Providing care for aging parents and children at the same time

caring for both children and parents

If you're one of the millions of people caring for both your children and your aging parents, you are part of the so-called "sandwich generation."

Caring for children and parents simultaneously can leave you drained, depressed -- and unhealthy. Empower yourself with knowledge and good health to make the best of a difficult situation:

Plan for the future. Although difficult to address, it's important to discuss such things as living wills, medical power of attorney and even estate planning.

Talk with your children. Discuss the changes taking place and ask for their help and understanding. Reassure them that you are not abandoning them, but you have new responsibilities that may require more of your time and resources.

Take a break every day. Avoid burnout by spending at least a few minutes each day relaxing. Prayer, meditation, or even a short walk can help rejuvenate you.

Delegate. If someone offers to help, take them up on it. Also, hold a family meeting with siblings and extended family to cover topics such as time and financial issues.

Adjust your attitude. The way you perceive a situation will largely determine how stressful that situation is for you. By changing your attitude to a more positive perception, you often can reduce the amount of stress you feel. Set realistic expectations of yourself and your world.

SHOP Amazon's Top 100* Best Selling Vitamins & Nutritional Supplements
+ Free Shipping & Returns on Eligible Items.
(*Amazon's Top 100 list updated hourly.)

Learn to manage time efficiently and focus on improving your communication skills.

Talk with someone who has already been there or take a caregiver training class. You can learn everything from how to properly bathe someone with limited mobility to how to handle medical equipment.

Maintain your health. Eat a balanced diet and don't abandon your exercise routine. Plus, be sure to get at least 7.5 to 9 hours of sleep per night. This is especially important for care- givers who can be drained emotionally, physically and mentally.

Arm yourself with knowledge. A multitude of resources is available for caregivers.

  • Services -- The eldercare.gov web site can help you find local services.
  • Benefits -- At benefitscheckup.org you can find help with any federal, state and local program benefits your relative qualifies for.
  • Assistance programs -- The web site benefits.gov and Tips and Resources for Caregivers by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services can help you find which government benefits you may be eligible for and provide information on how to apply for assistance.
  • Tips regarding Long-Term Care, Long-Distance Caregiving and more -- You'll find publications, videos, answers on caring for others (and yourself) at National Institute on Aging: Caregiving

In Canada, visit servicecanada.gc.ca for information on available assistance.

Above all, don't be afraid to ask for help. If you feel you are drowning in responsibility or are confused about which steps to take, share your concerns with friends, a therapist or clergyman. Recognize that asking for help is a sign of strength, not of weakness.

Sources include:
Caught Between Your Parents and Your Children, D. Wayne Matthews, Human Development Specialist, North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service.


Boise Tips for Healthy Living...

Medication mix ups and accidents are on the rise.
Here are tips for preventing dangerous medication mishaps.
medication mixups

Over the last decade, many adults and seniors have ended up in the hospital because the medications they expected to help them actually hurt them. Unfortunately, bad reactions to medications are on the rise, according to a report by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), a division of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Between 1997 and 2008, hospital admissions doubled among Americans aged 45 and older for medication and drug-related conditions. These hospital admissions include the effects of prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) medicines as well as illegal drugs.

The AHRQ blames the increase on three types of medication and drug-related conditions:
  1. Drug-induced delirium, which is general confusion and agitation caused by drugs.
    Common causes are drugs for sleeping, nausea and pain. Elderly patients are more sensitive to medicines than younger adults.
  2. Poisoning or overdose from codeine and other narcotic medicines.
    Bad reactions from narcotic pain medicines are especially common in older adults.
  3. Withdrawal from prescribed medicines or illegal drugs.
    Drug withdrawal occurs when someone suddenly stops or takes much less of a drug after being on it for a long time.

You can lower your chance of problems with your medication. First, don't take medicine that is not prescribed for you. Also, remember that it is not safe to drink alcohol when you take medicine for sleeping, pain, anxiety or depression.

To reduce your chances of complications from medicine, the AHRQ offers this checklist:

  • Bring a list or a bag with all your medicines when you go to your doctor's office, the pharmacy or the hospital.
    Include all prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins and supplements. Remind your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to any medicines.
  • Ask questions.
    Ask your doctor or pharmacist to use plain language. It may also help to write down the answers or bring a friend or relative with you.
  • Make sure your medicine is what the doctor ordered.
    Many drugs look alike and have names that sound alike. Check with your doctor or pharmacist to be sure you have the right medicine.
  • Learn how to take your medicine correctly.
    Read the directions on the label and other paperwork you get with your medicine. Medicine labels can be hard to understand. Ask your pharmacist or doctor to explain anything you do not understand. Are there other medicines, foods or activities (such as driving, drinking alcohol or using tobacco) that you should avoid while using the medicine? For example, ask if "four doses daily" means taking a dose exactly every six hours or just during regular waking hours. Ask what "take as needed" really means.
  • Find out about possible side effects.
    Many drugs have side effects. Some side effects may bother you at first but will get better later. Others may be serious. If a side effect does not get better, talk to your doctor.

Make your medicines work for you, not against you. By taking steps to get the best results from your medicines, you can help prevent problems.


From the Research Desk...

A good mood may boost the brain function
mood and brain function

Columbus, OH - A good mood can help older adults improve their decision-making and working memory, say researchers from Ohio State University.

In the study, half the participants were given a thank you card and two bags of candy to help boost their mood; the other participants did not receive anything. All participants then completed tasks that tested their memory and decision-making. Those given gifts performed better on both tasks than those without gifts.

"Our findings show how simple methods to improve mood can help improve cognitive functioning and decision performance in older adults, just like they do in younger people," said study co-author Ellen Peters.

How TV affects children: Too much TV for kids could lead to psychological problems

Bristol, England - Kids who spend two or more hours watching TV or on the computer are more likely to have psychological problems than kids who don't, according to research from the Centre for Exercise, Nutrition and Health Sciences at the University of Bristol in England. how tv habits effect behaviorThis was true regardless of how much daily exercise the children got.

The study was based on the self-reported TV and computer usage of 1,000 children between the ages of 10 and 11. They also completed a questionnaire which rated their emotional, peer, conduct and hyperactivity problems.

Researchers say that they can't determine if media exposure causes the psychological problems or if troubled youth simply seek out screen time. Study authors suggest that limiting screen time may be important for ensuring children's future health and well-being.

As a side note, The American Academy of Pediatrics' position is to discourage any media time for children under the age of 2; it's better that they be involved in interactive activities. And, though it is likely to be met with resistance, the AAP also suggest limiting older children's TV, video game and computer time to no more than 2 hours per day. (A couple tips they suggest are to hide the remote and allow no TV in the childrens' bedrooms.) It is more beneficial for children, they believe, to be reading, talking or taking part in exercise or outdoor activities.

Low Prices on Best Selling VITAMINS &
SUPPLEMENTS

SHOP NOW AT AMAZON

spacer
Latest Boise health posts:
A Sampling of Today's Health News Headlines
NBC News Health
NBC News Health
NBC News Health
08/21/2018 11:50 AM
New cervical cancer guidance: Use HPV tests
Women over 30 can wait five years between tests if they get the HPV test, a panel of experts says.
09/24/2018 02:50 PM
10 fall recipes to add to your menu right now
Cauliflower, pumpkin and other staples of the autumn harvest are now in season. Think outside the (farm share) box with these creative recipes.
09/24/2018 01:43 PM
Pain device zaps spine, helps patients walk
The experiments show that the spine can act on its own to move limbs, the researchers say.
09/24/2018 11:27 AM
CIA Director Gina Haspel pledges to target opioids entering the U.S.
In her first public appearance as director, Haspel was not asked about Trump's criticisms of the intelligence community.
09/23/2018 02:34 PM
Coca-Cola's interest in CBD a sign of high hopes
Cannabidiol, a compound of marijuana that does not get the user high, is becoming popular in consumer products but needs more research, experts say.
09/23/2018 09:38 AM
Why New York State is making teachers and kids talk about mental health
Psychologists and other mental health experts say it’s a big deal.
09/21/2018 06:39 PM
FDA approves first spray-on skin product
The ReCell product will transform how burns are treated, its developers say.
09/21/2018 12:19 PM
Alzheimer's cases to nearly triple by 2060, CDC says
African Americans and Hispanics are hardest hit by the growing epidemic, the statistics show.
CNN.com - RSS Channel - Health
CNN.com - RSS Channel - Health
CNN.com delivers up-to-the-minute news and information on the latest top stories, weather, entertainment, politics and more.
09/24/2018 10:52 PM
Drugmaker touts major heart benefits of fish oil derivative
Irish pharmaceutical company Amarin sent a glowing announcement to investors Monday that its drug Vascepa, a purified fish oil derivative, was linked to a 25% reduced risk of major cardiovascular events such as heart attack and stroke.

09/24/2018 03:21 AM
Breastfeeding better for babies' weight gain than pumping
Research has already shown a link between breastfeeding and lower obesity risk for babies. But a new study finds another association: "Breast is best" for them even compared with giving babies breast milk out of the bottle.

09/24/2018 07:44 AM
Obesity to become leading cause of cancer in women
Obesity is set to overtake smoking as the leading preventable cause of cancer in women in the UK, a new report warns.

09/24/2018 05:12 AM
Are you tall? Watch out for varicose veins
Height may be a genetic risk factor for varicose veins, according to a study researchers are calling "the largest genetic study ever performed for varicose vein disease."

09/21/2018 03:49 AM
4 diseases cause the majority of human deaths -- and most countries are failing to tackle them in time
More than half of all UN countries will fail to honor their commitment to reduce premature deaths from cancer, cardiovascular disease, chronic respiratory disease and diabetes by 2030, a new analysis predicts.

09/21/2018 11:46 AM
1 in 20 deaths globally are a result of alcohol use
Over three million people died from alcohol consumption in 2016, equating to 1 in 20 deaths globally, according to a new report by the World Health Organization.

09/21/2018 03:02 PM
Rate of Americans living with Alzheimer's expected to double by 2060
As the aging population of the United States grows, a new study from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that from 2014 to 2060, there will be a 178% increase in the number of Americans who have Alzheimer's disease and related dementias.

09/24/2018 01:07 PM
'Amazing' treatment helps paralyzed woman walk again
Kelly Thomas is paralyzed from the chest down and can consciously control her ability to walk, researchers say, thanks to a stimulation device in her lower back. Two studies released Monday show three paralyzed patients can walk again.

Health – TIME
Health – TIME
Current & Breaking News | National & World Updates
09/24/2018 03:19 PM
This Medical Clip May Be a Powerful Treatment for Heart Failure, Study Says
A seemingly simple but sophisticated clip may usher in a “new era” for patients suffering from a severe and difficult-to-treat complication of heart failure, according to a new study. The device, called the MitraClip, reduced hospitalizations related to heart failure by nearly half and deaths by nearly 40% among patients with a specific and serious…
09/24/2018 02:47 PM
One in Three Older Americans Is Lonely. Here’s What Could Help
Loneliness poses a threat to public health
09/22/2018 02:50 PM
U.N.: Excessive Drinking Killed Over 3 Million People Worldwide in 2016
237 million men and 46 million women reportedly faced alcohol problems
09/21/2018 01:53 PM
Giving Ecstasy to Octopuses Taught Researchers Something Important About the Brain
The drug prompted social behavior
09/21/2018 12:54 PM
Bill Gates Talks to TIME About a Coming ‘Third Wave’ of Development in Africa
Simple interventions can mean huge results, he says
09/21/2018 11:34 AM
When a Hurricane Hits, Having Dementia Adds an Extra Challenge — And Even More Risk
Families are struggling to protect their loved ones
09/21/2018 10:53 AM
A Prominent Researcher on Eating Habits Resigned After a Scandal Over His Studies
JAMA retracted six of his studies this week
09/20/2018 04:29 PM
Michael Phelps Opens Up About Retirement and Mental Health Awareness: ‘I Struggle Through Problems Just Like Everybody Else’
Since Olympian Michael Phelps swam his last competitive race at the Rio Olympics, he's been busy fighting for water conservation and advocating for greater mental health awareness
 
Copyright 2018 BoiseHealth.com. All rights reserved. rss Subscribe to our RSS
Information provided here should not be relied on to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any condition, disease or illness. Please consult with your physician or health care professional for guidance on any health concern. BoiseHealth.com is a commercial website and is not affiliated with any government agency, university, or private medical center. COMPENSATION DISCLOSURE: This site may be compensated for products promoted here. Read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.