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Balancing Caregiving And Your Personal Needs (Resource List)
Jul 31, 2018 by Anonymous
The loose definition of the term “caregiver” is someone who helps a loved one or client with activities of daily living (ADLs). These tasks include, but are not limited to:
- Grooming assistance, such as with bathing, brushing teeth and getting dressed
- Using the restroom/incontinence care
- Financial assistance, such as sorting bills and ensuring timely payments
Some caregivers work once or twice a week to help an aging parent. Other caregivers care for their spouse, and thus live with them and offer assistance 24/7. Caregiving is very situational, but one thing is for certain across the board: this form of care is vital for our senior population, and it’s only going to become even more so.
An Aging America (and World!)
Because the baby boomer generation is reaching their senior years, the elderly population in America is steadily on the rise, and will continue to be for several decades.
It’s estimated that by 2060, the number of seniors in the United States will double from today’s number of 50 million to almost 100 million.
Other countries are already experiencing what they’re calling the “gray revolution,” in which a large portion of their population is above the age of 65. In Japan, for example, seniors constitute almost 27% of the population at a staggering number of over 127 million.
Know Your Options, for Now and Later
Being prepared to care for an aging relative – or even knowing the available options for care for yourself – will greatly reduce your stress and ensure you or your loved one’s wellbeing in the years to come.
Here are some great resources for seniors and caregivers to know about:
- Your friends and family. Even if you’re the sole caregiver or you’re receiving care from someone already, it doesn’t mean that your other relatives (or even close friends) can’t pitch in. Something as simple as visiting more, bringing dinner once or twice a week, or even sending sweet letters can mean the world in terms of support and preventing senior isolation. If you’re a caregiver, other relatives may also help you with chores or errands you need to run.
- Respite care. These individuals can also watch your senior for a few hours to give you a break from your caregiving duties. This is called respite care, and every caregiver should use it occasionally to help decompress and focus on their personal needs for a bit. The care can range from a few hours to even a week (or longer). Family members, professional caregivers, or nursing homes can all provide this service, depending on your needs.
- Local programs/classes for your senior. Senior centers and nursing homes sometimes provide “day camps” or classes that seniors can attend to give caregivers a change to run errands or relax for a bit while their loved one receives care and has fun. Activities can include field trips to local museums or grocery stores, arts and crafts, watching movies, and of course, meal/snack time.
- Support groups for both you and your loved one. Your community may have a caregiver support group for you to join to connect with other caregivers. This can be an incredibly valuable resource for you to vent to those who know exactly what you’re going through, as well as ask questions, share advice, and feel comforted and supported by those in the same boat as you. Groups may be available for your senior and their medical conditions, too, such as a group for type 2 diabetes or COPD. If there’s nothing available to you locally, you can also join a support group online to access whenever you need it.
How Comfort Keepers Can Help You
Our agency hires the most qualified, compassionate caregivers to assist you with your ADLs, as well as certain medical needs you may have.
Call Comfort Keepers of Riverside and Corona today for a free consultation. Whatever your needs, we can provide the care you’re looking for to improve your quality of life immediately!