Caring for the Caregiver
People in middle age, headed toward retirement or just retired, are a sandwich generation. They spend their days trying to help their young adult children become independent, while they watch their parents face health complications resulting from advanced age.
Though there are a variety of convalescent facilities designed to care for people with long-term or terminal illnesses, many prefer to live at home under the care of a loved one. When you are on the line for your family and friends, follow these tips to ensure that you can still provide for them when they need you most.
Get in Touch
Providing constant care for a friend or relative can be exhausting. And sometimes you may feel like no one around you understands what you are going through. When this is the case, you need to get in touch with people who are in the know about your concerns, and have help available. The National Family Caregiver Support Program works with state programs to organize and fund support groups, counseling, and helping you to find the services for your loved one.
Ask For Help
When you are in dire need of assistance, you may not need to look farther than your own community. There are people near you–friends, family, co-workers, neighbors–who would love to help you out, but aren’t sure how. When someone offers to give you a break for a few hours, make meals or even help you out with your personal responsibilities, take them up on the offer. Schedule times for respite care to allow you to go out with friends, take a nap, exercise, or even just eat a meal in peace. This will rejuvenate you and give you the energy to continue on.
Years spent providing full-time care for a friend, parent or spouse can be some of the most rewarding experiences of your life. But they can also take a lot out of you. Get in touch with available resources and ask your friends and family for help, so that you can continue to be the wonderful caregiver that you are.