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Playing Games as a Caregiver Can Reduce Stress, but be Careful How You Play

Caregiver Tips Hope Sound FL

Caregiver TipsFor some people, playing games increases the level of stress they experience in their life. For others it is a way to relax, unwind, and enjoy spending quality time with people who matter most to them, especially family members and friends. If you are a family caregiver, you may be trying to find ways to reduce stress and somebody told you to consider playing games, especially with your elderly loved one.

When you first begin playing these games, you may find that the competitive nature within you or the senior in your life is quite strong. You probably already knew you were a very competitive person. Maybe you didn’t realize your loved one was the same.

August is National Win with Civility Month and while playing games is a great way to pass the time and even enjoy company with somebody else, make sure that you don’t place the game as a higher priority than the actual time you spend with this other individual.

  1. Establish simple rules for the game.

If the senior has difficulty with their memory or keeping track of certain information, simplify the game as much as possible. The more complicated the rules, the more frustrating it can be to play those games. The more frustrating it happens to be to play a game, the less likely it will be enjoyable for everyone.

  1. Establish expectations with regard to winning.

Avoid betting on any particular game you might play, even if it is a ‘fun bet’ between two family members. That simple ‘bet’ can actually instill a greater competitive spirit within you or the other individuals.

  1. Step back and away from the game if somebody is getting nasty.

If somebody is throwing down cards, slamming the table, cursing, or getting belligerent just because they are not winning, it’s time to gracefully exit the game itself. You don’t have to say anything, talk condescendingly to the other person, or even belittle them. Simply place your pieces, cards, or other tokens on the table, push back away from it, and walk away. You can tell everyone at the table, if there are multiple people, that you are resigning.

If the senior or other people don’t realize they’re not playing with civility or even winning with civility, you can certainly discuss your concerns with them. Playing games is supposed to be an enjoyable activity, and when it’s not it’s time to look for something else to do.

For more information about how Family Private Care, Inc. can help your aging parents remain in their own homes, call 800-962-0884.

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Deborah Irvine

Deborah Irvine and her husband reside in Martin County Florida. She has been married for 30 years and is the mother of two daughters. Deborah completed her nursing degree at Palm Beach Community College in 1986 and is a Registered Nurse. She also has a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Religious Studies from Hobe Sound Bible College. Deborah worked for 9 years at Martin Memorial Hospital as a Medical/Surgical Nurse and then went into Home Health care, working for two years at a Medicare Home Health company. In 1997 Deborah went to work at Family Private Care where she started as an Independent Contractor nurse, and was soon promoted to the Director of Nursing, then became their General Manager and currently serves as Family Private Care’s President.

Deborah is a member of the Private Care Association and thereby stays involved in the political process both state-wide and national as it pertains to Nurse Registries and home care issues.

Deborah was appointed by the Commissioners of Martin County in 2005 to the board of the Treasure Coast Health Care Council where she served two terms.

Deborah has been committed to the Martin County community by serving in various roles through her church from being involved with children’s ministry through a Bus Ministry program in Indiantown to serving as a Sunday School teacher to Junior High children. Deborah continues to work with and actively supports a myriad of local community organizations.