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Billy Graham is 99

Did you know Rev. Billy Graham turned 99 this week? He is world famous for preaching and leading many to the Christian faith. No matter your belief system, to think of his life in terms of commitment, is amazing. I hope we can celebrate again one year from now at 100!

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Caregiving for the elderly

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Have you ever considered the complex job of being a caregiver for an elderly individual?  Did you know that in the United States, the vast majority of care that allows older people to live at home is provided by family members?

Imagine this scenario:  you are an older adult, doing all the caregiving for a spouse with dementia.  You are trying to keep your life-long partner at home.  You have adult children, but they live hours away, or in a different state.  Your spouse with dementia can no longer drive, manage finances, or cook.  Your spouse is now having trouble with simple tasks, like showering.  To make things more complicated, you just found out you  have stage 1 cancer.  Can you manage alone?  Can you afford paid help?  Are you able to ask others for help?  Below are some of the many tasks caregivers provide.

PRIMARY CAREGIVERS:

-provide personal care (i.e., helping with a  shower)

-do household chores (clean dishes, do laundry & vacuum)

-run errands (grocery shopping, purchasing supplies, clothing)

-cook

-manage all aspect of finances

-complete yard work, and home maintenance

-provide transportation (ie, to the doctor’s office, to church, to the pharmacy)

-keep a calendar up-to-date (this can become complex depending on the diagnosis)

-coordinate or arrange volunteer or paid services (i.e., sitters)

-take time to provide companionship (i.e., going for a ride to get a favorite treat)

-shop for birthday or holiday gifts for other family members

-do end-of-life planning (i.e. creating a Living Will, updating legal documents, or even pre-planning funeral arrangements)

Some caregivers do all of this, with no help at all.  It is easy to see how a spouse who is elderly, could easily become anxious, over-whelmed, depressed, and sheer exhausted- placing their physical or mental well-being on the “back burner”.  Let us all take the time to reach out to the elderly we see at our place of worship, in our neighborhood, through or work, or in our extended community and ask how they are doing?  Could they use some help?  Or perhaps don’t ask, just bring over some cookies and start a conversation to show you care.

 

 

 

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Artist Michael Reagan

Have you ever been inspired by a senior who his making a difference in the world?  Here is a video on artist Michael Reagan, a man who has taken his love for art and turned his craft into fundraising for charity and donating art to the family of fallen American soldiers.

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Grandparents Matter

Have you ever considered how important your grandparents were to your life? Or perhaps, on the flip side, how you are influencing your grandchildren?

There is a web-site that provides some great tips to active grandparents. Check it out at:

http://www.grandsmatter.org

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Lack of Sleep- How It Hurts You

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We all know infants and teens need a lot of sleep, because their bodies are changing so rapidly.  But, when we consider adults, and the elderly, we often don’t associate sleep as something we “need”.  Some people are even proud- stating to others, that they only need “5 or 6” hours of sleep.

I recently read a fascinating article regarding our “catastrophic” lack of sleep, and that research shows that it is linked to a host of fatal diseases.  A professor at Berkley states that sleep deprivation affects “every aspect of our biology”.  A lack of sleep has been “linked to cancer, diabetes, heart disease, stroke, Alzheimer’s disease, obesity and poor mental health among other health problems”.  The article goes on to say that anything less than 7 hours of sleep is bad for our health.  Many view the need for more sleep as a trait of being lazy.  In short, the article states that a lack of sleep is killing us, and that we need to change our view of sleep and get more of it on a regular basis!

For more, read the article below.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/sleep-deprivation-epidemic-health-effects-tired-heart-disease-stroke-dementia-cancer-a7964156.html

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Teepa Snow, Leading Expert on Dementia

 

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This week, I had the opportunity to attend a work shop on dementia by one of America’s leading experts on the topic; Teepa Snow.  It was both informative, and funny as she kept our attention the entire six hours.  Below, is a clip from her site.  She has a great deal of information you can use to improve your care for those with dementia.

http://teepasnow.com/resources/teepa-tips-videos/dementia-101/

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Live Life to the Fullest

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