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Caregiving Series Part 2 – Sharing the Load – Some Tips

Caregiving Series Part 2 – Sharing the Load – Some Tips

Just because you love them doesn’t make it easy all the time. Many caregivers cherish the time and opportunity spent looking after their loved ones – but this is not without some corresponding emotional and physical stressors. Facing the mortality of a loved one, changes in family and household arrangements, reduced time for children, spouses, and recreational activities, added workload and increased financial pressures can all take its toll. You can’t sprint a marathon! You need to be available for the long haul, and that means creating new strategies to manage the acute and chronic demands. Control What You Can. You might not be able to change the health challenges your loved ones are enduring, so focus on what you can control — your reactions and stress management strategies. Share the Load. You don’t have to do it all by yourself. Reach out to family and friends and let them know specifically how they can contribute and help. From money to transportation, cooking, and respite, many welcome the opportunity to assist, but just don’t know how. Keep the Communication Lines Open. Bring family members into the caregiving conversations early and often to ensure everyone is in the loop, has a say, and issues can be resolved before they become problematic. Setting up family meetings, reaching out to others, and establishing ongoing communication strategies are effective ways to ensure that all members feel heard and are working toward the shared goal of quality care for their loved ones. Basic Tips for Holding a Family Meeting What: Set an agenda ahead of time. Contact family members to ask for their input...
Caregiving Series – Part 1 – Caring Costs

Caregiving Series – Part 1 – Caring Costs

If you are feeling like the ham in the sandwich — you have company! Increasing numbers of men and women are trying to juggle work and child rearing while simultaneously caring for their aging parents. It is called the ‘Sandwich Generation,’ and membership in this not so exclusive club is increasing at a substantial rate. Whether you are caring for one or more generations, it can be an overwhelming time. We know that with the right tools, resources, and support, this life stage can be enriching and daresay, even transformational. Canadian Profile We are a caring nation! Almost half of all Canadians (46%) aged 15 and older have provided some level of care to a family member or friend at some point in their life. The majority of those providing care are in the 45-64 age group, and the percentage of those providing care increased 20% during a short 5-year reporting period of time. Furthermore, more than 82% of caregivers work at a paid job or business and 28% still have children under the age of 18, and often in their teenage years. Caregiving can start in response to the dreaded crisis phone call, and can also develop as a more graduated long-term commitment. Although women slightly outnumber men as caregivers, women provide care for almost twice as long as men, serving for an average of 5.8 years, compared to 3.4 years for men. Even though almost all caregivers report that they are happy to provide care, it still impacts their physical, emotional, and financial well-being. This article will review some of the financial implications of caring for family...