The Caregiving Journey

Caregiving at home may lead to an assisted living or a nursing home stay.
Resources for the caregiving journey including taking care of the caregiver

It creeps up on you.  No, not some scary monster.  Instead, your duties as a caregiver for a loved one.  As a loved one ages, you may start by helping them with simple tasks that are not very time consuming.  As time moves on, your role in their life may increase to the point where half or most of your week is spent taking care of a loved one.  This added responsibility may come on top of responsibilities you have for a child, as we described in an earlier blog post as the “R” factor.[1]  Recently, AARP has coined our “R” factor the “Sandwich Generation,”[2] where you are simultaneously caring for loved ones younger than you and older than you.[3] AARP’s Barry Jacobs suggests that you “think of the prototypical ‘sandwich generation’ caregiver who’s pressed by the demands of the generations above (aging parents) and below (children or grandchildren).

When you are in this situation and minutes become hours and hours become days and days become weeks, you may not know where to turn. Invariably, there will be a great amount of stress on the caregiver, and tools and techniques will need to be implemented to assist with the process.  AARP offers a caregiving resource center to assist you with many of the issues you will be faced with as a caregiver.[4]Also, AARP provides caregiver guides to help facilitate the process of beginning as a caregiver as a loved one.  Click here to download a guide in English or click here to download a guide in Spanish.  Besides AARP website and guides, the Hoda and Jenna television show recently had Valerie Bertanelli as guest to discuss the stresses of caregiving and how to address the stress, so that you may take the caregiving journey in a manner wherein you are well along the way.[5]  As they tell you on the airplane, “place the mask over your face before you assist others…” or something like that.  Point taken.  If you run yourself to the nub, you cannot make it, hence the emphasis is on the “journey” and what you can do be there for others, by being there for yourself (keeping yourself in the game).  Amy Goyer, from AARP, was a guest after the initial segment with Ms. Bertinelli.  In a post discussing these guests on the Hoda and Jenna show, Jane Kenney reports that “AARP has found that the average age of a female caregiver is 49 years old.  Between aging parents and raising children, these women often struggle on finding peace within themselves.”[6]

To assist you with finding peace and make the caregiving journey, there are probably a myriad of resources available discussing the topic besides those mentioned here. Nevertheless, the AARP site seems to be a good comprehensive start for someone in the beginning stages of caregiving for a loved one. If, however, it is too burdensome to take care of a loved one at home, it may be time to consider assisted living or nursing home options. If so, it may be time to have a conversation with the loved and/or their doctor about the best option for the loved one. Keep in mind, that often this decision will have financial implications, so it is important to know what medical insurance provider may provide full or partial payments for these options. If we can assist you with your decisions of moving a loved one from home to assisted living or a nursing home or any other legal issue or case review, please feel free to call us at (205) 443-7264, send us a text at (205) 563-3525 or contact us via our webform.


RESOURCES

[1] Connect with blog post -What’s Under the Covers?

[2] See https://www.aarp.org as of January 19, 2020.

[3] Id

[4] See https://www.aarp.org/caregiving/ as of January 19, 2020

[5] See https://doyouremember.com/ as of January 20, 2019

[6] Id


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