Caregivers Need to Take Care Themselves

Carol Roach By Carol Roach, 9th Jun 2015 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Health>Mind & Spirit>Mental Health

Since people are living longer in North America, the issue of care-giving is topical. This series will examine some of the issues and provide some tips for family and home caregivers.

Balancing Work and Home Life

Balancing work and home life not always easy but it can be very worthwhile – Continued

Your children's' mental, emotional and physical needs must be met. Of course the physical needs require that they have food, shelter and clothing to wear among other things. This means that even though you might want to spend all day at home with your children, it may not be possible, especially if you are a single parent. Most people have to work to maintain the standard of living they desire.

On the other hand, you may not work, but you have an aging parent to care for as well as your children. You still must try to balance your time between caring for the parent and taking care of the children. Unfortunately, sometimes your parents needs are met at the expense of your children and vice versa.

The first thing to recognize is that you are not super human and you need help.
You may get help from your spouse, your neighbour, or you may even be able to have your older children help with the younger children or the aging parents.

Most people don't think that even elementary school children can read to the aging parent, bring them food, talk to them, help them dress and so on. It can be done, just organize and more importantly give it a try.

Try to make it fun for younger children express how important their helping you really is and how proud you are of them. Even if they don't get it quite right reward them for their efforts. This interacting between child and aging parent will facilitate a bonding between child and grandparent that if not cultivated at this stage, may never happen at all.

The Montreal author, Mortecai Richler wrote a short story entitled, "The Summer My Grandmother was Supposed to Die" (from his 1969 collection entitled The Street), where he talks of his childhood and how his grandmother was the sick old lady in the room that smelled. He really didn't know her.

The Wrong Kind of Parenting

If you are a Montreal parent who misses work often because you want to stay at home and drink or take illegal drugs, you have to realize you are not going to keep your job very long and your children will suffer for it. Besides not being able to provide for their monetary needs, you are setting a very bad example for them. Children learn from their parents, they learn from every situation they see around them. The situation becomes twice as bad if you are incapacitated and you also have an aging parent to care for.

Or, because of the stressful economy many Montrealers are workaholics. They spend more time at work than at home. Although the money is good, think about if you really need all that money?

Yes, it would be nice to give your children everything they would ever ask for and more but is it necessary? Your children need to be with you to share activities with you, to learn from you, to laugh and joke with you. Their mental health is so fragile and the love and time a parent spends with them is just as important as all the things that money can buy.

Aging parents need quality time together with family as well. They do not have much time left on this earth. The unfortunate part, is that adult children often have to work extra hours to pay for the extra costs associated with being the caregiver for an elderly sick parent.

Keeping Yourself Healthy

Balancing work and home is not easy; one of the factors to consider is babysitting. Every parent must decide whether to have family or another individual stay at home with the children, or if they should send the children to a daycare.

If you choose a daycare center make sure the employees have undergone DNA testing for drug and alcohol abuse. Similarly, if you go through a qualified domestic childcare agency for home babysitting, you can also inquire that all drug and alcohol testing has been taking care of before that individual is sent to your home.

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Sometimes Caregiving Requires a Balancing Act

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On the other hand, if you select your own babysitter you can ask her to supply a hair DNA sample for drug testing. Home DNA tests are available for drug and alcohol testing and are simple to do. Isn't a DNA test worth the time to give you peace of mind?

You can also have a neighbour come in and sit with your aging parent if you need to leave the house. Just because you are the primary caregiver it does not mean that you cannot go out and do things with your children and still be a family. Nor does it mean that you cannot catch a break once in awhile and take time for yourself, or go out and socialize with your friends.

A happier, healthier you will make a happier, healthier family in every sense of the word. Caregivers possibly have the hardest job on the planet, but the first thing to remember is, also be a caregiver to yourself.


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Meet the author

author avatar Carol Roach
Retired therapist and author of two books, freelance writer, newsletter editor, and blogger. I write, health, mental health, women's issues, animal , celebrity, history, and SEO articles.

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author avatar Ptrikha
11th Jun 2015 (#)

Some very worthwhile tips.

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