ARTICLES / Caregiver /
Your community most likely has
organizations about which you never gave a second
thought until now. These may include, but are not
limited to, Meals on Wheels, day care centers, and home
care agencies. If applicable, contact your local Area
Agency on Aging for a list of services and
organizations. Your local medical supply store may have
gadgets and devices to enhance your loved one’s
abilities, at the same time making your life a little
easier. You might also inquire about local, state or
federal programs that might provide financial aid for
you and your loved one. As needs increase, so do costs.
Understanding which programs can help and what you can
afford, will allow you to plan for the future.
One way to deal with the emotional roller coaster you
may experience is to get your feelings down on paper.
Some journal entries might address the following
subjects: How do you feel now? What are your fears
and/or concerns? What outcomes would you like? What
losses have you noticed so far? What changes in your
relationship with your loved one have cause you to feel
sad? What changes have given you comfort? Journaling is
a healthy way to put your feelings “out there” and to
possibly alleviate some of the anger, frustration and
helplessness you may be feeling.
Caregiving need not be a lonely and emotionally
debilitating experience. According to the latest
statistics on caregiving for the National Family
Caregivers Association, nearly half of the U. S.
population has a chronic condition. From that number 41
million are limited in their daily activities while 12
million are unable to live independently or even leave
the house. One can deduce from these numbers that there
are millions of family caregivers out there. So keep in
mind that you are not alone, and best of luck to you and
your loved one.