Caring for an older loved one — by itself — can be a daunting task. When you add in your normal day-to-day responsibilities of home life and a job, the caregiving task can easily become overwhelming. Many caregivers struggle with balancing their own professional and personal responsibilities and caring for an older loved one.
Elder Care Blog
As caregivers, we spend a lot of our time ‘thinking of’ and ‘doing for’ our loved one(s). We have little time for ourselves. Shifting the focus back to us can feel selfish—even indulgent. Yet, self-care is critical in being a good caregiver. Taking time for yourself makes you more equipped for the challenges of caregiving, more confident in your abilities and better able to adapt and recover from the setbacks that caregiving creates. Taking time for yourself also helps you manage the stresses of caregiving.
As an adult child, it can be challenging to know when, and how, to step in and become more involved in your parent’s care.
Put simply, when you notice your parent struggling, they could benefit from more support. This is the time to think differently about your relationship with that parent and how you would like to step into a new role as their caregiver.
Aging brings on many changes that could contribute to loneliness. Family and friends move or pass away. We develop difficulty with mobility – especially when we can no longer drive safely. Our physical condition changes – hearing loss, low vision, incontinence. No matter our circumstances now, there is no guarantee that we will not be alone in our later years – whether ‘never married’ or married with no children, divorced or widowed. We may outlive or become estranged from our immediate families.
There is no age at which a person living in Kentucky must stop driving, but there is a time in each of our lives when we should stop driving. When is it time to stop? It's never an easy call.
As caregivers, we're rightfully concerned about the safety of our loved one and the safety of others.
Driving is a complex endeavor. It requires focus and concentration at all times. Is your older loved one up to the task?
An important doctrine in caregiving is to be prepared and develop a readiness for what lies ahead. Identifying the resources and services available to help make your caregiving duties more manageable is paramount. According the 2017 AP-NORC’s Long Term Care Survey, over half of the potential caregivers surveyed feel ill-prepared to take care of their aging parents.
Celebrating the Working Caregiver
October is National Work and Family Month. The UK elder care program would like to recognize and thank all of our working caregivers. According to the Family Caregiver Alliance, more than 1 in 6 working Americans are caregivers. Being a caregiver for an older loved one is a daunting task. Being a working caregiver can be overwhelming.
In celebration of November as National Caregiver’s Month and National Alzheimer’s Awareness Month, we're hosting the Senior Caregiving Conference.
This conference is open to the public and includes two great events held concurrently on Friday, November 30. Registration opens October 10, 2018. Mark your calendars!
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.
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.
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