Category Archives: Elderly

Caregiving Decisions Can Often Be as Clear as Mud

By Dr. Mara Karpel

Psychologist, Host of Dr. Mara Karpel & Your Golden Years, and Author of The Passionate Life: Creating Vitality & Joy at Any Age.  Find her at: DrMaraKarpel.com

 “It is not the load that breaks you down. It’s the way you carry it.” ~ Lena Horne

Whether your loved one lives with you, in the same time zone, or thousands of miles away, there are often big decisions that need to be made involving their care, living situation, medical procedures, medications, etc. Often, the right choices are not at all clear. There are many choices, frequently none of which are “perfect,” and you will likely be asked to decide — or to help your loved one decide — which is the best decision that fits for them.

Being responsible for such heavy decision-making about such important issues that can be so unclear can certainly keep any of us up at night and cause plenty of anxiety. Here are some tips for better wading through the muddy waters:

  • Get as much information as possible. Talk to professionals, research on reliable websites, ask other caregivers whom you know might have had experience with similar issues. Talk to your loved-one’s doctors, therapists, paid caregivers, and get second opinions. Read books related to the topics at hand.
  • If you’re still feeling confused and anxious about the decisions, take a break. Take walks, exercise, meditate, get out in nature, to take your thoughts off of the subject for periods of time. This will give your mind a chance to quiet down from the anxious thoughts and allow your inner knowing, your higher wisdom, to process all of the information you’ve been given and to find the answer that best fits for your specific situation. The answer may come to you as a feeling of being shouted out by your inner self, “this is it!,” or it may come as a whisper.
  • If this still doesn’t work, spend time, again, quieting your mind. Sit quietly, close your eyes, take some slow deep breaths.   Then imagine that you’ve made a decision. See and feel what life is like after that particular action has been taken. Now quiet your mind and imagine what it looks like and how it feels after making the opposite decision. This can often give greater insight about the best decision for you and your loved one’s unique situation.
  • Finally, remember that there are no perfect decisions and we only discover mistakes in hindsight. Most of us don’t own a crystal ball and cannot predict with 100% accuracy how it will work out, no matter which way we go. As I wrote about in my blog, Tips for Caregivers – Near and Far -Tip #10 – Forgive Yourself, “We all make mistakes. We’re human.” Don’t be hard on yourself for doing the best you could to figure out the right course of action.

Read similar blogs by Dr. Mara and listen to her internet radio showNow also available on Apple Podcasts.

Be sure to follow her on Facebook for updates on her show and new blogs.

And check out Dr. Mara’s internationally best-selling book, The Passionate Life: Creating Vitality & Joy at Any Age!

Simple Ways Seniors Can Stick with Self-Care Goals

While we are all getting older every day, it can be exciting to create new self-care goals although it can be hard to stick with them. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways seniors can stay true to their wellness plans without breaking the bank. These tips can help you stick with your wellness goals without all the stress.

Create a Simple Workout Plan

If you want to stick to your fitness plan, simplify your workout routine. Low-intensity workouts can actually help boost self-confidence and establish a healthy daily routine that can continue to grow and develop over time. According to VeryWellFit.com, try dancing to some music for 15-30 minutes. Other options include following a workout online or doing simple bodyweight exercises. There are plenty of free yoga and workout classes on YouTube. You can also save on fitness equipment and women’s shoe deals online at sites like Rakuten. Soon you will see some of the mood-boosting and stress-reducing benefits of exercising. Creating a great routine that you can maintain doesn’t have to be difficult.

Eat Out Less by Cooking More

While eating out is less time-consuming than cooking, it is also much more expensive. Switching from buying takeout to cooking can save you lots of money. While it can be hard to do a 180-degree switch, there are some ways to build up to eating out less. According to MoneyUnder30.com, it’s best to start small and make attainable goals like bringing your lunch to work three times a week and starting to cook dinner a couple times a week as well. When you bring your lunch to work, it’s important to leave the office. In order to cook more, it’s best to have a food plan. GoodCheapEats.com suggests taking some of your favorite takeout meals and trying to recreate them at home. The benefits of cooking at home can include reducing calorie consumption and eating healthier. By cooking more, you can make healthier choices while saving money.

Release Stress by Practicing Meditation

Stress can truly be an uncomfortable burden. However, meditation can assist in releasing your anxiety. According to TheMonkLife.net, it is best to start with a small, attainable goal if you are going to try to incorporate meditation into your daily life. You can spend as little as two minutes a day. Write your goal down on a piece of paper. Learn how to prioritize meditation by setting a time for it and sticking with it. With an easily attainable goal, you’ll be more likely to continue as you progress. As you meditate, breathe in and out and count to ten and then repeat, so you can stop your mind from wandering. If you’d like some guidance, there are a number of free videos available on YouTube. By adding some simple meditation into your routine, your stress levels will plummet, and you will feel happier in no time.

There are plenty of ways seniors can stick with healthy routines. As you slowly build up your consistency with these wellness goals, you will soon be living a healthier, less stressful life.

About the Author
Teresa Greenhill is the co-creator of MentalHealthForSeniors.com, which is dedicated to providing seniors with information on physical and mental fitness so that they can be active and happy in their golden years.

About Well Beyond Care
Well Beyond Care is the only company that teaches families and individuals how to find and manage affordable non-medical in-home care, while solving the chronic problems of caregiver truancy and turnover through the web application, WellBeyondCare.com. The Company’s platform combines the power of the internet with the personal touch of nurses to offer families a pathway to transitional care, allowing our elderly parents to safely age-in-place. Their solution lowers stress in hiring a caregiver and saves families tens of thousands of dollars per year in care costs.