Being the Caretaker of your Caretakers.
by Heidi Nestor, Writer and Editor,
Caretaking of an elderly loved one is not only a
physical challenge but an emotional one too.
You may find yourself with a new set of responsibilities that you
would not have considered before such as, bathing, feeding, and overall
monitoring of the diet and bathroom activities of the senior.
However, it can be especially challenging if you
are caring for a parent.
Being the caretaker of the person who took care of you can create an
emotional and psychological toll on both of you, leaving you and the
senior overwhelmed. Having
to be dependent on someone to help them shower, eat and dress can be
Here are a few suggestions to help ease the stress
Enroll in a caretaker’s course.
You may want to check out your local hospital or senior center to
see if there are classes you can take to help you with understanding
what you and your parent’s needs are.
Knowing what to expect can ease anxiety.
Join a support group.
Perhaps the most pivotal course of action you can take to help
with emotional stress is to join a support group of other caretakers. It
is there that you will be able to share your feelings and concerns with
other people who know what you’re going through and they may even give
some tips on how to handle certain problems that arise.
Read books on how to care take or go to the library
and check out a few books on eldercare.
These too may help in giving you ideas on how to handle the
physical and emotional stress you may be under.
Moreover, just as there are “Mommy Boards”, there are Elder Care
forums and websites with ideas and suggestions to assist in daily
If you’re not sure if your parent needs 24 hour
care have a professional, such as a doctor, assess the situation.
In some cases, you may just need to make a few modifications
around the house, such as bath bars, in lieu of the parent moving in
with you or going into a senior assisted living facility. Sometimes a
medical alert emergency response, such as a Life Alert, may be all that
is needed for senior living and independence.
Lastly, and just as important…take time off.
It is imperative that you have a day off for yourself when
caretaking for someone. If
no other family member can step in to help, then hire a babysitter for
the day so that you can have some time to yourself.
Senior independence is key at any age so if your
parent rejects your attempts at elderly care, don’t take it personally.
Books, groups, and classes will help you to understand not only your
feelings but the emotional issues the person you are caring for are
going through as well.
understands that taking care of an elderly family member can be as much
of an emotional challenge as a physical one.
Feeling overwhelmed is a common reaction, but also fear and worry
can set in if you are not always available.
That is where Life Alert Personal Emergency Response comes in. If
an emergency happens while you’re not there, all the senior needs to do
is push the button on their pendant and we will send help fast, 24/7.
When you can’t be there, Life Alert can with one touch of button.
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and its many services and benefits for seniors – available in
, California, Florida, and other states nationwide -- please visit the following websites: