Tag Archives: grandparent

Conflicts in Caregiving: Self-Awareness

Posted by on September 17, 2015 under Caregiver Corner | Be the First to Comment

One of the many conflicts that can arise when caregiving for an older adult is how self-aware they are. How much do they feel they are capable of versus how much they are capable of?

My friend had grandparents who were in their 80s and doing alright for themselves, but definitely not heeding what their bodies were telling them. The grandfather insisted on getting up on the roof and cleaning the gutters – until his children convinced him not to (mostly by doing it themselves). This was part of what led to a larger discussion about whether or not owning a house was still a good idea for them. They had much more space than they needed, but the couple still enjoyed owning a home. This argument continued in the family for months, before the grandfather slipped on the front step while it was covered in ice and broke his hip.

At that point, the grandparents agreed that perhaps it was time to move into an assisted living facility. And they love it. The complex is large and has several different levels of care. They’re in the lowest level of assistance and have complete independence. This complex even has a few guest rooms where family members can stay for free when they visit.

Unfortunately, sometimes it takes a tragedy to open the eyes of a senior, to help them realize that while they may feel and act young at heart (and they should!) they do need to understand their limits. A time of crises is not when you want to be making life-changing decisions. If possible, gently, and without any specific timelines, speak to your senior about what their plans are when they are not as capable as they currently are. If you approach the topic with love, they may just listen.

Conflicts in Caregiving: In-Laws

Posted by on July 30, 2015 under Caregiver Corner | Be the First to Comment

Caregiver parents

Today is actually National Father-In-Law Day. Do you have father-in-law that you love? Are you currently caring for one of your parents-in-law? Helping to care for the person or persons who raised your spouse, welcomed you into their family and have been a wonderful grandparents can be the perfect way to give back and help. But sometimes conflicts can arise from helping those outside of your immediate family.

Oftentimes, a married couple will be a team, helping to take care of one or another’s parents. But depending on careers, personalities and traditional roles, the wife can be the one more likely to end up caring for her husband’s parents. And that in turn can lead to resentment. What can be done to help with couples make the best of these situations?

All caregivers should know that some people take to caregiving better than others. Caregiving is not for everyone. Each spouse needs to be aware of this and try to determine if they are capable of providing care for an elderly parent. If they discover that the work is more than hard (all caregivers, even if they love their role, find the work hard) but is making them miserable for a variety of reasons, they need to have an open discussion about that with their spouse, and the other spouse needs to respect their feelings on providing care.

If one spouse is determined to be able to care better for the elderly parents, and agrees to do so, the other spouse needs to be extremely supportive to them. Keep this mantra in mind: If you can’t BE a caregiver, SUPPORT a caregiver.

My Own Experiences as a Temporary Caregiver

Posted by on July 28, 2014 under Caregiver Corner | Be the First to Comment

Taking care of my grandfather

Hello there! My name’s Jeanne and I recently started at TotalHomeCareSupplies. I thought a good way to introduce myself would be to tell about when I was a temporary caregiver.

A few years ago, my mom and I visited my grandfather, who lived on his own in a two bedroom apartment in a different state than us. On this particular visit, upon arrival, we found him on the floor, alert and unhurt, but confused. He’d fallen, and a visit to the doctor told us he had pneumonia. He had to be checked into the hospital for a few days, and during this ordeal, decided a move to a nursing home might be prudent (he had tried living with my parents before, but found the altitude did not suit him).

After my grandfather checked out of the hospital, my mom needed to head back to work. My job at the time was more flexible, so I stayed to help him finish getting over the pneumonia, find him an acceptable nursing home and move him in.

We looked at three homes, and the last one had space for my grandfather and was acceptable to him. He would be able to move in after a week. In the meantime, I had to pack his apartment, get him to all his doctor appointments, work as much as possible at his friend’s houses or McDonald’s (since I needed the Internet, and he didn’t have a connection) and keep us both fed and relatively happy. And I had to do all this without a car, since the rental car was due back at the airport.

Somehow I pulled it off. I didn’t do it alone. His church friends helped him move, the town shuttle took us to appointments and the pharmacy, and his friends would stay with my grandfather when I needed to work. Still, it was exhausting. And there were upsetting things every day: new doctor appointments that meant I couldn’t spend those two hours working instead, my grandfather’s refusal to take recommended vitamins or just not getting as much done in one day as I would have liked. But in the end, his pneumonia cleared up and we moved him in. He was fairly happy there and we visited often.

My grandfather died, likely of pneumonia, about a year and a half later. It was sad, but I feel confident he was ready to go. Although those two weeks caring for him were stressful, I’m glad I was able to spend that time with him. I learned a lot, not only about him, but about myself.

Working at TotalHomeCareSupplies.com has reminded me of these experiences, and they give me a healthy respect for those caregivers that are not at all temporary. I’m looking forward to helping those that help others!