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Finding Caregiver Support

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As a caregiver, you are likely to experience tremendous rewards and challenges. First there are the rewards:

    • Knowing you are meeting the care recipient's needs and wishes in an individualized way.
    • Giving back the love and care you received as a child if you are caring for a parent.
    • Preserving family relationships and memories between the generations.
    • Modeling caring relationships to younger generations.

And then there are the challenges:

    • Emotional stress and worry.
    • Fatigue.
    • Time pressures.
    • The generational "crunch" if you are caring for an elderly person as well as your own children.
    • Organizing and coordinating care.
    • Balancing your career and home life with caregiving responsibilities.
    • Maintaining good communication with care team members.

When you are a caregiver, your day-to-day focus may tend to be on coping with the challenges, and you may tend always to put the care recipient's needs before your own. However, neglecting your physical and emotional health can have serious consequences-for you, the care recipient, your family and other relationships, and your career if you work. You need to care for yourself and find effective support.

To decide whether you are caring for yourself, answer the following questions:

    • Do I eat well?
    • Do I exercise regularly?
    • Do I make time to enjoy being with friends and family members?
    • Do I pursue leisure activities?
    • Do I have constructive ways to deal with stress, anxiety, depression, and anger?
    • Do I get enough sleep?

If you answered "no" to any question, take steps to correct the problem, reminding yourself that this is not selfish, but a way of ensuring that you remain a healthy and effective caregiver who can meet the challenges of providing care.

Some Suggestions:

  •  You may find that you need additional help to cope with your feelings, to sort out the disagreements in the family, or to get crucial respite time for yourself.  Counselors familiar with elder care issues can be very helpful.
  • You may also find it helpful to join other families in exchanging caregiving concerns. There are a number of caregiver support groups you might investigate.
  • Regular use of respite care services to look after your family member while you give yourself time to get other tasks completed, read a book, go to that exercise class or just put your feet up and nap can help you gain control over your self and your life.
  • And if you are feeling overwhelmed by the tasks involved in caregiving, check out Powerful Tools For Caregivers, a 6 week class designed to improve your self-care and your confidence as a caregiver.

 

 

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Lisa LaFehr
Collinwood Assisted Living & Memory Care Community
5055 South Lemay Avenue
Fort Collins, CO 80525
970-223-3552

Expertise:
Housing : Assisted Living

Email Lisa LaFehr