Sometimes the holidays can be a difficult time for parents and relatives, and it can be hard to see our loved ones struggling. If they’re beginning to get lonely or are having trouble living independently, the holidays can become a tough and stressful time – for everyone.
Tara Fleming-Caruso, collaborative care advisor at NewBridge on the Charles, a Hebrew SeniorLife continuing care retirement community, offers some advice on how to make the holiday season enjoyable while still honoring the needs of your aging loved one.
Q: What are some ways we can include our aging parents in holiday celebrations?
Sometimes our aging parents or loved ones need more care and guidance, but it can be challenging to speak to your employer about how to manage increased caregiver needs. How do you balance the needs of your loved one and make sure you are fulfilling your responsibilities at work?
More than one in six people living in the United States working full-time or part-time are helping with the care of an aging parent, family member, relative, or friend, according to a Gallup poll.
Life can be extremely hectic and there are many ways to get information in today’s world. Especially if you’re raising children of your own, it can be confusing to navigate when your own parents need support and help. You are moving so quickly between the demands of work and family, and can often find yourself unprepared to help your parent or loved one as they age.
Caring for an aging loved one at home can be challenging. Whether a senior wants to “age in place” or isn’t ready for nursing home care, many families can struggle with making sure their loved one has the right social and medical supports while still maintaining work and other obligations.
One resource that many families might not know about is adult day health which provides seniors and older adults a place to go for care and companionship throughout the day. Many programs offer support for a wide range of medical and social needs and play a critical role in respite care. It gives caregivers time to go to work or handle personal business.
Caring for a loved one with even mild dementia can be challenging. Advice and support from a professional source can help ease the burden. The following story is a typical day in the life of couples when someone in the partnership is experiencing memory loss and confusion. It offers some tips about how to handle difficult situations.
Myron starts his day around 7am. He gets up and goes through his morning routine, which includes washing up, getting dressed, and starting the coffee. At around 8am, he goes in to wake up his wife, Talia. She would sleep longer if Myron did not wake her up.
Financial abuse targeting seniors is on the rise. According to the Federal Trade Commission, seniors lose more money to scammers than people much younger. Seniors over the age of 80 lost an average of $1,700 compared to $188 lost by people 19 and younger, according to the FTC.
So why are seniors common targets? There are many factors. Older Americans have had more time to accumulate wealth, which is often invested in their homes and retirement savings. Some scams target older adults because of perceived or real frailty. Today’s seniors also grew up in a more trusting time. When older adults are scammed, they’re often too embarrassed to report the crime.
Stress usually involves feeling under pressure when the demands of a situation require too much emotional and physical energy. Under stress, a person may try to gain more control so that things will get better.
Burnout, on the other hand, happens when a person reaches a point where they have nothing left to give. They often feel mentally and physically exhausted to the point where they are beyond caring. It often feels that there is no end in sight to their situation.
To avoid reaching a breaking point, the important thing is to lower your stress and avoid caregiver burnout altogether.
Communication is a fundamental aspect of human relationships and the way we connect with others. All too often that communication breaks down as loved-ones age and develop disabilities. Although communication disorders affect people of all ages, the prevalence and complexity of these conditions increase with age and the onset of conditions that cause cognitive decline, including stroke and dementias such as Alzheimer’s disease.
I recently spoke to Jana Galvin, Community Life Leader at Hebrew Rehabilitation Center. She and her team of life-enhancement experts offer tools that stimulate the senses, which in turn, enhance communication and maintain, or strengthen ties with loved-ones. Here are their tips.
So many of us grapple with what to say and do with an elderly loved one when visiting. Memory and cognitive impairment can be additionally challenging. My advice is paradoxical – get creative and keep it simple. Here are a few ideas to consider when planning your visit.