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Caregiver Support

Caring for Ageing Parents While Working? Reduce Stress with These tips!

Caring for Ageing Parents While Working? Reduce Stress with These tips! The COVID-19 pandemic has affected nearly every aspect of our lives in one way or another: physical, mental, financial – you name it. The resulting stress has been particularly hard on those who are caring for ageing parents while working – something that is already incredibly stressful without adding a pandemic to the mix. Perhaps you feel as though you’re unable to perform either job to your best ability. You may be wondering if it’s even possible to achieve a healthy life balance between these two important roles in your life. And while we all know that self-care is crucial to our wellbeing, who has time to take care of their own needs while striving to meet the needs of everyone else? If this reflects your own internal dialogue, we suggest you take just a few quick moments to review the following tips to help you better manage both responsibilities. Review finances. It’s likely not a conversation you want to have with your ageing parents, but it is important to raise the…

Take Two: The Dual Purposes of Journaling for Caregivers

Take Two: The Dual Purposes of Journaling for Caregivers Most of us are jotting down notes all the time: grocery lists, to-do reminders, appointments, meetings, events…the list goes on and on. If you’re a family caregiver, you’ve got even more reasons for writing, as you manage another person’s life in addition to your own. Journaling for caregivers is a great way to keep everything together in one concise location. Yet we recommend taking it a step further by utilizing two journals for two distinct purposes that are equally important to your caregiving role. The Organization Journal This type of journal is a great tool for keeping everything related to a senior family member’s health and wellbeing together. Include: Any changes in condition Information regarding any concerning symptoms and what may be impacting them (i.e., Mom has been feeling lethargic this week; it seems worse on the days that she skips breakfast) A list of any questions you want to remember to ask the doctor (along with their answers and recommendations) Prescriptions…

When a Chronic Senior Health Condition Leads to Anticipatory Grief

When a Chronic Senior Health Condition Leads to Anticipatory Grief Grieving the loss of a loved one is one of the most painful aspects of human life, particularly when that loss is sudden and unexpected. But there are additional shades of grief that are less often discussed and worked through, such as when a loved one begins to progress through dementia, when a terminal illness is diagnosed, or any other chronic senior health concern is brought to light. Referred to as “frozen grief” by Pauline Boss, a family therapist, author, and University of Minnesota emeritus professor, these types of loss are complicated, leaving loved ones in a state of limbo. It’s important to remember that each person’s experience of loss is different, and there’s no one right or wrong way to grieve. The following tips can help: Never push yourself to “move on.” Take the time needed to process your feelings, and seek the support of a professional counselor. Set aside plenty of time for self-care, making sure to eat healthy, exercise, get plenty of sleep, and participate…

Accepting and Managing This Difficult Emotion When Caring for Aging Parents

Accepting and Managing This Difficult Emotion When Caring for Aging Parents If you were to list the top five emotions you experience in meeting the care needs of your aging parents, what would they be? Maybe you’d first think of feelings like compassion, love, and sometimes, even stress or frustration. Would anger make the list? In many cases, though family care providers might not like to admit it, the answer is a definite YES.  The truth is that a great many adult children struggle with the reality that their parents are growing older. Growing up, our parents may have exuded health, strength, and control, giving us an underlying impression that they would always be there for us. Witnessing a decline in their health shatters that notion, which might leave us feeling let down, disillusioned, anxious, fearful, and yes – angry.  As the tables turn and aging parents become the ones in need of care, family dynamics may become complicated. And the negative stereotype in our culture towards aging informs us that growing older is something we have to resist or…

Tips for Promoting Senior Independence and Safety

Tips for Promoting Senior Independence and Safety As our parents get older, it is not an easy task to know what our role as adult children should be. We want what’s best for them, but if we’re not cautious, we could easily overstep our boundaries and find ourselves attempting to smother senior independence and parent our parents. This is especially true when safety is a concern. There’s a thin line to walk between affirming senior parents are safe, and supporting the independent way of life they need and deserve. After all, it was not all that long ago when our parents were taking care of not just all of their own needs, but ours as well. The transition from caregiver to care recipient is typically frustrating and painful for seniors. Keeping this in mind, there are specific facets of an independent life that a senior may now be missing. And if we aren’t careful in how we approach these losses, it can produce arguments, hurt feelings, and fractured relationships. For example, one element of senior independence that is often compromised…

The Growing Trend of Male Family Caregivers:  What Support is Needed?

The Growing Trend of Male Family Caregivers: What Support is Needed? If you were asked to paint a picture of a typical family caregiver, you’d likely portray a middle-aged woman, perhaps preparing a meal, helping with bathing or getting dressed, or transporting a loved one to medical appointments. And your assessment would be accurate; studies show that throughout Canada, 56% of family caregivers are women, 58% of caregivers who are aged 65 to 74 are women, and 65% of caregivers 75 and older are women. However, there’s now a growing trend of male family caregivers. And while there are some trending differences in caregiving difficulties between the genders (such as a higher likelihood of discomfort for men in performing personal care tasks), all caregivers, regardless of gender, need a strong system of support. “Even though they are often hesitant, or less familiar with the territory, many men are now assuming the responsibility of caring for aging parents, ill spouses or spouses with a disability, siblings who require care or friends and lovers in…

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