Family Vacation, 1990

Family Vacation, 1990

As we get older, we take on more roles. While we may be parents and have raised our children, you’d think that we’re free and clear of the caregiving role. But as our family members live longer, that puts us in the position of being in charge of our aging parents.

My mother- and father-in-law are in their 80’s and while they’re doing amazingly well after each battling cancer, they are getting to the age where we’ll likely have to step in. Thankfully my husband is one of 9 children, so their care will be shared among the kids. All of the kids live within driving distance and the parents are centrally located.

But not every family is so lucky. In some families there’s only one caregiver available and the complete care rests with them. When that’s the case, it’s really important that the caregiver take care of themselves, first.

One of the ways a caregiver can do that is to look for outside help. Contact friends and family and take them up on their offers to help. It could be as simple as doing your weekly grocery shopping or covering for a few hours so you can get some much needed rest. You may also ask them to help you assess the safety of the home and make necessary modifications.

Tips for Taking Care of the Caregiver

If those offering to help aren’t local, put them to work researching the resources available. They can do internet searches and collect the resources available in your community for you and organize them so you can complete the contact process.

But I think the most important tip for the family caregiver is to take care of yourself. You can’t take care of someone else if you’re worn out and weary. Find an online or local support group to have some stress relief. There are adult day centers available in many areas to give caregivers time to recharge and re-energize for the days ahead.

Want more info on caring for the caregiver? Check out the Tips for Caregivers from Genworth Financial and AARP

This post was inspired by Genworth Financial. All opinions are 100% my own. For more information about caregiving, visit the Genworth Financial website.