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HEALTH   -   SENIORS
Caregivers Need TLC, Too
April, 2013 - Issue #102
Courtesy of Shutterstock
Courtesy of Shutterstock
Often, the care of an aging or disabled family member is provided by a spouse or children. They're unsung heroes - cooking, cleaning, driving, medicating, comforting, without complaint - or a break. "But when the primary caregiver doesn't have a chance to 'go off the clock,'" says Myles McNamara of Comfort Keepers In-home Care, "we witness a different kind of break - a break down. Family caregivers are some of the most physically and emotionally exhausted people in the world. They're regularly caring for two households, often hold down a full-time job, and their lives and relationships begin to suffer - even the relationship that they have with the loved one they're caring for. We see so many spouses and children who say, 'I thought I could do this by myself, but I can't. I bathe Mom daily, but I don't have time to take a shower. I'm snapping at everyone. My work is suffering. My marriage is suffering. I feel like I'm going to crack.'"

"Caring for an aging family member can be very rewarding but, at times, can be overwhelming," explains Geneva Knoles of Visiting Angels. "The primary caregiver needs to make sure they are not ignoring their own health and are getting adequate rest. I suggest that they arrange for another person to give them a break from providing care, whether it be another family member or a hired caregiver," says Knoles.

"Caring for an AGING FAMILY MEMBER can be very rewarding but, at times,
can be overwhelming,"
~ Geneva Knoles of Visiting Angels
"You have to know that help is out there," reminds McNamara, whose company's focus is on keeping clients safe, clean, independent and active in their own home while supporting families as they face the changing needs of their aging loved one.

"The goal is to find what works for you. Our in-home senior care services are customized to meet needs of our client and their family. We can provide care any time of the day or night and any day of the week from four hours at a time up to 24-hour continuous care. Services can even be short-term and temporary - for example, during recovery of an illness, surgery or injury," says Knoles of Visiting Angels.

Help for Caregiver Stress is at your Fingertips
As the world's largest non-medical home care provider, Home Instead Senior Care has created a powerful website, www.caregiverstress.com, with an extensive library of information and educational tools designed to help family caregivers cope with the challenges they face when caring for aging loved ones.

Family caregivers have so little time to attend outside seminars or workshops or to research articles on caregiving. This website helps make learning more accessible through a variety of online resources and links, including an Alzheimer's E-Learning Course, a family webinar series and specially-produced videos to help family caregivers share knowledge and, sometimes, the laughter that can come with caring for an aging parent or other family member.

There is also a "Returning Home Guide" to help family caregivers understand the hospital discharge process; why hospital readmissions, especially among patients on Medicare, are often needless if appropriate care is provided; and how non-medical home care can mean the difference between patients bouncing back and forth between the hospital, and bouncing back to good health at home.

For 2013, Home Instead has scheduled a number of webinars for family caregivers and caregiving professionals who are interested in learning about a variety of issues, including Diabetes Management, Caring for Seniors...Mind, Body and Soul, Managing Alzheimer's Care, Understanding the Emotional Aspects of Caregiving and Hospital to Home Preparation for Seniors. The first webinar is scheduled for March 27 on Diabetes - and the full schedule of webinars is listed on the caregiverstress.com website. You can pre-register by calling Home Instead. 254-8701

For more Information...
Comfort Keepers
287-4200 http://seniorcaresantaclarita.com

Home Instead Senior Care for Santa Clarita & Antelope Valleys
254-8701 www.homeinstead.com/618

Visiting Angels
263-2273 www.visitingangels.com/santaclarita
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