Caregiving and Hospice Blog

Caring for the Carer – Who Cares for Those Who Care for Others? No Comments

It takes a lot of love to put your own life on hold to care for a loved one who cannot look after themselves. Most carers who take on this role do so because they wouldn’t want it any other way. You are probably one of those people. Yet, like so many others in your situation, do you find that while you are busy caring for others, no one seems to be caring for you and your needs? Whether you are caring for someone with a disability, a physical or mental health challenge, an elderly relative, or you’re a foster carer looking after stressed children, your role is often unpaid and undervalued. You probably haven’t attained a Masters in Public Health before having to take on this role, and you could be struggling but unable to let anyone know. Carers are the foundation of many of the services offered to the frail and needy in our society, and most of the success of programs to care for people outside of institutions falls on the carer’s shoulders. Increased Awareness of a Carer’s Self Sacrifice Throughout the world, there is an increasing awareness that carers do have needs that must be met and many countries are hosting focus weeks to highlight the important role that you, as a carer, play in our communities. Support groups are emerging in many cities that provide the opportunity for carers to meet and share their unique experiences and to find help and support from others who can empathize with them in their situation. As a carer, if you can find one of these groups, you will find emotional support and information about any benefits that may be available to you, as well as advice about changing legislation that may assist you financially or emotionally. Self Help Ideas Despite all the help available, you are probably aware that most of the support you receive will come from your own family and you will need to self-care in order to maintain your own health and emotional well-being. Here are a few of the suggested self-care options for carers: Don’t feel guilty if you need to leave your loved one to spend some time on YOU. Everyone should spend a short period each day saying “no” to others and “yes” to themselves. Take time to indulge in something you enjoy doing and you will return refreshed and ready for the demands of your caring role. Ensure you take care of yourself physically, emotionally, and spiritually.  Caring involves emptying your emotional tank, and this leaves you vulnerable to reduced immunity and other problems. Eating well, taking time to focus on your friends or religious faith, and even pursuing a public health degree online can all help you keep the situation in perspective and maintain your own health and well-being. Don’t feel guilty about saying yes to offers of help. Being a carer does not make you a superhero. We all need help and support, so when it’s offered, accept it

Aging with Grace: The Benefit of Yoga for Seniors No Comments

Buddhism and Hinduism define Yoga as a “spiritual discipline,” but for today’s senior citizens, it means much more. When the topic of Yoga for seniors popped up, I instantly thought of my best friend’s grandmother, well into her seventies, who has been happily practicing this ancient technique for many decades…

Preparing To Say Goodbye and Other Challenges of the Heart No Comments

I found out this week that my father’s years-long battle with cancer has moved to a terminal stage. And while the news is not completely unexpected, it is a frightening jolt to be faced with his mortality in terms of months, all the same. My father has quietly admitted that he is afraid and not yet ready to die; heartbreaking words from someone whose emotions are usually very reserved. My dad would likely be surprised to know…

Continue Reading »
The Mysteries of Grief: When No One Say Thanks No Comments

Her story is like hundreds of others I have listened to. She took care of her husband long past the time when it was healthy for her to do so. The children and his siblings would drop by to visit for a while but never seemed to notice her burden. Friends would ask about her husband’s health and show concern for him, but no one ever asked how she was holding up, and rarely did anyone ask what they could do to give her some relief. She labored on not even realizing that there is grief in long term care…

Continue Reading »
Dear Mary: No Dinner For My Father No Comments

Dear Mary, I dropped by after work a couple of times this week to see my parents who are both in their mid 70’s. I was shocked to find the house in darkness, my Mother asleep and my Dad watching TV. I asked him if they had had an early supper. He just simply said, there is no supper tonight. He said basically the same thing on my second visit this week. Seems Mom sleeps alot in the afternoon and does not make supper anymore. What? Why? As of when? Many nights my Father makes some toast and jam for his dinner around 8:30 when he starts to get hungry…

Continue Reading »
Dear Mary: Welcome to My World No Comments

Dear Mary, I have the major caregiver to both my parents for 14 years. My father died in 2000 and I have been looking after mom ever since. She had open heart surgery at the age of 85, she had a significant personality change. I also have a mentally challenged sister who has just been diagnosed with a rare lymphoma. To make matters worse, my brother, the alcoholic play boy has been diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma. He has nothing to lose so he tried to sell my mothers’ land and he will not pay…

Continue Reading »
Dear Mary: Need to Know No Comments

Dear Mary, My Dad has MS and has about 4 months left to live. We are a very close family and his situation has finally set in with family and friends. My Dad and our family are bombarded with questions about his health on a daily bases. My Dad is a very private person and we are all getting tired of the same questions. We know that everyone means well but it is too much for us to handle. What should we do? George…

Continue Reading »