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Caregiving Articles of Interest:

Is Elderly Care at Home the Best Choice?

Caregiving- Families Don't Always Play Fair

How The Sandwich Generation Can Help Their Parents Create a Legacy of Meaning  

Five Things You Must Do When Traveling With Older Parents   

The Life Cycle - Taking Care of Your Parents   

Home Care Training Increases Effectiveness of Caregivers   

Avoid Identity Theft from Obituaries   

Photo ID Cards and Home Health Care Workers    

The Four Essential Components to an Effective Senior Fitness Program

Taking the Keys From Mom and Dad: Top 11 Tips for Living Without a Car   

When Parent Child Roles Reverse   

The Ten Steps to Happiness After 40   

When Pets Outlive Their Owners 

Safe Medication and Aging-6 Challenges to Overcome Medication Errors

Long term care insurance: What is it really?

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                                     Are You Drowning in Caregiving?                            

By: Alice Endy

 

An area of concern that I get asked about the most is
finding someone to give the caregiver a break.


Most adult children fall into caregiving as a result of an incident that placed their elder in a crisis situation. After the dust settles and reality sets in often we realize that our lives have changed and this change is often not welcomed.

We find ourselves unprepared for caring for our parent especially when that care is for issues such as dementia, incontinence or immobility.

A period of time goes by and then we begin to feel totally overwhelmed. Most of this feeling can be a result of trying to be ALL to our parent. We find that our life, our family, and our routine has gone by the wayside.

Many caregivers try to provide care single-handedly while neglecting their own needs. It is common among caregivers to think that their life has to come second to the needs of their parent. Martyrdom is common.

This thinking often leads to frustration, anger and guilt. We forget that we have a right to live and that balance is necessary in everyone's life.

There are solutions but they require risk. Many caregivers often fear asking for help because they fear rejection. Admitting that they cannot handle all the caregiving alone is often terrifying. Most wonder why others will not offer to help so they do not have to ask.

Picking up the reins is what will help us regain control of our lives.

Creating a Freedom Plan

1) Get special instruction to provide the care needed. Ask your doctor for a Medicare
Occupational Therapist or a Nurse to instruct you on incontinence care, bathing, a Physical Therapist to teach you how to transfer your parent to the toilet, in/out of the car, set up an exercise routine,etc.

2) Make a list of all the things that will give you a break. ex: a cooked meal twice a week
a sitter 9:00am to noon Tuesday and Thursday play cards with mom every Wednesday afternoon.

3) Join a support team even when you think you do not need it.

4) Hire a baby sitter to sit with your parent so you can have a night out with spouse or family night.

5) Plan a vacation by swapping homes with a sibling.

6) Hire respite care regularly for you and your family.

7) Start all this as soon as possible so your parent gets use to different people providing the care.

Keep your needs list current.

ANYTIME ANYONE asks if you need anything go right to this list and ask them to choose what ever they feel they can do.

You will be amazed how often people will sign up to help when you are clear on your needs.

About the Author:
Alice Endy is a Registered Nurse with advanced certification as a Gerontological Nurse. Alice has helped thousands provide care and support to their elder family members. Alice has been a caregiver for her Mother who is in her twelfth year of Alzheimers Disease.
http://www.AskNurseAlice.com

Webpage by Paul Susic MA Licensed Psychologist Ph.D. Candidate                                      

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