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Dealing with tragedy can be especially difficult for your aging loved one. For many older adults, loss becomes frighteningly more common throughout the aging process. Whether it be the loss of a spouse, a child or sibling, a good friend, or even a pet, these circumstances can weigh heavily on your loved one for several months.
A Blog by Jim Stinson, Director of Spiritual Life for United Methodist Homes “Do you Remember when, Grandma…?” As my family was waiting for Thanksgiving dinner to be ready they were doing what most families do at holiday time. They were reminiscing. Since “Grandma” always lived with us she was a source of many memories, especially as she grew older and had ever-greater senility. No one was ever sure what she would say or when she would say it.
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You become a better caregiver by making your loved one’s day a little brighter--a little lighter and a lot happier each time you care for them. And it’s the simple things that are often the most appreciated. If you can “make their day,” you often unknowingly become a better caregiver. Here are six care-giving tips that will surely help to brighten your loved one’s day:
As your parents and other loved ones age into their senior years, the time will come when they can no longer live on their own and complete everyday tasks without some assistance. There are many questions that arise during this time and a variety of options for families to consider. Who will take care of your loved one? Should they continue to live at home? Would a move to an assisted or independent living community be a good decision? Handling the changes that come during this season of life can be a bit overwhelming for any caregiver.
According to a recent poll, the number of adult children providing personal or financial assistance to their parents has tripled in the last 15 years. Becoming a caregiver is a role few people plan for. Most people are thrust into the caregiver role unexpectedly, often when a parent suddenly suffers a stroke or a chronic condition worsens. This often inevitably leads to caregiver burnout and less effective management of a senior parent’s health needs.
Crosby Commons Assisted and Independent Living Community, on the Wesley Village campus in Shelton, recently hosted a caregiver education program, entitled, “Preventing Compassion Fatigue and Burnout”, presented by Gerontologist and CEO, Donna B. Fedus, MA. This free program, offered specifically for social workers, administrators, and other health care professionals, was filled with valuable self-care techniques to help caregivers avoid the dangers of burnout in their mission and commitment to caring for others.
Experts say it comes with the territory. The odds are if you’re caring for elderly parents for any length of time without much assistance-- it’s a given--you HAVE caregiver stress. No one tells you going into this role that part of the plan of caring for the well-being of a loved one is also taking care of your own.