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Archive: April 2018

How Caregivers Can Practice Self-Care

Posted on April 24, 2018   |   
Author: Gretchen   |   
0 Comments   |   
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This blog post was written by guest writer, Harry Cline, author and caregiver

 

For many caregivers, finding the best ways to ensure their loved one is well taken care of while also taking care of their own needs can be overwhelming. This is especially true for those who are charged with caring for an elderly family member. Balancing self-care with the correct amount of attention to their patient’s needs isn’t always easy and can lead to guilt or other negative emotions. It’s important to remember that, as a caregiver, it will be impossible for you to properly tend to your patient if you yourself aren’t happy and healthy. There are more tips and resources at the Caregiver Action Network.

Self-care involves a number of aspects, from ensuring that you get enough rest, to figuring out a daily exercise routine that will help you stay strong. Caregiving can take a physical toll, so finding a good way to keep yourself fit and in shape will help prevent injuries. 

Get in a workout

Taking care of your body is an essential part of being a caregiver and it can help you stay healthy while giving you an outlet for any frustrations or negative feelings you may have. Create a daily workout routine that incorporates all the things you need to feel good. One great exercise is yoga because it keeps you physically fit while allowing you to meditate and focus on the present moment, which will lower your anxiety. Also, consider learning more about stretching, which is wonderful for relieving stress. There are several stretchesthat can be done anywhere, and quickly, which makes it easy to fit stretching into your daily routine.

Surround yourself with support

Caregiving can be a very demanding job in a lot of ways, so it’s important to surround yourself with people who support youand will help out when you’re feeling overwhelmed. It’s also a good idea to maintain a healthy social life since being a caregiver will often require that you to be present for your loved one for many hours of the day. Maintaining friendships and other relationships will help your mental health even when the work becomes difficult. 

Eat well

Because caregiving can be such a difficult job, it’s essential to keep your strength up. Eating well-balanced mealswill help give you the strength—physically and mentally―to carry out even the most demanding tasks during the job. Pay attention to your body and its needs, particularly when it comes to the times between meals. If you work long hours, pack healthy, protein-rich snacks that you can grab quickly. 

Find a hobby

Having a hobby that you enjoy doing is a great way to relieve stress at the end of a long day, and it can help act as a sort of therapy when you’re feeling down. Whether it’s something creative, such as painting or writing, or social, such as playing basketball with a group of friends, having something to look forward to will let you release energy and make you feel healthier.



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Tags: Caregivers Exercise support
Categories: Quality of Life

Applying for Disability Benefits

Posted on April 02, 2018   |   
Author: Gretchen   |   
13 Comments   |   
Like 8 Likes

This blog post was written by Cynthia Flora, patient advocate and head of NTM Support Group

Applying for disability with the Social Security Administration (SSA) can be a daunting task, but also is working with chronic lung conditions. My best piece of advice is EDUCATE YOURSELF AND PUSH FORWARD. If your symptoms and/or side effects from medications are making it difficult to work, think about getting more information and possibly applying. Typically, this process gets more difficult each year as the agencies have less money and our population ages. The level of difficulty will depend in part upon your local office.

I was lucky enough to find knowledgeable, kind employees that I could sit down with and actually helped talk me through the process. Go in armed with a clear one-page synopsis of dates, diagnoses, symptoms, and ways your condition affects your work, etc. You can always expand from there. If you cannot go in person and have to do it via phone, I would not recommend spending much time with a worker who is not being helpful, even though you may have to wait for another phone rep. Keep in mind that a bit of kindness and gratitude on the phone often goes a long way when you are asking someone to help.

Everyone is on his or her own journey. As for me, not long after I began a three year stint on the "big three antibiotics", it was obvious to me that my new job should be staying well. Exhaustion and the fear of getting the flu or an upper respiratory infection every time I used a phone, computer, or fax machine that a sick co-worker had just touched made work a huge impediment.

In general, the older you are, the sicker you may be, and the more difficulties you face doing your current job are key factors. You do NOT want to put a brave face on your condition. You want them to understand how difficult your worst days can be. If awarded disability your monthly payment will be the amount you would receive had you remained working and applied for Social Security at your full retirement age. This varies with age due to the government chipping away at benefits. You can look it up on your individual SSA account or call the SSA if you can't figure it out.

HTTPS://WWW.SSA.GOV/DISABILITY/

HTTPS://WWW.DISABILITYBENEFITSCENTER.ORG/SOCIAL-SECURITY-DISABLING-CONDITIONS


 

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Tags: Applying for social security bronch and NTM disability respiratory issues
Categories: Awareness

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