Caregiver Tips
DHF Blog

Take care of your own health. Both physical and emotional. Schedule your own recommended doctor's visits and health screenings. See how you can fit a 30-minute exercise break into your day. Do your best to eat a balanced diet. Make sure you are getting adequate sleep. Recognize the signs of depression and talk with your health care professional if you are experiencing them.

Seek Support and Take time for yourself. Arrange regular time to take a break from your care giving responsibilities. Also called respite, every caregiver needs more of this than they realize or admit. Talk with family, friends, church, and social service groups to set up regular respite care. Consider home care services and adult daycare. Keep a list of chores and errands handy so you will have something specific for them to help with. Don't think you have to go it alone and do it all yourself. Remember, it's important to keep up your own interests and activities as much as possible.

Plan for what-ifs. Take one day at a time, but prepare for the future. Consider who would provide care for your loved one should you be unable to. Have the alternate caregiver(s) spend time with your relative. It will give you a break and make it easier for everyone should you need his or her help on short notice.

Keep your expectations realistic. Be realistic about your abilities and how much you can do. Recognize which problems you can do something about and which are beyond anyone's control. Be realistic about the abilities of the person you are caring for. Enjoy the memories but realize their current needs and that the relationship is changing.

Acknowledge your feelings. You may have times when you feel angry, frustrated, anxious, and even resentful. These are common feelings among caregivers. Don't try to ignore them: develop strategies to help you deal with them. Talk with others (friends, counselors, a support group), write your thoughts and feelings in a journal, develop an exercise routine, and learn some relaxation techniques.

Be well informed. Ask questions of health care providers. Knowing about your loved one's illness or disability and being comfortable with specific tasks related to their care promotes confidence and decreases anxiety.

Give yourself credit. You may feel you are not doing enough for you loved one or not doing a good job. Be forgiving of your own limitations and mistakes. Remind yourself daily of all that you do and the difference you are making in you relative's life. Pat yourself on the back frequently. Laugh and try to keep your sense of humor! It is free; good for your health and something you can share with your loved one.

Posted by dhf on Saturday, September 13 @ 00:00:00 EDT (508 reads)
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Suggestions for Healthy Sleep
DHF Blog

Avoid caffeine, especially in late afternoon and evening hours. Caffeine is a very potent stimulant that interferes with sleep. If you drink sodas, make sure they do not contain caffeine. If you drink coffee, drink decaf after noon.

Rise at the same time every morning. The bodyís internal clock is set by the time we get out of bed. If we sleep late in the morning, this confuses the clock and makes it harder to sleep at night.

Donít go to bed until you feel sleepy. Engage in quiet activities before going to bed Avoid excessively stimulating activities like watching horror films or boxing matches.

Donít lie awake in bed. If you are unable to sleep, get out of bed and engage in quiet activities until you feel sleepy.

Take a light carbohydrate snack at bedtime, with milk if you can drink milk. Many people find they have more trouble falling asleep on an empty stomach.

Avoid sudden loud noises. Loud noises at night, such as aircraft flyovers, dogs barking, sirens etc. interfere with restful sleep. The effect of such noises can be diminished by using a steady, masking noise in the bedroom, such as a fan or air conditioner.

Keep the temperature comfortable. The bedroom temperature should be between 60 and 75 degrees.

Stay active during the day, even after a poor nightís sleep. We all feel less well after weíve slept poorly, but our chances for sleeping better are improved if we remain active. After a poor nightís sleep, try to keep active with large muscle activities (walking) and avoid small muscle activities (like needlepoint).

Adjust naps. Some people awaken very refreshed and rested and sleep better during the night when they take a nap. Such people should take naps. Many people awaken feeling groggy and irritable after a nap or sleep less well. Such people should avoid naps.

Get a steady amount of daily exercise. Steady, moderate exercise is helpful to sleep. Occasionally heavy workouts are not.

Avoid alcohol and tobacco at bedtime. Alcohol relaxes tense people and can reduce the amount of time it take to fall asleep, but results in fragmented, restless sleep. Alcohol should be avoided before bed. Nicotine also disrupts sleep; people who canít fall asleep without a cigarette at bedtime generally sleep better once their nicotine dependence is reduced. If you smoke, try to avoid smoking just before bedtime.

Avoid sleeping pills. When taken for an extended period of time, people come to rely on sleeping pills and feel they canít sleep without them. Sleeping pills are probably damaging to sleep when take for more than a few days in a row. If you have been taking medication for sleep, we should be talking about how to get you a good nightís sleep without it.

Posted by dhf on Friday, September 12 @ 00:00:00 EDT (543 reads)
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Hidden Perks of a Sustainable Lifestyle
DHF Blog

Making changes in your life that aim to protect the health of the global environment will naturally benefit you as well, sometimes in unexpected ways.

Doing this...

Can also help you...

Riding a bike or walking instead of driving Be physically healthier. In addition to the exercise you’ll get, Vitamin D from the sun delivers a number of benefits, including lower blood pressure, stronger bones, and better immune function.
Turning off lights, computer, and cell phone one hour before bedtime Sleep better. Creating a peaceful nighttime routine will help you relax into a deeper, more productive sleep.
Helping others meet their fundamental needs by donating time to the community Feel happier. Volunteering can benefit your health and leads to a natural “helper’s high,” which some researchers say is more powerful than receiving help from others.
Choosing organic foods Lower your risk for certain diseases. While there hasn’t been enough research done to prove that organic foods are healthier than non-organic, there is growing evidence that pesticides and other chemicals are associated with health problems like cancer, reproductive problems, Parkinson’s, and diabetes.
Using rechargeable batteries, making your own cleaning products, practicing eco-driving, and riding the bus instead of driving Save money. All of these are options that are not only sustainable, but inexpensive as well.
Carpooling with coworkers Decrease stress. Sharing rides offers you the chance to bond with coworkers, developing relationships that come in handy when work gets difficult. Research shows that social support at work can both reduce stress and decrease blood pressure.
Posted by dhf on Tuesday, September 09 @ 00:00:00 EDT (505 reads)
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Dirty Dozen List/Clean 15
DHF Blog The fruits and vegetables that rank the highest in pesticide load are known as the Dirty Dozen...
Posted by dhf on Wednesday, March 26 @ 00:00:00 EDT (747 reads)
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Posts from Jill

For December, Jill does a "wrap up" of 09 and shares with us her walk with her 96 y/o dad.

Posted by dhf on Wednesday, December 02 @ 07:34:50 EST (1899 reads)
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Posts from Jill DHF blog
Now as we have developed the within, let's look to the application of belief with "Living Deeply" (The Art & Science of Transformation in Everyday Life.) by Marilyn Schllitz Ph.D. et al....
Posted by dhf on Sunday, November 01 @ 00:00:00 EDT (1681 reads)
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Posts from Jill

Thursday October 1, 2009...October is a good month to review "A Hidden Wholeness" (The Journey Toward An Undivided Life) by Parker J. Palmer. I am enriched by this work and went to sit - worship with the Quakers after this read. There are 10 chapters which lend it to an easy dissection over the month. Beginning with Images of Integrity: Living "Divided No More"...Consider your life continuity or lack there of...Self reflect on how the spheres of your life easily complement each other or not.
Posted by dhf on Friday, October 02 @ 08:22:22 EDT (4155 reads)
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Posts from Jill

Tuesday September 1, 2009...Let us continue the development of our internal selves with "Wherever You Go There You Are" by Jon Kabot -Zinn

Part one - The blooms of the present moment (what is implied is the transientness of the now - a bloom fragile - beautiful yet short lived. If your now is hell hang on it will improve; if it is wonderful, breathe in the scent and enjoy.

Posted by dhf on Friday, September 04 @ 10:43:12 EDT (1521 reads)
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Posts from Jill

Saturday August 1, 2009...This month let's feature "10 Secrets for success and Inner Peace" by Dr. Wayne Dyer.
Rumi quote - "Take sips of this pure wine being poured. Don't mind that you've been given a dirty cup." Where ever you are right now is where you are supposed to be - honor the positive - listen - learn.

Posted by dhf on Saturday, August 08 @ 18:20:33 EDT (1068 reads)
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Posts from Jill

Wednesday July 1, 2009
I hope that last months' review of "The Power of Now" was helpful. This month I've chosen "You Are What You Think" by David Stoop, Ph.D. It is a quick and stimulating read if you want to get your own copy as I write my daily "tid bits". Remember: Enduring change comes in small steps.

Posted by dhf on Wednesday, July 22 @ 07:28:11 EDT (1518 reads)
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