Support for Savannah Senior Caregivers
On today’s Savannah Senior Health News we share an article by Guy Magar on the challenges – and rewards- of being a caregiver.
Five Tips to Better Healing for Savannah Seniors
Savannah Senior Caregivers must become dependable resources for their loved ones; these five tips can relax patient as they heal.
Whether it’s your wife or husband or child, or a relative or close friend you are caring for, it is paramount that you become the best caregiver possible for your loved one. As a caregiver for my wife Jacqui during her brave journey to beat AML (acute myeloid leukemia), here is what I learned and can share as I honor and applaud caregivers everywhere.
1. Be the trusted advocate for your Savannah Senior.
No matter the illness our Savannah seniors suffer from, the medical journey to heal is too often lengthy and complicated especially if the battleground is cancer- or Alzheimer’s.
It is important to make sure that you – the caregiver – understands the treatment that your Savannah senior doctor has initiated, no matter how complex, and that all questions have been answered including the many what ifs and whens.
If you need to research various options or get second opinions, make it happen. If you need a clinical trial, find it. If the patient is overwhelmed or can’t focus, they must feel and know the caregiver is the responsible advocate and is knowledgeable of the best possible medical journey. If they do, they will feel protected and loved, and thus empowered to just focus on their part: the healing.
2. Become the cocoon of safety and comfort around your loved one.
Every day I’d get into Jacqui’s bed and we’d hug tightly as she’d wrap herself around me while we chatted or napped. I always made sure she felt totally surrounded, completely cocooned, by my love, my strength, and my positive attitude.
As a caregiver, you have to supply that grounding, that safety net. No matter how bad or creepy or doubtful a patient may feel, you have to provide an unconditional, unbending, concrete tower of absolute certainty about positive progress, as well as an ocean of love that will not allow anything to happen but the very, very best that can be.
As caregiver, you must be the unmovable rock of strength and security. A granite-strong cocoon!
3. Don’t just be present, be a partner.
You work as a team, in partnership with the patient; to be there and support them with any and all treatments from MRIs to IV line cleanings. Whether double-checking with the nurses the drugs they’re hooking up, making sure the bed is made or freshened while the patient is in the shower or bathroom, scheduling the physical therapists to keep your partner active and limber, dealing with the three meals and snack orders, you are there to deal with the many details that make up daily hospital life.
An unspoken team partnership is crucial for caregivers to bring to the table and for patients to rely on. It was my commitment to make sure Jacqui felt her partner was engaged with the journey 24/7. She knew it, she felt it, she counted on it.
Coastal Empire Seniors Tip: No matter how much you love them, you will get frustrated with your loved one. Being a caregiver is tough – especially for Alzheimer’s and cancer patients. Find a friend (or better off 2-3 so you don’t have to burden one person every time) that you can vent to.
4. Keep your special Savannah active and involved with the healing process.
Sometimes it’s just being there to open the shades and point out how beautiful the sunrise is that morning. Sometimes it’s sharing an important front-page story in the news, or breaking out a favorite game like yahtzee to encourage their competitive spirit to win. Sometimes it’s playing a CD of oldies but goodies and getting up to do some crazy dance steps to get a laugh or better still to get them to dance even if it means they’re standing on your feet because they are too weak to stand on their own.
When you’re ill, the world feels like it’s closing in on you. It’s important for the caregiver to keep enlarging the boundaries and keep the patient involved with the outside world. Jacqui, who worked in women’s retail and was not familiar with daytime TV, really enjoyed watching Ellen when I started putting it on as she saw women celebrating life…laughing and dancing every day. The will to live and being active with the outside world is crucial therapy.
Coastal Empire Seniors Tip: Any kind of activities can be beneficial. Take a walk to visit a neighbor, cook together in the kitchen, even going to the grocery store together.
5. Arrange for Savannah seniors to receive small doses of one on one time with special friends and family.
Your loved one values friendships, and some concentrated time with a dear friend or family member can be restorative.
Have a special friend come over for ten minutes to an hour (depending on how your loved one is feeling that day) and occupy yourself with a task nearby. This way you can be summoned easily if needed, but they still have some privacy and a small sense of normalcy.
And, if you need to regroup, grab a coffee with a friend or get on the phone with a college buddy. Do whatever it takes to remain strong, clear-minded, and balanced. Your own good mental outlook is crucial to your partner.
Being a caregiver to Savannah area seniors is tough – you get tired, frustrated, and sometimes even depressed.
The caregiver must become the dependable all-around partner for the patient, and if you can do that effectively and incorporate these five tips, he or she can relax as they heal and know the train has a co-driver and all is well with the arduous journey.
The more you take on your shoulders, the less remains on the patient’s. Needless to say, this includes everything else going on with your home, financial concerns such as paying monthly bills, and keeping family and friends informed.
Is there one friend, family member, or old co-worker who can always make your Savannah senior laugh?
BRING THEM IN.
Laughter really is the best medicine.
I was busy, as all caregivers are. And every single day, I am deeply grateful for Jacqui’s healing.
It helps to know that the healing train has a co-driver
By Guy Magar, Hollywood Director
About Guy Magar
TV and film director/writer/producer Guy Magar has worked for more than 30 years in the motion picture industry. His credits include:
- Battlestar Galactica
- The A-Team
- La Femme Nikita
- Children of the Corn: Revelation.
Guy is the author of Kiss Me Quick Before I Shoot: A Filmmaker’s Journey into the Lights of Hollywood and True Love (www.kissmequickbeforeishoot.com).
We hope today’s Savannah Senior Health News has been beneficial.
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