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13 Secrets that Make Caregiving Easier

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13 Secrets that Make Caregiving Easier

By Marlo Sollitto, AgingCare.com Editor

“As dad’s Alzheimer’s disease progresses, I don’t know how to get through to him anymore.” “There aren’t enough hours in the day for me to get everything done.” “Mom’s requests are outrageous!”

These types of caregiver questions and comments are very common on AgingCare.com. Caregivers struggle with their jobs every day. As one issue is solved, a new challenge arises. When caregivers take care of an elderly family member, the roles are reversed. Now the caregiver is the “adult” and must find the best way to “get through to” an elderly parent….and to understand their needs.

These concepts can help get you in the right “mindset” for caregiving – and we hope make your life a little easier.

1. Remember the Person Inside
Your parent is likely different mentally and/or physically than the way you remember from years past. To respond to your parent’s needs, you have to know him/her – and you do, probably better than most people. Your parent may have changed, but they are the same person on the inside. Always keep that person in mind as you give care.

2. Re-Think Personal Boundaries
When it comes to personal boundaries – what can be talked about and what physical assistance can be given – flexibility and complete honesty is key. Topics that may have been taboo at one time — like toileting and bodily functions – are now essential subject matter. Your parent may have trouble bathing or getting on and off the toilet. However, they are probably embarrassed to talk about it or get help. If so, be the one to the start the conversation. Be candid, empathetic and honest. Help them feel comfortable about communicating their feelings to you, then have the courage to tell them how you feel. Once the topic is addressed or the assistance is given, it will likely become a non-issue. So face it head on.

30 Quotes and Inspirations for Caregivers
Feel at Peace: Lose the Guilt
6 Reasons to Appreciate Your Job as a Caregiver

13 Secrets that Make Caregiving Easier originally appeared on AgingCare.com

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AgingCare.com connects family caregivers and provides support, resources, expert advice and senior housing options for people caring for their elderly parents. AgingCare.com is a trusted resource that visitors rely on every day to find inspiration, make informed decisions, and ease the stress of caregiving.

23 comments

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8:12AM PDT on Aug 31, 2011

thanks

3:56AM PDT on Jul 11, 2011

Thanks for this article.

3:01AM PDT on Jul 6, 2011

And when you feel frustrated with your situation, don't forget to ask for help. Just because you never needed a sitter for your kids doesn't mean that taking care of elderly parents 24/7 is going to be the same.

Find a suitable "sitter" for them, and go enjoy a time out. Even if it's only to go sit at the park to read a book. That worry free time may help you keep being a good caregiver for your elderly parents. Especially when they live with you.

3:00PM PDT on Jun 26, 2011

Great things to always keep in mind if you want to be a good caregiver. Everyone needs to read this. Good job!

5:16AM PDT on Jun 26, 2011

Noted with thanks.

10:07AM PDT on Jun 25, 2011

Thank you. Much appreciated.

8:51AM PDT on Jun 25, 2011

The best secret a care-giver can have is to live in a country that has real health care....i.e., any first world nation aside from the U.S. I took care of my husband, who had chronic progressive MS for 13 years. Half of that time was spent neglecting him and fighting with the insurance company to try to get anything covered. Then we were on Medicare....hah. Medicare (maybe this has changed) allowed me all of 40 hours of respite a year, and only four hours at a time.

I now live in Canada and am amazed at how different it is in a country that actually cares about it's citizens and not only about the dollar. The U.S. medical industry has propagandized the citizens of the U.S. and you don't even realize your medical care is on par with the third world or less, unless you have millions of your own to spend.

I can't believe that the people of the U.S. have not taken to the streets and demanded a single payer national health care system. Maybe there is something in the water that makes you all unable to do your own research and reach your own conclusions. I don't know. I do know that I am very glad I no longer live there.

12:16AM PDT on Jun 25, 2011

This sounds sensible.

8:35PM PDT on Jun 24, 2011

THANK YOU!

1:51PM PDT on Jun 24, 2011

thanks.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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