Posts Tagged ‘family caregivers’

Caring for Your Parents

adult woman with elderly parentAs our parents age, we often find ourselves facing a new responsibility — caring and worrying about their wellbeing. We want to support their wishes, which often include maintaining their independence at home while ensuring they’re healthy, happy and safe.

Wherever you (or your parents) are on this journey, take heart in knowing there are simple measures you can take to support them at every age.

Safety at Home

No one wants to hear they’re no longer able to do something they once considered part of their daily routine. But, to make sure your parents stay safe at home, you need to have an honest conversation about your concerns and their physical health.

Make a cup of coffee or share lunch and brainstorm steps that will make their daily life easier. That may include:

  • Creating a communication plan that quickly notifies authorities and family members during an emergency.
  • Hiring someone to help with cleaning, laundry, and cooking — or designating a family member to help with household chores.
  • Removing or modifying areas of the home that may present a danger, including the shower, toilet, stairways, rugs, and furniture.

These are just a few easy ways you can begin to make your parents’ home safe for their continued independence. Talk to your loved one’s physician or visit AARP’s website for additional advice on keeping your parents safe.

Take Care of Yourself

It can be easy to put yourself at the bottom of your to-do list. Make your health and wellness a priority so you have the physical, mental and emotional strength to care for and support your parents.

Ask for Help

You don’t have to do it all alone. Reach out to siblings, friends or professionals to help ease the stress of caring for aging parents. Siblings who live out of town can lend a hand with weekly or daily phone calls to check in on parents from afar or help by scheduling appointments.

Eat Healthy

A nutritious diet can give you the energy and stamina you need to tackle all your responsibilities. Make room on your plate for loads of veggies, fruits, whole grains, lean protein, and low-fat dairy.

Indulge Yourself

Schedule a massage, get a pedicure or curl up with a good book. Spending time on leisure activities you enjoy can help you unwind and relax.

Stay Active

Exercise is a proven stress reducer and can help improve your mood. Head around the block for a solo walk or have a friend join you during an exercise class.

Talk to Someone

It’s difficult to watch parents – who once seemed invincible to you as a child – struggle with everyday tasks. Share your thoughts and feelings with a loved one, trusted friend or licensed therapist.

Find Ways to Connect

One of the many challenges of aging is a lack of social relationships: isolation and depression are common among the elderly. Help safeguard your parents’ mental and social health.

  • Arrange to visit parents on a regular basis and plan on making regular phone calls to check in.
  • Encourage family and friends to visit parents.
  • Invite parents along on outings they may enjoy. This can include a visit to a park, joining the family for a celebration dinner, or attending a school function.
  • Make routine errands a little more fun. Add a breakfast or lunch date before or after doctor appointments or stop for a special treat after grocery shopping together.
  • Tap into senior resources. Many communities and churches have social groups and event calendars geared toward older adults. Consider signing your mom or dad up for a fun (and safe) exercise class or interesting lecture to meet new people.

Caring for aging parents can be challenging for many reasons. Your parent’s primary care provider can also help guide you to the resources and support you need to help keep mom or dad safe, healthy and happy.

Emory Healthcare

At Emory Healthcare, we’re here to help you find the care you need when you need it. With more than 2,800 doctors and 300 locations, including 11 hospitals, as well as primary care offices, urgent cares, and MinuteClinics, we’re delivering specialized care across the region. Find a doctor near you to help you get and stay healthy.

About Dr. Rodney

Ania Rodney, MD, is a primary care physician and geriatric medicine specialist at Emory Saint Joseph’s Hospital Campus. She believes in empowering her patients by sharing her thoughts concerning the diagnosis and treatment, and explaining the details. Her clinical interests include family medicine, preventive care, primary care, adult health and geriatric medicine.

 

 

 

Emory Healthcare Celebrates National Family Caregivers Month

November is National Family Caregivers month, a time to thank, support, educate and empower family caregivers. Here at Emory we strive and take pride in giving exceptional care to our patients, family members and community. In fulfilling our purpose of providing patient- and family-centered care, Emory Healthcare invites patients and family members to partner with us as part of our Patient and Family Advisor (PFA) program. We recognize that family and friends are an integral part in a patient’s recovery.

Family caregivers are the most familiar with their care recipient’s medicine regimen; they are the most knowledgeable about the treatment regimen; and they understand best the dietary and exercise capabilities and/or limitations of their loved ones.

“Being a family caregiver has become a more-than-fulltime job.  Emory has helped me do that well with the way the staff treats the caregiver role as an integral partnership.  We have come to know, love and appreciate the caring relationships we have developed with staff throughout Emory who, in addition to great medical care, give both my husband and me emotional, social, intellectual and spiritual support.”Sylvia Bell PFA for Emory Healthcare

“My family and I have received excellent service from Emory Johns Creek Hospital and in an effort to return the favor, I became a PFA.  Since healthcare providers may not always understand how their actions and communications are perceived, I hope that as a PFA, the insight I offer from a patient and caregiver point of view can help to improve the overall patient experience for others.”Tobie Walters, PFA at Emory Johns Creek Hospital since March 2012

Although November is National Family Caregivers month, we thank and appreciate all of our family caregiver members year round! We look to them for advice and guidance to ensure exceptional care delivery for patients and families, even during the most difficult times. We thank you all and salute you for your dedication and commitment to family, community and care!


“This month and throughout the year, let the quiet perseverance of our family caregivers remind us of the decency and kindness to which we can all aspire.”
President Barack Obama, 2011’s NFC Proclamation