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Screening Offers Support for Caregivers

Screening offers support
Family caregivers, particularly those who are caring for seniors with dementia, face potentially debilitating stress. A screening program, and professional respite care, offer support.

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Family caregivers, particularly those who are caring for seniors with dementia, face potentially debilitating stress. A screening program, and professional respite care, offer support.

Q. I'm feeling so overwhelmed caring for my 85-year-old husband, who is suffering from dementia. Is there any help out there for me?

As a matter of fact, researchers from the University of Michigan have developed a new system that helps provide intervention to caregivers of patients with dementia.

"Although providing care can be rewarding, it often places caregivers at great risk for negative outcomes that also compromise the well-being of the patients with dementia," said Louis Burgio, a professor in the University of Michigan School of Social Work and research professor at the Institute of Gerontology.

Researchers analyzed data from 642 dementia caregivers who provided in-home care. They were age 21 and older, lived with or shared cooking facilities with the patient, provided at least four hours per day for at least six months, and reported distress.

The researchers identified 16 risks that are confronted most often with dementia caregivers like you as well as their care recipients. A risk appraisal measure provides information that can help clinicians tailor interventions to a caregiver's individual needs.

Researchers assessed six domains linked to caregiver risk that could respond to intervention including depression, burden, self-care and health behaviors, social support, safety, and patient problem behaviors.

Intervention strategies for each domain were devised. If a caregiver's primary problem was a feeling of extreme burden and stress, one treatment from a health care professional might involve the caregiver learning stress management techniques such as breathing exercises and stretching.

The screening form can be administered by any health care professional to the caregiver. This test could help you find out where you can use the most assistance.

A stress assessment that you can take yourself, along with tips, also is available on CareGiverStress.com. In addition, why not consider respite care at home? CAREGiversSM from Home Instead Senior Care® are trained to work with seniors who are suffering from all types of conditions including dementia. For just a few hours a week, you could have a welcome break from the stresses of caregiving.

For more about the study, log on to
http://www.ns.umich.edu/htdocs/releases/story.php?id=7172.

Last revised: May 23, 2011

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Thoughts and stories from others
  1. September 25, 2018 at 10:45 pm | Posted by Barbara Montgomery

    I care for my 84 year old Mom. I made a pledge to my Dad when he was dying in 2011 that I would care For Mom & keep her in her Home. The problem is I have struggled with Clinical Depression all my life & Cronic Anxiety so when I moved back home to care for my Parent’s I wasn’t working in my mid 40’s and gave up my life for them. I am not married, no children and thought that just maybe I could work this out w/my 3 siblings so that I would not be the only one. 1 helped me w/my Dad before he passed but now 7 years later not one of them even call my Mom. My Mom has not been clinically diagnosed w/Dementia, she has 100% corroded artery on left side & 86% on right side. A stint was placed on right side to help keep blood clots away but her Memory, Confusion & now Anger are all signs of Dementia. Her Both Neuro Surgeon & Cardiologist said she doesn’t have Dementia because she could name the year, the month and the President. How do you explain the same questions over & over? Her hygiene has changed where she can’t remember to put her throw away underwear in the basket. She forgets to take her meds. Her appetite has changed. And with the Anger she has told me to get out of her house many times when she just told me at Tax Time that I should pay for the taxes since this is my house. I don’t want the house I want her to be happy for the rest of her life. But it is now at my expense. I continually pray that God take me first because at 58, Lord knows how long she will live & I have no income, retirement, even a social life. She is a fall risk. She just fell a couple weeks ago and fractured her rib. And fell once after that. The EMT’s know is by name. And the only thing she throws up in my face is that she is capable of taking care of herself and if I don’t like how she runs the house get out. Says the Person that had an impeccable FICO & now has collections. When I pay the bills she questions why some are late because she had them laying under unread magazines. She accuses me of going out to the show every night when I went to 1 in 5 months. She accuse me of stealing her money when I have limited income coming in and yes once in awhile I will order a $60 Shirt to her $500 dollar order. But then feel guilty so I make sure I buy her lunch or pay her Car Insurance & House Insurance. So where is this light that I am supposed to see? I see darkness. Again, if I go 1st the Vulture Siblings will come swooping in but I won’t have to care. Hopefully I will be w/Dad in heaven & God will forgive me. Mom will see what I did once she can see the film of her life and I will have Peace. Whatever that feels like. Because I sure in the Hell haven’t felt it in a very very long time if ever.

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  2. June 13, 2011 at 5:55 pm | Posted by beth pallaI

    I have found a very helpful resource for both our Caregivers and for Family Caregivers that I would like to recommend: "Coach Broyles' Playbook for Alzheimer's Caregivers: A Practical Tips Guide". This publication was developed by Frank Broyles, Former Athletic Direcor for the University of Arkansas Razorbacks. His life was touched by Alzheimer's Disease when his wife, Barbara was diagnosed with it . He has since lost her to the disease. He and his daughters have carried on her legacy through the development of this"Playbook" designed to help families cope with the Disease socially rather than medically and is broken down into the stages of Alzheimers': Early, Middle, and Late. They also conduct lectures. The Broyle's have worked closely with the Alzheimer's Association as well. It is their hope that other people will not have to struggle as they did to cope with this devastating disease. Please check it out for yourselves. I think you will be glad that you did. It comes spiral bound and includes a Pocket Reference of Tips and Strategies, which we have made available to our Caregivers and Families at our Franchise in Sequim, WA

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