in support of National Caregiver Month (November) I want to share a couple info graphics that really summarize current understanding of caregiving. National caregiving month started in 1997 by the National Family Caregivers Association and began as a week of acknowledgement during Thanksgiving. Now, it has evolved into a month-long celebration of family caregivers!
Take the time to read these infographics and appreciate the contribution made by family caregivers! much love.
In light of National Caregiver Month, I wanted to share some tips from the Parkinson Disease Foundation on being in a “care partnership”:
I prefer to call this relationship a “care partnership” because I believe it is one that is truly reciprocal. As a person with PD adjusts to physical changes and, at times, to changes in personal independence, the care partner must learn to adapt to a different relationship dynamic and perhaps to greater “ownership” of duties that their partner had previously handled.
- Your experience is unique – respect your own journey
- Even though you didn’t sign up for this role, it doesn’t mean you can’t be GOOD at it!
- Have open communication
- Don’t let the disease define you
- Find a GOOD doctor and go as a team
- Don’t apologize for getting a second opinion, that’s taking care of yourself
- Learn about PD step-by-step
- Educate others on PD
- Actively find support to help you manage the day-to-day AND to share your thoughts, feelings, experiences and valuable information
- Discuss future financial and medical plans NOW
- Remember: SELF-CARE IS NOT SELFISH!
For more details on these items, check out: www.pdf.org/pdf/fs_pd_partnership_08.pdf
In celebration of National Caregiver Month (November!), I want to share the idea that caring for a chronically ailing or disabled family member might be good for you! … what? Really? After all, we hear about caregivers being depressed, stressed, and fatigued…
Dr. David Roth, in the American Journal of Epidemiology (2013), presents his “healthy caregiver hypothesis” and shows non-caregivers have higher mortality rates than caregivers! Thus, we can’t dismiss the idea that caregiving can help increase physical activity, mental stimulation (multitasking!), social connection, sense of purpose and usefulness (L. Freedman)!
Paula Span, of The New York Times’ “The New Old Age Blog” does a great job of summarizing these findings here
! On a side note, I had the pleasure of hearing Paula at the keynote address at the Canadian Association on Gerontology meeting last month (see HERE
and pic below).
… and I love this quote:
“caregivers are among the privileged ones who can make a difference in the life of the patient”.
Don’t forget to hug a caregiver this month! much love.
Last week I mentioned some specific exercises targeted to PD symptoms (see HERE and HERE)… today I want to share WHY exercise is so important for brain health.
New Research out of the Dana-Faber Cancer institute and Harvard Medical School (Spiegelman & Greenberg, Cell Metabolism 2013) shows that endurance exercise, such as distance running or cycling, releases a protein (FNDC5) that improves brain health while promoting the growth of nerves associated with cognition.
In laboratory rats, PGC-1α (which is also found in humans) led to improvements in protein FNDC5 and Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factors (BDNF). PGC-1α is thought to coordinate the gene response to exercise, blood pressure and development of obesity.
Exercise stimulates BDNF expression in the hippocampus, the part of the human brain associated with memory and learning. In this study, specific improvements in awareness and memory recall was demonstrated. BDNFs are also responsible for creating new brain connections (neurons, synapses)
So, keep moving! much love.
images from bodbot.com
Living on the West Coast we are involved in surf culture… we spend a lot of weekends among the waves and even gear our yoga practice towards surfing.
We especially support the Surfrider Foundation, Darc is the treasurer for the local chapter and you can often find us on weekends out cleaning up the beaches.
This year the local brewery Phillips will create a special beer for a charity, name the beer after the cause and donate the proceeds to the charity… and Surfrider Vancouver Island has been nominated!
To support the protection and enjoyment of oceans, waves and beaches all you have to do is click on this link HERE and vote for Surfrider VI! (… and you can do it everyday until November 16th!)
The sea-life and surfers on the West Coast thank you!
… and I just wanted to say that I’m so very grateful for everyone and everything that has come into my life.
sending out 30 wishes to all of you! much love.