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.

What to Do When Your Loved One Is Coming Home from the Hospital

Posted by: The Bristal

Your loved one is about to come home from the hospital. Are you properly prepared for the homecoming? The answer to this question can be critically important, helping to determine whether your loved one’s return leads to a successful recuperation, or with a readmission to the hospital.

According to the U.S. Administration on Aging, one in five Medicare patients is readmitted to a hospital within 30 days of discharge, and a frequent contributing factor is inadequate access to proper resources at home. Advance planning and preparation can help ensure that your loved one has the resources he or … read more

Posted in: Caregiving & Family
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How Caregivers Can Help Loved Ones with Oral Care

Posted by: The Bristal

As seniors age, they become more vulnerable to dental and gum problems. The danger is especially great for persons with dementia, who may lose the ability to properly practice oral care and be unable to alert caregivers to developing problems. However, caregivers can take several important steps to help their loved ones head off or lessen the effects of oral problems.

Several factors combine to make dental and gum problems more common among seniors. The Centers for Disease Control notes, for example, that gum recession, common in advanced age, exposes more and more of the dental roots to food, often resulting … read more

Posted in: Caregiving & Family
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Helpful Relaxation Techniques for People with Dementia

Posted by: The Bristal

Anxiety and panic attacks often afflict people with symptoms of dementia, especially in the early stages of the disease, as they first come to grips with the loss of memory and declining cognitive capabilities. Caregivers can help calm their loved ones with a number of time-tested relaxation techniques. Not all of them will work in every circumstance, or with every individual, so a caregiver may have to take a trial and error approach to determine what steps are most helpful in getting a loved one to relax.

Begin by making your own assessment as to what factors seem to trigger anxiety … read more

Posted in: Alzheimer’s & Memory Care, Caregiving & Family
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How to Help an Aging Loved One During a Hospital Stay

Posted by: The Bristal

Hospital stays tend to be especially stressful for seniors, who must give up the familiar surroundings of home in exchange for the strange environment of a medical facility. However, there are many things that a senior’s spouse, children or other caregiver can do to reduce the stress and anxiety from an aging loved one’s experience in the hospital.

Here are some helpful tips: For starters, be aware that in recent years, geriatric specialists increasingly have called attention to the phenomenon known as hospital-acquired delirium, a temporary form of mental impairment that may affect seniors in a hospital setting, especially those in … read more

Posted in: Caregiving & Family
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Ways to Boost Your Energy as a Caregiver

Posted by: The Bristal

The physical demands of taking care of a loved one can make the caregiver feel drained of energy at times. The caregiver may even be making the problem worse by practicing eating and lifestyle habits that contribute to the energy drain, or by overlooking opportunities to become more energetic. If you are a caregiver who feels in need of an energy boost, consider the following suggestions:

Eat the proper foods. It is hard to overstate the importance of proper food choices on boosting and maintaining energy levels. For example, while sugary snacks often are intuitive choices for a quick energy boost, … read more

Posted in: Caregiving & Family
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How Caregivers Can Get Better Sleep

Posted by: The Bristal

Providing care for a loved one can be stressful, and frequently results in sleep deprivation for the caregiver. This can endanger the caregiver’s health and possibly impair the level of care that he or she provides. Therefore, it is extremely important to take steps that can help the caregiver get better sleep.

The reasons for sleep deprivation are numerous, and may include factors such as anxiety about what lies ahead for your loved one, worry about financial strains, feelings of guilt or inadequacy in dealing with your loved one’s condition, and, of course, the sheer strain of dealing with day-to-day physical … read more

Posted in: Caregiving & Family, Senior Care
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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

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