Besides caring for her 2 young boys, Sarah also began looking after her 85-year-old mother, who had recently been discharged from the hospital after a bout with pneumonia. Sarah worked full-time and found herself day after day rushing from work to her mother’s house to make sure she was doing all right, and then racing home to make dinner and help her boys with their homework. Sarah’s husband, Ray, worked the night shift at a factory, and the two of them barely saw each other all week. It wasn’t long before the stress began to impact Sarah mentally and physically. She developed headaches, insomnia, and stomach problems, and found it difficult to concentrate at work.
“I realized I couldn’t keep up this pace,” Sarah said, when she finally decided to call a care manager for help. “But I didn’t have time to look for outside help either.” The care manager helped Sarah locate a home health aide, who spent afternoons with Sarah’s mother and attended to her needs.
“It was such a relief,” Sarah said. “I felt a little guilty at first, but my mother is doing fine. She gets along well with her aide, and my care manager also visits her weekly to monitor how things are going.”
Jim also experienced caregiver stress. He was retired and the sole caregiver for his wife, Nancy, who had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. In the beginning, Jim felt he could manage her care by himself in their home. But as time passed and the disease progressed, Nancy’s behaviors became harder to manage and Jim became socially isolated and depressed.
“While I was researching memory care placement for my wife, I came across a support group for families of people with dementia,” Jim said. “It was a lifesaver. I didn’t feel so alone. People in the group were going through the same things I was, and we helped each other out a lot. It was there that I learned about care managers and how they could help me find the best care options for my wife.”
Caregiving can be the most meaningful, but also the hardest job you’ll ever have. It’s important to recognize when you need help and respite, whether from a support group, family members, and/or assistance from a care manager and other in-home services. If your employer offers an Employee Assistance Program, they can direct you to elder care resources, including care managers. Eldercare Locator lists a wide range of services by state, and local senior centers and Area Agencies on Aging are also good places to check.
Remember, caring for yourself is critical!
If you or someone in your family are facing aging challenges, please give us a call at 877-337-0922 or email us at email@example.com”. We’ll be happy to assist!