New care giving book uses preventative health and science to limit caregiver stress

Majestic Publishers second edition of the book, “Care Giving Made Easy – How to Be an Awesome Caregiver,” inspires caregivers to use preventative health, science and humor to assist in family care giving to limit health risks to home caregivers.

(Harrison, AR). 7, February 2013. Majestic Publishers offers an uplifting new approach to care giving with the second edition of the book, “Care Giving Made Easy – How to Be an Awesome Caregiver.” It focuses on preventative health and informing family caregivers how to use science to prevent problems to limit stress. Scientific studies from the New England Journal of Medicine have proven the stress from care giving can shorten the lives of caregivers and spouses.

Many Americans become unexpected and unprepared caregivers daily when suddenly thrown into the position without warning due to an illness, injury or surgery. Most are not familiar with how to care for their elderly family members or prepared for the role-reversal. Employers are losing billions of dollars annually due to lost productivity from employees having to leave work temporarily or permanently to care for their elderly family members. Research by the Metlife Caregiving Cost Study: Productivity losses to U.S. Business (2006), revealed “The total estimated cost to employers for all full-time, employed caregivers is $33.6 billion.” Astute family members who use preventative health care giving techniques for their elderly loves ones can prevent family emergencies that lead to a loss of their livelihood and retirement benefits.

The high statistics of the elderly falling are a major cause of injuries that lead adult children to becoming instant care givers. “Each year, approximately one-third of elderly adults experience a fall.” (Hausdorff, 2001). “Falls are the most common cause of fatal injuries among elderly adults age 65 years and older, as well as the most common cause of nonfatal injuries in this population.” (CDC, 2001). “The time for adult children to learn about preventative health and caregiving is before their elder falls,”said the author, Dale B. Adams. Siblings who use care giving fall prevention tips could reduce these traumatic injuries to preserve their careers and retirement benefits to make their lives easier.

On January 20, 2013, Journalist Barbara Walters fell at the age of 83 while attending a diplomatic event. She suffered a head injury due to the fall which could have caused irreparable damage. According to USA Today, Barbara Walters fell on the stairs and cut her forehead. “Barbara Walters hospitalized after fall” (Mallembaum, 2013). While this event is unfortunate, the media attention will make people aware of how important fall prevention is to protect our thoroughbred Americans. The stairs of a home often have poor lighting which enable elders to fall.

Caregivers can use preventative health and science to reduce the risk of the elderly falling. Some fall prevention tips for family caregivers are listed below.
Ergonomics
1) Use ergonomics to limit bending over and to limit walking distances
2) Buy elders a good pair of running shoes with good arch support
3) Install high watt light bulbs so the elderly can see better (especially dim lit hallways)
4) Constantly search for ways to prevent falling before it happens
5) Remove lamps because elders reach for items to stabilize themselves and lamps easily fall.
6) Install night-lights in the bedroom and bathroom
7) Assist them walking every opportunity you can
8) Elevate their legs with a footstool so blood doesn’t linger there
9) Install ledges or rails on wall areas where they often feel unsteady
10) Get them a walker or other assistance
11) Make the home handicap accessible. Handicap showers have no ledges to step over
12) Inspect home for loose thresholds, moving rugs or other falling hazards
Preventative Health
13) Keep their ears clean to enable balance. (Consult your Doctor)
14) Be certain they have proper vision aids to see where they are going
15) Encourage them to stretch their legs at times by bending over
16) Rub their legs with lotion and massage their leg muscles to stimulate them
17) Use preventative health with a good diet so they do not become overweight
18) Offer them Tylenol to prevent aching muscles and bones. (Consult your Doctor)
19) Ensure a high protein diet to strengthen muscles and take vitamins for proper nourishment
20) Eliminate clutter and any unsafe or unneeded items for clear pathways
21) When awakening sit on the edge of bed a few minutes before trying to walk

A study by the Harvard Medical School that examined the medical records of more than 500 couples age 65 or older for nine years, revealed the widow effect. “They examined couples; one who becomes ill or dies, and the effect that this death has on the partner or spouse. It revealed that more than one third of the spouses died and two thirds were hospitalized.” (O’Brien, 2006). The physical toll and stress of care giving can shorten the lives of caregivers.
A deeper study of the widow effect was conducted by the New England Journal of Medicine in 2006 which concluded, “Among elderly people hospitalization of a spouse is associated with an increased risk of death, and the effect of the illness of a spouse varies among diagnoses.” (Christakis, 2006). These studies show just how dangerous the job of care giving to a loved one can be to our health. Full family support is needed during the care giving process and even after the death of a loved one. Home caregivers who use preventative health and science to eliminate stress can reduce the health dangers of care giving.

Dale B. Adams formed Majestic Publishers in 2000, and is the author and self publisher of the new book, “Care Giving Made Easy – How to be an Awesome Caregiver,” and is currently working on the new book titled, “How to Make Your Home Sell – Even in a Slow Market.” His many experiences include being a Security Consultant, General Contractor and Energy Conservation Specialist. To learn more valuable money saving information visit: http://www.majesticpublishers.com.

Mallembaum, C., (2013), “Barbara Walters hospitalized after fall” Retrieved from http://www.usatoday.com/story/life/people/2013/01/20/barbara-walters-hospital- fall/1849251/

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control. Web-based Injury Statistics Query and Reporting System (WISQARS). Retrieved from www.cdc.gov/ncipc/wisqars

Hausdorff JM, Rios DA, Edelberg HK.Gait, (2001), “variability and fall risk in community-living older adults: a 1 -year prospective study. “ Arch Phys Med Rehabil 2001;82:1050-6

O’Brien S., (2006), Caregiver Burden and the Widower Effect – Caregiver’s Risk of Death Increases When Spouse is Hospitalized Retrieved from http://seniorliving.about.com/od/healthnutrition/a/caregiver_risk.htm

Christakis, N. & Allison, P. (2006, February), Mortality after the Hospitalization of a Spouse N. Engl. J. Med. 2006; 354:719-30 Massachusetts Medical Society Retrieved from http://www.nejm.org/doi/pdf/10.1056/NEJMsa050196

Adams, D., (2013), “Care Giving Made Easy – How to Be an Awesome Caregiver”
Retrieved from http://www.majesticpublishers.com

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Dale B. Adams
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