EXPERT ADVICE FOR FAMILY CAREGIVERS
Caregiving101.com, a leading source of information and help for family caregivers, offers some basic tips from among the site’s extensive library of articles available for free. Taking care of someone else ideally requires good health and occasional time away to recharge mentally and emotionally. Here are four resources caregivers might use to find more time to take care of themselves.
1. Home meal delivery: Meal delivery services such as your local meals-on-wheels organization or online sources such as Magickitchen.com can be a huge help. Good nutrition has a positive effect on a senior’s health, happiness and quality of life; and special foods are available with plans designed specifically to accommodate seniors and common medically prescribed diets. These freshly prepared nutritious meals delivered to your doorstep eliminate the time and effort spent shopping, preparing, and cooking food.
2. Monitoring and safety tools: Knowing a home is safely equipped offers the peace of mind that allows a caregiver more free time to rest in another room or leave the home, depending on a loved one’s condition. Fall monitors, medical alerts, and safety equipment like grab-bars, handrails and accessible baths and showers, are just a few of many tools. A home-assessment by a company like Bell’s Medical Equipment (Master Grab bar), can assess a home to make suggestions about how to further safety-proof a home.
3. Automatically scheduled home delivery for products and medications are time and energy savers for caregivers. Doorstep delivery for home healthcare needs eliminates shopping time and the worry of running out of supplies at a bad time. Shieldhealthcare.com is one of many online delivery services that have a wide range of products available with scheduled deliveries.
4. Support network for respite! From a friend, neighbor, or family member who can pitch in, to a prescheduled trained professional, there are many support options that are critical to provide caregivers with much needed respite. Visiting Angels, a homecare company that helps seniors live safely and independently at home, provides compassionate caregivers on a regular schedule or as needed for your loved one’s safety, and your peace of mind as you take time for yourself.
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David Forman, President of Visiting Angels says, “If you’re caring for a loved one full time you’re not alone in occasionally feeling burnt out, exhausted, hopeless, sad, anxious, stressed, overwhelmed, and even guilty for having one or more of these feelings.”
“What you may not notice happening that’s just as harmful as these stressors, is your loss of natural identity. A family member; whether son, daughter, spouse or other loved one, begins to self-identify as the ‘caregiver.' This phenomenon is unhealthy and robs what should be a time of closeness and bonding during the latter part of life together. A break or ‘respite' from trying to do it all alone, is critical to maintaining your own health and sanity; and to retain or recover a healthy natural relationship," Forman says.
Whether it’s a visit once a day, or a few times a week, a Visiting “Angel” can make a world of difference. This time of respite can make a huge difference in your outlook and attitude as well as your mental and physical heath as you use it to do things for yourself, with the assurance that your loved one is safe and cared for.”
Forman says from a few hours to 24/7 care, compassionate caregiver Angels provide personal care, light housekeeping, laundry, meal preparation, errands, transportation and appointments, medication reminders, and joyful companionship. For many more resources for family caregivers visit caregiving101.com, or to explore care options for a loved one, call Visiting Angels at 302-329-9475 or go to visitingangels.com/sussexde.