Friday 12 October 2018

Stepping Out Challenge - Day 12 - Tips for Carers 2

Welcome to today's post, I am taking part in a 31 day blog challenge where I post everyday in October.  I love creating challenges for myself and joining ones by others.  My challenge for the rest of the month is to reflect on some of the series I created for myself and inspiration that I have taken away.

Listen to the Podcast

Today I am going to conclude with the Tips for Carers  

Working with the Social Workers

Quite out of the blue after attending a few of the carers meetings I was asked to do a workshop for social workers at a training institute.  Oddly enough these social workers were doing a course where they had increased powers and could make the decision to have individuals sectioned.  It was interesting to hear things from their perspective about life, and the struggles they had in their day to day, feeling overwhelmed, stressed and the issues they had in their own lives. 

Within all this I shared with them the Carers Perspective especially when they have to make decisions about the Carer and those being cared for to think about how much their own baggage they bring to the table.  We looked at the perceptions that they arrive at the carers home with, the ones that the carer has and how the one being cared for might be feeling when the social worker arrives.   

It was an amazing opportunity which led to regular training sessions looking at the carers’ perspective as well as what the social worker brings into the situation.  The social workers who attended were attentive and shared their own experience and it made for an enriched session and it all came about from taking a step to share my own experience.

The more I spent time working on presentations about being a carer,  I realized that there were some things that I was doing that I needed to share, and along came another A-Z challenge which prompted me to share some of the things along the way that I had found helped me get on with what I needed to do.

Self-care is the overriding thread that you need to address and put strategies in place so that you make sure that you get some respite on a regular basis.  The first thing that often suffers for carers is caring for ourselves.  We are consumed with caring for another person and all the other things with such as family, job or other dependents and possibly a million other activities for someone else.

In writing the tips I wanted to offer practical things that I found useful when helping mum - from looking at your support network, getting out of the house and getting fresh air, finding others to talk to and ways to share your story.  The main thing that it was to try and be flexible with the time that you have and the resources you have available to you and look at the kind of support that you have around you. 
 “It takes a community to care for the elderly with Dementia”.

Dementia doesn’t discriminate and everyone is effected not just the individual and their carer.  I’ve spoken to some people who put their parents in a home and they have chosen not to visit them saying that they don’t ‘recognize me anyway’. That person doesn’t realize that there are emotional repercussions that come from choosing to abandon a loved one in that way when they cannot care for themselves.  Communication is not just about knowing your name, it is also touch, the sound and tone of your voice and your personality that the person can relate to.

Whilst they are in a home it is useful to set up a schedule of care - who will visit your loved and continue to interact with them when you are not able to.  Having the continued interaction helps in their health and well-being.  We all know the difference we can feel when we are sitting on our own or sitting with another person.

However you feel you are coping it won’t hurt to get some more help, even if it is just to give you a break for an hour or two.  When you bury your head in the sand about the situation you miss important things that could have been put in place ahead of time, but become crisis if left.  Putting plans into place makes the journey a bit easier.  The tips for carers was a way for me to start to share with others not only my own experience but a way to help as well.

The tips are not an exhaustive list and depending on the person, needs tweaking but it’s a place to start.  When mum started to go to the day care center I later got involved and started offering Art sessions.  I got an even deeper understanding of the different ways in which dementia affects individuals and I also grew as an Artist, daughter, and mother.  Over a 4 year period I had an amazing time working with the men and women who attended the day care center putting on exhibitions for them and getting them out of their comfort zone as artist.  This informs the knowledge that I have gained over the years.

What are your tips for care what words works for you and your loved one?  In what ways can you get involved with their care?

You can find additional tips HERE

Tomorrow I will share the challenge that I did called '30 Days to a Healthier Lifestyle'.  I hope during this month you find some time to challenge, be creative and stretch yourself.

    Why not join me each day for the rest of October as we dive into to some exciting challenges and look at ways in which they can impact on your own life. 

    I look forward to seeing you tomorrow, it is never too late to start! The main thing is to take one step at a time and do something that you find interesting.

    Stay blessed and be a blessing.

    Ps:  If you would like to check out supplies/books at a discounted price, check out one of the links below:

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    Amazon Store - 

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