Building a Senior Caregiving Network
Posted on August 16, 2012
in Family Caregivers
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
Find Local Senior Allies from Family and Neighbors
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.
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.
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,
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.
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?
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