Thursday, January 9, 2014
Getting Elderly Parents Organized in the New Year.
With the new year starting, we all get excited and hyped about setting goals and resolutions. We have the usual - eat better, exercise more, be more patient with the kids (or elderly parents), and of course, GET ORGANIZED! As we run out and buy many colorful plastic totes and labels and "Sharpies", we may tend to forget that it probably is a good idea to get mom and dad organized as well.
1) Many eldercare sites remind families of the legal paperwork that should be in place; if not start working on the Power of Attorney, Living Will, etc, --- VERY important to do. Sites to visit: Family Caregiver Alliance, Caring.com, A Place for Mom, ElderCarelink.
2) Also important are the more day-to-day tasks to get a handle one. I remember trying to get mom to let me pay the bills or at least supervise the payments - she would get the statements and want 'to look them over to make sure all charges are right'; she liked to match them up with the receipts. Fine, but what ended up happening is they would land on her desk in a mound of paper, sometimes never to resurface and then be late in payment. It took awhile but I convinced her that letting me pay the bills online was a good idea. BUT I would take the statement first, pay it, then bring it back to her telling her to look it over (which I had already done anyway) letting her know that the payment amount could be changed if there was a problem. My in-laws like to do something similar and my husband is convincing them that he can pay it online while they stand over his shoulder watching him because things were getting lost on the mound of paper on the desk. You can check with your local department of elderly affairs - here is ours so you can get an idea of what you may need to start getting more involved with. Which leads to....
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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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