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The Elderly Caregiver Support pages help you learn how to meet your needs so you will have what it takes to care for the needs of your senior loved one. You'll find valuable information, support, resources and links to survive the stress and be fit enough to help your loved one long term.

Elderly Caregiver Support

Many thousands of people throughout the Western World are working full-time, raising children and trying to be the caregiver for their elderly relatives.  Many thousands more are managing the professional care and financial affairs of their elderly relatives.  In both groups most people, by far, are doing this work out of genuine love and compassion for their elderly charges.  Most of them are self-sacrificing, loving people, who often care more for those they're caring for than even themselves...but this is the danger.  Because the caregiver, you (I assume), are not as attentive to your own needs, you put yourself in jeopardy along with the elderly person you're caregiver for.  Here is a list of the recent top-selling books on how to get and give support as an elderly caregiver.  Side Point:  As a caregiver, you must make sure your elderly loved one's documents are in order before they lose their ability to make these decisions and speak for themselves.  This time of life is difficult enough without having to fight every action and decision out in court.  For more information on this, see our pages on Elder Care Law.

Why We Need Elderly Caregiver Support:

How many times have we heard of someone violently abusing their elderly loved ones...of mental abuse?  Yes, there are some who are just violent, abusive people, but most are people like you and I, who care deeply for their elder loved ones but break under the stress and strain of being a caregiver.  As caregivers for the elderly, we have all the responsibility of the mother of a little child, but none of the optimism.  We have no expectation of this person growing up and becoming self-sufficient.  The only thing we have to look forward to is them increasingly needing us, the struggle getting harder and harder, until we lose them.  I know this struggle.  I was the caregiver for my mother, who had Emphysema, Alzheimer's Disease and Osteoporosis.  Over the course of about 3 years, each new event brought more limitation, pain and confusion, for her...and me.  Each situation brought more dire decisions until I found myself thanking God that she was taken by a respiratory infection.  This is the struggle we elderly caregivers have.  Unless we purposely build in support in our lives and lifestyle, our elderly loved one isn't the only one we will lose.  We could lose our sanity, our financial health, our physical health or our families all because we didn't see to our own needs.  On an airline, if the cabin loses pressure, oxygen masks will drop from the ceiling.  They tell you if you're traveling with a child to put on your own mask first, then assist the child.  They know, if you don't do this you won't have enough oxygen to help the could both die.  As caregivers, we must see to our own needs first, then to the needs of our elderly loved one.  If we don't, we will run out, finding ourselves as much in need as the one we're caring for.

Elderly Caregiver Stress Support:

To say this is a stressful situation is putting it mildly.  As a caregiver, you need an escape from the stress.  I've often counseled career people to get a break from work one day a week, one 3-day-weekend a month, and at least 2 full weeks a year.  You know what many of them do?  Stressful things at home...paint the house, landscape, build a deck, etc.  This is not rest!  I mean get away from all work!  You'll do better work if you do.  This is even more true of caregivers.  Your job is 8 hours a giving is 24/7.  Even just overseeing professional caregivers is 24/7.  Unless you build in time away to unwind, you will break.  Many caregivers squeeze this in between job, raising kids and maintaining a marriage relationship.  The "vacation" time is eaten up by care giving, your spouse is ignored and your kids feel ignored.  Now, how do you think the pressures from them are affecting you?  This is a marathon!  Unless you build in time in your schedule for spouse, kids, and yourself, you'll be done in the first lap.  It's worth whatever it costs to be able to get away and know your loved one is cared for.  Now, a new phenomenon is opening in the assisted living market, called elder day-care.  People can actually leave their elder loved one at a licensed care facility and have a day or a week away.  For more information on elder care, see our page Assisted Living Questions-Concepts.  There really is no excuse to ignore your needs.

Concluded at Elderly Caregiver Support-2

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