Manager, Caregiver Program, Products and Service for Elizz. Powered by Saint Elizabeth Health Care, Elizz delivers exceptional services, support and new possibilities for those caring for others.
Natalie Strouth is a Registered Practical Nurse with over 12 years of nursing experience. Natalie has worked on the front line as well as in leadership positions in both hospitals and community nursing. Natalie is currently the Manager, Caregiver Program, Products and Service for Elizz. Powered by Saint Elizabeth, Elizz delivers exceptional services, support and new possibilities for those caring for others.
Soaking up some sun and fresh air can help us feel good, and is a relaxing way to cope with caregiver stress or treatment for serious illness. Just remember that heat and dehydration, especially for children and seniors, can be potentially dangerous. Here's what caregivers need to know to enjoy the sun safely this summer.
It's a lot to take on, and it's a difficult workload to maintain. Ultimately the caregiver has to make sacrifices in some area of their life, and it's usually their own emotional, physical or mental well-being that suffers the consequences. Sound familiar? Probably.
In my years of nursing and supporting caregivers, time and again I've seen the high expectations we have for ourselves. Caring for someone who has health challenges or is facing a tough diagnosis can cause so much pressure on a daily basis. Worries, decisions, coordinating care and conflicting responsibilities can make caregivers feel overwhelmed.
When Carol and Theresa's mom was diagnosed with early-stage Alzheimer's and their dad's vision started failing, the news was met with some denial -- and their parents' groaning aversion to leaving their home of over forty years. The sisters, one of whom is my mother-in-law, came to realize that they are now parenting their own parents. In coming to terms with this they also realized that they each need support too. The result is an inspiring and positive arrangement. They've become "co-caregivers."
Helping an elderly parent with bathing, can come with some fear or embarrassment for both of you. You want to maintain the person's privacy, dignity and independence as much as possible. It might take longer than it used to for the person to do something for themselves, but the benefits far outweigh the extra time.
As a community nurse I've heard stories from families who, instead of checking items off shopping lists and going to holiday parties, were taking someone to multiple medical appointments. Or, they were worried and asking me how to keep their mom calm and comfortable at the busy family gathering as her dementia was taking hold.
It's that time of year again...winter is coming! With the first dusting of snow falling on my house, I am reminded that snow, ice and slippery conditions can pose high risks for older adults and those who depend on mobility devices to get around. Prepare your home for winter with these tips.
I can definitely attest to the many challenges and obstacles that family caregivers contend with on a daily basis. A study by the Change Foundation, 22 per cent of caregivers showed signs of distress, including anger, depression, being overwhelmed and unable to continue providing care. But through it all, you'll also have your eyes and heart opened in amazing ways.
I've been reflecting on the fun experiences my family and friends had this summer. My thoughts inevitably also turn to those with new health challenges and disabilities, and their caregivers, the people who are supporting them. I've learned that there are many wonderful opportunities to get out and create lasting happy memories, participate in things that bring joy, and still manage the care.
This week, Kerry asks: My sister was recently diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis and she is refusing to accept any help from her family, friends or health care professionals. When I try to talk to her about it, we always end up in an argument. Do you have any advice?
Vicky asks: I've been taking care of my mom who is 74, in poor health and lives on her own. We've never had a very close relationship, and she criticizes everything I do. It doesn't matter if it's house cleaning, taking her to appointments, or getting her groceries -- it's like I can never do anything to her satisfaction.
My four-year-old daughter is having surgery soon, and I'm a nervous wreck. Her doctors have assured me that she will be fine, but I'm worried about her getting put out, and especially worried about helping her recover at home after leaving the hospital...help!
Shannon asks: My mother recently passed away. It was a peaceful death in her home, the way she wanted, however after two years of caring for her full-time I am now struggling with how to move forward in my own life.
Kay asks: My husband has dementia and the symptoms are getting so bad that I feel like a prisoner in my own home. I am embarrassed to take him to our daughter's house for fear of what he might do or say. I don't want our kids or grandkids to see him act this way. I am not prepared for these changes and I don't know if I can manage for much longer.
My wife Karen was recently diagnosed with stage 2 breast cancer. We want to help but Karen gets frustrated when any of us try to do things for her, with the kids or around the house. I don't know how to be strong as the best husband, caregiver, and deal with my own fears about what's happening. Can anyone be a 'super caregiver'?
Todd asks: My parents are getting older and recently, mom has become afraid of falling. She often talks about friends who have taken a spill, and whenever they come over she tells me we should have a railing for our front steps. She's even avoiding rooms where our kids' toys are on the floor. Neither one of them have had a fall -- how worried should we be about this?
Rebecca asks: My grandmother is getting older and was recently diagnosed with early stage Alzheimer's Disease. She is still very healthy and independently living on her own. We have talked about her desire to remain at home and independent for as long as she can. How can we keep her safe in her home?
My mom's health has been deteriorating greatly over the past year. As an only child, I am her primary caregiver and this last hospital stay has really taken a toll on me. She gets very limited formal help and the rest of her care is left to me. I am so tired and can't concentrate on anything any more.
"How do I care for my dad as his physical health deteriorates? His Parkinson's is advancing and he needs more and more help. I feel unprepared and anxious, but I want to be able to care for him as long as possible."
Ryan asks: At Easter this year I looked around my parent's house and realized that they are not going to be able to live here forever. When do you start talking to your parents about the future and where they going to live as they age?