Tips to Help You Become a Champion Caregiver for Elderly Parents

caregiver for elderlyIf someone were providing care services for you, how would you want that caregiver/care receiver relationship to look? What qualities would shift that degree of care from ordinary to extraordinary?

Taking care of an older loved one at home is a noble and selfless commitment. It’s never a responsibility that should be taken lightly, or taken on halfheartedly. These tips make it possible to become not just a fantastic caregiver, but a care champion who empowers an older adult to thrive.

Foster independence. No one wants to feel as if they’re no longer self-sufficient, or that someone is coming in and taking over. Encourage and motivate the senior to do what they are able to do safely and comfortably on their own, providing whatever support is necessary along the way.

Practice empathy. It’s a helpful exercise to routinely put yourself in the senior’s shoes and consider how you would like to be treated if roles were reversed. This may mean setting your own personal feelings aside to better understand those of the other person.

Be creative. Think outside of the box for ideas to brighten every day. For instance, declare Mondays to be “Milkshake Mondays,” experimenting with making and sampling new flavors together. If the senior loves dogs, invite a pet therapist over or spend an afternoon at the local humane society. Have a movie marathon day featuring all of the senior’s favorite films. The ideas are limitless!

Let Responsive Home Care’s trained and experienced care experts assist with additional ideas and help with care needs in the home. Call us at (954) 486-6440 to request a free in-home consultation.

How to Address One of the Leading Caregiver Struggles: Caregiver Dread

One of the most common caregiver struggles is caregiver dread.

What are your first thoughts as soon as you wake up in the morning? Are you looking forward to what your day holds, or would you prefer to crawl back under the covers and remain there? If you are feeling more dread than delight as you think through your caregiving tasks for the day, you are not the only one. In fact, caregiver dread is one of the most common caregiver struggles we help families with each and every day.

Distinctly different from anxiety, depression, and even burnout, caregiver dread is a heavy, exhausted feeling of duty. It stems from feelings of overcommitment as well as the need to escape from obligations. While feasible to muscle through and carry out needed tasks in spite of these feelings, there are methods to conquer them instead – and restore the joy that comes from making life better for someone you love. To begin with, try these techniques:

  1. Release the guilt. Meeting the care needs of a person can feel unimpactful, mundane, and just downright difficult. It requires selflessness, which can feel burdening. Yet dreading the daily tasks you’re obligated to do in no way is a reflection of how you feel towards your loved one. Acknowledge to yourself that your role is not easy, and it is okay to wish you could be doing something else.
  2. Deliberately search for joy. The little pleasures each day holds may be diminished by the difficulties. Make the effort every day to find five small things which make you smile. Keep a journal of each day’s finds and refer back to it at the conclusion of every week. Engage all of your senses as you look for the day’s joys: the smell of freshly brewing coffee; the beauty of the sunrise; the sound of your cat purring; the invigorating feeling of a hot shower.
  3. Set boundaries. Schedule time daily to spend on things that you enjoy apart from the senior loved one in your care. Plan and look forward to this time when your caregiving responsibilities begin to weigh you down. An established and trusted care partner is vital to ensure that nothing impedes with the important time of looking after yourself.

Remind yourself that the work you are doing in caring for your senior loved one is extremely important. Yet also keep in mind that no one can do it all, and in order to provide the very best care for the senior and for yourself, frequent breaks from care tasks are essential.

Connect with our experts in elder care in Fort Lauderdale and nearby areas at (954) 486-6440 to arrange for regular respite care services and release the stress of caregiving dread. We’re here for as much or as little assistance as you need to help you enjoy quality time together with a family member and also to rediscover joy in your own life as well.

 

Taking Care of Elderly Parents After the Pandemic: The Shift We Can Expect

Employers may now have a different perspective on those taking care of elderly parents post-pandemic.

If there is a single positive after-effect regarding the pandemic, it is the appreciation generated for the plight of family caregivers. Managing work and home life is without question a tremendous challenge for those taking care of elderly parents. As Lindsay Jurist-Rosner, CEO of Wellthy, explains, “Caregiving went from a silent struggle to being in the spotlight overnight.”

Businesses were suddenly thrown into the fire of navigating a world of balancing the safety of staff along with the need to uphold productivity. Here is what we discovered – and what we can expect in the future:

  • More telecommuting. Individuals who began working from home in the last year have, in some cases, demonstrated their ability to be much more productive. Because of this, it is predicted that nearly 25 – 30% of the workforce within the United States will continue telecommuting at least several days a week this year.
  • Less stress. Doing away with the daily commute opens up extra time for self-care for family caregivers, while enhancing peace of mind. This is particularly true for those who relied on public transportation and were wary of compromised health safety. To further boost mental health, many employers are offering subscriptions to mindfulness and meditation apps.
  • A corporate culture of caring. Working from home has opened up the personal elements of our lives to employers. Zoom meetings share our living spaces with each other, including the appearance of pets, children, and other household members. As a result, the workplace has started to become more humanized, resulting in a more empathetic working environment.
  • Emphasis on mental wellness. Along those lines, there is now greater awareness of the significance of attending to our mental health. A Kaiser Family Foundation poll shared that nearly 45% of adults experienced negative mental health affects as a result of the pandemic – and an even more substantial percentage in those who function as family caregivers for older family members. Many employers have started implementing ways to take care of the mental health of their employees, such as offering virtual adventures and trips to give the chance to relax and escape.

Let Responsive Home Care, who offers the best caregivers in Fort Lauderdale, FL and the surrounding areas, further help nurture a better work-life balance with our dependable respite care services. Regular, ongoing respite care is key to the general wellness of family caregivers. Our skilled and compassionate home care team is on hand to help with anything from only a few hours every week up to and including 24/7 care. Call us at (954) 486-6440 to request a no cost in-home assessment to find out more.

 

These “Sweethearts” Are Now Scamming the Elderly Online

Scamming the Elderly Online

Stay on top of the latest trends in scamming the elderly online.

It’s been over a year since the COVID-19 pandemic began; a year of fear, loneliness, and isolation for many older adults. Physical distancing has eliminated the ability to offer the warmth and comfort of a hug or even an in-person smile in many cases. Yet humans are social creatures, and this lack of socialization has many seniors turning to online sources for connection – such as dating websites. And unfortunately, this has led to an influx of people scamming the elderly online.

While dating websites may seem harmless and even beneficial, there are hidden dangers for older adults in particular, known as sweetheart scammers. Here’s what to watch for to help keep the seniors you love safe:

  • Flattery that turns financial. Financial gain is the sweetheart scammer’s only objective. The scammer will use a variety of tactics to achieve that end goal, including targeting weak spots like loneliness. Flattering, praising, and proclaiming undying love and affection for a senior the scammer has never met often moves into a request for funds.
  • Overwhelming attention. The scammer will hone in on a senior’s vulnerability and loneliness, lavishing relentless attention. Listen to your loved one to gauge how much time is being spent on conversations and texts with the person. You’ll also want to notice if the person has been expressing his or her love for the senior, especially early in the relationship. Scammers move fast to get to their end goal as quickly as possible.
  • No online presence. A simple Google search for the senior’s new love interest can help you determine if the person is real. If your search yields no information at all on the person, it should immediately raise a red flag. You can also run a background check to discover any criminal convictions, marriage/divorce certificates, or other public records.
  • A fake photo. Google offers a reverse image search feature (images.Google.com) that allows you to determine if the person’s profile picture is actually a stock photo or stolen from someone else.

You may also want to consider logging in to your loved one’s email account to monitor activity and help the senior discern between actual relationships and scammers.

Most importantly, talk with the senior about the prevalence of those who are scamming the elderly online. Listen to your loved one’s description of his or her new love interest and how the relationship is developing. Point out any warning signs and help the senior understand the danger he or she could be facing.

Responsive Home Care, the leaders in elderly home care in Fort Lauderdale and surrounding areas, is here to help with safe, trusted caregivers to provide seniors with the friendly companionship that alleviates loneliness, isolation, and desperation. Contact us at 954-486-6440 for a free in-home consultation to learn more.

Therapy for Family Caregivers and Their Siblings

Therapy for Family Caregivers

Explore the benefits of therapy for family caregivers of aging parents.

There are particular milestones we might encounter in our lives that, though not always negative, are known stressors. Losing a job. Starting a new job. Getting married. Getting divorced. And one that we in the home care industry are especially mindful of: the physical and mental effect on family members who are caring for aging parents.

A lot of conflicting emotions crop up for anyone in the role of family caregiver, and they are increased when trying to share responsibilities with siblings or other family members. There are past resentments and hurts which might resurface, conflicts pertaining to decision-making, as well as the stress when trying to navigate what feels like a role reversal with a parent who once took care of us.

For these reasons and more, family counseling tends to be a wonderful addition to a family caregiver’s toolbox to ensure the absolute best possible care for senior parents, as well as his/her own emotional wellbeing. Here are several advantages of therapy for family caregivers as parents grow older:

  1. It provides care for the care provider. Agreeing to the role of family caregiver may be daunting in and of itself, but factor in additional responsibilities, such as managing a home and caring for children while maintaining a job, and you have a recipe for stress. Family therapy helps caregivers work through challenging emotions and reach solutions.
  2. It offers support through grief. Grief comes in many forms, and frequently begins during the early stages of caregiving for senior parents, as family members work through the inherent changes taking place now and to come. When a senior parent is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or another type of dementia, the decrease in cognitive functioning brings about yet another degree of grief. A family therapist will help all people in the family to work through their grief together.
  3. It helps the family as a unit. A family therapist focuses on arriving at precisely what is best for the whole family as well as its cohesiveness, through challenges such as issues connected to inheritance and other financial concerns, medical decisions, and any complicated family dynamics.

If in-person therapy for family caregivers is not possible as a result of geographic constraints, continued COVID-19 distancing concerns, or another reason, phone or Zoom sessions can be equally successful. The key factor is for involvement to be a main priority for all family members involved, and to make therapy appointments a regular routine.

If you need a partner to provide reliable respite care services while you devote the time necessary for family therapy, give us a call at (954) 486-6440 for help from our professional caregivers in Fort Lauderdale, FL  and surrounding areas. With both a dependable family counselor and the aging care professionals at Responsive Home Care on your team, your family can overcome caregiving-related obstacles and enjoy good quality time together.