A Guide for Family Caregivers

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Are you preparing to care for an aging parent? The process can be quite stressful and incredibly time consuming, not to mention costly. Luckily, there are many options one can take to ensure a safe environment for the elderly parent and a manageable situation for the care giver.

Many people often resort to the only option they know (and in my opinion the least favorable one) which is to send their elderly parents to a nursing home. This option is not only very costly, but often has connotations with the “out of sight and out of mind” philosophy. These days, people see caring for their loved ones in their old age as a burden, which is unfortunate. For people who value their elders and want to have them present and active in their lives, the other option is at home care giving. In order to be an effective at home care giver, you need to know a few things. Let\’s get you up to speed.

First, always keep in mind that the person being cared for probably has their own feelings about being cared for. They might feel resentful because they have lost their independence or maybe embarrassed. It\’s part of the care givers job to know about these emotions and deal with them accordingly. In addition, caring for the elderly requires a new schedule. An elderly person does not move at the same speed as a young person and thus needs extra time to prepare for daily life. Keeping this in mind can be challenging for younger care givers. Finally, it\’s of vital importance that the care giver communicate with the elderly parent to make sure their needs are met. Often times family members operate on assumptions and it can be difficult to reverse the role of care taker and receiver when parents and children are involved. An effective care giver is able to make the paradigm shift that allows them to feel what it\’s like to be in a position of need. This allows the care giver to work from a place of compassion and understanding.