Welcome to Silver Innings Blog, Good Day

Powered by IP2Location.com

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Caregiving: Taking care of elders

Thanks to the rapid advances in the field of medicine, more and more people live to a ripe old age, it is increasingly likely that you will be taking care of older relatives at home. While this has always been a traditional practice in the joint Indian family, caregiving can prove to be quite a burden in Mumbai, where most of us lived in small cramped flats, and space is at a premium.

While many people think of caregiving as a burden, in reality entering into a caregiving relationship offers a valuable chance to reconnect with someone for whom you care deeply. And don't forget that you'll be setting an example for your children, so that when it's time for them to take care of you when you become old, they'll do a good job too.

Taking care of the elderly as they become more infirm and demanding with each passing day can create a lot of stress. If you're trying to shoulder the burden all alone, the frustrations may overwhelm you. An amicable situation can turn sour and, in some cases, mistreatment or abuse of the older person could be the tragic result. As testimony to this disquieting but indisputable reality, the media is reporting more and more cases of abuse and neglect of the elderly in India. Many parents have even been forced to commit suicide when they have got fed up of the ill-treatment they have received.

To sidestep an unpleasant situation and to ensure that you handle caregiving as successfully as possible, you should go in for a little thought, education and preplanning.

To start with, hold a family session when your parents are well. Talk about the future, and what they would like you to do for them in case they fall stick. Involve your brothers and sisters in the discussion and hold it in a positive atmosphere. Although talking about old age and impending debility can be uncomfortable, and disconcerting, this could be the most positive approach in the long run.

Consider covering the following areas:

* Division of labour: Decide who will do what - in an unambiguous manner - when your parents need help. If one relative lives close by and decides to be the primary caregiver, it's crucial that the other siblings play a supportive role. One should also find answers to the following important queries: Who will give the primary caregiver a break when he or she needs it? Who will help financially? Who will lend a sympathetic ear when the primary caregiver feels overwhelmed?
* Money: To plan for the years ahead, you should know your parents' financial resources. Such information helps you avoid the pitfalls of arranging for your parents to live beyond or below their means. If you're the main caregiver, decide well ahead of time if you want financial compensation for your efforts. This attitude might seem very commercial , but may actually help in the long run.
* Insurance: Make sure your parents have taken adequate medical insurance to cover their medical expenses.
* Living will: This document puts into writing what medical measures your family member does and doesn't want to be taken in the event of a terminal illness or condition.
* Power of attorney: This legal document allows a designated person to make specified legal and financial decisions if your parent or elderly relative becomes unable to manage his or her affairs.

Try to make your caregiving relationship as positive as possible, while, at the same time, being realistic. The relationship you had with your parent as a child doesn't disappear, and if you had a friendly, easygoing rapport with your mother or father when you were younger, it's likely to continue. However, if the relationship was subject to stresses, they may re-emerge. Also remember that prominent personality traits tend to become exaggerated as both of you grow older.

Caring for an older adult is very different from caring for a child. With the passage of time older persons become more dependent on others, not less. On some days, the experience may feel like an emotional roller-coaster ride: you quickly move from pity and guilt to love and on to anger and frustration.

By Dr Aniruddha Malpani

Source: http://www.timeswellness.com/index.aspx?page=article§id=27&contentid=20081123200811230033289714daad333


Anonymous said...

Very good article. Gives precise ways to cope with care givers issues.
Please read:
which tells about ARDSI Hyderabad Chapter.

Cynthia said...

Interesting blog. I've been looking at elder and senior care and keep coming across issues involving denture creams and neurological problems. It seems that some popular creams are involved and lawsuits are beginning to be filed. I found a site that is sponsored, I believe, by an attorney group, but that has some good health and legal information: http://www.denturecreamlawyer.com/ I hope this is of help to your readership.

Aaji Care-at-Home Services said...

This is really helpful for families with elders and patients. We have recently started company which address this issue by providing trustworthy, copassionate and trained care assistant for non medical help for seniors, patients and kids. Visit us at www.aajicare.in
email: aajicare@gmail.com
phone: 89761 20001

iCare Life said...


This is Suresh Shastry (suresh.shastry@icarelearning.in). I represent icare Life.

At iCare Life, we are dedicated to transforming the vast pool of poorly trained workforce that provides essential support services to millions of homes. We are committed to enhancing social capital by improving productivity, through defined service standards and transparency.

Our training curriculum, formulated in Singapore, are well researched and draw reference from benchmarks across the globe. The training content is delivered through PCs, tablets and mobile phones to enable 'anytime, anywhere' learning. All the trained personnel must go through stringent assessment protocols to earn iCare Life certification.

Our training and certification program (Approved by HSSC) ensures that the employers can access competent and reliable service providers. Moreover, our unique 'search and matchmaking' engine - will help finding them 'just the right' service provider as per their requirement of experience, competency, or neighbourhood location, etc.

Our transformational goal is twofold - one, to provide access to meaningful careers to service providers trained and certified by us, and the other to provide millions of service seekers access to efficient and reliable Home Support Services.

visit our website www.icare.life for further details. We have a fresh batch of traned and certified Care Givers

Blogsite Disclaimer

The content of this Blog, including text, graphics, images, information are intended for General Informational purposes only. Silver Innings Blog is not responsible for, and expressly disclaims all liability for, damages of any kind arising out of use, reference to, or reliance on any information contained within the site. While the information contained within the site is periodically updated, no guarantee is given that the information provided in this Web site is correct, complete, and up-to-date.The links provided on this Blog do not imply any official endorsement of, or responsibility for, the opinions, data, or products available at these locations. It is also the user’s responsibility to take precautionary steps to ensure that information accessed at or downloaded from this or linked sites is free of viruses, worms, or other potentially destructive software programs.All links from this Blog are provided for information and convenience only. We cannot accept responsibility for sites linked to, or the information found there. A link does not imply an endorsement of a site; likewise, not linking to a particular site does not imply lack of endorsement.We do not accept responsibility for any loss, damage or expense resulting from the use of this information.Opinions expressed by contributors through discussion on the various issues are not necessarily those of Silver Innings Blog.