When it became apparent her elderly parents could no longer live alone, Melanie felt fortunate she could move them into her home. However, it wasn’t too long before she began to feel overwhelmed. Between caring for her parent's medical needs and helping to manage her mom’s incontinence, along with taking care of her own family, she didn’t know how much longer she could go on like this. She felt alone and isolated until a talk with a friend let her know she wasn’t alone and there was help available.
You Are Not Alone:
Statistics show there are nearly 10 million adults over the age of 50 are caring for an elderly parent or other senior loved one. As individuals live long, there are more families than ever before who are stepping in to offer care. It is important to know you are not alone and there are resources which are available to help. If you are a caregiver or someone who wants to support a caregiver there are ways to help and get the resources you need. Recent research shows there are very practical ways caregivers would like help. Here are the top 8 ways to support a caregiver:
- Caregivers are looking for resources. Being a caregiver can be a complex job. The good news is today there are resources to help with this job. Caregivers can find information on virtually any topic which involves caregiving at Caregiving101.com. If you are a caregiver or know someone who is, then checking out this valuable resource can be extremely helpful.
- Caregivers would appreciate respite care. The job of a caregiver goes on day and night without breaks. If you know someone who is caring for their elderly parents, then the offer of respite care will be highly appreciated. Caregivers report even a few hours away can have them feeling reinvigorated and refreshed to take on the task of caregiving once again.
- Caregivers would appreciate assistance with chores. The requirements of daily living don’t cease just because someone is taking care of an elderly loved one. There is laundry to do, cleaning to take care of, and many other household tasks which still need to be done. Many seniors are also dealing with incontinence. This adds to the to-do list of the caregiver if he or she is constantly having to go out and buy incontinence products.
- Caregivers need help with transportation. Many times when a senior moves in with a family member one of the major reasons may be they can no longer drive. This leaves the caregiver with the task of transporting their elderly loved one to doctor’s appointments, shopping, or wherever else they may need to go. If you can step in even periodically and take over the driving for a caregiver it can be a tremendous help.
- Caregivers need help with cooking and meals. Whether the caregiver lives alone or has a family, when the senior in their life moves in with them it still means meals need to be prepared. A high percentage of caregivers report they would appreciate assistance with meals. Many seniors have special dietary needs and this can create additional strain for a caregiver. One of the ways to help with this is to bring in prepared meals. Services like Mom’s Meals offer specially made meals that can be custom ordered and delivered to the home of the caregiver or to the senior who is still living independently but requires a level of supervised care.
- Caregivers would appreciate help managing medications. Many seniors who are receiving care from a caregiver have a lot of medications to manage. Caregivers report feeling overwhelmed by the constant task of managing medications. Offering to help with medication management can often relieve a caregiver of one additional task.
- Caregivers want to connect with other caregivers. Caregiving can be an isolating and overwhelming task. Caregivers want to be able to connect with other people who are doing the same things.
- Caregivers would like time off from work for caregiving tasks. Many caregivers are still working when they take over the task of caring for an elderly loved one. This is an additional stress to a sometimes overwhelming situation. Many caregivers report they would appreciate time off from work for caregiving tasks. Employers who can understand this and offer this benefit can greatly add to the quality of life for their employees.
About R.O.S Therapy Systems: R.O.S. Therapy Systems began as a backyard project in 2010. Scott Silknitter was searching for tools to help his mother care for his father, Roger Owen Silknitter, during a 25-year fight with Parkinson’s disease and dementia. That project became a personal mission to help all family caregivers. From family caregiver training and activity books to mobile apps to activity systems, R.O.S. has grown to become a single-source provider of informational “how to’s” and a growing provider of adaptive tools for the millions of husbands, wives, children, and family members that become caregivers.
Common sense advice and instruction based on proven principles of communication, engagement, and daily living are the heart of everything R.O.S. offers for family caregivers. Improving quality of life for caregivers is our mission, and designing everything for a family caregiver struggling with a loved one is the starting point. Whether it is dementia, diabetes, Parkinson’s, ALS, stroke, visual impairment, developmental disabilities, or any other issue that forces someone to care for a loved one, R.O.S. and its Caregiving 101 program are here to help.