Taking care of someone is not an easy task. Caregiving can be very demanding and stressful. It is not uncommon for caregivers to experience frustration with their loved ones and the entire caregiving situation. How do you know when frustration is building up within you? According to the Family Caregiver Alliance, some of the warning signs include headaches, chest pains, shortness of breath, stomach cramps, compulsive eating, excessive consumption of alcohol, and impatience. If you find yourself becoming frustrated while performing your caregiving duties, there are several things you can do to reduce the frustration.READ MORE
Many of the nearly 60 million caregivers in our country are long-distance caregivers who try to help their loved ones from many miles away. This is a very difficult caregiving journey due to the lack of proximity. If this is your situation, you may be wondering what resources are available to help you be most effective. One excellent resource is the web site for the National Institute on Aging with the U.S. Department of Human and Health Services. This website includes a section on caregiving and specifically on how to be a long-distance caregiver.READ MORE
Have you recently moved into the role of a caregiver for a senior and don't know where to start accessing resources? There are many resources available in our community that can assist caregivers with their tasks of caring for seniors. One great place to start is with the Area Agency on Aging which maintains a 24-hour senior helpline. By calling the helpline number at 602-264-HELP (4357), you can talk with professionals who will link you to information and resources that best meet your needs. Or if you prefer, you can go the web site for the Area Agency on Aging (www.aaaphx.org) and download the Area Agency's Elder Resource Guide from their "resources" page. This guide will provide you with a lot of information on community resources, internet links and telephone numbers. While the caregiving journey can seem daunting and overwhelming, locating resources and helpful organizations can make a big difference.
For many caregivers, there comes a point when they can no longer provide the amount and type of care that their loved ones need. At this point, decisions have to be made that will affect both the caregiver and the loved one. These decisions often have major financial implications.READ MORE
Would you recognize a fraudulent situation or scam pertaining to anything connected to caregiving? There are many ways for unscrupulous individuals to take advantage of caregivers and care receivers. Sometimes scams are initiated by those right within the medical field. One frequent fraudulent situation is when a professional caregiver becomes very friendly and patronizing with a care receiver in an attempt to learn more about his/her finances. Sometimes, these individuals will create hardship stories and appeal to the care receivers to give them some assistance or a loan.READ MORE
The caregiving journey can be very stressful as caregivers try to juggle all their caregiving responsibilities with their own personal needs. The journey can become even more stressful when unscrupulous individuals prey upon care receivers and even caregivers. Unfortunately, even within the caregiving world, numerous fraudulent schemes, scams and abuse occur. Sometimes the perpetrators are people working as professional caregivers. Do you know how to recognize sings of fraud, scams and abuse? Do you know who to contact in such situations? Do you know how to protect your loved one from being victimized?READ MORE
At one time, most family caregivers were females – wives, daughters, granddaughters, nieces and sisters. In the past twenty years, the face of caregiving has changed as more men step up to assume the tasks of helping their loved ones. According to AARP, today 40 percent of caregivers are men and the vast majority of them are caring for a loved one with dementia. While many of the resources for caregivers are geared toward women, a growing number of caregiving resources are becoming male-oriented and male-friendly. If you are a male caregiver, check out AARP’s website at www.aarp.org which includes a section for male family caregivers. If you enter “support for male caregivers” into the AARP search engine, you will find a link to take you to “AARP’s New Effort to Support Male Caregivers.”
2017, how did you do on your caregiving journey?
If you answered "yes" to four of the five questions above, then you had a successful year that deserves to be replicated. If you answered "yes" to three or fewer questions, you should have a good idea of a focus for your 2018 caregiving journey.
How are you holding up on your caregiving journey? Are you beginning to feel the strain of handling too many responsibilities? Are you starting to resent the time and energy you are spending taking care of your loved one? Are you feeling unhappy and even depressed because you are no longer able to live your own life? Are there days when you feel like crying or screaming? Are you longing for the day when your journey is over? If any of these describe your present situation, you may be on experiencing early stages of compassion fatigue commonly experienced by professional and family caregivers who are rapidly losing their ability to provide care in a compassionate, loving way. Compassion fatigue sets in when caregivers do not take time for self-care. So what are you doing in the area of self-care? Not sure what to do? Not sure how to fit in self-care?
This is the time of the year when everyone makes New Year's resolutions to live life in better, healthier ways. What resolutions have you made? Are you resolved to do something to take better care of yourself? As a caregiver, it is imperative that you engage in self-care. If you do not take care of yourself, you will not be able to take care of anyone else.READ MORE