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Every family is unique. However, over time, many families will find themselves in similar situations of taking care of an aging adult family member. Being the sole caretaker can be overwhelming at times. If siblings are involved and willing to work cohesively, it is best for the entire family.

In a recent AARP article by Dr. Barry Jacobs, he shares his experience working with his brother to care for their mother. He points out the challenges and conflicts that come up, yet, also identifies how you can bond with your siblings as you work together to ensure your aging loved ones receive the best care.

Here are a few of his tips and some of our own for working cohesively as siblings:

Remember, the primary focus is on your loved one’s care quality.

If you are spending your energy in conflict with each other, you could be unintentionally diverting your attention from your primary focus. As an example, two brothers have the potential to be at odds.

One brother stays home and works as the caretaker for their relative, while the other brother works every day and sends money. Each brother could carry resentment, but instead, they have chosen this structure because it works the best to meet their relative’s needs.

It also helps them keep the aging adult in the comfort of their home. Your primary focus should always be ensuring your loved one stays healthy, comfortable, and safe. Also, when siblings are in conflict, your loved one will likely pick up on this and become upset. Put aside your differences for the adult in your care. 

Everything does not have to be equal; things just need to make sense.

It is unlikely you will be able to distribute the caretaking tasks equally. To help everyone, distribute the caretaking responsibilities depending on each person’s situation. Since siblings tend to live various distances from their parents, they have different life responsibilities, and financial situations, it is normal for each sibling to have different caregiving tasks that best suit their capabilities. 

Dr. Jacobs reminds readers this inequality does not have to be a bad thing. If one sibling is closer and can get to the parent sooner, let them take the lead on delegating tasks. Perhaps you can divide the grocery shopping with each sibling taking a different week. These days this can work for siblings out of town as well, as they can have groceries delivered. Also, try to take turns taking your parents to doctor’s appointments if possible. 

Someone will always end up doing more, but every sibling should be contributing in their way. Try to gather for family meetings so you can check in and acknowledge each other’s contributions. The meetings will help keep things running smoothly.

Be kind to each other.

When you have a kind and loving parent who appreciates everything you all are doing, things are more manageable. Sadly, for some, your aging parent could be not so friendly and appreciative, maybe due to Dementia or other health problems. They can be mean and hard to handle.

In these scenarios, it is imperative siblings extend kindness and lean on each other for support. You could also be grieving due to a parent who falls ill and begins to need help. Grieving together will strengthen your bond. 

At Next Day Access, we are here to help. We aim to provide solutions for aging adults choosing to age in place. We offer a vast amount of various medical equipment and accessibility devices to keep aging adults or people with disabilities safe and comfortable at home.

Many of our devices are also geared to help caregivers perform their daily tasks with less difficulty such as a patient lift. Our professionals are also happy to do in-home consultations to ensure the home is safe. We encourage you to contact your nearest Next Day Access today to see how we can help.

Being a caregiver is a noble endeavor. Whether you are a caregiver by profession or taking care of a family member, we know at times it is not easy, and you could suffer from burnout. According to Pew Research Center, 40 million adults in North America are taking care of someone who is chronically ill, disabled, or aging.  Many times, once you are feeling signs of burnout, your brain could be suffering a psychological condition brought on by unrelieved stress. Here are a few warning signs that you might be feeling burnt out.

Warning Signs of Caregiver Burnout

  • You are always tired. 
  • You have an issue with sleep-you either can’t sleep or have difficulty waking up. 
  • Weight loss or weight gain due to changes in eating habits 
  • A feeling of hopelessness 
  • Neglecting your physical or emotional needs 
  • Not spending time doing things you once enjoyed 
  • Mood swings 
  • Low immunity caused by stress 
  • Beginning to get irritable with your patient or loved one 
  • Physical problems like headaches or stomach aches 
  • Anxiety about your future 

Noticing these signs might upset you, especially if you genuinely care for the person you are helping, but you need to realize that you are only human. When your needs are not being met, burnout is bound to happen. Burnout does not mean you love them any less. It just means you need a break. Here are a few ways to avoid burnout as a caregiver.

How to Avoid Caregiver Burnout

  • Take care of yourself by making sure you eat a healthy diet and exercise. If possible, talk to a doctor about any sleep issues so you can get a good night’s rest each night. 
  • Ask for help. No one can do everything. There are just not enough hours in the day, and it does not make you a terrible caregiver to ask for help. In fact, it makes you a better caregiver when you know your limitations. 
  • Give yourself permission to get out of the house and enjoy yourself. Whether it’s getting a manicure or seeing a movie, invest in your happiness. 
  • Check with your work regarding family leave benefits. This could help add more hours to your day. 
  • Join a support group. Many other people are going through similar struggles and communicating with them can drastically improve your mood. 
  • If you are a family caregiver, check into hiring a nurse from a company like Home Instead. They have nurses on call that can come and sit with your loved one to give you time to run errands etc.  

At Next Day Access, one of our top goals is to be there for caregivers. Whether helping you decide on a wheelchair ramp or installing accessibility devices like grab bars in the bathroom, we exist to make life easier for you and your loved one. We offer several different accessibility devices and mobility equipment to help you keep your loved one safe and comfortable as well as items that help put less strain on you, like patient lifts and walk-in bathtubs. We urge you to explore our website and see for yourself the many solutions we can provide for you and your loved one’s needs. Contact us today!

Many family caregivers do not get proper training on transferring someone with mobility difficulties from one place to another. For example, one of the most common tasks is to help someone in a wheelchair move safely to a toilet. If you do not do the transfer correctly, you could injure yourself or your loved one. We found a few transfer tips from Daily Caring we would like to share with you.

Prep the Space

  • Remove rugs, bathmats, or any other trip hazards in the bathroom in the space you need for transferring. 
  • Move the wheelchair feet out of the way. 
  • Have your body set to perform the transfer. 
  • Move the wheelchair into the proper position and lock the brakes. 

Help Them Up From the Wheelchair

  • Have your loved one scoot up to the edge of the wheelchair and lean forward. 
  • Ask them to either hold your forearms or put their hands on the arms of the wheelchair and push up. 
  • Stand directly in front of them, hold their waist and stand up together, keeping your body stiff and controlled. Use your knees to lower and raise your body. Do not bend over. Bending over is how you could injure your back. 
  • If their legs are not strong, put your knees in front of theirs while they stand. This is called blocking. 
  • If they are weaker on one side, stand on that side to provide additional support. 

Sit Them on the Toilet

  • Using small steps, guide them to pivot and turn 90 degrees and back up until the toilet seat is at the back of their knees. 
  • Help them pull down their pants and undergarments. 
  • Have them bend their knees and easily lower themselves down to the seat. Once again, use your knees to raise and lower your body to avoid injury. 
  • Consider investing in a Bio Bidet. Bio Bidet is known for having the best toilets and toilet seats for all homes. In addition, the cleansing method utilizing a water stream sets them apart from their competition. The Bio Bidet will help ensure that your loved one gets as clean as possible after using the restroom. 

Return to the Wheelchair

  • Get them to move forward on the toilet seat and lean towards you. 
  • Ask them to hold your forearms and push up. 
  • Stand close to them so you can hold on to their waist while you both stand.  
  • Using small steps helps them pivot 90 degrees again and back to the wheelchair. But, first, make sure the brakes are still locked on the wheelchair. 
  • Once they feel the wheelchair seat at the back of their legs, they slowly return to a seated position. You will need to hold their waist as they take a seat. 

Essential Safety Tips

  • Never try to pull an older adult up. 
  • Bend from the waist. 
  • Do not let them hold on to towel bars or toilet paper holders, as these could be non-sturdy and cause them to slip. 
  • Make sure they do not hold you by the shoulders or the neck. This will help to prevent injury. 

At Next Day Access, anyone with difficulty in mobility can find products to help keep them safe at home and on the go. For the bathroom specifically, we offer Toilet Support Arms, Grab Bars, Drive Commode Chairs, Bio Bidets, and more. Contact us to see the many ways we can help improve your life. 

Getting an older patient to bathe can be a struggle for many family caregivers. The biggest concerns are if they do not bathe, they could develop infections, produce a strong odor, or become aggravatingly itchy. Here are a few bathing tips to keep aging adults healthy and clean while minimizing stress. 

Make sure the environment is safe

  • Use a handheld shower device to avoid spraying them in the face. 
  • Make sure the bath water is at a comfortable temperature. 
  • Make sure these are grab bars in the tub. Next Day Access offers an assortment of grab bars and can install them in the correct areas to help older adults feel steadier when they enter the bathroom. 
  • Use a shower chair to help aging adults that have trouble sitting in the tub. 
  • Keep the bathroom floor clean and dry to help avoid falls. 
  • If your patient does not already have a walk-in tub speak to the family about the importance of installing one. Next Day Access has a conversion kit that can be installed quickly and makes it easier for aging adults to enter the tub.

Set up a portable shower for patients

There are several new ways to get a patient to bathe even if that means installing a portable shower in a room. With a portable shower, they can stay in their wheelchair and easily roll into the shower area. The portable shower has its own drain and an easy set-up process. A portable shower could ease patients’ concern over bathroom safety, and they will likely be glad they do not have to leave their wheelchairs.

Consider opting for a sponge bath

Bathing and showering are the best ways to clean the body, but if this is not possible, a sponge bath is a good alternative solution. Here’s a helpful step-by-step guide on how to give a sponge bath. 

  • Gather all the supplies you will need and make sure your older adult is nice and warm. 
  • Start from the face and head and move down the body. Clean the private areas last. 
  • For privacy and warmth uncover only the body part that is being washed. 
  • Be sure to use gentle strokes. Remind yourself their skin is far more sensitive. 
  • Use a different washcloth for each area so you do not transfer dirt by using dirty washcloths. Remember, the goal is to get them as clean as they would get from an actual shower or bath. 

We hope these tips will help you have an easier time bathing your loved one or patient. At Next Day Access, we have everything you need to ensure aging adults living in place will feel safe not only in their bathroom but throughout the house. Contact us today for a complimentary in-home consultation. 

Love is in the air this February. On Valentine’s Day, we celebrate our sweethearts. This Valentine’s Day, consider showing love and appreciation for the caregivers in your life. Many caregivers work diligently to make your life more accessible and comfortable. They deserve to feel noticed. Here are five suggestions on how to show your caregiver love.

Cook for Them

Set up a meal delivery for your caregiver. Sometimes after a long day, a cooked meal can be the greatest gift. With meal delivery services like Hello Fresh or Home Chef, your caregiver has all the ingredients delivered to the door to make a scrumptious yummy dinner.

Clean for Them

Order a “Maid for a Day.” If you work several hours a week, laundry and dishes are likely to pile up. If you hire a maid for your caregiver, they will enjoy coming home to a clean house. If your caregiver lives with you, you will be able to spend more quality time with your caregiver. 

Self-Care Day

Encourage your caregiver to spend time on “self-care.” Self-care can be as simple as reading a favorite book, taking a nice bubble bath, or putting on a facemask. However, if you notice your caregiver seems overwhelmed lately, maybe treat them to a day at a spa, getting their hair done, or getting a pampering massage. 

Go Out on an Adventure!

Another lovely way to show your caregiver love could be taking them out for the day. Perhaps you could grab lunch see a movie, or visit a new exhibit at a museum. The gift of your time and an outing together goes a long way.

Write a Letter

Most of the suggestions mentioned cost money, but if you are on a budget, you can still show your caregiver love. You could spend some time writing a letter telling them how much they mean to you. You do not have to spend a large amount of money to show love. 

At Next Day Access, we have the pleasure of working with caregivers regularly. We notice all the hard work caregivers do. We believe caregivers deserve every bit of love shown to them this month and every day. If you need products to help you get through your day safer, comfortably, and independently, contact us. 

At Next Day Access, we work with many families to provide accessibility and mobility equipment to help take care of aging or disabled loved ones at home. We understand how difficult the role of a family caregivers can be. This November, we are honored to celebrate family caregivers.

Why Do We Celebrate Family Caregivers Month? 

It’s important to celebrate and recognize the dedication and hard work of family caregivers. By acknowledging November as National Family Caregivers Month, it increases caregiver support, raises awareness of mental health, and respects the lives of caregivers who help ensure safety and happiness of loved ones.   

The celebration is ordained and originated by the Caregiver Action Network (CAN). The Caregiver Action Network group is a nonprofit that helps to educate caregivers, supply resources, and support. This year’s theme, “#CaregiverAnd,” encourages family caregivers to celebrate the identities and passions that enrich their lives. Way too often, the role of caregiver can overshadow their identity.

Understanding Family Caregiving Responsibility 

Many family members take on caregivers roles when parents become older or disabled. They choose to keep the caregiving responsibilities in the family to ensure their loved one gets the best care. While most would never consider their loved ones a burden, the extra responsibility can become overwhelming. Studies show that about one in five U.S. adults are caregivers and spend an average of 24 hours a week caring for a loved one on top of their other jobs. Because of that, the caregiving role can cause emotional, physical, and financial stress. To learn more about how you can better support a caregiver, click here.  

At Next Day Access, we consider our company a support system for caregivers.  Our goal is to provide caregivers with the information and equipment they need to help make their lives easier and keep loved ones safe and comfortable. If you are a caregiver, we urge you to contact us to schedule a free in-home consultation. Let us give you the support you need as you support others in need.  

Source: https://mhanational.org/national-family-caregivers-month

 

The October/November issue of AARP Magazine observed that there are 40 million caregivers in the United States and called them “the real American nobility.”

Editor in Chief Robert Love also observed, “We humans show our nobility when we put ourselves aside and care for those in need.

Help For Caregivers

help for caregivers

Caregiving doesn’t come without taking a toll. The American Psychological Association has a long list of the common problems that may affect caregivers, such as depression, anxiety, sleep problems and risk of injury.

Next Day Access knows very well the strains under which caregivers operate and can provide many solutions in home accessibility that mitigate the inherent problems in this potentially difficult time of life. Home Caregivers can get help from Next Day Access’ product line to reduce the risk of injury by making their jobs simpler and safer.

In families where a wheelchair is in use and wheelchair access to the home or garage has been impeded, Next Day Access can equip that residence with the finest in wheelchair ramps. Caregivers can then more easily move their loved one with less physical effort and fear of a fall.

How Next Day Access Helps Caregivers

A Next Day Access patient lift in the bedroom can be a crucial part of accessibility solutions. A patient lift is a device used to help a caregiver move a patient – from a bed to a wheelchair, from the bed to other household areas, or from a bed to a bathroom to access a bathtub, shower and toilet. The lift prevents injury to the caregiver or patient while movement takes place.

Look to Next Day Access to deliver a “whole home, whole life” plan for accessibility. Whole home means we can address each area of your home and recommend a professional accessibility solution that allows patients and caretakers the freedom and independence to enjoy every level of their home. Whole life means we can adapt the home to meet today’s needs, as well as those of tomorrow.

Caretakers need not do their work alone. Not when Next Day Access stands ready to provide a free in-home estimate once you make that first call.

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