Today is my daughter's birthday... She is my oldest, the first one to make me a "daddy". I love my two sons just a much, but there's something special about a "daughter/daddy" relationship. The same goes with my boys and the relationship they have with their mom. Today I took her out for a birthday lunch, just the two of us. We will do the family birthday dinner tomorrow night, but it was a great time for her and me to just hang out.
One of things I have on my repeating task list is to periodically ask my kids about their "bucket list". I've challenged each one of them to dream- about things they would like to own, places they would like to visit, things they would love to experience, and so on. I want to visit with them about their dreams so I can dream with them, and help support them in their pursuit of those dreams. That means planning for the future, setting priorities and sometimes making hard decisions in life. Why do I do it? I mean, I really do have enough on my own plate to keep me busy, and they are grown adults! I do it because I love them, and I want the very best for them.
In a nutshell, isn't that what it means to discuss, plan for and engage the topic of home and health care with aging parents? We love them, and we want the very best for them. For a quality future, living where THEY want to live, it does require planning for the future, setting priorities and yes, sometimes making hard decisions. Why go through all of that? You know the answer to that question. Because you love them, and LOVE MATTERS!
There are so many issues when it comes to caring for aging parents! I'd love to recommend a great resource for your consideration. Check out "Taking Care of Mom & Dad: A Beginner's Guide to Caring for Your Parents" (click link to check this out on Amazon). This fantastic resource was authored by 17 different Visiting Angels Franchise Owners from around the country, most of whom have a decade or more in the home care industry!
Love is fulfilling, it's exciting and it's a part of who we are when we are at our best. But more than that, Love Matters, and love is worth the time and effort it takes from us to do it well. So get out there, and if your parent or parents are still living, have some of those conversation! Love Matters!
Burnout happens to most people who serve as caregiver at some point in their service. Whether you are a paid caregiver who serves in a caregiving role professionally, or a family member providing help to a parent or grandparent it is still bound to happen. Everyone working in the field of "caregiving" reaches a point of being drained, burned out and used up. How do caregivers deal with this issue of Burnout, and what can they do to restore things to a healthier state?
First, accept that you are not a bad person because you have reached a point of frustration or exhaustion. It is normal. When you give and give in taking care of someone else's needs it can be draining. That emptiness can manifest itself as depression, exhaustion, frustration or even anger. You are a wonderful person, but you are NOT indestructible.
Next, seek out help if you need it. That help may come in the form of a well deserved break away from caregiving. This break could be a day, or it could be longer. Only you know how long you need to be refreshed. Just don't wait too long to make time for yourself as a caregiver. You are not able to provide the highest quality of assistance if you are overwhelmed. Your physical, mental, emotional and spiritual sides need to be recharged on a regular basis. Do what it takes to make room for personal rest and restoration in all four of those areas!
What does that even look like? It means getting enough good, uninterrupted sleep each day. It means feeding your mind with a good book or other enjoyable things that challenge your mind. It means talking about your stress or other overwhelming emotions with someone who cares and encourages you. It also means spending time every day tending your spiritual needs- reading, meditating or praying are all positive practices to help your soul move to a point of joy and health.
Finally, identify and isolate the things that seem to bring the most amount of stress in your situation. Look for creative ways to alleviate or avoid those most stressful issues or situations. If they are unavoidable, then talk with someone about techniques or behaviors you could use to minimize the impact that stress has on you.
Caregiving is hard work. Anyone who has ever been a caregiver for long can testify that is true. But caregiving does not have to be a destructive event for the life of the caregiver. Keep your head up, and look for that outstretched hand offering you encouragement & hope! We are in this together!
Visiting Angels of Tulsa
Visiting Angels of Bartlesville
Visiting Angels of SWOKC
The seniors in our lives are among the most precious gifts we possess! Parents, grandparents, neighbors and friends, the elderly among us need and deserve our love and respect. Some of those providing the gift of care are family members who provide much needed assistance to a loved one. Others are paid professional caregiving aides who work in the home health or medical fields. Either way, it is hard not to fall in love with these wonderful people who are being cared for!
There are several very critical things to remember when it comes to caregiving and family. Handling these issues well is vital to the quality of life for the senior.
Understand your role as a caregiver. If you are a family member, you've taken on a huge responsibility. It can be full of both joy and heartache. If you are a paid professional or a volunteer, know that you have legal, ethical and even moral responsibilities to provide the very best care for your senior. They may not be your family, but you should care for them as if they were the dearest member of your own family.
If you would like more information about caregiving issues as they relate to family matters, contact the amazing people at Visiting Angels of Tulsa!
Visiting Angels of Bartlesville
1401 SE Washington Blvd.
Bartlesville, OK 74003
Page Cole is a leader in home care in Oklahoma. He has published the following resources for Seniors-