Caring Answers: Our Family Caregiver Blog

At Jensen Case Management, LLC, we understand the pressures you are under as a family caregiver. This blog is designed to support you in the incredibly important work that you do.

As the Upper Peninsula experts in family caregiving, we have resources, tips and information that can make your life much easier.

If you would like help, give us a call at: 906-250-4975.


The decision to stop dialysis

The decision to stop dialysisDialysis is life sustaining yet also quite taxing for the patient. About 25% of people who choose dialysis later decide to stop. Typically, this is because the burdens of this kidney disease treatment have severely reduced their quality of life. The tradeoff becomes no longer acceptable. Ending dialysis is essentially a decision to let nature...

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Learning to forgive yourself

Learning to forgive yourselfAccording to psychologist Rick Hanson, PhD, we all have an inner critic and an inner protector. Together they help us maintain a balanced perspective. But too often as family caregivers, we have an overload of guilt, shame, and remorse, always feeling our performance is subpar, that we haven't done enough. This is not healthy. The...

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The healing power of music

The healing power of musicCan listening to calming music actually ease pain? Can singing silly songs make you happier? Researchers say this isn't just a folktale—it represents some of the measurable effects of music on the mind and body. Although it's not yet clear exactly how music works its magic, studies show that it is strong medicine, both in...

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Dealing with criticism

Dealing with criticismReceiving criticism is never a pleasant experience, especially from family members. Whether it is a sibling griping about how you care for a relative or complaints from the person you are caring for, you may feel suddenly flooded with difficult emotions. Perhaps anger, shame, or confusion. We can't stop others from giving criticism. But we...

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What is a Medicaid spend down?

What is a Medicaid spend down?There are two forms of government health insurance: Medicare. Basically, age-based insurance for older adults (age 65+), regardless of income and assets. (Assets include money and belongings, such as a house or car.) Medicaid. Income-based insurance funded with federal and state dollars. (The state where your relative lives may have a name different than "Medicaid.")...

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Bladder issues

Bladder issuesIf making it to the bathroom in time is a frequent concern for your relative, they may have an overactive bladder. More than 33 million Americans contend with this condition, in which misfiring nerves cause the bladder muscles to contract involuntarily. Your loved one may be too embarrassed to bring it up with the doctor,...

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What’s involved in giving care?

What’s involved in giving care?Perhaps you call regularly to offer emotional support. Maybe you handle finances. Perhaps you visit weekly. Or you may live with your loved one 24/7. Caring takes many forms. You may feel this is simply what a loving daughter/son/partner would do. But that doesn't mean it isn't time and energy from your day. Or night,...

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Explaining your needs to others

Explaining your needs to othersAre you worried that asking for help sounds like whining? You may believe you "should" be able to do it all without assistance. Or think you are "just" doing what any good or loving daughter (or son, or spouse) would do. Like many caregivers focused on family harmony, you may have become used to minimizing...

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Medical management without dialysis

Medical management without dialysisDialysis typically buys a person some time. But it rules their life—and possibly yours. It requires strict adherence to the schedule. Also, severe food restrictions. Your relative's energy level will fluctuate. That makes planning for other activities difficult. There is an increased chance of infection because of the access port for dialysis. And there are...

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Giving “awesome” new meaning

Giving "awesome" new meaningCan you recall taking in a majestic view or the miracle of dewdrops on a spiderweb? That sense of awe—the magnificence of it all. In the presence of amazement and wonder, we feel connected with something much greater than ourselves. Our problems seem to shrink. It turns out that these moments of awe have measurable...

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