Caregiving Questions
Caregiving QuestionsChronic
How does one cope when one is the full time caregiver of a spouse with a chronic illness?

How does one cope when one is the full time caregiver of a spouse with a chronic illness?

I asked a friend, Nancy, to respond to this question and also to describe some of her daily challenges:

The “uneventful everyday” is a mixed blessing when caring for a person with a chronic illness, in my case caring for a person with Parkinson ’s disease (PD). One person described living with PD was like trying to drive with the brakes on.

Aging & ElderlyAlzheimer's DiseaseCaregiving Questions
What are the early signs of Alzheimers Disease?

What are the early signs of Alzheimers Disease?

Dear Karen,
How do I know if my mom has Alzheimer’s disease? What are some of the early signs of this disease? -Betty

Dear Betty:
Good question, Betty. Many people, including myself, want to know what signs to look for. For wisdom on this subject I went to wonderful resource, Coach Broyles’ Playbook for Alzheimer’s Caregivers. Frank Broyles, is Athletic Director Emeritus for the University of Arkansas Razorbacks. His wife, Barbara, was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. Frank says, “I had many questions and spent a lot of time looking for answers. What I learned is contained in my book, Playbook for Alzheimer’s Caregivers.”

One of the first topics which Coach Broyles deals with in his book is what signs to look for.

Caregiving QuestionsDeathIllnessesTerminal
How can we care for those who are terminally ill?

How can we care for those who are terminally ill?

Margaret Vermeer served as a missionary in Nigeria. When she was seven months pregnant, she received the report that a biopsy of a small tumor was malignant. Five weeks after the surgery to remove the tumors, she gave birth to a son, then began chemotherapy and radiation treatments. For two years she had a miraculous remission, but then gradually more tumors appeared.

Caregiving Questions
How can we take care of the caregiver?

How can we take care of the caregiver?

Being a caregiver—especially a full-time caregiver-- is one of the most taxing roles many of us will ever find ourselves in. Because of the obligations to those we care for, it is often unthinkable to consider ways to care for ourselves. Yet, it is critical that we do. Finding ways to refresh and nurture our spirits in small ways can provide a deep peace that goes a long way towards improving our mental and spiritual health, as well as our physical health.

Caregiving Questions
Why God?

Why God?

Dear Karen:

I have been a caregiver for 15 years. I recently had to assist in reporting a case of elder abuse. It was not physical abuse, but my patient’s grand children were taking money from her without her permission. My patient has dementia. Someone else reported the stealing, I just verified the facts, and the family blamed me. They assumed I made the initial call. I told them that I spoke to the agency involved—legally I had to reveal the facts as I saw them. I’ve been treated terribly. I had to resign. My heart is broken. How do you cope with the sudden separation? I acted out of concern for my patient. Now she will be placed in assisted living—a far cry from the life she is accustomed to. Her husband will remain in a long term rehab center and will not be able to join his wife. She will wither and die because her children are not active in her life. I am asking God to show me how to understand.

AbuseCaregiving Questions
How do I know if a person is being abused?

How do I know if a person is being abused?

Years passed. I married a wonderful Christian man and two years into our marriage our first little girl was born. In the days that followed, the harder I tried to care for our vulnerable, colicky baby, the more desperate and out-of-control I became. That desperation triggered the memory of the helplessness that I felt as a ten-year-old. My past began to haunt me. Migraine headaches and nightmares became frequent. I struggled with intense explosive anger. I was depressed, critical with my husband and I felt undeserving of God’s love.

Caregiving Questions
How can we offer hope to someone who is suffering?

How can we offer hope to someone who is suffering?

If you lose hope, somehow you lose the vitality that keeps moving, you lose that courage to be, that quality that helps you go on in spite of it all. - Martin Luther King, Jr.

Providing hope to someone whose days are dark with worry or who is suffering with a serious illness is also giving them courage and the vitality to keep moving. What are some things we can do to bring that touch of hope?