Posts Tagged ‘support’

Lowcountry Buy Local Block Party

The Buy Local Block Party is a one-of-a-kind fundraiser and social event that brings together locally-owned businesses with live music, local artists, indie retailers, a farm stand, kid-friendly activities, and local food & beverages and more. Start your holiday shopping early and help support local businesses this Saturday, November 12th!

Click here for more info!

Special Shoes for Arthritis Sufferers

Arthritis can cause debilitating joint pain that makes walking a burden, but physical activity is encouraged and can provide health benefits to those suffering from these disease. So how can you keep moving? Find the right pair of shoes! Not all types of arthritis affect people the same way, so individuals should try on several different types of shoes to find the right one for them. AgingCare.com’s article, “Find the Perfect Shoe for Arthritis,” can help make shoe shopping easier. By debunking several myths about the disease and suggesting certain brands and styles of shoes, arthritis sufferers can make better decisions regarding their footwear. A store to try? Euro Comfort Footwear, based in California, specializes in shoes for older adults suffering from arthritis and other medical conditions.

Power in Numbers

Caregiving Support Groups Can Help You Feel “Normal” Again

You can find all sorts of articles about how challenging it is to be a family caregiver. There are plenty of statistics on the physical, mental, emotional, and financial toll family caregiving can take on an individual. There is a wealth of information on how to reduce caregiving stress and prevent burnout. As a family caregiver, while these tips and suggestions may be helpful, they may not provide the outlet you are looking for. Sometimes you just need to vent your fears and frustrations and find comfort in the shared experiences of other family caregivers. In this way, support groups can trump other means of caregiver support.

The thoughts and feelings family caregivers experience range from compassion, selflessness, fear, anger, and despair to guilt, loathing, selfishness, hopelessness and regret. And this might just be in the course of a few hours! You may not be comfortable sharing your thoughts with a non-caregiver for fear of them judging you. Caregiver support groups can provide you an opportunity to be open and honest about your thoughts and experiences without having to worry about being looked down upon. Most likely everyone in the room will relate to you and have similar stories to tell. The camaraderie you establish with fellow support group members can leave you feeling “normal” again.

If you are a family caregiver in Charleston, you can find local caregiver support groups on the Trident Area Agency on Aging’s website. You can also find support groups specific to caring for someone with Alzheimer’s at alz.org.

Cancer: The Bigger Picture

Cancer is more than just a disease. Grueling treatments can leave patients struggling to feel normal. The physical and emotional side effects people suffer from while undergoing treatment are a huge part of the disease. Depending on the type of cancer and treatment, a patient could experience pain, nausea, vomiting, fatigue, anemia, swelling, hair loss, and mental cloudiness just to name a few. The emotional toll of cancer is just as high. Fear, anxiety, depression—dealing with a life threatening illness can wreak havoc on a person’s sense of self.

It can be hard to deal with the physical changes that cancer treatments cause. Depression caused by a loss of self-confidence and feelings of self-loathing is not uncommon when facing hair loss or the disfigurement that comes with a mastectomy or other necessary surgery. Fortunately there are organizations that provide support and guidance on everything from dealing with body image issues to how to find the right wig. The organization Look Good Feel Better can help women improve their self-esteem by providing hair, wig and makeup advice. Having a strong social support network of family and friends when dealing with a disease like cancer can make a huge difference. However, many cancer patients find it difficult to relate to their close friends and family and instead find comfort in a support group where they can share their experiences, concerns, frustrations, and fears with other people who are going through the exact same experience they are. For more information on local support groups in Charleston, SC visit http://www.komenlowcountry.org.

Nearly one in four people with cancer suffer from depression. Knowing the signs, such as weight fluctuations, ongoing sadness or apathy, fatigue, difficulty focusing, can help you diagnose depression in yourself or in a loved one. Encourage your loved one to seek help if you suspect they are depressed. Counseling, medication or a combination of both can often help. Seek the guidance and compassion of  a local support group or trained professional rather than suffer in silence.

The Caregiving Burden

Family caregivers often have to make huge sacrifices to be able to take care of a spouse or relative in need. These sacrifices most commonly involve missed time at work, less time to spend with the rest of their family and friends, and fewer hours for themselves. Over time, these daily sacrifices can leave the caregiver feeling both physically and emotionally drained. Recognizing the caregiving “burden” for what it truly is can help a caregiver take the necessary steps to prevent burnout.

A 2009 study entitled “Caregiving in the U.S. A Focused Look at Those Caring for Someone Age 50 and Older” by the National Alliance for Caregiving in collaboration with AARP actually sought to define and measure the “burden” placed on family caregivers by looking at the amount of time they spent providing care each week in combination with the type of daily activities they assist with. According to this study, nearly one-third of caregivers are in a high-burden situation, with caregivers 65 years and older being most likely to have a high burden. This same study found that over 50% of caregivers say that the emotional stress of caregiving is moderate to high. Those who are in a high burden care situation are the most likely to report a high level of emotional stress. Those caring for a family member with Alzheimer’s disease typically fall in the high burden/high emotional stress category as well.

The fact that many people feel forced into caregiving due to lack of options makes the burden feel that much greater. Take steps to ease the burden before it becomes more than you can bear. Connecting with support groups and other caregivers in your situation either in person or on the internet can be an outlet for your emotional stress. Just knowing other people are going through the same thing you are can buoy your spirit through a shared sense of camaraderie. Need other suggestions for maintaining your sanity? Ask family and friends for help, hire a professional caregiver from a trusted company like Home Care Plus to give you much needed breaks during the week, maintain an exercise routine, go on vacation—taking care of yourself is as important to being a good caregiver as anything else you do to help your loved one.

Mark Your Calendars for the 14th Annual Race for the ARK

Saturday, August 24th at 7:45 am

206 Central Ave, St. Luke’s Lutheran Church, Summerville, SC

The proceeds from this 5k support families caring for loved ones with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia. For more information, click here.