Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Taking Care of an Elderly Parent - and Staying Sane

caregiving - helping elder in a wheelchair

Are you taking care of an elderly parent or other family member? That can become an all-consuming job. Learning how to manage the situation - including when and how to say "no" - is crucial.

Here's what Eldercare Coach Janice Wallace says in her latest newsletter:
Caregiver stress can creep up on you as you gradually do more and more things to help your family member. It's easy to justify adding just one more thing to your groaning to-do list when it's to help your loved one.

When you are doing too much, you will get signals from your body and your mind. ... You may get feedback from family and friends who have noticed how you are changing and express concern. You may receive complaints from family or friends who feel neglected.

Now what? You've thought things through and realized that maybe you do have caregiver stress. Looking at your situation may leave you feeling a bit hopeless. You can see clearly that your family member needs help; how can you possibly do less?

In order to honor your commitment to help your family member, you have to seek the right mix of helping, taking care of yourself and using other resources.
You can read the rest of this article, with Janice's specific advice, on her web site. She's a wise and compassionate woman!

Related Post:
Yet Again: Learning to Say No

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3 comments:

The Thrifty Stylist said...

we (my mom and i and a few relief nurses) took care of my grandmother with alzheimer's for many, many years. it can take its toll on you, for sure. kudos to anyone who is making this important sacrifice for their loved one!

xine said...

Many friends and I are dealing with this- juggling the emotional, physical, psychological, and financial responsibilities of caring for young children and elderly and/or terminally ill parents. There don't seem to be a lot of resources, but I'm glad to see it addressed here. I'd love to hear more from how to get "busy," disinterested relatives involved without starting WWIII!

Jeri Dansky said...

Thrifty Stylist, that was a big job you took on!

Xine, the concern you raise is just the kind of thing Janice deals with; maybe you want to take advantage of her free 30-minute consultation, or her free telephone support group.