Tag Archives: Caring for parents

How to Put Together a Family Caregiver Agreement

When a loved one is no longer able to completely care for themselves it’s important they have people around them helping out to make their lives easier. More than 65 million caregivers provide more than $375 billion in uncompensated care to friends and family members.  This number is staggering but reflects the love and commitment families for one another!

When your loved one is having a difficult time you may feel that it’s time to step in but you don’t have to do it all alone.  Preparing a family caregiver agreement is a great first step to take so that no one has to take on the burden of caregiving all by themselves. Each family member should play a part  in achieving a great caregiver experience .

The first thing you need to do is define your needs and the needs of the one you’re caring for. What kind of difficulties are they having? What kinds of medication are they taking? When do they need to go to see a physician? These are a few questions you should ask when preparing a caregiver agreement. You must also take into consideration the needs of those participating in the caregiving. What kind of hours does everyone work? What family obligations do they have? Do they themselves have any medical problems that need to be taken into consideration? Write down all these needs and sort them according to each individual. Continue reading

More Than Tough Love

It is no secret that people tend to be the hardest on the ones they love. Family members often shoulder the burden of their loved ones’ emotional rage, which is only amplified when that family member is also serving as the primary caregiver to their elderly parents. It is hard to discern why elderly parents turn on the child that is trying to take care of them, but often their anger is rooted in their circumstances, not the actual family member.

Our loved ones may realize they are not as mobile or active as they used to be, they may be experiencing a painful illness, they may be embarrassed  of their incontinence, or they may feel their memory waning. Whatever the cause, they often take their frustrations out on the ones they feel most safe and comfortable around. They are not consciously abusing their son or daughter, they are frustrated and take it out on family because they believe no matter how poorly they behave family won’t leave them.

When handling emotional abuse from elders, it is important to understand that your parent is frustrated, they feel as though their independence is slipping away and that death is fast approaching. As we age, we often feel betrayed by our bodies and feel humiliated for the help we require to simply survive each day. While our loved ones are undergoing a difficult time period in their life, it does not justify their negative and hurtful behavior toward their caregivers.

Detach Yourself from Insults

Although their insults may cut deep, it is important that you don’t take every insult personally. It is also important to be able to detach from the situation with love. If you are experiencing a particularly difficult period in your relationship, the best solution may simply be to take a break. If your parent is in a nursing home where you know they are receiving proper care, or you have a sibling that can take over the duties for a day or a week, allow yourself to get some distance. By spending a little time apart both you and your loved one will have time to recharge. As a caregiver, it is important to show your loved one that you will not tolerate being treated in an abusive manner, standing your ground often leads to better behavior on your loved one’s part. Being a caregiver is stressful enough without your care recipient bringing you to tears based on their poor behavior.

If your loved one lives at home with you, it may be a good idea to consider in-home care, finding a little respite will work wonders on your psyche. By detaching yourself from their care for even a short while, you may find that your parents gain a new appreciation for you. When you stand up for yourself, and remain kind, calm and loving, it is easier to get your point across. Your feelings are important, regardless of your loved one’s disposition. Taking a stand and letting them know their behavior is intolerable early on may save you a world of hurt throughout your caregiving journey.

 

 

 

Manage Caregiving Like a Business

The first day at a new job usually induces feelings of doubt, heightened anxiety and fear of the unknown. Luckily some of these fears are partially subsided once you have adequately gone over the job description and the training manual has been fully assessed. Half of the battle is discovering exactly what is expected of you. Unfortunately, there are some jobs that fall into our laps without the accompaniment of training manuals, guidelines or job descriptions, which induces a whole host of new anxieties and fears. One such job is caregiving.

Entering uncharted territory without any outside help is absolutely overwhelming. Caregiving can consume your life with chaos, disorganization and mental anguish. What many caregivers are unaware of is that it doesn’t have to be this way. There is a simple trick caregivers can employ to make their job less stressful: Manage caregiving like you are managing a business.

Caregivers Should Treat Caregiving As Though it is a Job.

Running your caregiving role like it is a business will empower you and allow you to gain a sense of control. When people are thrust into caregiving roles, they are often overwhelmed and don’t know where to begin. If you were to start your own business, you would not fly by the seat of your pants, you would line up resources, obtain legal documents and make a financial plan. The same goes for caregiving. You need to get all of your parent’s documents in order, so you have easy access to them including medical history, medications, doctor’s appointments, coordinating medical care, power of attorney and their finances. Begin looking up resources in your community like support groups for caregivers and eldercare assistance. The key to running a healthy business is to remain proactive instead of reactive.

Own your Title as the CEO.

As any good boss knows, being the CEO does not make you responsible for handling every single facet of the corporation. As primary caregiver, part of your responsibility lies in delegating the work at hand. Avoiding caregiver burnout is more easily attainable by dividing up the burden. Look to your family members for help. Your significant other, siblings and children should all play a role in the caregiving process. Assess what each person can bring to the table and delegate accordingly.

Garner Help from Outside Resources.

If your family members/employees are not willing or able to handle their fair share of the responsibility, it is your duty to bring in outside reinforcements. Take solace in home health care options, elder daycare or a geriatric care manager. While seeking outside help may cost you more financially, it is well worth the investment for your sanity. Remaining healthy both mentally and physically are very important to your caregiving role. You should not undertake all of the responsibility yourself and should focus on establishing a method of caregiving that works best for both you and your loved one.

When you assess your caregiving role as a business, you will find you have more control over your life and your responsibilities. Remaining organized, prepared and proactive will leave you feeling more at ease. By keeping your sanity you will find that you are a much better caregiver, which will benefit both you and your loved one.

Manage Caregiving Like a Business

The first day at a new job usually induces feelings of doubt, heightened anxiety and fear of the unknown. Luckily some of these fears are partially subsided once you have adequately gone over the job description and the training manual has been fully assessed. Half of the battle is discovering exactly what is expected of you. Unfortunately, there are some jobs that fall into our laps without the accompaniment of training manuals, guidelines or job descriptions, which induces a whole host of new anxieties and fears. One such job is caregiving.

Entering uncharted territory without any outside help is absolutely overwhelming. Caregiving can consume your life with chaos, disorganization and mental anguish. What many caregivers are unaware of is that it doesn’t have to be this way. There is a simple trick caregivers can employ to make their job less stressful: Manage caregiving like you are managing a business.

Caregivers Should Treat Caregiving As Though it is a Job.

Running your caregiving role like it is a business will empower you and allow you to gain a sense of control. When people are thrust into caregiving roles, they are often overwhelmed and don’t know where to begin. If you were to start your own business, you would not fly by the seat of your pants, you would line up resources, obtain legal documents and make a financial plan. The same goes for caregiving. You need to get all of your parent’s documents in order, so you have easy access to them including medical history, medications, doctor’s appointments, coordinating medical care, power of attorney and their finances. Begin looking up resources in your community like support groups for caregivers and eldercare assistance. The key to running a healthy business is to remain proactive instead of reactive.

Own your Title as the CEO.

As any good boss knows, being the CEO does not make you responsible for handling every single facet of the corporation. As primary caregiver, part of your responsibility lies in delegating the work at hand. Avoiding caregiver burnout is more easily attainable by dividing up the burden. Look to your family members for help. Your significant other, siblings and children should all play a role in the caregiving process. Assess what each person can bring to the table and delegate accordingly.

Garner Help from Outside Resources.

If your family members/employees are not willing or able to handle their fair share of the responsibility, it is your duty to bring in outside reinforcements. Take solace in home health care options, elder daycare or a geriatric care manager. While seeking outside help may cost you more financially, it is well worth the investment for your sanity. Remaining healthy both mentally and physically are very important to your caregiving role. You should not undertake all of the responsibility yourself and should focus on establishing a method of caregiving that works best for both you and your loved one.

When you assess your caregiving role as a business, you will find you have more control over your life and your responsibilities. Remaining organized, prepared and proactive will leave you feeling more at ease. By keeping your sanity you will find that you are a much better caregiver, which will benefit both you and your loved one.

Sandwich Generation Month

In the Caregiving world July is called Sandwich Generation Month. Every July we like to commemorate and celebrate the dedication, patience, and caring of those adults who are part of the Sandwich Generation. For these strong individuals every single day comes with new challenges. So we would like to celebrate and raise awareness for all they do for the ones they love.

The Sandwich generation is the generation that has the task of caring for their aging parents along with supporting their own children. This time can be very stressful for those who are part of it. Every day presents new challenges for the Sandwich Generation and these people work very hard to ensure the safety and care of their loved ones.

This Month we would like to take the opportunity to raise awareness and provide help for those who are part of the Sandwich Generation. You can find links on our blog along with tips posted on our Twitter and Facebook page throughout the month. If you are a member of the Sandwich Generation just know that you aren’t alone. Don’t let your responsibilities consume you. Don’t be afraid to reach out for help as Life Fone and other people around the world would love to give you tips and resources to make you lives easier and less stressful.

Caring for elderly parent falls primarily to one sibling

A new study suggests when adult siblings have elderly parents who are in need of care, one sibling usually takes on the bulk of responsibility.

Caring for an elderly parent can tear apart sibling relationships, especially when the division of responsibilities is less than equitable.

That’s one of the conclusions of research released Tuesday that says when adult siblings have elderly parents who are in need of care, one sibling usually takes on the bulk of responsibility.

Read more:  http://www.canada.com/life/Caring+elderly+parent+falls+primarily+sibling/4288421/story.html#ixzz1EFlNhUYN

Caring for elderly parent falls primarily to one sibling

A new study suggests when adult siblings have elderly parents who are in need of care, one sibling usually takes on the bulk of responsibility.

Caring for an elderly parent can tear apart sibling relationships, especially when the division of responsibilities is less than equitable.

That’s one of the conclusions of research released Tuesday that says when adult siblings have elderly parents who are in need of care, one sibling usually takes on the bulk of responsibility.

Read more:  http://www.canada.com/life/Caring+elderly+parent+falls+primarily+sibling/4288421/story.html#ixzz1EFlNhUYN

Eldercare Locator

The Eldercare Locator is a public, nationwide service of the Administration on Aging at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. This service is designed to connect older Americans, their families and caregivers with information on senior services and help them by identifying trustworthy local support resources.

The Eldercare Locator database provides information by Zip code, City or County. We encourage you to use this resource and ease the burden of gathering information on resources available in your area.

Eldercare Locator

The Eldercare Locator is a public, nationwide service of the Administration on Aging at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. This service is designed to connect older Americans, their families and caregivers with information on senior services and help them by identifying trustworthy local support resources.

The Eldercare Locator database provides information by Zip code, City or County. We encourage you to use this resource and ease the burden of gathering information on resources available in your area.

Making Your Home Safe for Seniors

Having your elderly parent move in with you requires major adjustments on your part, but a few minor adjustments to your home will enable both you and your parent to feel more secure and at ease. With age, seniors are more prone to household falls and accidents, the following safety proofing measures will decrease the likelihood of mishaps along with your stress level:

1. Get rid of throw rugs, as they can easily get caught under walkers and can result in falls.

2. Install handrails in areas where they will be of assistance, common areas include around toilets, tubs and showers.

3. Medical alert buttons, like LifeFone, provide instant, caring and compassionate assistance from specifically trained Emergency Care Specialists – 24 hours a day. Investing in one costs less than one dollar a day, and provides a priceless lifeline to security.

4. Purchase rubber grips for faucets and door knobs, elders with arthritis have a weakened grip and rubber grips allow them to securely grasp and turn knobs.

5. Replace old appliances with newer ones that turn off automatically. Irons, electronic heaters and fans can be hazardous if left on.

6. Ensure that smoke detectors and carbon monoxide alarms are functional and have new batteries.

7. Amplified telephones with enlarged buttons and caller ID help visually or hearing impaired individuals make and receive calls easily.

8. Heavy cast iron pans are good for cooking, but their weight is hard to manage with age. Consider switching to lighter pans to avoid spills and burns.

9. Shower chairs make showering safer and easier, and can be purchased at medical supply stores.

10. Replace flip switches with illuminated light switches, or larger rocker switches throughout the house.

Taking these small steps to improve home safety will reduce stress and concern for everyone.