What are caregivers doing during this time? May is Older Americans Month, and while it focuses on the achievements that our predecessors have accomplished, we can’t forget about the individuals that have always been there for them. Caregivers work to keep their aging friends, family, and neighbors healthy, so they may lead their best lives in their golden years.
The Ups and Downs
Daria S. is a specialist within Sound Generations’ Caregiver Support team. The members of the Caregiver Support team effectively perform assessments and caregiver counseling to support those that need a bit of help, themselves. When asked what caregivers are doing to support their loved ones during this time, she responded how some caregivers are reporting mixed feelings.
“Some caregivers report feeling better, as before they felt they were ‘missing out’ on certain aspects of life. Whereas now, since everyone is staying home, it feels less like they are missing out. Others, and again depending on the intensity of the care receivers care needs, can feel trapped, and it’s hard to even know what day it is. For some caregivers who would regularly take the care receiver out for meals, this is proving challenging. Others have stopped any services from coming into their homes, while others are continuing. It seems to depend on one’s own risk tolerance and overall well-being, as well as the caregiver’s own health.”
If there’s anything positive to take from this epidemic, it would be the ease at which technology has enabled people across generations to “visit” one another, while maintaing a healthy social distance. She goes on to say, “Many are using virtual ‘get togethers’ which they report helps them feel less lonely.” Loneliness is a real problem that plagues older adults, especially during a time when everyone must stay away from one another.
The National Institute on Aging has even released their findings on the health risks that loneliness and isolation can have on older adults. For one of the most at-risk populations, these precautionary measures are all the more necessary.
A New Age of Questions
Everyone wants to do what they feel is the right choice. Sometimes that means making the hard choice. Daria points out the endless questions that caregivers face:
- “Am I doing enough?”
- “Should I be doing more for this most vulnerable family member?”
She says, “Walking that edge between the worry and fear of, if my loved one gets sick while living in a facility, I will never be able to be with them nor touch their face again is certainly keeping many caregivers up at night.” Ultimately, we can do all we can do, and everyone wants what is best for their loved one. In the end, being a caregiver is only possible if one begins to care for themself first.
Contact Caregiver Support at Sound Generations
Toll Free: 1.888.4ELDERS (1.888.435.3377)
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