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Family Caregivers: Make it Easy to Pass The Baton This Summer

Caregiver Tips: Suffolk County, Long Island

Memorial Day is coming up next week and most Long Islanders consider this coming weekend the gateway to the summer season.  Beach days, boating, and hot weather all seem to start right up following the holiday.  For those that oversee the care of an elderly loved one, it’s a nice time to get out of the house and get more activity in the fresh air.  Walks outside, visiting a park, sitting outside, or going out for drives in the car are refreshing ways to get some vitamin D and be in the fresh air.

Long Island has many places that are wheelchair friendly and easily accessible.  For some ideas on places to visit that are wheelchair friendly, check out this listing http://wheelchairtraveling.com/15-wheelchair-friendly-attractions-long-island-new-york/.

For families that get busier this time of year, adding hours with a caregiver may be good for you.  Our office tends to receive a higher volume of requests for weekend caregivers and live-in caregivers for the summer.  As a side note, we can also provide additional coverage for those that will be taking vacations this summer or weekend getaways.

Summer is a great time for self-care and a little rest and relaxation.  If you are a family caregiver, it’s probably very challenging for you to take time for yourself.  One tip that I’ve often shared with my support group members is to create a care binder.  A care binder holds all your loved one’s medical information and care needs so that if someone else had to take over, they would know what to do.  Listing out the daily tasks, specifics about meal preparation and medications, safety concerns, etc. is a great first step in facilitating someone else to help you and giving you the ability to take a break when you need it.

Caregivers will often take so-called “breaks” to go grocery shopping, run errands, and take care of other business.  This summer, give yourself the gift of a true break.  Whether it’s a weekend getaway, a day out to do the things you enjoy, or catching a movie at night, have some fun and give yourself a real chance to shift gears and feel invigorated.  You’ll be amazed at how it will make your caregiving super powers even greater.

 

Jennifer Benjamin

Jennifer Benjamin has a Masters degree in Business Administration, a graduate Certificate in Geriatric Care Management, is a Certified Dementia Practitioner and is co-founder of Family First Home Companions .With a background in human resources and business management she helped to build a company that is founded on professionalism, integrity, compassion and know-how.

Jennifer has specialized training in Alzheimer’s disease through the Long Island Alzheimer’s Association and the Long Island Alzheimer’s Foundation.She also volunteered her time with the Alzheimer's Disease Assistance Center of Long Island for 3 years by providing cognitive stimulation to an Alzheimer’s patient group.

Jennifer educates the community about elder care and speaks to caregiver support groups, senior centers, and at professional organizations.Topics include home safety, effective strategies for family caregiving, elder care planning, and awareness about elder abuse.

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