November is National Family Caregivers Month and at Senior Lifestyle, we understand how difficult becoming a family caregiver can be. The Family Eldercare website notes that as Roslyn Carter once said, “There are only four kinds of people in the world – those who have been caregivers, those who are currently caregivers, those who will be caregivers and those who will need caregivers.”
The reality of “parenting our parents” can be a sobering one, as traditional family roles change and needs evolve. Senior loved ones may feel resentful of their need for help and angry at the “intrusion” into their personal lives, siblings may feel unsure of their responsibilities in the new order of things or unprepared to take on those responsibilities, and the primary caregiver may feel overwhelmed by the entire process. While these changes can be stressful for all involved, there are resources to help navigate the family caregiver journey successfully.
Resources are readily available for family caregivers, from online support groups to books written by authors with direct experience as a family caregiver:
- Francine Russo’s book, They’re Your Parents Too! How Siblings Can Survive Their Parents’ Aging Without Driving Each Other Crazy, highlights solutions to the conflicts that often arise when adult children share caregiving duties for aging parents.
- In How To Say It to Seniors: Closing the Communication Gap with Our Elders, geriatric psychologist David Solie explores the most common barriers to effective communication with senior loved ones and gives practical advice on overcoming those barriers to communication.
- The com website provides podcasts, webinars and forums to help connect family caregivers, as well as blogs that explore everyday issues facing family caregivers.
- Today’s Caregiver magazine offers timely information as well as links to local resources, support groups and forums where family caregivers connect to share challenges, ideas and personal successes. The magazine’s Fearless Caregiver Conference series is known for providing practical advice, support and information for family caregivers in an uplifting atmosphere.
- AARP offers Caring for Your Parents: The Complete Family Guide, a book that draws on real-life stories of family caregivers, offers resources, and maps out best practices for families struggling with the emotional and practical obstacles of providing care for senior loved ones.
Providing care for a loved one is a demanding job where frustration often walks hand in hand with fulfillment, but it doesn’t have to be done in isolation and there are resources available to families dealing with the practical realities of caregiving. For more information on local resources or care available at a Senior Lifestyle community in your area, please visit our website at www.seniorlifestyle.com.