Caregiver, I’ve Got 2. Can I do (this) for you?

We’ve been asking wrong from the beginning. “Hey, let me know how I can help,” you say sincerely. “No, I am fine,” replies the family caregiver.   Sound familiar? The problem is that the caregiver is overwhelmed and doesn’t realize how you can help because they are singularly focused on providing the best possible care for their loved one.  (Let’s be honest — loved one may be a stretch in some cases.) Additionally, caregivers seldom self-identify as a caregiver or someone who needs help.  They may see your assistance as defeat or a sign of weakness. November is Family Caregiver Month which makes it the perfect time to find a caregiver and suggest ways to potentially make their life a little easier. The best part […]

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Burdens of spousal caregiving alleviated by appreciation, study finds

The fact that spouses often become caregivers for their ailing partners is quite common in American life — and few roles are more stressful. Yet helping behaviors, which are at the core of caregiving, typically relieve stress, according to Michael Poulin, an associate professor in the University at Buffalo Department of Psychology. When discussing spousal care, the draining demands of caregiving and the uplifting effects of helping stand in apparent contrast to one another. But recent research shows that the time caregivers spend actively helping a loved one can improve the caregiver’s sense of well-being — and now, Poulin, an expert in empathy, human generosity and stress, is part of a research team that has published a study exploring why that’s the case. Their research […]

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Malnutrition Is Affecting Too Many Older Adults

What is malnutrition? It simply means poor nutrition. Malnutrition is related to an excessive or imbalanced diet (a diet that lacks essential nutrients) or can be tied to clinical conditions that impair the body’s absorption or use of food. Significant Costs Malnutrition is a growing health problem with real consequences to its victims and to our nation. It is estimated that disease-related malnutrition costs the U.S. $157 billion annually, with older adult malnutrition alone costing $51.3 billion a year. Malnutrition also creates a 300% increase in health care costs. Further, one in three hospital patients is malnourished upon admission and almost one-third of U.S. patients (31%) experiences declines in nutritional status while in the hospital. Malnutrition increases the length of hospital stays on average by four to six days. Also related to malnutrition is sarcopenia […]

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