First Aid is such an important part of everyday life and you never know when you will need it. Pumping Marvellous has teamed up with the British Red Cross to offer Heart Failure patients and their carers free to attend dedicated First Aid workshop days in Burnley. If you would like to book then please contact Pumping Marvellous via email@example.com
Would you know how to help in an emergency? The British Red Cross website has videos so you can learn what to do in numerous first aid situations.
You will find a series of videos being posted on the site over the next couple of days which demonstrate simple first aid in difference situations. We hope you find this useful and we will being telling people of the days shortly so keep a look out. Remember it is free for Heart Failure patients and carers through Pumping Marvellous.
Don’t forget your Carer at Easter
It’s the little things that matter and an easter egg for your carer is a lovely token of your appreciation of the help they give you. So don’t forget about your Carer at Easter they have a life as well.
This was post that was suggested by my wife who is sat on the sofa next to me – better get to the shops then.
Carers 12 Days of Christmas Special – Day 11
Get out once a week and go somewhere enjoyable. Visit the local coffee shop, take a class, visit a friend or just wander around doing some shopping or a stroll park. If your loved one needs constant attention, ask for help. You can find someone to give an hour a week to let you get out.
Carers 12 Days of Christmas Special – Day 10
Stay connected with the outside world, even if it’s just by phone or online. Don’t isolate yourself. Talk to friends about something other than your situation. Stay interested in what would be going on in your life if you weren’t carer. It’s still there and you’re still a part of it.
Carers 12 Days of Christmas Special – Day 8
Keep humor in your life.
Laughter is good medicine.
Find the humor in your situation when possible, watch a silly TV program or pop in a funny movie. Find things to laugh about with your loved one. They need joy too! Laughing quickens the pulse rate, stimulates the blood circulation, activates muscles, increases oxygen intake and helps you relax. If you’ve forgotten how to laugh, try to be around people who still know how.
Carers 12 Days of Christmas Special – Day 7
As a carer, you need to communicate with many people to keep going. You’ve got to connect with family, friends, co-workers, employers, healthcare professionals, insurance companies and a loved one who may not be the same person he or she used to be. Constructive and effective communication is vital. When your communication is clear, assertive and constructive, you’re more likely to be heard and get the response you need. Your stress level and the added responsibilities are going to make it harder to stay focused, articulate your needs and feelings and make sure you understand what everyone is demanding from you. You’ll need to stay organized, have patience and control conflicting emotions. Here are some basic guidelines for good communication.
General Communication Tips
- Be assertive, honest and patient. You’ve got a long road ahead. You need support from your loved one and those who will be on your team.
- Use “I” messages rather than “you” messages. By saying “I feel angry” rather than “You made me angry,” you can express your feelings without blaming others or causing them to become defensive.
- Respect the rights and feelings of others. Don’t say something that will violate another person’s rights or intentionally hurt the person’s feelings. Recognise that the other person has the right to express feelings.
- Be clear and specific. Speak directly to the person. Don’t hint or hope the person will guess what you need. People are not mind readers. When you speak directly about what you need or feel, you take the risk that the other person might disagree or say no to your request, but your action also shows respect for the other person’s opinion. When both parties speak directly, the chances of reaching understanding are greater. Be a good listener. Listening is the most important aspect of communication.
- If at first you don’t succeed, try and try again. If you’re not getting your point across, or you’re getting no response, try again later. Sometimes, it’s just not the right time.
Communicating With Your Loved One
It can be frustrating, sad and frightening. Even if your loved one can express himself or herself, there may be some type of role reversal involved when you become a caregiver. Print out these tips and add them to your notes to read over when you get frustrated.
Communicating With Your Family
The illness and dependency of a loved one can strain family relationships. Additional stress may result as family members sacrifice time and money as a result of caregiving. Emotions may run high when everyone is frightened and concerned about the situation, and nerves may be on edge. Roles may be reversed. The best intentions of families can sometimes lead to misunderstandings, resentment and fear. Start the process of good communication by holding a family meeting. Then minimize misunderstandings by keeping communication with family members open, honest and constructive.
Communicating With Healthcare Professionals
The relationship you build with the healthcare professionals caring for your loved one can make a big difference in your loved one’s recovery and in your ability to understand what you can and can’t control about the situation. It’s very important for you to build and nurture this relationship and for the doctors to clearly understand your role with the patient.
Communicating With Friends
Your friends want to know how you’re doing and how they can help. Don’t shut them out. You need them for emotional support and to help you keep living your life.
Communicating With Employers
You’ve got to keep your job, but it’s always being interrupted by your caregiving responsibilities. You’re tired, irritable and can’t focus on the work the way you used to. How are you going to balance work and be a carer? For some, it isn’t possible, and hundreds of thousands of caregivers have to adjust their work life to suit their caregiving role. However, if you can’t afford to lose your job, we’ve got some tips to help you educate your employer and remain a valuable contributor to the company without neglecting your loved one.
Communicating with Other Carer
This is a very important part of being a carer. Talking to others who are experiencing the same thing is more helpful than you can imagine. Strike up conversations at the doctor’s surgery while you’re waiting for your loved one. The person sitting next to you may be as overwhelmed as you are and could need to talk to someone as much as you do. Pumping Marvellous offers Carer forums where carers can sit around a talk to other Carers in the same situation and share experiences, we also bring guest speakers as well who experts in areas of caring.
A big tip is – “Feel the fear and do it anyway”
Carers 12 Days of Christmas Special – Day 6
Food is ever so important – you are what you eat
Stress can affect eating habits in different ways. Some people will eat anything they can get their hands on, particularly carbohydrates. Others tend to go into a “starvation” mode and not eat much at all. These are both normal reactions, as our bodies behave differently when we are chronically stressed. However, neither of these responses will help relieve stress or contribute to a healthy body and mind.
Maintaining good nutrition habits is tough for anyone, but it’s especially difficult for a carer. Often your loved one is on a special diet or has a particularly selective appetite. There may be other family members to feed, and your time and energy are certainly limited. But you’ve still got to eat correctly. Good nutrition is a habit that you have to consciously cultivate. It begins at the supermarket. Learn to read labels. Start buying foods that benefit your body and mind. If you don’t bring it home, you can’t eat it.
You can train yourself to eat right, one food at a time. Your goals should include foods low in saturated fat, transfat, cholesterol and sodium (salt), and lots of fruit and vegetables every day, whole-grain/high-fiber foods, lean meats, poultry, fish (at least twice per week), and fat-free or low-fat dairy products. You should also use monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. Also, cut back on beverages and foods with added sugars and salt. If you’re not going to eat much, at least eat smart. Foods that have a lot of “bang-for-the-buck” include deeply colored fruits and veggies (e.g., spinach, broccoli, carrots, berries and peaches), whole-grain/high-fiber foods (e.g., whole-wheat, oats/oatmeal and brown rice), oily fish (e.g., salmon, trout and herring).
Vegetables and fruits are high in vitamins, minerals and fiber — and they’re low in calories. Eating a variety of fruits and vegetables may help you control your weight and reduce your risk for cardiovascular disease by lowering your blood pressure. Eat deeply colored vegetables and fruits because they tend to be higher in vitamins and minerals than others.
- Carers 12 Days of Christmas Special – Day 6 (pumpingmarvellous.com)
- Eating Your Way to Heart Health (everydayhealth.com)
- Helpful Hints to Instill Healthy Nutrition Habits for Children (prweb.com)
Carers 12 Days of Christmas Special – Day 5
Research over the last decade is clear: Carers who devote themselves to their loved ones to the exclusion of their own needs become ill. In a study of spousal carers (Schulz, et al, 1999), carers who experienced mental or emotional strain had a 63 percent higher risk of death than non carers and caregivers
Physical activity is proven to improve both mental and physical health. It tackles anxiety, depression and anger. It enhances your immune system and decreases the risk of developing diseases such as cancer and heart disease. It helps maintain a healthy weight. Becoming more active can lower your blood pressure by as much as 4 to 9 mm Hg. That’s the same reduction in blood pressure delivered by some antihypertensive medications.
Three 10-minute periods of activity are almost as beneficial to your overall fitness as one 30-minute session.
For each hour of regular exercise you get, you’ll gain about two hours of life expectancy, even if you don’t start until middle age. Moderate exercise, such as brisk walking, for as little as 30 minutes a day has the proven health benefits listed above as well as:
Improves self-image and energy levels
Improves muscle tone and muscle strength
Improves circulation, which reduces the risk of heart disease
Helps prevent bone loss
Promotes enthusiasm and optimism
Reduces coronary heart disease in women by 30–40 percent
Reduces risk of stroke by 20 percent in moderately active people and by 27 percent in highly active ones
Helps in the battle to quit smoking
Helps you fall asleep faster and sleep more soundly
It’s also a good idea to spend some time outdoors. Sunlight on your skin helps your body produce vitamin D, which brings many added health benefits.
- Carers 12 Days of Christmas Special – Day 3 (pumpingmarvellous.com)
- High blood pressure – Lowering blood pressure reduce risk of stroke and heart disease (blood-pressure-monitoring.org)
- Keep an Eye on Heart Disease (everydayhealth.com)
- How Much Exercise Does Your Heart Need? (everydayhealth.com)
Carers 12 Days of Christmas Special – Day 4
One of the most important things you can do for yourself and your loved one is to make time and space for yourself. This has to be a conscious action that you take every day. It could be as simple as spending 10 minutes playing a fun computer game. If you don’t learn how to take a timeout, your frustration is going to boil over. You’ll be less productive and your relationship with your loved one will suffer.
- Find a way to take a 10- or 15-minute walk a couple of times a day
- Choose a space in the house that is your “quiet space” where you can go take a few deep breaths, close your eyes, read a book, pray, meditate, listen to music, sing,talk to a friend on the phone, write a journal or a blog or just rest quietly for a few minutes.
- Schedule your timeouts. Choose a time when your loved one is typically sleeping, eating, watching a TV program or seems to be at their best during the day. They will get accustomed to your little timeouts after a while and stop resenting your privacy and interrupting you.
- Insist on these moments in a gentle way and reward your loved one when you’ve refreshed yourself.