Medication on My Mind: Tips For Remembering – By Jennifer L. FitzPatrick

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Missing or doubling up on medication can cause major problems for older persons, including unnecessary hospital visits.  If you are prescribed multiple medications or taking care of someone who is, remembering what drug to take when can be a real chore.  Here are 6 simple tips for making medication management less challenging:

1)      Set timers on your cell phone.

2)      If you are married or coupled up, make it a habit that both of you take medicines at the same time.

3)      Use the Lively Safety Watch which offers med reminders.

4)      Use an old-fashioned pill box with dividers for days and time of day.  While not fancy, it is very effective for people who take multiple meds.  Set up a time every week or two to focus on filling the sections with the appropriate medicine.  Be sure to not allow distractions like tv or texts when doing this.

5)      Consider using an old-fashioned paper and pencil tracking system.

6)      If an older adult is still struggling with medication management after trying a system, consider whether it’s time for hiring a home care aide or going to assisted living.  Often the inability to be medication-compliant is a red flag that more help is needed.

If you want more tips on how to more efficiently care for an older loved one, check out www.cruisingthroughcaregiving.com.

 

Jennifer L. FitzPatrick – MSW, LCSW-C, CSP
The founder of Jenerations Health Education, Inc., Jennifer FitzPatrick has over 20 years’ experience in healthcare and gerontology. The author of Cruising Through Caregiving: Reducing The Stress of Caring For Your Loved One, she is also a gerontology instructor at Johns Hopkins University and an Education Consultant to the Alzheimer’s Association. She helps you reduce stress and increase productivity, morale and revenue. Jennifer and Cruising Through Caregiving have been featured in Forbes, U.S. News & World Report, The Huffington Post, Reader’s Digest, Univision and The Chicago Tribune. She has also appeared on ABC and Sirius XM.

You Need To Call This Non-Profit Today! – By Jennifer L. FitzPatrick

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When you are taking care of a sick or disabled loved one it’s possible that you may have overlooked one of the best sources of free and low cost help in your community.

Check out Jen’s video on what non-profit you need to call today:  Click here.

 

Jennifer L. FitzPatrick – MSW, LCSW-C, CSP
The founder of Jenerations Health Education, Inc., Jennifer FitzPatrick has over 20 years’ experience in healthcare and gerontology. The author of Cruising Through Caregiving: Reducing The Stress of Caring For Your Loved One, she is also a gerontology instructor at Johns Hopkins University and an Education Consultant to the Alzheimer’s Association. She helps you reduce stress and increase productivity, morale and revenue. Jennifer and Cruising Through Caregiving have been featured in Forbes, U.S. News & World Report, The Huffington Post, Reader’s Digest, Univision and The Chicago Tribune. She has also appeared on ABC and Sirius XM.

Tips for Traveling with a Loved One Who has Dementia – By Stephanie Goldstein, BSW, LBSW

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We are just past the mid-point of summer but it’s still prime travel time. A family friend’s recent experience prompted me to examine and evaluate the idea of traveling with someone who has a dementia diagnosis. They were staying in a small-town South Carolina resort (about a 14 hour car drive from New Jersey.) Unfortunately, during the vacation, the person with dementia was hospitalized with pneumonia and was admitted to the ICU (intensive care unit) of a small hospital.

The wife of the patient with dementia was left alone when her adult kids returned to their homes since she did not bring a paid caregiver on the trip. The hospital staff were not equipped to handle his needs and did not provide adequate support or an appropriate plan of care. Their disappointing experience was a harsh reminder of the challenges of traveling with someone who has dementia, what can happen, and why being prepared with a plan is imperative.

Families often plan “one last big trip” with a loved one who has Alzheimer’s disease or another type of dementia.  Here are tips to make this trip as stress-free as possible:

  • Bring copies of all legal paperwork (advance directives, POA)
  • Bring insurance cards and a list of medications
  • Learn the area ahead of time (local hospitals, pharmacies, urgent cares)
  • Place a bracelet on your loved one that identifies them, the emergency contact and diagnosis.  Enrolling your loved one in the Alzheimer’s Association’s Safe Return program (www.alz.org) is a great idea.
  • Be sure to let your loved one’s regular doctor know you are going on vacation and communicate with your provider if there is a hospitalization

As a caregiver, consider the following for yourself:

  • Carry an identification card stating you are a caregiver of someone with dementia and who to contact in the event of an emergency
  • Have the name, location and phone number of where you are staying on vacation on your person
  • If you can, bring along a companion/caregiver to assist with the travel and trip

If you implement these tips, your trip is more likely to be less stressful and fun for everyone, including your loved one with dementia. Safe travels!

 

Stephanie Goldstein, BSW, LBSW, has been in healthcare for over 15 years. Her experience includes both working directly with patients and as a manager in mental health and long term care. She is passionate about educating patients and families on options while promoting self-determination for those with complex physical, cognitive or mental health diagnoses. A frequent guest lecturer for Johns Hopkins University’s Certificate on Aging program, she also loves teaching professionals about best practices in working with older generations.

Is Reverse Ageism A Problem In Your Workplace? By Jennifer L. FitzPatrick

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You wouldn’t dream of making racist or sexist remarks in the workplace, right?  So why do some workplaces tolerate ageist comments? Older adults are no strangers to this phenomenon but reverse ageism is now impacting younger employees in the workplace.  Check out Jen’s new video on how to handle reverse ageism in the workplace:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MMMZ62S7Kc4&t=143s

 

Jennifer L. FitzPatrick – MSW, LCSW-C, CSP
The founder of Jenerations Health Education, Inc., Jennifer FitzPatrick has over 20 years’ experience in healthcare and gerontology. The author of Cruising Through Caregiving: Reducing The Stress of Caring For Your Loved One, she is also a gerontology instructor at Johns Hopkins University and an Education Consultant to the Alzheimer’s Association. She helps you reduce stress and increase productivity, morale and revenue. Jennifer and Cruising Through Caregiving have been featured in Forbes, U.S. News & World Report, The Huffington Post, Reader’s Digest, Univision and The Chicago Tribune. She has also appeared on ABC and Sirius XM.

Three Ways Working Caregivers Can Improve Their Mental Health On A Budget – By Jennifer L. FitzPatrick

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Working caregivers helping out sick or disabled loved ones are often trying to balance far too much. Career, business travel, kids, and running a household are already overwhelming. But when you add caregiving to an already maxed out schedule, a working caregiver’s life can seem utterly unmanageable. One of the best ways to get back into balance is to take better care of your mental health. But many working caregivers are on a tight budget due to paying for home care, assisted living or other services for their sick loved ones. Here are three ways working caregivers can tend to their mental health on a budget:

1. See if your employee benefits offer employee assistance sessions. Sometimes the first few sessions are totally free and don’t require a co-pay.

2. Seek a free or low cost mental health clinic. Many mental health clinics exist across the United States and they have sliding scale or even free counseling services. Often they utilize students working on masters and doctoral degrees in psychology, social work, marriage and family therapy or other relevant degrees. While you may not get the most experienced therapist in the world, you will receive help from someone who has some training and certainly supervision by a licensed professional.

3. Consider a support group. They exist to offer support for nearly anything you may be struggling with. There are thousands of support groups available throughout the country that specifically help caregivers. But there are some support groups that specialize in hoarding, depression, anxiety, diabetes, grief, etc. They are almost always free, exist in pretty much every community and are typically led by a qualified trained professional.

 

Jennifer L. FitzPatrick – MSW, LCSW-C, CSP
The founder of Jenerations Health Education, Inc., Jennifer FitzPatrick has over 20 years’ experience in healthcare and gerontology. The author of Cruising Through Caregiving: Reducing The Stress of Caring For Your Loved One, she is also a gerontology instructor at Johns Hopkins University and an Education Consultant to the Alzheimer’s Association. She helps you reduce stress and increase productivity, morale and revenue. Jennifer and Cruising Through Caregiving have been featured in Forbes, U.S. News & World Report, The Huffington Post, Reader’s Digest, Univision and The Chicago Tribune. She has also appeared on ABC and Sirius XM.