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Caregiving Chronicles

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Caregiving Chronicles

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Caregiving Chronicles will present news and analysis on caregiving topics in MetroWest and around the world, in-depth Q&As with experts in fields related to caregiving and updates and announcements about caregiving resources available in MetroWest from CaregivingMetroWest.org Program Director Douglas Flynn.


By DebraMcDonagh / May 18, 2020

The 2020 U.S Census

Download our flyer for more information.

Confidentiality.

Your responses to the 2020 Census are safe, secure, and protected by federal law. Your answers can only be used to produce statistics—they cannot be used against you in any way. By law, all responses to U.S. Census Bureau are kept completely confidential.

Why a Complete Count Matters.

Responding to the census helps communities get the funding they need and helps businesses make data-driven decisions that grow the economy.

Census data impacts our daily lives, informing important decisions about health care, senior centers, jobs, political representation, roads, schools, and businesses.

More than $675 billion in federal funding flows back to states and local communities each year based on census data.

BayPath Elder Services is providing support to complete the 2020 U.S. Census.

We can come to your home – by appointment – to:

  • Explain how your information is secure and cannot be shared.
  • Help you complete it online.
  • Support you if Spanish is your primary language.

Please contact

Edmilse Diaz directly at: 508-573-7237

BayPath Elder Services está proporcionando apoyo para completar el Censo de los Estados Unidos de 2020.

Podemos venir a su casa – con cita antes – para:

  • Explicar cómo su información es segura y no se puede compartir.
  • Ayudarle a completer el Censo.
  • Apoyarte si el español es tu idioma principal.

Póngase en contacto directamente con

Edmilse Diaz al:

508-573-7237


By DebraMcDonagh / May 18, 2020

The following information is a direct cut & paste from: Mass.gov and Partners in Health.

Answer the call and help stop the spread of COVID-19

The MA COVID Team and local boards of health are working together on a contact tracing program to help reduce the spread of COVID-19 in Massachusetts. Contact tracing is an important tool, and the MA COVID Team is part of the Community Tracing Collaborative created by Governor Charlie Baker

If you have tested positive for COVID-19:

Everyone who has tested positive will get a call from their local board of health or the MA COVID Team, making sure you have the support you need, and to find out who you have recently been in contact with. The MA COVID Team or the local board of health will then talk to those contacts, encouraging them to get tested and to stay at home to avoid spreading the virus further.

Together with massive testing and hospital care follow up, contact tracing is absolutely essential to stop the virus and get our communities moving again.

Answer the Call, Stop the Virus!

  1. You will receive a phone call from the MA COVID TEAM. The area codes will either be: 833 or 857. It is important to ANSWER THE CALL. Answering the call helps everyone in our communities – someone else may be depending on your important input!
  2. How can I verify MA COVID Team is calling? MA COVID Team uses the area code 833 or 857 and your phone will say the call is from “MA COVID Team.” Calls will be made daily from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. The MA COVID Team will not ask for social security information or health insurance information.
  3. What happens on the call? During the phone call a Case Investigator will ask you for a list of all the people and places you were within 6 feet of during the 48 hours prior to your symptoms. For those who do not have symptoms, include all contacts 48 hours prior to your diagnosis. The Case Investigator will also ask for the phone numbers of any people you identify so that they can be reached and notified about their exposure.
  4. Do I have to tell everyone I come in contact with? While we encourage you to inform your contacts about your illness, the state will not share your information. The MA COVID Team will call your contacts and tell them they have been exposed to COVID-19 so they can get tested but will not release your name. This process is called contact tracing, and it is a very important part of fighting this pandemic and stopping transmission.
  5. Will my personal information be shared? The state will not share any information with immigration officials or ICE.
  6. What support will I get? If you are staying at home during the isolation period, the Case Investigator will also discuss any needs you may have for this time and may connect you with a Care Resource Coordinator who will help you get the support you need.
  7. How often will I be called? A Case Investigator and/or your local board of health will check in on you regularly to monitor your symptoms and needs.

LEARN MORE:
To learn more about contact tracing visit:

mass.gov/matracingteam

https://www.mass.gov/info-details/learn-about-the-community-tracing-collaborative


By DebraMcDonagh / May 13, 2020

You Are Not Alone! 

The National Alliance on Mental Health (NAMI) is honoring this awareness month by revealing just how many millions of Americans deal with some form of mental illness every day. 

The the goal is to break down the generalizations, negative connotation, and the stigma about mental health in general. This comes from understanding more about what a mental health condition is

A mental illness is a condition that affects a person's thinking, feeling, behavior or mood. These conditions deeply impact day-to-day living and may also affect the ability to relate to others. If you have — or think you might have — a mental illness, the first thing you must know is that you are not alone.

Mental Health Conditions. 

NAMI's website provides easy to understand information explaining the difference between these more common conditions.

Anxiety Disorders

Bipolar Disorder

Borderline Personality Disorder

Depression

Dissociative Disorders

Eating Disorders

Obsessive-compulsive Disorder

Posttraumatic Stress Disorder

Psychosis

Schizoaffective Disorder

Schizophrenia

This graphic shows how prevalent mental illness is in modern society. 

 
Where to Get Help

Don’t be afraid to reach out if you or someone you know needs help. Learning all you can about mental health is an important first step.

Reach out to your health insurance, primary care doctor or state/country mental health authority for more resources.

Contact the NAMI HelpLine to find out what services and supports are available in your community. 

If you or someone you know needs helps now, you should immediately call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or call 911.

 

 


By DebraMcDonagh / May 11, 2020

In this time of the COVID-19 Pandemic, we are inundated with news that can be potentially frightening and politics that are downright upsetting (no matter what side you are on). But there is something beautiful coming out of all this negativity. It is a sense of overall human compassion toward neighbors, within communities, and even extending out to supporting strangers. 

A March 30, 2020  article on verywellmind.comHow to Practice Empathy During the COVID-19 Pandemic,’ written by Kendra Cherry and medically reviewed by Carly Snyder, MD explains how empathy not only benefits the recipient but the giver as well.

“There are many benefits to practicing empathy. Empathizing with others can help you feel less lonely and more connected. It also increases the likelihood that people will reach out and help others when they need it.

In addition to boosting social connectedness and increasing helping behaviors, empathizing with others also improves your ability to regulate your emotions during times of stress. Feeling empathy allows you to manage better the anxiety you are experiencing without feeling overwhelmed.”


Real-life selflessness and compassion for BayPath consumers 

Here are two real-life examples of families and communities coming together to selflessly do something that brightened the day of some of our homebound seniors and other BayPath Consumers. 

Northborough:

When in need of masks for BayPath Consumers, Fran Bakstran, Area Agency on Aging Assistant Director at BayPath, connected with Laura Ziton from Northborough.

Laura is highly active in the Northborough community, and in particular, heads up Boy Scout and Girls Scout troops. One of her goals is to connect the younger residents with the older adults in the community to promote inter-generational compassion and companionship.     

When Laura heard of BayPath's need for masks, she was happy to help and coordinated Daisy Troop 64393 to help with the project. They quickly realized that mask making supplies were in high demand, and so with the help of the Daisies, Laura sourced materials online. The troop also received a very generous donation of fabric from Northborough resident Cindy Ironson. To further demonstrate this community's dedication and teamwork, Laura's parents, Alan and Mary Archibald, made the masks!

On behalf of the BayPath consumers and their caregivers, we are very thankful for all to all who contributed to making the masks. The donated cloth masks have been distributed to our elder consumers and their families and caregivers as needed. 


Framingham:

Anna Cross, Executive Director of the MetroWest Nonprofit Network*, reached out to BayPath with an idea of sending handmade, personalized cards out with our Meals on Wheels deliveries to help those who receive meals feel a bit of extra kindness during the pandemic. Anna is active within the Framingham community and its school system. Her thinking was to also provide a great project to the school children who are e-learning and need some fun things to do during this time.

Nutrition Director Denise Menzdorf loved the idea, and the collaboration began. The endeavor took on the name of "The Nonna Project." Nonna, Anna's mother, was an avid traveler and collected many postcards along the way. In Anna's words, "My parents came to this country in 1956, leaving their parents behind, and my mother always felt that we had missed having connections with our own grandparents, so she regularly "adopted" grandparents for us. We all grew up spending lots of time in the company of elders – this is just another way for all of us to keep the connection going." 

Elena Staroselsky, a kindergarten teacher in Framingham, is Nonna's granddaughter, Anna's niece. Together, they are actively working with the school children and are hoping to get a few Girl Scout troops involved.

We could not be more grateful for this family effort and the happiness it has brought to older homebound adults in our Meals on Wheels program. When we thanked Laura, her reply was, "Thanks for giving us the opportunity to share our mom and her joy of life with others." This story is a real-life definition of giving from the heart!


BayPath extends our deepest gratitude to Laura and Anna and everyone one who was involved in these two wonderful projects. Your efforts truly brought smiles to many of our consumers faces and brightened their day!
 

*The MetroWest Nonprofit Network supports and strengthens the local nonprofit community by connecting people and their organizations to resources, expertise, and each other. 
 


By DebraMcDonagh / April 28, 2020

Social and Physical Distancing, Self-Quarantine, Isolation, Flattening the Curve.

We have all heard, "stay at home," "wash your hands," and "don't touch your face." But facts are essential right now to reduce an inclination toward panicking. So, what actually is the difference between social distancing and self-quarantine? 

Johns Hopkins Medicine explains key phrases associated with the pandemic: 

Social distancing or Physical Distancing is deliberately increasing the physical space between people to avoid spreading illness. Staying at least six feet away from other people lessens your chances of catching COVID-19. Other examples of social and physical distancing that allow you to avoid larger crowds or crowded spaces are: 

  • Working from home instead of at the office
  • Closing schools or switching to online classes
  • Visiting loved ones by electronic devices instead of in person
  • Canceling or postponing conferences and large meetings 

What is self-quarantine? People who have been exposed to the new coronavirus and who are at risk for coming down with COVID-19 might practice self-quarantine. Health experts recommend that self-quarantine lasts 14 days. Self-quarantine involves:

  • Using standard hygiene and washing hands frequently
  • Not sharing things like towels and utensils 
  • Staying at home
  • Not having visitors
  • Staying at least 6 feet away from other people in your household

What is isolating? For people who are confirmed to have COVID-19, isolation is appropriate. Isolation is a health care term that means keeping people who are infected with a contagious illness away from those who are not infected. 

  • Isolation can take place at home, or a hospital, or care facility.
  • Special personal protective equipment will be used to care for these patients in health care settings.

What is "flattening the curve?" Flattening the curve refers to using protective practices to slow the rate of COVID-19 infection, so hospitals have room, supplies, and doctors for all of the patients who need care. 

To read more detail on each term, you can view the entire Johns Hopkins article by clicking here.


By DebraMcDonagh / April 17, 2020

This post has been written by Renee D'Argento, Healthy Living Program Coordinator at BayPath.  Renee has a B.S. in Physical Education/ Exercise Science from UMass Boston and a Health Management Certificate from the Graduate School of Public Health at UMass Lowell. Learn more about our Healthy Living program 

Caregiving of our loved ones can bring enormous rewards as well as great demands and challenges.  

It is typical for caregivers to be so consumed with the daily caring of their person’s increasing needs and decreasing abilities, that they often ignore taking care of their own needs. 

Please know that you are not alone in sometimes feeling overwhelmed by the demands of caregiving and that you have little time. You may be dealing with difficult emotions such as sadness, negative feelings/thoughts, and even guilt. This is normal.

But, if these feelings are preventing you from acting on your responsibilities, realize that it has been shown that those who take the time to take good care of themselves – physically, emotionally, socially, and even spiritually – are often better able to face the challenges of caregiving and experience the greatest rewards. 

The COVID crisis has added increasing demands that can magnify many of the emotions we feel and therefore, practicing self-care is more important than ever to helping us make the best of these circumstances. The challenge is that It can be difficult to find the alone time you need to de-stress and help you mentally refresh.

Here are some suggested self-care activities, followed by a great tool from the Savvy Caregiver toolbox that can help:

  • Practice simple breath awareness for 10 minutes a day. You can do this to a relaxation CD or DVD, or to soft music you enjoy.
  • Try a mind-body practice like yoga, tai chi, meditation, and deep relaxation techniques. 
    • Find a TV show or video that can help facilitate peaceful relaxation and gentle movement.
    • I like these Crystal Lee YouTube videos because they are good for a variety of fitness levels. Her hand drum meditation video provides nice peaceful relaxation with singing birds in the background. 

  • Enjoy sitting quietly with a cup of tea and a good book.
  • Get Moving, physical activity such as going on a walk, or even 10 minutes of exercise a day. Maybe this is something you can do around your house or apartment.
  • Gardening, or bird watching. Another activity that can potentially be done from the inside or outside.
  • Make eating well and getting quality sleep priorities. 
  • Remain socially connected. Find support through local caregiver groups. You may find there are some in your community holding virtual meetings.

Now imagine that your Fairy Godmother has granted you 5 wishes. I call it Fairy Godmother time. You will use this exercise to gather a list of ideas for what you would like to do - should the minutes of free time become available. The idea is that free time could appear at any moment and you need to be ready to take advantage-not waste precious minutes thinking about what you want to do. You will draw from this list when the opportunity presents itself. Once you have your list, place it on your refrigerator, or where you easily view it when the opportunity arises.

Your Fairy Godmother has granted you 5 wishes. 

You have been granted 5 different amounts of free time. You can choose to do whatever you want, but not chores or errands.

So here it is. Make your list. What will you do with:
1.    15 Minutes of Free Time
2.    30 Minutes of Free Time
3.    1 Hour of Free Time
4.    Half Day of Free time
5.    One whole day free of caregiving responsibilities!!!


By DebraMcDonagh / April 1, 2020

The extra stress of being a family caregiver during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak

I am a caregiver to my 81-year-old mother. She is in reasonably good health and mentally vibrant. But like many older adults, my mother's social circle is small, and she often spends a large part of her day alone. 

My Mom has been relying solely on the media's depiction of the spread and risks of the coronavirus. As a result, she is agitated and fearful, thinking about the virus all day long. This stress is exacerbating her high blood pressure. I understand this is an unprecedented time for all of us, so below is the advice I took and used and it has helped relieve a bit of stress from my Mom.


The facts will help maintain a sense of control instead of being ruled only by fear.

We should also stay informed through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or similar agency. They are updating their website content regularly, with fact-based, current information, which is easy to understand. 

As a caregiver, it is my responsibility to stay continually informed with the current facts regarding COVID-19. Hence, as I touch base daily with my Mom, I can relieve her undue anxiety from supposition and media hype - through the use of facts. The rapid spread of the coronavirus is real and can be very scary, especially for someone who is at high risk.

The CDC advises family caregivers to:

Before You Get Sick, Make a Crisis Plan:

  • Who is going to take care of your kids? Your care care recipient ? Your dog?
  • Identify nearby friends or family members who can help and are not in a high-risk population.
  • Post potential caregiver contact information prominently so that emergency responder can find it. [source: wired.com]

If you are caring for someone with COVID-19 at home:

The CDC also offers:

AARP always offers sage advice:

  1. Limit news consumption
  2. Practice calming techniques
  3. Move your body 
  4. Connect with loved ones via phone or video chat
  5. Listen to music, find activities that bring joy 
  6. Get Stuff Done
  7. Find ways to laugh

Last, here are several ways to stay informed with the facts:

Massachusetts Department of Public Health
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
World Health Organization
Harvard Health Publishing - Harvard Medical School


By DebraMcDonagh / March 16, 2020

As coronavirus spreads, there are more questions than answers. 

 
 

Harvard Medical School  has developed a resource webpage that will provide regular updates, working with the CDC and the World Health Organization. It is an infomrative resource that addresses many common and some not so common questions about the virus.

One topic, "The importance of Soical Distancing" was presented in such a user-freindly manner that makes perfect sense to us, the layperson. With that said, we decided to simply cut and paste the content here, with a link to the source, and give full credit to the wonderful life saving advice from the folks at Harvard Medical School and Harvard Publishing. 


What is social distancing and why is it important?

The COVID-19 virus primarily spreads when one person breathes in droplets that are produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. In addition, any infected person, with or without symptoms, could spread the virus by touching a surface. The coronavirus could remain on that surface and someone else could touch it and then touch their mouth, nose or eyes. That's why it's so important to try to avoid touching public surfaces or at least try to wipe them with a disinfectant.

Social distancing refers to actions taken to stop or slow down the spread of a contagious disease. For an individual, it refers to maintaining enough distance (6 feet or more) between yourself and another person to avoid getting infected or infecting someone else. School closures, directives to work from home, library closings, and cancelling meetings and larger events help enforce social distancing at a community level.

Slowing down the rate and number of new coronavirus infections is critical to not overwhelming hospitals, which could lead to large numbers of critically ill patients not receiving life-saving care. Highly realistic projections show that unless we begin extreme social distancing now — every day matters — our hospitals and other healthcare facilities will not be able to handle the likely influx of patients.



What should and shouldn't I do during this time to avoid exposure to and spread of this coronavirus? For example, what steps should I take if I need to go shopping for food and staples? What about eating at restaurants, ordering takeout, going to the gym or swimming in a public pool?

The answer to all of the above is that it is critical that everyone begin intensive social distancing immediately. As much as possible, limit contact with people outside your family.

If you need to get food, staples, medications or healthcare, try to stay at least six feet away from others, and wash your hands thoroughly after the trip, avoiding contact with your face and mouth throughout. Prepare your own food rather than going to a restaurant or even getting takeout. It's best to avoid the gym; but if you do go, be sure to wipe down anything you are about to touch, and once more after you use the equipment. Again try to keep a distance of 6 feet or more from others. Since the virus won't survive in properly treated pool water, swimming should be okay as long as you avoid close contact with other people.

Here are some other things to avoid: playdates, parties, sleepovers, having friends or family over for meals or visits, and going to coffee shops — essentially any nonessential activity that involves close contact with others.


What can I do when social distancing?

Try to look at this period of social distancing as an opportunity to get to things you've been meaning to do.

Though you shouldn't go to the gym right now, that doesn't mean you can't exercise. Take long walks or run outside (do your best to maintain at least six feet between you and non-family members when you're outside). Do some yoga or other indoor exercise routines when the weather isn't cooperating.

Kids need exercise too, so try to get them outside every day for walks or a backyard family soccer game (remember, this isn't the time to invite the neighborhood kids over to play). Avoid public playground structures, which aren't cleaned regularly and can spread the virus.

Pull out board games that are gathering dust on your shelves. Have family movie nights. Catch up on books you've been meaning to read, or do a family read-a-loud every evening.

It's important to stay connected even though we should not do so in person. Keep in touch virtually through phone calls, Skype, video and other social media. Enjoy a leisurely chat with an old friend you've been meaning to call.

If all else fails, go to bed early and get some extra sleep!

FAQs about Coronavirus and COVID-19


By DebraMcDonagh / March 5, 2020


A FREE six-session training series for family and friends who are active caregivers of a loved one with Alzheimer’s or a related dementia.

This is a FREE six-week sessions!


DUE TO ON-GOING CONCERNS ABOUT CORONAVIRUS - CLASSES HAVE BEEN POSTPONED. PLEASE CALL:

Renee D’Argento, BayPath Healthy Living Coordinator
508-573-7214 | rd'argento@baypath.org

Marlborough starting on March 18

  • 6 weeks on Wednesdays from 12:00 – 2:00
  • Hosted at: Marlborough Senior Center, 40 New St., Marlborough, MA
  • FREE Respite Care 11:30 AM-2:30 p.m. (Please arrange in advance by calling: 508-485-6492
  • Includes Lunch (Suggested donation $15)
  • Download the flyer

Please arrive 15 minutes early for check in.


For more information and to register for either class please call or email:

Renee D’Argento, BayPath Healthy Living Coordinator
508-573-7214 | rd'argento@baypath.org

MINIMUM NUMBER OF PARTICIPANTS ARE REQUIRED TO HOLD PROGRAM


Note: These programs are made possible in part through a grant provided by the Administration on Community Living and Massachusetts Executive Office of Elder Affairs as granted by BayPath Elder Services

If you would like to make a voluntary donation, please mail a check to: The Healthy Living Department, BayPath Elder Services, 33 Boston Post Rd West, Marlborough, MA 01752. Your donations are put directly toward enhancing availability of our healthy living programs. Thank you!
 


By DebraMcDonagh / February 29, 2020

Compassion Fatigue:

I came across an article on www.agingcare.com written by Carol Bradley Bursack entitled, Compassion Fatigue: When Caregivers Go Beyond Burnout. The article explains that most caregivers have heard about burnout, but that many are unfamiliar with the concept of compassion fatigue or how these two conditions differ.

When caregivers focus on others without practicing self-care, destructive behaviors can surface. Apathy, isolation, bottled up emotions, and substance abuse head a long list of symptoms associated with the secondary traumatic stress disorder now labeled: Compassion Fatigue.

Extreme and prolonged stress produces feelings of hopelessness, indifference, pessimism, a lack of empathy, and overall disinterest in other people's issues.

The caregiver seems to develop compassion fatigue after months or years of seemingly endless caregiving responsibilities. When a caregiver suddenly feels a total sense of detachment from their care recipient, the condition escalates and causes resentment, guilt, and a diminished sense of self.

Warning Signs of Compassion Fatigue:

  • Feeling overwhelmed, exhausted and drained
  • Avoidance and not wanting to be around your loved one (choosing to work late, daydreaming about no longer having to care for them, etc.)
  • A decrease in patience and tolerance
  • Angry outbursts that are uncharacteristic of your behavior
  • Cynicism and hopelessness
  • Heightened anxiety
  • Impaired ability to make care decisions

If you feel this way, it is time to step back from your caregiving role. You are putting yourself and your care recipient at risk of physical harm and severe health risks. According to dailycaring.com, if your compassion fatigue levels are increasing, talking with a counselor or therapist can bring relief. Therapy guides you on how to cope with negative thinking, stress, depression, and anxiety. A therapist can guide you toward practical ways to reduce compassion fatigue and manage the tough emotions that come with being a caregiver. Read the full article for many more tips, advice, and resources. How to Cope with Compassion Fatigue: 8 Tips for Caregivers.

Caregiver Burnout

Healthline shared an article entitled: How to Care for Yourself When You Have Caregiver Burnout, which was written by Nancy Moyer, MD, and medically reviewed by Deborah Weatherspoon, Ph.D., RN, CRNA.

The article defines caregiver burnout as the feeling of being overwhelmed. Feeling physically, emotionally, and mentally exhausted from the stress and burden of caring for their loved ones. The caregiver starts to feel alone, unsupported, or unappreciated.

You still care, but you're losing the energy to continue the daily responsibilities of the role. Almost every caretaker experiences burnout at some point, but when not addressed, the level of care provided does diminish.

General warning signs and symptoms for caregiver burnout include:

  • Anxiety/depression
  • Avoiding people
  • Exhaustion/irritability
  • Feeling you're losing control of your life
  • Neglecting your needs and health

It's essential to be aware of the warning signs of caretaker burnout and recognize when you have them.

What can you do to prevent Caregiver Burnout from escalating into Compassion Fatigue?

The Healthline article provides several tips for family caregivers to set boundaries, ask for help and maintain their health.

Ask others for help. Remember that you don't have to do everything. It's OK to ask friends and family to do some of your caretaking tasks. Talking about what you're going through and getting support from family and friends helps you process your feelings and emotions. Holding everything in can make you depressed and contribute to feeling overwhelmed. Consider seeking professional counseling, if necessary. We offer tips on how to ask for help and how to set boundaries.

Be honest with yourself. Know what you can and can't do. Do the tasks that you can, and delegate the rest to others. Say no when you think a job will be too stressful or you don't have time to do it.

Talk to other caregivers. Sharing your experience helps you to both get support, but also allows you to give support and encouragement to others going through something similar. Visit our website for a list of caregiver support groups in MetroWest.

Take regular breaks. Breaks help relieve some of your stress and restore your energy. Use the time to do the things that relax you and improve your mood. Even five-minute breaks can help.

Avoid Isolating. When you do have some "you time", meet up with friends, or go out for exercise or pursue a hobby. By doing things you enjoy, you are positioning yourself not to feel all alone and provide a sense of happiness rather than hopelessness.

Pay attention to your feelings and needs. It's easy to forget to take care of your needs when you're a caretaker. It's essential to focus on yourself regularly throughout the day, as well as looking out for your loved one.

Take care of your health. Keep your regular doctor appointments, including for preventive care, take your medications, and see your doctor when you feel sick. If you aren't healthy, you can't take care of someone else.

Eat a healthy diet. Eating nutritious meals improves energy and stamina. But, if you find you are not eating in a way that a dietitian would be proud of -- still avoid junk food or deeply processed food, and too much caffeine.

Exercise. Exercising is a great way to relieve stress, increase energy, and take time for yourself. It can also improve depression. Even a walk around the block counts!

Maintain your sleep schedule. Getting enough rest is vital for your well-being and to maintain your stamina.

Take Family leave. If you work and are starting to feel like you cannot do both, use the family leave benefits available to you.

Consider respite care. When you need a break, using respite care for a few hours is an option in most places. We offer a list of respite services on our website. If you are caring for a loved one with dementia, consider attending memory cafes with them. Its a nice break for both of you. We offer a list of MetroWest Memory Cafes.


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BayPath Elder Services, Inc

The BayPath Family Caregiver Support Program and CaregivingMetroWest.org has been made possible by funding from the Older Americans Act as granted by Executive Office of Elder Affairs. Participants may make a voluntary donation toward the cost of this federally funded service. Click here for more information.

CaregivingMetroWest.org was originally made possible, in part, by generous grants from the MetroWest Health Foundation. Additional funding support was graciously donated by Avidia Bank from 2018 – 2021.

Thank you, MetroWest Health Foundation and Avidia Bank, for enabling BayPath Elder Services to provide support and resources to family caregivers.