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Caregiver's Journey




Caregiver's Journey

THE CAREGIVERS' JOURNEY: CONSIDER CAREFULLY BEFORE MOVING PARENTS IN WITH YOU

By Marsha Kay Seff

January 16, 2014 (San Diego)--When I was a caregiver to my parents, some people faulted me for placing my folks in a retirement community, rather than moving them in with me.  But I never felt guilty about my choice.

For our family, the arrangement was the best option.

THE CAREGIVERS' JOURNEY: WHEN LIFE HANDS YOU LEMONS, BAKE A LEMON PIE

 

By Marsha Kay Seff

December 18, 2013 (San Diego) – As an adult child of octogenarian parents, I wore a virtual millinery shop full of hats.  It often felt as if I needed more heads.  I know I needed more arms and legs – and much more time.

One of my most-frayed chapeaus was my thinking cap, for I was most certainly the daughter of invention.

A big part of my role as the designated caregiver was inventing gizmos that would make my parents' lives more manageable and comfortable.

THE CAREGIVER'S JOURNEY: DON'T WAIT UNTIL A CRISIS

 

By Marsha Kay Seff

October 24, 2013 (San Diego) – In your job as a caregiver, you probably won’t be able to avoid a crisis.  But being prepared for one will help make things easier for you and your parents.

The biggest mistake you can make is being complacent until the inevitable happens.  By then, you will have to move too quickly with limited options and a big chance of making mistakes.

Don’t waste time in denial.  It’s a given that your parents will get older and frailer.  By the time they fall, are hospitalized, or end up with full-blown dementia, it’s too late to set up a plan.

THE CAREGIVER'S JOURNEY: NEW FRIENDS IN NEED

 

By Marsha Kay Seff

September 19, 2013 (San Diego) -- My mom used to complain how difficult it was to make friends at her retirement home.  Then one day, she stepped into the elevator and said hello to someone she had unsuccessfully been trying to befriend.

“I haven’t seen you in a while,” Mom told her.  “It looks like you’ve put on some weight.”

The woman glared at her and left the elevator without even saying good-bye.

“See what I mean?” Mom said to me.

I suggested, between giggles, that next time, she tell the woman how great she looked.

THE CAREGIVER'S JOURNEY: YOU NEED TO GIVE IT A REST

By Marsha Kay Seff

April 1, 2013 (San Diego)--Caring for your parents is tough enough under any circumstances.  Without a good night’s sleep, caregiving is an almost impossible task. 

Being sleep-deprived not only drains energy but can drastically affect your health, mood and daily functioning.  Adequate rest is vital to being able to handle your life, your family’s and your parents’.

Doctors say there are several things you can do to improve your sleep. Tell that to my “sleep center,” which never worked very well and went on permanent disability while I was caring for my parents. 

THE CAREGIVERS’ JOURNEY: A LONG AND WINDING PATH

 

By Marsha Kay Seff

March 1, 2013 (San Diego) -- Becoming your parents’ parent conjures up pictures of “tangled apron strings.”

As a child, the strings seemed well-defined.  You needed your parents and their role was to fulfill your needs.  Now, with your parents aging and leaning increasingly on you, the apron strings are tangled and wound tightly around you.

This role reversal isn’t easy for any of you.  Your parents, no doubt, are fighting furiously to cling to their dignity and independence.  At the same time, you’re pulled between the demands of your own family and the need to help your parents.

THE CAREGIVER'S JOURNEY: A LONG AND WINDING PATH

Becoming your parents' parent conjures up pictures of "tangled apron strings."

By Marsha Kay Seff

February 17, 2013 (San Diego) -- As a child, the strings seemed well-defined.  You needed your parents and their role was to fulfill your needs.  Now, with your parents aging and leaning increasingly on you, the apron strings are tangled, wound tightly around you.

This role reversal isn’t easy for any of you.  Your parents, no doubt, are fighting furiously to cling to their dignity and independence.  And you’re pulled between the demands of your life and theirs.

THE CAREGIVER'S JOURNEY: YOU NEED TO DRAW THE LINE

By Marsha Kay Seff

January 16, 2012 (San Diego’s East County)--Take a deep breath and buckle your seatbelt.  You’re a caregiver:  Sure you feel overwhelmed.  It goes with the job; there’s not a family caregiver around who doesn’t feel stressed to the max – a lot of the time.

Caregiving is a rollercoaster.  You go up and you go down, sometimes at virtually the same time.  So buckle up and try to enjoy the best parts of the ride.

An important way to prepare for this journey is to set boundaries. 

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