Elderlink.com states that the Pew Research Center found that 21% of Americans care for an elderly parent. While sometimes this situation comes on quickly, there are things you can do to better prepare yourself for when it does happen.
** One is to talk to your parents - find out what they want as they get older or if something happens. Go over the possibilities - assisted living, nursing home, care at home. Find out if they have a living will and / or any advance directives.
** Two is to get important documents or papers - make sure you have social security numbers, get any insurance information, accumulate doctor's names & numbers, sign HIPAA waivers with all doctors so you can talk to them and / or ask questions and help decide on treatment and tests.
** Three is to know your employer's family leave policy - The Family & Medical Leave Act was designed to help people keep their job when it came time to staying home and taking care of a child or elderly parent. Know what this means for you and your job.
** Four is research senior care options - check the difference between assisted living and a nursing home, if someone is a veteran find out what the Veterans Administration can help with, find in-home care agencies in your area. Check to see what their insurance will cover.
Best to be prepared. Talk to others who hare been a caretaker or are currently caring for someone.
Check these sites for information (these are only a few):
The Savvy Senior
Assisted Living Directory
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4 Signs of Caregiving Stress Overload
ElderCarelink email posts 4 signs that should not be overlooked by you, the caregiver, or a close family member or friend. They report that even though the immediate caregiver may not be helping in direct care, the mind is never far from the needs of the older person, thinking about meals, falling, medications. Take the opinion of a family member or friend if they are telling you that you are stressed. Four signs: you skip your own physicals; you isolate yourself from others; you eat and/or drink too much for good health; you are short tempered with the elder, your spouse or your children. If any or all of these sound familiar, take a break no matter how short in order to recharge. For more information on caregiver stress see ElderCarelink
You can check out my ranting and stream of consciousness writing about looking at adult service providers with Will.
A Caregiver's Poem
I was looking through a 'Caregiver's Blog: Senior Care Support' and came across a poem that was shared by a writer, Dana, from the blog. The poem was written by Becky Netherland and Dana's grandmother shared it with her. I thought it was great and there is not much to say about it - just read!!! Enjoy!!
(picture from Caregivers Blog)
I’ve traveled paths you’ve yet to walk
Learned lessons old and new
And now this wisdom of my life
I’m blessed to share with you
Let kindness spread like sunshine
Embrace those who are sad
Respect their dignity, give them joy
And leave them feeling glad
Forgive those who might hurt you
And though you have your pride
Listen closely to their viewpoint
Try to see the other side
Walk softly when you’re angry
Try not to take offense
Invoke your sense of humor
Laughter’s power is immense!
Express what you are feeling
Your beliefs you should uphold
Don’t shy away from what is right
Be courageous and be bold
Keep hope right in your pocket
It will guide you day by day
Take it out when it is needed
When it’s near, you’ll find a way
Remember friends and family
Of which you are a precious part
Love deeply and love truly
Give freely from your heart
The world is far from perfect
There’s conflict and there’s strife
But you still can make a difference
By how you live your life
And so I’m very blessed to know
The wonders you will do
Because you are my granddaughter
And I believe in you.
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