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
Are you exhausted from the holidays? Are you thinking how great it would be to take a little time off from your caregiving duties but wondering how you can afford the luxury? If you are overqualified for free respite care programs and not able to afford to pay private professional caregivers, then you need to check out the Arizona Caregiver Coalition Lifespan Respite Voucher program. To qualify for a $300 quarter-year respite voucher, you must be a full-time family caregiver living with your care receiver.
To obtain more information and an application form, call the Caregiver Resource Line at 1-888-737-7494. As a dedicated caregiver, you deserve to take a break to renew and refresh your energy.
As a caregiver, you may be feeling extremely stressed and overwhelmed with holiday tasks in addition to all your caregiving duties. According to Amy Goyer featured on the AARP website, applying these two important points can make a big difference in your emotional health:
Stay mindful on what needs to be done right now. Don't let your mind stray to the long list of tasks that you need to complete.READ MORE
The holidays can be very stressful for everyone including caregivers and care receivers. Caregivers may feel a heavy burden of taking on holiday preparations while care receivers, especially those with memory problems, may become confused and disoriented by the change in their daily routines. The Mayo Clinic provides the following tips on how to handle holiday preparation and celebration in ways to reduce stress:READ MORE
The holidays can be very stressful for everyone including caregivers and care receivers. The Caregiver Alliance provides tips on how to handle holiday preparations and reduce stress. Some of their tips are as follows:
For more tips on holiday stress for caregivers, go to www.caregiver.org/caregiving-and-holidays-stress-success.
One of the greatest challenges that caregivers face is caregiver burnout. As caregivers devote more hours to provide increasingly more complex care for their loved ones while still managing all their other responsibilities, burnout, or compassion fatigue, starts to set in. How does a caregiver know he/she has compassion fatigue? There are many indicators that include being irritable, resentful, angry, depressed, annoyed, exhausted, frustrated, sarcastic, pessimistic, apathetic and overwhelmed. If you are experiencing one or more of these on a frequent, regular basis,then you may be experiencing compassion fatigue.
What is to be done about caregiver burnout? The best thing caregivers can do is to take a break from their caregiving duties. While a longer break is desirable, shorter breaks (30 minutes to a couple of hours) can help a caregiver feel refreshed and re-energized.
Most caregivers do not plan to become caregivers. Instead through a series of events that affected the independence of their loved ones, they find that they have acquired the position and title of family caregiver. With accepting this new reality, many caregivers find themselves learning the job as they do the job. In an ideal world, family members would have the opportunity to learn more about caregiving and develop a plan of care before assuming the role of caregiver. It is NEVER too early to start thinking about providing care for a loved one.