Most people know that elders will need practical support as their capacity to handle things like Activities of Daily Living, finances and driving declines. But sometimes less attention is paid to elders' need for emotional support to cope with chronic illnesses, loss of functional abilities, anxiety, depression and bereavement. Caregivers also need practical and emotional support, but often put their own needs last as they focus on caring for their loved ones. When working with families, Serenity's care managers help elders and caregivers to find practical solutions and also support them in dealing with the many emotional challenges related to aging.
Caregivers sometimes ride an emotional roller-coaster as they try to do their best for their loved ones. The "ups and downs" can be confusing. It can be very gratifying to show your love by providing personal care to parents who once took care of you, or to grow closer to a spouse by finding ways to tenderly soothe his pain. But it can also be physically exhausting to provide hands-on care year after year, and changing the diapers of the person who was once your romantic partner can dampen your desire towards him. Caregiving forces us into a "realignment of roles" that may be painful as we struggle to let go of our previous expectations of our loved ones and to accept and appreciate them as they are now.
Through caregiving we can get in touch with depths of patience, acceptance and compassion that we may not have known we are capable of and strength beyond measure. But as time goes on, we can also become depleted from lack of sleep, financial worries, isolation, coping with difficult behaviors and juggling the needs of the person we care for as well as needs of the rest of the family. Some caregivers become overwhelmed as they try to do everything themselves. Others find that support from family and friends may gradually diminish, even though the need for support becomes greater as time goes on.
Serenity's care managers can help you to cope with the stress, anger, frustration, guilt and fatigue that often accompany caregiving. We are professionals with expertise in helping caregivers to find practical solutions to problems, resources to alleviate some of the physical and emotional burdens of caregiving, and more effective ways to communicate. Services such as respite care can help you to continue caregiving longer because finding time for yourself is essential for you to stay healthy. Care managers are also compassionate people who understand the art of careful listening and how to give emotional support. Although many caregivers come to care managers during a crisis, we hope that you will seek assistance rather than wait. Caregiving can be a difficult, long journey, and you do not have to make it alone. Get practical and emotional support from professionals. Contact Serenity Senior Support Services for more information.