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Family Caregivers Make the World Go Round

Your mother has reached a point in her life where she needs someone to help her with day-to-day activities. You have taken up those duties. From household cleaning to handling her finances, you put her needs before your own.  November is National Family Caregivers Month and Alert1 would like to acknowledge family caregivers. People like you play a tremendous role in providing care for your loved ones, and we want to offer you some tips on how to make that job easier.

What Do Caregivers Do?

A parent being cared for by her daughters

We all know caregivers are important and look after those who need extra help, but few actually know what you do. When Mom has become less comfortable with driving or the vacuum becomes too heavy for her maneuver, you’re there to help. More than picking things up off the floor and carrying heavy objects, you provide help in nearly every aspect of her life. She needs help with housekeeping tasks such as… 

  • Vacuuming
  • Laundry
  • Cooking
  • Cleaning
  • Gardening

As Mom ages, you find yourself providing additional support. She may need help with…

  • Getting in and out of bed
  • Organizing and paying her bills
  • Driving to appointments
  • Using the restroom
  • Dressing and bathing
  • Administering/organizing medicine
  • Treating sores/wounds
  • Taking her health measurements
  • Communicating with her doctor and the insurance company

At first Mom only needs a little bit of help around the house. As she ages she requires more care and you serve an increasingly important role in her life. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, 43.5 million adult family members in the US provide care for someone over 50 years old. She will have dozens of doctors or nurses over the years, but you’ll always be her rock.

Aging in Place is a Growing Trend

couple laughing while cooking

Many modern seniors are choosing to age in place and enjoy the comforts of home during their golden years. They want to be surrounded by familiarity. They want to go to the same grocery store, tend their garden, and visit the same neighbors and friends who live nearby. 

With new technologies like mobile fall detection from Alert1, aging in place is easier than ever. A medical alert system means if something goes wrong, Mom will get help fast. Alert1’s medical alert systems will be there for Mom 24/7, giving the two of you peace of mind.

Caregiving is Hard Work

piggy bank bandaged with cretches

Your Mom took good care of you growing up, and now it’s your turn to take care of her. Caregiving is rewarding work. But it is a lot of hard work. According to the National Center on Caregiving, middle-aged adults spend an average of 25.8 hours per week providing care to their loved ones.

You put your Mom’s needs before your own. But when is the last time you treated yourself? The National Alliance for Caregiving reports that caregivers often forget to take care of themselves, cutting back on their own healthcare and leisure time. You will be a better caregiver if you make time to care for yourself.

Reward Yourself

While being a family caregiver can be very rewarding in itself, you deserve to treat yourself to something special. Think of some things you love to do, but haven’t made time for lately. Perhaps you’d like to spend a quiet day fishing on the lake, going to the spa, or taking yourself on a shopping spree. Maybe a day in reading a great book is just what the doctor ordered. Just remember that you deserve to spoil yourself occasionally. You will be a better caregiver when you aren’t stressed out and have more energy. Besides, with an Alert1 mobile medical alert, we’ll keep an eye on Mom.

Make Your Job Easier

nurse holding patients hand

Alert1 knows how much work you put into caring for Mom. There are a few things you can do to make your tasks easier.

  • Have your family help – Keep your family in the loop. Ask them to pitch in and help out. 
  • Hire a gardener – Mowing the lawn is tedious work. Hiring a professional is affordable and adds tons of curb appeal.
  • Take breaks – If you are feeling stressed and overwhelmed, take a short break. Don’t hesitate to go to lunch, read from your favorite book, or listen to a podcast to decompress. You will be a better caregiver if you do so.
  • Trust a medical alert – You can’t be by Mom’s side 24/7. With a medical alert, you won’t have to worry about Mom being alone because help is only a button push away.
  • Hire a housekeeper – Dusting, vacuuming, dishes and laundry are all essential, but your time is better spent spending quality time with your mother.
  • Use a medication dispenser – A refillable medication dispenser will eliminate the worry of Mom taking the right medication. 

It Takes a Village…..or Just a Family

hand holding

You want to take care of your mother as she did for you when you were young. But what started as a weekly visit to check in slowly grows into a second job. Caregiving is rewarding, but it can become overwhelming. Take time for yourself. Make your job easier by having your family pitch in and hire help for home maintenance. Enjoy being a family caregiver. Enjoy your time with your Mom.