Tip of the Week 07/01/02

Here is a simple poem to help caregivers monitor physical, emotional and spiritual health of the elderly.

Remember goals and check the signs.

Take some steps and learn each time.

Remember goals: Hopes and dreams are the most powerful motivator we have. Reminding an elder about an upcoming family wedding is more likely to motivate them to eat well, than telling them "it's good for your heart."

Check the signs: The Guide outlines warning signs for most elder health problems. Little problems can quickly become big problems if not caught quickly. Pay attention to the mind, body and the spirit. Each area can influence the others, for good or for bad.

Take some steps: "The satisfaction skills (awareness, affirmations, assertiveness and acceptance) improve communication and reduce stress," says Kathy. Eating well, exercise and the proper use of medications are also crucial.

Learn each time: Will a particular treatment work? "Even the most skilled physician may not be sure," says Dr. DeLoughry. To learn what works, caregivers need to continually recheck health signs and communicate with the care team.

Source: Center for Health Management

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