At CaraVita Home Care, we are proud of the services we provide in senior home care and the partners we work with. One of our partners, Aloha to Senior Solutions, believes the act of aging should be treated with the Aloha spirit, otherwise known as a harmonious and respectful way of living. The following information was provided by our guest blogger Dawn Reed, CEO of Aloha to Senior Solutions and Founder of Aloha to Aging, Inc. In a previous article, we discussed ways caregivers can remain positive, in this edition we are expressing why caregiving should be a team effort.
As someone who has been working with people for over 30 years, from young to those further along on the aging journey, I have seen one thing that truly makes a difference - compassion. Whether we are helping a child learn how to tie their shoes, or assisting an older loved one with get dressed, compassion is key to a successful engagement. This is especially true to home care with senior adults.
Often times, as a family care partner, we may run low on patience and compassion needing these virtues for our own journey. Unfortunately, these virtues are always easy to find. Struggling to keep up with the physical or cognitive changes that occur hourly, daily, or weekly with a care recipient may be taxing. Trying to wrap our head around the fact that there is help available, and what “help” would look like, may be hard to imagine.
We all know the saying “there is no “I” in “Team.” This is so very true, especially when caring for an aging loved one. No one person can truly provide the care necessary for an aging senior solely. Expecting both care recipient and provider to have an all-around high quality of life as a sole caregiver is simply not possible; physical and mental health will suffer. Statistics have proven the detrimental effects of caring for someone alone has effects on not only on the senior home care recipients’ health but also on the caregivers’ health. It has also been proven that the stressors of caregiving can stay with a caregiver for up to 3 years after their service role has ended. Together, we can find a healthy alternative!
Socialization with others outside of your family provides a number of benefits for a healthy lifestyle. Often this healthy outlet is the first to go for both caregiver and care recipient when caring for someone who is dealing with cognitive or health-related changes. Talk therapy, a feeling of purpose, the ability to be in an environment where we are nurtured and are seen for our capabilities-not inabilities are all important elements through the care journey.
Unfortunately, as caregivers for senior home care, we might not be able to imagine our loved ones accepting help or enjoying others company, but I challenge you to think again. As a facilitator of caregiver support groups for over 15 years, as well as an adult day respite provider, I feel as if I have seen it all. Whether you are caring for a spouse or parent, you truly need a break. Your care recipient also needs a break from you, the one person telling them what to do continually. You are the person they feel beholden too. Imagine the welcoming opportunity as they come to appreciate an in-home caregiver or the social acceptance that adult respite care brings. Likewise, what a healthy, much-needed break you will receive as “your team” of care partners allows you the peace of mind and time to take care of yourself. Hopefully, this regular “break” will allow you to find compassion from others and renewed energy to be more compassionate with your loved one.
If you are new on the journey, I strongly suggest finding a support group to validate your feelings of concerns and then listen, as the caregivers explain how they wished that had started in senior home care and adult day respite much sooner.
Even though caregiving can pose challenging at times, we love the work we do and enjoy our care partners as well. Be sure to subscribe to our CaraVita Home Care newsletter to keep up with community news and be aware of events hosted by our care partners or us!