Friday, February 20, 2015

Role Reversal - Caregiving for Aging Parents

More Americans are living well beyond their 70s, and adult children are left in a position where they have to be caregivers for their aging parents. Experts agree that the dynamic of age in America has shifted dramatically over the last 60 to 80 years and its impact on the family can often create an uncommon situation. Dealing with this situation can be a challenge. An enormous amount of strength and energy is needed to adequately support aging parents because caregiving can be challenging.

It's easy to get burned out with the responsibility, especially when only one sibling steps up to the plate to help care for parents: doctor’s appointments, taking care of finances, healthcare,
not to mention the trips to the grocery store take a toll both mentally and physically. Becoming a caregiver can easily become a full-time job and is often overwhelming, stressful, and frustrating. Trying to reduce your stress level will make you a better caregiver.

Here are some tips to help you remain productive, organized, and loving: (1) take time for YOU, even if it's just a few minutes, (2) know your limits—learn how to say no, (3) stick to a routine—a daily routine can be a life saver, (4) ask for help—even a few hours "off-duty" can help you recharge, (5) get enough sleep, and by all means, join a support group so that you won’t feel alone.

Helpful resources:

The Caregiving Wife's Handbook: Caring for Your Seriously Ill Husband, Caring for Yourself by Diana Denholm
The Mindful Caregiver: Finding Ease in the Caregiving Journey by Nancy L. Kriseman
Should Mom Be Left Alone? Should Dad Be Driving?: Your Q&A Companion for Caregiving by Linda Rhodes
The Caregiver's Companion: Caring for Your Loved One Medically, Financially, and Emotionally While Caring for Yourself  by Carolyn A. Brent

Caring for Your Parents
When Your Parent Needs You: A Guide to Positive Growth When Caring for Aging Parents

Caregiving Resource Center
National Alliance for Caregiving
Today's Caregiver

Yolanda Hardy
Smithfield Library

1 comment: said...

So true. The burnout is there but so thankful my dad of 96 is still around. Little I can do for him as he did much more for me and my family. He worked and lived through 3 recessions with five kids, a grocery business and a wife who also helped him daily. So thankful I had my parents all these years. TO the younger generation, never cease to love them.

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