Life as a Caregiver and Dealing With Stress Caring for Aging Parents – AARP. The attached article, written by Dr. Nancy Snyderman, chief medical editor for NBC News, shows us that even doctor-caregivers are not immune from the stress brought on by caregiving. A year after Nancy and her siblings moved their parents to live near her, Dr. Snyderman became “one of almost 44 million U.S. adults caring for an older friend or family member.”
My dad and I, five years before I became his caregiver; seven years before he died from Alzheimer’s.
Statistics show that caregivers tend to patients who are loved ones, an average of 20 hours each week – many times on top of part-time or full-time employment. Before long, Dr. Snyderman came to the realization that she had forgotten to check in on how she was doing. She gained weight, she slept only a few hours a night, and she experienced burnout – not unlike what many of us have felt as caregivers – or former caregivers – for family members.
In my article, Caregiver: put on your oxygen mask first, I address the importance of caring for yourself first, and the patient second. “No way,” you say, “my mom/dad/spouse come first; they need me!” You’re absolutely correct – they do need you, but if you get sick or disabled, you can’t be there for them. That’s why you need to place the oxygen mask on yourself first, and then on the person for whom you are providing care.
Most of us learn the hard way. We get burned out and emotionally or physically incapacitated, and then we start taking care of numero uno. Do yourself – and your loved one – a favor. If you’ve been ignoring the signs of stress that are enveloping you, stop being such a hero and start taking care of yourself. You will benefit from such care, and so will your loved one.
Posted in 21st Century Living, Alzheimer's/Dementia, Caregiving, Community outreach, Family issues, Finances, Health & Wellness, Personal Struggles, Quality of Life, Retirement
Tagged AARP, AARP Magazine, Alzheimer's disease, Caregiver, Caregiver Support, Chief medical editor, Dr. Nancy Snyderman, Nancy Snyderman, NBC News, Support group
Moving Mom and Dad – Leaving Home is an article from the June/July 2012 AARP Magazine. Statistics on aging are astounding, and scary. “By 2020 some 6.6 million Americans will be age 85 or older.” That’s an increase of 4.3 million from the year 2000. Time to celebrate – right? We’re living longer – and in some cases – thriving in our older age. The reality of the situation, however, is that eventually we’ll need some sort of assistance with our activities of daily living (ADLs) that might require a move to a care facility of some sort.
The stories presented in the attached article describe family instances where emergent circumstances warranted an emergent decision to move a parent into some sort of care facility. The best case scenario, as this AARP article suggests is that you, “dig the well before you’re thirsty.” Nice sentiment – but not always possible.
I have written numerous articles for my blog that address the difficulties the caregiver, and the one needing care, go through when making the decision to choose a long-term care (LTC) facility for a loved one. Below are links to each of those articles. I hope they prove beneficial to you.
Deathbed promises and how to fulfill them.
Caregiving: The Ultimate Team Sport.
Selecting a Senior housing community – easy for some, not for the rest of us.
Avoiding the pitfalls of selecting Senior Housing.
Adjustment disorder: a long-term care facility side- effect.
Be an advocate for your aging loved one.
Visiting a loved one at a long-term care facility.
Posted in 21st Century Living, Alzheimer's/Dementia, Caregiving, Family issues, Finances, Health & Wellness, Personal Struggles, Senior Housing
Tagged AARP, AARP Bulletin, AARP Magazine, activities of daily living, Adjustment disorder, ADLs, adult caregivers, adult day care, assisted living, Caregiver, caregiving, family caregiving, long-term care, long-term care housing, Medicaid, Medicare, Nursing home