Caregiving and Stress-The A-to-Z’s of Mental Health

 

 

For the month of April I am participating in the annual A-Z Blogging Challenge. The Challenge was started by author/blogger, Arlee Byrd. http://tossingitout.blogspot.com

Each day of the month (except Sundays) we will post something based on that days correlating letter. Some of us chose a theme and others are winging it. My theme is the A-to-Z’s of Mental Health, Raising Awareness. It is a topic that is very close to my heart. I hope you find the posts interesting and you will comment and share the posts everywhere. To see a list of all of the participants or for more information-click on the badge over there to the right>

Thursday is also the day I Share a favorite post;

thursday-favorite-things-blog-hop-button-2013-150x150

 

 

 

http://www.katherinescorner.com

 

Todays Letter is C

A-Z Letter C

 

 

 

 

Caregiving and Stress

Whether you are caring for your elderly parents or a chronically-ill loved one from another state, across town or under the same roof, you will eventually get stressed out.

 Even those employed as caregivers are not exempt from stress and burn-out.

According to Met Life nearly ten-million adult children over the age of fifty are caring for their aging parents. With ten-thousand people turning 65 every day and with the trend expected to continue through the year 2020 the numbers are expected to skyrocket.

More women are willing to take a financial hit to care for aging parents. Men are more likely to pay someone to provide the care.

Caregivers are Special

 

 

 

 

 

Each situation is unique and presents its own challenges.  You may live in another state, across town or under the same roof. Whatever your situation here are some tips to help you alleviate some of the stress.

  • Do your best to build a network of help. Enlist your parent’s neighbors, church members and friends. Are there other relatives in the area that may not be able to provide hands on care but would be willing to pick up groceries, do home repairs, cook or bake? Ask friends or relatives that are not local to place scheduled calls, send handwritten notes or care packages.
  • Ask friends and relatives for recommendations of local home-care agencies and interview several of them before making your choice. Even if you can only hire someone for a few hours a day it will give you a few hours of peace-of-mind.
  • Accept help when it is offered, period.
  • Encourage your loved one to take care of themselves as much as is physically possible.
  • Know your loved ones medical history. Learn everything you can about medications, illnesses etc…
  • Create a list of where things are in the house in case of emergency. You want to list the location of the electric panel, the water shut- off valve, emergency contacts list that includes family to be called (in order) doctors, plumber, electrician, preferred hospital,  medications, medical history, location of extra keys, pets names and schedules etc…
  • Know your emotions and take care of yourself. Do not try to do it all yourself out of guilt.
  • Read EVERYTHING before signing ANYTHING and if you have ANY questions have an attorney proof read it for you. Nothing is FREE. There are too many scams out there.
  • It is possible for you to get compensated for caring for your parents. Check with their medical insurance providers.
  • Take care of yourself. Eat healthy, drink enough water, take walks and get enough rest. Keep a journal and good notes.Another way to alleviate some of the stress you may experience as a caregiver is to not cause your aging parent or loved one stress. I know you would never do that on purpose but it is possible to care too much. If they are feeling stress, you will be stressed.
  • If your aging parent or loved one does not want to eat, DO NOT ever force them to eat. When we get older our bodies get tired and slow down. This causes our appetites to slow down as well.  Older people sometimes prefer smaller meals or snacks throughout the day rather than larger meals. Does it seriously matter at this point if they eat ice-cream instead of broccoli? If it makes them happy and you less stressed why not?
  • It is not a good idea to insist they ‘go out’, exercise, or do anything they prefer not to do. If they do not feel like walking it could be because they are in some kind of pain and they do not want to complain.
  • Do not overwhelm them with large social gatherings. If they prefer not to attend a wedding let them stay home. Be sure to visit after the event with a doggie bag, photographs and video etc.
  • Keep visitors to small groups, especially if your loved one is hard of hearing. Large groups can be overwhelming where as a visit from one or two grandchildren can be a cherished memory that is a source of joy.
  • If they are refusing to take their medication start by alleviating what is unnecessary. Vitamins can be hard to swallow and harder to digest. Again at this stage does it really matter? Always speak to their doctor first and decide together what can be eliminated.
  • Watch old movies with them, listen to their favorite old music and let them tell you stories. The day will come when you will wish you would have listened to their memories.
  • Smile even when you do not feel like smiling.

 Family Caregiving Alliance:

  https://www.caregiver.org

A Place for Mom:

www.aplaceformom.com

National Association of Area Agencies on Aging:

https://www.n4a.org

Home Instead Senior Services:

www.homeinstead.com

Caregiver Action Network:  

https://www.facebook.com/CaregiverActionNetwork

 

 

 

 

 

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