Posts Tagged ‘family caregiving’

Getting Siblings to Share in Caregiving Responsibilities

Grandma gets a birthday cake from loving family.

All families have their share of drama, and unfortunately splitting the cost and care of tending to mom or dad isn’t exempt from it. If you live closest to your parents, you may become the “default” caregiver, whether or not you are up for the task. It can be tricky to get siblings to chip in with caregiving responsibilities, especially if they are out of state. Here are some ideas for splitting the load among siblings:

  1. Put an out-of-state sibling in charge of the health insurance and medical bills. There will no doubt be a lot of research and phone calls to make to figure out what is covered and how to navigate an increasingly complex healthcare system.
  2. Schedule your personal time and/or vacations with your siblings in advance to make sure mom and dad have someone with them when you take some much needed personal time. If your sibling doesn’t feel comfortable caring for mom or dad, have them help cover the costs of hiring an in-home caregiver in lieu of their hands-on time.
  3. If you have a sibling that lives in town but is working full-time, develop a schedule for them to drop by groceries once a week and have dinner with mom or dad at least one other time during the week. Weekends are an especially important time to manage care fairly, so consider an every-other-weekend or I-take-Saturday-you-take-Sunday type of arrangement with your siblings.
  4. It’s important for all of the siblings to take a turn caring for mom or dad themselves, if for no other reason than to give everyone a greater appreciation of the work that is being done on a daily basis by the sibling providing most of the care. It can be an eye-opening experience and can improve the support your siblings offer you, not just financially but emotionally and physically as well.

Recognizing that everyone will have to be flexible and most likely have to deal with some type of inconvenience from time to time is key to managing care for mom and dad. Call a family meeting early on, before expectations regarding who is responsible for what are set, to help limit bitterness or resentment down the road.

 

 

Family Caregiving and The Holidays: Stress Less

Nonna e nipote

The holidays can be merry, but they can also make the merriest among us feel like a grinch. All joking aside, being a family caregiver takes on a whole new level of stress during this busy time of year. The holidays can also make the emotional side of caregiving even more tumultuous as you and your love ones recall happy, healthier times together.

If you consider your everyday caregiving responsibilities and then add decorating, baking, hosting and attending parties, shopping and more to the equation it is impossible not to burnout. And then there is the unsolicited opinion of your caregiving from siblings and other family members to deal with. So how can you make the holidays a celebration of family and friends again? Ask for help!

Let a trusted in-home care company like Home Care Plus help out this holiday season. Whether it’s for a few hours or a few days a week, our skilled, compassionate, dependable caregiving team give you peace of mind that your loved one is being well cared for while you are away. Give us a call at (843) 628-3642 today!

Our June Caregiver of the Month is Lois H!

Lois Hendra

Home Care Plus would like to recognize Lois H. as our June Caregiver of the Month.  Lois has been a valued member of our team since 2012.  She works primarily for one client and has become an integral part of their life.  Lois’ compassion and empathy are invaluable to the Home Care Plus team!

Congratulations Lois!

 

The Staggering Cost of Being a Family Caregiver

Mother and daughter

How can you quantify the work of a family caregiver? The countless hours spent cooking, cleaning, shopping, bathing, paying bills, navigating the health care system, driving, worrying, loving, crying, stressing? A recent study by the AARP, entitled Valuing the Invaluable: 2015 Update, estimates that the economic value of unpaid family caregiving approached $470 billion in 2013. To put this number in perspective, that’s on par with the annual sales numbers for Walmart, the world’s biggest store! (AARP, Valuing the Invaluable, 2015)

Simply put, a lot of unpaid work is being done by family members out of love, respect, a sense of obligation, and yes, necessity. Many of these family caregivers also work part or full time jobs on top of their caregiving responsibilities. The toll their “second job” takes on their mental and physical health is profound; research has shown family caregivers suffer from poorer health, higher stress levels and an increased mortality rate as compared to non-caregivers (AARP, Valuing the Invaluable: 2015).

Family caregivers need better access to resources to help them navigate this increasingly complex role. Acceptance is important too—at some point your loved one may require more skilled care than you can provide, or supervision around the clock, or both—and it is ok to ask for help any step of the way. A trusted in home care company like Home Care Plus can help you shoulder the caregiving burden and give you peace of mind that your loved one is being properly cared for by a professional, highly trained, compassionate caregiver.

For more information on the economic impact of caregiving, its toll on family caregivers, and caregiving resources, visit the AARP’s website. For more information on how we can help you and your loved ones, visit the Home Care Plus website!

Power in Numbers

Caregiving Support Groups Can Help You Feel “Normal” Again

You can find all sorts of articles about how challenging it is to be a family caregiver. There are plenty of statistics on the physical, mental, emotional, and financial toll family caregiving can take on an individual. There is a wealth of information on how to reduce caregiving stress and prevent burnout. As a family caregiver, while these tips and suggestions may be helpful, they may not provide the outlet you are looking for. Sometimes you just need to vent your fears and frustrations and find comfort in the shared experiences of other family caregivers. In this way, support groups can trump other means of caregiver support.

The thoughts and feelings family caregivers experience range from compassion, selflessness, fear, anger, and despair to guilt, loathing, selfishness, hopelessness and regret. And this might just be in the course of a few hours! You may not be comfortable sharing your thoughts with a non-caregiver for fear of them judging you. Caregiver support groups can provide you an opportunity to be open and honest about your thoughts and experiences without having to worry about being looked down upon. Most likely everyone in the room will relate to you and have similar stories to tell. The camaraderie you establish with fellow support group members can leave you feeling “normal” again.

If you are a family caregiver in Charleston, you can find local caregiver support groups on the Trident Area Agency on Aging’s website. You can also find support groups specific to caring for someone with Alzheimer’s at alz.org.