Are you now a caregiver, responsible for the wellbeing of your aging parent? Although you try your best, it may sometimes feel as if you're going around in circles, and not making progress. Trying to figure things out on your own can be very difficult. This is especially true when the caregiving responsibility fell on you all of a sudden.
Team members at Here to Care for Seniors have been there and have supported many individuals who have been there too. That’s why we're compiling simple articles for senior care help, with tips for family caregivers like YOU!
FACT IS: There are lots of tips around the web, but many of them aren't customized to help family caregivers caring for elderly parents at home. Remember that as your parents grow older, their needs for support will increase. Often, adult children are ill-prepared, and don't have time or the resources to meet the needs of their aging parents.
If you've been searching the internet for caregiver help and tips, we surely hope that we can help you put a few more pieces of the puzzle together!
Why are we doing this?
From talking to numerous individuals caring for ageing family members, we have learned that many feel overwhelmed by issues that some others take for granted. Even so called “simple” issues from how to stay organized, to how to keep mom active and engaged, can become stressful and confusing when one feels overwhelmed by responsibility. I personally know the feeling of becoming responsible for the care my own aging parents. These are some of the reasons why I decided to become a part of a team of people who offer eldercare support to others in need. It can be very difficult if you don't have good resources to assist you. There's no denying that!
Let me explain by my own example:
I was a young person working 40 hours or more each week. I had to travel an hour to and from work each day, and before leaving the house I had to make sure that everything was in place for the next family member to assume care of mom while I was gone. When I got home each day, I took over the care of my ailing mother, and finished off house chores before getting any rest. I was “still single” at the age of 35 and my number one responsibility was to coordinate the care of my elderly mother who was suffering with Stage 4 Colon Cancer. Between missed days from work for medical appointments and treatments, monitoring medication intake and managing physical and mental side effects, I got very very little time for rest or leisure. This was my situation for over 3 years. Sound familiar?
Immediately after my mother passed away, I had to turn focus to the care of my dad who had suffered a debilitating stroke. Yes, I remained busy, but by now, I had learned to get a better handle on things, get the right kind of support, and somehow balance caregiving with the rest of my life.
Many family caregivers, perhaps like yourself, struggle with similar scenarios. And, as a new caregiver, there comes a time when you need to find out:
Knowing just the basics and where to start can be a challenge. Do you feel this way sometimes?
A few words for the wise...
Experience is the best teacher. Caregiving for the first time has its own learning curve that sometimes adjusts to individual situations. Feeling overwhelmed, and as if you don't know what to do is the hardest part of being a caregiver. Yet, caregiving does have many rewards!
These senior help articles and tips have been compiled for family caregivers like yourself, and there’s a good chance that you'll find some very helpful suggestions here. Even the most simple tips may surprise you!
Caring for your aging parents isn't easy. However, once you've followed a few caregiver tips provided below, you’ll feel a sense of empowerment as you begin to make adjustments to meet the needs of your aging parents. EXPERIENCE is your best teacher.
A glimpse into some topics you can look forward to reading about:
Good luck on your journey, and let me know if one of our tips helped you and your aging parent. We'd love to know your thoughts.
Caring for an aging parent with Alzheimer’s Disease and memory loss can be draining at times. A well-structured daily routine can do a lot to relieve stress, help your parent’s mind stay engaged, and build in regular breaks. Use the following ideas to adjust your daily care schedule in ways that helps both of you.Add a comment
It is no secret that caring for an elderly person comes with a set of challenges that are impossible to fully prepare for, but how do you help a loved one who is resistant to help? You must be able to understand why there is resistance to care in order to implement strategies that may foster cooperation.Add a comment
Suddenly being in the situation to accept the role as caregiver can be tough, and there is no reason to think otherwise. One of the best things you can do for not only for yourself, but your loved one that is being cared for, is to take care of yourself as well. Maintain a healthy diet with regular exercise, and set some time aside to enjoy your own favorite hobbies. Find time to spend with the company of friends and family. Sometimes getting some respite from caregiving is necessary. These suggestions can certainly help to manage the stress associated with being a caregiver.Add a comment
When it comes to choosing home care services for your loved ones, we know that you only want the best. It can be an overwhelming task but we are here to guide you to make the right choice. Here are some of the questions that you need to ask before choosing a home care service provider for your loved one.Add a comment
Many seniors avoid personal communication with their healthcare providers, or may tend to only share positive things. Some seniors think that some topics are not worth conversing over; others may not remember to mention particularly concerning issues due to memory loss. In such situations, a doctor may be unable to fully assist his elderly patient because of limited information about their health status. It is essential to talk to your elderly family member about their health care visits; however, it is also important to make them feel as comfortable as possible while discussing such sensitive matters.Add a comment
Simply put, a house that is well organized will make life easier for a senior who would like to remain in their own home as they age. Knowing that things are well organized and safe is also a relief for the family caregiver. So much stress can be removed from daily life when a home is neat and tidy. Many people cannot begin their day until their surroundings are decluttered. The organization of a home is even more important when old age is setting in. The ability to control day to day occurrences in life is vital to being able to age in place.Add a comment
Seniors who are socially integrated and actively participate in society tend to live healthier more productive lives. However, an increasing number of seniors may be at risk for social isolation and loneliness. Many different factors may contribute to this trend including retirement, lack of companionship due to the loss of family members or friends, an increased likelihood to live alone, and poor health. Although studies show that social isolation has been linked to poor health outcomes, it remains alarmingly common.Add a comment
Technically speaking, anosognosia is the lack of awareness or lack of insight, mainly pertaining to those who suffer from dementia or Alzheimer's disease. It is quite common, and one study has shown that after a stroke up to 77% of patients suffer from this at least temporarily. It occurs quite frequently in those that suffer mental illness as well. Alzheimer’s and Dementia care involves recognizing that the individual may not consciously know what is happening, and knowing how to engage with such an individual is important.Add a comment
Often times when a family is faced with a loved one's illness of dementia or Alzheimer's disease, the person may not realize or does not acknowledge that he or she has the condition, or tries to convince the family otherwise. This can occur a bit more frequently among those who have a pre-existing mental illness or traumatic brain injury. This lack of awareness of an illness is called anosognosia, and is commonly recognized among those with not only Alzheimer's, but strokes, and brain tumors.Add a comment
A study published in the Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise journal, revealed that those (young and old) who exercise, spend less time sitting and more around more actually live longer lives. Being active doesn’t have to include rigorous exercise sessions —things like washing the dishes, gardening, or even walking the dog, all count as bodily movements. "More is better than less, and anything is better than nothing."Add a comment
It is tax season again, and there are quite a few tax credit programs offered by the government, which can significantly benefit seniors and their family caregivers. Some of these programs are listed below. If you know a family or senior who could benefit from this information, please share it with them.Add a comment
There are many reasons why some seniors have lapses when it comes to taking their medications as prescribed. Some believe that they don’t need what has been prescribed to them, or do not believe their medication is helping and therefore, discontinue its use. Some do not like the side effects, while others cannot afford the cost of the medication. And for some seniors, memory issues cause them to simply forget to take their drugs. If a senior is experiencing any of these issues, it is important to encourage them to continue the use of their medications with a few simple steps, and if necessary, suggest home healthcare to help keep them on track.Add a comment
It was estimated that in 2015, 89% of new cancer cases would be diagnosed in people over the age of 50, and that 43% of those cases would be in seniors 70 years of age or older. Since February 4th is World Cancer Day, this is a good time to discuss the role of the caregiver of an elderly family member who has been diagnosed with cancer.Add a comment
Every year, heart attacks claim the lives of thousands in Canada, because most people are not aware of the signs that they are experiencing one, and do not seek medical treatment until it is too late. Because February is heart month, it is the perfect time to educate every Canadian on the warning signs of heart attacks, and what to do when suffering from one, or how to help someone who is showing the symptoms.Add a comment
It is no doubt that hospitals save lives—that is a fact, but you'd be looking for a while to find someone that is eager to spend time there. Many seniors are frequently in and out of the hospital, and many times this could have been prevented. Hospital stays for the elderly can oftentimes lead to a more serious decline in health.Add a comment
Something that weighs so heavily on someone's mind that they never might have thought of when they were younger, is their loved ones growing old. Nobody stays young forever even though we wish they did. When loved ones grow older it can become a touchy issue when thinking of helping them. Seniors want to remain active members of society but sometimes it is physically challenging for them to do so.Add a comment
Family members often step up to take on the responsibility of making sure their aging loved one receives the proper care and support they deserve. But, with this added responsibility comes the need for exhausted family caregivers to learn how to care for themselves a well. Whether it be short-term care after surgery or hospitalization, or long-term Alzheimer's care, the caretaker responsibility often falls on the shoulders of a family member who also has a full-time job or children of their own to care for. The stress can be overwhelming at times, so, here are some ways to care for the caregiver, so you can give your best to caring for your loved one without feeling drained.Add a comment
Losing a spouse is one of the most overwhelming and painful experiences a person can go through. Grieving the death of any loved one can be difficult, but losing a mate is a little different. Spouses expect companionship through daily life.
Grief can feel awful and exhausting, but it is a completely normal and necessary part of losing a loving human relationship. Eventually, after going through each stage of grieving, and many days and hours of pushing through, things do get easier to cope with. If you have a loved one whose spouse has passed away, you can support them as they mourn their loss.Add a comment
Dementia care can often involve difficult behavioural problems. You may have already experienced some tough moments with your loved one. If you weren't sure how to handle them, you wouldn't be alone. It takes some awareness and practice, but you can learn how to prevent agitation and how to calm your loved one when necessary.Add a comment
If you are interested in senior home care for yourself or someone you love, you have numerous options to select from, based on the standard of support required, the environment, and your finances. The primary concern, nevertheless, is what can make your beloved a lot more comfortable and offer them the assistance they require. Here are some of the standard arrangements you might like to take into account:Add a comment
Weren’t things supposed to be getting easier for you at this stage of your life? All the years you’ve put into your career have finally begun to pay off, and the kids are finally out of the nest. How, then, do you find yourself more exhausted and stretched even thinner than ever, struggling to do another job on top of your first one?Add a comment
Dementia Today has posted a good article about the "Do's and Don’ts of Assisted Eating". Mealtime can be a frustrating time for the elderly and their caregivers. It's especially difficult when you're dealing with people suffering from dementia or Alzheimer's disease. This article contains a simple list of helpful ways you can make mealtime more enjoyable for you both.Add a comment
Long distance caregiving for your elderly loved one can be challenging due to the lack of physical presence. Even through phone calls, emails, and text messages, it is hard to assist your elderly loved one in their times of need. Although there isn’t a straightforward solution for a long-distance caregiving relationship, here is what you can do to remain involved even when you can't always be there physically.Add a comment