A lot of caregivers are adult children caring for their aging parents. It is common to feel self-conscious by this role reversal; embarrassed when bathing, feeding, and supervising a parent; and frustrated when parents ignore advice or refuse help. Caring for a parent is hard work that can be empowering, frustrating, satisfying, and sad. It is common for evolving family dynamics to be stressful. Support groups, religious institutions, long-term care managers, and individual counseling sessions can be helpful in smoothing this transition and maintaining a healthy environment for caregivers and those being cared for.
It is common for caregivers to put the needs of their families before their own, but this complete surrender of self-interests can lead to depression, illness, fatigue, burnout, resentment, and aggravation. Caregivers give better care if they also take care of themselves.
Tips for self care:
- Plan time away
- Maintain a healthy diet
- Schedule medical and dental appointments for yourself
- Give yourself credit
- Treat yourself (e.g. a long bath, small gift, a night out)
- Stay socially connected to family and friends
- Get involved in activities that bring you pleasure
- Seek support
- Identify signs of depression or stress and get help
- Get assistance with housekeeping and care giving
Consider these resources for caregivers:
It is a difficult task to be a good caretaker, especially when the mother is very far from perfect and when the child is very loving toward the sitter.
May is Mental Health Awareness Month and a great time to encourage all individuals to be their own advocate when meeting with their medical providers. Individuals with mental health concerns often present them in primary care and this can be an important first step in receiving the right treatment.
Grandparents play a special part in the children’s lives, and these relationships are eagerly sought once children are developmentally ready for connection beyond the basic child-parent bonds.
Many parents struggle with conversing with their adolescent. Attempts at communication often result in yelling, slamming doors, feelings of resentment, and a sense of hopelessness that issues can be resolved. Below are nine strategies to enhance communication with your teen.
Family reunions are not a new phenomenon but increasingly more families are initiating family reunions as a way of knitting the social support network. The reunions are bringing extended families together from different regions of the country, even continents.
Most shelters in America are supported by federal funds and limit shelter services to a young person for a mere 21 days; therefore, young people move from shelter to shelter, on and off the streets to shabby motels, abandoned buildings, truck stops and other unstable living conditions.