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 Tips for Controlling Stressors 
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Joined: Sun Jun 24, 2007 5:35 pm
Posts: 344
Post Tips for Controlling Stressors
My husband John was diagnosed with LBD in June 2007. His neurologist suggested that I share some of what I am doing to care for him on this website and that I write a book on caregiving. So I am in the process of writing the book on practical tips for caregivers of LBD patients. Since I am fairly new on this journey, I would love to hear from others who know much more about what works.
This is my first attempt to publicly share a small segment of the tips section of the book. I invite comments and suggestions to add to what I am writing that may eventually help others.

This segment is about controlling stressors.

I have become convinced over time that controlling stress is a key to managing this disease. When things are calm or my response to a fear, worry, or frustration is soft toward John, everything simply works better. The day is sweeter and John’s physical symptoms seem to be better.

Here are some tips that have worked for me.

1. Choose the lesser stressor when there is an option for how to do something.
2. Eliminate people from your daily routine who will drag you down emotionally. Add people who “get it”.
3. Learn to say no. You already have a huge job and ministry to do.
4. Prioritize what you need to do in your day and try to work that plan.
5. Choose the important over the urgent.
6. Ignore negative people and comments. They will drain you of energy you need.
7. Laugh every chance you get. Spend as much time as possible with those who make you laugh and whom you make laugh.
8. Make time for yourself to recharge your batteries. Do some things you really like to do, on purpose, as part of your priorities.
9. Exercise.
10. Organize your financial matters to simplify when and where you pay your bills and handle your investments.
11. Simplify everything you can. Appointments, laundry (buy 2 hampers for light/dark), food, medicine pickup
12. Pay for what you cannot or should not do.
13. Leave guilt behind.
14. Pray.

_________________
Pat Snyder, husband John, dx LBD 2007
Author of [i]Treasures in the Darkness: Extending Early Stage of LBD...[i][/i] [url]http://www.amazon.com/Treasures-Darkness-Extending-Alzheimers-Parkinsons/dp/1466428228/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1334092686&sr=8-1[/url]


Tue Sep 28, 2010 9:16 pm
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Joined: Fri Aug 11, 2006 1:46 pm
Posts: 4811
Location: SF Bay Area (Northern CA)
Post Re: Tips for Controlling Stressors
I have nothing to add but simply wanted to applaud your efforts in writing a book and sharing what you've learned along the way!


Tue Sep 28, 2010 10:24 pm
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Joined: Wed Dec 30, 2009 1:46 pm
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Location: WA
Post Re: Tips for Controlling Stressors
Great list, Pat. [from another Pat]

_________________
Pat [68] married to Derek [84] for 38 years; husband dx PDD/LBD 2005, probably began 2002 or earlier; late stage and in a SNF as of January 2011. Hospitalized 11/2/2013 and discharged to home Hospice. Passed away at home on 11/9/2013.


Tue Sep 28, 2010 10:28 pm
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Joined: Sun Jun 24, 2007 5:35 pm
Posts: 344
Post Re: Tips for Controlling Stressors
Thank you both for the encouragement. I know there is so much I do not know yet, and really do not want to know, if the truth be known. You all are such strong women on this website!

_________________
Pat Snyder, husband John, dx LBD 2007
Author of [i]Treasures in the Darkness: Extending Early Stage of LBD...[i][/i] [url]http://www.amazon.com/Treasures-Darkness-Extending-Alzheimers-Parkinsons/dp/1466428228/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1334092686&sr=8-1[/url]


Tue Sep 28, 2010 11:04 pm
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Joined: Sun Oct 21, 2007 4:18 pm
Posts: 835
Location: Acton, MA
Post Re: Tips for Controlling Stressors
Pat, I was please to see that I have already put most of your suggestions to use. The only other one I can think of, although #1 might cover it is, NEVER ask "why", why did you do that, why didn't you call me to help, why do you want that??? There is no answer to "why". I have to remind myself daily, DON'T ask why. Thank you for posting and good luck with your book.
Take care, Gerry

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Gerry 67, cared for Frank 71, married 49 yrs; dx 2004, passed away October 26, 2011.


Wed Sep 29, 2010 7:03 am
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Joined: Wed Dec 30, 2009 1:46 pm
Posts: 3213
Location: WA
Post Re: Tips for Controlling Stressors
Gerry, you are so right! "Why did you put your glasses in the wastebasket??" "Why are your socks in the toilet?" "Why are you putting all your clothes in a pile in the floor?" are all fruitless questions. Even if they could explain their actions, it wouldn't make sense to us. My husband denies having done any of these things so I assume it's the 'others' who live in this house. I've learned to go through the trash carefully before taking it out and I'm glad I have a good toilet plunger. :lol:

_________________
Pat [68] married to Derek [84] for 38 years; husband dx PDD/LBD 2005, probably began 2002 or earlier; late stage and in a SNF as of January 2011. Hospitalized 11/2/2013 and discharged to home Hospice. Passed away at home on 11/9/2013.


Wed Sep 29, 2010 8:39 am
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Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2009 2:59 pm
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Post Re: Tips for Controlling Stressors
Thanks for this great list to help people along the Lewy Path!

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Irene Selak


Wed Sep 29, 2010 1:10 pm
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Joined: Sun Jun 24, 2007 5:35 pm
Posts: 344
Post Re: Tips for Controlling Stressors
Gerry, thank you for the suggestion. I will definitely add it to my list! If any of you think of any more ideas, please share later. I will be checking in regularly, hoping to find more things that can make a difference here at home and for others who may see the list in the future.
Pat

_________________
Pat Snyder, husband John, dx LBD 2007
Author of [i]Treasures in the Darkness: Extending Early Stage of LBD...[i][/i] [url]http://www.amazon.com/Treasures-Darkness-Extending-Alzheimers-Parkinsons/dp/1466428228/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1334092686&sr=8-1[/url]


Wed Sep 29, 2010 1:21 pm
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Joined: Fri Jan 15, 2010 9:33 pm
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Location: Vermont
Post Re: Tips for Controlling Stressors
Great work Pat!
Your line about avoiding negative people reminded me of the line from Desiderata:
"Avoid loud and aggressive persons; they are vexatious to the spirit."
When I encounter such people it is so draining if I don't find a way to disengage from their games!
All the best, Lynn

_________________
Lynn, daughter of 89 year old dad dx with possiblity of LBD, CBD, PSP, FTD, ALS, Vascular Dementia, AD, etc., died Nov. 30, 2010 after living in ALF for 18 months.


Wed Sep 29, 2010 3:04 pm
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Joined: Sat Aug 21, 2010 12:30 am
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Post Re: Tips for Controlling Stressors
Hi Pat: Thank you for your tips. I happened to log in today because we are having a very rough day, even though my husband is in the early stages. I have been reading several posts from caregivers whose loved ones are in later stages, with tears streaming down my face--both for them and what I expect to face in time.

Your list gave me some good practical ideas on coping, which I need even now, rather than having a pity party. I can see that this web site will become an even greater help as things progress.

Good luck with the book!
Take good care...
Annette28


Mon Oct 11, 2010 1:56 pm
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Joined: Sun Jun 24, 2007 5:35 pm
Posts: 344
Post Re: Tips for Controlling Stressors
Annette, your comments are so encouraging to me! Thank you!
Those of us with much of the walk in front of us can get pretty intimidated when reading what may come. But, as our counselor constantly reminds us, we may never have to face some things. So it is healthier to be in the moment of today. Usually we can handle what is right in front of us with God's help.
It is the dread or fear of what MIGHT be that can overwhelm me very quickly if I let my mind and heart go there.
Hang in there. There is a good side to LBD being variable---good moments together that we, the caregivers, know to cherish.
Pat

_________________
Pat Snyder, husband John, dx LBD 2007
Author of [i]Treasures in the Darkness: Extending Early Stage of LBD...[i][/i] [url]http://www.amazon.com/Treasures-Darkness-Extending-Alzheimers-Parkinsons/dp/1466428228/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1334092686&sr=8-1[/url]


Tue Oct 12, 2010 9:35 pm
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Joined: Wed Oct 28, 2009 11:53 am
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Location: Ocala, FL
Post Tips for Controlling Stressors
Pat ----

As you know, I'm looking for just what I found here. It's my problem and not his. I know that. I just need for the knowledge to SINK IN. :oops: Today has been good for us because I am not becoming emotionally involved in any of his comments and questions. When he says, "Where is the meeting?" I say, "I don't know." In fact, that answer works most of the time. Let's hope this newly found solution works all day. I'm keeping my fingers crossed. (Are you still working on a book?)

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Leone Carroll (75); wife of Dale (75) who passed away March 23, 2011


Sun Oct 24, 2010 11:51 am
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Joined: Wed Dec 30, 2009 1:46 pm
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Location: WA
Post Re: Tips for Controlling Stressors
Leone, that was one of the hardest lessons for me to learn [and I still haven't perfected it, LOL]: Disengaging my emotions from his comments and questions. I tend to be very logical and tend to want to solve every problem. His 'problems' [delusions] are unique to his Lewy thinking and there is no way I can even understand them, much less help him to solve them. So I try to smile a lot and have a few phone numbers of willing participants when things get really hairy. They will listen to his issues and I think it helps him to know that he can talk to 'officials'. Whatever works.

_________________
Pat [68] married to Derek [84] for 38 years; husband dx PDD/LBD 2005, probably began 2002 or earlier; late stage and in a SNF as of January 2011. Hospitalized 11/2/2013 and discharged to home Hospice. Passed away at home on 11/9/2013.


Sun Oct 24, 2010 1:31 pm
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Joined: Sun Jun 24, 2007 5:35 pm
Posts: 344
Post Re: Tips for Controlling Stressors
Leone, I am still working on the book, but thanks to this website and the helpful posts and responses from everyone, I have decided to change the focus of it.
There is already a great comprehensive type of book out there---the one listed at the top of this Practical Caregiver Tips section. I am not all the way through this journey and am humbled by those who have and are walking so faithfully all the way to the end of it.
But I can speak to how I have tried to make Stage One better. Right after diagnosis all I wanted was to make this best stage as long as possible for John, me, and all our family. My book will focus on how to maximize the chances of prolonging the good times.
Pat (mockturtle), you sound just like me. It sounds like you are doing some very good on the spot problem solving. Hang in there!

You are both so right that removing the emotion and the personal affront part is a key to staying calm, which lowers stress on both you and your loved one.

_________________
Pat Snyder, husband John, dx LBD 2007
Author of [i]Treasures in the Darkness: Extending Early Stage of LBD...[i][/i] [url]http://www.amazon.com/Treasures-Darkness-Extending-Alzheimers-Parkinsons/dp/1466428228/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1334092686&sr=8-1[/url]


Sun Oct 24, 2010 9:20 pm
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Joined: Wed Aug 11, 2010 2:34 am
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Post Re: Tips for Controlling Stressors
Not sure if this is the correct topic to ask for advice but here I go. Today I visited dad at the ALF and he again told me a common story about the fact that all the residents have this really bad itch and have big sores all over their bodies from the fleas. He said the doctor had written him a script for some cream to but on his back as the itch was driving him crazy. So I asked to look at his back to see if this was really happening and sure enough he had very dry skin all over his back so it perhaps was not a total delusion. He also tells a common story about the worms that are coming up through the soles of his slippers and pointed to some dust on them insisting that there was one there and I assured him it was just dust from the floor and tried to diffuse it a little but there was a genuine belief on his side of it that there was really big grubs there.
Now mum and I are visiting dad together tomorrow for the first time since he was admitted to the ALF they did have a pleasant visit last week but I know he is going to have a string of stories to tell her as he did me today and mum is dismissive when dad tells her about his hallucinations then tension develops. Any tips for getting mum to handle things differently as the stories are mostly the same each time I have visited lately and I know tomorrow will be more of the same. The stories don't bother me (I have always been a good listener) but mum on the other hand wants to impress on him that these things can't have happened. Wish me luck with making the visit a happy one am taking my 6yr old son he is sure to be an icebreaker.


Thu Nov 04, 2010 11:28 pm
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