While people may mean well, sometimes friends, co-workers and other acquaintances offer advice that a caregiver has heard a 100 times before and has lost any of its intended meaning. While most of the time caregivers will simply grin and bear it, everyone, including and especially caregivers, need to vent now and then.
For those that have caregivers in their lives, no one is trying to personally insult your sincere words of encouragement. But it’s hard to imagine what it’s really like to be a caregiver until you are in that role. So the next time a caregiver you know is going through a challenging or frustrating period, perhaps show your compassion through actions instead of words. Offer to provide caregiving services for an afternoon, or do a chore or errand for the caregiver. Research support services in the caregiver’s area. Of course, being a good listener is also a great gift.
So tell us, what piece of caregiving advice have you received from others that you
My weekly call to my mother ended with quite a bang this past week. My mother concluded the conversation by saying, “I think your dad needs to start wearing adult diapers.” Her bluntness caught me off-guard, but I’ve been hearing from my mom for awhile now how my dad had been having more frequent “accidents” during the night. That, coupled with his diagnosis of an enlarged prostate, it’s no surprise to me that my father is experiencing incontinence.
It’s a subject that no on wants to talk about, but it is a condition that many seniors face: urinary and/or fecal incontinence. Please note that though some people think losing control of your bladder is just a sign of old age, any incontinence issues should be checked by a doctor, because they can be a symptom of an underlying condition. Of course, the first step is getting yourself and your senior loved one to admit that there is an issue. It’s no secret that our society tends to invoke shame or humor when discussing our
Thanks to Katey, a Caring & Sharing reader for letting us know that there will be an aging-in-place exhibit at the Atlanta Home Show called, “Home for the Ages.”
Many baby boomers are now facing the important issue of their parents’ desire to “age-in-place.” Simply put, their elderly parents wish to continue living in their own home, or perhaps move into their adult children’s home, versus moving into an assisted living facility. These seniors may need little to moderate assistance with daily tasks. Still, the impact on the adult children’s lives can be significant. So what are the most important things to remember when helping your senior parents age-in-place?
Major issues include housing and transportation options, financial status and healthcare needs. Many baby boomers are either retrofitting their parent’s home or their own home for their elderly parents to reside in, complete with details designed to help seniors move around the home safely and
On Caring & Sharing, we spend a good deal of time talking about serious issues on providing care for our aging loved ones. Many of your responses have been moving and poignant, a way for you to express the stress and heartache that often comes with being a caregiver. We are proud and honored to be able to provide our readers with a forum to express such emotions.
But as any caregiver knows, there can be lighthearted moments, whether intentional or otherwise, that crop up from time to time and those are to be cherished as well. As Patricia Grace indicates, this isn’t about making fun of a senior who may be in a compromised mental state. If you read her story about her mother, who came to visit with her “cherry red eyebrows” you’ll see what I mean. (Thanks to ElderCareRN on Twitter for finding and posting this gem.)
Do you have any memories of caring for a senior loved one that bring a smile to your face? Please share, as it might brighten up another caregiver’s
If so, you’re not alone. According to a Caring.com study, eighty percent of baby boomers caring for an aging parent say that it has put a strain on their marriage. In some cases, the pressures of caregiving are so severe that it leads to the unfortunate demise of the relationship, with 25% of divorced baby boomers stating that caregiving played a major role in their divorce.
The reasons that caregiving can erode marital bliss are easily identifiable – the added financial burden, the stress of caring for an elderly parent, the time spent caring for aging parents reduces the amount of bonding time one has with their romantic partner, etc. Caring.com has consulted with “marriage doctors” who have offered their expert tips on coping with the challenges of caring for aging parents while maintaining and strengthening your marriage. Their advice includes:
While this may be the worst economic decline that we have ever experienced, it’s probably not the worst our parents or grandparents experienced. Many survived the Depression and world wars and having to live on a strict budget is nothing new to them, in fact, it may be par for the course. Caring.com has an interesting blog post titled 5 Thrifty Tips From Our Mothers and Grandmothers. Most of the advice is simple and straightforward, with homemade products the key, including everything from making your own soap to making your own first aid products.
Do you think money-saving tips like repairing old products instead of new, or hanging your laundry to air dry instead of running up the energy bill are practical in our modern, time-pinched society? What have you learned from your senior loved ones about ways to save money that you now use in your daily life?
Do you know what the 40 / 70 rule is? The concept is that if you are 40 years old, or your parents are 70 years old, you should have a discussion together about senior care issues. It doesn’t matter what the general health is of your parents at that time – hopefully they are both healthy and happy. In fact, that is the perfect time to discuss such issues, before a health crisis has occurred.
The 40 / 70 rule was developed by Home Instead Senior Care, which discovered that nearly one-third of adults in the U.S. have a major communication obstacle with their parents when it comes to discussing senior care issues. The topic that adult children had the most difficultly in discussing with their aging parents was that they had to leave their home. If you are having difficulty discussing elder care issues with your parents, these conversation starters may help you get started.
Have you started talking to your aging parents about senior care issues? What tips can you
In this tough economic climate, many families are wondering how they will pay for the caregiving services provided to their aging loved ones. The financial burden can put a real strain on family budgets and can cause rifts in families.
If one meets the low-income requirements, Medicaid may be able to cover some of these caregiving costs. Medicaid can provide in-home care, which usually means simple healthcare monitoring and personal care services. As this comprehensive Caring.com guide, How to get paid for being a family caregiver points out, one downside is that the in-home care agencies that Medicaid uses usually have a high volume of clients and a lot of staff turnover, which means your senior loved one may not get the consistent care they deserve.
Long term care insurance may be another option for your family. The best way to approach this is to encourage parents or other relatives to start paying premiums while they are still middle-aged, as this will
For many of us, our parents provided us with a safe and nurturing environment as children. Now that they have started to decline in mental and/or physical health, we feel that it’s our duty to keep our aging loved ones safe and secure in a loving environment. The following senior safety tips cover some of the larger issues in caring for and protecting our aging loved ones.
Certainly, there are many dangers that the elderly population faces. Falls remain a very real concern, so if an elderly loved one moves in with you, consider having your house retrofitted for senior safety. There are high-tech solutions for the home as well, such as monitors and sensors that can keep track of a senior’s vital signs and movements, especially important if the person has dementia or Alzheimer’s.
Seniors must be kept safe outside the home as well. Predators tend to prey upon what they consider the weakest members of the population, and elderly people can find themselves the victims
The term “sandwich generation” refers to people who find themselves raising children and providing caregiving services to their elderly parents or other aging relatives. The burden of providing care for both young and old can have a tremendous impact on the care provider’s own health and their relationships with children, parents and spouses. The Pew Research Center reports that up to 1 in 8 Americans are current members of the sandwich generation, and that number will only grow as America’s elderly population is likely to double by the year 2030.
For more information about senior living and senior care resources in Atlanta, please visit Atlanta senior living.
Do you care for both children and elderly relatives? How do you handle the burden of caring for both the young and the aged? Do you have any advice for others who find themselves part of the sandwich generation?