November is the official launch of the holiday season, when families gather around the same table, share a meal and perhaps swap stories, and appreciate the precious time they have to see one another. At least, that’s the “Norman Rockwell” version of a holiday gathering.
For 40 million Americans who are the caregivers for an elderly or infirm family member at home, the holidays may serve as a source of additional anxiety, anger, or guilt that may accompany their efforts. Many caregivers feel it is their “duty” to care for a parent, but often that sense of obligation overshadows addressing their own needs, and don’t realize that asking for help is not a sign of weakness or inability.
Since 2011, the President has designated November as National Caregivers Month, to recognize the efforts of those who “balance their own needs with those of their loved ones as caregivers” to aging parents, children with special needs, those who are disabled through an accident, and veterans returning from active duty, to name a few.
The Caregiver Action Network offers 10 Tips for Caregivers:
1. Seek support from other caregivers. (Caregivers often feel they are alone in their efforts).
2. Take care of your own health. (Caregivers tend to place the needs of their family members before their own).
3. Accept help, or offer suggestions about how others can help. (When one sibling takes on the bulk of the responsibilities, other siblings may not realize how much they are needed, or misunderstand that their assistance with Mom or Dad is welcome).
4. Learn how to communicate effectively with doctors. (Bring detailed notes to each appointment, and take notes to ensure you are providing care appropriately. Guidelines also are helpful when another sibling or caregiver steps in to help).
5. Take respite breaks. (Exhaustion, guilt, and resentment can build up and be detrimental if you don’t give yourself a break).
6. Watch for signs of depression (both in your parent, and in yourself. A good therapist can provide clarity when the task becomes overwhelming).
7. Be open to technologies that can assist you in caring for your loved one.
8. Organize medical information and supplies (so it is easy for you to distribute, and easy for others to refer to when they are assisting with caregiving responsibilities).
9. Organize legal documents (to ensure no care is delayed in case your loved one is unable to speak for themselves).
10. Give yourself credit for doing the best you can in one of the toughest jobs there is!
At Windsong, active adults are relieved to find homes designed with wide doorways, stepless entries, and easy access to bedrooms and bathrooms on the main floor. In addition to the luxury feel of these designs, these features provide peace of mind for aging parents or relatives when they visit or reside in a Windsong home.
Welcome to Windsong, Where Life’s A Breeze!