Ice Bucket Challenge Progress

 

Caregiving Tips and Hints

  • Take Care of Yourself
    Caregivers often do not get adequate personal time. It is important to take care of yourself both physically and emotionally. Taking time for yourself is not selfish and will improve your capacity to care for your loved one. Make your needs known and create time to do the things that are important to you personally. Continue relationships and activities that are important to you.
  • Ask for Help
    Caregivers may not ask for the help they need to provide care for their loved one and to take care of themselves. Have a "wish list" available when people ask what they can do to help you. Most people want to help, but do not know what to do. Accept help when it is offered.  Recognize the limits of your own endurance and strength and help your loved one accept care from others. A good resource for building a circle of help and care is http://www.sharethecare.org/.
  • Be Aware of Depression
    Depression can strike anyone and caregivers are especially vulnerable - it is the most common healthcare condition reported by family caregivers. Be aware of the early signs of depression and see your healthcare professional if you think you are becoming depressed. You do not have to live with depression.
  • Value Yourself
    Caregivers do amazing work in caring for their loved ones. Recognize the important and good job you are doing and realize how valuable you are. Caregiving is a never-ending job and perfection is an unrealistic goal. Do not allow the normal feelings of guilt and anger keep you from seeing the value of your daily caregiving.
  • Manage Your Stress
    Caregivers can strengthen their coping and stress management skills by communicating their feelings and needs, setting limits and making decisions to do things for themselves. Identify one or two people with whom you can speak freely about your needs and feelings. Professional counseling can be very beneficial for caregivers who are trying to not lose their own sense of self in the role as caregiver. It is appropriate to set limits and expectations with your loved one, family and friends. Physical exercise, creative activities, humor and social/family events are effective strategies for countering caregiver stress.
  • Educate Yourself
    Knowledge is empowering. Get as much information about ALS and caregiving as you can. The more you know, the better prepared you will be in proving care and support. Ask friends and relatives to help gather information and resources. Become an advocate for your loved one and for yourself.
  • Know You Are More Than a Caregiver
    In becoming a caregiver, some people experience a loss of the roles and relationships they had with their loved one before the illness. It is easy to see yourself as more a caregiver than wife/husband/parent or child. Identify ways to keep your personal and family roles and relationships alive. Talk about family events and news about children and grandchildren. Look at family photos together. Change the daily routines periodically like adding candles to the dinner table or putting on your favorite music. Making the effort to retain the relationship you have had with your loved one - aside from your role as caregiver will help you in coping with the multitude of changes family caregiving poses.
  • Talk to Other Caregivers
    Caregivers who share resources and their own personal experiences report less stress and fewer problems. Establish networks and support systems with other caregivers to share solutions to common problems and to talk with people who can understand first-hand what you are experiencing.  Many of our chapters run caregiver support groups.  You can also talk to other caregivers via online forums such as www.thefamilycaregiver.org and www.caregiver.com.
  • Utilize Assistance Programs
    Take advantage of local, state and federal programs that support and assist caregivers.
    • Some states and local agencies provide financial support in the form of vouchers or cash for services and equipment.
    • Military veterans with ALS may be eligible for Aide and attendance allowance.
    • Many state and community agencies and non-profit organizations - such as The ALS Association and religious groups - offer respite services. Contact us to find out about respite programs.
    • Some states offer tax credits and deductions for family caregivers.
    • Employed caregivers may want to apply for unpaid Family and Medical Leave under the Federal program.
    • A list of agencies can be found here: http://www.thefamilycaregiver.org/caregiving_resources/agencies_and_organizations.cfm

This page was updated 02/2011

The ALS Association Evergreen Chapter - Support Resources

Aging and Long Term Care
State Agency for connecting to social services
Evalyn Adams
1222 N Post
Spokane, WA 99201
509-458-2509

Aging and Long-Term Care of Southeast Washington
State Agency for connecting to social services and they have an ALS case manager
Betty J. Meilander
Case Manager
106 S. 6th Ave.
Yakima, WA 98902
509-469-0500

Crisis Clinic
1515 Dexter Ave N Ste 300
Seattle, WA 98109
206-461-3210
http://www.crisisclinic.org/
24-Hour Crisis Line 206-461-3222 1-866-4CRISIS
Community Information Line 206-461-3200 1-800-621-4636

Eastside Adult Day Services
3707 Providence Pt. Drive SE
Issaquah, WA 98029
425-837-3967

GriefWorks
Adult, teen and child grief counseling
P.O. Box 912
Auburn, WA 98071-0912
253-333-9420

Olympic Area Agency on Aging
The Family Caregivers Support Program
2700 Simpson Ave, Suite 205
Aberdeen,WA 98520
360-249-5154

Shanti c/o Multifaith Works
Volunteer Companion Program
Robert Lux
1801 12th Ave Ste A
Seattle,WA 98122
206-324-1520 x227

Silverdale Community Center
Family Caregiver Support Program
9729 Silverdale Way NW
Silverdale, WA 98383-9445
360-337-5743

The Neurological Center
Patient education and support for neurological conditions
Carole Fingerson
Executive Director
712 Swift Blvd., Suite 1
Richland,. WA 99352
509-943-8455

Veterans Administration Medical Center
Tara Stablein, MSW
1660 S. Columbian Way
Seattle WA 98108
206-277-6696

Virginia Mason Medical Center
Social Services
Sally Stewart MSW
206-625-7373 x64948

Wellness House
Support center
210 S 11th Ave Suite #40
Yakima, WA 98902-3293
509-575-6686