1. Long-Distance Caregiving: An Expert Gives Advice on Overcoming the Challenges

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    from BeSmartBeWell.com / Added

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    While long-distance caregiving presents unique issues, there are ways to manage the responsibility. Leading AARP caregiving expert Amy Goyer spoke with bemsmartbewell.com to share her insights on meeting the challenges of long-distance caregiving and offer tips and advice for caregivers. For more on caregiving go to: http://besmartbewell.com/caregiving/long-distance-caregiving.htm

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    • Long-Distance Caregiving: A Caregiver Shares Her Family's Personal Journey

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      from BeSmartBeWell.com / Added

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      Every three weeks, Pam McNamara boards a plane in Chicago and travels to Omaha to see her parents. For the past three years, McNamara’s mom, who has advanced dementia and is confined to a wheelchair, has required assistance with all the activities of daily living and now has in-home care 18 hours a day. Hear how McNamara successfully manages the many challenges of long-distance caregiving. For more on caregiving go to: http://besmartbewell.com/caregiving/long-distance-caregiving.htm

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      • Caregiver Stress – Think You Know the Cause? Think Again.

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        from Anthony Cirillo / Added

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        When it comes to life’s stressors, most people would put caregiving at the top of the list. But according to Peter Vitaliano, a professor of psychiatry and psychology at the University of Washington (UW), there never have been data actually showing caregiving causes psychological distress. So he, and other researchers at the UW conducted a study of about 1,228 female twins, some were caregivers, and some were not. The results were somewhat surprising. The study, “Does caregiving cause psychological distress? The case for familial and genetic vulnerabilities in female twins,” was published in the Annals of Behavioral Medicine in January 2014 and showed that the associations between caregiving and different types of psychological distress (depression, anxiety, perceived stress and perceived mental health) depend largely on a person’s genes and upbringing – and less so on the difficulty of caregiving. Did the person have a history of depression before being a caregiver? If so, “caregiving may be like putting salt on the wound,” said Vitaliano. If there’s no depression in the past, caregivers don’t seem more affected by depression than non-caregivers. Depression and perceived mental health are the most influenced by genes, said Vitaliano. Anxiety is most related to caregiving, and people who don’t get relief from anxiety are more likely to become depressed, he noted. Perceived stress, meanwhile, is almost exclusively related to the kind of environment a person was raised in, not genetics or caregiver status, he said. If a person grows up in a home where one’s parents show lots of avoidance and fear in response to a lost job or sickness , then he or she will likely model that behavior. Vitaliano said these results break the long-held belief that caregiving directly causes distress. He noted that since 1953 there have been more than a thousand papers on distress among caregivers without any data showing causality. By examining twin pairs – both monozygotic (identical from same fertilized egg) and dizygotic (fraternal from separate fertilized eggs) – UW researchers assessed the extent psychological distress is related to caregiving, or confounded by common genes and environmental exposure. The study focused exclusively on female twins (408 monozygotic and 206 dizygotic pairs), of which 188 were caregivers. Not enough male caregivers were found to be included in the analyses. The study comes out as chronic diseases are rising rapidly and Alzheimer’s disease is called “the disease of the century” – expected to rise from 5 million victims in 2008 to 12 million in 2030. As a result, more and more people will become caregivers. Because health care funds are limited, Vitaliano hopes that treatment interventions and policies will be targeted towards caregivers who are at the highest risk. Vitaliano said he had long predicted that caregiving doesn’t directly cause distress. Vitaliano said his past research has also shown that caregivers’ stress hormone levels are especially high relative to other caregivers if they are high in dispositions, such as neuroticism and disagreeableness. He has also found that caregivers with chronic illnesses such as heart disease or cancer have more physical problems with their illnesses than do non-caregivers with chronic physical illnesses. I think this is a hugely significant study and supports my contention that you can turn caregiving from a burden to an opportunity. Read this Forbes article for more.

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        • Caregiving: Ask the Expert

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          from BeSmartBeWell.com / Added

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          Ms. Ginzler, a national expert on aging issues and is frequently called upon to confer with industry leaders about aging issues and to address groups ranging from neighborhood associations to national organizations. She was recently AARP's lead spokesperson on older driver safety, mobility options, housing options and caregiving. She is co-author with Hugh Delehanty of Caring for Your Parents – The Complete Family Guide. Be Smart. Be Well. sat down with Elinor Ginzler to discuss caregiving. Watch the video interview above.

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          • Caregiver Burnout

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            from Lee Memorial Health System / Added

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            It’s no wonder so many Americans consider themselves ‘stressed out’; one in seven adults in this country are caring for both an aging parent along with their own children. In many cases it’s the setup for caregiver burnout. “What happens is they start withdrawing. Caregivers start withdrawing from family and friends, they start getting sick themselves. They have guilty feelings, they start feeling hopeless,” says Dr. Mala Singh, family practitioner with Lee Memorial Health System. Being pulled in several directions creates a heightened sense of anxiety. It can manifest itself in sleep deprivation, depression or excessive use of drugs or alcohol, all things that increase general health risks. It sounds simple, but the first step in feeling better is to recognize the issue. Caregivers get so caught up in managing their daily schedules that they don’t take time to look at the big picture, and schedule their own breaks. “Ask a friend, ask anybody you can, to come help you. Even if you take that one-hour for yourself just to take a walk or have a cup of coffee or read a book. You need that time for yourself and there should be absolutely no guilt involved. It’s very, very necessary,” says Dr. Singh. Most communities have resources for caregivers that may include adult daycare options. Lee Memorial Health System offers its ‘powerful tools for caregivers’ classes several times a year. Your family doctor can be your front-line advocate. “That’s what I try to do for the patients, not just give them a band-aid, get to the root of the problem. And eliminate that,” says Dr. Singh. It’s important to add yourself on the list of people to care for. View More Health Matters video segments at leememorial.org/healthmatters/ Lee Memorial Health System in Fort Myers, FL is the largest network of medical care facilities in Southwest Florida and is highly respected for its expertise, innovation and quality of care. For nearly a century, we’ve been providing our community with everything from primary care treatment to highly specialized care services and robotic assisted surgeries. Visit leememorial.org

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            • Geriatric Care Manager Laurie Ray discusses Caregiver Stess/ Burnout

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              from CareConscious / Added

              Geriatric Care Manager Laurie Ray is the founder of Cope Elder Care in Cary, North Carolina. In this video Laurie discusses the symptoms of Caregiver stress which can eventually lead to Caregiver Burnout. This is an important video for any Caregiver to watch because in order to provide the best care for your loved one, you first have to take care of yourself.

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              • How to Prevent Caregiver Stress

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                from CareConscious / Added

                Geriatric Care Manager and founder of Cope Elder Care Laurie Ray discusses strategies for preventing Caregiver Stress and Burnout. These sorts of strategies are key for providing the best care possible for your loved one.

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                • What is CareConscious?

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                  from CareConscious / Added

                  Bill Comfort Interviews CareConscious CEO, Cara Mae Melton, and asks: What's CareConscious? What value does it bring to family caregivers? And How does it work?"

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                  • The Hidden Source of Stress for Family Caregivers: IDENTITY DISCREPANCY

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                    from CareConscious / Added

                    Dr. Rhonda Montgomery, Helen Bader Endowed Chair in Applied Gerontology at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, explains the main reason Family Caregivers of seniors feel stress...and it's not what you'd think.

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                    • What Is It?

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                      from BeSmartBeWell.com / Added

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                      Chances are you already are or will someday be a caregiver to someone you love. The majority of caregivers are family caregivers who volunteer their time and effort. Caregiving means taking care of another person with special medical and emotional needs. Caregivers also provide company and support. Whether you provide around-the-clock care, or just help your aging parents with day-to-day tasks, you’re a caregiver. Be Smart. Be Well. Caregiving is video stories, resources, tips and tools to help the physical, emotional and financial stress of caring for others. http://www.besmartbewell.com/caregiving

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