The demands on a person who is taking care of elderly parents result in a great deal of stress. If caregivers aren’t careful, they jeopardize their own health and well-being.
A study of family caregivers found that those who experience caregiving-related stress have a 63% higher mortality rate than non-caregivers of the same age. There are several reasons why stress occurs, such as working too much, not sleeping enough, having to deal with family and work at the same time, and not having as many hours in the day as you need to take care of yourself.
Remember you can’t care for your loved one if you are ill yourself. The first step in dealing with caregiver stress is to recognize the signs. Then, you can find ways to deal with it and enlist support or medical help when needed.
via Signs of Caregiver Stress: How Can I Tell if I am Too Stressed From Caregiving? – AgingCare.com.
Here are five questions everyone over 50 with aging parents should ask themselves now:
- How are Mom and/or Dad REALLY doing? – Are they struggling to do everyday chores, is driving becoming a hazard, do they have medical conditions you don’t know about? Are they getting enough socialization and exercise to stay healthy?
- Do they need help? – Seniors often hesitate to ask their children for the help they need, so ask them for an honest assessment of their needs. And ask yourself: how will you balance their needs with the demands of your children, your job, your life?
- How can I help? – A quick visit once a week may not be enough. Figure out how you might help. Driving them to a medical appointment? Checking on that leaky faucet? Giving them a quick lesson on how to use email or Facebook?
- Have they looked at other living options, besides staying at home? – Some seniors are reluctant to give up their home, but can no longer handle the costs and maintenance involved in keeping up a private residence. Have they looked into senior living options that would provide support and freedom, like a Continuing Care Retirement Community? They may not be aware of the myriad of choices beyond moving in with you or going to a traditional nursing home.
- Do I know their wishes? – Don’t assume you know how your parents want to deal with end-of-life care. Do they have living wills? Where is their medical paperwork?
Asking yourself these questions now is a lot easier than when there’s a crisis. Most adult children delay or avoid altogether an honest discussion with parents about senior care options, until a fall or other medical calamity creates very limited options.
via 5 Questions Everyone With Aging Parents Needs To Ask | Justine Vogel.