Caregiver Burnout

caregiversCaring for an Alzheimer’s Disease patient or any loved one who is ill is not just time consuming, but it is stressful. So before I give you tips on how to care for them, you need to know how to care for YOU! If you do not take care of yourself, you will not give the best care to your loved one.

Warning Signs of Burnout

  • Trouble getting organized
  • Crying for no reason
  • Short tempered
  • Feeling of numbness or emotionless
  • Difficulty accomplishing everyday tasks
  • Feeling constantly pressured for time
  • Feeling you cannot do anything right
  • Feeling you have no time for yourself

If you have any of those signs, please STOP and follow these tips:

Continue reading

Is it Dementia or Is it Alzheimer’s?

alzheimers_brain

I was pleasantly surprised today when I went to my Continuity of Care (COCA) meeting this morning and our guest speaker was Dr. Raj Shah from Rush university medical Center. Dr. Shah is the Medical Director of the Rush memory Clinic. I will share with you in this article what he informed us on.

Some people use the terms dementia and Alzheimer’s interchangeably. Dementia though is defined as having chronic thinking problems affecting daily life over 3 months. It could be caused by a number of factors for which I touched on in my previous column. Alzhiemer’s is one cause of dementia. Oftentimes now healthcare providers are writing dementia due to __________.

Continue reading

Dr. Aloysius Alzheimer

Alois_Alzheimer_003In 1906 Dr. Aloysius Alzheimer, a German psychiatrist and neuropathologist first discovered the disease we now refer to as Alzheimer’s Disease. This devastating disease affects many adults over the age of 60 and some even younger. It is estimated, according to the National Institute on Aging, that over 5.1 million Americans may have this disease.

It is a disease that affects not only the patient, but the family members and friends of the patient. I recently came across a very good article by Pam Belluck that was printed in the New York Times in December of 2010. Giving Alzheimer’s Patients Their Way, Even Chocolate documents the difficulty in treating these patients as well as advice on methods to handle what we in the healthcare field term exiting behaviors (trying to escape) as well as decreasing the anxiety that these patients feel because they simply cannot remember and they do not know why.

Continue reading