Category Archives: Spiritual Help

Breathing Techniques to achieve Stress Relief and Relaxation

The practice of using of simple breathing techniques can help caregivers find relaxation and relief from stress in their busy lives. Oftentimes, the responsibilities involved in caring for an aging parent or loved one, coupled with work and personal obligations, can feel overwhelming causing anxiety and exhaustion.

breathing techniques to achieve stress relief and relaxation In the book The Relaxation Response, Dr. Herbert Bensen introduces the simple, effective, mind/body approach to achieving relaxation and relief from stress:

  • Sit quietly, back straight, and in a comfortable position.
  • Close your eyes.
  • Deeply relax all your muscles, beginning at your feet and progressing up to your face.
  • Keep them relaxed.
  • Breathe through your nose. Become aware of your breathing. As you breathe out, say the word one* silently to yourself. Breathe easily and naturally.
  • Continue this for 10 to 20 minutes – whatever is comfortable for you.
  • You may open your eyes to check the time, but do not use an alarm. When you finish, sit quietly for several minutes – initially with your eyes closed – then with your eyes opened.
  • Do not stand up for a few minutes.
  • Do not worry about whether you are successful in achieving a deep level of relaxation.
  • Maintain a passive attitude and permit relaxation to occur at its own pace. When distracting thoughts occur, try to ignore them by not dwelling upon them and return to repeating one*.

Practice the technique daily, but not within two hours after any meal, since the digestive processes seems to interfere with achieving a relaxation response. With daily practice, achieving a relaxation response should come naturally.

*saying “one” or any soothing, smooth sound – preferably with no meaning or association – will help avoid stimulation of unnecessary thoughts.

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.