By Amy Hilliard
The Caregiver Action Network (CAN) reports that there are 90 million family caregivers in the United States. The month of November is set aside to honor these dedicated and compassionate individuals who may be providing care for a disabled child, an aging spouse or a parent with a prolonged illness. In the most recent study, experts estimate that caregiver services are valued at $450 billion per year.
This month, especially, it’s important for caregivers to be aware of the physical and mental toll caregiving can have if they neglect themselves. Elderly spouses serving as caregivers, for example, experience higher rates of influenza and pneumonia.
Here are a few tips for avoiding “caregiver burnout”:
Take care of yourself
Try remembering the advice given by the flight attendants prior to take off: secure your own oxygen mask before helping others with theirs. The same rule of thumb holds true for caregivers. Failing to take care of yourself can have devastating long-term consequences for both you and the parent/spouse/relative receiving care. Be kind to yourself.
Ask for help
It’s okay to ask a family member to fill in whenever possible. It doesn’t make you selfish to ask someone to help out for a few hours so that you’re able to take a break; it makes you human. Often, caregivers believe that seeking help is a sign of weaknesses. It’s not.
Seek out support groups
It’s always nice knowing that you’re not alone. Find a support group specific to your situation. Local churches, hospitals and senior living communities may offer ongoing support groups for both those dealing with the affliction or their caregiver. At The Carlisle in north Naples, the luxury retirement community offers a monthly Parkinson’s Support Group offering caretakers a wealth of information and support.
Set realistic goals
The Mayo Clinic suggests breaking large tasks into smaller steps that you can do one at a time. Prioritize, make lists and establish a daily routine. Begin to say “no” to requests that are draining, such as hosting holiday meals.
Entrust the care of your loved one to a professional
The team at reputable and well-established senior living communities understands the stress and emotional toll caregiving can create. They strive to help caregiving spouses flourish while easing day-to-day caregiver responsibilities.
The Carlisle Naples offers independent and assisted living lifestyle options and is especially suited for older adults serving in a caregiving role. Their spouses receive 24-hour access to a team of well-trained professionals and assistance with activities of daily living (bathing, dressing, medication assistance, etc.). And, without the day-to-day burdens of providing care, the couple now has more time to spend on what matters most: enjoying quality time together.
The Carlisle holds an Extended Congregate Care (ECC) license as well, which is held in conjunction with the standard assisted living licensure. This allows the community to provide additional supportive and nursing services to residents who would otherwise need to transition to a skilled nursing facility.
“Many older adults often thrive upon moving to a senior living community,” said Executive Director Bill Diamond. “Seniors receiving assistance from spouses and/or adult children may often experience feelings of guilt or fear they are preventing the caregiver from living a more active life. With these mental roadblocks removed, they are better able to focus on their overall wellbeing and make positive strides.”
Located at 6945 Carlisle Court in Naples, The Carlisle offers spacious one-and two-bedroom residences include lifetime care and maintenance, weekly housekeeping and flat linen services, basic cable TV, all utilities except telephone, and a complimentary full breakfast plus choice of lunch or dinner in the community’s gourmet-style restaurant.
For more information about the community, please call 239-221-0017 or visit www.TheCarlisleNaples.com.
The Carlisle, a luxury, resort-style senior living community in North Naples, offers both Independent and Assisted Living lifestyles. Available on a monthly fee basis, the ECC-licensed and CARF-accredited community boasts a full range of services and amenities including 12-hour restaurant dining, housekeeping, transportation and activities. Located on Airport-Pulling Road, between Pine Ridge and Immokalee Roads, the award-winning community’s lush tropical environment is highlighted with meandering walking paths around three lakes and tranquility gardens. For more information or to schedule a tour, please call Director of Marketing Amy Hilliard at 239-221-0017.
Luxury Rental Retirement Living
6945 Carlisle Court, Naples, FL 34109
239-221-0017 . www.srgseniorliving.com