregiver can use for self-care. This could include things like soothing bath salts, a fancy candle, a fuzzy blanket, a good book, or some essential oils. If you’re not sure what treat or self-care item they would enjoy, there is nothing quite as heartwarming as a personalized card or letter from someone you care about.
a sure way to help yourself feel better and give you the confidence to overcome the next challenge.
In addition to taking care of a loved one’s physical needs and managing medications, there are also basic daily life management tasks that a caregiver has to take over— paying bills, managing insurance issues, scheduling and commuting to and from medical appointments.
Your accomplishments might look something like these:
• Managed to get Dad to take all
From the National Institute on Aging
Aging and Disability Resource Line: 1-800-626-6719 General Agency Telephone: (269) 966-2450
his medication this evening even though he insisted that he didn’t need them.
 Caregivers almost always put others’ needs above their own on a daily basis, forgoing their own self-care, which often results in illness or burnout.
• Finally got Mom to shower and change clothes!
How can you help? Take
time now to show them you
care, whether they are family, friends, church family, neighbor, or yourself! It is critical to acknowledge and care for the caregiver in your life, even if that person is you.
accomplishments might sound to
a non-caregiver, you know exactly how much energy and effort it took to get them done! They truly are victories and deserve recognition and appreciation. Keeping a success journal costs nothing and takes only a few minutes – why not give it a try?
If you are a caregiver, your unique efforts need to be recognized by you as well. A simple way to notice and celebrate your caregiving accomplishments is to track them in a journal. Write down each win, no matter how small. Track each time you achieve a goal or complete a task. The way you feel about yourself and
• Helped Dad brush his teeth and shave with a minimum of fuss. No matter how trivial these
 What can you do? Show others
 Six Tips for Long-Distance Caregiving
 Anyone who is caring for a friend, relative or parent from far away can be considered a long- distanced caregiver. Whether you are helping with finances, arranging for care, or providing emotional support, long-distance caregiving can bring a host of unique challenges.
2. Organize important paperwork. Keep all vital information in one place and up-to-date, including healthcare documents, wills, and financial information. Provide copies to other caregivers.
3. Make sure at least one caregiver has written permission to receive medical and financial information. To the extent possible, one person should handle conversations with all healthcare providers.
4. Plan your visits. Find out in advance what the person would
like to do. Aim for simple and relaxing activities. And check with the primary caregiver to see if you can help with any priority tasks.
5. Stay connected. Schedule calls with healthcare providers and facility staff to discuss the person’s well-being. Update trusted family members on your loved one’s health and needs.
6. Consider caregiver training. Some local chapters of the American Red Cross or other not- for-profit organizations might offer caregiving courses. Medicare and Medicaid will sometimes cover the cost of this training.
 Keep these tips in mind to help make life more manageable.
1. Learn as much as you can about your loved one’s health, treatments and available caregiving resources. You can understand what is going on, anticipate the course of an illness, prevent
crises, and assist in healthcare

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