Caregiving

Recently Answered

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    The types of services covered at home when you are dying will depend on your insurance. If you are in a home hospice program, a home health aide may be available to assist. If your insurance does not cover a home health aide and you and your loved ones wish to pay privately for these services, you can do so. Your social worker can usually assist in arranging these services.
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    ALinda Ercoli, PhD, Psychology, answered on behalf of UCLA Health
    Some caregivers don't want to get emotional support from others because they're embarrassed about their feelings. They're ashamed about being angry and frustrated. If you get into a support group or talk to others who are in the same situation as you, you'll find that you're not alone. These are very normal feelings to experience. Don't let shame keep you away from getting support.
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    ALinda Ercoli, PhD, Psychology, answered on behalf of UCLA Health
    One of the most important things that you can do if you are taking care of a loved one with dementia is to get educated about what dementia is and what kind of dementia your loved one has. For instance, does your loved one have Alzheimer's disease or Lewy body disease? There are differences in how people present with these diseases. The more you know about dementia and its course and what you can expect to happen in your loved one, the better equipped you will be as a caregiver. Indeed, the more knowledge you have, the better you will be able to cope with the stresses of caregiving.
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    ALinda Ercoli, PhD, Psychology, answered on behalf of UCLA Health
    Sometimes caregivers act violently or aggressively toward the care recipient, especially if the caregiver is depressed and feeling overwhelmed.
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    ALinda Ercoli, PhD, Psychology, answered on behalf of UCLA Health
    Behavioral problems in people with dementia are one of the main reasons these people come to the attention of their doctors. They may have had memory problems for years, but it may be other things, like wandering, aggression and asking questions over and over again, that highlight the problem.

    Usually a behavioral problem means there is something wrong. For example, internally she may be upset or may have a medical condition that she is trying to communicate. These kinds of things are very difficult for the caregiver to manage and to deal with emotionally. Getting education on how to manage behavioral problems and how to communicate better and relate more to a person with dementia is very helpful in reducing these behavioral problems.
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    ALinda Ercoli, PhD, Psychology, answered on behalf of UCLA Health
    The more you know about dementia, the more you'll understand how little the person with dementia you're caring for can really control his or behavior, or contribute. Having very high expectations of someone with dementia can result in caregiver stress and a lot of miscommunication between the two of you. That can result in behavioral problems and more stress for both of you.
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    ALinda Ercoli, PhD, Psychology, answered on behalf of UCLA Health
    Cultural backgrounds are important as a potential stressor for caregivers. This is because people with different cultural backgrounds have different thoughts about aging and caring for loved ones. This can affect the level of stress that a caregiver experiences.
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    ALinda Ercoli, PhD, Psychology, answered on behalf of UCLA Health
    Your coping strategies affect your levels of stress as a caregiver, as does how well you meet your personal needs. For instance, can you deal with the depression or anxiety that you might be feeling -- or do you even deal with it? Do you seek help for that? Do you take care of yourself, or do you neglect yourself? Are you getting out to exercise? Are you eating properly? About 25% or more of caregivers have unmet needs. In other words, while they're caring for someone else, they're not caring for themselves.
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    ALinda Ercoli, PhD, Psychology, answered on behalf of UCLA Health
    Role change can add to a caregiver's stress. Role change means that all of a sudden, an adult son or daughter becomes like a parent, either to his or her own parent, or to his or her spouse. It's not something that we expect, nor is it natural.
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    ALinda Ercoli, PhD, Psychology, answered on behalf of UCLA Health
    Families can add to a caregiver’s stress depending, for instance, on how the family has been relating to each other over the years. These relationships do not necessarily get better once caregiving starts. Family members often argue about the kind of care that they feel someone should get. They may disagree about who is doing the most work and who is not helping out. Quite often, there are family members who are absentees and are just not involved. Some people can be overly involved and very attached when caregiving, and this can also lead to a lot of tension in the family.