Siddiqa Khalifa

Siddiqa Khalifa

Siddiqa is an ambitious writer and has completed her BA in English Literature and Education Studies. Upon completing her degree, she traveled to New Jersey where she was an Au Pair to two young boys for over a year. Siddiqa currently resides in England and works for Vapouround Magazine as a Journalist while taking care of her mother who suffers from Alzheimer's Disease. She is also one of the writers and moderators for Facebook's 'Au Pairs Chronicles' page and its website. From caring for children to parents, Siddiqa hopes to raise awareness on the importance of caring by writing blogs for CareAcademy.

4 Tips to Manage Medication

Pill box to help manage medication

Organization, dedication and commitment are all the skills you need to be a competent caregiver. It requires your time, efforts, and most importantly, your utmost attention when it comes to taking care of the elderly. Knowing how to manage medication is important for our day to day life.

From my personal experience, I have found that managing my mother’s Alzheimer’s medication requires most of my time and patience. Whether it’s collecting medication from the pharmacy or storing it safely at home, medication needs to be supervised constantly.

Tablets, liquids and other painkillers are vital if you’re looking after someone who relies on their medication as it gets them through the day. More often than not, I’m constantly chasing up my mother’s doctor or pharmacist about receiving her medication before it runs out. I like to ensure I’ve got a full batch of her painkillers, Alzheimer’s prescription, and anything else my mother requires in case of an emergency.

More medication, more problems

As a caregiver, the most complicated part is the list of medication my mother requires on a regular basis. As years pass and her condition drastically changes her mobility, the list of her medication has grown! Doctors prescribe new medication almost every other month. It’s my job to keep up to date with it all, but at the end of the day, I’m only human, and some things can get left forgotten.

More lists are the last thing I need in my life. However, my mother’s medication is imperative to her life, which is why I’ve created a few tips to consider in order to manage medication effectively:

Pill Boxes
Pill boxes are a great little storage box to organize daily medication. Whether it’s taking medication during the day or at night, pill boxes are easily accessible and can be brought from your local pharmacy or supermarket.

Medication Alarms
A medication alarm can be great reminder when to give medication if you have thousands of errands to run daily. Although a little expensive, substitute a medication alarm with calendar alerts on your Smartphone.

In Sight, In Mind
Keep it visible to yourself. I’ve often found that when my mother needs her medication, I’m frantically searching for her painkillers in a bag full of other medication. Now, I’ve created her very own medicine cabinet which I have easy access to, but I make sure it’s out of reach from her for her own safety and protection. All medication should be stored in a cool, dry, secure place.

Use Your Daily Routine
Combine it with another daily task. Some medication requires to be taken with, or just after eating food. This is one of the most convenient times I have found to give my mom her medication. By combining it with another daily task, this leaves me more time to plan and complete other responsibilities.

These are just some general tips on how to manage medication. Of course, you have to take into consideration the different types of medication for the individual you are caring for. Keep topical medication away from oral medication. It’s important not to mix medication as this can lead to health related problems.

Medication can, and does, incorporate a more comfortable and better life for the individual. Not only does it prevent other medical problems, but it can contribute to longer life spans. Therefore, it is essential to handle and manage medication responsibly.

CareAcademy’s online class “Assisting with Personal Care” provides caregivers thorough direction
on how to manage medication for all types of patients.

Now registering!

Siddiqa Khalifa4 Tips to Manage Medication
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Caregiver Tips: Help Yourself to Help Others

You’re away at sea. The deep blue ocean is all you know, and it’s all you can see. Suddenly, you notice a hole at the bottom of your boat. You’re afraid the boat may sink. What do you do? Panic, of course. But what do your survival instincts tell you? Put your own life jacket on and then, assist others. The best caregiver tips make sure you’re better prepared to care for others. Helping yourself first must come first. Only then are you physically and emotionally able to look after others as a caregiver, but it’s something we often forget to do. When you’re looking after others, you forget to look after yourself. You forget to take care of yourself because you’re putting their needs before your own. It’s normal to do this, but it’s also important to look after yourself; this is what makes you look after others more effectively. Ever found yourself nibbling on crumbs of leftover food or struggling to find time to make a well-cooked meal? If you’re running late for work, struggling to wake up on time every morning, constantly forgetting to do other things because you’re so busy trying to rush through the day, it’s time to stop and take care of yourself. Balancing your work life and personal life is tricky when being a caregiver around the clock. When do you get the time to look after yourself when all of your time consists of looking after others? When do you put your own needs before others? You may even feel selfish doing this when you have so many other tasks to complete but it’s important to do so! Self-care can range from napping, meditating, healthy eating to pedicures/manicures, socializing, reading, traveling, and other forms of relaxation. But is this going to relieve any stress or headaches you have? And most importantly, do you even have time for these self-care methods? Truth is, you may not. But I’ve managed to find a few easy tricks to look after myself while caring for my mother.

Self-Care Caregiver Tips

Facial masks, manicures, pedicures and resting your eyes all sound like the perfect “me” time. But there’s no time to get these things done and when we plan for these occasions, it feels like a chore. Instead, here’s what I would advise:
  • Multi-task: When I’m cleansing my mother’s face, I wash mine at the same time. I’ll put on facial masks and nose strips for the both of us so we can enjoy it together. I always anticipate her chuckle when she sees me covered up in a mango scented face mask with a big white strip plastered across my nose.
  • Take things slow. My biggest mistake is planning to complete all my tasks and chores in one single day. At first it seems manageable, but once 5 o’clock hits, and I haven’t finished folding the laundry or started cooking dinner, my stress levels hit the ceiling! Be more organized and plan your week ahead so you have plenty of time to complete chores and have some time to spare for yourself.
  • Help yourself first. They say you have two hands: one for helping yourself, the other one for helping others. Looking after yourself comes first, everything else can come second. When looking after a patient, all you can think about is their health and their needs. As a caregiver, we don’t have time to asses our own needs or we make up excuses. Do all the little things for yourself that help you throughout the day. Schedule in a haircut appointment or a social night during the week.
  • Ask for help. Caring for someone everyday is difficult, not everyone can do it. Most of us can’t even look after ourselves! It’s fine to say “I can’t do this” or “it’s too much”. But never give up, never let that terrible feeling inside you get to your mind and make you think that you can’t do this anymore. Ask other caregivers for help, advice, and their best caregiver tips.
  • Think positive. Set yourself some goals for the week that motivate you throughout the day. This way, you’re looking forward to something that’ll keep you going and help you stay positive. I love eating out, and I always plan to go out to eat on Friday nights. So I’ll be sure to plan my week ahead and ensure all my responsibilities are completed by Friday night at 7pm!
These are just a few ways to look after yourself. Self-care isn’t just for caregivers; it’s for every single one of us, regardless of career choice. You must take care of your emotional needs as well as your physicality. Self-care isn’t easy, but it is healthy.  

Learn more of the best caregiver tips with CareAcademy’s online classes for family and professional caregivers. 

Siddiqa KhalifaCaregiver Tips: Help Yourself to Help Others
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How to Communicate With Someone With Alzheimer’s.

  It’s tough looking after an elderly person especially, someone who has a condition that doesn’t allow them to be as independent as they used to be. I’ve been caring for my mother who has Alzheimer’s for over 5 years now, and as her memory and motoring skills become worse, the most significant difficulties I’ve experienced while caring for my mother, is communication. Whether it’s asking what she wants for her dinner or reminding her who I am, I’m always struggling to find a way to talk to her. This should be easy though, right? She’s my mother, I’m her child. She raised, she fed me, she clothed me. She attended all my doctor and dentist appointments with me. Well now it’s my turn to take on the maternal role. However, there are just times I cannot find a way for her to understand me, and vice versa. Whilst juggling laundry, grocery shopping, feeding and clothing my mother, I’ve found some time efficient ways on how to take things one step at a time.

Tips for communicating with a person with Alzheimer’s

  1. Let them know you’re there. It might sound obvious enough, but patients with disorders may not be aware of their surroundings or people. A gentle “hello, how are you doing?” or a simple touch to the hand every now and then won’t go unappreciated
  1. Distract them if they get upset. This is what I’ve found to be the most useful method had there ever been one! It’s often difficult for caregivers to figure out what’s wrong or what the problem is when the patient is distressed, but it’s incredibly frustrating for them when we can’t figure out the cause. Instead of investing time to find solutions, distract them with something they can relate to. For example, my mother loved getting dolled up to attend weddings and events, so I would show her all the fancy dresses she used to wear and remind her she can wear them on our next outing
  1. Make them feel involved. Inform the person with Alzheimer’s of current events and affairs, or make them help you fold the laundry. It may be meaningless to their lifestyle, but it’ll feel nice for them to feel involved with daily routines. Making polite small talk helps them to feel included. It’ll remind them of times in the past where they were active contributors to society. This is also a good way to pass time.
  1. Don’t be a fuss pot. Sometimes, they like to be just as they are. It’s important to give them their independence and space. This is as important to them as it is to you.  Giving them space will also improve your patience with them. Let them hold that glass of water all by themselves. Teach them how to hold a spoon or plate during dinner. This way, both you and the person with Alzheimer’s are helping each other, and this creates a special bond during these difficult times
  1. Patience goes a long way. Cliché, I know, but it really does go a long way! A lot of people think caring for an elderly person is a lot like looking after a child. It is. But it’s far more difficult than that. Children can be taught how to dress themselves; they can remember events from the day before. Elderly people can’t necessarily do these things anymore, or not as well as they used to. It takes time and a whole lot of patience to care for any person and the best way to do so, is to take one day at a time, one step at a time.
Some motivation for caregivers of adults with Alzheimer’s: At the end of the day, you, the caregiver, are there to provide the best care you possibly can for the person suffering from symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease. It’s the little things you do that help them throughout the day. They may seem likes chores at times but you’re making a huge difference in their lives. Although they’re a big part of your life, you’re the main part of theirs. You may be the only person the person with Alzheimer’s can remember or the only person they have to talk to. But, my final piece of advice as someone who is quite experienced in looking after the elderly (adults with and without Alzheimer’s) as well as children – don’t forget to look after yourself!  

Want to know more about working with someone with Alzheimer’s? CareAcademy’s professional online caregiver courses jumps-start your eldercare career.

Siddiqa KhalifaHow to Communicate With Someone With Alzheimer’s.
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