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3 Important Points to Help Fight Caregiver Stress

3 Important Points to Help Fight Caregiver Stress

caregiver stress worry

Caregiver stress: a problem that we believe everyone needs to put more attention and emphasis on. The gravity of this issue is massive, that one in three caregivers has been reported as depressed. And with approximately 43.5 million individuals caring for an older adult, the fear of losing out to dread is high.

As such, we want to take this opportunity for care recipients, baby boomers, and caregivers alike to have a deeper understanding of this type of stress. It is our hope that as more people are made aware of this issue, we can all help fight – and prevent – caregiver stress.

Counting the Hours and Months

Individuals who provide custodial care for a longer period of time are more likely to state they are in poor health. Caregivers who provide 20 or more hours of care describe their health condition as poor, with almost half (46%) of higher-hour caregiver respondents to be emotional stressful as well. Also, 20% of caregivers providing care for five years or more have also stated the same description. Correspondingly, the older a caregiver is, the higher the risk of stress and health risks of settling in.

Caregiver Stress is Real Among Families

Family caregivers, or those who look after a spouse or a family member, are more likely to have stress. Married women, in particular, have a higher chance of being exposed to stress than single individuals. Also, complex situations (an example is looking after an Alzheimer’s patient) has a higher level of stress compared to other caregiving situations.

Insurance Coverage Makes a Difference

With caregiving as an essential during the retirement years, certain steps are needed to help these unsung heroes from being placed in situations that’ll induce stress. Purchasing insurance policies, such as Long Term Care Insurance or Medicare Supplemental Plans will provide caregivers a lighter load of a burden to manage. Long Term Care Insurance can help address the custodial care expected amongst boomers; a Medicare Supplement will help in paying for expensive out-of-pocket medical charges.

We can help make a difference by identifying and making the necessary preparations to combat caregiver stress. With all of the services that the majority of caregivers provide for recipients, not to mention their numerous sacrifices, it is high time to give back to these heroes. Make sure to purchase insurance coverage – we all deserve the best.

About the Author:

Leandro Mueller

As the Online Content Director of FreeMedSuppQuotes, Leandro Mueller aims to push for awareness and promotion of the many benefits of the best Medicare Supplement plans in the market. Additionally, he is interested and keen in marketing and advertising strategies. He hopes that his work will help boomers and retirement industry experts alike in their lives.

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Caregiver Alert Center

 

Caregiver Alert Center

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Mark Arnold,  started Child Alert Center in 2005 to fill the need for families whose child was missing but didn’t qualify for an Amber Alert. Over 800,000 children reported missing, less than 300 qualify, thus the burden is on the families to find their loved one. From there we evolved with our other services to protect everyone in the family, included extended family (pets, grandparents, etc.)  Click Here To Get Your Discount!

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Contact Mark Arnold at marnold@callcac.com

For Additional Resources on Dementia and Caregiving

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Do you have a product, service or tool regarding dementia or caregiving you would like to share?  Contact Lori La Bey to get instructions for your FREE RESOURCE LISTING.

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Dementia – Benefits of Meditation and Spiritual Fitness

ARPf_graphic_on_new_researchAlzheimer’s Disease Prevention:

New Journal Article Highlights Benefits of

Meditation and Spiritual Fitness

July 15, 2015 (Tucson, AZ) – Meditation and spiritual fitness are key components in reducing the risk of Alzheimer’s disease according to a new article, “Stress, Meditation, and Alzheimer’s Prevention: Where the Evidence Stands”, published in an early online version of the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease 48(1). The print edition is scheduled to be published in August.

Dr DharmaWhile preliminary studies have suggested a link between meditation, a sense of spirituality or faith and the risk of Alzheimer’s disease, the article’s author, Dharma Singh Khalsa, M.D., states that a cultivation of higher levels of psycho-social well-being, such as independence, resilience and life purpose represents “an important new frontier that deserves further research as it is freely available to anyone, anytime, anywhere.”

The article reviews decades of research into the impact that various meditation techniques have had on the prevention of Alzheimer’s disease, focusing on one evidence-based practice that Khalsa says can be a powerful part of any Alzheimer’s prevention and spiritual fitness program, Kirtan Kriya (KK), a meditation technique which has been successfully used to improve memory in studies of people with subjective cognitive decline and mild cognitive impairment.

Khalsa’s article highlights the principles and practices of this 12-minute meditation, with corresponding SPECT scans showing how it successfully activates the posterior cingulate gyrus, an important region of the brain that helps regulate memory and emotional function. The article also summarizes KK’s associated benefits, including a diminished loss of brain volume with age, significantly lower levels of depressive symptoms, and greater improvement of mental health, well-being and memory.

“We’ve been studying the impact of meditation on memory for more than 20 years, and are as encouraged as we’ve ever been on its powerful role in maximizing brain health,” said Khalsa, president and medical director of the Alzheimer’s Research and Prevention Foundation and a clinical associate professor of integrative medicine at the University of New Mexico School of Medicine.  “Science is showing that meditation and spiritual fitness can be an important dimension in battling Alzheimer’s, and Kirtan Kriya is a safe, affordable, fast, and effective way to keep the brain spiritually fit.”

The full text of “Stress, Meditation, and Alzheimer’s Prevention: Where the Evidence Stands” can be accessed here

The Alzheimer’s Research and Prevention Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to reducing the incidence of Alzheimer’s disease by conducting clinical research and providing educational outreach about the lifestyle changes that can help prevent Alzheimer’s disease.  For more information, please visit:

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Holistic Alzheimer’s Disease Prevention Strategies you can Start Today

For Alzheimer’s, prevention is the best medicine. Unfortunately, there is no magic bullet to cure this dreaded disease.

That’s why a holistic Alzheimer’s disease prevention strategy involving mind, body, nutrition, and stress — one that prevents cognitive decline and actually enhances mental capacity — is an excellent option.

Your brain is as much flesh and blood as the rest of your body. It is not some mysterious black box. When well cared for, it retains its performance. When neglected, it decays.

A preventative lifestyle is especially important, because the latest research shows that only 30% of Alzheimer’s cases are genetic. The vast majority of cases — 70% — are preventable.

When caring for the brain, just like with the body, some choices have proven consequences. Poor nutrition hurts your brain and your body. Chronic stress is also destructive. Finally, lack of physical exercises also weakens both brain and body.

Alzheimer’s is a multi-factor disease. Physical and mental exercise, nutrition, stress management, and pharmaceuticals play important roles.

Your brain is full of cells called neurons. Few things are more harmful to neurons than chronic stress. Stress hormones are a natural response to release more energy when needed, but with today’s constant stressors, stress hormones can stay at high levels in the blood continuously.

In particular, high levels of cortisol can block the uptake of blood sugar by neurons, causing them to die — and increasing your chances of developing memory loss.

STRESS: Stress management is very important, as there is a very high correlation between high cholesterol, high blood pressure, high cortisol — and Alzheimer’s. Some proven techniques for stress management include meditation, guided hypnosis, prayer, and massage. There are many ways to lower stress, but what’s most important is that you use them regularly.

EXERCISE: Exercise, both physical and mental, can have a great impact on Alzheimer’s risk. Cardiovascular exercise boosts blood flow. And more blood flow equals a healthier brain. Regular physical exercise has been proven to reduce your risk of Alzheimer’s by as much as 50%. A good place to start is making sure you exercise three days a week.

Regular mental exercise has been reported to reduce Alzheimer’s risk by 70%. Fortunately, brain aerobics are easy. To be considered brain aerobics, an activity needs to engage your attention, involve more than one sense, and break a routine activity in an unexpected, nontrivial way. Everyone should partake in mental exercise as much as physical exercise.

NUTRITION: Nutrition affects your body, and so it affects your brain, too. The main idea is to avoid foods that cause inflammation, such as red meat. It causes swelling that releases free radicals and damages your neurons. However, the right proteins, like frozen salmon, and a vast intake of vegetables and fruits (like blueberries and spinach) can actually repair the damage and improve your memory. Finally, folic acid and vitamins C and E can reduce your risk by 20% when taken together.

PHARMACEUTICALS: Drugs at the proper time can help restore memory loss. Several medications have shown promise in partially restoring memory at different stages of Alzheimer’s. Hormone replacement therapy can also be used to boost hormone levels when they are low.

By using holistic Alzheimer’s disease prevention strategies, you can benefit by boosting your cognitive performance as well. By lowering stress, eating better, taking regular physical and mental exercise, you can perform better now — and ward off Alzheimer’s later. I will discuss all the 4 Pillars of Alzheimer’s Prevention™ in the upcoming months, stay tuned.

Dharma Singh Khalsa, M.D.

President and Medical Director

Alzheimer’s Research and Prevention Foundation

www.alzheimersprevention.org

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Caregiving is challenging no matter what side of Care you are on – Giving or Receiving.

I learned early on as a Caregiver when I perceived my role as a “Fix It Person,” my To Do list became a competitive game.  This attitude created a Win/Lose situation, and it was driven by my need to control things.

Today I approach my Caregiving “To Do List” with flexibility.  I assess three things before I proceed with any task.  Those three things are:  is the person I am providing care to 1) Safe, 2) Pain-free, and 3) Happy.  If so, I move forward with my tasks in the order of my priorities.  If not, I make some adjustments to make sure I can say “yes” to those three items.  Once I know my person is Safe, Pain-free, and Happy; I review my checklist knowing it is ok to reprioritize. I accept some things may not get completed how, when, or where I thought they would.  I have found these three words help me stay focused on what’s truly important.  It’s not about me feeling in control.  It’s about Good Care!  Funny thing is, when I am more flexible in my Caregiving Role, I am less stressed and feel more in control.

To get a tool which can help you stay on track when caring for another, go to the Resource Website Alzheimer’s Speaks and get Your Memory Chip™.  It’s free, just click on the star burst on the home page and order yours today.  Http://www.AlzheimersSpeaks.com

Lori La Bey of Senior Lifestyle Trends

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