Sunday, December 30, 2007

Coping with a job and the needs of aging parents

Being a caregiver isn’t easy, as any of us can tell you. One of the greatest pressures is the need to be earning an income for our own family just as our parents or other aging relatives need more and more hands-on help.

At Family & Friends of the Aging, we’re compiling opportunities for flexible or alternative-type jobs that will allow a caregiver to continue earning an income while caring for his or her own aging family members.

Here’s one idea that may help you meet both of those objectives. If there isn’t an adult day care in your area, consider starting one. There could be many benefits to you and the seniors who attend, as well as to your own aging parents.

Check out this suggestion, and be sure to share with us how you cope with the pressures of a job AND caring for the elders in your family.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

A closer look at Mom and Dad

How the holidays have changed for those of us whose aging parents live more than a thousand miles away.

Although I talk with my own mom nearly every day by phone, there’s nothing like a personal visit to give me the real picture of just how she’s doing—how forgetful she’s becoming, how she’s getting along physically.

The Lawrenceville, Kansas Journal-World offers some excellent suggestions for children of aging parents, including how to recognize certain problems and what to say and do.

It’s difficult to be so far away from the ones you love and respect, and I’m fortunate that my sister, in the same town, is caregiver to my mother. It gives me peace of mind but doesn’t negate my own responsibility.

For now, that has pretty much become daily phone calls giving Mom a chance to talk as her physical limitations begin to impact how much she can socialize with others.

As we look ahead to a year of uncertainty, I can only say: Thanks, Sis, and happy New Year, Mom.

--Alene Archer, Board Member--Family & Friends of the Aging