Drowning in Caregiving?
By: Alice Endy
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
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
This thinking often leads to frustration, anger and guilt. We forget
that we have a right to live and that balance is necessary in
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
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.
vacation by swapping homes with a sibling.
6) Hire respite care regularly for you and your family.
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
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.
Webpage by Paul Susic MA Licensed
Psychologist Ph.D. Candidate
Senior Care Psychological Consulting 2451 Executive Dr. Ste.
103 St. Charles, Missouri 63303 (636) 300-9922