8 Helpful Tips for Caregivers

The number of Americans ages 65 and older is projected to more than double from 46 million today to over 98 million by 2060.1 The rise of the senior population is increasing every year which means that there is a greater need for caregivers.

Caregivers can have different roles in different phases of a person’s life. The most understood definition is “one who is responsible for attending to the daily needs of another.” This can be financial, emotional, or physical, and these needs might be for a brief time period or the last period of a loved one’s life. The task is frequently placed on loved ones but other people might be involved, like from the health profession. Caregiving is often times perceived to be a thankless job, with usually no pay given in return for services.

Some statistics2 on the role of caregivers in the United States include:

  • 7 million Americans are informal caregivers
  • 86% of caregivers are related to the person for whom they care
  • 66% of caregivers are women
  • 36% of children care for a parent
  • 1/3 of American households report they have at least one unpaid caregiver
  • The average age of a caregiver is 49, though 50-64 is the fastest growing population of caregivers
  • 3 years is the average length of time that relative caregivers provide care
  • 59% of family caregivers are employed

This is a large number of people in our community. That is why November is dedicated as National Family Caregivers Month, to honor and celebrate the invaluable contributions caregivers make to families and community. Caregivers are always on task to be there for those in need, but who takes care of them?  And how can we help them be able to provide loving support and yet find ways to care for themselves?

There are certain signs in a caregiver’s behavior that can mean they need to dedicate some time on themselves. For example, they may show anger, ambivalence, anxiety, depression, disgust, loneliness, embarrassment, and even jealousy. Studies show that an estimated 46-59% of caregivers are clinically depressed2. These are not “bad” feelings, just feelings they will sometimes experience as a result of their caregiving responsibilities.

A helpful example to give to yourself or anyone who is in this role is the need for oxygen. On an airplane, an oxygen mask descends in front of you. What do you do? As we all know, the first rule is to put on your own oxygen mask before you assist anyone else. Only when we first help ourselves can we effectively help others. Caring for yourself is one of the most important—and most often forgotten—things you can do as a caregiver. When your needs are taken care of, the person you care for will benefit, too.

Some common issues caregivers face include sleep deprivation, poor eating habits, failure to exercise, failure to stay in bed when ill, and postponement of or failure to make medical appointments for themselves. Although they might appear simple, these key pieces can easily go to the wayside if one is not careful. 

Here are eight helpful strategies for dealing with caregiver stress:

1. Reduce Personal Stresssee what is realistic for you to do and find ways to seek assistance when needed.

2. Set Goalstake a break from caregiving, get help, and do something fun for yourself.

3. Seek Solutionsthe laundry needs to get done, set up a schedule to do it or pay for laundry service.

4. Communicate Constructivelywhen addressing your feelings use “I” statements not “you” statements. Respect others’ feelings by truly listening to them. Be clear and direct when communicating your needs.

5. Ask for and Accept Helpmake a list of things that need to be done, share it with the helper, and let them choose what they can do. Ask them when you know they are open to hearing your request and are willing to do something for you. Lastly, don’t take it personally if they can’t help. It is not a personal attack, just their own decision.

6. Eat a Balanced Dietmake simple meals that you know you will eat and will help you both emotionally and physically. Lots of colored food items are yummy, and remember drinking water is also important.

7. Start or Restart Exercisewalking is a great form of exercise and so is yoga. Try one or both!

8. Learn from Your Emotionsit is a strength to recognize when your emotions are controlling you (instead of you controlling your emotions). Our emotions are messages to which we need to listen. They exist for a reason. Pay attention to them.

Know that you are not alone in this experience. Reach out in your community and see if there are any caregiver support groups or services for caregivers. Caregivers need to be supported and it’s more than ok to do that. 

Want more tips? Whether you’re going through a difficult time or just need someone to talk to about your regular day-to-day, JFS Orlando has licensed counselors that can help you get some self-care. To schedule an appointment, call 407-644-7593 ext. 247 or email Ashlyn.Douglass-Barnes@JFSorlando.org today!

References

1 Population Reference Bureau

2 Family Caregiver Alliance


Author: Carla Fischer, MA, LMHC, LMT

Carla Fischer has been a Mental Health Counselor for over 15 years. She received her training for Mental Health Counseling at Webster University in Central Florida. Carla has traveled extensively; through that experience she developed an understanding of culture and discovered that background shapes who we are and how we experience the world. Carla is bilingual, fluent in English and Spanish she also has a good control of the German Language. Carla approaches Mental Health Counseling therapy with an open heart and mind.  She is aware that the willingness to start opening up and dealing with emotions is the first step in finding solutions to whatever concerns the client. The use of body centering or emotional centered therapy has been an integral part of helping her clients find balance in their lives and work through some of the difficulties that they might face.

Author: Ashlyn Douglass-Barnes, LCSW

Ashlyn Douglass-Barnes, LCSW is the Clinical Therapist Supervisor and a licensed clinical social worker at JFS Orlando. Ashlyn has worked in a variety of settings including outpatient community based mental health, inpatient/admission psychiatric hospital, substance abuse/DUI, dialysis/medical, and in home/office outpatient therapy.

November 2018 Board Corner: Dick Appelbaum

Dick and Dottie Appelbaum, JFS Orlando Pantry to Plate 2014

Dick Appelbaum has been a member of the JFS Board since 2012. He grew up in the Bronx, NY and attended Hunter College. He moved to Orlando, FL in 1962 to work for Tupperware as a buyer of motivational and incentive gifts and awards. Soon after, he married his wife Dottie and had three daughters, Ali, Jill, and Julie.

After ten years with Tupperware, Dick decided to start his own business, The Dick Appelbaum Company. It soon became a family business, including Dottie, her mom Rose, and daughter Ali. They were even honored with the first Partnership Award presented by the Direct Selling Association. After 35 years, Dick retired from the family business and passed on the specialty division, Richard’s Incentives, to his daughter Ali.

Dick and Dottie Appelbaum and friends, JFS Spring Brunch 2016

Since a young age, community service was important to Dick, a member of the Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, and later the National Guard. He and his friends even started a chapter of APO, a scouting based service fraternity, at Hunter. Here in Orlando, Dick has served as President of the JCC twice, was chairman of the Board of the Jewish Federation of Greater Orlando, and currently sits on the board of Kinneret, JFS Orlando, the Jewish Pavilion, and other local agencies and associations.

Dick and Dottie Appelbaum, JFS Orlando Spring Brunch 2015

Besides his many awards and accolades, however, Dick says his greatest rewards have been his daughters, son-in-laws, and grandchildren. “My grandparents are the most loving people I’ve ever met,” says granddaughter Carly. “They taught me to think of others first and to give back to my community.”*

And JFS Orlando has surely felt this love and generosity and could not be more grateful to have Dick as one of its leaders.

*Orlando’s Jewish Lifestyle Magazine, Spring 2018 Vol. 2 Issue 1, pg 28-29


Interested in helping families in crisis right here in Central Florida? Apply to join our Board of Directors by completing an application and emailing it to Executive Director, Eric Geboff at Eric.Geboff@JFSorlando.org.

Our thoughts and prayers are with Pittsburgh

Dear Friends –

The horrific events at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh on Saturday, October 27, 2018 cut deeply at the soul of all peace loving people. We are greatly saddened at the events that took the lives of 11 innocent people and injured many others. We share the grief with those who have lost loved ones or have been injured. Further, we express our deepest appreciation to the first responders who placed their lives on the line for others and our solidarity with the Jewish community of Pittsburgh.

JFS Orlando condemns acts of violence in any form and stands strongly for an open and inclusive society.

The safety and security of visitors and clients to JFS Orlando remains our priority. We have been in contact with our local law enforcement and have confirmed there is no active threat against our facility or users. We have ongoing security measures in place to assure the safety of all who walk through our doors and continue to provide a safe and sound environment for all of our clients and guests.

We invite you to join us as the community comes together in solidarity on Tuesday, October 30, 2018 at 7:00 PM for “Stop The Hate: Remembering the Victims in Pittsburgh,” an interfaith and multicultural memorial service, coordinated by Central Florida Jewish organizations and the Greater Orlando Board of Rabbis. The service will be held at Congregation of Reform Judaism, 928 Malone Drive, Orlando, FL 32810.

If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me at 407-644-7593 ext 238.

May the souls of those lost at Tree of Life Synagogue be bound in the bond of eternal life.

Eric Geboff, MSW
Executive Director

New JFS Building Sign

We just installed a brand new building sign! Displaying our updated purple and green agency colors, we hope it will help JFS standout to let people know we’re here and ready to help our Greater Orlando community. Keep an eye out for it the next time you drive down Lee Road!

Depression: What is it and what can I do with it?

Depression Education and Awareness Month

Did you know that October is Depression Education and Awareness Month? Depression can be caused by numerous types of factors, including genetic, biological, environmental, and psychological, although not all factors need to be there in order to cause it. There is also evidence that shows that depression not only occurs in adults, but in children and adolescents as well.

There is plenty of information out there that is helpful when it comes to depression. For example, the UCLA Neuropsychiatric and Behavioral Services has a helpful checklist to understand if depression is what you might be experiencing. Read the checklist below. If you answer yes to seven out of the nine descriptions below then it might be time to seek a counselor and/or psychiatrist.

  • Depressive mood. Do you suffer from feelings of worthlessness, helplessness, or pessimism for days at a time?
  • Sleep disturbance. Do you have trouble falling asleep at night or trouble staying asleep—waking up in the middle of the night or too early in the morning? Are you sleeping too much?
  • Chronically fatigued. Do you frequently feel tired or lack energy?
  • Isolation. Have you stopped meeting with family or friends? Increasing isolation and diminished interest or pleasure in activities are major signs of depression.
  • Appetite disturbance. Are you eating far less than usual—or far more? Severe and continuing appetite disturbance is often an indication of depression.
  • Inability to concentrate. If you can’t seem to focus on even routine tasks, it’s probably time to get some help.
  • Dependence on mood-altering substances. If you depend on alcohol or other drugs to make it through the day, you may be suffering from depression. Often, the substance abuse causes symptoms that mimic the appearance of clinical depression, but are, in fact, due wholly to the drug use.
  • Feeling a sense of inappropriate guilt
  • Recurrent thoughts of death or suicide or a suicide attempt

Source: UCLA Neuropsychiatric and Behavioral Services

Depression can be an insidious experience that you don’t even realize is there until it’s there! Here are some helpful ways to begin taking care of your depression, in addition of course to seeing your primary physician, psychiatrist, and other tools of therapy.

Eat healthy

  • Get sufficient sleep – A good amount is 7 to 8 hours a night.
  • Have a routine – Sounds easy but it can be a challenge when you feel depressed.
  • Stay in touch – Reach out to a friend or a loved one. Those who love and care about you want to help. 
  • Decrease your alcohol intake – Although drinking is associated with “partying,” it is actually a depressant. Cutting back on drinking can help fight the blues.
  • Exercise – Whether it’s going for a bike ride or taking a yoga class, your body will appreciate the natural high you get just by moving.
  • Eat healthy – Look for colorful, natural foods like carrots, spinach, a nice salad, and other things that you know are helpful to your body.
  • Look for the joy and goodness in your day Find a joke online, watch a silly YouTube video, listen to a fun podcast, or play with your pet.
  • Take a deep breath – Just know you’ll get through this and it’s gonna be OK!

If you think you have depression, JFS counselors are here to help. Call 407-644-7593 to schedule an appointment today. Our Clinical Supervisor will personally place you with the counselor that is the best fit for you. Specializing in depression, stress, divorce, grief and more, our licensed clinical therapists can help you cope with major life problems, guide you through difficult life transitions or simply help you with day-to-day troubles. Medicare, Medicaid and most commercial insurances accepted.


Author: Carla Fischer, MA, LMHC, LMT

Carla Fischer has been a Mental Health Counselor for over 15 years. She received her training for Mental Health Counseling at Webster University in Central Florida. Carla has traveled extensively; through that experience she developed an understanding of culture and discovered that background shapes who we are and how we experience the world. Carla is bilingual, fluent in English and Spanish she also has a good control of the German Language. Carla approaches Mental Health Counseling therapy with an open heart and mind.  She is aware that the willingness to start opening up and dealing with emotions is the first step in finding solutions to whatever concerns the client. The use of body centering or emotional centered therapy has been an integral part of helping her clients find balance in their lives and work through some of the difficulties that they might face.

A Special Goodbye

A special goodbye to our Office Manager, Bonnie Haas. Bonnie joined the JFS Orlando team 21 years ago, making her the longest serving JFS employee in the history of the organization! Responsible for managing the day to day building operations including technology, security, supervising the front office, tenant management and all building-related issues, she has been an integral part of the JFS family. We will all miss Bonnie and wish her the best of luck in her next chapter. Thank you for everything you have done for JFS and the community we serve!

Bonnie Haas

Remembering Madeline Wolly

Madeline Wolly, 1996-1998 JFS Orlando Board President

Madeline Wolly, 1996-1998 JFS Orlando Board President

It is with heavy hearts that we mourn the loss of Madeline Wolly, one of the longest serving JFS Orlando Board members who recently passed away on Sunday, September 9, 2018.

Sometimes affectionately called “Mrs. JFS,” Madeline was a long-time supporter and a great friend of the Agency. As a founder and past President of JFS, Madeline, along with her husband George, worked tirelessly to improve the quality of life for the less fortunate. So much so that our very building was named in honor of her late husband, George Wolly.

Madeline and George Wolly attending a JFS Orlando event.

Madeline and George Wolly attending a JFS Orlando event.

Madeline began her Jewish communal work in 1985 when she and George first joined the JFS Board of Directors. For many years, she raised funds and awareness for her beloved JFS so that the most vulnerable in our community could be helped. After joining the Board, she chaired mostly every committee and event and served as President from 1996 – 1998. She was most recently serving as Board Member Emeritus and continued to be a very active member, still attending meetings and events.

Madeline was an integral part of a team of volunteers, donors, and professional staff which help our neighbors in the greatest of need, regardless of their race, religion, or place in life. For her hard work and dedication to JFS, she was honored with the George Wolly Community Leadership Award at the 2015 Spring Brunch.

Madeline Wolly and family. Madeline received the George Wolly Community Leadership Award at the 2015 JFS Orlando Spring Brunch.

Madeline Wolly and family. Madeline received the George Wolly Community Leadership Award at the 2015 JFS Orlando Spring Brunch.

An amazing and caring woman, and the epitome of what JFS Orlando stands for, Madeline Wolly will be sorely missed by all. Please join us in sending our heartfelt condolences and prayers for Madeline and her family and friends.

A Tribute to Paul A. Grossman

Husband, father, grandfather, and philanthropist, Paul A. Grossman passed away on July 29, 2018. Paul grew up in Jersey City, learning moral values as a young Eagle Scout. He graduated with a Business degree from Washington University in St. Louis and went on to work in retail for several years. As a furniture buyer for Macy’s New York, Paul gained the experience and knowledge required to begin a career as a manufacturer’s representative in 1967.In 1986, he joined Natuzzi Upholstery where he was recognized as a top salesperson worldwide before he retired in 1997.

Paul was known and loved by his grandchildren as “Poppie.” In their words, he was “truly the epitome of good.” He knew the importance of kindness and compassion. Paul and his wife, Barbara Grossman, have been long-time supporters of JFS Orlando. Not only did Paul serve on the JFS Board, but he regularly volunteered in the Pearlman Emergency Food Pantry and enjoyed interacting with clients. In honor of their commitment to JFS, the Grossmans were awarded the JFS Orlando Community Leadership Award at the JFS 35th Anniversary Fine Art Fiesta in 2013.

Board member, Tayler Gold, awarding Barbara and Paul Grossman at the Fine Art Fiesta in 2013 for their contributions and accomplishments, both as long-term JFS contributors and as community patrons.

We will miss Paul and are forever grateful for his support. His contributions and accomplishments have truly made a lasting impression in the Central Florida community. Join us and keep Paul, his wife Barbara, and his family in your thoughts and prayers.

Barbara and Paul Grossman at the JFS Orlando Spring Brunch in 2015.

10 Tips for Getting the Self-Care That You Need

September is Self-Care Awareness Month. It’s an important time to remember to take care of yourself and put your needs first, no matter how hard it may be.

How often do we feel that we need to be on top of tasks, places, and the needs of others? Probably everyday. We hardly even stop to take care of ourselves. And where does that leave us? There is plenty of evidence to indicate how taking care of ourselves is actually the best way we can be there for others and for the many tasks that life gives us.

There are numerous ways that people consider self-care. But the thing with self-care is that you are the one that truly knows which ways are best for you. And remember: we are talking about healthy ways to do this. Let’s go over ten ways that you’ve probably used before but have forgotten.

1. Get sufficient sleep.
Sleep for 7- 8 hours and try to find at least 30 minutes of your day to just chill.

2. Ask for help.
Sometimes being able to accept help when you need it is good for you. And guess what? It also benefits the other person making you both feel valued. Two for the price of one.

3. Express gratitude.
Simple, right? Well it is and yet we forget to see what is right before us and makes us feel good about our day, month, or life. It can be done by journaling or sharing our gratitude with others.

4. Use your five senses.
Hold a pet in your arms. Cuddle up under a comfy warm blanket with a nice book. Listen to music that helps you feel relaxed. Take a nice warm shower or warm bath.

5. Make a spiritual connection.
This doesn’t necessarily need to be religious—meditation is also a great way to reconnect your mind, body, and soul. Try one of the many apps, classes, or YouTube videos available online. Take a walk in nature for just 10 minutes. Or just be mindful and aware of your movements during regular daily tasks, even right now.

6. Eat your veggies.
Remember them? There is something to be said about eating healthy and putting good food in your body to boost your self-care and feel nurtured in different ways.

7. Connect.
Call someone, write an email to someone you miss, send a card to a loved one, or go have chocolate with a friend!

8. Let’s get physical.
Play dodgeball, soccer, badminton, or anything else that suits you. Go for a nice walk. Try yoga, a great way to take care of your physical, emotional, and spiritual needs all at once. Hey, you can even put on one of your favorite tunes to groove to and dance!

9. Cut the cord.
Unhealthy people can drag you down and make you feel awful. Set healthy boundaries with them, even if it’s with those you love. Yes, it might feel awkward and it’s not easy, however, sometimes it is needed.

10. Laugh.
Remember when you were a kid and something just made you laugh just because? Let that kid out again! Laughter is truly the best medicine.

Whichever you choose, try out at least three of these. It’ll benefit you and all of those around you. You’ll notice how much better you’ll feel. Best self-care!

Want more tips? Whether you’re going through a difficult time or just need someone to talk to about your regular day-to-day, JFS Orlando has licensed counselors that can help you get some self-care. To schedule an appointment, call 407-644-7593 ext. 247 or email Ashlyn.Douglass-Barnes@JFSorlando.org today!

 


Author: Carla Fischer, MA, LMHC, LMT

Carla Fischer has been a Mental Health Counselor for over 15 years. She received her training for Mental Health Counseling at Webster University in Central Florida. Carla has traveled extensively; through that experience she developed an understanding of culture and discovered that background shapes who we are and how we experience the world. Carla is bilingual, fluent in English and Spanish she also has a good control of the German Language. Carla approaches Mental Health Counseling therapy with an open heart and mind.  She is aware that the willingness to start opening up and dealing with emotions is the first step in finding solutions to whatever concerns the client. The use of body centering or emotional centered therapy has been an integral part of helping her clients find balance in their lives and work through some of the difficulties that they might face.

A Tribute to Harriett Lake


JFS Orlando leadership team with honoree, Harriett Lake, at the 2011 Spring Fiesta.

An incredible woman and philanthropist, we take a moment to remember Harriett Lake who passed away in July. Harriett was a generous and devoted supporter of many organizations in Central Florida, including JFS Orlando. In 2011, our Spring Fiesta, “Harriett’s CanCan”, honored Harriett for her many years of support to JFS Orlando. We are so grateful for Harriett’s past support! Please join us in keeping Harriett, her children – Shelley and Michael – and friends in our thoughts and prayers.

Harriett Lake and Community Leadership Award
Long time JFS supporter and Board Member Craig Pearlman presenting the JFS Orlando Community Leadership Award at the 2011 JFS Spring Fiesta.

Harriett Lake and "Fiesta friends"
Harriett and “friends” at the JFS Orlando 2011 Spring Fiesta.