Category Archives: Caregivers

Advance Directives for San Diego Caregivers

With the New Year brings all sorts of resolutions. For me, one resolution is sitting down and completing advance directives for myself, as well as having “the talk” with my parents.

I never thought I’d have to think much about advance directives at my age – for myself or anyone else. I knew my parents had wills but I realized recently that I had no idea as to what was important to them at the end-of-life, other than they wanted to be cremated when they die. But what would happen if they became seriously ill? How would my parents want to be cared for? Do they want to be kept alive on a machine? Do they want to die at home? These are questions that my parents and I never really thought about or discussed in detail.

Then I realized that I had no directive to my family, as to what I would want, should I have a terminal illness or have an accident that left me unable to speak for myself.

One thing that I came across that will help me with this conversation was a simple form you can order from the Internet called Five Wishes. It’s practically a will within itself and lets your family or caregiver know who you want to make health care decisions for you when you can’t make them, the kind of medical treatment you want or don’t want, how comfortable you want to be, how you want your caregiver to treat you, and what you want your loved ones to know.

I initially had the “the talk” with my parents and it wasn’t as scary or uncomfortable as I thought it would be. It actually gave me a little peace of mind. So in 2010, taking control of heathcare decision making for me and my family starts with completing advance directives.

For caregivers and anyone living in San Antonio or Texas, download the advance directives form for free in English or Spanish.

Jill Ruff is a wife, mother of two girls ages 5 and 3, daughter, sister and caregiver; working full-time as a marketing director and living in the Carmel Valley area of San Antonio, CA.

A Quick and Easy Recipe for Caregivers of Dementia Patients

Caregivers of dementia patients often encounter a different set of obstacles when it comes to food and food preparation. The loss of motor skills and overall mental breakdown that occurs in dementia patients can make eating unpleasant, make cutlery difficult to use, and even make patients dislike foods they used to enjoy. Simplicity and flexibility are often two traits that caretakers must learn to adopt when providing meals for these patients.

Patients at a partner location (heartwood seniors in San antonio) offers memory care and assisted living patients easy and fun recipes to try weekly.

Finger foods can be the perfect solution to many of the obstacles encountered by caregivers of dementia patients. Serving items like bread, fruits, vegetables, and crackers allow patients to choose the foods that are most appealing to them and eat completely on their own.

Finger foods also allow the patient with dementia to have several small meals or snacks everyday rather than larger meals. And if the timing of food is a challenge, finger foods are easy to put in Tupperware and save for later.

Here’s one easy finger food recipe that is a great variation of a sandwich and make a great finger-friendly snack, lunch, or dinner:

Bread roll-ups:

Ingredients:

  • Bread (wheat or white)
  • Butter
  • Soft cheese or pâté

Directions

First, cut the crust off of the bread and then spread with a light layer of butter. Next, spread with soft cheese or any other soft, sticky spread. Finally, take a corner of the bread and, like the title, roll it up.

Information from the Food for Thought Project by the Alzheimer’s Society in the United Kingdom.