Being a caregiver to an aging parent, or even a spouse can be wrought with all kinds of emotions. In most cases, it is a very different role than you have experienced before, and in many cases it is a role you don’t feel adequately prepared for. Many caregivers struggle silently, wondering if they are “doing things right” or just don’t want to “complain” about caring for the person who previously took care of them for so long.
If you have ever flown on an airplane you will remember the flight attendants instructions in the beginning of the flight. “In the event we experience a loss of cabin pressure, please place the oxygen mask over your own mouth and nose before helping the small child next to you.”
If you are like me, you couldn’t wrap your head around such a selfish thought. But here’s the reality. What help would you be to that small child (or your elderly parent, or anyone, for that matter, if you pass out from lack of oxygen? By taking care of yourself first, you will then have the stamina to care for others.
If you are a caregiver, be it to your children, your spouse, your parents, the most important thing I could teach you is how important it is to take care of yourself. Please let that linger in your thoughts for a moment.
Now, make a list of things you could do to take care of YOU. If you can’t think of any, please contact me and I will help you devise a list (and then I will make a list of rebuttals to all the obstacles you present me.)
Never underestimate the power of respite. Or a Caregiver Support Group. Want to know more? Contact The Eldest Daughter for information on where to find an appropriate caregiver support group or how to locate respite services.
Caregiver Support Group meets every First and Third Wednesday evening of the month
Group is open to anyone in the community who is struggling with/worrying about caring for aging loved ones.
Those interested should contact Lisa for more information.
Families want to do the right thing, but often aren’t sure what the right thing is. The Eldest Daughter can help you figure out what that “right thing” is.
Adult children often live at a distance or are overwhelmed due to the other responsibilities such as careers or families/children. The Eldest Daughter can help share the burden by tag teaming with you, or to be the eyes and ears first hand and determine when an emergency long distance trip is warranted. A geriatric care manager like the Eldest Daughter can be especially helpful for long distance caregivers and caregivers who have exhausted all of their available work leave, but also helpful for anyone needing some extra guidance and help caring for their loved ones.
Family members are in conflict or there is dysfunction (where parents should live, safety vs autonomy, end of life decisions, spending, resistence by parent, suspected abuse or undue influence). The Eldest Daughter can help sort through the conflict with you to determine common goals and aid in effective communication. Together we comprise the “client committee”; the professional, the family and the client.