There are many joys and benefits of living near family. This past year has been the first time in my adult life that I have lived near my parents. They moved to Huntsville a little over a year ago and it has been wonderful seeing my boys get to know them better. Swim dates after school and surprise spectators at soccer practice are things we all enjoy. Not to mention a few dates with complimentary babysitting!
What came as a bit of a shock, however, were the health emergencies, hospitalizations, and surgeries. If this was a snapshot of just one year in their late sixties, what is in store down the road, and what do I need to do to prepare?
What’s the Sandwich Generation To Do?
The questions facing those who suddenly find themselves in the position of caring for aging parents are plentiful. Fortunately, so are the resources available to help. Our local senior living facility, Brookdale Place Jones Farm, is currently offering a monthly series of free informational seminars to help guide those of us who anticipate the need at some point to play a role in caring for aging parents, or are already doing so. With a different topic and speaker each month, these Ladies Night Out events are an opportunity for information, encouragement and support.
“Taking proper care of yourself is critical in order to be able to car for a loved one, but oftentimes people let guilt stand in the way.”
The next seminar, presented by Melissa Terry of Alabama Lifespan Respite Resource Network, will cover caregiver guilt. When I talked to Melissa about the program she said that it is all too common for the health of a caregiver to be worse than that of the loved one they are caring for. Taking proper care of yourself is critical in order to be able to car for a loved one, but oftentimes people let guilt stand in the way. At next month’s seminar Melissa will discuss how to identify, avoid, and overcome caregiver guilt.
If you are unable to attend the monthly seminars but want to learn more, Brookdale also offers monthly webinars that are free to the public and cover a wide range of pertinent topics. Past webinars are stored in archives for convenient access at www.brookdale.com.
I’ve just barely scratched the surface of what is available on the internet for caregiver resources, but here are a few sites and articles that I found helpful and can apply to both local and long distance care giving.