#4 – LESSONS IN CAREGIVING

May 28th, 2013 | By Sharon Shaw Elrod MSW EdD | Category: Senior Moments Blog

Care for the Care Giver

Many Internet websites offer good information for caregivers about taking care of elderly loved ones. A search engine offers thousands of articles one can review for assistance. And they all have one theme in common: The caregiver needs to take care of her/himself if he/she wants to do a good job caring for the elderly loved one.

In our caregiving experience, we found a couple of ways to care for ourselves that worked well for us:

Take Time Off

  • We took time off for outings just by ourselves. We had assistance from three family members who offered weekly time to stay with our elder mother, and we accepted that assistance. Some days we would go out for lunch alone; other days we would do errands and shopping. Whatever the activity, we took advantage almost every week of being able to be off by ourselves. If you are caregiving and do not have family or friends who offer to help, you can find assistance in your community. Senior care services are available almost everywhere now; you need to look in your yellow pages or call your local Area Assistance on Aging agency to find people who are willing to help you out.

Respite Care

  • Respite care is offered on a monthly basis for Hospice patients and is paid for by the elder’s Medicare plan. We took advantage of this option once during the six months we were caregiving, and had another respite planned when our elder mother died. Respite care is provided in nursing homes with skilled nursing care. Many elders need such care and caregivers should be aware of the plans available. Mother was in respite for five days, which is what Medicare allows. We took off to another city to visit friends and relax. It was good for her and it was good for us.

Caring for yourself can take many forms. Caregiver.org and caringforthecaregiver.org are two great Internet resources for caregivers to ensure they are caring for themselves.



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