In many instances, taking on the role of caregiver is something that most individuals aren’t prepared for and when it happens it is often in times of crisis. When you find yourself thrust into the role of caregiver whether it’s for an aging or ill parent or spouse, it’s ideal to have access to resources to help you though.
Talking to your parents, especially if they are insistent on aging in place, about making a move into an assisted living facility is never an easy conversation to have. In addition to having to leave their own home, they are faced with the reality that they can no longer care for themselves. However, a move to an assisted living facility will provide them with access to health care, structure, meals, socialization and peace of mind for the family that they are being taken care of.
A study in June 2013 by the Pew Research Center studied 3,014 U.S. seniors and investigated the relationship between caregivers and their utilization of technology. It was found that most caregivers benefit from the use of computers, tablets, phones and medical alert devices and more!
It’s not likely that a robot will ever replace the loving touch of a family member, but they may be of service in ways that were once likely unheard of including caring for the elderly. These robots could prove useful in helping the elderly stay home even when physical or cognitive abilities indicate they should be living in a care facility.
There is no right or wrong approach to caregiving for a friend or family member. Each family's needs are different and your caregiving style will develop as you better understand accessibility, family wishes, physical wellbeing, and your personal relationship with the person. Your style should be one that permits you to adjust your caregiving style to the particular family’s’ needs. The key is discovering a caregiving style that works for you, which you may find, will develop through the years. As you navigate your part as a family caregiver, you should consider these caregiving styles.
Falls are a real concern for our maturing population, as well as for the wellbeing of our families and ourselves. According to Colorado State University (CSU), one-third of all Americans over the age of 65 will encounter a fall in the near future, and of those, 33 percent who experience a fall, nearly 70 percent of them will fall again in the following year. As stated by CSU, "falls are the leading cause of medical emergencies in individuals 65 or over," making them a concern for those who are in that age bracket.
A recent study showed that nearly one in five caregivers in the United States provides more than 40 hours of care to a loved one every week. That is startling when you realize that many of those caregivers, the so-called Sandwich Generation, are also caring for families of their own as well as pursuing full time careers. It’s no wonder that so many adults are being faced with fatigue and chronic illnesses as stress takes its toll on your body both mentally and physically.
Are you a caregiver in need of additional assistance in caring for aging or elderly relatives? You may find you’re at the stage of needing to hire an in-home health aide and this could be a decision as fraught with fears as it was when you hired someone to care for your children. If you have an aging parent that is unable to care for him or herself you need to carefully weigh the options of allowing them to age in place or making a move to an assisted living type facility.