Quick Advice for Millennial Caregivers

The “Millennial” generation has been unfairly labeled the “Me, Me, Me” generation. We’re surrounded by negative stereotypes describing our uncaring, self-centered, technology-driven personalities. If we care only for ourselves, why is the number of Millennial caregivers rising? Apparently, our personalities aren’t engrossed in self-appreciation. We ARE concerned with the health and well-being of aging or ailing loved-ones.

Young caregivers are faced with the challenges of caregiving AND creating stable households for their growing families. We’re maturing and searching for a life path while nurturing those who once cared for us. Creating a successful caregiving/life balance requires exploratory research and preliminary planning.

1.) Understand Care-Recipient’s Health Condition

Caregivers are healthcare advocates for their patients. Before or during the caregiving process, research and explore the care-recipient’s health concerns. Educate yourself on the care required for his/her current and underlying conditions. Use learned knowledge to communicate effectively with nurses and physicians. Create a care plan addressing all health concerns.

2.) Know Employer’s Policies

Many young caregivers are actively engaged in the workforce. Raising families requires dependable income. Healthcare appointments and daily errands cause conflicting schedules. Familiarize yourself with your employer’s vacation and absence policies. Research caregiving entitlements offered through local and federal governments.

3.) Create Household Budget

Often caregivers are unable to work because of the severity of the patient’s health condition or amount of required care. Households are forced to survive on one income in a “two” income society. Living on a limited income requires effective money management. Budget for savings allowance and research financial planning options benefiting your future goals. Plan now for later! Read, Caregivers, try to utilize your resources! for possible benefits available to you and the care-recipient.

4.) Accept Assistance

Devotion to the well-being of another is stressful. Avoid eventual burnout by delegating errands and caregiving duties to family and friends. Reach out to homecare agencies and research respite care options. Discuss with family the need for a support system. Caregiving is demanding and limits self-care time. Accept assistance from dependable sources. Stay healthy and provide consistent quality care for your loved-one.

5.) Don’t Forget Your Future

Caregiving is circumstantial and can be planned or spontaneous. Young caregivers usually have a “life” path before dedicating their lives to loved-ones. Don’t let caregiving eliminate your future ambitions. Try to follow your intended path. Remember, there’s life after caregiving. Plan for your future!

Millennial caregivers manage and support aging loved-ones while raising families. Their devotion leaves limited time for self-care. Avoid caregiver stress and burnout through research and advanced planning. Utilize available resources and provide quality care for your loved-one. Thank you for reading! Please share!

Mid-Week Motivation for the Caregiver….Quote #3


“Caring for our seniors is perhaps the greatest responsibility we have. Those who walked before us have given so much and made possible the life we all enjoy.”

SENATOR JOHN HOEVEN

Motivating and EncourAGING Seniors

We’re quick to assume fading interests, isolation, and indifferent attitudes are part of the aging process.  The elderly are perceived to be irritable, disagreeable, or crotchety people who enjoy being alone.  They loath youthful visitors interfering with their daily routine and are judgmental nuisances.  Why are seniors viewed so negatively?  We’re unempathetic to the needs and wants of our aging population.  It’s easier to label than motivate and encourage.  Physical and mental decline limit seniors’ participation in society.  They recognize their declining fitness or slowing cognitive abilities and avoid activities magnifying these short-comings.  Their self-esteem begins to diminish along with socialization.  How can we actively engage our seniors and help them regain/maintain independence?

1.)  Promote Usefulness

Seniors need a sense of purpose, a feeling of usefulness.  Include aging loved-ones in conversations.  Ask for their opinions on topics of interest.  Urge active participation in making a care plan.  Allow them to complete tasks within their physical limits.  Show appreciation for their lives and accomplishments.  

2.)  Encourage Self-Identity

Our elders have lived fascinating lives.  They’ve witnessed events we’ve only read in history books.  Their aging exteriors cover once young, energetic, vibrant interiors.  Encourage conversations detailing their adventurous youth.  Ask questions about memorable life experiences.  Surround them with pictures and personal items reminiscent of specific time periods.  Show interest in their past, present, and future lives.

3.)  Set Goals

Creating realistic goals gives focus and motivation to seniors.   Accomplishing goals encourages independence and usefulness.  Arrange activities and compliment when objectives are achieved.  Fuel motivation by setting attainable goals and acknowledging success.

4.)  Introduce Technology

Educate seniors about technology and its societal advantages.  Encourage connection with family and friends through social-networking.  Discuss the importance of elderly monitoring systems in homecare.  Promote mental stimulation through online engagement in daily current events and literature.

The aging process limits physical and cognitive abilities.  It creates doubt and deflates self-esteem.  Encourage and motivate seniors by promoting their lives and accomplishments.  Allow participation in our technology-driven society by providing necessary equipment and knowledge.  Assist our aging population with regaining/maintaining their independence.  How can we help the elderly stay independent?  Leave a comment!  Thank you for reading!  Please share!            

  

 

Mid-Week Motivation for the Caregiver….Quote #2

“To care for those who once cared for us is one of the highest honors.” — Tia Walker, author


Caregiving in a Rural Setting

Living in “Rural America” is gratifying.  The sounds of clattering suburbia are replaced by serene quietness.  Days and nights are peaceful, absent of commotion and traffic.  The view of the moon and stars isn’t obstructed by city smog.  People and nature are at peace with the environment.  I’ve lived in a rural setting my entire life and LOVE it!  Whippoorwills, white-tailed deer, locust, blueberry fields, and cranberry bogs are daily sights and sounds of my “Rural America”.  But, with peacefulness comes seclusion.  I currently live 30 minutes from the nearest grocery store, 40 minutes from my physician, 40 minutes from the nearest shopping mall, and 25 minutes from the “local” Chinese restaurant.  For some this is mindboggling, but for me it’s life.  I never realized the inconveniences of living rurally until my grandmother fell ill and needed healthcare support.  Those inconveniences were immediately magnified.  I’ve stressed the importance of utilizing resources available to caregivers and care-recipients.  However, most of those resources are not available to individuals receiving homecare in a rural setting. 

1.)  Transportation Services

Small towns in “Rural America” compared to urban and suburban communities lack funds to provide necessary transportation services to caregivers and care-recipients.  Residents living in exurban communities are limited in their independence and abilities to complete daily errands.

2.)  Adult Daycare Centers

Limited monetary resources and poor infrastructure both contribute to unavailable homecare resources.  We can’t compete with the wealth of populated cities.  Therefore, healthcare relief facilities are absent in rural communities.  And, without transportation services, caregivers and care-recipients can’t be transported to neighboring facilities. 

3.)  Home Healthcare Agencies  

Remote locations hinder the process of hiring dependable home healthcare agencies.  Nurses and aides are reluctant to travel to these locations because of travel time and distance.  

4.)  Respite Care

We realize the importance of respite care during caregiving, but a short-term break is not always readily available, especially in a rural setting.  The inability to find home healthcare agencies willing to travel to your location narrows your options when trying to obtain respite care.  Without agencies, your main source of relief care is dependable family and friends.  But, most families live at great distances from the caregiver and care-recipient.  Friends and neighbors work or are raising families.  Daily/weekly respite care may not be an option.     

If living in “Rural America” is inconvenient for the aging population, why don’t they relocate to an area better equipped for their needs?  The elderly in rural communities have limited incomes and live at or near poverty level.  Most live alone and have health concerns.  How can they relocate?  Why should they be disadvantaged by their living location? 

I was an informal caregiver for 11 years in a rural setting.  Getting good, quality care for your loved-one is nearly impossible.  Caregivers are required to perform many heath-related procedures beyond their training because healthcare agencies are not willing to travel 40 miles.  How do you transport a bed-bound patient to a doctor’s office 35 miles away with no medical transportation services?  How can you provide the proper care to a loved-one when skilled nurses are unwilling to travel to your location?  Caregiving is difficult, but lack of proper resources makes it more stressful and overwhelming.  Respite care?  Yeah right!  That’s a luxury provided by a family member every couple months.

Caregivers and care-recipients living in rural communities deserve more resources.  Location shouldn’t hinder the quality of care received by a loved-one.  Do you live in “Rural America”?  How can homecare resources be improved?  Leave a comment!  Thank you!