Helping your parent age: ‘Stress And Reward’

Genworth Financial’s Dr. Bruce Margolis recently wrote a great piece for the Huffington Post on the experience of living with his mother-in-law for three decades.

Many aspects from Margolis’ abridged story will ring true to any family caregiver:

When Margolis’ mother-in-law moved in, she was a widow in her 60s. She could help watch the grandkids and run errands, greatly helping with many aspects of creating a happy household. Skip to present day: She’s now 95 and suffers from arthritis and has difficulty standing and walking. She requires an in-home care assistant during the day and Margolis’ wife also helps with caregiving duties and the managing her elderly mother’s personal care. Naturally, it’s a stress-inducing situation, but the bonds created between three generations of a family living together is an irreplaceable reward.

Increased stress is common among family caregivers such as Margolis’ wife. Not only is there the emotional drain caused by situations such as the role reversal of helping to take care of the person who raised you, but there’s the other duties that coincide such as staying on top of your parent’s medication and finances. Of course, this all runs parallel to normal work and family obligations.

With that in mind, Margolis offers three steps to help manage stress: divide responsibilities amongst family and other caregivers, communicate effectively with those close by to be sure everyone’s emotional needs are being addressed and — perhaps most importantly — don’t forget to take a break.

One thing Margolis didn’t mention that help is always available from the knowledgable and experienced staff of senior care providers, such as Encompass Senior Solutions. If you or you parent in need of care lives in the Omaha, Lincoln, eastern Nebraska or western Iowa areas, give us a call at 402-991-7399 with any questions regarding caregiver stress.

Related:

How to take care of yourself while caring for an elderly parent

Long distance caregiving for elderly parents

“Encompass Senior Solutions solves the problems families face in finding home health care providers they can trust. Providers who will focus on strategies that keep parents in their homes. To learn more about our health care services, visit http://www.encompass-home-health-care.com.”