Caregiving & Family Blog

We offer our compassion and valuable resources to help support caregivers. We understand that caring for loved ones comes with many lifestyle changes. The Bristal’s family support resources are designed to help you adjust to the lifestyle changes both you and your loved one are experiencing. For more information on support for caregivers, please view our posts below.

Organization Tips for the Caregiver of an Aging Parent

Posted by: The Bristal

The practice of staying organized can help anyone at almost any age, but it is particularly beneficial when it comes to taking care of an aging parent. For caregivers, balancing responsibilities at home and work can be challenging because they may feel they’re being pulled in two different directions. Also, a caregiver may be overwhelmed upon discovering the full scope of what is involved in the caregiving process. However, the organization tips below can help provide caregivers with a tighter focus and a better handle on their loved one’s circumstances, while alleviating some of the potential stress.

Here are some suggestions … read more

Posted in: Caregiving & Family
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Things to Consider When Deciding to Be a Caregiver for an Aging Parent

Posted by: The Bristal

If you’re thinking about becoming a caregiver, there are certain tangible and intangible factors that should be carefully considered before taking on this important role. In this blog, we take a look at the intangible influences that commonly affect the relationship between a caregiver and an aging loved one. Becoming a caregiver for a loved one can sometimes trigger certain emotions and feelings, so it may be beneficial to consider the following factors.

• The Way You Communicate Might Change. If you decide become a caregiver, you may sometimes find it challenging to communicate with an aging … read more

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How to Give Yourself a Break When Caring for Someone with Alzheimer’s

Posted by: The Bristal

Caring for a parent or spouse who has Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia can be a stressful undertaking. In many cases, caregivers must maintain constant vigilance to ensure the safety of their loved one. For these caregivers, it might be difficult to take time to run errands, exercise, or simply enjoy a few minutes of relaxation. Caregivers who have full-time or part-time employment face an even more difficult balancing act. If you are a caregiver who is encountering these sorts of challenges, do not despair: There are ways to give yourself a break.

Below are three suggestions.

• Organize … read more

Posted in: Alzheimer’s & Memory Care, Caregiving & Family
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Great Holiday Gift Ideas for Seniors

Posted by: The Bristal

Finding gift ideas for seniors who have everything is a challenge, but if you think outside the box, it’s easier than you realize. Here are some tips for coming up with thoughtful and creative gifts that your senior loved ones will appreciate this year.

How to Come up With the Perfect Gift for a Senior

• Be sensitive to your loved one’s individual needs and capabilities. If they’re mobility-challenged, a ski weekend isn’t likely to go over well.

• Be practical. If they have no need to wear a tie, don’t buy them one.

• Be thoughtful. … read more

Posted in: Caregiving & Family
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What are Warning Signs that Aging Parents Need Help?

Posted by: The Bristal

Most seniors want to live independently as long as they are able, but the time may come when your aging parents need more help. Unfortunately, it’s not always obvious when that time does come.

For example, you may wonder whether a loved one is experiencing memory loss—or simply the normal forgetfulness that occurs with aging. You may wonder if a parent needs to move from home to an assisted living community, or whether some other residential setting might be a better option.

Communicating with your aging parents may also pose a challenge. Many … read more

Posted in: Caregiving & Family
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Make Memories with These Engaging Family Traditions

Posted by: The Bristal

At this time of year, many people are finalizing plans to celebrate holidays with family members. Travel arrangements are, naturally, a focus of our attention, but plans for creating or continuing family traditions during the upcoming gatherings are equally important.

Traditions, which encompass the passing of customs, stories and beliefs from generation to generation, make family gatherings especially memorable and strengthen feelings of kinship. For the young, traditions provide a sense of love and belonging that can result in the formation of fond memories lasting a lifetime. For the old, they provide a sense of continuity. For those in … read more

Posted in: Caregiving & Family, Lifestyle Blog
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How to Dispose of Medication Safely

Posted by: The Bristal

If your medicine cabinet is full of old, unused and expired medications, it’s time for a clean sweep. That’s because old meds can become less effective, fall into the wrong hands (like the grandchildren’s) or poison a pet. But it’s not a good idea to just toss the pills in the trash or flush them. There are important safeguards you should follow when disposing of medications—to protect yourself, your family and potentially even the environment. (Nobody wants meds in their water supply!) So here’s your quick and simple guide for proper medication disposal.

Option 1: Find a Drop Box

The best … read more

Posted in: Caregiving & Family
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Memory Books: Telling Your Senior’s Life Story

Posted by: The Bristal

“I wish you had known Mom when she was younger.”

“If only you could have gotten to know Dad before the Alzheimer’s.”

Have you ever said something like this? Sometimes you may feel as if Alzheimer’s or dementia has not only stolen memories but also diminished part of what made your loved one special. You may long for ways to preserve those memories and keep them alive.

One avenue for doing that is creating a “memory book”—a homemade compilation of photos, stories, and mementoes that help tell the life history of a person with dementia. A memory book can help create a … read more

Posted in: Alzheimer’s & Memory Care, Caregiving & Family
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Assistive Technology for Seniors

Posted by: The Bristal

Most of us typically think of the younger generation when the talk turns to new technology products. Baby boomers and even their parents, however, are using high tech solutions to stay connected and maintain independence. As we look ahead, there are greater opportunities on the horizon for technology to support older adults. Self-driving cars and caregiver robots may soon become a reality.

Today’s Technology to Help Seniors

If you are a senior searching for solutions to help you maintain your independence at home or an adult child concerned about a parent’s safety, there are a wide variety of options to consider. From … read more

Posted in: Caregiving & Family
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Seniors & Driving: Finding the Right Car

Posted by: The Bristal

Most people associate driving with independence. Being able to drive independently is how we get from place to place and stay connected with family, friends and our community. But aging creates undeniable physical changes. Some of which may make driving a little more challenging. Reduced range of motion and vision impairments are two common examples.

In many respects, seniors are considered to be among the safest drivers on the road. They tend to wear their seatbelts in greater numbers, rarely drink and drive, and are more likely to obey speed limits. What puts them at greater risk, however, is they … read more

Posted in: Caregiving & Family, Lifestyle Blog
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