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Building a Senior Caregiving Network

Updated 7/28/15 9:07am | One of the most common issues for Alert1 caregivers is that they simply can't do it all by themselves. The good news is caregivers don't have go at it alone. Whether it means giving yourself a break or providing better care, I've found building a network of support can be one of the best things you can do. But assembling your senior care network can be a difficult task. After all, you and your parents have to agree on the right people to help you.  How do you know who to choose? How can you make sure they'll be reliable?

Determine Your Caregiving Style

Before you start to add people to your senior caregiving network, you need to be certain they’re the right fit. There are many different styles of caregiving that help your aging loved one feel at ease. For instance, my grandmother likes her independence and doesn’t like to be waited on hand and foot. There’s no way she’d accept a live-in caretaker. Our solution was buying her a senior help button that provides around the clock protection. If your senior is looking for added care, a smart-sensing fall detection button can call for help even if they’re unable to press the button. When safety is the main priority, your senior can feel more secure with Alert1 medical alert systems.

couple in hammock/ senior safety

Find Local Senior Allies from Family and Neighbors

Isolated older adults often fall under the radar in their communities. If your aging loved one has friends or neighbors that they trust, they can be the perfect addition to the caregiving network. You may need to call on friends or extended family in the area to check in with your loved one. An alternative is to scope out the block and look for other family oriented neighbors or caregivers. These neighbors and friends can help out on simple tasks; for example, ask your neighbor to stop by a few times a week to make sure that your parents are healthy and safe.  You can also have their numbers added to contacts on a medical alert system. This way, your senior can enjoy the benefits of independent living while you have some peace of mind. Start a conversation with the people in your neighborhood; it’s likely they already have a caregiving network in place to which you can join.

scenic house. med alert

Charitable Organizations and Community Service for Seniors

Other resources like community service or local church organizations may offer caregiving assistance. This option is especially helpful due to the variety of services it can offer.  It is a common service at local churches to do the grocery shopping and deliver groceries to an elder’s house once a week.  This service is something that many seniors need but it is time consuming and sometimes forgotten about. Reaching out to a church and asking for help is a great way to cross this task off your lengthy to-do list. These charitable organizations are active in the community and can be useful resources to your aging loved ones. 

grocery shopping. alert1 medical alert systems

Caregivers Need Support Too

Did you know that on average, a caregiver spends 20 hours helping their aging loved ones? While much of the senior caregiving network should be aimed at providing better care for your loved one, senior caregivers should also think about themselves everyone once in a while. For me, talking with friends and colleagues has made a big difference in the way I care for my grandmother. Additionally, there are many support groups available for you to talk to other people going through the same thing. Not only will you be able to discuss similar challenges, but you can pick each other's brains and learn a few things you may not have learned otherwise. 

grandchild with grandma. alert1 medical alert systems

These are just a few components of a senior caregiving network, and of course everyone is different depending on your needs. Alert1 wants to know: what are some of your ideas? How did you grow your senior caregiving network?