In celebration of November as National Caregiver’s Month and National Alzheimer’s Awareness Month, UK Elder Care is hosting two great events in one full-day conference.
Loneliness and isolation are growing health threats for many of our older loved ones, and the condition often goes unnoticed and untreated.
Despite the high-tech, hyper-connected age we live in, research shows that we, as a society, are lonelier than we have ever been. And those most affected are our older loved ones. Close to half of all US seniors feel the effects of isolation that living alone can bring.
Note from Terri Weber, UK Elder Care Coordinator: I would like to thank Ryan Mason, MS, CSCS, and Exercise Physiology PhD Candidate at the UK Department of Kinesiology and Health Promotion, for being our guest blogger for June/July. Ryan is also a Health and Wellness Program Exercise Specialist with UK Health & Wellness. Thank you Ryan for sharing your expertise with us!
Caregiving can be an emotional roller coaster. Feeling overwhelmed, consumed and disheartened by all your life responsibilities can easily lead to stress. This in turn can compromise not only your own well-being but the level of care you are giving your loved one.
According to the Pew Research Center Fact Tank, “There are 40.4 million unpaid caregivers of adults ages 65 and older in the United States.” More than half of these caregivers are employed either part-time or full- time. Just look around you, someone else nearby is most likely a caregiver to an older loved one.
Finding joy in your life is not always easy when you are a caregiver. We all know caregiving is hard. It's a roller coaster of conflicting emotions, and those emotions can change in a heartbeat. It’s easy to feel joy when good things are happening in our lives. It’s much harder when we are feeling frustrated, exhausted, scared and put-upon.
“The best defense is a good offense,” is an adage that applies to everything from the Super Bowl to caregiving. It is especially important to ‘play defense’ at this time of the year. The grey days of winter have settled in and dreariness and monotony have become routine for the caregiver. Daily life becomes repetitive, living the same day over and over.
The beginning of the year gives us another chance to focus on turning our resolutions into accomplishments. It provides a welcome new start and a chance to look back on both our successes and our challenges. It’s a time to reflect on what went well, what didn’t, and why.
The holidays are a time to share joy and laughter with friends and family, but it can also be bittersweet for many caregivers. The happy memories of the past can collide with the difficulties of the present, creating sadness and disappointment due to unmet expectations. Caring for an older loved one can be stressful and challenging in the best of times but during the holiday season the stresses and challenges can be more overwhelming.