Breast Cancer Awareness Month – Tips and Advice for New Cancer Caregivers

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As we begin Breast Cancer Awareness Month, we want to take a moment and help all those new to the caregiving world.

Caregiving is a wonderful and fulfilling role, but it comes with its hardships. That being said, we’ve put together a list of easy tips and helpful advice for new caregivers who will be working closely with patients diagnosed with cancer.

In solidarity with Breast Cancer Awareness Month, here are 5 tips for new caregivers:

1. Don’t Be Afraid to Talk About It

Breast cancer is not taboo.

In fact, one of the best ways to help cancer patients, past and future, is to talk about breast cancer and raise awareness. By openly discussing breast cancer, you remove the stigmas that dance around it. You allow men and women to feel comfortable asking questions and getting tested. You give victims and survivors an opportunity to share their stories and emotions. And, you offer knowledge and insight to those who would otherwise go unaware.

In a sense, talking about breast cancer is almost just as important as any treatment could be.

2. Brush up on Your Facts

The medical industry is constantly publishing new research and documentation. Reading these findings and staying up-to-date on the latest breast cancer news can help you better serve your seniors. Knowing the facts will enable you to make informed decisions in regard to your seniors’ health care, as well as allow you to have constructive conversations with your seniors about breast cancer.

It’s also wise to brush up on the basic facts regarding breast cancer (what it is, preventative care, treatment, etc.), so that you can feel comfortable answering your seniors’ questions on the topic.

3. Ask for Guidance When Needed

Sometimes you just need an outside opinion or new perspective. There’s no shame in that. Even the most experienced medical professionals ask advice from one another. Because, at the end of the day, we’re all in this together.

If you’re feeling uncertain or unsure, never be afraid to ask for help. Reach out to other medical professionals in the field, caregivers, or experienced friends for a little advice and guidance.

4. Separate Your Emotions

Make sure you’re taking your own emotional health into account.

As a caregiver, it’s all too easy to get swept up in the emotions of those you care for. And, sometimes those emotions are extremely intense.

For that reason, it’s important to listen to your seniors and understand what they are going through, but do not let their pain become yours. Know where your emotions end and where your seniors’ emotions begin.

Sympathizing without taking on another’s emotions is a skill that often comes with years of practice. So, if you’re feeling overwhelmed, the best thing to do in the beginning is give yourself a little break – a morning, an afternoon, or a day off. And, be sure to remind yourself of the wonderful work you are doing as a caregiver.

Join our caregivers’ team, contact us today! 215-925-3828

Is this the Last Pandemic? Tips for Seniors and Caregivers to Prepare Mentally and Physically

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It’s crazy to think, but COVID-19 isn’t the first pandemic the world has suffered, and it most likely won’t be the last.

If you check back in history, you’ll notice that pandemics just happen every few decades or so. And, there’s no stopping them. At least for now.

So, the best we can do is prepare in advance, physically and mentally, and be ready for anything.

Here Are 5 Ways Seniors and Caregivers Can Prepare for a Pandemic in the Future

1. Make a list of essentials

It’s hard to think properly in the moment. When Covid-19 first hit, people went running out to the stores, buying everything in sight. This caused major chaos, as well as shortages of even non-essential items.

Avoid the panicked over-buying, and stick to a list. While you have the time to calmly think, now is when you should make a list of all the items you would want to buy if another pandemic hit.

2. Keep an emergency bag handy

You never know how badly a pandemic is going to strike, and how isolated you may end up. So, it’s good to be prepared for worst-case scenarios. Knowing that you’re prepped and ready for even the worst possibilities is a huge stress reducer.

You can buy pre-made emergency kits. Or, you can put one together based on what you, personally, may need. Consider items like: gauze, band aids, pain relievers, heat packs, tissues, fully charged power banks, solar powered flashlights, rope, water, etc.

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3. Stock up on non-perishables and freezer-food

Another item that will make you feel much calmer knowing that you already have is food.

Take some time now before another pandemic comes along to stock up on non-perishables and freezer-food. Nowadays, there are plenty of options out there, so you can really choose what you would actually enjoy eating (and not just old-school camping food).

Some foods you may enjoy are: BPA-free canned salmon, tuna fish pouches, boxed milk, nut or rice milk, coffee, spices, crackers, frozen fruits and veggies.

4. Include some self-care products

It’s important to remember that items for our mental and emotional states are just as essential as items for our physical health. While you’re stocking up on grocery items, throw in a few things for your mental health as well. Things like: face masks, puzzles, adult coloring books, or even a novel or two.

5. Look for sales

Buying all these extra supplies at once can really add up in expenses. And, if you’re looking at your list of things to buy and thinking you need to buy them all at once, you’re probably feeling a bit overwhelmed.

The good news is that since you’re doing this in advance, you have time.

You don’t need to go out of your way to do extra shopping. Simply buy doubles (or triples) of things you’re already purchasing. And, look for sales! For instance, if you’re already buying toothpaste one week, buy an extra tube or two to add to your stockpile. If you are already in an electronics store fixing your computer, grab an extra power bank for your emergency kit.

Prepping should reduce stress not add to it.

If you need our help, AmeriBest Home Care will always be happy to help you prepare for any necessary situation regarding our care for you.
Call the number: 215-925-3313 so that we can be useful to you!

 

5 Popular Pandemic Hobbies for Seniors and Caregivers

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While the world begins to re-open stores, schools, theaters, amusement parks, and more- many seniors and caregivers are still sitting at home waiting for safer conditions before they fully re-enter society.

And with so much time on their hands, they’re looking for more to do than just watch TV or read a book.

If that sounds like you, or someone you know, here’s a list of 5 popular pandemic hobbies to help you occupy your time!

Make the most of your days with worthwhile and enlightening activities.

1. Gardening

As we all strive to navigate through this uncertain time, some hobbies have skyrocketed in popularity.

Gardening is one of those hobbies. In fact, gardening went up 100% on Google Trends– a whopping twice as much as last year!

Gardening is a great way to spend some quality time out in the fresh, open air. And, there’s so much to do: planting new flowers, designing topiaries, growing fruits and vegetables, creating raised gardens beds. The creative possibilities are endless.

2. Cooking

Another fan favorite has been the #QuarantineFifteen.

During the months of quarantine and social distancing, many caregivers and seniors have finally found time to not only enjoy the food they eat, but also the cooking process beforehand. Searches for “recipe” of all kinds went up 100% when compared to 2019’s search trends.

Sitting or standing, humming along to music or listening to a podcast, chatting on the phone or pondering in silence- there are so many ways to enjoy yourself while cooking. Not to mention, the delicious food that comes after!

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3. Pet Fostering

One good thing to come from this pandemic is that animal shelters have emptied tremendously.

Animals give people joy and companionship. So, it’s no surprise that during these trying times, people have flocked to animal shelters to help not only the animals, but also themselves.

One act, two kindnesses.

If you’re looking for way to boost your mood at home, consider fostering a pet for a little extra love and fluffiness in your life.

4. DIY Projects

“Do it yourself” activities have become a huge hit in recent months. With most people stuck at home, it’s been hard to make purchases and hire others to do work around the house. This struggle has encouraged many to start fixing up their homes on their own and even making their own products.

For seniors and caregivers who are goal oriented, DIY’s are a wonderful hobby. There are plenty of easy-to-follow DIY videos online, as well as books and magazines that feature various projects.

Furniture, cosmetics, clothing, stickers, home renovations, jewelry- there’s so much to choose from that you’re bound to find something you just can’t wait to make!

5. Backyard Birding

Spending so much time at home has also allowed seniors and caregivers to gain a new appreciation for their homes and the wonders that reside in their own backyards.

Backyard birding is a calming activity that brings a sense of excitement to your own backyard. You’ll suddenly take note of things you never noticed before like rare birds, unusual melodies, interesting migration patterns, and more.

AmeriBest Home Care caregivers are ready to assist you or your loved one with daily activities so that you can peacefully enjoy your favorite hobbies.
Call AmeriBest Home Care today by phone: 215-925-3313
We will always be happy to take care of you!

4 Quick Tips for Stress Relief in Caregivers

4 Quick Tips for Stress Relief in Caregivers - AmeriBest Home Care

If you follow our blog you definitely know by now: caregiving is hard work.

But, you’ll also know that there are ways to make that work easier. And ways to relieve the stress that comes with the job of caregiving.

So, here are 4 quick tips for caregivers when it comes to stress relief.

Get paid for your caregiving.

Let’s be honest. One of the biggest stresses for caregivers is financial insecurity.
Caregiving is basically a full-time job. And when you’re a family caregiver, you’re usually not getting paid for the time spent caring.

Which means, that you’re working a regular job on top of working regular caregiving hours. And, that equals a huge amount of stress.

But, there is a solution: get paid to caregive.
If you’re caregiving anyway, why not make money doing it? Sign up with home care agencies, like AmeriBest, where you actually get paid to be a caregiver.

At AmeriBest, we also help our caregivers with career growth, experience, and competitive pay.

Take time for yourself.

You may be tired of hearing this one, but it’s so so important that you take time for yourself to refresh and reenergize.

And, you have to actively set aside time to do so. If you just keep saying you’ll relax when you get a break, that break is never going to happen. You have to choose a specific time, let all your friends and family know, and then take that time for yourself.

Caregiving is demanding work. It requires constant focus and decision making, things that often wear a person down. And, worn down people don’t do good work. Which means, that not only are you harming yourself by not taking time to breathe, you’re also harming those you care for.

It’s okay to take a break. We give you permission.

Find meaning in the work you do.

More often than not, we get caught up in the routine of the work we do. On the one hand, this is great, because the less decisions we have to make in a day, the better. On the other hand, when we’re just going through wrote motions, we don’t challenge ourselves, and we don’t find meaning in the work we do.

As conscious beings, we need meaning. And when we don’t have it, we start to feel stressed out and down about ourselves.

Solution? Once a week, take a bit of time to process what you’re doing and why. Caregiving is important work. It’s work that matters. It’s work that makes a huge positive difference in someone else’s life.

And you need to remind yourself that, every once in a while.

Spend time with friends.

Friends make us happy.
They know what we need, and they know how to make us feel better.

But most importantly, spending time with friends means getting out of the house and focusing on something other than caregiving. So, meeting up with friends every now and then is a great way to relieve stress. Because, whether you use the time to vent or catch up, you’re giving your mind time to relax and enjoy life.

Something we all need to do.
Stay happy!

Welcoming Men into the World of Caregivers

Welcoming Men into the World of Caregivers - AmeriBest Home Care

Or, saying hello to the many that are already here.

For years, caregiving has been dominated by women. Accompanied by the picture-perfect image of a kindhearted young girl sitting beside a senior citizen, reading books and drinking tea.

Okay, so maybe that’s more of the image presented in historical fictional pieces on television.

But the fact still stands: men are not often associated with the idea of caregiving for the elderly.
And the truth is: there are already many male caregivers, and there are many more on their way.

Some men are embarrassed to admit it because of the stereotype that has surrounded caregivers for so many years. And, some men don’t even realize that what they are already doing -caring for a parent or spouse- is, in fact, considered caregiving.

So, for all the men out there who already identify as caregivers, and for all the men out there who want to be caregivers, here are some tips and tricks of the trade specifically for you.

Be proud of what you do.

We sometimes get caught up in the appearance of what we do, and what others might think of the work we do. But, we’ll tell it to you straight: being a caregiver is a wonderful thing.

As a caregiver, you are dedicating your time to helping another life the best life that they can. You are giving up night outs or days in, to make a huge positive difference in someone else’s life.

Caregiving is one of the most self-less jobs you could have. And for that, you deserve all the respect and recognition that one can give.

You should be proud of being a caregiver and yell it to the streets.

Be even more proud of what you do.

Now, there’s another extremely important reason you should be proud of being a caregiver.
When you’re embarrassed about the work you do, it shows in how you work. It shows in the little grimaces you might make here and there, and the sluggishness you might have when doing a job.

Seniors sense this unease and that makes them feel uneasy as well. And, when everyone is feeling uneasy, it makes for a weird atmosphere. Not just weird, but lonely and a little bit sad.

If you really want to be a great caregiver, you need to be proud of the work you do and show it!

Get paid for the work you do.

Since men are relatively new to the field of caregiving, they’re not always part of caregiving communities.

This means, they miss the memo: you can get paid to be a caregiver.

Homecare agencies, like AmeriBest Home Care, will actually pay you to caregive. Not only that, but they’ll also give you the training and advice you might need to be an outstanding caregiver.

Caregiving alone is hard. But when you’re getting paid and you have people to rely on, it makes the whole thing so much more enjoyable.