Sunday, February 8, 2009

Elderly Depression: Coping As The Caregiver

Today's Help For The Caregiver!

If you are caring for aging parents, a crucial
event you must be on the look out for is depression.

Depression in the elderly is a widespread problem
that is often not diagnosed and frequently under treated.
One of the main reasons is that your aging parent
does not want to admit to having feelings of depression.

But think about it. Is it so unbelievable? What if
you were in the same spot? You watch so many of
your friends die. You may have just lost your
spouse. You can no longer drive your car. Your
mobility keeps you from doing the things you always
took for granted.

Hell, if that doesn't cause depression, what would?
I'm depressed just thinking about it. I watched
my Mom go through depression. Her doctor never
asked. When I finally got a clue (duh) and took her for
an appointment, she was secretly glad. Medication
was prescribed and after a couple of weeks, she felt
so much better.

So don't ask your parent. Chances are they will just
say, "Oh, I'm fine."

Symptoms of depression include:

**Depressed or irritable mood

**Feelings of worthlessness or sadness

**Loss of interest or pleasure in daily activities

**Temper, agitation

**Change in appetite (usually a loss of appetite)

**Change in weight

**Unintentional weight loss (most common)

**Weight gain

**Trouble sleeping

**Daytime sleepiness

**Difficulty falling asleep (initial insomnia)

**Waking up many times through the night (middle insomnia)

**Waking up early in the morning (terminal insomnia)

**Fatigue (tiredness or weariness)

**Difficulty concentrating

**Memory loss

**Abnormal thoughts, inappropriate guilt

**Abnormal thoughts about death

**Thoughts about suicide

Of course, these symptoms can appear in everyone
from time to time. But if several are persistent for
2 weeks, it may be signs of serious depression.

Again, elderly depression may be hard to detect
because symptoms such as fatigue, appetite loss
and trouble sleeping also can be part of the aging
process or a medical condition.

Just keep watch and have them see their doctor.

Today's Help For The Caregiver!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Pharmacists Play Major Role In Caring For Parents

Taking Care Of Parents!

Pharmacists are my heroes. When I was caring
for Mom, they had my highest respect. There
was even one time, our pharmacist noticed
an error made by her doctor and got right on
the phone and straightened it up. This over-
sight could have been life-threatening.
I love you, Dan!

As a caregiver, you know your aging parents may
be on many medications. Talk with your pharmacist.
They know how medications work better than
your doctor. And they are willing and able to
take the time and answer all your questions.

You have to keep watch for any interaction
between medicines. Especially if a new prescription
is introduced.

Then comes dispensing the medications.

Many elderly patients are on a wide variety of
prescription medications that have to be taken at
multiple times every day. Negative side effects can
occur if a dose is missed or late.

Special pill dispensers that help the caregiver to
remember what times of day a pill should be taken
and how many pills of each type are needed is a big
help. Ask your pharmacist about different specialized
pill dispensers in order to alleviate this problem.

Something that is of particular interest to talk about
with your pharmacist is about the reasons for taking
each medication and what can be expected in terms
of primary and secondary effects.

Doctors sometimes are in such a hurry that they
prescribe something that needs to be given but do not
spend enough time explaining to the patient and to
the caregiver what this medication is for and what
kind of effects it can have. Pharmacists are usually
a really helpful source of this type of information.

Visit your pharmacy at times of the day when it is less
busy, such as early in the morning so that you are sure
to have an uninterrupted conversation with the pharmacist.

Make a list of your questions before you go so that you
are sure to get answers for all of your questions.
Not only should you ask about what the drug is for but
also about how good of a chance there is that the drug
will help in the symptoms that the drug is prescribed for.

Many medications can have a negative effect, either in
combination with the positive effect they are designed
to have or instead of the effect they are supposed to have.

It can also be the case that they work differently in
combination with the other medications a person is taking
than they would work when a patient is not taking any
other medications.

Knowing the dangerous side effects to look for will help
you take good care of your loved one. Regardless of the
side effects that the pharmacist tells you about for a
particular drug, any sudden and severe change in health
or behavior should be discussed with the pharmacist
and the doctor.

Symptoms to look out for are depression, sleep disorders,
Parkinson’s-like symptoms and confusion. Any of these
should be discussed right away in order to reassess
pharmacological needs.

An important tip: Write down on a sturdy index card
ALL the medications your loved one is taking. Keep it
in your possession at all times. Have a copy with your
loved one and any other people who are around your

That is always the FIRST question asked by medical
personnel in times of emergencies. There was a time
I called the ambulance for Mom. In ER, I was asked
for a list of her prescriptions. In my shock, I drew an
absolute blank. I did not make that mistake again!
Go and do that right now. You'll be glad you did!

Caring for parents when they become elderly is not
easy. Take all the help and information you can get...

Taking Care Of Parents!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

How To Balance Work While Caring For Parents

Balance Your Life While Caring For Parents!

Anyone who has a job and a family knows how
hard it can be. You have to manage both of these

Now suppose you are a caregiver. If you are caring
for aging parents. Then it can become nearly impossible
to manage everything without going into meltdown!

No longer are you trying to figure out how to deal with
normal work-related stress. Or getting your teenagers
through the hormonal years.

Now you have to make sure your parent is safe and
cared for before you even get to the office. You have to
worry about who is looking after them when you’re not

Or if you’re going to be able to leave the office in time to
relieve the help. Or worrying about them if they stay
alone. You hope for understanding employers. Or a job
where you can take family-related leave. (a godsend
for me)

Most people who are caring for aging parents cannot
afford to give up their jobs. And most of them don’t
want to. If you’ve built up a career, even if it’s not a
financial necessity, it can be difficult to walk away from.

Maybe it is the only thing that gets you out of the house
and keeps you sane and grounded.

Whatever your reason for wanting to balance your job
while you balance your responsibilities as a caregiver,
you should know that it can be done. You just have to
know where to turn for help and be willing to ask for
what you need.

You may be surprised to find out that your biggest ally
may be your employer. Employees have a tendency to try
and hide the fact that they are providing care for someone
from their bosses because they’re worried that they may
get skipped over for promotions and that it might make
them look uncommitted to their work.

In reality, however, most companies are aware that these
circumstances are very common and have programs in place
to try and accommodate their employees who are caring for
a parent.

Your company may have financial assistance programs to
help you hire home help to look after your parent while you
work or to help you pay for adult day care. Your company
may also be able to help you find counseling help or other
support that you need to cope with your new responsibilities.

Even if your company doesn’t have such a program,
you should know that in the US, you are entitled to
take up to 12 weeks leave of absence per year from
your job to care for a sick relative without worry
about losing your job or any of your benefits. The
catch is that the leave is unpaid, so this might not
be a financial possibility for many caregivers.

If you can’t afford to quit working, look into alternative
solutions that might help you juggle your new schedule.
See if your company offers job share programs or if they
can allow you to work from home at least a few days a

See if one of your siblings may be able to get some time
off from their jobs more easily than you to take off some
of the burden. Last but not least, if your company is
completely inflexible and unwilling to work with you,
then you may need to look for a new job.

Millions of Americans care for parents, and many
companies out there are willing and able to accommodate
employees who do so.

After all, with the population aging like never before,
elder care will be as common as child care!

Balance Your Life While Caring For Parents!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

7 Signs You May Soon Become A Caregiver To Your Aging Parents

The Guide To Caring For Parents!

With people living longer, the chances are good
that you will be called upon to be in a caregiving
role for your aging parents.

It's normal to feel overwhelmed when you think
of the responsibility. So what do you look for?
When do you start caring for parents?

Signs to watch for...

1. Your once vibrant dad is now being plagued
with a lot of little health problems. Just enough
to hamper his lifestyle.

2. You find bank statements and unpaid bills
laying on your parents' desk unopened when
they were once really diligent about paying on

3. Loss of interest in the hobbies or regular socializing
your loved one normally does. Could be depression...

4. Regular household chores are not being done
such as mowing the lawn, washing dishes or fixing
a leak in the sink.

5. There is not an adequate food supply present to
feed your ailing parent or they become inattentive
when cooking or baking, burning food. Or burning

6. Grooming and hygiene have become slack.

7. Being distracted and inattentiveness in your loved

Keep checking on your elderly parents. If you live
far away from them, make arrangements with a
friend, relative or neighbor to be your liaison.

The Guide To Caring For Parents!

Monday, February 2, 2009

Elder Care: How To Communicate In Your Caregiving Role

How To Excel As Caregiver!

As a caregiver, there are times it can be difficult
to talk with your loved one, especially if they
have some type of cognitive or hearing impairment.

How do you know if they truly understanding
what you are saying to them? Choosing the right
words and conveying the right message can be
difficult, especially when you are dealing with
their diminished capacity.

Sometimes, there are feelings of frustration both
on your part and theirs which is understandable.
But, remember. Do you think they like to be in
this position. Would you? Keeping that in mind,
you won't lose your patience.

Try these suggestions to make it easier on you,
as caregiver and your care receiver.

* Make sure you have their attention

With mental impairment, your loved one may
become confused if there is too much background
noise or there is another presence in the room.

And if your loved one is hearing-impaired, all the
more important...

* Call them by name

Use their first name, term of endearment (Sweetie or Dear)
or relationship (such as Dad or Mom) and pause for a

You may have to repeat yourself until they hear
your voice and turn to look at you. Before you
continue to speak, make sure they are engaged
with you.

* Speak clearly

You will want to be face to face with them at eye
level when you talk with them. If they can look
into your eyes and see your lips moving, they are
more apt to clue into what you are saying.

Of course, make sure you enunciate your words, being
careful not to slur. Never occupy your hands with another
task or look around when talking to your loved one. They
will lose concentration and interest.

* Use short sentences

Break up your message into short statements. Just like
with young children, adults with cognitive impairment
may not be able to process a statement with several
directives in it.

* Be kind and gentle

Do not raise your voice to be heard. This can startle or
scare your loved one. Instead, move closer to them,
taking care to respect their personal space.

Do not order or talk at them. Instead, formulate your
wording to make it seem they are doing you a favor by

Ask them for help instead of telling them
what to do. For example, "Can you move your cane so I
can walk without tripping?" or "Please come to the dinner
table; it is time to eat."

* Listen

Be sure to take the time to listen. Just because your
loved one may have some type of mental impairment
does not mean they have nothing to contribute to a

You may have to help them when they have trouble
coming up with words to something. Occasionally they
may know exactly what they are talking about but forget
the word for TV or dog. (Hey, this happens to me all
the time!)

When I would lose my patience with Mom, I would
step back and think of the Golden Rule. Simple as

This is no fun for them! Just offer love and kindness.

How To Excel As Caregiver!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Caring For Parents: You Can't Neglect Yourself!

Taking Care Of Parents & Yourself!

Caregiving is a tremendous responsibility.
When you're providing care to aging parents,
it's even more so.

Like so many experiences, no one can really
appreciate the work involved unless they have
walked in your shoes.

And don't forget the physical and emotional
toll acting as a caregiver will take on you.
In order to provide good care to your loved
one, you have to take good care of yourself.
This means NOT putting your own needs

This is the hard part, I know. But if you are
not at your best, you simply can not give your
aging parent the care they deserve.

And don't feel guilty! Strange coming from me.
I still feel guilty and Mom passed away in 2006!
In this case, learn from my mistakes.

It's okay to admit that taking care of parents
can be a burden. There are family dynamics
at play. Any issues of the past have a way of
popping up while dealing with elderly parents.

Admit to yourself that you can’t do everything alone.
You need to have the time and space to take of

It wasn't until things got really bad for me that
I finally opened up to my doctor. That was when
he initiated home care. Talk about a blessing.

There are also support groups out there you
could join. I realize this may mean having someone
stay with your parent, but so be it. Consider
talking to a therapist as well.

Get other family members or friends on board
so you can get a much needed break. Ask them
to help you cook dinners. Ask them to come over
and sit with your family member for awhile so you
can get out and visit friends, do some shopping, see a
movie – whatever you enjoy doing.

If there are siblings involved, they will stop assuming
that you’ll shoulder the responsibility all alone and step
up and take some of the burden off of you more and more.

If there simply isn’t anyone you can ask for help, then
carve out time for yourself the best way you can.
Get frequent exercise, carve out a time in the day
where you get to do whatever you want, even if you
simply spend some quiet time reading or taking a bath.

Likewise, give yourself a break on the little things. Hire
a cleaning team, or evaluate whether or not you’re doing
more housekeeping than you need to. Find a good takeout
service that you can use when you need a break from
cooking. Don’t take on additional favors for family and
friends – learn to say no.

Caregivers have a history of falling into depression,
alcohol abuse and other problems. You need to look
after yourself so you stay healthy. It may feel selfish to
you at the time but every break you take is an act of
love for the person you care for – you need to feel your
best to treat them with the compassion and care you
want them to have.

Caregiver stress is a major problem. Nip it in the bud
before it gets the best of you.

Taking Care Of Parents & Yourself!

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Aging Parents: Know Your Caregiver Options

The Guide To Looking After Aging Parents!

We are the sandwich generation. We look after
our kids. Then we may find themselves in the
situation of caring for an aging parent. Or both
of them.

If you are a caregiver for elderly family members,
there are options available. First you must access
your own situation.

As hard as it is, sometimes the best and only
option is for the aging person to go into a care

If your aging parent is bed-ridden, you'll find
it extremely difficult to care for them on your

If they have dementia or Alzheimer's disease,
you will need to be with them all the time, given
the degree of the illness. This can wear you out
and cause you to become ill.

However, in less severe cases, it may be possible to
arrange for the person to stay at home by adding
a few home health care options into the person’s life.

One of the major decisions is where the elderly parent
will live. For many working adults, it is much easier
to take care of an elderly parent if they agree to move
into the son or daughter’s home.

My Mom and I were very lucky. There were times it
looked like a care facility was on the horizon but we
pulled through. I was able to continue working and
she was quite happy.

We also made use of home care in the last 3 years.
This service was free to us in our area. (based on

At the end, I took vacation time to spend with Mom
until she passed away. It was a blessing that I'll
always cherish.

So you see, many people can continue working and
spending time with their families as well as taking
care of an elderly parent.

Depending on the health and independence of the
aging parent, different amounts of extra help might
be needed. It may be the case that the parent can
be home alone all day but if that is not the case,
there are plenty of organizations and people to turn
to in order to get some help and support in the
caregiving process.

One option is to find an adult day care center where
healthier elderly people can go during the day in order
to socialize and stay active with other people.

At such a day care facility, people play games, listen to
music together, organize trips and have lunch as a
group. For most elderly people, this is much preferred
over sitting home alone every day.

Many aging people are not amenable to the idea of an
adult day care center, but do remind them that they
won’t know if they like it or not until they’ve tried it.
Most elderly people who go to such a center end up
being huge fans of the arrangement.

If your aging parent is not in good enough condition
to go to a recreational adult day care center, you could
also check to see if there’s a center in your area that
includes health care.

Such centers exist, they are just fewer and far between.
These care centers are an excellent option for having
an aging parent taken care of during the day while you
are at work without having to put them into a nursing home.

Home care is also an option, although it offers fewer
social benefits for the aging patient. Home care can either
take on the form of medical care brought into the home
or it can be as simple as hiring someone to come over an
hour before lunch to do a little cleaning, having lunch with
the aging parent and then cleaning up, visiting for a while,
and then going on their way again.

Mom had her home caregiver bathe her. Then they
would stay awhile and talk with her. She loved them
and it lightened things for me. A win-win!

Depending on the type of home care that is necessary,
the range in price is huge. Home health care can get very
expensive very quickly, but having a local come over
for a few hours every day can be very affordable and
produce significantly satisfying results.

Talk with your aging parent to get a feel for what it is
that they would like to do in terms of getting their needs
met without moving to a nursing home.

Also, talk to your siblings and other family members
to see what everyone else thinks and to see if anyone is
willing to help. For many families, the constraint of cost
makes it necessary to keep all of the adult caregiving
within the family.

If one person does all of the caregiving, it grows very
stressful and very tiring, but if ten family members each
spend two hours a week, you might all enjoy it so much
that you’ll never want to hire home care!

So know your options, check around your area and you
will find the help you need in looking after aging parents...

The Guide To Looking After Aging Parents!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

How To Care For Aging Parents Without Killing Your Siblings

The Caregiver's Guide For Today's Families!

My mother lived with me until she passed away.
As an "only child", I often wished for a brother or
sister to shoulder the burden.

But then I realized that could bring on its own
set of problems. Although it was tough at times,
I didn't have the worries I've witnessed others
having to endure.

Coping with looking after your aging parent
is difficult enough on its own. If there is conflict
between siblings, it can be hell on earth.

These kinds of conflicts can really escalate when a
parent requires long term care and someone needs
to step in and take on the role of caregiver.

The types of conflicts that come up differ from
family to family, depending on several different
factors but it is important to know in advance that
caregiving is potentially troublesome for sibling
relationships. And how!

So if you can get a handle on things in the beginning,
it will be one less burden to carry during this difficult

The number one issue for siblings when it comes to
caregiving roles is who is going to take on what
responsibilities. The way this problem manifests
itself, however, depends largely on the kind of
relationship each sibling has with the parent and
with each other.

Let's face it. Some people are just plain selfish.
I've watched families where there seems to be
only ONE that does all the work. But the others
take credit!

If the family is close and each sibling has a close
relationship with the parent involved, then the
conflict may come up as rivalry.

Siblings may compete with who will provide the
primary care for the parent, especially if the
decision is made that someone will either have to
move in with the parent or have the parent move
into their home.

The opposite problem will occur if the siblings
and parents are not close. A history of bad feeling
and estrangement between the siblings and the
parent may leave the siblings arguing over which
one of them has to provide the care, as neither of
them wants to get too involved.

That situation is the saddest. For the parents and
their children...

There is, of course, a middle ground to this issue
and that is the one where one sibling is the clear
choice to be the caregiver and the other siblings
remain involved on a limited basis.

This situation can actually cause more resentment
on the part of the caregiver than any other, as they
may feel unduly burdened by taking on everything
themselves. They cannot see a good reason why
their siblings are not helping.

Understanding that your brother and mother do
not get along and he remains uninvolved in her care
is one thing.

Seeing your brother breeze into town and stop by
to say hello to your mother for 20 minutes on his
way out of town on vacation when you haven’t
been able to so much have a cup of coffee with a
friend in months is quite another thing and much
harder to take.

These problems don’t have to happen with you
and your siblings if you’re ready to plan for them
in advance. Anticipate the bumps in the road and
try to avoid them.

The most important thing you can do is make
sure that everyone is involved in every decision
that relates to the care of the parent.

Not only will this help make sure no one feels left
out, it will also give everyone a very clear picture
of what exactly the caregiver has to deal with, so
they may be more willing to jump in and help.

Another big help for siblings is to devise a schedule
that meets everyone’s needs. Everyone is likely
to have different levels of availability to provide

You should split up responsibilities as much as
possible. Siblings who live out of town may be
called on to contribute financially more while
those in town can help with doctor’s visits,
cleaning and so on.

For siblings, realizing a parent requires caregiving
is a daunting discovery. The best way to make sure
the parent gets what they need while the sibling
relationships are protected is to make sure the
communication doors are always open.

For more help with one of life's most important
and yes, difficult situations, check out...

The Caregiver's Guide For Today's Families!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

6 Things To Think About For The New Caregiver Of Aging Parents

The Ultimate Guide For Today's Caregiver!

Your caregiver role may be thrust upon you without
much warning or you have slowly slid into it. Either
way, the role of adult caregiver can be overwhelming.

It can cause feelings of isolation, anxiety, sadness,
trepidation, frustration and even resentment. (Then
of course, those emotions bring on guilt.)

These feelings are normal and not at all uncommon
and you can expect them to come and go throughout
your tenure as a caregiver. With these feelings also
come positive moments of appreciation for the person
you are caring for, compassion and understanding.

Every caregiving situation is unique due to various
circumstances but there are various strategies to help
you cope through the times ahead that are universal.

If you find yourself in that adult caregiver role, you
should arm yourself with as much information as possible
so that you can not only learning coping skills but also
create a plan of action which includes alternatives for
anything unanticipated.

6 all-purpose strategies that can help:

1. Establish the groundwork for your caregiving role
so that you can adequately make the necessary

Talk with all parties involved from the loved one
you are caring for as well as your siblings and other
family members and even social agencies who may
help in providing care.

You need a clear picture of when the problems started
occurring and in what frequency. This information will
help in preparing a treatment plan.

2. Meet with your loved one's doctors and ensure your
loved one has a comprehensive examination to test
emotional, physical and mental health.

You need to know everything in order to conduct your
caregiving duties effectively. Educate yourself in regards
to what you can expect as your loved one deteriorates
so that you know when and how to react when caregiving
needs change.

3. Assess your loved one's needs and determine
whether they can still live alone with daily help and
intervention or whether they need to move in with you.

Their daily habits will need to be scrutinized. Things
such as:

*Personal care like eating and grooming
*Household chores like cooking, cleaning and
paying bills on time
*Health management such as taking medications
properly and even whether they can be safe by
themselves or maintain personal relationships.

4. Create a plan that addresses the assessment you
have made regarding your loved one. You may have
to hire an adult caregiver during the day so you can
work or find an adult day care.

You might have to give up your job to care for them
full-time or perhaps they could still live alone but you
need to hire a companion to assist them.

Hospitals, social work agencies and even governmental
entities can help you cope with these decisions.

5. Evaluate your finances and that of your loved one.
What type of care can they afford? Does insurance cover

Will you have to pitch in financially? You might have
to consult with a lawyer to outline all the financial assets
your loved one has as well as possibly draw up any legal
papers granting your rights should your loved one not
be able to make decisions any longer.

6. Whether your loved one can still live at home or has
to move in with you, there are likely safety issues you
have to deal with.

For physical infirmities, you will likely have to make
plans to accommodate a wheelchair or install handicap
implements such as a chair in the shower, rails for
hallways and stairs and more.

For cognitive issues, you might have to remove anything
that could be potentially harmful such as knives, knobs
on the stove so it cannot be used, fire-related devices
and you may even have to install an alarm system so
that they cannot wander off and get lost.

The Ultimate Guide For Today's Caregiver!

Monday, January 26, 2009

How To Prevent Caregiver Burnout

The Ultimate Caregiver's Guide For Today's Families!

Being a caregiver is the ultimate way to show
love, kindness and devotion to a loved one in

At some point in time, a family member will
need assistance with daily living and you will
have to step into the adult caregiver role –
perhaps to care for an elderly parent.

As the general population is growing older
and living longer, there is an escalating need
for adult caregiving and many families step
into that role to fulfill that need.

While caregiving can be rewarding, it is a role
that is also fraught with anxiety, fear, fatigue,
stress and yes, resentment. And...oh, the guilt
that comes whenever you feel resentful!

The possibility of burnout is quite high in adult
caregivers and as a result, there are steps that
should be taken to ensure that not only is your
loved one well cared for but that you are as well.

If you are not happy and are stressed and tired
all the time, how will that translate to your
caregiving role?

Half the battle is recognizing that you are close
to burning out and the other half is doing
something about it.

You have to recognize that your own physical,
emotional and mental health is just as important,
if not more, than your loved one. If you collapse,
what help will you be to anyone?

Plus, you have to know when to ask for help and
not be shy about it. Here are some important
caregiver tips to prevent burnout:

Research your options for temporary long-term
and short-term care when you need to take a vacation,
a long weekend away or if you have to leave for an

There are many agencies that offer in-home care
or companion assistance, just as there are facilities
that accept short-term patients should your loved
one require constant care. Have these alternate
caregivers waiting in the wings should you need them.

2. Schedule regular time away from your caregiving
role. Enlist the help of siblings, friends and neighbors
who can effectively watch over your loved one so that
you can take a break whether it is going to the movies,
going on a long walk or having a date night with your

3. Join a support group through church, on the
internet or even through a local agency. Commiserating
with other people going through the same thing can
greatly help your state of mind. (I would have lost
my mind if not for being able to vent to friends who
truly understood) This does NOT mean you don't love
the care receiver!

Knowing those feelings of anger and frustration are
normal definitely help diminish feeling guilty as well.
Plus, you may learn new ways to cope or find help
that you did not think of before.

4. Indulge in a hobby or something to take your
mind off matters. Gardening, cross stitching, walking,
listening to music and other activities can greatly
help divert your attention away from your stress
and give you a sense of well-being, sort of like
recharging your internal batteries to be able to
cope with your caregiving role more effectively.

5. Find time every day to pamper yourself so
that you have something to look forward to. It
may be waking 30 minutes early to savor a
gourmet cup of coffee in peace or soaking in a
hot tub full of bubbles.

Perhaps it is those precious minutes of reading
time while your loved one sleeps. Whatever
unravels those internal knots, if only for a little
while, is what you should do each day.

Always remember – it is not selfish to want
to be alone and it is ok and perfectly normal
to feel frustrated and angry about your situation.

You will realize many rewards in caregiving
such as getting to know your loved one more
but those rewards do come at a price sometimes.

By taking care of yourself first, you will be able
to take care of your loved ones more effectively
and efficiently.

The Ultimate Caregiver's Guide For Today's Families!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Taking Care Of Your Parents When The Time Comes

This is a subject close to my heart. You see,
my Mom lived with me until she passed away
in May 2006. It only seems like a few months
ago. I miss her more today than when she first

A Caregiver's Guide!

That may have to do with the fact I'm divorced
and liked to say Mom and I were side-kicks. So
now a vital part of me is gone. Being an "only child",
makes me feel like an orphan.

This is not to say that looking after aging parents
is easy. It's not for everyone. But there are many
facets to this life event.

You may live thousands of miles from your parents.
You have to coordinate things from a distance.

You may have siblings and in a perfect world, you
agree on how to take care of your aging parents.

You may live close by. You may be able to have
an aging parent live with you in your own home.

You may decide to live with them and take care
of them.

So if you are faced with eldercare issues, you have
my prayers. I only wish I would have had more
resources when Mom and I were together.

As I look back, I know I could have done things
better. Yes, guilt is always a part of it. Especially
for daughters! But that's another story!

Today I found something that warmed my heart.
I only wish I would have come up with it!

Take a look to see if it could give you some peace
and understanding as you face the inevitable...

A Caregiver's Guide!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Looking After Aging Parents: You Are Not Alone

Many times I needed help when caring for my Mom
but didn't know where to turn. As an "only child",
I had my share of mini-meltdowns behind my bedroom

Mom is gone now but looking back I am thankful I was
able to have her live with me until the very end. Being
lucid at 95 is something I don't think I'll be able to say!

There are so many areas to looking after aging
parents. Issues that must be faced and dealt with.

The Eldercare Team is just such a place. I wish I
would have found it when I needed it!

Click on the link at the top of this page to learn
more. Good luck and Godspeed!