Podcast takeaways from November 20, 2019

Dave Nassaney (MIND)

The “new normal” occurs when a caregiver accepts the situation and recognizes that both the caregiver and the loved one is grieving. It is very, very difficult to acknowledge that fact but it is necessary in order to cope and move forward with life without falling prey to the AARP statistic that 50% of caregivers feel down, depressed, and hopeless.

Caregivers often make three common mistakes: not putting their own needs first (it’s like the oxygen mask advice on an airplane, you must help yourself first before you are able to help others), not asking for help, and allowing feelings of guilt to dictate your actions.

Dave’s advice to be a healthy C.A.R.E.R. is to:


Ask for help (and be specific about what you need)

Rest at least 8 hours

Eat healthy, nutritious foods

Respite so you get time to take care of yourself and rejuvenate

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Vicki McAllister (MIND)

Ambiguous loss is defined as loss that occurs without a clear understanding which complicates and delays the process of grieving, and often results in unresolved grief. A caregiver is grieving in so many ways for so many reasons. As Dr. Pauline Boss (author, physician, researcher) has written (in two of her books: Ambiguous Loss and Loving Someone with Dementia), there is no closure with ambiguous loss. Recognizing and remaining aware of the fact that caregiving is about living with loss every day, is the first step toward coping with being a caregiver.

Surrounding yourself with a team of supporters (church, friends, family, support groups) is also crucial to learning and committing to becoming a healthy caregiver. Self-care is crucial and involves many aspects of wellness: sleep, exercise, mindset, spirituality, etc.

Tips for providing care in way that is healthy for both caregiver and the one receiving care involves redirecting the loved one perhaps using music or art, smiling frequently, respecting the loved one as an adult at all times, and consistently ensuring a baseline of comfort care is available for the loved one (sufficient sleep, food, pain management, etc.).

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