Pocket Tips for Caregivers

Pocket Tips for Caregivers

Marilyn Lash, M.S.W. and Janet Cromer, R.N.

A pocket guide for caregivers gives suggestions and strategies for coping with the stress, responsibilities and demands of caregiving. Section I covers Taking Care of the Caregiver and Section II has tips for helping with cognitive, emotional and behavioral changes. Wives and other women caring for wounded service members and veterans will find this especially helpful.

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Full Description

This pocket guide is for the wives, partners, mothers, sisters and daughters – all the women who are caring for a loved one who has been wounded by war. It’s easy to become overwhelmed and overburdened by the stress and responsibilities of caregiving. This pocket guide is designed with checklists and tips on how to care for yourself as well as how to be an effective caregiver. Produced as a small booklet, you can carry it with you for helpful reminders and strategies. By marking helpful sections and using it frequently, you can reduce your stress and become a more effective caregiver. You can share it with the person who has been injured – whatever the diagnosis – to better understand each other’s needs.

Details
Item PTCA
Pages 116
Year 2013

Authors

Marilyn Lash, M.S.W.

As President of Lash and Associates, Ms Lash has over 35 years of experience working with persons with disabilities and their families in medical, rehabilitation, educational and vocational settings. Her primary focus is supporting families and developing community programs along with user-friendly publications for families, educators, and clinicians. She speaks often and conducts workshops on the emotional trauma of families caring for wounded service members and veterans.

She is a former Chair of the Board for the Brain Injury Association of North Carolina and former Chair of the Brain Injury Advisory Council for North Carolina. She continues to share her insights as a keynote speaker at many brain injury conferences.

Janet Cromer, RN, MA, LMHC

Ms Cromer’s career spans 35 years as a medical and psychiatric registered nurse, 23 years as a licensed psychotherapist, and 7 years as an award-winning healthcare writer. She has held clinical and administrative positions in hospitals and community mental health programs and managed a successful private psychotherapy practice. She has long been interested in the medical humanities as a way to improve patient care and foster humane relationships among professionals, patients, and families. Since 1998, Ms Cromer has contributed her professional expertise to the brain injury and family caregiver communities as an award winning writer, support group facilitator, speaker, advisory board member, and advocate for family caregivers and survivors. Her viewpoint encompasses a broad understanding of healthcare issues and personal experience as a family caregiver for her husband who faced the challenges of brain injury, dementia, and Parkinson’s disease.

Contents

Section I – Taking Care of the Caregiver – that’s you!

  • Caring for Yourself
  • Stress and Anxiety
  • Living with PTSD
  • Grief and Loss
  • Journaling
  • Depression
  • Your and Your Family
  • Sex and Intimacy

Section II –Tips on Caregiving

  • Concussion
  • Brain Fatigue
  • Memory
  • Confabulation
  • Attention and Concentration
  • Slowed Responses
  • Planning and Organizing
  • Judgment and Safety
  • Communication
  • Sensory Hypersensitivity
  • Vision
  • Behavior
  • Social Skills
  • Irritability and Anger
  • Sleep Disorders
  • Alcohol Use
  • Suicide

Excerpts

Caring for Yourself

“I take care of everyone – my husband, my children, even the dog and cat. What about me?”

It’s time to take care of yourself. That means your whole self - body, mind, and spirit. Make some time for yourself every day – now!

Tips to recognize your stress triggers and signals…

• Do a mental body scan several times a day.

• Scan for tension or distress.

• Take a few relaxed breaths in and out.

• Release the tension.

• Then take one positive action.

Don’t hold it in. Let it out!

• Talk to a trusted person.

• Write a journal.

• Learn new ways to communicate.

• Don’t keep harmful secrets.

Dwelling on what’s wrong won’t change it.

• Avoid thinking everything is a disaster.

• Don’t think about it over and over and over.

• Don’t avoid the problem.

• Tackle problems directly.

Learn to calm your body and mind. Proven winners are:

• relaxed breathing

• meditation

• yoga

• tai chi

• prayer

• exercise

• music

• nature walks

Tips for helping yourself…

• It’s okay to ask for help. It’s a sign of strength, not weakness.It’s okay to ask for help. It’s a sign of strength, not weakness.

• Seek help early for depression, anxiety, or traumatic stress.

• Don’t wait till you fall apart.

• Consider counseling.

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