Apr 252012

Caregiver StressWelcome back. Have you got your list from yesterday? Good.

Today we will look at resources for some of the most common problems I have noticed most caregiver’s going through. This list is by no means complete, merely a few suggestions that might help.

Needing a break: That is a biggie. You absolutely must get away from it all from time to time. I am assuming you have already asked family to help out and they are doing all they can/will.

Can you afford a sitter? Yes? Hire one! Even if it is only half a day a week, do it. Cannot afford a sitter? Call your local Senior Citizen’s Center or Council on Aging or whatever they call it in your area. They can often provide that service for a few hours a week.

Look around your community. See what services are available. Call one or two home care agencies and hospices. The nurse’s have a Rolodex of sitters and resources.

What about you parent’s social circle? Has your dad got a friend or two that could come visit? (Please substitute your own spiritual practice here). Could your mom’s Sunday School class come do a Bible study with her? Is there a teenager who is willing to help in exchange for you helping them with math or teaching them the piano?

Ah, ha! Another list. What can you barter for services? Tired of cooking? Get with a friend and exchange cooking one or two nights a week. You cook on Monday’s and she will cook on Thursday. If you know someone else who is caring for an elderly parent, schedule a play date. Take your parent over to the friend’s house, they visit, you visit or go shopping, next time it is at your house and you serve the punch and cookies.

Is your major problem your parent’s behavior? Does your local mental health center, hospital, anybody, offer classes on handling difficult patients? Perhaps you need some help in setting limits, practice with friends. Also check local support groups, especially those supporting Alzheimer’s and dementia. Is their behavior endangering themselves or others? Get professional help.

Ask everyone! People love to help others. It makes them feel good about themselves. They do not want to be taken advantage of so you have a long list and spread it around.

Need something fixed or done? Salesmen. One of the things I miss about living in town is door-to-door salesmen. I have had them help me move furniture, put together my son’s swing set, teach me to change the light in my ceiling fan, among other things.

My mom taught me to love telemarketers. When they call asking for me she either tells them I am in some exotic country for a year studying some bizarre species of plant/animal and leaving her alone to fend for herself, and she is helpless and on and on she goes. Or I am touring Europe, like I have nothing better to do when she needs me here to wait on her. If they ask for her she will tell them all her problems and a few she doesn’t have but sound really good.

There you go. Tell your woes to salespeople and telemarketers! And you used to think those people were annoying. Get creative. Now take your lists, go to your friends and instead of bemoaning your stress, brainstorm solutions.

You might also want to consider a professional to help you figure out solutions. There are coaches who have been where you are and can really help you. They understand what you are going through and can give you objective guidance, something friends often can not do. You have more resources than you realize. And your friends have resources. You don’t have to do this alone nor should you. Allow people to bless you.


  10 Responses to “Caregiver Stress, Part 2”

  1. So much great information to help Caregivers of Parents!
    Allow people to bless you!
    Looking forward to tomorrow!
    Have you ever wanted to learn how to care for a caregiver?

  2. I wonder if you could also go to http://www.meetup.com and find others that way? Great idea’s! you are always one step ahead of me!

    The Musician Affiliate Connection

  3. allow people to bless you – very nice!

  4. I would bet that most caregivers don’t want to ask for help as they don’t want to be a bother. If they exhange with others or barter as you said maybe they would be more likely to ask.

    Yours In Health!

    Dr. Wendy
    What Back Pain Looks Like

  5. Suzanne,
    if you look for help, you will find it. You can rely always on self help. Meditation is the best stress relief system.

    Body Language: 10 Rules For Reading It

  6. The behavior…especially negative or angry behavior definitely needs to be recognized and addressed when having someone else help you care for an elderly parent.

    Yours In Health!

    G.E. Moon II
    Wealth Beyond Reason

  7. I love it – door-to-door salesman changing light bulbs … hope you bought something (reciprocity).

  8. Hi Nurse Suzanne,

    When my late husband was alive and we had him in a hospital bed in the middle of our apartment living room, it was imperative for me to set up even just 20 minutes a day when I could leave our home and go to the store. With his condition at the time, he simply could never be left along longer than the time for me as his primary caretaker to use the WC. Planning for back up so the care giver can take a break is of paramount importance.

    Happy Dating and Relationships,

    April Braswell
    Computer Dating Profile Writer

  9. Its always a good idea to have some fun.
    Scott Sylvan Bell
    Body language of no confidence
    Now go implement!

  10. I fully intend to try that, we get those calls all the time!
    Be Well.

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