Whether the care you give is for a loved one with an illness, your spouse, your children or yourself, the task is bound to be constant, challenging and many times overwhelming.

Since all readers have been negatively affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, we are all in a position to embrace a positive approach to aging well.

This column is designed to bring support, education and encouragement to all caregivers.

Sheltering remains a serious and difficult reality for many virus high-risk individuals. Visiting restrictions have reduced personal contact and care through windows or on Zoom.

I applaud the extremely brave and committed healthcare workers; but facts still suggest that depression, stress and poor health are problem factors in most environments. Sadly, caregiver support opportunities have become extremely limited nationwide.  

There Is Good News!

There are ways to promote quality of life, regardless of your situation. It is my great privilege to share what I have learned and experienced both as a senior healthcare professional and as a caregiver for two aging parents. I would never say either job was easy, but I will say my efforts did enhance the quality of life for those I served in retirement living, assisted living, memory care, and most definitely for my family. These folks were all the recipients of the joy approach that I teach in my Moment-Method*. Like a boomerang, joy is returned to the sender. It is a powerful tool for those who give care.

Caregiver Corner Question

Dear Karen,

My husband is in the early stage of memory loss. I have heard numerous times that keeping your mind active and playing logic games and puzzles can help with memory retention. I have tried to get my husband to do these activities, but he shows no interest and even gets mad when I suggest different puzzles. What can I do?

Dear Puzzled,

That is a great question! Most people, with loving intentions, tend to overlook one important thing when introducing “brain games.” Did their loved one ever enjoy a crossword, word search or Sudoku before showing signs of memory loss? If they didn’t like them before, they’re absolutely going to hate them now. Busyness or forced activities will never be the correct answer to this question. To stimulate someone’s (or your own) brain, it must be done with an enjoyed or activity of interest. For example, if your husband always enjoyed WWII history, find a history challenge for him. An easy computer search will provide multiple ideas and projects for all cognitive levels and for many areas of interest.

Share your questions, challenges and successes: momentsthatmatterkcb@gmail.com Your submission may be published; however, all submissions will be answered.

Karen Cochran Beaulieu is the author of the book, Moments that Matter; a roadmap for caregivers and their loved ones with memory loss. and the creator of the Moment-Method*. Her know-how as an art teacher, florist, corporate event/wedding planner and published poet prepared her for 15 successful years as an activities director in all areas of senior living. Over the past 10 years, she has been a caregiver for two aging parents.  Karen is a resident of Sumter County.