Today is my daughter's birthday... She is my oldest, the first one to make me a "daddy". I love my two sons just a much, but there's something special about a "daughter/daddy" relationship. The same goes with my boys and the relationship they have with their mom. Today I took her out for a birthday lunch, just the two of us. We will do the family birthday dinner tomorrow night, but it was a great time for her and me to just hang out.
One of things I have on my repeating task list is to periodically ask my kids about their "bucket list". I've challenged each one of them to dream- about things they would like to own, places they would like to visit, things they would love to experience, and so on. I want to visit with them about their dreams so I can dream with them, and help support them in their pursuit of those dreams. That means planning for the future, setting priorities and sometimes making hard decisions in life. Why do I do it? I mean, I really do have enough on my own plate to keep me busy, and they are grown adults! I do it because I love them, and I want the very best for them.
In a nutshell, isn't that what it means to discuss, plan for and engage the topic of home and health care with aging parents? We love them, and we want the very best for them. For a quality future, living where THEY want to live, it does require planning for the future, setting priorities and yes, sometimes making hard decisions. Why go through all of that? You know the answer to that question. Because you love them, and LOVE MATTERS!
There are so many issues when it comes to caring for aging parents! I'd love to recommend a great resource for your consideration. Check out "Taking Care of Mom & Dad: A Beginner's Guide to Caring for Your Parents" (click link to check this out on Amazon). This fantastic resource was authored by 17 different Visiting Angels Franchise Owners from around the country, most of whom have a decade or more in the home care industry!
Love is fulfilling, it's exciting and it's a part of who we are when we are at our best. But more than that, Love Matters, and love is worth the time and effort it takes from us to do it well. So get out there, and if your parent or parents are still living, have some of those conversation! Love Matters!
Taking care of a loved one or working professionally as a caregiver can be extremely rewarding. Anyone who has done any amount of caregiving can testify this is true! At the same time, the physical, emotional, mental and spiritual stresses of being a caregiver can take their toll on you as well. It is important that as you "pour out" yourself into the nurture and service to others in need that you are also doing things that "fill your cup" so that you don't end up burned out and used up. On a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being "I'm doing great!", and 10 being "I'm burned out!", where would you rank yourself?
It's important that you stay healthy by staying fresh. Sometimes caregivers need to step away to recharge their batteries. That charge can come through whatever hobbies or recreational activities help you to relax and rejuvenate! Maybe you are a "craft" person who enjoys making things- then go do that! Possibly you are an outdoorsy type- then go for a hike or spend the afternoon at the park or botanical gardens! Others enjoy music or the arts- so treat yourself to some new music or a night at a performing arts center! Your health is vital if you are going to be the very best you can be when you are actively caregiving! Self-care is critical, and hobbies are one way to provide that care!
You may find it provides more structure and accountability for you to regularly enjoy those hobbies if you find someone else to share them with you. Build relationships outside of your caregiving to stay positive. When you go golfing with a friend, or hit the stores with a shopping buddy it is actually therapeutic! Another person can help you unwind and destress from the pressures of caregiving! Who will you call the next time you need to get on your "Hobby Horse" and enjoy some relaxation time?
I offer this suggestion with a warning. It is OK to bring your hobby into your caregiving if or when you think it could be positive. First, the care of the person you are helping is most important when you are providing assistance to them. You do not want to do anything that would be anything but beneficial or wholesome for them as well. Second, you also must make sure that you are allowing time outside of your caregiving to participate in your relaxing or refreshing hobby. It should never be something that only happens when you are with the care recipient. That all being said, for someone who loves gardening could find out that working in the garden with the care recipient that blesses both of them! Is there a hobby that you love that you could share with your care recipient, one that you both would enjoy?
Remember, life is a journey... stay balanced. Burnout is normal among caregivers, regardless of whether they are being paid or a simply a family member or friend helping a loved one. Know your limits, and know what the signs are that you could be nearing burnout. Now get out there and have some fun!
If you would like more information about caregiving issues, or are interested in talking to us about one of our fantastic professional caregivers, contact the amazing people at Visiting Angels of Tulsa!
Visiting Angels of Tulsa
1532 S Peoria
Tulsa, OK 74120
The seniors in our lives are among the most precious gifts we possess! Parents, grandparents, neighbors and friends, the elderly among us need and deserve our love and respect. Some of those providing the gift of care are family members who provide much needed assistance to a loved one. Others are paid professional caregiving aides who work in the home health or medical fields. Either way, it is hard not to fall in love with these wonderful people who are being cared for!
There are several very critical things to remember when it comes to caregiving and family. Handling these issues well is vital to the quality of life for the senior.
Understand your role as a caregiver. If you are a family member, you've taken on a huge responsibility. It can be full of both joy and heartache. If you are a paid professional or a volunteer, know that you have legal, ethical and even moral responsibilities to provide the very best care for your senior. They may not be your family, but you should care for them as if they were the dearest member of your own family.
If you would like more information about caregiving issues as they relate to family matters, contact the amazing people at Visiting Angels of Tulsa!
Visiting Angels of Tulsa
1532 S Peoria
Tulsa, OK 74120
Page Cole is a leader in home care in Oklahoma. He has published the following resources for Seniors-