If you are an adult child of an aging parent, you can relate to the challenges and stresses of care giving. Many middle-aged adult children have their own families to raise and support. Additionally, some adult children also live away from their parents and deal with the challenges of caregiving from a distance.
Adult children face numerous stresses from caregiving. Examples of this include guilt for living in another state, loss of sleep, health concerns caused by stress and parent’s unresolved estate planning and financial uncertainty.
According to the National Institute on Aging, 53% of caregivers said that their health had gotten worse due to caregiving and that their decline in health affected their ability to provide care. Additionally, caregivers’ jobs are oftentimes affected. About 37% of those caring for someone age 50 and older reduced their work hours or quit their job.
So what can you do differently as a caregiver in 2014 to help manage your stress and responsibilities? Here are some ideas (and possibly resolutions) for you to consider:
· Drop the guilt. This only contributes to your overall stress. You can only do as much as you can do. When you are overloaded, consider reaching out to siblings, friends, and colleagues for help.
· Take time for yourself. If you are stressed and worn down, then you are unable to provide care for your loved one. Focus on revitalization and taking time to nurture you. Carve out time for things that you like to do and possibly incorporate one new activity just for you into your schedule each week or every other week.
· Think about attending a caregiver support group session. Many of the national health organizations (Alzheimer’s Association, Parkinson’s Foundation, and American Cancer Society) have local offices and can provide resources. Or reach out to your church or synagogue for care giving support groups.
· Learn to say no. With your responsibility to your aging loved one and your own family, you can only do so much. Be cognizant of your time and don’t feel badly for turning down new volunteer opportunities or additional responsibility at work.
· Seek professional help if you are feeling depressed or worn down. If you have friends or family members who have voiced concerns that you may be depressed, contact your physician.
· Consider the help and support of many of the senior resources in your community. Whether your loved one needs additional in-home care or are getting to the point of needing to move into a retirement community, there are many resources available to provide relief.
On behalf of Kansas City Home Care, Inc., we hope your new year brings you much happiness, joy and prosperity. If you are in need of in home care for your loved one, please let us know. We have been providing the highest level of care for seniors throughout the Kansas City metropolitan area since 1989.
Additionally, Kansas City Home Care offers geriatric care management services. If you are living remotely from your loved one and need additional support, Kansas City Home Care can provide respite and relief as you navigate through the challenges of caring for your aging parent from a distance.
Sources: National Institute on Aging, AARP