ADVICE FOR YOUR BUCKET LIST

Do you know what a bucket list is? Most people think it is a list of things you want to do before you die. A typical guess is people want to visit a particular place before dying. Based on an unscientific poll about bucket lists, that is not a bad guess. Travel appears to be a frequent bucket list ambition.  Anne is an American who is proud her ancestors lived for centuries on the group of small islands in the English Channel between the southern coast of England and mainland Europe.

REDUCE STRESS, INCREASE ENJOYMENT FOR A HAPPY 2018

Family caregivers provide practical assistance and enhance the quality of life for frail seniors who might otherwise require placement in a long-term-care facility. Typically, caregivers are spouses or adult children, many of whom are seniors themselves. Their role involves physical, psychological, emotional and financial demands. It can be a heavy load.  If you are a caregiver, consider the following strategies for not only surviving but thriving in the year ahead.

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DISCOVER A LOVE OF LIFELONG LEARNING

Curiosity, exploring interests and engagement are a few crucial ingredients to healthy and happy longevity. Enrolling in a class just for the love of learning is a great way to do this. The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at the University of Kentucky offers educational and enrichment courses, forums, shared interest groups, trips and more for adults age 50 years and older. Membership for the full year is $25; summer programs are at a prorated fee.

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with accountability in the relationship.


•  Learn from the struggles – When situations occur, allow them to be a learning experience. Reevaluate the situation afterward and think of ways you will handle it better next time. Grow from every experience.


While adjusting to the stresses of loving someone with a mental illness, it is important to identify sources of support. Consider joining a family support group to meet other people going through the same struggles you may be experiencing. Talking to them can provide hope and understanding. Research has shown family-based programs improve the well-being of individuals with mental illness, as well as that of their partners and families. Join a local family support group to get the education you need and help your loved one overcome his or her illness. You can find support groups at your local hospital or health department or you can contact your local chapter of NAMI.

Many relationships have their ups and downs. No relationship is perfect. It takes a lot of work to sustain a relationship, and having a partner with a mental illness can have a significant impact.


The National Alliance of Mental Health (NAMI) (www.nami.org) defines mental illness as a condition that affects a person’s thinking, feelings or moods. If you are living with a mental illness and are already in a relationship, you may wonder whether you should tell your partner about your mental illness. If you are single and want to be in a relationship, you may wonder if a relationship is right for you. You can build a relationship while dealing with a mental illness if you receive support and acceptance from your partner.


Recent research has found there is a correlation between the type of relationship an individual has and the effect it can have on mental health. If an individual is in a healthy relationship, the partner that is struggling may fight off their mental illness. However, if an individual is in an unhealthy relationship, mental illness can worsen and the person may develop even more problems. In addition, both partners in the relationship can struggle with symptoms of mental illness, says marriage and family therapist Pierre Imlay, MEd, RMFT. It is important for couples to seek professional help if one or both partners have a mental illness.  

HOW TO HELP WITH A PARTNER WITH A MENTAL ILLNESS

Here are a few tips to maintain a healthy relationship while facing mental illness:


•  Learn about the illness and treatments – Research the illness and educate yourself as much as possible. Also, make sure your partner is receiving the appropriate treatment for his or her illness.


•  Seek out professional help – Learn from a health professional how you can help your partner. Make sure your partner is following the instructions received from the health professional. Counseling can also help with the struggles you may encounter. It provides balance and guidance in a situation that can easily become toxic under the wrong circumstances.


•  Maintain positive communication – Keep encouraging your partner. Continue to show and state that you love him. Let her know she has your support.


•  Check in with one another – Talk to one another regularly. Share feelings, needs and expectations. Try to schedule a regular time to talk, such as during dinner or before bedtime. Make sure you are on the same page. This also helps

TANIQUA WARD, M.S

TaNiqua Ward is a Staff Writer for Living Well 60+ Magazine

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