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Lessen The Squeeze: Caregiver Coping Skills

By Carolyn K. Schultz

(Page 2 of 2)

If you aren’t up to speed on your employee benefits package, schedule a quick update session to see if new options are being considered. Many employers are now offering long-term care insurance to employees and their immediate family members. In some cases, this arrangement allows people to obtain a discount on the premium. Ask some questions. Who knows, maybe you’ll find a new way to save money and make the most of the programs currently available to you.

Sometimes The Small Things Make A Big Difference

Looking back, I am still amazed at the countless number of cards, visitors and kind gestures of friendship bestowed upon my family by our neighbors, friends and members of our church. You hear all the time that it’s better to make a real offer to do something specific rather than say “If there’s anything I can do to help just call.” Make small requests of those who offer help to ease your burden. What may seem like a small effort to one person could be a tremendous relief to another. I remember my dad’s longtime barber just showing up at the hospital during the first three weeks and cutting my dad’s hair and shaving his neck, which he continued to do on a regular basis thereafter. He just took it upon himself to make sure it got done, and his gesture made my dad feel good. 

Stay Healthy

If you’re not taking care of yourself, how can you take care of others? For me this is a lifelong goal and something I’m always trying to improve. The easiest excuse for grabbing fast food, skipping the usual morning walk or letting yourself get rundown can be in the guise of saving time, but it could also be at the expense of your health. Start small and set goals. Stash some healthy snacks in the refrigerator at work and home. Try to limit your fast food “dashboard dining.” And take time for you, to read, to relax, to pamper yourself. Far from being selfish, these times are crucial for your wellbeing.

Learn to Set Limits

Some of the same skills and strategies you use at work such as planning, organizing, communicating, setting limits and delegating can be used effectively on the home-front for achieving a satisfying, fulfilling and well-balanced life both personally and professionally.

Although those of us sandwiched between care for our children and care for our parents cannot change this fact, we can do a better job of preparing for the job of caring for our parents before the need arises. 


Carolyn K. Schultz is Certified in Long Term Care (CLTC) and has over 20 years of experience in the insurance industry. As a long-term care insurance specialist with MassMutual’s Oklahoma agency, Carolyn has been helping individuals and families understand the complex world of long-term care planning since 1997. You can reach Carolyn via e-mail at or by calling 918-524-6342.


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