Regaining your self, hope and optimism

Tips for Regaining Your Energy, Optimism, and Hope


The demands of care-giving can be overwhelming, especially if you feel you have little control over the situation or you’re in over your head. If the stress of care-giving is left unchecked, it can take a toll on your health, relationships, and state of mind—eventually leading to burnout.

When you’re burned out, it’s tough to do anything, let alone look after someone else. That’s why taking care of yourself isn’t a luxury—it’s a necessity. Read on for tips on how to rein in the stress in your life and regain balance, joy, and hope.

What do you need to know?

Caring for a loved one can be very rewarding, but it also involves many stressors. Caregiver stress can be particularly damaging, since it is typically a chronic, long-term challenge. You may face years or even decades of care-giving responsibilities. It can be particularly disheartening when there’s no hope that your family member will get better.

If you don’t get the physical and emotional support your need, the stress of care-giving leaves you vulnerable to a wide range of problems, including depression, anxiety, and burnout. And when you get to that point, both you and the person you’re caring for suffer. That’s why managing the stress levels in your life is just as important as making sure your family member gets to his doctor’s appointment or takes her medication on time.

Signs and symptoms of caregiver stress and burnout

Learning to recognize the signs of caregiver stress and burnout is the first step to dealing with the problem.

Common signs and symptoms of caregiver stress

  • Anxiety, depression, irritability
  • Feeling tired and run down
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Overreacting to minor nuisances
  • New or worsening health problems
  • Feeling increasingly resentful
  • Drinking, smoking, or eating more
  • Neglecting responsibilities
  • Cutting back on leisure activities
  • Trouble concentrating

Common signs and symptoms of caregiver burnout

  • You have much less energy than you once had
  • It seems like you catch every cold or flu that’s going around
  • You’re constantly exhausted, even after sleeping or taking a break
  • You neglect your own needs, either because you’re too busy or you don’t care anymore
  • Your life revolves around care-giving, but it gives you little satisfaction
  • You have trouble relaxing, even when help is available
  • You’re increasingly impatient and irritable with the person you’re caring for
  • You feel helpless and hopeless

Once you burn out, care-giving is no longer a healthy option for either you or the person you’re caring for. So it’s important to watch for the warning signs of caregiver burnout and take action right away when you recognize the problem.

Don’t let care-giving take over your whole life. It’s easier to accept a difficult situation when there are other areas of your life that are rewarding. Invest in things that give you meaning and purpose—whether it’s your family, church, a favorite hobby, or your career. Read on for some additional tips to lighten the load:

Find ways to feel empowered

[Read more…]

Laughter is essential at least for a few minutes

Find your sense of humor again! 
It’s very hard finding any humor in our life, when being a caregiver zaps all of our energy.  But you must and you definitely can.

You really can find humor in any situation, but you have to allow yourself to see the funny side of it. We all need to laugh. It’s healing and it helps you to feel good even when everything else doesn’t feel so great.

Here are some ideas:

  1. Buy a joke book and put it in the bathroom as reading material!
  2. Watch one TV program a day that is purely humor.
  3. Ask yourself: Do you ever get that feeling that your guardian angel went out for a smoke and did not come back?
  4. If you can’t take the high road then just stop and eat something.
  5. Watch a cat video doing something stupid.
  6. Take time to read the comics in the daily paper.
  7. Watch reruns of The Big Bang Theory.
  8. Do something totally unexpected.
  9. Eat dessert for dinner.
  10. Take the person you are caring for out to try on hats and wigs.
  11. Find the nearest gag/joke store and start shopping! Remember to buy that whoopee cushion !

The NeuroCommunity Foundation is here for you:

For information about Parkinson’s disease and other movement disorders, support groups, wellness programs, education events, and local resources in northern Los Angeles County, Ventura County, Central Coast & Central Valley, contact us here or call 818-745-5051 to speak with Jan D. Somers, Education Director, Parkinson & Movement Disorder Information Center, The NeuroCommunity Foundation.

The NeuroCommunity Foundation is a non-profit foundation. We provide support groups, educational conferences, resources, research updates/ clinical trials information and PD events in the SFV/Ventura/Central Coast/ Inland Empire.

 As we rely on donations to continue providing these services at no charge, if you would like to support our efforts, you can donate with ease and security at our website or mail us your gift. Please make sure and note our website as a bookmark in your computer. It is: 

The NeuroCommunity Foundation is exempt from Federal income tax under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Donors may deduct contributions to the foundation as provided in section 170 of the Internal Revenue Code.










Family Caregivers and Self Employment tax information

Flat design tax calculation

Important Tax info for Family Caregivers

Special rules apply to workers who perform in-home services for elderly or disabled individuals (caregivers). Caregivers are typically employees of the individuals for whom they provide services because they work in the homes of the elderly or disabled individuals and these individuals have the right to tell the caregivers what needs to be done. These services may or may not be provided by a family member. If the caregiver employee is a family member, the employer may not owe employment taxes even though the employer needs to report the caregiver’s compensation on a Form W-2. See Publication 926, Household Employer’s Tax Guide for more information. However, in some cases the caregivers are not employees. In such cases, the caregiver must still report the compensation as income of his or her Form 1040, and may be required to pay self-employment tax depending on the facts and circumstances.

[Read more…]

What caregivers can do to decrease the strain on their relationships

Caregiving: Dealing with the strain on your marriage

Caregiving and marital strain often go hand in hand. Know the impact caregiving can have on your marriage and what you can do about it.

By Mayo Clinic Staff – January 2017

Marriage isn’t always easy. This can be especially true for those acting as a caregiver for a parent, in-law or other loved one with Alzheimer’s. Understand how caregiving might affect your marriage and what steps you can take to protect your relationship.

Source of marital strain

Taking care of someone with Alzheimer’s can be consuming and stressful and that stress can affect your marriage. Caregiving can affect your relationship with your spouse by:

[Read more…]

Is there joy in being a Caregiver?

inspiration 2 august

Caregiving: Recognizing the Joys Beyond the Challenges

The challenges that life presents us with can also provide tremendous opportunities for growth. One of the best examples of how challenges can yield tremendous rewards is being a caregiver to a chronically ill child or a grandparent who needs extra care.

The Trees… and the Forest 
Granted, the job isn’t always easy. Taking care of a family member is filled with details, like medication schedules which, if left unnoticed can have major negative implications. And regardless of how other household members are involved, or not involved, on a day-to-day basis, caregiving is a shared experience because caregiving affects so many aspects of daily life, including finances, meal-planning, household chores, and vacations, to name but a few.

If you are caregiver, one thing you know for sure is that helping is all about sweating the small stuff – every last detail. And no family member is left untouched.

Depending on the level of care required, and its impact on daily life, it is easy to get caught up in the process of handling the details and not acknowledge the joys. While those daily details are critical, it is a natural response to keep their focus on the trees and forget that all of these trees make up a beautiful forest. But it is in taking the bird’s eye view that the real meaning of being a caregiver begins to take shape.

But are you also staying focused on the joy? There are few things more gratifying in life than making a difference in someone else’s life, and helping a loved one in need provides that opportunity every day.

Here are some ways to help you push the blessing button on those days when the details feel overwhelming.

[Read more…]

Current research for treatment of Parkinsons disease

NEW RESEARCH  for PD treatments

Make sure and read the new and potentially promising research that is currently taking place. 

 1. New Way of Administering Apomorphine for PD Movement “wearing off” Periods.

2. Inhaled Levodopa to Treat PD Movement “wearing off” Periods

3. Probiotics and Fiber Formula to Reduce Constipation in Parkinson’s

[Read more…]

UCLA research study seeking PD participants

UCLA  is seeking participants for PD study

 “Perceptual Decision Making under Conditions Of Visual Uncertainty”

To volunteer or for more information:

Please write to or call 310-825-0278

A UCLA research study,

“Perceptual Decision Making under Conditions
Of Visual Uncertainty”in the Basso laboratory at the Semel Institute for Neuroscience and HumanBehavior, INVITES YOU to be in a research study. The purpose of the research is to explain how brain regions that are affected by movement disorders are involved in eye movements and decision making.

[Read more…]

Telephone Caregiver evening support group

Image result for photo of telephone

Telephone Caregiver Support Group-USC

When:  2nd Monday of each month.

Time: 7:15 pm -8:45 pm 

To Register and for information call:   1-855-872-6060

Join us for an opportunity to share your feelings, develop friendships, receive emotional support, and discuss solutions to common caregiving issues with other family caregivers. The TELEPHONE CAREGIVER SUPPORT GROUP “meets” the 2nd Monday of each month.

*Please note: This support group is conducted over the telephone.*

Please contact us at toll-free 1-855-872-6060 for more information . You will need to call and register to receive an access code for this event.

The NeuroCommunity Foundation is here for you:
For information about Parkinson’s disease and movement disorders, support groups, wellness programs, education events, and local resources in northern Los Angeles county, Ventura county, Central Coast & Central Valley, contact us here or call 818-885-8623 to speak with Jan D. Somers, Education Director, Parkinson’s and Movement Disorders Information Center at CARE, The NeuroCommunity Foundation.

Guide for Caregivers and Families with Parkinsons

 kimmel henry

A guide for caregivers by Dr. Henry Kimmel


Burbank Support Group Guest Speaker: “A Guide for Caregivers”.

Dr. Henry Kimmel, Psy.D., is a Clinical Psychologist in private practice in Encino, CA. He treats individuals, couples, and families and has specialized training with older adults and men. Dr. Kimmel is the recipient of the Starr Vega Award for Diversity Psychology. He has presented to other PD Support groups through The NeuroCommunity Foundation.

[Read more…]

Taking Care of Yourself 9 Tips for Caregivers


Taking care of yourself 9 Tips for Caregivers

1. Although challenging, try to take charge of your life–don’t let your loved one’s illness or disability always take center stage.

2. Be good to yourself. Do your up most to preserve your own health through exercise, nutrition, proper rest. and periods of enjoyment. Every day, take time to reach out to a friend for inspiration, a coffee date or even a joke to make you laugh.

3. Watch out for signs of depression in yourself and don’t delay in getting professional help when you need it.

4. Accept help with others offer it. If they ask, suggest specific things they can do.

5. Educate yourself about your loved one’s condition. Information is empowering.

6. There is a difference between caring and doing. Being open to new ideas and technology could promote your loved ones independence and emotional well-being.

7. Trust yourself and your own instincts. Many times they lead you in the right direction.

8. .It is healthy to feel sad about your losses. Allow yourself to dream new dreams that can be incorporated into your life the way it is at the present time.

9. Seek support from other caregivers. Attend a support group or program for family caregivers. Knowing you are not alone can give you strength to keep going. 10. Take an extra 5 minutes to breathe and sit still after a long day.


Your role is very important critical to the well-being of your loved one with Parkinson’s disease (PD). But it’s also essential that you allow yourself to feel the emotions that may accompany your changing role in your relationship.

The NeuroCommunity Foundation is here for you:

For information about Parkinson’s disease and movement disorders, support groups, wellness programs, education events, and local resources in northern Los Angeles county, Ventura county, Central Coast & Central Valley, contact us here or call 818-885-8623.


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Shop with AmazonSmile and Support The NeuroCommunity Foundation

Did you know that you can support The NeuroCommunity Foundation through your everyday online purchases? has a charitable program called AmazonSmile. It is a simple and automatic way for you to support The NeuroCommunity Foundation every time you shop, at no cost to you.

When you shop at AmazonSmile, you’ll find the exact same low prices, vast selection and convenient shopping experience as, with the added bonus that the AmazonSmile Foundation will donate 0.5% of the purchase price to The NeuroCommunity Foundation!

It’s simple:

1) Go to AmazonSmile from the web browser on your computer or mobile device.
2)Login with your username and password or create one if you are a new user.
3) Search for The NeuroCommunity Foundation in the search box on the right side where it asks which charity you would like to support.
4) Select The NeuroCommunity Foundation from the search results or type in The NeuroCommunity Foundation should the select not include our organization.
Happy shopping and thank you for supporting The NeuroCommunity Foundation

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Northridge Foundation For Neurological Research & Education

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Dear The NeuroCommunity Foundation friends,supporters and participants.

If you happen to shop at Ralphs and would like to support The NeuroCommunity Foundation, we would be most appreciative!. If you do shop at Ralphs, we will receive 1 % of your purchase through their community
contribution program. The NeuroCommunity Foundation's Non-Profit Org. number ( NP0 # ) is 82287

All you need to do is enroll online at OR by calling Ralphs at
800-443-4438 after September 1, 2016.

If you happened to enroll prior to Sept 1st, Ralphs requires you to register again.

For your convenience, step-by-step website registration instructions are found below or can be found at, click on Community, click on Community Contributions, click on ‘Enroll Now’. If you don’t have computer access, please call us at 1-800-443-4438 for assistance.

Use you Ralph’s Rewards Card to Contribute Here’s How:

If you do not have a Ralph’s online account
1. Go to
2. Follow the easy steps to create an online account
3. You will be instructed to go to your email inbox to confirm your account
4. After you confirm your online account by clicking on the link in your email, return to and click on ‘Sign In’, enter your email address and password.
5. View all your information and edit as necessary
6. Link your card to your organization by clicking on:
a. Community Rewards – Enroll
b. Type our NPO number 82287 or
c. Remember to click on the circle to the left of your organizations’ name
d. Click on Enroll to finish your enrollment process

(This means that you have already entered your email address and assigned yourself a password)

1. Log in to
2. Click Sign In
3. Enter your email address and password
4. Click on ‘Your Name’ (In the top right hand corner)
5. View all your information and edit as necessary
6. Link your card to your organization by clicking on:
a. Community Rewards – Re-Enroll
b. Type your NPO number or Name of your Organization
c. Remember to click on the circle to the left of your organizations’ name
d. Click on Enroll to finish your enrollment process